Science.gov

Sample records for prairie island nuclear

  1. 76 FR 39445 - Northern States Power Company-Minnesota; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-07-06

    ... COMMISSION Northern States Power Company--Minnesota; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2... Company--Minnesota (licensee), the ] operator of Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2... 39, Regarding Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2,'' issued May 2011,...

  2. 77 FR 65417 - Northern States Power Company (Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant Independent Spent Fuel...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-26

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Northern States Power Company (Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant Independent Spent Fuel...(c) and 2.321(b), the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) in the above-captioned Prairie...

  3. 75 FR 3946 - License Nos. DPR-42 and DPR-60; Northern States Power Company; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-01-25

    ... Nuclear Reactor Regulation. BILLING CODE 7590-01-P ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION License Nos. DPR-42 and DPR-60; Northern States Power Company; Prairie Island Nuclear...

  4. 75 FR 6225 - Northern States Power Company-Minnesota; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant Units 1 and 2...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-08

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Northern States Power Company--Minnesota; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant Units 1 and 2; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)...

  5. 75 FR 9625 - Northern States Power Company-Minnesota Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-03-03

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Northern States Power Company--Minnesota Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2... holder of Facility Operating License Nos. DPR-42 and DPR-60, which authorize operation of the...

  6. 78 FR 3454 - Prairie Island, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Notice of Docketing of Amendment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-01-16

    ... COMMISSION Prairie Island, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Notice of Docketing of Amendment... Considerations and Containing Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory... CFR), who believes access to Sensitive Unclassified Non-Safeguards Information (SUNSI) is necessary...

  7. 78 FR 56947 - Prairie Island; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Notice of Docketing of Amendment...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-09-16

    ... COMMISSION Prairie Island; Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Notice of Docketing of Amendment... Information AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: License amendment request; opportunity to request a... spent fuel storage installation located in Welch, Minnesota. DATES: Requests for a hearing or...

  8. 76 FR 11521 - Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Unit 1, Northern States Power Company-Minnesota; Notice...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-03-02

    ... CONTACT: Thomas J. Wengert, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission..., Plant Licensing Branch III-1, Division of Operating Reactor Licensing, Office of Nuclear Reactor... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR...

  9. 75 FR 44292 - Northern States Power Company; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-07-28

    ... Decision Notice is hereby given that the Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation, has issued a... them. The Director of the Office of Nuclear Reactor Regulation has determined that the request.... For the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Eric J. Leeds, Director, Office of Nuclear Reactor...

  10. 76 FR 29279 - Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of Availability of the Final...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-05-20

    ... Reactor Regulation, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Mail Stop O-11F1, Washington, DC 20555-0001. Ms.... David J. Wrona, Chief, Projects Branch 2, Division of License Renewal, Office of Nuclear Reactor... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR...

  11. Waterfowl nesting on small man-made islands in prairie wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, R.F.; Woodward, R.O.; Kirsch, L.M.

    1978-01-01

    Small islands constructed in prairie wetlands were attractive nesting sites for mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis). Nest densities of mallards on islands averaged 135 per ha compared to 0.03 per ha on adjacent upland habitats. Construction time averaged 2 hours per island and cost $50. No maintenance was required during the first 10 years.

  12. 77 FR 33239 - Prairie Stewardship Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, San Juan Island National Historical Park

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-05

    ... National Park Service Prairie Stewardship Plan/Environmental Impact Statement, San Juan Island National Historical Park AGENCY: National Park Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of Intent to Prepare an Environmental... Park Service (NPS) is initiating the preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for...

  13. Water-quality data collected on Prairie Island near Welch, Minnesota, 1998-99

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winterstein, Thomas A.

    2000-01-01

    This report presents the water-quality data collected during 1998-99 from the land owned by the Prairie Island Indian Community at the northern end of Prairie Island, Minnesota. The data were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Prairie Island Indian Community. Seventeen monitoring wells were installed by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1998. Fifteen of the wells were installed with the screen at the water-table. The well screens for the other two wells were approximately 26 and 56 feet below the water table. Samples were collected from the wells in 1998. The water-quality properties and constituents determined for the 17 wells include temperature, pH, specific conductance, dissolved oxygen, alkalinity, major ions, nutrients, and iron and manganese. Water samples collected from two of the wells were analyzed for common agricultural pesticides. In addition, semiquantitative immunoassay screens for presence of atrazine and related triazine herbicides were conducted on samples from all 17 wells. Water-surface altitudes were measured during 1999 in the 17 wells and at 8 surface-water sites.

  14. Public Education of the Prairie Island Sioux: An Interim Report. National Study of American Indian Education, Series I, No. 10.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harkins, Arthur M.; And Others

    As a part of the Final Report of the National Study of American Indian Education, this study was conducted at the Prairie Island Indian Reservation located in southeastern Minnesota. The document presents a historical background of the small peninsula (approximately 10 miles long and 2 miles wide) and its inhabitants, the Sioux Indians, which…

  15. Approach to ecological assessment of power-plant-intake (316b) related issues: the Prairie Island case

    SciTech Connect

    Adams, S.M.; Vaughan, D.S.; Hildebrand, S.G.; Kumar, K.D.

    1981-04-01

    Assessment approaches and strategies useful in addressing important issues in section 316(b) of the 1972 Federal Water Pollution Control Act are illustrated in this report through the analysis and evaluation of the Prairie Island Nuclear Station 316(b) data base. The main issues in 316(b) demonstrations, cooling water intake operation and location, involve determining the impacts of entrainment and impingement. Entrainment impacts were addressed by applying the equivalent adult approach and correcting for inherent biases and by determining the through-plant survival of zooplankton. An assessment of impingement impacts was made by comparing for each of various species the number of fish impinged to estimates of population size. Densities of plankton and fish were compared between the intake area and an alternate area to determine if the location of the present intake minimizes impacts. No definitive conclusion relative to the best location of the intake could be made because of high year to year variability in the data and the differential dominance of trophic groups between areas.

  16. Mapping prairie remnants on the Hempstead Plains, Long Island, New York.

    PubMed

    Neidich-Ryder, Carole; Kennelly, Patrick

    2014-05-01

    The Hempstead Plains, located in Nassau County, New York, contains remnants of the only naturally occurring prairie east of the Appalachian Mountains. It originally encompassed approximately 12,500 ha. Although the area receives higher amounts of rainfall for a typical tall-grass prairie ecosystem, approximately 114 cm of precipitation per year, its well-drained, dark-colored soil sited above glacial outwash, available natural seed bank, and history of fires enabled development of a tall-grass prairie. This study identified prairie remnants within the historical extent of the Hempstead Plains delineated by the 1928 soil survey from the United States Department of Agriculture. Image analysis of infrared color 8-bit orthophotographs was used for an unsupervised classification on a 156-ha primary study area containing a known prairie remnant, centered on the Red Golf Course at Eisenhower Park in East Meadow. The resulting 16 classes were combined into six more general classes before undergoing an error assessment based on field and orthoimagery ground-truthing of 1,000 random points. As confirmed by site visits, analysis was generally able to distinguish prairie grass from non-native grasses using remote sensing, as native warm-season prairie grasses are dormant from late fall to early spring. Overall accuracy for the six classes was 89 %. Accuracy of the warm-season grass class was 81 % for producer's accuracy and 83 % for user's accuracy. This study identified additional sites containing warm-season grasses and potential prairie remnants in Nassau County.

  17. Nuclear power beyond Three Mile Island

    SciTech Connect

    Rowlette, J.

    1980-05-01

    At the Three Mile Island-2 Reactor accident in March, 1979, there was concern expressed over a chemical explosion that might rupture the containment vessel and release radioactive material. The absolute worst possible event that could take place at a nuclear power plant would be a melt-down that breached the containment vessel and allowed radioactive material to escape, but this absolute worst possible case would create less cost and loss of life than many natural disasters. When the anti-nukes talk about a nuclear power plant devastating an area the size of Pennsylvania or California, and leaving a vast wasteland for 10,000 years, they are being grossly dishonest, for even at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where we exploded weapons with the intent of massive destruction, the area has been completely restored and repopulated. The only major threat from nuclear power plant accidents is radiation. The average radiation dose received by every American each year is 170 millirems-130 from natural radiation and 40 millirems from man-made sources. A summary of the risks encountered from the combustion of coal, watching TV, diagnostic x-rays, dams collapsing, etc. making the risk level from nuclear radiation much smaller than most secular activities, is given.

  18. 78 FR 69460 - Proposed License Renewal of the Prairie Island Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-11-19

    ...), ``Environmental Protection Regulations for Domestic Licensing and Related Regulatory Functions,'' which implement.... MODERATE--environmental effects are sufficient to alter noticeably, but not to destabilize important.... Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Aby Mohseni, Deputy Director, Environmental Protection and...

  19. Coastal Prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2000-01-01

    The coastal prairie, located along the coastal plain of southwestern Louisiana and southcentral Texas, is the southernmost tip of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem so prevalent in the Midwest. The coastal prairie ecosystem once covered as much as 3.8 million ha (9 million acres); today, more than 99% of this land has been lost to agriculture, range improvement, and urbanization. The remainder is highly fragmented and severely threatened by invasions of exotic species and urban sprawl. In Louisiana, the former 1 million ha of coastal prairie have now been reduced to about 100 ha. In Texas, only about 100,000 ha of coastal prairie remain intact.

  20. Converting Maturing Nuclear Sites to Integrated Power Production Islands

    DOE PAGES

    Solbrig, Charles W.

    2011-01-01

    Nuclear islands, which are integrated power production sites, could effectively sequester and safeguard the US stockpile of plutonium. A nuclear island, an evolution of the integral fast reactor, utilizes all the Transuranics (Pu plus minor actinides) produced in power production, and it eliminates all spent fuel shipments to and from the site. This latter attribute requires that fuel reprocessing occur on each site and that fast reactors be built on-site to utilize the TRU. All commercial spent fuel shipments could be eliminated by converting all LWR nuclear power sites to nuclear islands. Existing LWR sites have the added advantage ofmore » already possessing a license to produce nuclear power. Each could contribute to an increase in the nuclear power production by adding one or more fast reactors. Both the TRU and the depleted uranium obtained in reprocessing would be used on-site for fast fuel manufacture. Only fission products would be shipped to a repository for storage. The nuclear island concept could be used to alleviate the strain of LWR plant sites currently approaching or exceeding their spent fuel pool storage capacity. Fast reactor breeding ratio could be designed to convert existing sites to all fast reactors, or keep the majority thermal.« less

  1. 78 FR 22347 - GPU Nuclear Inc., Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station, Unit 2, Exemption From Certain...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-04-15

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION GPU Nuclear Inc., Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Station, Unit 2, Exemption From Certain Security Requirements AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Exemption. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: John...

  2. Health effects of the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island

    SciTech Connect

    Fabrikant, J.I.

    1980-05-01

    Between March 28 and April 15, 1979 the collective dose resulting from the radioactivity released to the population living within a 50-mile radius of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant was about 2000 person-rems, less than 1% of the annual natural background level. The average dose to a person living within 5 miles of the nuclear plant was less than 10% of annual background radiation. The maximum estimated radiation dose received by any one individual in the general population (excluding the nuclear plant workers) during the accident was 70 mrem. The doses received by the general population as a result of the accident were so small that there will be no detectable additional cases of cancer, developmental abnormalities, or genetic ill-health. Three Three Mile Island nuclear workers received radiation doses of about 3 to 4 rem, exceeding maximum permissible quarterly dose of 3 rem. The major health effect of the accident at Three Mile Island was that of a pronounced demoralizing effect on the general population in the Three Mile Island area, including teenagers and mothers of preschool children and the nuclear plant workers. However, this effect proved transient in all groups studied except the nuclear workers.

  3. Prairie Stories

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Robertson, Amy; Blake, Kathryn

    2011-01-01

    Stories read aloud or written by students help science come alive and engage students as active participants in their learning. Students gain a sense of place by learning about their local ecosystem by listening to stories read aloud, doing prairie-related activities, and writing stories of their own. This article describes a prairie unit that…

  4. 77 FR 37937 - License Renewal Application for Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant Independent Spent Fuel...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-06-25

    ... the license for the ISFSI would be forty (40) years. On February 16, 2011 (76 FR 8872), revisions to... accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires...\\ Requestors should note that the filing requirements of the NRC's E-Filing Rule (72 FR 49139; August 28,...

  5. Nuclear reactor safety research since Three Mile Island

    SciTech Connect

    Mynatt, F.R.

    1982-04-09

    The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident has resulted in redirection of reactor safety research priorities. The small release to the environment of radioactive iodine-13 to 17 curies in a total radioactivity release of 2.4 million to 13 million curies-has led to a new emphasis on the physical chemistry of fission product behavior in accidents; the fact that the nuclear core was severely damaged but did not melt down has opened a new accident regime-that of the degraded core; the role of the operators in the progression and severity of the accident has shifted emphasis from equipment reliability to human reliability. As research progresses in these areas, the technical base for regulation and risk analysis will change substantially.

  6. Nuclear reactor safety research since three mile island.

    PubMed

    Mynatt, F R

    1982-04-09

    The Three Mile Island nuclear power plant accident has resulted in redirection of reactor safety research priorities. The small release to the environment of radioactive iodine-13 to 17 curies in a total radioactivity release of 2.4 million to 13 million curies-has led to a new emphasis on the physical chemistry of fission product behavior in accidents; the fact that the nuclear core was severely damaged but did not melt down has opened a new accident regime-that of the degraded core; the role of the operators in the progression and severity of the accident has shifted emphasis from equipment reliability to human reliability. As research progresses in these areas, the technical base for regulation and risk analysis will change substantially.

  7. Thyroid neoplasia in Marshall Islanders exposed to nuclear fallout

    SciTech Connect

    Hamilton, T.E.; van Belle, G.; LoGerfo, J.P.

    1987-08-07

    We studied the risk of thyroid neoplasia in Marshall Islanders exposed to radioiodines in nuclear fallout from the 1954 BRAVO thermonuclear test. We screened 7266 Marshall Islanders for thyroid nodules; the islanders were from 14 atolls, including several southern atolls, which were the source of the best available unexposed comparison group. Using a retrospective cohort design, we determined the prevalence of thyroid nodularity in a subgroup of 2273 persons who were alive in 1954 and who therefore were potentially exposed to fallout from the BRAVO test. For those 12 atolls previously thought to be unexposed to fallout, the prevalence of thyroid nodules ranged from 0.9% to 10.6%. Using the distance of each atoll from the test site as a proxy for the radiation dose to the thyroid gland, a weighted linear regression showed an inverse linear relationship between distance and the age-adjusted prevalence of thyroid nodules. Distance was the strongest single predictor in logistic regression analysis. A new absolute risk estimate was calculated to be 1100 excess cases/Gy/y/1 X 10(6) persons (11.0 excess cases/rad/y/1 million persons), 33% higher than previous estimates. We conclude that an excess of thyroid nodules was not limited only to the two northern atolls but extended throughout the northern atolls; this suggests a linear dose-response relationship.

  8. Cancer near the Three Mile Island nuclear plant: radiation emissions.

    PubMed

    Hatch, M C; Beyea, J; Nieves, J W; Susser, M

    1990-09-01

    As a public charge, cancers among the 159,684 residents living within a 10-mile (16-km) radius of the Three Mile Island nuclear plant were studied relative to releases of radiation during the March 28, 1979, accident as well as to routine plant emissions. The principal cancers considered were leukemia and childhood malignancies. Estimates of the emissions delivered to small geographic study tracts were derived from mathematical dispersion models which accounted for modifying factors such as wind and terrain; the model of accident emissions was validated by readings from off-site dosimeters. Incident cancers among area residents for the period 1975-1985 (n = 5,493) were identified by a review of the records at all local and regional hospitals; preaccident and postaccident trends in cancer rates were examined. For accident emissions, the authors failed to find definite effects of exposure on the cancer types and population subgroups thought to be most susceptible to radiation. No associations were seen for leukemia in adults or for childhood cancers as a group. For leukemia in children, the odds ratio was raised, but cases were few (n = 4), and the estimate was highly variable. Moreover, rates of childhood leukemia in the Three Mile Island area are low compared with national and regional rates. For exposure to routine emissions, the odds ratios were raised for childhood cancers as a whole and for childhood leukemia, but confidence intervals were wide and included 1.0. For leukemia in adults, there was a negative trend. Trends for two types of cancer ran counter to expectation. Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma showed raised risks relative to both accident and routine emissions; lung cancer (adjusted only indirectly for smoking) showed raised risks relative to accident emissions, routine emissions, and background gamma radiation. Overall, the pattern of results does not provide convincing evidence that radiation releases from the Three Mile Island nuclear facility influenced

  9. The Prairie Schoolhouse.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Campbell, John Martin

    This book documents the history of the prairie schoolhouse through text and photographs. The prairie schoolhouse was a product of the Western Homestead Era, those years beginning late in the 19th century when the federally owned grass prairies east of the Rockies and the sagebrush country of the interior Northwest were opened to farming.…

  10. Molecular phylogenetics of Micromeria (Lamiaceae) in the Canary Islands, diversification and inter-island colonization patterns inferred from nuclear genes.

    PubMed

    Puppo, Pamela; Curto, Manuel; Gusmão-Guedes, Joana; Cochofel, Jaqueline; Pérez de Paz, Pedro Luis; Bräuchler, Christian; Meimberg, Harald

    2015-08-01

    Here we reconstruct the evolutionary history of Micromeria in the Canary Islands using eight nuclear markers. Our results show two centers of diversification for Micromeria, one in the eastern islands Gran Canaria and Lanzarote, the other in the western islands, Tenerife, La Palma and El Hierro. Suggested directions of inter-island colonization are the following: Gran Canaria to Lanzarote and La Gomera; Tenerife to La Palma (from the paleoisland of Teno), to El Hierro (from the younger, central part), and to La Gomera and Madeira (from the paleoislands). Colonization of La Gomera probably occurred several times from Gran Canaria and Tenerife. The taxonomic implications of these results are discussed. Incongruence among the different markers was evaluated and, using next generation sequencing, we investigated if this incongruence is due to gene duplication.

  11. Technical feasibility and economics of retrofitting an existing nuclear power plant to cogeneration for hot water district heating

    SciTech Connect

    Kolb, J.O.; Bauman, H.F.; Jones, P.D.

    1984-04-01

    This report gives the results of a study of the hypothetical conversion of the Prairie Island Nuclear Plant of the Northern States Power Company to cogeneration operation to supply a future hot water district heating system load in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The conceptual design of the nuclear turbine retrofitted for cogeneration and of a hot water transmission system has been performed, and the capital investment and annual owning and operating costs have been estimated for thermal energy capacities of 600 and 1200 MW(t). Unit costs of thermal energy (in mid-1982 dollars/million Btu) have been estimated for cogenerated hot water at the plant gate and also for the most economic transmission system from Prairie Island to the Twin Cities. The economic results from the analysis of the Prairie Island plant and transmission route have been generalized for other transmission distances in other locations.

  12. Prairie Monitoring Protocol Development: North Coast and Cascades Network

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McCoy, Allen; Dalby, Craig

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of the project was to conduct research that will guide development of a standard approach to monitoring several components of prairies within the North Coast and Cascades Network (NCCN) parks. Prairies are an important element of the natural environment at many parks, including San Juan Island National Historical Park (NHP) and Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve (NHR). Forests have been encroaching on these prairies for many years, and so monitoring of the prairies is an important resource issue. This project specifically focused on San Juan Island NHP. Prairies at Ebey's Landing NHR will be monitored in the future, but that park was not mapped as part of this prototype project. In the interest of efficiency, the Network decided to investigate two main issues before launching a full protocol development effort: (1) the imagery requirements for monitoring prairie components, and (2) the effectiveness of software to assist in extracting features from the imagery. Several components of prairie monitoring were initially identified as being easily tracked using aerial imagery. These components included prairie/forest edge, broad prairie composition (for example, shrubs, scattered trees), and internal exclusions (for example, shrubs, bare ground). In addition, we believed that it might be possible to distinguish different grasses in the prairies if the imagery were of high enough resolution. Although the areas in question at San Juan Island NHP are small enough that mapping on the ground with GPS (Global Positioning System) would be feasible, other applications could benefit from aerial image acquisition on a regular, recurring basis and thereby make the investment in aerial imagery worthwhile. The additional expense of orthorectifying the imagery also was determined to be cost-effective.

  13. Investigating the Tallgrass Prairie

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Burns, Marcia V.; Chi, Sojin Y.; Hertzog, Nancy B.

    2008-01-01

    This article describes an investigation of a tallgrass prairie undertaken by 3- through 7-year-old children in a preschool and a combined kindergarten/first-grade classroom at a Midwestern university. The teaching teams were curious about how these two age groups would explore their questions about the prairie--how their questions would differ by…

  14. Prairie Stamp Activity Guide.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blanchard, Fran; Hoofnagle, Sara Griffen

    The North American prairie ecosystem is unique. Comprised of tall grass, mixed grass, and shortgrass communities, the acreage this ecosystem once covered is incredible 400 million acres (pre-settlement times), accounting for 40% of North America's landscape. Prairies are home to a great diversity of animal life, such as cottontail rabbits,…

  15. 75 FR 63213 - Northern States Power Company-Minnesota; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-14

    ... species under the Endangered Species Act, or impacts to essential fish habitat covered by the Magnuson... consulted with the Minnesota State official, Mr. Stephen Rakow of the Minnesota Office of Energy...

  16. 75 FR 76051 - Northern States Power Company-Minnesota, Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-12-07

    ... K to 10 CFR part 50, ``ECCS Evaluation Models,'' (appendix K). The regulations in 10 CFR 50.46... will not result in a violation of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended, or the Commission's... appropriately limited during a LOCA and conservatively accounted for in the ECCS evaluation model. Appendix K...

  17. Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in a Christmas Island nuclear test veteran

    PubMed Central

    Parfrey, H; Babar, J; Fiddler, CA; Chilvers, ER

    2010-01-01

    We describe the case of a 71-year-old man with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (usual interstitial pneumonia (UIP) pattern) diagnosed on clinical, radiological and lung function criteria, in accordance with the American Thoracic Society/European Respiratory Society consensus criteria (2000), who had been in close proximity to three atmospheric nuclear bomb blasts during military service in 1957. He does not have clubbing and clinically and radiologically his lung disease is stable. He also has bladder carcinoma and carotid arteriosclerosis, both recognised consequences of radiation injury. This is the first reported case of UIP in a nuclear test veteran. Awareness of this potential association is important given the current attempts of the British Nuclear Test Veterans Association to gain compensation for claimed injuries. PMID:22797205

  18. Restoring the prairie

    SciTech Connect

    Mlot, C.

    1990-12-01

    The US DOE at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois, prairie restoration is taking place in order to conserve the rich topsoil. This is the largest of many prairie restoration experiments. Big bluestem grass (Andropogon gerardi), blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), and buffalo grass (Buchloe dactyloides) are the main initial grasses grown. After their growth reaches enough biomass to sustain a fire, other prairie plants such as purple prairie clover and dropseed grass appear. The goal of this is to provide a generous refuge for disappearing native plants and animals, a site for scientific research, and a storehouse of genes adapted to a region that produces much of the worlds food. Plans for restoring the marsh and oak savanna, also native to the Fermilab site are also in the works.

  19. Nuclear Islands: International Leasing of Nuclear Fuel Cycle Sites to Provide Enduring Assurance of Peaceful Use

    SciTech Connect

    Paine, Christopher E.; Cochran, Thomas B.

    2010-11-01

    Current International Atomic Energy Agency safeguards do not provide adequate protection against the diversion to military use of materials or technology from certain types of sensitive nuclear fuel cycle facilities. In view of highly enriched uranium’s relatively greater ease of use as a nuclear explosive material than plutonium and the significant diseconomies of commercial spent fuel reprocessing, this article focuses on the need for improved international controls over uranium enrichment facilities as the proximate justification for creation of an International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Association (INFCA). In principle, the proposal is equally applicable to alleviating the proliferation concerns provoked by nuclear fuel reprocessing plants and other sensitive nuclear fuel cycle facilities. The INFCA would provide significantly increased nonproliferation assurance to its member states and the wider international community by holding long-term leasehold contracts to operate secure restricted zones containing such sensitive nuclear facilities.

  20. Life on the Iowa Prairies.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Swaim, Ginalie, Ed.

    1985-01-01

    A theme issue of the Iowa State Historical Department magazine ("The Goldfinch") focuses on elementary readings and activities about Iowa prairie life. A total of 13 articles is included. In "History Makers," eight letters recount student and teacher prairie experiences. "The Prairie: Problems or Paradise?" recounts…

  1. Fallout Deposition in the Marshall Islands from Bikini and Enewetak Nuclear Weapons Tests

    PubMed Central

    Beck, Harold L.; Bouville, André; Moroz, Brian E.; Simon, Steven L.

    2009-01-01

    Deposition densities (Bq m-2) of all important dose-contributing radionuclides occurring in nuclear weapons testing fallout from tests conducted at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls (1946-1958) have been estimated on a test-specific basis for all the 31 atolls and separate reef islands of the Marshall Islands. A complete review of various historical and contemporary data, as well as meteorological analysis, was used to make judgments regarding which tests deposited fallout in the Marshall Islands and to estimate fallout deposition density. Our analysis suggested that only 20 of the 66 nuclear tests conducted in or near the Marshall Islands resulted in substantial fallout deposition on any of the 25 inhabited atolls. This analysis was confirmed by the fact that the sum of our estimates of 137Cs deposition from these 20 tests at each atoll is in good agreement with the total 137Cs deposited as estimated from contemporary soil sample analyses. The monitoring data and meteorological analyses were used to quantitatively estimate the deposition density of 63 activation and fission products for each nuclear test, plus the cumulative deposition of 239+240Pu at each atoll. Estimates of the degree of fractionation of fallout from each test at each atoll, as well as of the fallout transit times from the test sites to the atolls were used in this analysis. The estimates of radionuclide deposition density, fractionation, and transit times reported here are the most complete available anywhere and are suitable for estimations of both external and internal dose to representative persons as described in companion papers. PMID:20622548

  2. Fallout deposition in the Marshall Islands from Bikini and Enewetak nuclear weapons tests.

    PubMed

    Beck, Harold L; Bouville, André; Moroz, Brian E; Simon, Steven L

    2010-08-01

    Deposition densities (Bq m(-2)) of all important dose-contributing radionuclides occurring in nuclear weapons testing fallout from tests conducted at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls (1946-1958) have been estimated on a test-specific basis for 32 atolls and separate reef islands of the Marshall Islands. A complete review of various historical and contemporary data, as well as meteorological analysis, was used to make judgments regarding which tests deposited fallout in the Marshall Islands and to estimate fallout deposition density. Our analysis suggested that only 20 of the 66 nuclear tests conducted in or near the Marshall Islands resulted in substantial fallout deposition on any of the 23 inhabited atolls. This analysis was confirmed by the fact that the sum of our estimates of 137Cs deposition from these 20 tests at each atoll is in good agreement with the total 137Cs deposited as estimated from contemporary soil sample analyses. The monitoring data and meteorological analyses were used to quantitatively estimate the deposition density of 63 activation and fission products for each nuclear test, plus the cumulative deposition of 239+240Pu at each atoll. Estimates of the degree of fractionation of fallout from each test at each atoll, as well as of the fallout transit times from the test sites to the atolls were used in this analysis. The estimates of radionuclide deposition density, fractionation, and transit times reported here are the most complete available anywhere and are suitable for estimations of both external and internal dose to representative persons as described in companion papers.

  3. Definitional Hegemony as a Public Relations Strategy: The Rhetoric of the Nuclear Power Industry after Three Mile Island.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Dionisopoulos, George N.; Crable, Richard E.

    1988-01-01

    Examines (1) definitional hegemony as one of several rhetorical options available to issue managers; (2) the post-accident rhetorical context of the Three Mile Island nuclear crisis; and (3) the specific strategies utilized to deal with this crisis. Assesses the nuclear industry's public relations efforts. (MS)

  4. Rural Prairie Women.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Conrad, Kari

    "Rural Prairie Women" contains the work of two task forces: the Rural Social Work Task Force which looked at the forces active in North Dakota rural areas and the Rural Women Task Force which examined the position of women within those same rural communities. The relationship between the land, small towns, and sparse population is…

  5. Nuclear power: renaissance or relapse? Global climate change and long-term Three Mile Island activists' narratives.

    PubMed

    Culley, Marci R; Angelique, Holly

    2010-06-01

    Community narratives are increasingly important as people move towards an ecologically sustainable society. Global climate change is a multi-faceted problem with multiple stakeholders. The voices of affected communities must be heard as we make decisions of global significance. We document the narratives of long-term anti-nuclear activists near the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant who speak out in the dawn of a nuclear renaissance/relapse. While nuclear power is marketed as a "green" solution to global warming, their narratives reveal three areas for consideration; (1) significant problems with nuclear technology, (2) lessons "not" learned from the TMI disaster, and (3) hopes for a sustainable future. Nuclear waste, untrustworthy officials and economic issues were among the problems cited. Deceptive shaping of public opinion, nuclear illiteracy, and an aging anti-nuclear movement were reasons cited for the lessons not learned. However, many remain optimistic and envision increased participation to create an ecologically-balanced world.

  6. Doses from external irradiation to Marshall Islanders from Bikini and Enewetak nuclear weapons tests.

    PubMed

    Bouville, André; Beck, Harold L; Simon, Steven L

    2010-08-01

    Annual doses from external irradiation resulting from exposure to fallout from the 65 atmospheric nuclear weapons tests conducted in the Marshall Islands at Bikini and Enewetak between 1946 and 1958 have been estimated for the first time for Marshallese living on all inhabited atolls. All tests that deposited fallout on any of the 23 inhabited atolls or separate reef islands have been considered. The methodology used to estimate the radiation doses at the inhabited atolls is based on test- and location-specific radiation survey data, deposition density estimates of 137Cs, and fallout times-of-arrival provided in a companion paper (Beck et al.), combined with information on the radionuclide composition of the fallout at various times after each test. These estimates of doses from external irradiation have been combined with corresponding estimates of doses from internal irradiation, given in a companion paper (Simon et al.), to assess the cancer risks among the Marshallese population (Land et al.) resulting from exposure to radiation from the nuclear weapons tests.

  7. Loss-of-Use Damages From U.S. Nuclear Testing in the Marshall Islands: Technical Analysis of the Nuclear Claims Tribunal’s Methodology and Alternative Estimates

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-08-12

    Islands (RMI) Changed Circumstances Petition, which requests $522 million in additional compensation for loss-of-use of Enewetak and Bikini atolls due to...the U.S. Government conducted an intensive program of nuclear testing on Bikini and Enewetak , two remote Northwesterly atolls in the RMI. Sixty-six...6 Gary Lee, “Postwar Pacific Fallout Wider than Thought,” Washington Post, February 24, 1994. On the Enewetak atoll , 43 above-ground nuclear devices

  8. Bikini, Enewetak, and Rongelap Marshallese, and United States nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands: A bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Schultz, V. ); Schultz, S.C. ); Robison, W.L. )

    1991-05-01

    A considerable literature exists on the Bikini, Enewetak, and Rongelap Marshallese and their atolls; however, this literature consists of a large number of governmental documents that are relatively unknown and difficult to locate. This is particularly true of the documents of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and those related to nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands. Because a comprehensive bibliography on the impact of nuclear weapons testing on the Marshallese and their atolls does not exist, the preparation of a bibliography that includes sufficient information to locate all types of reports seems justified. This document is the bibliography.

  9. The Schoolhouse at Prairie View.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Barber, Marshall A.

    Written in 1953, this book presents the reminiscences of a renowned scientist about his early education in a one-room school at Prairie View, Kansas, during the 1870s and 1880s. The first chapter records early memories of the road to school, and describes the community of Anglo and German farmers served by Prairie View. Other chapters describe…

  10. Prairie Restoration for Wisconsin Schools.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Molly Fifield; Greenler, Robin McC.

    This packet is composed of several resources for teachers interested in prairie ecology and restoration. "A Guide to Restoration from Site Analysis to Management" focuses on the Prairie/Oak Savanna communities of Wisconsin and takes teachers through the planning and design process for a restoration project on school grounds including…

  11. The Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center conversion from HEU to LEU fuel

    SciTech Connect

    Tehan, Terry

    2000-09-27

    The 2-MW Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center (RINSC) open pool reactor was converted from 93% UAL-High Enriched Uranium (HEU) fuel to 20% enrichment U3Si2-AL Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel. The conversion included redesign of the core to a more compact size and the addition of beryllium reflectors and a beryllium flux trap. A significant increase in thermal flux level was achieved due to greater neutron leakage in the new compact core configuration. Following the conversion, a second cooling loop and an emergency core cooling system were installed to permit operation at 5 MW. After re-licensing at 2 MW, a power upgrade request will be submitted to the NRC.

  12. Evaluation of nuclear facility decommissioning projects. Summary report: Three Mile Island Unit 2 polar crane recovery

    SciTech Connect

    Doerge, D.H.; Miller, R.L.

    1984-08-01

    This document summarizes information concerning restoration of the Three Mile Island-Unit 2 Polar Crane to a fully operational condition following the loss of coolant accident experienced on March 28, 1979. The data collected from activity reports, reactor containment entry records, and other sources were placed in a computerized information retrieval/manipulation system which permits extraction/manipulation of specific data which could be utilized in planning for recovery activities should a similar accident occur in a nuclear generating plant. The information is presented in both computer output form and a manually assembled summarization. This report contains only the manpower requirements and radiation exposures actually incurred during recovery operations within the reactor containment and does not include support activities or costs.

  13. Life stage differences in resident coping with restart of the Three Mile Island nuclear generating facility

    SciTech Connect

    Prince-Embury, S.; Rooney, J.F.

    1990-12-01

    A study of residents who remained in the vicinity of Three Mile Island (TMI) immediately following the restart of the nuclear generating plant revealed that older residents employed a more emotion-focused coping style in the face of this event than did younger residents. Coping style was, however, unrelated to the level of psychological symptoms for these older residents, whereas demographic variables were related. Among younger residents, on the other hand, coping style was related to the level of psychological symptoms, whereas demographic variables were not. Among younger residents, emotion-focused coping was associated with more symptoms and problem-focused coping was associated with fewer symptoms, contradicting previous findings among TMI area residents.

  14. Regional Availability of Plants for Prairie Restoration

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-04-01

    limited on Corps land, a ERDC TN-EMRRP-SI-31 April 2007 6 recent study (Cully et al. 2003) indicated that small fragments of tallgrass prairie ...replicated a 110-acre prairie planted with an array of grasses and wildflowers to show visitors how the prairie in this area appeared historically. Despite...its limited size, a variety of native grasses and prairie wildflowers provide year-round color and give visitors a glimpse at the beauty the prairie

  15. Prairie du Chien: Urban Consolidation and Decline 1858-1930.

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1981-01-01

    South Beaumont) in 1871. The school had a troubled early history, and in 1880 the Jesuit Order took control of the educational institutin. In 1891 the... Jesuits gave the school its present name, Campion College. Electricity came to Prairie du Chien during the 1890’s. In 1894 I.D. Hulbert, Sherwin...and which by 1862 centered on St. Friole Island-- stimulated an influx of population and construction. The documentary evidence supports a c. 1858

  16. Nuclear isomers in superheavy elements as stepping stones towards the island of stability.

    PubMed

    Herzberg, R-D; Greenlees, P T; Butler, P A; Jones, G D; Venhart, M; Darby, I G; Eeckhaudt, S; Eskola, K; Grahn, T; Gray-Jones, C; Hessberger, F P; Jones, P; Julin, R; Juutinen, S; Ketelhut, S; Korten, W; Leino, M; Leppänen, A-P; Moon, S; Nyman, M; Page, R D; Pakarinen, J; Pritchard, A; Rahkila, P; Sarén, J; Scholey, C; Steer, A; Sun, Y; Theisen, Ch; Uusitalo, J

    2006-08-24

    A long-standing prediction of nuclear models is the emergence of a region of long-lived, or even stable, superheavy elements beyond the actinides. These nuclei owe their enhanced stability to closed shells in the structure of both protons and neutrons. However, theoretical approaches to date do not yield consistent predictions of the precise limits of the 'island of stability'; experimental studies are therefore crucial. The bulk of experimental effort so far has been focused on the direct creation of superheavy elements in heavy ion fusion reactions, leading to the production of elements up to proton number Z = 118 (refs 4, 5). Recently, it has become possible to make detailed spectroscopic studies of nuclei beyond fermium (Z = 100), with the aim of understanding the underlying single-particle structure of superheavy elements. Here we report such a study of the nobelium isotope 254No, with 102 protons and 152 neutrons--the heaviest nucleus studied in this manner to date. We find three excited structures, two of which are isomeric (metastable). One of these structures is firmly assigned to a two-proton excitation. These states are highly significant as their location is sensitive to single-particle levels above the gap in shell energies predicted at Z = 114, and thus provide a microscopic benchmark for nuclear models of the superheavy elements.

  17. Bikini, Enewetak, and Rongelap Marshallese, and United States nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands: A bibliography

    SciTech Connect

    Robison, W.L. ); Schultz, V. ); Schultz, S.C. )

    1991-04-01

    A considerable literature exists on the Bikini, Enewetak, and Rongelap Marshallese and their atolls; however, this literature consists of a large number of governmental documents that are relatively unknown and difficult to locate. This is particularly true of the documents of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands and those related to nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands. Because a comprehensive bibliography on the impact of nuclear weapons testing on the Marshallese and their atolls does not exist, the preparation of a bibliography that includes sufficient information to locate all types of reports seems justified. Primary sources of information in preparing this bibliography were bibliographies on Oceania, citations in published papers, CIS Index and Abstracts, Monthly Catalog of United States Government Publications, Nuclear Science Abstracts, Energy Research Abstracts, numerous bibliographies on radiation ecology, and suggestions by many individuals whom we contacted. One goal in this bibliography is to include complete documentation of the source of congressional reports and other government-related publications. In addition, page numbers for material in this bibliography are provided in parentheses when the subject matter of a book or document is not restricted to nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands.

  18. Southern marl prairies conceptual ecological model

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davis, S.M.; Loftus, W.F.; Gaiser, E.E.; Huffman, A.E.

    2005-01-01

    About 190,000 ha of higher-elevation marl prairies flank either side of Shark River Slough in the southern Everglades. Water levels typically drop below the ground surface each year in this landscape. Consequently, peat soil accretion is inhibited, and substrates consist either of calcitic marl produced by algal periphyton mats or exposed limestone bedrock. The southern marl prairies support complex mosaics of wet prairie, sawgrass sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), tree islands, and tropical hammock communities and a high diversity of plant species. However, relatively short hydroperiods and annual dry downs provide stressful conditions for aquatic fauna, affecting survival in the dry season when surface water is absent. Here, we present a conceptual ecological model developed for this landscape through scientific concensus, use of empirical data, and modeling. The two major societal drivers affecting the southern marl prairies are water management practices and agricultural and urban development. These drivers lead to five groups of ecosystem stressors: loss of spatial extent and connectivity, shortened hydroperiod and increased drought severity, extended hydroperiod and drying pattern reversals, introduction and spread of non-native trees, and introduction and spread of non-native fishes. Major ecological attributes include periphyton mats, plant species diversity and community mosaic, Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis), marsh fishes and associated aquatic fauna prey base, American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis), and wading bird early dry season foraging. Water management and development are hypothesized to have a negative effect on the ecological attributes of the southern marl prairies in the following ways. Periphyton mats have decreased in cover in areas where hydroperiod has been significantly reduced and changed in community composition due to inverse responses to increased nutrient availability. Plant species diversity and

  19. Review of Destructive Assay Methods for Nuclear Materials Characterization from the Three Mile Island (TMI) Fuel Debris

    SciTech Connect

    Carla J. Miller

    2013-09-01

    This report provides a summary of the literature review that was performed and based on previous work performed at the Idaho National Laboratory studying the Three Mile Island 2 (TMI-2) nuclear reactor accident, specifically the melted fuel debris. The purpose of the literature review was to document prior published work that supports the feasibility of the analytical techniques that were developed to provide quantitative results of the make-up of the fuel and reactor component debris located inside and outside the containment. The quantitative analysis provides a technique to perform nuclear fuel accountancy measurements

  20. Spontaneous abortions after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident: a life table analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Goldhaber, M.K.; Staub, S.L.; Tokuhata, G.K.

    1983-07-01

    A study was conducted to determine whether the incidence of spontaneous abortion was greater than expected near the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant during the months following the March 28, 1979 accident. All persons living within five miles of TMI were registered shortly after the accident, and information on pregnancy at the time of the accident was collected. After one year, all pregnancy cases were followed up and outcomes ascertained. Using the life table method, it was found that, given pregnancies after four completed weeks of gestation counting from the first day of the last menstrual period, the estimated incidence of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage before completion of 16 weeks of gestation) was 15.1 per cent for women pregnant at the time of the TMI accident. Combining spontaneous abortions and stillbirths (delivery of a dead fetus after 16 weeks of gestation), the estimated incidence was 16.1 per cent for pregnancies after four completed weeks of gestation. Both incidences are comparable to baseline studies of fetal loss.

  1. Spontaneous abortions after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident: a life table analysis.

    PubMed Central

    Goldhaber, M K; Staub, S L; Tokuhata, G K

    1983-01-01

    A study was conducted to determine whether the incidence of spontaneous abortion was greater than expected near the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant during the months following the March 28, 1979 accident. All persons living within five miles of TMI were registered shortly after the accident, and information on pregnancy at the time of the accident was collected. After one year, all pregnancy cases were followed up and outcomes ascertained. Using the life table method, it was found that, given pregnancies after four completed weeks of gestation counting from the first day of the last menstrual period, the estimated incidence of spontaneous abortion (miscarriage before completion of 16 weeks of gestation) was 15.1 per cent for women pregnant at the time of the TMI accident. Combining spontaneous abortions and stillbirths (delivery of a dead fetus after 16 weeks of gestation), the estimated incidence was 16.1 per cent for pregnancies after four completed weeks of gestation. Both incidences are comparable to baseline studies of fetal loss. PMID:6859357

  2. The relationship of thyroid cancer with radiation exposure from nuclear weapon testing in the Marshall Islands.

    PubMed

    Takahashi, Tatsuya; Schoemaker, Minouk J; Trott, Klaus R; Simon, Steven L; Fujimori, Keisei; Nakashima, Noriaki; Fukao, Akira; Saito, Hiroshi

    2003-03-01

    The US nuclear weapons testing program in the Pacific conducted between 1946 and 1958 resulted in radiation exposure in the Marshall Islands. The potentially widespread radiation exposure from radio-iodines of fallout has raised concerns about the risk of thyroid cancer in the Marshallese population. The most serious exposures and its health hazards resulted from the hydrogen-thermonuclear bomb test, the Castle BRAVO, on March 1, 1954. Between 1993 and 1997, we screened 3,709 Marshallese for thyroid disease who were born before the BRAVO test. It was 60% of the entire population at risk and who were still alive at the time of our examinations. We diagnosed 30 thyroid cancers and found 27 other study participants who had been operated for thyroid cancer before our screening in this group. Fifty-seven Marshallese born before 1954 (1.5%) had thyroid cancer or had been operated for thyroid cancer. Nearly all (92%) of these cancers were papillary carcinoma. We derived estimates of individual thyroid dose proxy from the BRAVO test in 1954 on the basis of published age-specific doses estimated on Utirik atoll and 137Cs deposition levels on the atolls where the participants came from. There was suggestive evidence that the prevalence of thyroid cancer increased with category of estimated dose to the thyroid.

  3. 75 FR 53723 - Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota Corporation; Notice of Issuance of Materials License...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-09-01

    ...-2506 Prairie Island Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation at the Prairie Island Nuclear... Prairie Island Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) located onsite at its Prairie Island... license and to reformat the license Technical Specifications (TS) for the Prairie Island ISFSI...

  4. Relationships of Afroablepharus Greer, 1974 skinks from the Gulf of Guinea islands based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA: patterns of colonization and comments on taxonomy.

    PubMed

    Jesus, José; Harris, D James; Brehm, António

    2007-12-01

    Partial sequences of three mitochondrial DNA genes, 12S rDNA, 16S rDNA and cytochrome b, and one nuclear gene, c-mos, were used to assess the phylogenetic relationships of species belonging to the genus Afroablepharus from the volcanic islands of the Gulf of Guinea (West Africa) and neighboring continental Africa. Additionally, partial sequences of cytochrome b were used to compare levels of sequence divergence within populations. The three forms from São Tomé, Príncipe and Annobon (one per island) are genetically distinct, with high levels of divergence, supporting the recognition of a distinct species in each island. Populations within each island contain very low levels of genetic diversity. These three forms form a monophyletic group suggesting a single initial colonization followed by radiation to the other islands, possibly from São Tomé to Príncipe and Annobon. This is contrary to what was found in other reptiles from these islands such as Mabuya (sensu lato) and Hemidactylus, which colonized the islands multiple times. Assuming a molecular clock for cytochrome b of about 2% divergence per million years (usually applied to Sauria), the lineage on Annobon island exceeds the age of the island, thus casting further doubt on this widely used divergence estimate. Partial sequences of c-mos showed no variation within islands. Five to seven sites were variable among islands, which is a high value further supporting the treatment of each island form as a distinct species.

  5. Effects of the accident at Three Mile Island on the mental health and behavior responses of the general population and the nuclear workers

    SciTech Connect

    Fabrikant, J.I.

    1982-02-01

    A main conclusion drawn from the investigation by the President's Commission was that the most serious health effect of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident was severe mental stress, which was short-lived. The highest levels of psychological distress were found among those living within 5 miles of Three Mile Island, in families with preschool children, and among the Three Mile Island nuclear workers. This report provides some understanding of how these conclusions were drawn, the methods used to obtain information of the experiences of mental stress and the behavioral effects and responses of the general population and the nuclear workers to the accident at Three Mile Island. In order to limit the scope of the discussion, information is taken from the Behavioral Effects Task Group Report (TMI79c) to the President's Commission, and thus from the labors of the many behavioral scientists.

  6. Hydrologic functions of prairie wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    LaBaugh, J.W.; Winter, T.C.; Rosenberry, D.O.

    1998-01-01

    Wetlands in the prairie known as potholes or sloughs represent an ever-changing mosaic of surface waters interacting with the atmosphere, groundwater, and each other in a variety of ways. Studies of groups of adjacent wetlands in different parts of the glaciated North American prairie have enabled some connections to be made between hydrologic processes, biological communities, and use of these wetlands by wetland-dependent wildlife. Understanding controls on variability in water levels, water volume, and salinity in these wetlands sets the stage for understanding controls on biological communities utilizing these wetlands. The role that natural variability in water and salinity plays in making these wetlands an important resource for waterfowl will provide an important context for those who are responsible for artificially altering the variability of water and salinity in prairie wetlands.

  7. Profitable prairie restoration: The EcoSun Prairie Farm experiment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concerns about ongoing conversion of grassland to cropland in the northern Great Plains, and effects on wildlife populations, and soil and water quality prompted a South Dakota group to search for agricultural practices that would balance environmental concerns with farm economics. EcoSun Prairie Fa...

  8. Mental health effects of the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor restart

    SciTech Connect

    Dew, M.A.; Bromet, E.J.; Schulberg, H.C.; Dunn, L.O.; Parkinson, D.K.

    1987-08-01

    Controversy over potential mental health effects of the Three Mile Island Unit-1 restart led the authors to examine prospectively the pattern of psychiatric symptoms in a sample of Three Mile Island area mothers of young children. Symptom levels after restart were elevated over previous levels; a sizable subcohort of the sample reported relatively serious degrees of postrestart distress. History of diagnosable major depression and generalized anxiety following the Three Mile Island accident, plus symptoms and beliefs about personal risk prior to the restart, best predicted postrestart symptoms.

  9. Soil microbiota of the prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The prairie ecosystem is often used as a benchmark ecosystem to provide a reference soil quality or soil health assessment. Current soil health assessments include measurements of soil chemical and physical indicators and of selected microbiological activities but no characterization of soil microbi...

  10. Nuclear maspin expression correlates with the CpG island methylator phenotype and tumor aggressiveness in colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Ho; Cho, Nam-Yun; Bae, Jeong Mo; Kim, Kyung-Ju; Rhee, Ye-Young; Lee, Hye Seung; Kang, Gyeong Hoon

    2015-01-01

    It has been suggested that nuclear expression of maspin (mammary serine protease inhibitor; also known as SERPINB5) in colorectal cancer (CRC) is associated with proximal colonic tumor location, mucinous and poorly differentiated histology, microsatellite instability-high (MSI-H), and poor prognosis. Based on these findings, there may be a potential association between nuclear maspin expression and the CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) in CRC, but no study has elucidated this issue. Here, we evaluated maspin protein expression status by immunohistochemistry in 216 MSI-H CRCs. CIMP status was also determined by methylation-specific quantitative PCR method (MethyLight) using eight CIMP markers (MLH1, NEUROG1, CRABP1, CACNA1G, CDKN2A (p16), IGF2, SOCS1, and RUNX3) in 216 MSI-H CRCs. Associations between maspin expression status and various pathological, molecular, and survival data were statistically analyzed. Among the 216 MSI-H CRCs, 111 (51%) cases presented nuclear maspin-positive tumors. Nuclear maspin-positive MSI-H CRCs were significantly associated with proximal tumor location (P = 0.003), tumor budding (P < 0.001), lymphovascular invasion (P = 0.001), perineural invasion (P = 0.008), absence of peritumoral lymphoid reaction (P = 0.045), lymph node metastasis (P = 0.003), distant metastasis (P = 0.005), advanced AJCC/UICC stage (stage III/IV) (P = 0.001), and CIMP-high (CIMP-H) status (P < 0.001). Patients with nuclear maspin-positive tumors showed worse disease-free survival than patients with nuclear maspin-negative tumors (log-rank P = 0.025). In conclusion, nuclear maspin expression is molecularly associated with CIMP-H rather than MSI-H, and clinicopathologically correlates with tumor aggressiveness in CRC.

  11. The pre-conceptual design of the nuclear island of ASTRID

    SciTech Connect

    Saez, M.

    2012-07-01

    The CEA is involved in a substantial effort on the ASTRID (Advanced Sodium Technological Reactor for Industrial Demonstration) pre-conceptual design in cooperation with EDF, as experienced Sodium-cooled Fast Reactor (SFR) operator, AREVA, as experienced SFR Nuclear Island engineering company and components designer, ALSTOM POWER as energy conversion system designer and COMEX NUCLEAIRE as mechanical systems designer. The CEA is looking for other partnerships, in France and abroad. The ASTRID preliminary design is based on a sodium-cooled pool reactor of 1500 MWth generating about 600 MWe, which is required to guarantee the representativeness of the reactor core and the main components with regard to future commercial reactors. ASTRID lifetime target is 60 years. Two Energy Conversion Systems are studied in parallel until the end of 2012: Rankine steam cycle or Brayton gas based energy conversion cycle. ASTRID design is guided by the following major objectives: improved safety, simplification of structures, improved In Service Inspection and Repair (ISIR), improved manufacturing conditions for cost reduction and increased quality, reduction of risks related to sodium fires and water/sodium reaction, and improved robustness against external hazards. The core is supported by a diagrid, which lay on a strong back to transfer the weight to the main vessel. AREVA is involved in a substantial effort in order to improve the core support structure in particular regarding the ISIR and the connection to primary pump. In the preliminary design, the primary system is formed by the main vessel and the upper closure comprising the reactor roof, two rotating plugs - used for fuel handling - and the components plugs located in the roof penetrations. The Above Core Structure deflects the sodium flow in the hot pool and provides support to core instrumentation and guidance of the control rod drive mechanisms. The number of the major components in the main vessel, primary pumps

  12. Hydroperiod affects nutrient accumulation in tree islands of the Florida Everglades: a stable isotope study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, X.; Sternberg, L. O.; Engel, V.; Ross, M. S.

    2009-12-01

    Tree islands are important and unique components of wetland ecosystems. In many cases they are the end product of self organizing vegetation systems, which are often characterized by uneven soil nutrient distributions. Tree islands in the Everglades are phosphorus rich in contrast to the phosphorus-poor surrounding vegetation matrix. Everglades tree islands occur in the ridge-slough habitat of Shark River Slough, which is characterized by deep organic soils, multi-year hydroperiods, and maximum water depths of ~ 1 m. Tree islands are also found in the drier marl prairie habitat of the Everglades, characterized by marl soils, shallow water (< 0.5 m) and short (< 180 day) hydroperiods. In this study we used stable isotopes to investigate dry season water limitation and soil and foliar nutrient status in upland hammock communities of 18 different tree islands located in the Shark River Slough and adjacent prairie landscapes. We observed that prairie tree islands suffer greater drought stress during the dry season than slough tree islands by examining shifts in foliar δ13C values. We also found that slough tree islands have higher soil total phosphorus concentration and lower foliar N/P ratio than prairie tree islands. Foliar δ15N values, which often increase with greater P availability, was also found to be higher in slough tree islands than in prairie tree islands. Both the elemental N and P and foliar δ15N results indicate that the upland hammock plant communities in slough tree islands have higher amount of P available than those in prairie tree islands. Our findings are consistent with the transpiration driven nutrient harvesting chemohydrodynamic model. Tree islands without drought stress hypothetically transpire more and harvest more P than tree islands that have drought stress during the dry season. These findings suggest that hydroperiod is important to nutrient accumulation of tree island habitats and to the self-organization of the Everglades landscape.

  13. Hospital organizational response to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island: implications for future-oriented disaster planning.

    PubMed

    Maxwell, C

    1982-03-01

    The 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, caused severe organizational problems for neighboring health care institutions. Dauphin County, just north of TMI, contained four hospitals ranging in distance from 9.5 to 13.5 miles from the stricken plant. Crash plans put into effect within 48 hours of the initial incident successfully reduced hospital census to below 50 per cent of capacity, but retained bedridden and critically ill patients within the risk-zone. No plans existed for area-wide evacuation of hospitalized patients. Future-oriented disaster planning should include resource files of host institution bed capacity and transportation capabilities for the crash evacuation of hospitalized patients during non-traditional disasters.

  14. Hospital organizational response to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island: implications for future-oriented disaster planning.

    PubMed Central

    Maxwell, C

    1982-01-01

    The 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, caused severe organizational problems for neighboring health care institutions. Dauphin County, just north of TMI, contained four hospitals ranging in distance from 9.5 to 13.5 miles from the stricken plant. Crash plans put into effect within 48 hours of the initial incident successfully reduced hospital census to below 50 per cent of capacity, but retained bedridden and critically ill patients within the risk-zone. No plans existed for area-wide evacuation of hospitalized patients. Future-oriented disaster planning should include resource files of host institution bed capacity and transportation capabilities for the crash evacuation of hospitalized patients during non-traditional disasters. PMID:7058968

  15. Genetic evaluation of a proposed introduction: the case of the greater prairie chicken and the extinct heath hen.

    PubMed

    Palkovacs, Eric P; Oppenheimer, Adam J; Gladyshev, Eugene; Toepfer, John E; Amato, George; Chase, Thomas; Caccone, Adalgisa

    2004-07-01

    Population introduction is an important tool for ecosystem restoration. However, before introductions should be conducted, it is important to evaluate the genetic, phenotypic and ecological suitability of possible replacement populations. Careful genetic analysis is particularly important if it is suspected that the extirpated population was unique or genetically divergent. On the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, the introduction of greater prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) to replace the extinct heath hen (T. cupido cupido) is being considered as part of an ecosystem restoration project. Martha's Vineyard was home to the last remaining heath hen population until its extinction in 1932. We conducted this study to aid in determining the suitability of greater prairie chickens as a possible replacement for the heath hen. We examined mitochondrial control region sequences from extant populations of all prairie grouse species (Tympanuchus) and from museum skin heath hen specimens. Our data suggest that the Martha's Vineyard heath hen population represents a divergent mitochondrial lineage. This result is attributable either to a long period of geographical isolation from other prairie grouse populations or to a population bottleneck resulting from human disturbance. The mtDNA diagnosability of the heath hen contrasts with the network of mtDNA haplotypes of other prairie grouse (T. cupido attwateri, T. pallidicinctus and T. phasianellus), which do not form distinguishable mtDNA groupings. Our findings suggest that the Martha's Vineyard heath hen was more genetically isolated than are current populations of prairie grouse and place the emphasis for future research on examining prairie grouse adaptations to different habitat types to assess ecological exchangeability between heath hens and greater prairie chickens.

  16. Modeling Groundwater Flow and Transport of Radionuclides at Amchitka Island's Underground Nuclear Tests: Milrow, Long Shot, and Cannikin

    SciTech Connect

    Ahmed Hassan; Karl Pohlmann; Jenny Chapman

    2002-11-19

    Since 1963, all United States nuclear tests have been conducted underground. A consequence of this testing has been the deposition of large amounts of radioactive material in the subsurface, sometimes in direct contact with groundwater. The majority of this testing occurred on the Nevada Test Site (NTS), but a limited number of experiments were conducted in other locations. One of these locations, Amchitka Island, Alaska is the subject of this report. Three underground nuclear tests were conducted on Amchitka Island. Long Shot was an 80-kiloton-yield test conducted at a depth of 700 meters (m) on October 29, 1965 (DOE, 2000). Milrow had an announced yield of about 1,000 kilotons, and was detonated at a depth of 1,220 m on October 2, 1969. Cannikin had an announced yield less than 5,000 kilotons, and was conducted at a depth of 1,790 m on November 6, 1971. The purpose of this work is to provide a portion of the information needed to conduct a human-health risk assessment of the potential hazard posed by the three underground nuclear tests on Amchitka Island. Specifically, the focus of this work is the subsurface transport portion, including the release of radionuclides from the underground cavities and their movement through the groundwater system to the point where they seep out of the ocean floor and into the marine environment. This requires a conceptual model of groundwater flow on the island using geologic, hydrologic, and chemical information, a numerical model for groundwater flow, a conceptual model of contaminant release and transport properties from the nuclear test cavities, and a numerical model for contaminant transport. Needed for the risk assessment are estimates of the quantity of radionuclides (in terms of mass flux) from the underground tests on Amchitka that could discharge to the ocean, the time of possible discharge, and the location in terms of distance from shoreline. The radionuclide data presented here are all reported in terms of normalized

  17. Effects of the accident at Three Mile Island on the mental health and behavioral responses of the general population and nuclear workers

    SciTech Connect

    Fabrikant, J.I.

    1983-02-01

    On March 28, 1979, an accident occurred at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant Unit No. 2 near Middletown, PA. A Presidential Commission was established to investigate the incident and was given the responsibility to evaluate the actual and potential impact of the events on the health and safety of the workers and the public. A main conclusion of the investigation was that the most serious health effect was severe, short-lived mental stress. This paper describes the study and the findings for four different study groups: (1) the general population of heads of households located within 20 miles of the plant; (2) mothers of preschool children from the same area; (3) teenagers in the 7th, 9th, and 11th grades from the area; and (4) nuclear workers employed at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. (ACR)

  18. The Nuclear Accident at Three Mile Island a Practical Lesson in the Fundamental Importance of Effective Communications

    SciTech Connect

    DeVine Jr, J.C.

    2008-07-01

    The Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) accident in March 1979 had a profound effect on the course of commercial nuclear generation in the United States and around the world. And while the central elements of the accident were matters of nuclear engineering, design and operations, its consequences were compounded, and in some respects superseded, by extraordinarily ineffective communications by all parties at all levels. Communications failures during the accident and its aftermath caused misunderstanding, distrust, and incorrect emergency response - and seeded or reinforced public opposition to nuclear power that persists to this day. There are communications lessons from TMI that have not yet been fully learned, and some that once were learned but are now gradually being forgotten. The more glaring TMI communications problems were in the arena of external interactions and communications among the plant owner, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the media, and the public. Confusing, fragmented, and contradictory public statements early in the accident, regardless of cause, undermined all possibility for reasonable discourse thereafter. And because the TMI accident was playing out on a world stage, the breakdown in public trust had long term and widespread implications. At the plant site, both TMI-2 cleanup and restart of the undamaged TMI-1 unit met with years of public and political criticism, and attendant regulatory pressure. Across the nation, public trust in nuclear power and those who operate it plummeted, unquestionably contributing to the 25+ year hiatus in new plant orders. There were other, less visible but equally important, consequences of ineffective communications at TMI. The unplanned 'precautionary' evacuation urged by the governor two days after the accident - a life changing, traumatic event for thousands of residents - was prompted primarily by misunderstandings and miscommunications regarding the condition of the plant. And today, nearly 30

  19. Performance testing of the environmental TLD system for the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station.

    PubMed

    Toke, L F; Carson, B H; Baker, G G; McBride, M H; Plato, P A; Miklos, J A

    1984-05-01

    Panasonic UD-801 thermoluminescent dosimeters ( TLDs ) containing two calcium sulfate phosphors were tested under Performance Specification 3.1 established by the American National Standard Institute ( ANSI75 ) and in the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Regulatory Guide 4.13 ( NRC77 ). The specific qualifying tests included TLD uniformity, reproducibility, energy dependence and directional dependence. The overall measurement uncertainties and associated confidence levels are within the prescribed guidelines defined in the qualifying requirements for environmental TLDs .

  20. Ecology and conservation of Lesser Prairie-Chickens in sand shinnery oak prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grisham, Blake A.; Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Behney, Adam C.; Borsdorf, Philip K.; Lucia, Duane R.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.

    2016-01-01

    Sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) prairies are unique ecosystems endemic to sandy soils of eastern New Mexico, northwestern Texas, and western Oklahoma; the historic and current distribution of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) overlaps these prairie systems. Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations in sand shinnery oak prairies of the Southern Great Plains have declined substantially since the late 1980s, most likely due to conversion of nesting and brood-rearing habitat to row-crop agriculture and extended periods of drought. In addition to threats universal throughout the species distribution, this population is susceptible to a changing climate in an area that is already representative of an extreme environment for ground-nesting birds. Recent studies of Lesser Prairie-Chicken ecology in sand shinnery oak prairies have expanded our knowledge on the ecology and management of the species, but a thorough review of the historic and current literature is lacking. In addition, current management guidelines exist for Lesser Prairie-Chickens in mixed grass and sand sagebrush prairies, but there are no comprehensive management guidelines for the species in sand shinnery oak prairies. This information is paramount given unique aspects of the vegetation community, relative ecosystem drivers, and environmental variation in sand shinnery oak prairie and the species’ current status as a proposed threatened species under the United States Endangered Species Act. Herein, we provide a thorough synthesis of literature pertaining to the life history, habitat requirements, habitat management, and population management for Lesser Prairie-Chickens in sand shinnery oak prairie, provide management guidelines and recommendations for the species in this ecoregion, and highlight current and future research needs. Within our objectives, we place emphasis on two recently completed long-term investigations into Lesser Prairie-Chicken ecology in sand shinnery oak prairie

  1. Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole wetlands and climate change: An Introduction to the Supplemental Issue

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Mushet, David M.

    2016-01-01

    The multitude of wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America forms one of Earth’s largest wetland complexes. The midcontinent location exposes this ecologically and economically important wetland system to a highly variable climate, markedly influencing ponded-water levels, hydroperiods, chemical characteristics, and biota of individual basins. Given their dominance on the landscape and recognized value, great interest in how projected future changes in climate will affect prairie-pothole wetlands has developed and spawned much scientific research. On June 2, 2015, a special symposium, “Midcontinent Prairie-Pothole Wetlands: Influence of a Changed Climate,” was held at the annual meeting of the Society of Wetland Scientists in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. The symposium’s twelve presenters covered a wide range of relevant topics delivered to a standing-room-only audience. Following the symposium, the presenters recognized the need to publish their presented papers as a combined product to facilitate widespread distribution. The need for additional papers to more fully cover the topic of prairie-pothole wetlands and climate change was also identified. This supplemental issue of Wetlands is the realization of that vision.

  2. Tallgrass prairie restoration: seeding for success

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.

    2013-01-01

    Tallgrass prairie is one of the most imperiled ecosystems on Earth. A 2004 estimate indicated that only 2.4 percent of the original northern tallgrass prairie remained in the United States. If tallgrass prairie and the species dependent on it are to survive, management must include restoration of cropland and degraded prairies, in addition to preservation of the few remaining fragments. Despite the importance of restoration and its long history (the first tallgrass prairie restoration was started in 1935 at Curtis Prairie in Wisconsin), few studies have been undertaken with the goal of refining restoration practice. This fact sheet contains the results of one such study, started in 2005, in which we compared three seeding methods (dormant-season broadcast, growing-season broadcast, and growing-season drill) fully crossed with low (10-), medium (20-), and high (34-species) seed mixes replicated 12 times on each of 9 former agricultural fields in Minnesota and Iowa. Plots were 12.2 x 12.2 meters (m) and occupied about 1.6 hectares (ha) (4 acres) of each field. A “successful” restoration is one in which cover and richness of planted species is maximized and cover of exotic and invasive species, especially the noxious weed Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense), is minimized. Details of the planting methods can be located in Larson and others (2011).

  3. Evaluation of the Submerged Demineralizer System (SDS) flowsheet for decontamination of high-activity-level water at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 Nuclear Power Station

    SciTech Connect

    Campbell, D. O.; Collins, E. D.; King, L. J.; Knauer, J. B.

    1980-07-01

    This report discusses the Submerged Demineralizer System (SDS) flowsheet for decontamination of the high-activity-level water at the Three Mile Island Unit 2 Nuclear Power Station was evaluated at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a study that included filtration tests, ion exchange column tests, and ion exchange distribution tests. The contaminated waters, the SDS flowsheet, and the experiments made are described. The experimental results were used to predict the SDS performance and to indicate potential improvements.

  4. Birds associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies in southern shortgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Barko, V.A.; Shaw, J.H.; Leslie, David M.

    1999-01-01

    We conducted a census of avifaunal richness and abundance on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and uncolonized shortgrass prairie in the Oklahoma panhandle in July 1995 and April-June 1996. Five black-tailed prairie dog colonies were paired with five uncolonized prairie sites having similar topography and soil structure. Data were collected by walking permanent line transects and making point counts with a 125-m radius at fixed points placed 250 m apart. Avifaunal abundance and species richness were determined for each site. Avifaunal abundance was significantly higher on sites with prairie dog-colonies than at uncolonized sites during the vegetation growing season. However, we found few significant differences in avian abundance between prairie dog colonies and uncolonized prairie during tile drought months of 1996. We suggest these differences are because of drought-induced vegetation dormancy. Drought created homogeneous habitat instead of distinct habitat patches on prairie dog colonies characteristic of normal precipitation years in other regions of the Great Plains.

  5. Nutrition, care, and behavior of captive prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Hoogland, John L; James, Dianne A; Watson, Lynda

    2009-05-01

    Prairie dogs are burrowing mammals that inhabit the grasslands of western North America. This article discusses the black-tailed prairie dog, the most common species and the one most likely to be found in zoos and private homes. The authors discuss several topics related to having prairie dogs as pets, such as why they make good pets, types of housing, diet, diseases, and injuries. The article concludes with information about where to obtain prairie dogs as pets.

  6. Palouse prairie - synaptic relics from a senior pseudo-botanist

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, vegetation of the Missoula Valley prairie has been regarded as "Agropyron-Festuca community," otherwise described as "Palouse bunchgrass prairie" or just "Palouse prairie." Synecology of this association has been well described starting in the 1920s, however there is no description of...

  7. Soil change induced by prairie dogs across three ecological sites

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) can influence vegetation dynamics and landscape hydrology by altering soil properties, yet few studies have evaluated soil responses to prairie dog activities across a range of soil types. This study was conducted to quantify prairie dog effects on soil properties within...

  8. Radiation doses for Marshall Islands Atolls affected by U.S. nuclear testing: all exposure pathways, remedial measures, and environmental loss of (137)Cs.

    PubMed

    Robison, William L; Hamilton, Terry F

    2010-01-01

    Radiation doses calculated for people resettling Bikini Island at Bikini Atoll, Enjebi Island at Enewetak Atoll, Rongelap Island at Rongelap Atoll, and Utrōk Island at Utrōk Atoll are presented. Residence is assumed to begin in 2010. In previous dose assessments it was shown that (137)Cs accounts for about 98% of the total dose for returning residents. About 85 to 90% (depending on the atoll) is via consumption of locally grown foods containing (137)Cs, and about 10 to 15% is due to external exposure from (137)Cs in the soil. These assessments were made using only the radiological half-life of (137)Cs (30.1 y). We have shown since that there is an environmental loss of (137)Cs from soil to groundwater that results in a more rapid loss of (137)Cs from the atoll ecosystem. The mean effective half-life of (137)Cs at the atolls is 8.5 y. Moreover, treatment of coconut trees with potassium (K) reduces (137)Cs concentration in drinking coconut meat at Bikini Atoll to about 5% of pretreatment concentrations. The magnitude of reduction is dependent on the concentration of (137)Cs in soil, and thereby in food crops, and is less for Enjebi and Rongelap Islands than for Bikini Island. Treatment of food crops and fruit trees with K and removal of the top 15 cm of soil around houses and community buildings prior to construction to reduce external exposure where people spend most of their time has been presented to the communities as a "Combined Option" remediation strategy. Doses presented here are calculated using the Combined Option, effective half-life of (137)Cs at the atolls, and a diet of both imported and local foods. The average natural background dose in the Marshall Islands, plus the anthropogenic nuclear test-related dose at Bikini, Enjebi, and Rongelap Islands, is less for each of the islands than the average background dose in the U.S. and Europe.

  9. Suppression of prairie grasses due to excess magnesium in a portion of a restored prairie.

    PubMed

    Franson, Raymond; Krabbe, Stephen; Scholes, Chad

    2017-01-02

    In June 2002, the Department of Energy (DOE) began establishing the 60 ha Howell Prairie at the DOE Weldon Spring Site (WSS). In one area, the clay base is different from the other soil (subarea 2C). Vegetation sampling was conducted on four permanent plots across the prairie beginning in 2008, and shows that three of the four plots have strong establishment of native prairie species including prairie grasses. The fourth plot (subarea 2C), where the soil is different, shows significantly less native grass cover and stunted vegetation compared to the other three plots. One hundred twenty-five soil samples were taken in 6 different months and in 6 different years across the entire prairie restoration. Across the prairie, potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) were not limiting. The pH, organic matter content (OM), and cation exchange capacity (CEC) did not show trends related to the vegetation issues in subarea 2C. Ordination of the ratio of magnesium (Mg):K shows that Mg is very high in subarea 2C, which has been demonstrated to suppress the growth of prairie grasses. Subarea 2C contains interstratified kaolinite-smectite clay which contributes Mg to soil. It is hypothesized that an inexpensive, nondestructive treatment (addition of K) could be applied to remediate this area.

  10. A history of the people of Bikini following nuclear weapons testing in the Marshall Islands: with recollections and views of elders of Bikini Atoll.

    PubMed

    Niedenthal, J

    1997-07-01

    The people of Bikini Atoll were moved from their homeland in 1946 to make way for the testing of 23 nuclear weapons by the United States government, beginning with the world's fourth atomic detonation. The subsequent half-century exodus of the Bikini people included a 2-y stay on Rongerik Atoll, where near starvation resulted, and a 6-mo sojourn on Kwajalein Atoll, where they lived in tents beside a runway used by the U.S. military. In 1948, they were finally relocated to Kili, a small, isolated, 200-acre island owned by the U.S. Trust Territory government. Numerous hardships have been faced there, not the least of which was the loss of skills required for self-sustenance. Located 425 miles south of Bikini, Kili Island is without a sheltered lagoon. Thus for six months of the year, fishing and sailing become futile endeavors. Because of the residual radioactive contamination from the nuclear testing, the majority of the Bikinian population still resides on Kili today. One attempt was made to resettle Bikini in the late 1960's when President Lyndon B. Johnson, on recommendations from the Atomic Energy Commission, declared Bikini Atoll safe for habitation. In 1978, however, it was discovered by the U.S. Department of Energy that in the span of only one year, some of the returned islanders were showing a 75% increase in their body burdens of 137Cs. In 1978, the people residing on Bikini were moved again, this time to a small island in Majuro Atoll. In the early 1980's, the Bikinians filed a class action lawsuit against the U.S. government for damages arising out of the nuclear testing program. Although the claim was dismissed, eventually a $90 million trust fund was established for their local government. Since then the leaders of the people of Bikini residing on Kili Island and Majuro Atoll have been confronted with the immense responsibility of determining how to clean their atoll while at the same time maintaining the health and welfare of their displaced

  11. Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2009-01-01

    The Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center (NPWRC) conducts integrated research to fulfill the Department of the Interior's responsibilities to the Nation's natural resources. Located on 600 acres along the James River Valley near Jamestown, North Dakota, the NPWRC develops and disseminates scientific information needed to understand, conserve, and wisely manage the Nation's biological resources. Research emphasis is primarily on midcontinental plant and animal species and ecosystems of the United States. During the center's 40-year history, its scientists have earned an international reputation for leadership and expertise on the biology of waterfowl and grassland birds, wetland ecology and classification, mammalian behavior and ecology, grassland ecosystems, and application of statistics and geographic information systems. To address current science challenges, NPWRC scientists collaborate with researchers from other U.S. Geological Survey centers and disciplines (Biology, Geography, Geology, and Water) and with biologists and managers in the Department of the Interior (DOI), other Federal agencies, State agencies, universities, and nongovernmental organizations. Expanding upon its scientific expertise and leadership, the NPWRC is moving in new directions, including invasive plant species, restoration of native habitats, carbon sequestration and marketing, and ungulate management on DOI lands.

  12. Natural variation of ambient dose rate in the air of Izu-Oshima Island after the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident.

    PubMed

    Maedera, Fumihiko; Inoue, Kazumasa; Sugino, Masato; Sano, Ryosuke; Furue, Mai; Shimizu, Hideo; Tsuruoka, Hiroshi; Le Van, Tan; Fukushi, Masahiro

    2016-03-01

    The ambient dose rate in air and radioactivity concentration in soil samples collected on Izu-Oshima Island were observed in 2012, 2013 and 2014, i.e. 1, 2 and 3 years after the severe accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. A car-borne survey for the ambient dose rate in air was carried out for the entire island. Soil samples were collected for the radioactivity concentration measurements from 22 points. The ambient dose rates in air were 36 nGy h(-1) in 2012, 34 nGy h(-1) in 2013 and 29 nGy h(-1) in 2014. The corresponding radioactivity concentrations in those years for (134)Cs were 53, 39 and 29 Bq kg(-1) and for (137)Cs, 87, 73 and 75 Bq kg(-1). All the values have decreased every year.

  13. Nuclear Island Engineering MHTGR [Modular High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor] preliminary and final designs. Technical progress report, December 12, 1988--September 30, 1989

    SciTech Connect

    1989-12-01

    This report summarizes the Department of Energy (DOE)-funded work performed by General Atomics (GA) under the Nuclear Island Engineering (NIE)-Modular High-Temperature Gas-cooled Reactor (MHTGR) Preliminary and Final Designs Contract DE-AC03-89SF17885 for the period December 12, 1988 through September 30, 1989. This reporting period is the first (partial) fiscal year of the 5-year contract performance period. The objective of DOE`s MHTGR program is to advance the design from the conceptual design phase into preliminary design and then on to final design in support of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission`s (NRC`s) design review and approval of the MHTGR Design Team, is focused on the Nuclear Island portion of the technology and design, primarily in the areas of the reactor and internals, fuel characteristics and fuel fabrication, helium services systems, reactor protection, shutdown cooling, circulator design, and refueling system. Maintenance and implementation of the functional methodology, plant-level analysis, support for probabilistic risk assessment, quality assurance, operations, and reliability/availability assessments are included in GA`s scope of work.

  14. Radiation doses for Marshall Islands Atolls Affected by U.S. Nuclear Testing:All Exposure Pathways, Remedial Measures, and Environmental Loss of 137Cs

    SciTech Connect

    Robison, W L; Hamilton, T F

    2009-04-20

    The United States conducted 24 nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll with a total yield of 76.8 Megatons (MT). The Castle series produced about 60% of this total and included the Bravo test that was the primary source of contamination of Bikini Island and Rongelap and Utrok Atolls. One of three aerial drops missed the atoll and the second test of the Crossroads series, the Baker test, was an underwater detonation. Of the rest, 17 were on barges on water and 3 were on platforms on an island; they produced most of the contamination of islands at the atoll. There were 42 tests conducted at Enewetak Atoll with a total yield of 31.7 MT (Simon and Robison, 1997; UNSCEAR, 2000). Of these tests, 18 were on a barge over wateror reef, 7 were surface shots, 2 aerial drops, 2 under water detonations, and 13 tower shots on either land or reef. All produced some contamination of various atoll islands. Rongelap Atoll received radioactive fallout as a result of the Bravo test on March 1, 1954 that was part of the Castle series of tests. This deposition was the result of the Bravo test producing a yield of 15 MT, about a factor of three to four greater than the predicted yield that resulted in vaporization of more coral reef and island than expected and in the debris-cloud reaching a much higher altitude than anticipated. High-altitude winds were to the east at the time of detonation and carried the debris-cloud toward Rongelap Atoll. Utrok Atoll also received fallout from the Bravo test but at much lower air and ground-level concentrations than at Rongelap atoll. Other atolls received Bravo fallout at levels below that of Utrok [other common spellings of this island and atoll (Simon, et al., 2009)]. To avoid confusion in reading other literature, this atoll and island are spelled in a variety of ways (Utrik, Utirik, Uterik or Utrok). Dose assessments for Bikini Island at Bikini Atoll (Robison et al., 1997), Enjebi Island at Enewetak Atoll (Robison et al., 1987), Rongelap Island at

  15. The effective and environmental half-life of 137Cs at Coral Islands at the former US nuclear test site.

    PubMed

    Robison, William L; Conrado, Cynthia L; Bogen, Kenneth T; Stoker, A Carol

    2003-01-01

    The United States (US) conducted nuclear weapons testing from 1946 to 1958 at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls in the northern Marshall Islands. Based on previous detailed dose assessments for Bikini, Enewetak, Rongelap, and Utirik Atolls over a period of 28 years, cesium-137 (137Cs) at Bikini Atoll contributes about 85-89% of the total estimated dose through the terrestrial food chain as a result of uptake of 137Cs by food crops. The estimated integral 30, 50, and 70-year doses were based on the radiological decay of 137Cs (30-year half-life) and other radionuclides. However, there is a continuing inventory of 137Cs and 90Sr in the fresh water portion of the groundwater at all contaminated atolls even though the turnover rate of the fresh groundwater is about 5 years. This is evidence that a portion of the soluble fraction of 137Cs and 90Sr inventory in the soil is lost by transport to groundwater when rainfall is heavy enough to cause recharge of the lens, resulting in loss of 137Cs from the soil column and root zone of the plants. This loss is in addition to that caused by radioactive decay. The effective rate of loss was determined by two methods: (1) indirectly, from time-dependent studies of the 137Cs concentration in leaves of Pisonia grandis, Guettarda specosia, Tournefortia argentea (also called Messerschmidia), Scaevola taccada, and fruit from Pandanus and coconut trees (Cocos nucifera L.), and (2) more directly, by evaluating the 137Cs/90Sr ratios at Bikini Atoll. The mean (and its lower and upper 95% confidence limits) for effective half-life and for environmental-loss half-life (ELH) based on all the trees studied on Rongelap, Bikini, and Enewetak Atolls are 8.5 years (8.0 years, 9.8 years), and 12 years (11 years, 15 years), respectively. The ELH based on the 137Cs/90Sr ratios in soil in 1987 relative to the 137Cs/90Sr ratios at the time of deposition in 1954 is less than 17 years. The magnitude of the decrease below 17 years depends on the ELH for 90Sr

  16. Expanding Teacher Understanding of Wisconsin's Prairie Chickens

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Brown, Melinda S.; Sivek, Daniel J.; Thomas, Christine L.

    2008-01-01

    The principal author developed a workshop through the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman (BOW) program, based on central Wisconsin's prairie chicken population, to present teachers with the knowledge and skills needed to provide quality environmental education. Seventeen high school teachers attended the 2003 workshop. Pre-and post-workshop surveys were…

  17. Habitat management considerations for prairie chickens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, L.M.

    1974-01-01

    Lack of nesting and brood rearing habitat appears to be the universal limiting factor for prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) throughout their range. Grasslands are essential to prairie chickens, but vary widely in quality and thus in their ability to support prairie chickens. High-quality habitat is grassland providing residual vegetation averaging about 20 inches in height in spring and sufficiently dense to completely conceal a nesting prairie chicken. Annually grazed, annually hayed, or long-term (10 years or more) idled habitats are undesirable. The most successful method for maintaining high-quality nest-brood habitat is prescribed burning at 3- to 5-year intervals; such habitat may be established by seeding grass or grass-legume mixtures. Seeded habitat may be maintained by prescribed burning at 3- to 5-year intervals. Management units should contain at least 2 square miles of high-quality habitat within an area not to exceed 8 square miles. High-quality habitat blocks should be at least 160 acres with a minimum width of one-half mile. Based on available evidence, funding to provide winter food or cover is not recommended.

  18. Mid-Prairie. First Grade Revision.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Joint County System of Cedar, Johnson, Linn, and Washington Counties, Cedar Rapids, IA.

    Written by teachers in the Mid-Prairie Community School District, this revised 1st grade social studies curriculum guide will be tested in the 1970-71 school year and evaluated in the Spring. The units emphasize general communication skills and the building of a background for specific social studies skills: reading social studies material;…

  19. The influence of aridity and fire on Holocene prairie communities in the eastern Prairie Peninsula

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Nelson, D.M.; Feng, S.H.; Grimm, E.C.; Curry, B. Brandon; Slate, J.E.

    2006-01-01

    The role of climate and fire in the development, maintenance, and species composition of prairie in the eastern axis of the tallgrass Prairie Peninsula intrigued early North American ecologists. However, evaluation of the long-standing hypotheses about the region's environmental history has been hampered by the scarcity of paleorecords. We conducted multiproxy analyses on early and middle Holocene sediments from two Illinois, USA, lakes to assess long-term climatic, vegetational, and fire variability in the region. Sediment mineral composition, carbonate ??18O, ostracode assemblages, and diatom assemblages were integrated to infer fluctuations in moisture availability. Pollen and charcoal ??13C were used to reconstruct vegetation composition, and charcoal influx was used to reconstruct fire. Results indicate that fire-sensitive trees (e.g., Ulmus, Ostrya, Fraxinus, and Acer saccharum) declined and prairie taxa expanded with increased aridity from 10 000 yr BP to 8500 yr BP. Between ???8500 yr BP and ???6200 yr BP, aridity declined, and prairie coexisted with fire-sensitive and fire-tolerant (e.g., Quercus and Carya) trees. After ???6200 yr BP, prairie taxa became dominant, although aridity was not more severe than it was around 8500 yr BP. Along with aridity, fire appears to have played an important role in the establishment and maintenance of prairie communities in the eastern Prairie Peninsula, consistent with the speculations of the early ecologists. Comparison of our data with results from elsewhere in the North American midcontinent indicates that spatial heterogeneity is a characteristic feature of climatic and vegetational variations on millennial time scales. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. Land use and prairie grouse population relationships in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, L.M.; Klett, A.T.; Miller, H.W.

    1973-01-01

    The relationship between prairie grouse and land use was studied during the period 1964-71. Prairie chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) declined from 48 males in 1964 to none in 1971. Sharp-tailed grouse (Pedioecetes phasianellus) declined from 166 males in 1964 to 57 in 1971. These declines were related to the decline in vigor and eventual loss of Soil Bank habitat on the study area. Two new courtship grounds, established near fields recently retired under the Cropland Adjustment Program, were used by 44 percent of the male sharp-tailed grouse population in 1971. Hay lands on the study area did not support prairie grouse. Pasture lands were of no apparent value to prairie chickens and of limited value to sharp-tailed grouse. Management for prairie grouse should be directed toward developing and maintaining vigorous grass-forb communities on retired croplands and native prairie.

  1. Locating, constructing, and managing islands for nesting waterfowl

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lokemoen, John T.; Messmer, Terry A.

    1994-01-01

    The purpose of this extension bulletin is to assist public and private managers in locating, constructing, and managing islands to enhance nest success of waterfowl. The information is from studies by the Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, Jamestown, North Dakota, and information collected by biologists working at sites throughout the northern hemisphere.

  2. Overview of Prairie Planting Techniques and Maintenance Requirements

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2007-02-01

    others must be considered when developing plans for burning, mowing, and maintaining a prairie. Given the variation in prairie lands under Corps...diverse. Visiting a local prairie and taking notes on the species present 3 ERDC TN-EMRRP-ER-05 February 2007 and their phenology (e.g., time of...regional variation in planting and management techniques are provided for most techniques. Lastly, the need for a monitoring program is discussed

  3. Photovoltaic systems for Canadian prairie regions

    SciTech Connect

    Nigrin, J.

    1983-10-01

    The communications industry has a need for economic low power generators for their remote sites, with minimized power consumption. Photovoltaic generators (PV) promising hardware simplicity, low cost and low maintenance have the potential to fill this need. The operational record of PV generators is rather poor in harsh environment of the Canadian prairies. The authors' analysis of long term radiation data, field and laboratory tests show that often ignored cyclic winter radiation extremes and poor selection, operation and maintenance of batteries are the most frequent causes of PV system failures. They derive a reliable PV sizing curve for Edmonton (53/sup 0/N, 114/sup 0/W) and study various PV designs. At a cost of $20,000 per 100W a hybrid PV-TEG generator is shown to promise reliable operation which is not affected by extreme weather fluctuations of the Canadian prairies.

  4. Re-evaluation of Spent Nuclear Fuel Assay Data for the Three Mile Island Unit 1 Reactor and Application to Code Validation

    DOE PAGES

    Gauld, Ian C.; Giaquinto, J. M.; Delashmitt, J. S.; ...

    2016-01-01

    Destructive radiochemical assay measurements of spent nuclear fuel rod segments from an assembly irradiated in the Three Mile Island unit 1 (TMI-1) pressurized water reactor have been performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Assay data are reported for five samples from two fuel rods of the same assembly. The TMI-1 assembly was a 15 X 15 design with an initial enrichment of 4.013 wt% 235U, and the measured samples achieved burnups between 45.5 and 54.5 gigawatt days per metric ton of initial uranium (GWd/t). Measurements were performed mainly using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after elemental separation via highmore » performance liquid chromatography. High precision measurements were achieved using isotope dilution techniques for many of the lanthanides, uranium, and plutonium isotopes. Measurements are reported for more than 50 different isotopes and 16 elements. One of the two TMI-1 fuel rods measured in this work had been measured previously by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and these data have been widely used to support code and nuclear data validation. Recently, ORNL provided an important opportunity to independently cross check results against previous measurements performed at ANL. The measured nuclide concentrations are used to validate burnup calculations using the SCALE nuclear systems modeling and simulation code suite. These results show that the new measurements provide reliable benchmark data for computer code validation.« less

  5. Re-evaluation of Spent Nuclear Fuel Assay Data for the Three Mile Island Unit 1 Reactor and Application to Code Validation

    SciTech Connect

    Gauld, Ian C.; Giaquinto, J. M.; Delashmitt, J. S.; Hu, Jianwei; Ilas, Germina; Haverlock, T. J.; Romano, Catherine E.

    2016-01-01

    Destructive radiochemical assay measurements of spent nuclear fuel rod segments from an assembly irradiated in the Three Mile Island unit 1 (TMI-1) pressurized water reactor have been performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). Assay data are reported for five samples from two fuel rods of the same assembly. The TMI-1 assembly was a 15 X 15 design with an initial enrichment of 4.013 wt% 235U, and the measured samples achieved burnups between 45.5 and 54.5 gigawatt days per metric ton of initial uranium (GWd/t). Measurements were performed mainly using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry after elemental separation via high performance liquid chromatography. High precision measurements were achieved using isotope dilution techniques for many of the lanthanides, uranium, and plutonium isotopes. Measurements are reported for more than 50 different isotopes and 16 elements. One of the two TMI-1 fuel rods measured in this work had been measured previously by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), and these data have been widely used to support code and nuclear data validation. Recently, ORNL provided an important opportunity to independently cross check results against previous measurements performed at ANL. The measured nuclide concentrations are used to validate burnup calculations using the SCALE nuclear systems modeling and simulation code suite. These results show that the new measurements provide reliable benchmark data for computer code validation.

  6. Does paedomorphosis contribute to prairie vole monogamy?

    PubMed Central

    Bushyhead, Timothy; Curtis, J. Thomas

    2015-01-01

    We examined skull morphology in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and meadow voles (M. pennsylvanicus), two closely related species with fundamentally different mating systems, to test the hypothesis that paedomorphosis contributes to the evolution of monogamous mating systems. Using several skull measurements, we found that the overall length:width ratio of meadow vole skulls was greater than that of prairie voles suggesting that meadow vole have longer narrower skulls. We then examined which aspects of skull morphology differed between the species and found that the ratio difference was attributable primarily to longer snout length in meadow voles. Finally, we compared adult morphology in both species to that of pups and found the prairie vole, a monogamous species, displays a more juvenile-like skull morphology than does the meadow vole, a promiscuous species. These results suggest that monogamous vole species retain more juvenile-like morphology than do promiscuous species, and thus possibly retain juvenile-like behaviors that may contribute to a monogamous mating system. PMID:26594100

  7. Photochemical Attenuation of Pesticides in Prairie Potholes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeng, T.; Arnold, W. A.

    2013-12-01

    Prairie potholes are small, shallow, glacially-derived wetlands scattered across a vast region extending from Midwestern United States into south central Canada known as the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). They constitute one of the largest inland wetland systems on Earth and play a prominent role in sustaining the regional biodiversity and productivity. Throughout the PPR, historic and contemporary conversion of native prairie for agriculture resulted in a pronounced loss of potholes. Remaining potholes have become interspersed within a matrix of agricultural landscape and trap nonpoint source pollutants such as pesticides from adjacent farmland, which has raised concerns regarding negative impacts on the water quality of downstream water bodies. The fate and persistence of pesticides in potholes, however, remains largely unexplored. Prairie potholes are typically characterized by shallow depth (i.e., large photic zone) and high levels of dissolved organic matter (DOM), making them ideal for photochemical reactions. In this context, we collected pothole water samples from North Dakota to investigate the rates and mechanisms of sunlight-induced attenuation of pesticides. The photodegradation kinetics and pathways of sixteen pesticides in the pothole water were monitored under both simulated and natural sunlight. For most pesticides, photolysis accelerated in the pothole water relative to the buffer control, which pointed to the importance of photosensitized processes (i.e., indirect photolysis). Upon solar irradiation, a mixture of photochemically produced reactive intermediates (PPRIs), such as carbonate radical, hydroxyl radical, singlet oxygen, and triplet-excited state DOM, formed in the pothole water. The major pathways through which pesticides degraded were inferred from the relative contribution attributable to specific PPRIs via quencher experiments. Different classes of pesticides exhibited contrasting photochemical behavior, but singlet oxygen and triplet

  8. Number-Theory in Nuclear-Physics in Number-Theory: Non-Primality Factorization As Fission VS. Primality As Fusion; Composites' Islands of INstability: Feshbach-Resonances?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, Edward

    2011-04-01

    Numbers: primality/indivisibility/non-factorization versus compositeness/divisibility /factor-ization, often in tandem but not always, provocatively close analogy to nuclear-physics: (2 + 1)=(fusion)=3; (3+1)=(fission)=4[=2 x 2]; (4+1)=(fusion)=5; (5+1)=(fission)=6[=2 x 3]; (6 + 1)=(fusion)=7; (7+1)=(fission)=8[= 2 x 4 = 2 x 2 x 2]; (8 + 1) =(non: fission nor fusion)= 9[=3 x 3]; then ONLY composites' Islands of fusion-INstability: 8, 9, 10; then 14, 15, 16,... Could inter-digit Feshbach-resonances exist??? Applications to: quantum-information and computing non-Shore factorization, millennium-problem Riemann-hypotheses physics-proof as numbers/digits Goodkin Bose-Einstein Condensation intersection with graph-theory ``short-cut'' method: Rayleigh(1870)-Polya(1922)-``Anderson'' (1958)-localization, Goldbach-conjecture, financial auditing/accounting as quantum-statistical-physics;... abound!!!

  9. Number-Theory in Nuclear-Physics in Number-Theory: Non-Primality Factorization As Fission VS. Primality As Fusion; Composites' Islands of INstability: Feshbach-Resonances?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegel, Edward

    2011-10-01

    Numbers: primality/indivisibility/non-factorization versus compositeness/divisibility /factor-ization, often in tandem but not always, provocatively close analogy to nuclear-physics: (2 + 1)=(fusion)=3; (3+1)=(fission)=4[=2 × 2]; (4+1)=(fusion)=5; (5 +1)=(fission)=6[=2 × 3]; (6 + 1)=(fusion)=7; (7+1)=(fission)=8[= 2 × 4 = 2 × 2 × 2]; (8 + 1) =(non: fission nor fusion)= 9[=3 × 3]; then ONLY composites' Islands of fusion-INstability: 8, 9, 10; then 14, 15, 16,... Could inter-digit Feshbach-resonances exist??? Applications to: quantum-information/computing non-Shore factorization, millennium-problem Riemann-hypotheses proof as Goodkin BEC intersection with graph-theory ``short-cut'' method: Rayleigh(1870)-Polya(1922)-``Anderson'' (1958)-localization, Goldbach-conjecture, financial auditing/accounting as quantum-statistical-physics;... abound!!!

  10. Evolutionary Relationship between Two Firefly Species, Curtos costipennis and C. okinawanus (Coleoptera, Lampyridae), in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan Revealed by the Mitochondrial and Nuclear DNA Sequences

    PubMed Central

    Muraji, Masahiko; Arakaki, Norio; Tanizaki, Shigeo

    2012-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationship, biogeography, and evolutionary history of closely related two firefly species, Curtos costipennis and C. okinawanus, distributed in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan were examined based on nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial (2.2 kb long) and nuclear (1.1-1.2 kb long) DNAs. In these analyses, individuals were divided among three genetically distinct local groups, C. costipennis in the Amami region, C. okinawanus in the Okinawa region, and C. costipennis in the Sakishima region. Their mtDNA sequences suggested that ancestral C. costipennis population was first separated between the Central and Southern Ryukyu areas, and the northern half was then subdivided between C. costipennis in the Amami and C. okinawanus in the Okinawa. The application of the molecular evolutionary clocks of coleopteran insects indicated that their vicariance occurred 1.0–1.4 million years ago, suggesting the influence of submergence and subdivision of a paleopeninsula extending between the Ryukyu Islands and continental China through Taiwan in the early Pleistocene. PMID:22629179

  11. Evolutionary relationship between two firefly species, Curtos costipennis and C. okinawanus (Coleoptera, Lampyridae), in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan revealed by the mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Muraji, Masahiko; Arakaki, Norio; Tanizaki, Shigeo

    2012-01-01

    The phylogenetic relationship, biogeography, and evolutionary history of closely related two firefly species, Curtos costipennis and C. okinawanus, distributed in the Ryukyu Islands of Japan were examined based on nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial (2.2 kb long) and nuclear (1.1-1.2 kb long) DNAs. In these analyses, individuals were divided among three genetically distinct local groups, C. costipennis in the Amami region, C. okinawanus in the Okinawa region, and C. costipennis in the Sakishima region. Their mtDNA sequences suggested that ancestral C. costipennis population was first separated between the Central and Southern Ryukyu areas, and the northern half was then subdivided between C. costipennis in the Amami and C. okinawanus in the Okinawa. The application of the molecular evolutionary clocks of coleopteran insects indicated that their vicariance occurred 1.0-1.4 million years ago, suggesting the influence of submergence and subdivision of a paleopeninsula extending between the Ryukyu Islands and continental China through Taiwan in the early Pleistocene.

  12. Molecular phylogeny and dating of an insular endemic moth radiation inferred from mitochondrial and nuclear genes: the genus Galagete (Lepidoptera: Autostichidae) of the Galapagos Islands.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Patrick; Cibois, Alice; Landry, Bernard

    2007-10-01

    Galagete is a genus of microlepidoptera including 12 nominate species endemic to the Galapagos Islands. In order to better understand the diversification of this endemic insular radiation, to unravel relationships among species and populations, and to get insight into the early stages of speciation, we developed a phylogenetic reconstruction based on the combined mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (555bp) and II (453bp), and the nuclear elongation factor-1alpha (711bp) and wingless (351bp) genes. Monophyly of the genus is strongly supported in the Bayesian and maximum likelihood analyses suggesting a single colonization event by a common ancestor. Two cases of paraphyly observed between species are hypothesized to represent imperfect species limits for G. espanolaensis nested within the G. turritella clade, and introgressive hybridization or lineage sorting in the case of the population of G. protozona from Santa Fe nested within the G. gnathodoxa clade. A geologically calibrated, relaxed molecular clock model was used for the first time to unravel the chronological sequence of an insular radiation. The first split occurring within the Galagete lineage on the archipelago is estimated at 3.3+/-0.4million years ago. The genus radiated relatively quickly in about 1.8million years, and gives an estimated speciation rate of 0.8 species per million years. Although the colonization scenario shows a stochastic dispersal pattern, the arrival of the ancestor and the diversification of the radiation coincide with the chronological emergence of the major islands.

  13. An Assessment of the Current Day Impact of Various Materials Associated with the U.S. Nuclear Test Program in the Marshall Island

    SciTech Connect

    Robison, W L; Noshkin, V E; Hamilton, T F; Conrado, C L; Bogen, K T

    2001-05-01

    Different stable elements, and some natural and man-made radionuclides, were used as tracers or associated in other ways with nuclear devices that were detonated at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls as part of the U.S. nuclear testing program from 1946 through 1958. The question has been raised whether any of these materials dispersed by the explosions could be of sufficient concentration in either the marine environment or on the coral islands to be of a health concern to people living, or planning to live, on the atolls. This report addresses that concern. An inventory of the materials involved during the test period was prepared and provided to us by the Office of Defense Programs (DP) of the United States Department of Energy (DOE). The materials that the DOE and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) ask to be evaluated are--sulfur, arsenic, yttrium, tantalum, gold, rhodium, indium, tungsten, thallium, thorium-230,232 ({sup 230,232}Th), uranium-233,238 ({sup 233,238}U), polonium-210 ({sup 210}Po), curium-232 ({sup 232}Cu), and americium-241 ({sup 241}Am). The stable elements were used primarily as tracers for determining neutron energy and flux, and for other diagnostic purposes in the larger yield, multistage devices. It is reasonable to assume that these materials would be distributed in a similar manner as the fission products subsequent to detonation. A large inventory of fission product and uranium data was available for assessment. Detailed calculations show only a very small fraction of the fission products produced during the entire test series remain at the test site atolls. Consequently, based on the information provided, we conclude that the concentration of these materials in the atoll environment pose no adverse health effects to humans.

  14. Isotopic signatures of vegetation change on northern mixed grass prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    National analyses have shown invasion of northern mixed-grass prairie by nonnative grasses such as Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.). Invasion of native prairie by nonnative grasses may compromise ecosystem function and limit potential ecosystem services. Recent data from a long-term (100 year) ...

  15. 77 FR 61594 - Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-10-10

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing Take notice that on October 1, 2012, Prairie Power, Inc. filed its Revised and Superseding Proposed Revenue Requirement for reactive...

  16. 77 FR 47061 - Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-07

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing Take notice that on July 30, 2012, Prairie Power, Inc. filed a Proposed Revenue Requirement for reactive supply service under...

  17. A view looking southeast over the Camas Prairie with Bridges ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    A view looking southeast over the Camas Prairie with Bridges 46-1 and 46-2 at Milepost 47 - Camas Prairie Railroad, Second Subdivision, From Spalding in Nez Perce County, through Lewis County, to Grangeville in Idaho County, Spalding, Nez Perce County, ID

  18. Chicago's Columbus Park: The Prairie Idealized. Teaching with Historic Places.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bachrach, Julia Sniderman; Nathan, Jo Ann

    Twenty-four year old Jens Jensen came to the United States, settled in Chicago (Illinois), and promptly fell in love with the Midwest's prairie landscape. Although some thought that prairie was boring, monotonous, and ordinary, Jensen saw great beauty in the tree-filled groves, long winding rivers, natural rock formations and waterfalls, and the…

  19. The Prairie Science Class: Pioneering a Trail in Interdisciplinary Learning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ernst, Julie; Ellis, Dave

    2005-01-01

    What happens when an old farmstead, native tall-grass prairie, and middle school students are mixed together? Would one guess learning? That is exactly what is happening in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, where students from a rural middle school have joined with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to restore native tallgrass prairie. In the…

  20. Prairie basin wetlands of the Dakotas: A community profile

    SciTech Connect

    Kantrud, H.A.; Krapu, G.L.; Swanson, G.A. . Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center)

    1989-09-01

    This description of prairie basin wetlands of the Dakotas is part of a series of community profiles on ecologically important wetlands of national significance. This region is famous as the producer of at least half of North America's waterfowl and an unknown, but large, proportion of other prairie-dwelling marsh and aquatic birds. 185 refs., 17 figs., 10 tabs.

  1. Development of soil microbial communities during tallgrass prairie restoration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Soil microbial communities were examined in a chronosequence of four different land-use treatments at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas. The time series comprised a conventionally tilled cropland (CTC) developed on former prairie soils, two restored grasslands that were initiated on forme...

  2. Reproductive Compatibility of Prairie and Montane Populations of Dermacentor andersoni

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Genetic analysis of a prairie and a montane population of Dermacentor andersoni (Stiles) indicated limited gene flow (Nm < 1) and a large amount of genetic differentiation (Fst = 0.49) between the populations. The prairie population also had a greater level of genetic diversity. Mating experiments...

  3. Effects of Prairie Restoration on Soil Quality Indicators

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Characterization of soil ecosystem functioning based on soil quality assessments of native prairie may provide a reference for evaluating improvement in soil quality of cultivated agroecosystems converted to perennial vegetation during prairie restoration. Our objective was to determine the effect o...

  4. Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) of Konza Prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The results of a survey of Cardiochilinae and Ichneutinae (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) at Konza Prairie near Manhattan, Kansas are reported. Eleven sites representing prairie and woodland/wetland areas, including gallery forest, were sampled in 2001 and 2005 using Malaise traps and a canopy trap. Selec...

  5. Plant Guide: Western Prairie Clover [Dalea Ornata (Douglas) Eaton & Wright

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas) Eaton & Wright] is a perennial North American legume that is non-toxic to livestock and wildlife. It can be found in Idaho, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, and California. Western prairie is tap-rooted and reaches a height of 30 to 61 cm. A cluster of st...

  6. Use of ecological sites in managing wildlife and livestock: An example with prairie dogs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie dogs are a native rodent found in the mixed grass prairie of the northern Great Plains. Prairie dogs can have an adverse impact on the amount of forages available for grazing livestock. In the Native American community, prairie dogs are often valued as a cultural resource and as an importan...

  7. Time-resolved record of (236)U and (239,240)Pu isotopes from a coral growing during the nuclear testing program at Enewetak Atoll (Marshall Islands).

    PubMed

    Froehlich, M B; Chan, W Y; Tims, S G; Fallon, S J; Fifield, L K

    2016-12-01

    A comprehensive series of nuclear tests were carried out by the United States at Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands, especially between 1952 and 1958. A Porites Lutea coral that was growing in the Enewetak lagoon within a few km of all of the high-yield tests contains a continuous record of isotopes, which are of interest (e.g. (14)C, (236)U, (239,240)Pu) through the testing period. Prior to the present work, (14)C measurements at ∼2-month resolution had shown pronounced peaks in the Δ(14)C data that coincided with the times at which tests were conducted. Here we report measurements of (236)U and (239,240)Pu on the same coral using accelerator mass spectrometry, and again find prominent peaks in the concentrations of these isotopes that closely follow those in (14)C. Consistent with the (14)C data, the magnitudes of these peaks do not, however, correlate well with the explosive yields of the corresponding tests, indicating that smaller tests probably contributed disproportionately to the debris that fell in the lagoon. Additional information about the different tests can also be obtained from the (236)U/(239)Pu and (240)Pu/(239)Pu ratios, which are found to vary dramatically over the testing period. In particular, the first thermonuclear test, Ivy-Mike, has characteristic (236)U/(239)Pu and (240)Pu/(239)Pu signatures which are diagnostic of the first arrival of nuclear test material in various archives.

  8. Investigation of the nuclear structure of 33Al through beta-decay of 33Mg to probe the island of inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zidar, Tammy; Griffin Collaboration

    2016-09-01

    Away from the valley of stability, some nuclei have been found to have ground state properties that are different than those naively expected from the nuclear shell model. Around the ``island of inversion'', N = 20 closed shell nucleus 32Mg has large ground state deformations occur in association with intruder configurations from the f7 / 2 shell. The nuclear structure of transitional nuclei, in which the normal and intruder configurations compete, can be used to inform theoretical models used to explain the inversion mechanism. 32Mg is known to have a deformed ground-state configuration, while 34Si displays a normal one. In the present work we studied the intermediate 33Al through the β-decay of 33Mg to clarify conflicting previous results regarding its structure. 33Mg was delivered to the GRIFFIN high-purity germanium γ-ray spectrometer coupled with the SCEPTAR plastic scintillator β particle detector. High efficiency of the GRIFFIN detector provides new γ- γ coincidences to elucidate the excited state structure of 33Al, and its capability to detect weak transitions has provided β-decay branching ratios for the 33Mg -> 33Al -> 33Si decay chain. The Canadian Foundation for Innovation, The National Research Council of Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

  9. Electrogenic bicarbonate secretion by prairie dog gallbladder.

    PubMed

    Moser, A James; Gangopadhyay, A; Bradbury, N A; Peters, K W; Frizzell, R A; Bridges, R J

    2007-06-01

    Pathological rates of gallbladder salt and water transport may promote the formation of cholesterol gallstones. Because prairie dogs are widely used as a model of this event, we characterized gallbladder ion transport in animals fed control chow by using electrophysiology, ion substitution, pharmacology, isotopic fluxes, impedance analysis, and molecular biology. In contrast to the electroneutral properties of rabbit and Necturus gallbladders, prairie dog gallbladders generated significant short-circuit current (I(sc); 171 +/- 21 microA/cm(2)) and lumen-negative potential difference (-10.1 +/- 1.2 mV) under basal conditions. Unidirectional radioisotopic fluxes demonstrated electroneutral NaCl absorption, whereas the residual net ion flux corresponded to I(sc). In response to 2 microM forskolin, I(sc) exceeded 270 microA/cm(2), and impedance estimates of the apical membrane resistance decreased from 200 Omega.cm(2) to 13 Omega.cm(2). The forskolin-induced I(sc) was dependent on extracellular HCO(3)(-) and was blocked by serosal 4,4'-dinitrostilben-2,2'-disulfonic acid (DNDS) and acetazolamide, whereas serosal bumetanide and Cl(-) ion substitution had little effect. Serosal trans-6-cyano-4-(N-ethylsulfonyl-N-methylamino)-3-hydroxy-2,2-dimethyl-chroman and Ba(2+) reduced I(sc), consistent with the inhibition of cAMP-dependent K(+) channels. Immunoprecipitation and confocal microscopy localized cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator protein (CFTR) to the apical membrane and subapical vesicles. Consistent with serosal DNDS sensitivity, pancreatic sodium-bicarbonate cotransporter protein pNBC1 expression was localized to the basolateral membrane. We conclude that prairie dog gallbladders secrete bicarbonate through cAMP-dependent apical CFTR anion channels. Basolateral HCO(3)(-) entry is mediated by DNDS-sensitive pNBC1, and the driving force for apical anion secretion is provided by K(+) channel activation.

  10. Heat Islands

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    EPA's Heat Island Effect Site provides information on heat islands, their impacts, mitigation strategies, related research, a directory of heat island reduction initiatives in U.S. communities, and EPA's Heat Island Reduction Program.

  11. Coastal Prairie Restoration Information System: Version 1 (Louisiana)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allain, Larry

    2007-01-01

    The Coastal Prairie Restoration Information System (CPR) is a Microsoft Access database that allows users to query and view data about Louisiana coastal prairie species. Less than 0.1% of Louisiana's coastal prairie vegetation remains in a relatively undisturbed condition. Encompassing as much as 1 million hectares of land, coastal prairie is a hybrid of coastal wetlands and tall grass prairie. Over 550 plant species have been identified in Louisiana's coastal prairies to date. Efforts to conserve and restore this endangered ecosystem are limited by the ability of workers to identify and access knowledge about this diverse group of plants. In this database, a variety of data are provided for each of 650 coastal prairie species in Louisiana. The database was developed at the U.S. Geological Survey National Wetlands Research Center by Larry Allain, with software development by Myra Silva. Additional funding was provided by the biology department of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (ULL), the ULL Center for Environmental and Ecological Technology, and the National Science Foundation.

  12. Seasonal acclimation of prairie deer mice

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Andrews, R. V.; Belknap, R. W.

    1993-12-01

    Prairie deer mice responded to long nights by reducing their metabolic rates, core temperatures, thermal conductances and incremental metabolic responses to cold stimulus, while increasing their capacities for nonshivering thermogenesis. Some winter animals spontaneously entered daily torpor in the mornings and thereby further reduced their metabolic rates and core temperatures. Provision of exogenous melatonin (by subdermal implants) mimiced short photoperiod effects on metabolic rates and core temperatures of wild-caught, laboratory maintained animals. Provision of supplemental dietary tryptophan to laboratory animals conditioned to natural light cycles mimiced metabolic effects of long nights in summer animals, and further reduced metabolic rates of winter mice, but did not affect their core temperature levels. Newly caught, laboratory maintained deer mice responded to natural seasonal clues of shortphotoperiod and increased dietary tryptophan by reducing their resting energy requirements through both lower metabolic and lower core temperature levels. Short photoperiod and seasonal change also promoted gonadal involution, and resulted in more socially tolerant huddling by mice with reduced core temperature. Reduced 24-hour LH excretion rates were also observed in winter animals which were exposed to seasonal light cycles at warm (25°C) room temperatures. We propose that seasonal acclimatization involves pineal effects on sex hormone-influenced social behaviors and on resting metabolism. These effects serve to conserve resting energy expenditure and promote hypothermic insulation by wild prairie deer mice.

  13. Drought, Climate Change and the Canadian Prairies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stewart, R. E.

    2010-03-01

    The occurrence of drought is a ubiquitous feature of the global water cycle. Such an extreme does not necessarily lead to an overall change in the magnitude of the global water cycle but it of course affects the regional cycling of water. Droughts are recurring aspects of weather and climate extremes as are floods and tornadoes, but they differ substantially since they have long durations and lack easily identified onsets and terminations. Drought is a relatively common feature of the North American and Canadian climate system and all regions of the continent are affected from time-to-time. However, it tends to be most common and severe over the central regions of the continent. The Canadian Prairies are therefore prone to drought. Droughts in the Canadian Prairies are distinctive in North America. The large scale atmospheric circulations are influenced by blocking from intense orography to the west and long distances from all warm ocean-derived atmospheric water sources; growing season precipitation is generated by a highly complex combination of frontal and convective systems; seasonality is severe and characterized by a relatively long snow-covered and short growing seasons; local surface runoff is primarily produced by snowmelt water; there is substantial water storage potential in the poorly drained, post-glacial topography; and aquifers are overlain by impermeable glacial till, but there are also important permeable aquifers. One example of Prairie drought is the recent one that began in 1999 with cessation of its atmospheric component in 2004/2005 and many of its hydrological components in 2005. This event produced the worst drought for at least a hundred years in parts of the Canadian Prairies. Even in the dust bowl of the 1930s, no single year over the central Prairies were drier than in 2001. The drought affected agriculture, recreation, tourism, health, hydro-electricity, and forestry in the Prairies. Gross Domestic Product fell some 5.8 billion and

  14. Population trends for common prairie pothole carnivores

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Greenwood, Raymond J.; Sovada, Marsha A.; Mac, M.J.; Opler, P.A.; Puckett Haecker, C. E.; Doran, P.D.

    1998-01-01

    Since settlement of the prairie pothole region of the northern Great Plains by Europeans in the late 1800’s, carnivore populations have changed considerably—mostly due to habitat alteration and humaninflicted mortality. At least 19 species of carnivorous mammals once occurred in the prairie pothole region (Jones et al. 1983). Presently, only eight are common throughout the region—coyote, red fox, raccoon, American badger, striped skunk, mink, ermine, and long-tailed weasel (Sargeant et al. 1993). Other species that occur locally or intermittently are mountain lion, lynx, bobcat, gray wolf, gray fox, swift fox, spotted skunk, and least weasel. Grizzly bears, wolverines, and river otters once occurred in the region but are now extirpated. Competition among species affects the distribution of coyotes, wolves, and foxes (Carbyn 1982; Rudzinski et al. 1982; Sargeant et al. 1987; Bailey 1992). These larger canids are keystone species that suppress the distribution of smaller canids (Johnson and Sargeant 1977; Dekker 1989; Johnson et al. 1989).

  15. Are there optimal densities for prairie birds?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, S.K.; Adams, A.A.Y.

    2010-01-01

    The major forces of food and predation shape fitness-enhancing decisions of birds at all stages of their life cycles. During the breeding season, birds can minimize nest loss due to predation by selecting sites with a lower probability of predation. To understand the environmental and social aspects and consequences of breedingsite selection in prairie birds, we explored variation in nest-survival patterns of the Lark Bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys) in the shortgrass prairie region of North America. Over four breeding seasons, we documented the survival of 405 nests, conducted 60 surveys to estimate bird densities, and measured several vegetative features to describe habitat structure in 24 randomly selected study plots. Nest survival varied with the buntings' density as described by a quadratic polynomial, increasing with density below 1.5 birds ha-1 and decreasing with density between 1.5 and 3 birds ha-1, suggesting that an optimal range of densities favors reproductive success of the Lark Bunting, which nests semi-colonially. Nest survival also increased with increasing vegetation structure of study plots and varied with age of the nest, increasing during early incubation and late in the nestling stage and declining slightly from mid-incubation to the middle of the nestling period. The existence of an optimal range of densities in this semi-colonial species can be elucidated by the "commodity-selection hypothesis" at low densities and density dependence at high densities. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.

  16. Sylvatic plague vaccine and management of prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2012-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Wisconsin (UW), have developed a sylvatic plague vaccine that shows great promise in protecting prairie dogs against plague (Mencher and others, 2004; Rocke and others, 2010). Four species of prairie dogs reside in the United States and Canada, and all are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Along with habitat loss and poisoning, plague has contributed to a significant historical decline in prairie dog populations. By some estimates, prairie dogs now occupy only 1 to 2 percent of their former range (Proctor and others, 2006), with prairie dog colonies being now much smaller and fragmented than they were historically, making individual colonies more vulnerable to elimination by plague (Antolin and others, 2002). At least one species, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) as "threatened." Controlling plague is a vital concern for ongoing management and conservation efforts for prairie dogs. Current efforts to halt the spread of plague in prairie dog colonies typically rely on dusting individual prairie dog burrows with pesticides to kill plague-infected fleas. Although flea-control insecticides, such as deltamethrin, are useful in stopping plague outbreaks in these prairie dog colonies, dusting of burrows is labor intensive and time consuming and may affect other insects and arthropods. As an alternative approach, NWHC and UW scientists developed a sylvatic plague vaccine (SPV) for prairie dogs that can be delivered via oral bait. Laboratory studies have shown that consumption of this vaccine-laden bait by different prairie dog species results in significant protection against plague infection that can last for at least 9 months (Rocke and others, 2010; Rocke, unpublished). Work has now shifted to optimizing baits and distribution methods for

  17. RADIATION DOSES AND CANCER RISKS IN THE MARSHALL ISLANDS ASSOCIATED WITH EXPOSURE TO RADIOACTIVE FALLOUT FROM BIKINI AND ENEWETAK NUCLEAR WEAPONS TESTS: SUMMARY

    PubMed Central

    Simon, Steven L.; Bouville, André; Land, Charles E.; Beck, Harold L.

    2014-01-01

    Nuclear weapons testing conducted at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls during 1946–1958 resulted in exposures of the resident population of the present-day Republic of the Marshall Islands to radioactive fallout. This paper summarizes the results of a thorough and systematic reconstruction of radiation doses to that population, by year, age at exposure, and atoll of residence, and the related cancer risks. Detailed methods and results are presented in a series of companion papers in this volume. From our analysis, we concluded that 20 of the 66 nuclear tests conducted in or near the Marshall Islands resulted in measurable fallout deposition on one or more of the inhabited atolls of the Marshall Islands. In this work, we estimated deposition densities (kBq m−2) of all important dose-contributing radionuclides at each of the 32 atolls and separate reef islands of the Marshall Islands. Quantitative deposition estimates were made for 63 radionuclides from each test at each atoll. Those estimates along with reported measurements of exposure rates at various times after fallout were used to estimate radiation absorbed doses to the red bone marrow, thyroid gland, stomach wall, and colon wall of atoll residents from both external and internal exposure. Annual doses were estimated for six age groups ranging from newborns to adults. We found that the total deposition of 137Cs, external dose, internal organ doses, and cancer risks followed the same geographic pattern with the large population of the southern atolls receiving the lowest doses. Permanent residents of the southern atolls who were of adult age at the beginning of the testing period received external doses ranging from 5 to 12 mGy on average; the external doses to adults at the mid-latitude atolls ranged from 22 to 59 mGy on average, while the residents of the northern atolls received external doses in the hundreds to over 1,000 mGy. Internal doses varied significantly by age at exposure, location, and organ. Except

  18. Radiation doses and cancer risks in the Marshall Islands associated with exposure to radioactive fallout from Bikini and Enewetak nuclear weapons tests: summary.

    PubMed

    Simon, Steven L; Bouville, André; Land, Charles E; Beck, Harold L

    2010-08-01

    Nuclear weapons testing conducted at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls during 1946-1958 resulted in exposures of the resident population of the present-day Republic of the Marshall Islands to radioactive fallout. This paper summarizes the results of a thorough and systematic reconstruction of radiation doses to that population, by year, age at exposure, and atoll of residence, and the related cancer risks. Detailed methods and results are presented in a series of companion papers in this volume. From our analysis, we concluded that 20 of the 66 nuclear tests conducted in or near the Marshall Islands resulted in measurable fallout deposition on one or more of the inhabited atolls of the Marshall Islands. In this work, we estimated deposition densities (kBq m(-2)) of all important dose-contributing radionuclides at each of the 32 atolls and separate reef islands of the Marshall Islands. Quantitative deposition estimates were made for 63 radionuclides from each test at each atoll. Those estimates along with reported measurements of exposure rates at various times after fallout were used to estimate radiation absorbed doses to the red bone marrow, thyroid gland, stomach wall, and colon wall of atoll residents from both external and internal exposure. Annual doses were estimated for six age groups ranging from newborns to adults. We found that the total deposition of 137Cs, external dose, internal organ doses, and cancer risks followed the same geographic pattern with the large population of the southern atolls receiving the lowest doses. Permanent residents of the southern atolls who were of adult age at the beginning of the testing period received external doses ranging from 5 to 12 mGy on average; the external doses to adults at the mid-latitude atolls ranged from 22 to 59 mGy on average, while the residents of the northern atolls received external doses in the hundreds to over 1,000 mGy. Internal doses varied significantly by age at exposure, location, and organ. Except

  19. Prairie dog poisoning in northern Great Plains: An analysis of programs and policies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roemer, David M.; Forrest, Steven C.

    1996-05-01

    This paper describes the programs and policies regarding prairie dog control in the northern Great Plains states of Montana, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The poisoning programs of federal and state agencies are described, along with the statutes and legal mandates that shape agency management of prairie dogs. Current policies on National Grasslands and other federal lands typically limit prairie dogs to small percentages of available potential habitat, to the detriment of prairie dogs and associated species. State programs to assist landowners in prairie dog control differ greatly, employing cost-share incentives (Wyoming) and regulatory fines (South Dakota) to encourage the poisoning of prairie dogs. Prairie dog control is not actively funded or practiced by state or county agencies in Montana. We document federal and state involvement in more than 1 million acres of prairie dog poisoning in the study area during 1978 1992. In combination with undocumented poisoning by private landowners, plague, and shooting, prairie dogs may be experiencing net regional declines, contributing to the disintegration of the prairie dog ecosystem. We recommend that Animal Damage Control operations concerning prairie dogs be terminated, on the basis that they duplicate state programs and are at cross purposes with federal wildlife management programs that seek to perpetuate and/or recover wildlife species that depend on the prairie dog ecosystem. We further recommend that federal range improvement funds be offered as subsidies for the integration of prairie dogs in range management, as opposed to funding prairie dog eradication programs.

  20. Evaluation of nuclear facility decommissioning projects. Three Mile Island Unit 2 reactor defueling and disassembly. Summary status report. Volume 3

    SciTech Connect

    Doerge, D.H.; Miller, R.L.; Scotti, K.S.

    1986-05-01

    This document summarizes information relating to the preparations for defueling the Three Mile Island Unit 2 (TMI-2) reactor and disassembly activities being performed concurrently with decontamination of the facility. Data have been collected from activity reports, reactor containment entry records, and other sources and entered in a computerized data sysem which permits extraction/manipulation of specific data which can be used in planning for recovery from a loss of coolant event similar to that experienced at TMI-2 on March 28, 1979. This report contains summaries of man-hours, manpower, and radiation exposures incurred during the period of April 23, 1979 to April 16, 1985, in the completion of activities related to preparation for reactor defueling. Support activities conducted outside of radiation areas are not included within the scope of this report. Computerized reports included in this document are: A chronological summary listing work performed for the period; and summary reports for each major task undertaken in connection with the specific scope of this report. Presented in chronological order for the referenced time period. Manually-assembled table summaries are included for: Labor and exposures by department; and labor and exposures by major activity.

  1. Ecological disturbance in a sandhills prairie: impact and importance to the lizard community on Arapaho Prairie in western Nebraska

    SciTech Connect

    Ballinger, R.E.; Jones, S.M.

    1985-01-01

    Lizard species occurring in the sandhills prairie of western Nebraska are typically restricted to microhabitats which have sparse vegetation. The fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus) and the lesser earless lizard (Holbrookia maculata) are especially abundant in open blowouts. Only the six-lined racerunner (Cnemidophorus sexlineatus) occupies microhabitats with dense grass. Since cattle grazing was discontinued on Arapaho Prairie in 1977, associated vegetational changes have tended to reduce the microhabitats available for lizards. As a result of the decreased disturbance to the vegetation, lizards have become more restricted and less abundant on Arapaho Prairie. 19 references, 1 figure, 3 tables.

  2. The spectral emissivity of prairie and pasture grasses at Konza Prairie, Kansas

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Palluconi, Frank; Kahle, Anne B.; Hoover, Gordon; Conel, James E.

    1990-01-01

    Field measurements of spectral radiances are used to determine precise values of the spectral emissivity of grass-thatch-soil complexes to facilitate remote temperature determinations. The emissivity variation with wavelength is very small, emissivity is close to unity, and emissivity is fairly constant in terms of emission angle, land practice, and season. The prairie surface is therefore similar to a grey body and a quasiideal emitter, although determinations of the kinetic temperature are required to confirm the results.

  3. Carcass Search & Recovery Guidelines for Black Tailed Prairie Dogs

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    The availability of dead or intoxicated prairie dogs above ground will be monitored, recorded and these carcasses will be properly disposed of, in accordance with the procedures described on this page.

  4. Two decades of prairie restoration at Fermilab, Batavia, Illinois

    SciTech Connect

    Betz, R.F.; Lootens, R.J.; Becker, M.K.

    1996-12-31

    Successional Restoration is the method being used to restore the prairie at Fermilab on the former agricultural fields. This involves an initial planting, using aggressive species that have wide ecological tolerances which will grow well on abandoned agricultural fields. Collectively, these species are designated as the prairie matrix. The species used for this prairie matrix compete with and eventually eliminate most weedy species. They also provide an adequate fuel load capable of sustaining a fire within a few years after a site has been initially planted. Associated changes in the biological and physical structure of the soil help prepare the way for the successful introduction of plants of the later successional species. Only after the species of the prairie matrix are well established, is the species diversity increased by introducing species with narrower ecological tolerances. These species are thus characteristic of the later successional stages.

  5. 18. SOUTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, RUNNING SOUTHWEST UNDER FENCE, ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    18. SOUTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, RUNNING SOUTHWEST UNDER FENCE, TOWARD US HWY. 50 IN DISTANCE. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  6. Use of free water by nesting lesser prairie-chickens

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robinson, Samantha G.; Haukos, David A.; Sullins, Daniel S.; Plumb, Reid T.

    2016-01-01

    The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is a grassland grouse of semiarid regions. Use of free water has been hypothesized as necessary for egg formation during drought. We assessed the use of hydrogen isotopes (deuterium, δ2H) to determine if female lesser prairie-chickens use and incorporate free water during egg formation by testing the relationship between isotope ratios in available free water and eggshells. We collected eggshells from 124 nests and 282 free water samples from three sites in Kansas in 2013 and 2014. Eggshells had δ2H values similar to free water in the year of severe drought but were dissimilar the year with lessened drought severity. With an established link between lesser prairie-chicken eggshells and free water during severe drought, we have identified a mechanism behind observations of lesser prairie-chicken water use. We have demonstrated that hydrogen isotopes can be used to test research questions related to use of free water.

  7. AmeriFlux US-Kon Konza Prairie LTER (KNZ)

    SciTech Connect

    Brunsell, Nathaniel

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-Kon Konza Prairie LTER (KNZ). Site Description - Burned on an annual basis. Bison reintroduced in 1987. Experimental cattle herds in 1992

  8. Temporal connectivity in a prairie pothole complex

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Leibowitz, S.G.; Vining, K.C.

    2003-01-01

    A number of studies have noted the occurrence of intermittent surface-water connections between depressional wetlands in general and prairie potholes in particular. Yet, the ecological implications of such connections remain largely unexplored. In 1995, we observed spillage into and out of a North Dakota wetland during two field visits. Between May 3 and May 26, there was a positive relationship between specific conductance and water level at this site, suggesting an external source of dissolved ions. We estimated that specific conductance may have increased at the site by as much as 614 ??S cm-1 due to spillage from the upslope wetland. Based on a spatial analysis that compared National Wetlands Inventory maps with 1996 color infrared imagery, we estimated that 28% of the area's wetlands had a temporary surface water connection to at least one other wetland at that time, including one complex of 14 interconnected wetlands. These results indicate that the connectivity observed in 1995 was not confined to the two wetlands nor to that single year. The degree of connectivity we observed would be expected to occur during the wetter portions of the region's 20-year wet-dry cycle. We hypothesize that intermittent surface-water connections between wetlands occur throughout the prairie pothole region. Given patterns in relief and precipitation, these connections most likely would have occurred in the eastern portion of the prairie pothole region. However, wetland drainage may have altered historical patterns. The implication of these spatial and temporal trends is that surface-water connections between depressional wetlands should be viewed as a probability event that has some distribution over time and space. We refer to connections that are impermanent, temporally discontinuous, or sporadic as temporal connectivity. The most intriguing feature of these temporary connections may be that they could affect biodiversity or population dynamics through transport of individuals

  9. Correlation between Asian Dust and Specific Radioactivities of Fission Products Included in Airborne Samples in Tokushima, Shikoku Island, Japan, Due to the Fukushima Nuclear Accident

    SciTech Connect

    Sakama, M.; Nagano, Y.; Kitade, T.; Shikino, O.; Nakayama, S.

    2014-06-15

    Radioactive fission product {sup 131}I released from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants (FD-NPP) was first detected on March 23, 2011 in an airborne aerosol sample collected at Tokushima, Shikoku Island, located in western Japan. Two other radioactive fission products, {sup 134}Cs and {sup 137}Cs were also observed in a sample collected from April 2 to 4, 2011. The maximum specific radioactivities observed in this work were about 2.5 to 3.5 mBq×m{sup -3} in a airborne aerosol sample collected on April 6. During the course of the continuous monitoring, we also made our first observation of seasonal Asian Dust and those fission products associated with the FDNPP accident concurrently from May 2 to 5, 2011. We found that the specific radioactivities of {sup 134}Cs and {sup 137}Cs decreased drastically only during the period of Asian Dust. And also, it was found that this trend was very similar to the atmospheric elemental concentration (ng×m{sup -3}) variation of stable cesium ({sup 133}Cs) quantified by elemental analyses using our developed ICP-DRC-MS instrument.

  10. Number-Theory in Nuclear-Physics in Number-Theory: Non-Primality Factorization As Fission VS. Primality As Fusion; Composites' Islands of INstability: Feshbach-Resonances?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, A.; Siegel, Edward Carl-Ludwig

    2011-03-01

    Numbers: primality/indivisibility/non-factorization versus compositeness/divisibility/ factorization, often in tandem but not always, provocatively close analogy to nuclear-physics: (2 + 1)=(fusion)=3; (3+1)=(fission)=4[=2 x 2]; (4+1)=(fusion)=5; (5 +1)=(fission)=6[=2 x 3]; (6 + 1)=(fusion)=7; (7+1)=(fission)=8[= 2 x 4 = 2 x 2 x 2]; (8 + 1) =(non: fission nor fusion)= 9[=3 x 3]; then ONLY composites' Islands of fusion-INstability: 8, 9, 10; then 14, 15, 16, ... Could inter-digit Feshbach-resonances exist??? Possible applications to: quantum-information/ computing non-Shore factorization, millennium-problem Riemann-hypotheses proof as Goodkin BEC intersection with graph-theory "short-cut" method: Rayleigh(1870)-Polya(1922)-"Anderson"(1958)-localization, Goldbach-conjecture, financial auditing/accounting as quantum-statistical-physics; ...abound!!! Watkins [www.secamlocal.ex.ac.uk/people/staff/mrwatkin/] "Number-Theory in Physics" many interconnections: "pure"-maths number-theory to physics including Siegel [AMS Joint Mtg.(2002)-Abs.# 973-60-124] inversion of statistics on-average digits' Newcomb(1881)-Weyl(14-16)-Benford(38)-law to reveal both the quantum and BEQS (digits = bosons = digits:"spinEless-boZos"). 1881 1885 1901 1905 1925 < 1927, altering quantum-theory history!!!

  11. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Cully, Jack F; Johnson, Tammi L; Collinge, Sharon K; Ray, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  12. Disease limits populations: plague and black-tailed prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, Jack F.; Johnson, T.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.

    2010-01-01

    Plague is an exotic vector-borne disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis that causes mortality rates approaching 100% in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We mapped the perimeter of the active portions of black-tailed prairie dog colonies annually between 1999 and 2005 at four prairie dog colony complexes in areas with a history of plague, as well as at two complexes that were located outside the distribution of plague at the time of mapping and had therefore never been affected by the disease. We hypothesized that the presence of plague would significantly reduce overall black-tailed prairie dog colony area, reduce the sizes of colonies on these landscapes, and increase nearest-neighbor distances between colonies. Within the region historically affected by plague, individual colonies were smaller, nearest-neighbor distances were greater, and the proportion of potential habitat occupied by active prairie dog colonies was smaller than at plague-free sites. Populations that endured plague were composed of fewer large colonies (>100 ha) than populations that were historically plague free. We suggest that these differences among sites in colony size and isolation may slow recolonization after extirpation. At the same time, greater intercolony distances may also reduce intercolony transmission of pathogens. Reduced transmission among smaller and more distant colonies may ultimately enhance long-term prairie dog population persistence in areas where plague is present.

  13. Interspecific comparisons of sylvatic plague in prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F.; Williams, E.S.

    2001-01-01

    Of the 3 major factors (habitat loss, poisoning, and disease) that limit abundance of prairie dogs today, sylvatic plague caused by Yersinia pestis is the 1 factor that is beyond human control. Plague epizootics frequently kill >99% of prairie dogs in infected colonies. Although epizootics of sylvatic plague occur throughout most of the range of prairie dogs in the United States and are well described, long-term maintenance of plague in enzootic rodent species is not well documented or understood. We review dynamics of plague in white-tailed (Cynomys leucurus), Gunnison's (C. gunnisoni), and black-tailed (C. ludovicianus) prairie dogs, and their rodent and flea associates. We use epidemiologic concepts to support an enzootic hypothesis in which the disease is maintained in a dynamic state, which requires transmission of Y. pestis to be slower than recruitment of new susceptible mammal hosts. Major effects of plague are to reduce colony size of black-tailed prairie dogs and increase intercolony distances within colony complexes. In the presence of plague, black-tailed prairie dogs will probably survive in complexes of small colonies that are usually >3 km from their nearest neighbor colonies.

  14. Wind training in some prairie trees

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bogan, M.A.; Mollhagen, T.R.

    1969-01-01

    Asymmetry in tree crowns has been established for some time. Lawrence (Ecol. Monogr. 9:217-257, 1939) studied wind training, one cause of asymmetry, in the Columbia River Gorge. He and Boyce (Ecol. Monogr. 24: 29-67, 1954) cite the intensity and direction of wind during the growing season as the causative agents. In their study of trunk asymmetry, Potter and Green (Cology 45: 10-23, 1964) mention crown deformity in the open stands of trees. Prairie trees are typically found in open stands, and to our knowledge no quantitative studies have been done on their crown asymmetry. The present study on the nature of this asymmetry, is an attempt to fill the void.

  15. Microwave experiments on Prairie View Rotamak

    SciTech Connect

    Zhou, R. J.; Xu, M.; Huang, Tian-Sen

    2015-05-15

    A 6 kW/2.45 GHz microwave system has been added on Prairie View Rotamak, and a series of experiments with microwave heating in both O-mode and X-mode configurations have been performed. Effective ionization of hydrogen in the two configurations is observed when filling pressure of the hydrogen gas is under p{sub f}=0.1 Pa. Clear oscillations in plasma current I{sub p} and magnetic field B{sub R} are excited when microwaves are injected into plasma in the X-mode configuration. The higher the injected microwave power, the sooner the emergence of the magnetic oscillations in B{sub R}, which implies the microwave may have decreased the elongation of the plasma. In the experiments, the efficiency of the current drive mechanism due to the injected microwave is about 0.2 kA/kW.

  16. Nitrogen transport from tallgrass prairie watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodds, W.K.; Blair, J.M.; Henebry, G.M.; Koelliker, J.K.; Ramundo, R.; Tate, C.M.

    1996-01-01

    Discharge and N content of surface water flowing from four Karat watersheds on Konza Prairie Research Natural Area, Kansas, managed with different burn frequencies, were monitored from 1986 to 1992. The goal was to establish the influence of natural processes (climate, fire, and bison grazing) on N transport and concentration in streams. Streams were characterized by variable flow, under conditions that included an extreme flood and a drought during which all channels were dry for over a year. The estimated groundwater/stream water discharge ratio varied between 0.15 to 6.41. Annual N transport by streams, averaged across all watersheds and years, was 0.16 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Annual N transport per unit area also increased as the watershed area increased and as precipitation increased. Total annual transport of N horn the prairie via streams ranged from 0.01 to 6.0% of the N input from precipitation. Nitrate and total N concentrations in surface water decreased (P < 0.001, r values ranged from 0.140.26) as length of time since last fire increased. Increased watershed area was correlated negatively (P < 0.0001) to stream water concentrations of NO3-N and total N (r values = -0.43 and -0.20, respectively). Low N concentration is typical of these streams, with NH4/+-N concentrations below 1.0 ??g L-1, NO3-N ranging from below 1.4 to 392 ??g L-1, and total N from 3.0 to 714 ??g L-1. These data provide an important baseline for evaluating N transport and stream water quality from unfertilized grasslands.

  17. 77 FR 31347 - High Prairie Pipeline, LLC v. Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership; Notice of Complaint

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-05-25

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission High Prairie Pipeline, LLC v. Enbridge Energy, Limited Partnership; Notice... Applicable to Oil Pipeline Proceedings, High Prairie Pipeline, LLC (Complainant) filed a formal...

  18. Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs, Cattle, and the Conservation of North America’s Arid Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Sierra–Corona, Rodrigo; Davidson, Ana; Fredrickson, Ed L.; Luna-Soria, Hugo; Suzan-Azpiri, Humberto; Ponce-Guevara, Eduardo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2015-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands. PMID:25760377

  19. Tradeoffs in ecosystem services of prairies managed for bioenergy production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jarchow, Meghann Elizabeth

    The use of perennial plant materials as a renewable source of energy may constitute an important opportunity to improve the environmental sustainability of managed land. Currently, the production of energy from agricultural products is primarily in the form of ethanol from corn grain, which used more than 45% of the domestic U.S. corn crop in 2011. Concomitantly, using corn grain to produce ethanol has promoted landscape simplification and homogenization through conversion of Conservation Reserve Program grasslands to annual row crops, and has been implicated in increasing environmental damage, such as increased nitrate leaching into water bodies and increased rates of soil erosion. In contrast, perennial prairie vegetation has the potential to be used as a bioenergy feedstock that produces a substantial amount of biomass as well as numerous ecosystem services. Reincorporating prairies to diversify the landscape of the Midwestern U.S. at strategic locations could provide more habitat for animals, including beneficial insects, and decrease nitrogen, phosphorus, and sediment movement into water bodies. In this dissertation, I present data from two field experiments that examine (1) how managing prairies for bioenergy production affects prairie ecology and agronomic performance and (2) how these prairie systems differ from corn systems managed for bioenergy production. Results of this work show that there are tradeoffs among prairie systems and between corn and prairie systems with respect to the amount of harvested biomass, root production, nutrient export, feedstock characteristics, growing season utilization, and species and functional group diversity. These results emphasize the need for a multifaceted approach to fully evaluate bioenergy feedstock production systems.

  20. Validating DNA Polymorphisms Using KASP Assay in Prairie Cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link) Populations in the U.S.

    PubMed Central

    Graves, Hannah; Rayburn, A. L.; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Jose L.; Nah, Gyoungju; Kim, Do-Soon; Lee, D. K.

    2016-01-01

    Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are one of the most abundant DNA variants found in plant genomes and are highly efficient when comparing genome and transcriptome sequences. SNP marker analysis can be used to analyze genetic diversity, create genetic maps, and utilize marker-assisted selection breeding in many crop species. In order to utilize these technologies, one must first identify and validate putative SNPs. In this study, 121 putative SNPs, developed from a nuclear transcriptome of prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Link), were analyzed using KASP technology in order to validate the SNPs. Fifty-nine SNPs were validated using a core collection of 38 natural populations and a phylogenetic tree was created with one main clade. Samples from the same population tended to cluster in the same location on the tree. Polymorphisms were identified within 52.6% of the populations, split evenly between the tetraploid and octoploid cytotypes. Twelve selected SNP markers were used to assess the fidelity of tetraploid crosses of prairie cordgrass and their resulting F2population. These markers were able to distinguish true crosses and selfs. This study provides insight into the genomic structure of prairie cordgrass, but further analysis must be done on other cytotypes to fully understand the structure of this species. This study validates putative SNPs and confirms the potential usefulness of SNP marker technology in future breeding programs of this species. PMID:26834772

  1. Environmental Assessment for Kirtland Air Force Base Prairie Dog Management Program

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2003-11-01

    the Proposed Actions is to better manage the prairie dog population to ensure ecosystem stability, population control, genetic diversity, and...prairie dog , ringtail cat (Bassariscus astutus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), spotted skunk (Spilogale gracilis), coyote, cottontail rabbit...Report 1997). Domestic dogs and cats passing through prairie dog towns are susceptible to infection and may carry fleas to residential areas where

  2. Spatiotemporal dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by plague

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a key component of the disturbance regime in semi-arid grasslands of central North America. Many studies have compared community and ecosystem characteristics on prairie dog colonies to grasslands without prairie dogs, but little is known about la...

  3. Response of mountain plovers to plague-driven dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Sylvatic plague is a major factor influencing prairie dog colony dynamics in the western Great Plains. We studied the nesting response of the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus), a grassland bird that nests on prairie dog colonies, to plague-driven dynamics of prairie dog colonies at three sites i...

  4. The EcoSun Prairie Farm: An experiment in bioenergy production, landscape restoration, and ecological sustainability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In 2008, the non-profit corporation, EcoSun Prairie Farms (hereafter EcoSun), began establishing mixtures and monocultures of native prairie species in eastern South Dakota on a section of land (hereafter Prairie Farm) that had been conventionally farmed with annual crops for more than a century. T...

  5. 75 FR 65310 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-22

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application October 15, 2010. Take notice that on October 4, 2010, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie), 333 Clay...

  6. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, T.E.; Williamson, J.; Cobble, K.R.; Busch, J.D.; Antolin, M.F.; Wagner, D.M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance. ?? 2012, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

  7. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations.

    PubMed

    Rocke, Tonie E; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R; Busch, Joseph D; Antolin, Michael F; Wagner, David M

    2012-02-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogeneous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  8. Prairie dogs increase fitness by killing interspecific competitors.

    PubMed

    Hoogland, John L; Brown, Charles R

    2016-03-30

    Interspecific competition commonly selects for divergence in ecology, morphology or physiology, but direct observation of interspecific competition under natural conditions is difficult. Herbivorous white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) employ an unusual strategy to reduce interspecific competition: they kill, but do not consume, herbivorous Wyoming ground squirrels (Urocitellus elegans) encountered in the prairie dog territories. Results from a 6-year study in Colorado, USA, revealed that interspecific killing of ground squirrels by prairie dogs was common, involving 47 different killers; 19 prairie dogs were serial killers in the same or consecutive years, and 30% of female prairie dogs killed at least one ground squirrel over their lifetimes. Females that killed ground squirrels had significantly higher annual and lifetime fitness than non-killers, probably because of decreased interspecific competition for vegetation. Our results document the first case of interspecific killing of competing individuals unrelated to predation (IK) among herbivorous mammals in the wild, and show that IK enhances fitness for animals living under natural conditions.

  9. Attwater's prairie-chicken-its life history and management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lehmann, Valgene W.

    1941-01-01

    Attwater's prairie chicken, a characteristic bird of the Texas coastal prairie, is closely related to the now extinct heath-hen of northeastern North America. Once abundant in an area extending from the coastal tall-grass prairies of southwestern Louisiana and Texas west and south to near Port Isabel, it has decreased in numbers as man has exploited its habitat, until now it is threatened with the same fate as that of the heath-hen.Important factors limiting the numbers of the bird include excessive or persistent rainfall during the nesting season, heavy grazing, excessive pasture burning, agricultural operations, and overshooting. Management will usually involve protection from excessive killing, improvement of food and cover, and control of predators and of the kill by hunters. Responsibility for this rests with the landowner.Optimum prairie chicken range apparently consists of well-drained grassland, with some weeds or shrubs, the cover varying in density from light to heavy; and with surface water available in summer; diversification within the grassland type is essential. In the absence of ample refuges for the species, probably all other favorable factors together will fail to save Attwater's prairie chicken from extinction.This number continues the series of the North American Fauna issued by the Bureau of Biological Survey, of the United States Department of Agriculture, prior to its transfer and consolidation with the Bureau of Fisheries on June 30, 1940, to form the Fish and Wildlife Service, in the Department of the Interior.

  10. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Skagen, Susan; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  11. Resistance to plague among black-tailed prairie dog populations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.; Williamson, Judy; Cobble, Kacy R.; Busch, Joseph D.; Antolin, Michael F.; Wagner, David M.

    2012-01-01

    In some rodent species frequently exposed to plague outbreaks caused by Yersinia pestis, resistance to the disease has evolved as a population trait. As a first step in determining if plague resistance has developed in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), animals captured from colonies in a plague-free region (South Dakota) and two plague-endemic regions (Colorado and Texas) were challenged with Y. pestis at one of three doses (2.5, 250, or 2500 mouse LD50s). South Dakota prairie dogs were far more susceptible to plague than Colorado and Texas prairie dogs (p<0.001), with a mortality rate of nearly 100% over all doses. Colorado and Texas prairie dogs were quite similar in their response, with overall survival rates of 50% and 60%, respectively. Prairie dogs from these states were heterogenous in their response, with some animals dying at the lowest dose (37% and 20%, respectively) and some surviving even at the highest dose (29% and 40%, respectively). Microsatellite analysis revealed that all three groups were distinct genetically, but further studies are needed to establish a genetic basis for the observed differences in plague resistance.

  12. Prairie dogs increase fitness by killing interspecific competitors

    PubMed Central

    Brown, Charles R.

    2016-01-01

    Interspecific competition commonly selects for divergence in ecology, morphology or physiology, but direct observation of interspecific competition under natural conditions is difficult. Herbivorous white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) employ an unusual strategy to reduce interspecific competition: they kill, but do not consume, herbivorous Wyoming ground squirrels (Urocitellus elegans) encountered in the prairie dog territories. Results from a 6-year study in Colorado, USA, revealed that interspecific killing of ground squirrels by prairie dogs was common, involving 47 different killers; 19 prairie dogs were serial killers in the same or consecutive years, and 30% of female prairie dogs killed at least one ground squirrel over their lifetimes. Females that killed ground squirrels had significantly higher annual and lifetime fitness than non-killers, probably because of decreased interspecific competition for vegetation. Our results document the first case of interspecific killing of competing individuals unrelated to predation (IK) among herbivorous mammals in the wild, and show that IK enhances fitness for animals living under natural conditions. PMID:27009223

  13. Canary Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1992-01-01

    This easterly looking view shows the seven major volcanic islands of the Canary Island chain (28.0N, 16.5W) and offers a unique view of the islands that have become a frequent vacation spot for Europeans. The northwest coastline of Africa, (Morocco and Western Sahara), is visible in the background. Frequently, these islands create an impact on local weather (cloud formations) and ocean currents (island wakes) as seen in this photo.

  14. Simulated grazing responses on the proposed prairies National Park

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Parton, William J.; Wright, R. Gerald; Risser, Paul G.

    1980-03-01

    The tallgrass prairie version of the ELM Grassland Model was used to evaluate the potential impact of establishing a tallgrass prairie National Park in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. This total ecosystem model simulates ( a) the flow of water, heat, nitrogen, and phosphorus through the ecosystem and( b) the biomass dynamics of plants and consumers. It was specifically developed to study the effects of levels and types of herbivory, climatic variation, and fertilization upon grassland ecosystems. The model was used to simulate the impact of building up herds of bison, elk, antelope, and wolves on a tallgrass prairie. The results show that the grazing levels in the park should not be decreased below the prepark grazing levels (moderate grazing with cattle) and that the final grazing levels in the park could be maintained at a slightly higher level than the prepark grazing levels.

  15. Canopy Interception for a Tallgrass Prairie under Juniper Encroachment.

    PubMed

    Zou, Chris B; Caterina, Giulia L; Will, Rodney E; Stebler, Elaine; Turton, Donald

    2015-01-01

    Rainfall partitioning and redistribution by canopies are important ecohydrological processes underlying ecosystem dynamics. We quantified and contrasted spatial and temporal variations of rainfall redistribution for a juniper (Juniperus virginiana, redcedar) woodland and a tallgrass prairie in the south-central Great Plains, USA. Our results showed that redcedar trees had high canopy storage capacity (S) ranging from 2.14 mm for open stands to 3.44 mm for closed stands. The canopy funneling ratios (F) of redcedar trees varied substantially among stand type and tree size. The open stands and smaller trees usually had higher F values and were more efficient in partitioning rainfall into stemflow. Larger trees were more effective in partitioning rainfall into throughfall and no significant changes in the total interception ratios among canopy types and tree size were found. The S values were highly variable for tallgrass prairie, ranging from 0.27 mm at early growing season to 3.86 mm at senescence. As a result, the rainfall interception by tallgrass prairie was characterized by high temporal instability. On an annual basis, our results showed no significant difference in total rainfall loss to canopy interception between redcedar trees and tallgrass prairie. Increasing structural complexity associated with redcedar encroachment into tallgrass prairie changes the rainfall redistribution and partitioning pattern at both the temporal and spatial scales, but does not change the overall canopy interception ratios compared with unburned and ungrazed tallgrass prairie. Our findings support the idea of convergence in interception ratio for different canopy structures under the same precipitation regime. The temporal change in rainfall interception loss from redcedar encroachment is important to understand how juniper encroachment will interact with changing rainfall regime and potentially alter regional streamflow under climate change.

  16. Canopy Interception for a Tallgrass Prairie under Juniper Encroachment

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Chris B.; Caterina, Giulia L.; Will, Rodney E.; Stebler, Elaine; Turton, Donald

    2015-01-01

    Rainfall partitioning and redistribution by canopies are important ecohydrological processes underlying ecosystem dynamics. We quantified and contrasted spatial and temporal variations of rainfall redistribution for a juniper (Juniperus virginiana, redcedar) woodland and a tallgrass prairie in the south-central Great Plains, USA. Our results showed that redcedar trees had high canopy storage capacity (S) ranging from 2.14 mm for open stands to 3.44 mm for closed stands. The canopy funneling ratios (F) of redcedar trees varied substantially among stand type and tree size. The open stands and smaller trees usually had higher F values and were more efficient in partitioning rainfall into stemflow. Larger trees were more effective in partitioning rainfall into throughfall and no significant changes in the total interception ratios among canopy types and tree size were found. The S values were highly variable for tallgrass prairie, ranging from 0.27 mm at early growing season to 3.86 mm at senescence. As a result, the rainfall interception by tallgrass prairie was characterized by high temporal instability. On an annual basis, our results showed no significant difference in total rainfall loss to canopy interception between redcedar trees and tallgrass prairie. Increasing structural complexity associated with redcedar encroachment into tallgrass prairie changes the rainfall redistribution and partitioning pattern at both the temporal and spatial scales, but does not change the overall canopy interception ratios compared with unburned and ungrazed tallgrass prairie. Our findings support the idea of convergence in interception ratio for different canopy structures under the same precipitation regime. The temporal change in rainfall interception loss from redcedar encroachment is important to understand how juniper encroachment will interact with changing rainfall regime and potentially alter regional streamflow under climate change. PMID:26544182

  17. Convergent Ecosystems from Divergent Environmental Drivers: Revisiting Drivers of the Past Prairie-Forest Ecotone Across the North American Prairie Peninsula

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Heilman, K.; McLachlan, J. S.; Feng, X.

    2015-12-01

    The Prairie Peninsula in North America refers to the eastward extension of prairie and savanna ecosystems from western tallgrass prairie into deciduous forests of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri. Historically, the Prairie Peninsula border defined one of the largest shifts in vegetation and biomass in North America. Today, the fertile soils of the Prairie Peninsula have been transformed into a large agricultural center of national economic importance. The existence and location of prairie and savanna on the Northwest border of the Prairie Peninsula has previously been attributed to strong, dry westerly winds, low precipitation, and high fire frequencies. However, these drivers remain untested with historical vegetation across the whole Prairie Peninsula. We use recently digitized historical survey data of vegetation at the time of European settlement (the Public Land Survey (PLS)) to test these hypotheses with past structure and composition data of the entire Prairie Peninsula region. We demonstrate that commonly cited hypotheses for the existence of these ecosystems (westerly winds, low precipitation, and fire) cannot predict the extent and composition of the pre-settlement landscape in the Prairie Peninsula. Using the PLS data in a statistical model of biomass run with environmental covariates (precipitation, soil hydrology parameters, and topography), we test which covariates best explain the distribution of biomass and species composition across the region. Explanatory power of each covariate is spatially variable, suggesting that a single environmental factor alone did not drive prairie and savanna vegetation in the Prairie Peninsula. Rather, this work suggests that variable interactions between climate, soil hydrology properties, and disturbances promote similar vegetation structure across space.

  18. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies.

    PubMed

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  19. Urban Rights-of-Way as Reservoirs for Tall-Grass Prairie Plants and Butterflies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leston, Lionel; Koper, Nicola

    2016-03-01

    Urban rights-of-way may be potential reservoirs of tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies. To determine if this is true, in 2007-2008, we conducted vegetation surveys of species richness and cover, and butterfly surveys of species richness and abundance, along 52 transmission lines and four remnant prairies in Winnipeg, Manitoba. We detected many prairie plants and butterflies within transmission lines. Some unmowed and infrequently managed transmission lines had native plant species richness and total percent cover of native plants comparable to that of similar-sized remnant tall-grass prairies in the region. Although we did not find significant differences in overall native butterfly numbers or species richness between rights-of-way and remnant prairies, we found lower numbers of some prairie butterflies along frequently mowed rights-of-way than within remnant tall-grass prairies. We also observed higher butterfly species richness along sites with more native plant species. By reducing mowing and spraying and reintroducing tall-grass prairie plants, urban rights-of-way could serve as extensive reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and butterflies in urban landscapes. Eventually, managing urban rights-of-way as reservoirs for tall-grass prairie plants and animals could contribute to the restoration of tall-grass prairie in the North American Midwest.

  20. Phenological and climatic patterns in three tallgrass prairies

    SciTech Connect

    Kebart, K.K.; Anderson, R.C.

    1987-03-07

    Flowering patterns for a central Illinois tallgrass prairie were studied during the 1983 growing season and compared with those for prairies in Wisconsin and Oklahoma. The distribution of species in flower per month was significantly different (p < 0.05) between the Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Illinois sites. Species that initiated flowering after July 15 tended to flower earlier at northern locations than at southern ones. The number of species in flower per month was correlated with long-term mean monthly temperature and precipitation at all three locations.

  1. Vegetation associations in a rare community type - Coastal tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.; Allain, L.; Allen, C.

    2000-01-01

    The coastal prairie ecoregion is located along the northwestern coastal plain of the Gulf of Mexico in North America. Because of agricultural and urban development, less than 1% of the original 3.4 million ha of this ecosystem type remains in native condition, making it one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America. The objective of this study was to characterize the vegetation and environmental relationships in a relatively pristine example of lowland coastal prairie in order to provide information for use in conservation and restoration. The study area was a small, isolated prairie located near the southern boundary of the coastal prairie region. Samples were taken along three parallel transects that spanned the prairie. Parameters measured included species composition, elevation, soil characteristics, indications of recent disturbance, above-ground biomass, and light penetration through the plant canopy. Fifty-four species were found in the 107 0.25-m2 plots and a total of 96 species were found at the site. Only two non-native species occurred in sample plots, both of which were uncommon. Cluster analysis was used to identify six vegetation groups, which were primarily dominated by members of the Poaceae or Asteraceae. A conspicuous, natural edaphic feature of the prairie was the presence of 'mima' mounds, which are raised areas approximately 0.5 to 1 m high and 5 to 10 m across. Indicator species analysis revealed a significant number of species that were largely restricted to mounds and these were predominately upland and colonizing species. Ordination was performed using nonmetric, multidimensional scaling. The dominant environmental influence on species composition was found to be elevation and a host of correlated factors including those associated with soil organic content. A secondary group of factors, consisting primarily of soil cations, was found to explain additional variance among plots. Overall, this prairie was found to contain plant

  2. Causes of mortality and temporal patterns in breeding season survival of lesser prairie-chickens in shinnery oak prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.

    2015-01-01

    Baseline survival and mortality data for lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) are lacking for shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) prairies. An understanding of the causes and timing of mortalities and breeding season survival in this ecoregion is important because shinnery oak prairies have hotter and drier environmental conditions, as well as different predator communities compared with the northern distribution of the species. The need for this information has become more pressing given the recent listing of the species as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. We investigated causes of mortality and survival of lesser prairie-chickens during the 6-month breeding season (1 Mar–31 Aug) of 2008–2011 on the Texas Southern High Plains, USA. We recorded 42 deaths of radiotagged individuals, and our results indicated female mortalities were proportionate among avian and mammalian predation and other causes of mortality but survival was constant throughout the 6-month breeding season. Male mortalities were constant across avian and mammalian predation and other causes, but more mortalities occurred in June compared with other months. Male survival also varied by month, and survival probabilities were lower in June–August. We found predation on leks was rare, mortalities from fence collisions were rare, female survival did not decrease during incubation or brood-rearing, and survival was influenced by drought. Our study corroborated recent studies that suggested lesser prairie-chickens are living at the edge of their physiological tolerances to environmental conditions in shinnery oak prairies. As such, lesser prairie-chickens in our study experienced different patterns of mortality and survival that we attributed to hot, dry conditions during the breeding season. Specifically, and converse to other studies on lesser prairie-chicken survival and mortality, drought positively influenced female survival because females did not incubate eggs

  3. The Corps of Engineers and Prairie Restoration: Synopsis of the First Corps Prairie Workshop, Follow-up Actions, and Thoughts on the Future of Prairie Restoration and Management on Operational Projects

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2009-06-01

    1 Figure 2. Grass strips and blocks have improved habitat conditions for pheasants and songbirds at...10 Figure 5. Native prairie remnants at Granger Lake, Texas, support a diversity of native grasses and forbs... grasses and forbs. Benefits of prairie restoration efforts noted by Corps personnel included erosion control, sediment management, control of non

  4. 78 FR 49553 - Three Mile Island, Unit 2; Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-08-14

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Three Mile Island, Unit 2; Post Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report AGENCY: Nuclear...) for Three Mile Island, Unit 2 (TMI-2). The PSDAR provides an overview of GPUN's...

  5. 21. LOOKING EAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH TO ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    21. LOOKING EAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH TO POINT (AT WIRE ROLL) WHERE IT IS CUT BY A ROCK WALL. DITCH IS ALSO VISIBLE RUNNING ALONG BASE OF KNOLL IN DISTANCE, BELOW AND TO RIGHT OF DEAD TREE. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  6. Camel spider (Solifugae) use of prairie dog colonies

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Solifugids (camel spiders) are widespread throughout arid regions of western North America and are thought to be important in structuring desert arthropod communities. Despite the ubiquity of camel spiders, little is known about their ecology. Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are als...

  7. Butterfly responses to prairie restoration through fire and grazing

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Debinski, Diane M.; Koford, Rolf R.; Miller, J.R.

    2007-01-01

    The development of land for modern agriculture has resulted in losses of native prairie habitat. The small, isolated patches of prairie habitat that remain are threatened by fire suppression, overgrazing, and invasion by non-native species. We evaluated the effects of three restoration practices (grazing only, burning only, and burning and grazing) on the vegetation characteristics and butterfly communities of remnant prairies. Total butterfly abundance was highest on prairies that were managed with burning and grazing and lowest on those that were only burned. Butterfly species richness did not differ among any of the restoration practices. Butterfly species diversity was highest on sites that were only burned. Responses of individual butterfly species to restoration practices were highly variable. In the best predictive regression model, total butterfly abundance was negatively associated with the percent cover of bare ground and positively associated with the percent cover of forbs. Canonical correspondence analysis revealed that sites with burned only and grazed only practices could be separated based on their butterfly community composition. Butterfly communities in each of the three restoration practices are equally species rich but different practices yield compositionally different butterfly communities. Because of this variation in butterfly species responses to different restoration practices, there is no single practice that will benefit all species or even all species within habitat-specialist or habitat-generalist habitat guilds. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Marl Prairie Vegetation Response to 20th Century Hydrologic Change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bernhardt, Christopher E.; Willard, Debra A.

    2007-01-01

    We conducted geochronologic and pollen analyses from sediment cores collected in solution holes within marl prairies of Big Cypress National Preserve to reconstruct vegetation patterns of the last few centuries and evaluate the stability and longevity of marl prairies within the greater Everglades ecosystem. Based on radiocarbon dating and pollen biostratigraphy, these cores contain sediments deposited during the last ~300 years and provide evidence for plant community composition before and after 20th century water management practices altered flow patterns throughout the Everglades. Pollen evidence indicates that pre-20th century vegetation at the sites consisted of sawgrass marshes in a peat-accumulating environment; these assemblages indicate moderate hydroperiods and water depths, comparable to those in modern sawgrass marshes of Everglades National Park. During the 20th century, vegetation changed to grass-dominated marl prairies, and calcitic sediments were deposited, indicating shortening of hydroperiods and occurrence of extended dry periods at the site. These data suggest that the presence of marl prairies at these sites is a 20th century phenomenon, resulting from hydrologic changes associated with water management practices.

  9. Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Nitrogen and phosphorus from agricultural landscapes have been identified as a primary source of excess nutrients in aquatic systems. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in removing nutrients from cropland runoff in 12 small watersheds...

  10. 22. NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, CONTOURING AROUND SIDE OF ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    22. NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, CONTOURING AROUND SIDE OF KNOLL. DITCH LIES BETWEEN OAK TREE AND POINTED ROCKS, AND EXITS PHOTOGRAPH AT LOWER RIGHT CORNER. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  11. Canopy-Coverage Method Compares Pasture and Prairie

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jantzen, Paul G.

    1973-01-01

    Describes the procedures used by a high school biology class in an ecological study related to the degeneration of grasslands. The canopy-coverage method of vegetational analysis was used to compare a low-grade, over-grazed pasture with a nearby high-quality prairie. An interpretation of the results is also presented. (JR)

  12. 23. TERMINUS, NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH. DITCH COMES FROM ...

    Library of Congress Historic Buildings Survey, Historic Engineering Record, Historic Landscapes Survey

    23. TERMINUS, NORTH BRANCH PRAIRIE CITY DITCH. DITCH COMES FROM ISOLATED GROUP OF TREES IN MIDDLE DISTANCE, AND ENDS AT CENTER RIGHT. WATER THEN PROCEEDED DOWN SWALE, INTO TREES AT LEFT. VIEW TO NORTH. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  13. Neuropeptide Regulation of Social Attachment: The Prairie Vole Model

    PubMed Central

    Tabbaa, Manal; Paedae, Brennan; Liu, Yan; Wang, Zuoxin

    2016-01-01

    Social attachments are ubiquitous among humans and integral to human health. Although great efforts have been made to elucidate the neural underpinnings regulating social attachments, we still know relatively little about the neuronal and neurochemical regulation of social attachments. As a laboratory animal research model, the socially monogamous prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) displays behaviors paralleling human social attachments and thus has provided unique insights into the neural regulation of social behaviors. Research in prairie voles has particularly highlighted the significance of neuropeptidergic regulation of social behaviors, especially of the roles of oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP). This article aims to review these findings. We begin by discussing the role of the OT and AVP systems in regulating social behaviors relevant to social attachments, and thereafter restrict our discussion to studies in prairie voles. Specifically, we discuss the role of OT and AVP in adult mate attachments, biparental care, social isolation, and social buffering as informed by studies utilizing the prairie vole model. Not only do these studies offer insight into social attachments in humans, but they also point to dysregulated mechanisms in several mental disorders. We conclude by discussing these implications for human health. PMID:28135000

  14. Wetland Ecosystem Services Vary With Climate for Prairie Pothole Landscapes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Hydrology is the primary mechanism for the cyclic vegetation dynamics collectively known as the wetland cover cycle, which drives ecosystem services for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). These palustrine, depressional basin waters vacillate with regional drought and deluge, so surface water fluctuat...

  15. Nesting of waterfowl on islands in Lake Audubon, North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duebbert, H.F.

    1982-01-01

    Nesting waterfowl were studied in 1978 and 1980 on 15 newly established islands with an area of 19 ha in 7,430-ha Lake Audubon in the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), North Dakota. Islands ranged in size from 0.2 to 5.0 ha and were 60-1,600 m from the mainland. Cover available for nesting waterfowl was composed of grasses, legumes, and forbs with abundant residual plant material. In 1978 and 1980, 207 and 251 nests were found, respectively, of 10 waterfowl species primarily mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and gadwall (A. strepera). Densities of waterfowl nests were 10.9/ha in 1978 and 13.2/ha in 1980. Nest success averaged 86% for the 2 years. Increased emphasis on construction of new islands and manipulation of plant communities on existing islands should be considered for waterfowl management programs in the prairie and parkland regions of North America.

  16. Recommended methods for range-wide monitoring of prairie dogs in the United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McDonald, Lyman L.; Stanley, Thomas R.; Otis, David L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Stevens, Patricia D.; Koprowski, John L.; Ballard, Warren

    2011-01-01

    One of the greatest challenges for conserving grassland, prairie scrub, and shrub-steppe ecosystems is maintaining prairie dog populations across the landscape. Of the four species of prairie dogs found in the United States, the Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) is listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) as threatened, the Gunnison's prairie dog (C. gunnisoni) is a candidate for listing in a portion of its range, and the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) and white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) have each been petitioned for listing at least once in recent history. Although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) determined listing is not warranted for either the black-tailed prairie dog or white-tailed prairie dog, the petitions and associated reviews demonstrated the need for the States to monitor and manage for self-sustaining populations. In response to these findings, a multi-State conservation effort was initiated for the nonlisted species which included the following proposed actions: (1) completing an assessment of each prairie dog species in each State, (2) developing a range-wide monitoring protocol for each species using a statistically valid sampling procedure that would allow comparable analyses across States, and (3) monitoring prairie dog status every 3-5 years depending upon the species. To date, each State has completed an assessment and currently is monitoring prairie dog status; however, for some species, the inconsistency in survey methodology has made it difficult to compare data year-to-year or State-to-State. At the Prairie Dog Conservation Team meeting held in November 2008, there was discussion regarding the use of different methods to survey prairie dogs. A recommendation from this meeting was to convene a panel in a workshop-type forum and have the panel review the different methods being used and provide recommendations for range-wide monitoring protocols for each species of prairie dog. Consequently, the Western

  17. Small mammal community composition in cornfields, roadside ditches, and prairies in eastern Nebraska

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kirsch, E.M.

    1997-01-01

    Community composition of small mammals was examined in prairies, cornfields, and their adjacent roadside ditches in eastern Nebraska. Western harvest mice (Reithrodontomys megalotis) and meadow voles (Microtus pennsylvanicus) were associated with prairie habitat, were common in ditches, but avoided cornfields. Prairie voles (M. Ochrogaster) and white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) were associated with ditch habitat, were common in prairies, but avoided cornfields. Short-tailed shrews (Blarina brevicauda) avoided cornfields, were associated with ditches next to cornfields, but were common in prairies and ditches next to prairies. Deer mice (P. Maniculatus) were associated with cornfields but were relatively common in prairies and ditches. House mice (Mus musculus) were most common in ditches next to cornfields, occurred in cornfields and ditches next to prairies, but were not captured in prairies. Although community composition appears to differ among prairies, ditches, and cornfields, ditches support a more complete suite of the native small mammal species in large and relatively even numbers, whereas cornfields only support deer mice in large numbers.

  18. Diets of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) in continuous and fragmented prairie in Northwestern Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kamler, J.F.; Ballard, W.B.; Wallace, M.C.; Gipson, P.S.

    2007-01-01

    Distribution of the swift fox (Vulpes velox) has declined dramatically since the 1800s, and suggested causes of this decline are habitat fragmentation and transformation due to agricultural expansion. However, impacts of fragmentation and human-altered habitats on swift foxes still are not well understood. To better understand what effects these factors have on diets of swift foxes, scats were collected in northwestern Texas at two study sites, one of continuous native prairie and one representing fragmented native prairie interspersed with agricultural and fields in the Conservation Reserve Program. Leporids, a potential food source, were surveyed seasonally on both sites. Diets of swift foxes differed between sites; insects were consumed more on continuous prairie, whereas mammals, birds, and crops were consumed more on fragmented prairie. Size of populations of leporids were 2-3 times higher on fragmented prairie, and swift foxes responded by consuming more leporids on fragmented (11.1% frequency occurrence) than continuous (3.8%) prairie. Dietary diversity was greater on fragmented prairie during both years of the study. Differences in diets between sites suggested that the swift fox is an adaptable and opportunistic feeder, able to exploit a variety of food resources, probably in relation to availability of food. We suggest that compared to continuous native prairie, fragmented prairie can offer swift foxes a more diverse prey base, at least within the mosaic of native prairie, agricultural, and fields that are in the Conservation Reserve Program.

  19. Effect of seed scarification and seeding depth on greenhouse seedling emergence in western prairie clover, Searls prairie clover, and Basalt milkvetch

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Only a few North American legumes are commercially available for rangeland revegetation in the western U.S. Basalt milkvetch (Astragalus filipes, Asfi)), western prairie clover (Dalea ornata, Daor) and Searls' prairie clover (D. searlsiae, Dase) are three North American legumes that hold promise for...

  20. Ecosystem engineering varies spatially: a test of the vegetation modification paradigm for prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, Bruce W.; Augustine, David J.; Sedgwick, James A.; Lubow, Bruce C.

    2013-01-01

    Colonial, burrowing herbivores can be engineers of grassland and shrubland ecosystems worldwide. Spatial variation in landscapes suggests caution when extrapolating single-place studies of single species, but lack of data and the need to generalize often leads to ‘model system’ thinking and application of results beyond appropriate statistical inference. Generalizations about the engineering effects of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) developed largely from intensive study at a single complex of black-tailed prairie dogs C. ludovicianus in northern mixed prairie, but have been extrapolated to other ecoregions and prairie dog species in North America, and other colonial, burrowing herbivores. We tested the paradigm that prairie dogs decrease vegetation volume and the cover of grasses and tall shrubs, and increase bare ground and forb cover. We sampled vegetation on and off 279 colonies at 13 complexes of 3 prairie dog species widely distributed across 5 ecoregions in North America. The paradigm was generally supported at 7 black-tailed prairie dog complexes in northern mixed prairie, where vegetation volume, grass cover, and tall shrub cover were lower, and bare ground and forb cover were higher, on colonies than at paired off-colony sites. Outside the northern mixed prairie, all 3 prairie dog species consistently reduced vegetation volume, but their effects on cover of plant functional groups varied with prairie dog species and the grazing tolerance of dominant perennial grasses. White-tailed prairie dogs C. leucurus in sagebrush steppe did not reduce shrub cover, whereas black-tailed prairie dogs suppressed shrub cover at all complexes with tall shrubs in the surrounding habitat matrix. Black-tailed prairie dogs in shortgrass steppe and Gunnison's prairie dogs C. gunnisoni in Colorado Plateau grassland both had relatively minor effects on grass cover, which may reflect the dominance of grazing-tolerant shortgrasses at both complexes. Variation in modification of

  1. No evidence of deer mouse involvement in plague (Yersinia pestis) epizootics in prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Salkeld, Daniel J; Stapp, Paul

    2008-06-01

    Plague, the disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, can have devastating impacts on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies. One suggested mechanism behind sporadic prairie dog die-offs involves an alternative mammal host, such as the deer mouse (Peromyscus maniculatus), which often inhabits prairie dog colonies. We examined the flea populations of deer mice to investigate the potential of flea-borne transmission of plague between deer mice and prairie dogs in northern Colorado, where plague is active in prairie dog colonies. Deer mice were predominantly infested with the flea Aetheca wagneri, and were rarely infested with prairie dog fleas, Oropsylla hirsuta. Likelihood of flea infestation increased with average monthly temperature, and flea loads were higher in reproductive animals. These results suggest that the deer mouse is an unlikely maintenance host of plague in this region.

  2. Guidelines for managing lesser prairie-chicken populations and their habitats

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hagen, C.A.; Jamison, B.E.; Giesen, K.M.; Riley, T.Z.

    2004-01-01

    Lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) populations have declined by >90% since the 1800s. These declines have concerned both biologists and private conservation groups and led to a petition to list the lesser prairie-chicken as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Most of the land in the current range of the lesser prairie-chicken is privately owned, and declines have been primarily attributed to anthropogenic factors. Conversion of native rangeland to cropland and excessive grazing have been implicated as leading causes in the species' decline. Periodic drought probably has exacerbated these problems. Little research on habitat requirements was conducted prior to 1970. Despite recent advances in the knowledge of lesser prairie-chicken ecology, no comprehensive guidelines for management of the species have been published. In these guidelines, we provide a synopsis of our current knowledge of lesser prairie-chicken habitat requirements and suggest management strategies to monitor, maintain, and enhance lesser prairie-chicken populations.

  3. Galapagos Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This true-color image of the Galapagos Islands was acquired on March 12, 2002, by the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), flying aboard NASA's Terra satellite. The Galapagos Islands, which are part of Ecuador, sit in the Pacific Ocean about 1000 km (620 miles) west of South America. As the three craters on the largest island (Isabela Island) suggest, the archipelago was created by volcanic eruptions, which took place millions of years ago. Unlike most remote islands in the Pacific, the Galapagos have gone relatively untouched by humans over the past few millennia. As a result, many unique species have continued to thrive on the islands. Over 95 percent of the islands' reptile species and nearly three quarters of its land bird species cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Two of the more well known are the Galapagos giant tortoise and marine iguanas. The unhindered evolutionary development of the islands' species inspired Charles Darwin to begin The Origin of Species eight years after his visit there. To preserve the unique wildlife on the islands, the Ecuadorian government made the entire archipelago a national park in 1959. Each year roughly 60,000 tourists visit these islands to experience what Darwin did over a century and a half ago. Image courtesy Jacques Descloitres, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC

  4. Prairie basin wetlands of the Dakotas: a community profile

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.; Krapu, G.L.; Swanson, G.A.

    1989-01-01

    This description of prairie basin wetlands of the Dakotas is part of a series of community profiles on ecologically important wetlands of national significance. The shallow wetlands of the Dakotas form the bulk of the portion of the Prairie Pothole Region lying within the United States. This region is famous as the producer of at least half of North America's waterfowl and an unknown, but large, proportion of other prairie-dwelling marsh and aquatic birds.The wetlands described here lie in relatively small, shallow basins that vary greatly in their ability to maintain surface water, and in their water chemistry, which varies from fresh to hypersaline. These wetlands occur in a wide variety of hydrological settings, in an area where annual and seasonal precipitation varies greatly in form and amount. Thus the presence of surface water in these wetlands is largely unpredictable. Superimposed on these phenomena are the effects of a variety of land uses, including pasture, cultivation, mechanical forage removal, idle conditions and burning. All those factors greatly affect the plant and animal communities found in these basins.This profile covers lacustrine and palustrine basins with temporarily flooded, seasonally flooded, and semipermanently flooded water regimes. Basins with these water regimes compose about 90% of the basins in the Prairie Pothole Region of the Dakotas. This profile outlines the wetland subsystems, classes and subclasses that occur in these basins, and provides a useful reference to their geologic, climatic, hydrologic, and pedologic setting.Detailed information on the biotic environment of the wetlands dealt with in this profile will be useful to scientists and resource managers. Special recognition is paid to the macrophyte and invertebrate communities, which have dynamic qualities found in few other of the world's wetland ecosystems.The most noteworthy animal inhabitants of these basins are waterfowl, which are a resource of international

  5. AmeriFlux US-IB2 Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory- Batavia (Prairie site)

    DOE Data Explorer

    Matamala, Roser [Argonne National Laboratory

    2016-01-01

    This is the AmeriFlux version of the carbon flux data for the site US-IB2 Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory- Batavia (Prairie site). Site Description - Two eddy correlation systems are installed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory: one on a restored prairie (established October 2004) and one on a corn/soybean rotation agricultural field (established in July 2005). The prairie site had been farmed for more than 100 years, but was converted to prairie in 1989. April annual to bi-annual prescribed burns have taken place from 1994 - 2007.

  6. Tree island pattern formation in the Florida Everglades

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Carr, Joel; D'Odorico, P.; Engel, Victor C.; Redwine, Jed

    2016-01-01

    The Florida Everglades freshwater landscape exhibits a distribution of islands covered by woody vegetation and bordered by marshes and wet prairies. Known as “tree islands”, these ecogeomorphic features can be found in few other low gradient, nutrient limited freshwater wetlands. In the last few decades, however, a large percentage of tree islands have either shrank or disappeared in apparent response to altered water depths and other stressors associated with human impacts on the Everglades. Because the processes determining the formation and spatial organization of tree islands remain poorly understood, it is still unclear what controls the sensitivity of these landscapes to altered conditions. We hypothesize that positive feedbacks between woody plants and soil accretion are crucial to emergence and decline of tree islands. Likewise, positive feedbacks between phosphorus (P) accumulation and trees explain the P enrichment commonly observed in tree island soils. Here, we develop a spatially-explicit model of tree island formation and evolution, which accounts for these positive feedbacks (facilitation) as well as for long range competition and fire dynamics. It is found that tree island patterns form within a range of parameter values consistent with field data. Simulated impacts of reduced water levels, increased intensity of drought, and increased frequency of dry season/soil consuming fires on these feedback mechanisms result in the decline and disappearance of tree islands on the landscape.

  7. Akpatok Island

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Akpatok Island lies in Ungava Bay in northern Quebec, Canada. Accessible only by air, Akpatok Island rises out of the water as sheer cliffs that soar 500 to 800 feet (150 to 243 m) above the sea surface. The island is an important sanctuary for cliff-nesting seabirds. Numerous ice floes around the island attract walrus and whales, making Akpatok a traditional hunting ground for native Inuit people. This image was acquired by Landsat 7's Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) sensor on January 22, 2001. Image provided by the USGS EROS Data Center Satellite Systems Branch

  8. Influence of radio transmitters on prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vekasy, M.S.; Marzluff, J.M.; Kochert, Michael N.; Lehman, Robert N.; Steenhof, Karen

    1996-01-01

    We examined the effects of backpack radio transmitters on Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) reproduction (percentage of occupied territories producing young and number of nestlings produced) over four years. In addition, we observed falcon aeries during brood-rearing to determine attendance at the nest and in the territory, prey delivery rates, and prey composition. We found no effect of radio tagging on Prairie Falcon productivity (nesting success and brood size) among years, although productivity varied significantly among years. The sex of the falcon tagged did not affect productivity. Radio-tagged members of pairs did not differ significantly from un-tagged members of pairs in territory attendance, nest attendance, prey delivery rates, or caching rates. Nestlings raised by radio-tagged parents attained masses similar to those reared by control parents. During low prey years, radio-tagged males brought a greater proportion of small birds and reptiles, and fewer mammals to the nest area than control males.

  9. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Black-tailed prairie dog

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clippinger, Norman W.

    1989-01-01

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

  10. Tallgrass Prairie as a Source and Sink of Methyl Halides

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Abel, T.; Rhew, R. C.; Mazeas, O.; Atwood, A.; King, A. J.; Ma, L.; Whelan, M.

    2007-12-01

    Temperate grasslands are believed to be a globally significant sink for methyl bromide (CH3Br) and perhaps methyl chloride (CH3Cl), compounds which lead to stratospheric ozone destruction. Fluxes of these compounds were measured at Konza Prairie, a tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas, during June 2006 and August 2007. A stable isotope tracer technique was used to distinguish between simultaneous production and oxidation processes, allowing the first gross flux measurements of CH3Cl and CH3Br from a tallgrass prairie. Observed gross uptake rates of CH3Cl and CH3Br were similar to what we previously observed from the shortgrass steppe in Colorado and annual grasslands in California, but much lower than reported fluxes from a grassland in northeastern North America. A water manipulation experiment was performed both under controlled laboratory conditions, as well as in the field, demonstrating that uptake rates of both CH3Cl and CH3Br were strongly affected by soil moisture. On the production side, new sources of methyl halides were identified in association with certain plant species. Fluxes of these halogenated trace gases were compared to environmental variables, such as air temperature and volumetric water content. Net fluxes of methyl iodide (CH3I), carbon tetrachloride (CCl4), and other halogenated volatile organic compounds (HVOCs), were also measured.

  11. Increased snow facilitates plant invasion in mixedgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Blumenthlal, D; Chimner, R A; Welker, J M; Morgan, J A

    2008-07-01

    Although global change is known to influence plant invasion, little is known about interactions between altered precipitation and invasion. In the North American mixedgrass prairie, invasive species are often abundant in wet and nitrogen (N)-rich areas, suggesting that predicted changes in precipitation and N deposition could exacerbate invasion. Here, this possibility was tested by seeding six invasive species into experimental plots of mixedgrass prairie treated with a factorial combination of increased snow, summer irrigation, and N addition. Without added snow, seeded invasive species were rarely observed. Snow addition increased average above-ground biomass of Centaurea diffusa from 0.026 to 66 g m(-2), of Gypsophila paniculata from 0.1 to 7.3 g m(-2), and of Linaria dalmatica from 5 to 101 g m(-2). Given added snow, summer irrigation increased the density of G. paniculata, and N addition increased the density and biomass of L. dalmatica. Plant density responses mirrored those of plant biomass, indicating that increases in biomass resulted, in part, from increases in recruitment. In contrast to seeded invasive species, resident species did not respond to snow addition. These results suggest that increases in snowfall or variability of snowfall may exacerbate forb invasion in the mixedgrass prairie.

  12. Chemical transport from paired agricultural and restored prairie watersheds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schilling, K.E.

    2002-01-01

    A five-year record of streamflow and chemical sampling data was evaluated to assess the effects of large-scale prairie restoration on transport of NO3-N, Cl, and SO4 loads from paired 5000-ha watersheds located in Jasper County, Iowa. Water quality conditions monitored during land use conversion from row crop agriculture to native prairie in the Walnut Creek watershed were compared with a highly agricultural control watershed (Squaw Creek). Combining hydrograph separation with a load estimation program, baseflow and stormflow loads of NO3-N, Cl, and SO4 were estimated at upstream and downstream sites on Walnut Creek and a downstream site on Squaw Creek. Chemical export in both watersheds was found to occur primarily with baseflow, with baseflow transport greatest during the late summer and fall. Lower Walnut Creek watershed, which contained the restored prairie areas, exported less NO3-N and Cl compared with upper Walnut Creek and Squaw Creek watersheds. Average flow-weighted concentrations of NO3-N exceeded 10 mg/L in upper Walnut Creek and Squaw Creek, but were estimated to be 6.6 mg/L in lower Walnut Creek. Study results demonstrate the utility of partitioning loads into baseflow and stormflow components to identify sources of pollutant loading to streams.

  13. Lead exposure in Canada geese of the Eastern Prairie Population

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    DeStefano, S.; Brand, C.J.; Rusch, D.H.; Finley, Daniel L.; Gillespie, M.M.

    1991-01-01

    We monitored lead exposure in Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese during summer-winter, 1986-1987 and 1987-1988 at 5 areas. Blood lead concentrations in geese trapped during summer at Cape Churchill Manitoba were below levels indicative of recent lead exposure (0.18 ppm). Geese exposed to lead (≥0.18 ppm blood lead) increased to 7.6% at Oak Hammock Wildlife Management Area (WMA), southern Manitoba, where lead shot was still in use, and to 10.0% at Roseau River WMA, northern Minnesota, when fall-staging geese were close to a source of lead shot in Manitoba. Proportion of birds exposed to lead dropped to <2% at Lac Qui Parle WMA, Minnesota, a steel shot zone since 1980. On the wintering grounds at Swan Lake National Wildlife Refuge in Missouri, 4.9% of all geese showed exposure to lead before the hunting season. Lead exposure rose to 10.0% after hunting ended and then decreased to 5.2% in late winter. Incidence of lead shot in gizzards and concentrations of lead in livers supported blood assay data. Soil samples indicated that lead shot continues to be available to geese at Swan Lake, even though the area was established as a non-toxic shot zone in 1978. Steel shot zones have reduced lead exposure in the Eastern Prairie Population, but lead shot persists in the environment and continues to account for lead exposure and mortality in Eastern Prairie Population Canada geese.

  14. Does habitat fragmentation influence nest predation in the shortgrass prairie?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Howard, M.N.; Skagen, S.K.; Kennedy, P.L.

    2001-01-01

    We examined the effects of habitat fragmentation and vegetation structure of shortgrass prairie and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands on predation rates of artificial and natural nests in northeastern Colorado. The CRP provides federal payments to landowners to take highly erodible cropland out of agricultural production. In our study area, CRP lands have been reseeded primarily with non-native grasses, and this vegetation is taller than native shortgrass prairie. We measured three indices of habitat fragmentation (patch size, degree of matrix fragmentation, and distance from edge), none of which influenced mortality rates of artificial or natural nests. Vegetation structure did influence predation rates of artificial nests; daily mortality decreased significantly with increasing vegetation height. Vegetation structure did not influence predation rates of natural nests. CRP lands and shortgrass sites did not differ with respect to mortality rates of artificial nests. Our study area is only moderately fragmented; 62% of the study area is occupied by native grassland. We conclude that the extent of habitat fragmentation in our study area does not result in increased predation in remaining patches of shortgrass prairie habitat.

  15. Seroprevalence of Toxoplasma gondii in mesocarnivores of the Canadian prairies.

    PubMed

    Hwang, Y T; Pitt, J A; Quirk, T W; Dubey, J P

    2007-12-01

    The protozoon Toxoplasma gondii has a worldwide distribution and affects many species of warm-blooded animals. In the Canadian prairies, mesocarnivores such as striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) have experienced an increase in density and distribution, and they are in close contact with human dwellings. However, there has been no systematic study on the seroprevalence of T. gondii in these mesocarnivore populations. The objectives of the current project were to determine the serum antibody prevalence of T. gondii in Canadian prairie mesocarnivores and to study the relationship between antibody prevalence and species, sex, age, location, and year of collection. Antibodies to T. gondii were found in 5 of 24 (20.8%) skunks from Saskatchewan trapped in 1999 and 5 of 40 (12.5%) in 2000. Seroprevalences for T. gondii in raccoons and skunks trapped in Manitoba were 2 of 10 (20%) raccoons trapped in 2002, 7 of 44 (15.9%) trapped in 2003, and 16 of 37 (43.2%) trapped in 2004; and in 13 of 99 (13.1%) skunks trapped in 2003, 29 of 131 (22.1%) trapped in 2004, 53 of 165 (32.1%) trapped in 2005, and 30 of 51 (58.8%) trapped in 2006. Age, location, and year, but not the host species, were important variables in the determining the seroprevalence of T. gondii in skunks and raccoons. Results confirm that T. gondii is endemic in the skunk and raccoon populations in the Canadian prairies.

  16. Water resources of Camas Prairie, south-central Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Young, H.W.

    1978-01-01

    Ground-water pumpage in Camas Prairie, Idaho, for irrigation and municipal supplies totaled nearly 9,500 acre-feet in 1977. Declines of pressure head in the artesian aquifer have ranged from 3 to 12 feet since 1974 when increased ground-water pumping began. A comparison of water-level measurements made in September 1957 and September 1977 shows declines of more than 30 feet in places in the artesian aquifer. Camas Prairie aquifers are recharged by percolation from streams and by precipitation on the valley floor. Estimated mean annual recharge to the artesian aquifer is 37,000 acre-feet. Vertical recharge from the artesian aquifer to the overlying water-table aquifer is estimated to be 20,000 acre-feet annually. Declines in artesian pressure caused by increased irrigation pumping will result in a reduction of recharge from the artesian aquifer to the water-table aquifer. Yields from irrigation wells in the prairie ranged from 400 to slightly more than 2,000 gallons per minute. Flows in Camas Creek in the 1977 drought year averaged 9,400 acre-feet, compared with 138,000 acre-feet in a normal year. Surface and ground waters sampled in the basin were either a sodium or calcium bicarbonate type water. Dissolved-solids concentrations ranged from 61 to 284 milligrams per liter. (Woodard-USGS)

  17. Visual counts as an index of White-Tailed Prairie Dog density

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Menkens, George E.; Biggins, Dean E.; Anderson, Stanley H.

    1990-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are depended on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for food and shelter and were historically restricted to prairie dog towns (Anderson et al. 1986). Because ferrets and prairie dogs are closely associated, successful ferret management and conservation depends on successful prairie dog management. A critical component of any management program for ferrets will be monitoring prairie dog population dynamics on towns containing ferrets or on towns proposed as ferret reintroduction sites. Three techniques for estimating prairie dog population size and density are counts of plugged and reopened burrows (Tietjen and Matschke 1982), mark-recapture (Otis et al. 1978; Seber 1982, 1986; Menkens and Anderson 1989), and visual counts (Fagerstone and Biggins 1986, Knowles 1986). The technique of plugging burrows and counting the number reopened by prairie dogs is too time and labor intensive for population evaluation on a large number of towns or over large areas. Total burrow counts are not correlated with white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) densities and thus cannot be used for populated evaluation (Menkens et al. 1988). Mark-recapture requires trapping that is expensive and time and labor intensive. Monitoring a large number of prairie dog populations using mark-recapture would be difficult. Alternatively a large number of populations could be monitored in short periods of time using the visual count technique (Fagerstone and Biggins 1986, Knowles 1986). However, the accuracy of visual counts has only been evaluated in a few locations. Thus, it is not known whether the relationship between counts and prairie dog density is consistent throughout the prairie dog's range. Our objective was to evaluate the potential of using visual counts as a rapid means of estimating white-tailed prairie dog density in prairie dog towns throughout Wyoming. We studied 18 white-tailed prairie dog towns in 4 white-tailed prairie dog complexes in Wyoming near

  18. Duration of plague (Yersinia pestis) outbreaks in black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies of northern Colorado.

    PubMed

    St Romain, Krista; Tripp, Daniel W; Salkeld, Daniel J; Antolin, Michael F

    2013-09-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, triggers die-offs in colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), but the time-frame of plague activity is not well understood. We document plague activity in fleas from prairie dogs and their burrows on three prairie dog colonies that suffered die-offs. We demonstrate that Y. pestis transmission occurs over periods from several months to over a year in prairie dog populations before observed die-offs.

  19. The impact of the accident at the Three Mile Island on the behavior and well-being of nuclear workers; Part I: perceptions and evaluations, behavioral responses, and work-related attitudes and feelings.

    PubMed Central

    Kasl, S V; Chisholm, R F; Eskenazi, B

    1981-01-01

    In order to assess the impact of the accident at the Three Mile Island (TMI), telephone interviews were conducted six months later with 324 nuclear workers assigned to TMI and 298 workers assigned to a comparison plant at Peach Bottom (PB). Examination of PB-TMI differences, stratified by supervisory status, revealed the following: Part I: TMI workers reported greater exposure to radiation at the time of the accident and felt that their health had been thereby endangered. TMI workers experienced more uncertainty and conflict at the time of the accident. Coping responses such as seeing a doctor, taking drugs, and increasing alcohol consumption were quite infrequent. Leaving the area was more common; however, over 40 per cent of TMI workers wished to leave but did not do so because of work obligations. TMI workers reported much lower job satisfaction and much greater uncertainty about their job future. PMID:7212135

  20. Long-term decrease of atmospheric test {sup 137}Cs in the soil-prairie plant-milk pathway in southern Chile

    SciTech Connect

    Schuller, P. Ellies, A.; Handl, J.

    1998-07-01

    The time dependency of nuclear test {sup 137}Cs in soil, prairie plants, and milk was observed on pastures of seven dairy farms in the 10th Region, Chile, from 1982 to 1997, without any appreciable deposition of radioactive fallout after 1983. Whereas the {sup 137}Cs concentration in the soil decreased at a rate close to that of the radionuclide`s physical decay during the whole observation period, the rate of decrease of the {sup 137}Cs concentration in the prairie plants and in the milk, having been very rapid between 1982--1990, became slower between 1991--1997. The effective half-lives of the concentration in plants were found to be 5.6 y and 12 y during the first and second observation periods, respectively. Similar half-lives of 5.5 y and 13 y were found for the concentration decline in milk during each period. These data clearly demonstrate a reduction in the long-term decrease of the {sup 137}Cs plant uptake, and consequently in the decrease of the {sup 137}Cs concentration in milk, resulting from a decline of {sup 137}Cs availability for prairie plants in the Hapludand soils over the whole 15-y observation period.

  1. Island Hopping

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Bennett, Gayle

    2009-01-01

    At some institutions, it may feel as though faculty live on one island and advancement staff on another. The islands form part of an archipelago, and they exchange ambassadors and send emissaries occasionally, but interactions are limited. It may even seem as though the two groups speak different languages, deal in different currencies, and abide…

  2. In the Shadow of Three Mile Island.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Blair-Clough, Ida; Wheeler, Brenda

    1979-01-01

    Describes how teachers turned the reality of the nuclear reactor incident at Three Mile Island into a learning experience for children by recreating the sequence of events through creative dramatics. (CM)

  3. A Chemistry Lesson at Three Mile Island.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mammano, Nicholas J.

    1980-01-01

    Details the procedures used in utilizing the hydrogen bubble incident at Three Mile Island to relate these basic chemical principles to nuclear chemistry: gas laws, Le Chatelier's principle and equilibrium, and stoichiometry. (CS)

  4. COMPARISON OF THE POPULATIONS OF COMMON WOOD-NYMPH BUTTERFLIES IN BURNED PRAIRIE, UNBURNED PRAIRIE AND OLD FIELD GRASSES

    SciTech Connect

    Hahn, M.; Walton, R.

    2007-01-01

    Common wood-nymph butterfl ies are found throughout the United States and Canada. However, not much is known about how they overwinter or their preferences for particular grasses and habitats. In this study, the impact of prairie management plans on the abundance of the wood-nymph population was assessed, as well as the preference of these butterfl ies for areas with native or non-native grasses. The abundance of common wood-nymph butterfl ies was determined using Pollard walks; more common wood-nymph butterfl ies were found in the European grasses than were found in the burned and unburned prairie sites. The majority of the vegetation at each of the three sites was identifi ed and documented. Using a 1 X 3 ANOVA analysis, it was determined there were signifi cantly more butterfl ies in the European grasses than in the burned and unburned prairie sites (p < 0.0005). There was no signifi cant difference between the burned and unburned treatments of the prairie on the common wood-nymph population. A multiple variable linear regression model described the effect of temperature and wind speed on the number of observed common wood-nymph butterfl ies per hour (p = 0.026). These preliminary results need to be supplemented with future studies. Quadrat analysis of the vegetation from all three sites should be done to search for a correlation between common wood-nymph butterfl y abundance per hour and the specifi c types or quantity of vegetation at each site. The effect of vegetation height and density on the observer’s visual fi eld should also be assessed.

  5. Radionuclides in small mammals of the Saskatchewan prairie, including implications for the boreal forest and Arctic tundra

    SciTech Connect

    Thomas, P.A.

    1995-12-31

    The focus of the study reported was to collect and examine baseline data on radionuclides in small prairie mammal food chains and to assess the feasibility of using small mammals as radionuclide monitors in terrestrial ecosystems, in anticipation of possible future nuclear developments in northern Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. The study report begins with a literature review that summarizes existing data on radionuclides in small mammals, their food, the ambient environment in Canadian terrestrial ecosystems, principles of terrestrial radioecology, soil and vegetation studies, and food chain studies. It then describes a field study conducted to investigate small mammal food chains at three southwestern Saskatchewan prairie sites. Activities included collection and analysis of water, soil, grains, and foliage samples; trapping of small mammals such as mice and voles, and analysis of gastrointestinal tract samples; and determination of food chain transfer of selected radionuclides from soil to plants and to small mammals. Recommendations are made for future analyses and monitoring of small mammals. Appendices include information on radiochemical methods, soil/vegetation studies and small mammal studies conducted at northern Saskatchewan mine sites, and analyses of variance.

  6. Alternative energy technologies for the Caribbean islands

    SciTech Connect

    Pytlinski, J.T. )

    1992-01-01

    All islands in the Caribbean except Puerto Rico can be classified as developing islands. Of these islands, all except Trinidad and Tobago are oil importers. Uncertainties concerning uninterrupted oil supply and increasing oil prices causes economic, social and political instability and jeopardizes further development of these islands. The paper discusses the energy situation of the Caribbean islands and presents alternative energy options. Several alternative energy projects financed by local, federal and international organizations are presented. Present and future uses of alternative energy technologies are described in different islands. Barrier which handicap developing and implementing alternative energy sources in the Caribbean are discussed. The potential and possible applications of alternative energy technologies such as: solar-thermal energy, photovoltaics, wind energy, ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), ocean currents and tides energy, biomass, peat energy, municipal solid wastes, bioconversion, hydropower, geothermal energy, nuclear energy and energy conservation are discussed in detail as means to alleviate the energy situation in the Caribbean islands.

  7. 77 FR 22569 - Interconnection of the Grande Prairie Wind Farm, Holt County, NE

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-04-16

    ... Prairie Wind, LLC (Grande Prairie Wind), a majority- owned subsidiary of Midwest Wind Energy, LLC, has applied to Western to interconnect their proposed wind energy generation project to Western's power... interconnect their proposed wind energy generation Project to Western's Fort Thompson- Grand...

  8. Prairie Dog Decline Reduces the Supply of Ecosystem Services and Leads to Desertification of Semiarid Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Estévez, Lourdes; Balvanera, Patricia; Pacheco, Jesús; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well – being through the loss of ecosystem services. PMID:24130691

  9. A long-term study of burning effects on a plant pathogen in tallgrass prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Tallgrass prairie species have evolved with regular exposure to fire. Yet burning has been used as a management tool for reducing plant disease in agricultural systems, posing the question of how plant pathogens of tallgrass prairie will be affected by burning. We studied the rust fungus Puccinia ...

  10. Notice of release of: 1)Majestic germplasm and 2) Spectrum germplasm western prairie clover

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Two natural-track selected germplasms of western prairie clover [Dalea ornata (Douglas ex Hook.) Eaton & J. Wright] [Fabaceae] have been released for use in revegetation of semiarid rangelands in the western USA. Western prairie clover is a perennial leguminous forb that occurs naturally in Idaho, ...

  11. Transition of soil microbial communities in a tallgrass prairie restoration chronosequence

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Extensive agriculture since the 1830’s has led to a 82-99% decline of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem in North America. Restoration of these prairies is of great interest. Objectives were to: (1) investigate the change in soil microbial communities during grassland restoration and (2) study the in...

  12. Influence of shrub encroachment on the soil microbial community composition of remnant hill prairies.

    PubMed

    Yannarell, Anthony C; Menning, Sarah E; Beck, Alyssa M

    2014-05-01

    Hill prairies are remnant grasslands perched on the bluffs of major river valleys, and because their steep slopes make them unsuitable for traditional row crop agriculture, they have some of the lowest levels of anthropogenic disturbance of any prairie ecosystems in the Midwestern USA. However, many decades of fire suppression have allowed for shrub encroachment from the surrounding forests. While shrub encroachment of grasslands can modify soil respiration rates and nutrient storage, it is not known whether shrubs also alter the community composition of soil microorganisms. We conducted transect sampling of nine different hill prairie remnants showing varying degrees of shrub encroachment, and we used DNA-based community profiling (automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis) to characterize the composition of bacterial and fungal communities in the open prairie habitat, the shrub-encroached border, and the surrounding forest. While both bacterial and fungal communities showed statistically significant variation across these habitats, their predominant patterns were different. Bacterial communities of forest soils were distinct from those of the open prairie and the shrub-encroached areas, while fungal communities of the open prairie were distinct from those of the forest and the shrub-encroached border. Shrub encroachment significantly altered the community composition of soil fungal communities. Furthermore, fungal communities of heavily encroached prairie remnants more closely resembled those of the surrounding forest than those of lightly encroached prairies. Thus, shrub encroachment can cause soil fungi to shift from a "grassland" community to a "woody" community, with potential consequences for soil processes and plant-microbe interactions.

  13. A Single Spark Can Start a Prairie Fire: Teaching toward Transformation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Ayers, William

    2006-01-01

    The old saying, that a single spark can start a prairie fire, appears in many forms and in different cultures carrying a range of shifting implications and meanings. In this article, William Ayers writes that in some instances, prairie fires are not always catastrophic. They are naturally occurring events necessary and renewing; removing the thick…

  14. Sylvatic plague in a Canadian black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    PubMed

    Antonation, Kym S; Shury, Todd K; Bollinger, Trent K; Olson, Adam; Mabon, Philip; Van Domselaar, Gary; Corbett, Cindi R

    2014-07-01

    In 2010, a black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) was found dead in Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada. Postmortem gross and histologic findings indicated bacterial septicemia, likely due to Yersinia pestis, which was confirmed by molecular analysis. This is the first report of Y. pestis in the prairie dog population within Canada.

  15. Physiologic reference ranges for captive black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    PubMed

    Keckler, M Shannon; Gallardo-Romero, Nadia F; Langham, Gregory L; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L; Carroll, Darin S

    2010-05-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a member of the order Rodentia and the family Sciuridae. Ecologically, prairie dogs are a keystone species in prairie ecology. This species is used as an animal model for human gallbladder disease and diseases caused by infection with Clostridium difficile, Yersinia pestis, Francisella tularensis, and most recently, Orthopoxvirus. Despite increasing numbers of prairie dogs used in research and kept as pets, few data are available on their baseline physiology in animal facility housing conditions. To establish baseline physiologic reference ranges, we designed a study using 18 wild-caught black-tailed prairie dogs. Telemetry data were analyzed to establish circadian rhythms for activity and temperature. In addition, hematologic and serum chemistry analyses were performed. Baseline measurements were used to establish the mean for each animal, which then were compiled and analyzed to determine the reference ranges. Here we present physiologic data on serum chemistry and hematology profiles, as well as weight, core body temperature, and daily activity patterns for black-tailed prairie dogs. These results reflect the use of multiple measurements from species- and age-matched prairie dogs and likely will be useful to ecologists, scientists interested in using this animal model in research, and veterinarians caring for pet prairie dogs.

  16. 75 FR 61414 - Basin Electric Power Cooperative: South Dakota PrairieWinds Project

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-05

    ... Rural Utilities Service Basin Electric Power Cooperative: South Dakota PrairieWinds Project AGENCY...) for the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed South Dakota PrairieWind Project...-megawatt wind-powered generation facility. ADDRESSES: To obtain copies of the ROD, or for...

  17. 77 FR 75119 - Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-19

    ... Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental... environmental impact statement. SUMMARY: In June of 2003, the Dakota Prairie Grasslands Record of Decision for Oil and Gas Leasing on the Little Missouri and Cedar River National Grasslands was signed....

  18. Rural Schools on the Prairie Turn to Land for Learning and Inspiration. Rural Trust Featured Project.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Null, Elizabeth Higgins

    America's prairie land is under economic and ecological stress. Acting on the belief that rural schools can help revitalize their communities when schools' activities are related to the places where they are located, schools in Arizona, Kansas, and Nebraska are integrating prairie studies across the K-12 curricula. With the help of area…

  19. Eddy covariance measurements of methane fluxes over grazed native and improved prairies in Oklahoma

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although several studies have reported eddy covariance (EC) measurements at several tallgrass prairie sites to investigate the dynamics of carbon and water vapor fluxes, the EC measurements of methane (CH4) fluxes over grazed tallgrass prairie sites are lacking. CH4 fluxes were measured during the 2...

  20. 75 FR 7470 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-19

    ... Pine Prairie to: (1) Install six 5,750 hp electric motor drive compressor units instead of the four 4,700 hp natural gas-fueled units previously authorized; (2) construct and operate a new electrical substation at the Pine Prairie Gas Handling Facility and approximately 1,200 feet of aerial electric...

  1. A possible function of the preference for hind nipples in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    McGuire, B

    2001-12-01

    Prairie vole pups (Microtus ochrogaster) in laboratory cages prefer hind nipples. In this research, the author observed 8 litters of prairie voles in a seminatural environment to confirm the preference for hind nipples and to determine if young on hind nipples were groomed more frequently or dislodged less frequently than were young on other nipples. Prairie vole pups in seminatural environments preferred hind nipples; this preference was illustrated by the progressive use of more anterior nipples only as litter size increased and by the reluctance of pups to voluntarily release their hold on hind nipples. Maternal grooming of young did not vary with suckling location. Prairie vole young on hind nipples, however, were dislodged less frequently than were young on other nipples. Less frequent dislodgment from hind nipples during maternal movements may play a role in the preference for hind nipples in prairie voles.

  2. Kiritimati, Kiribati (Christmas Island)

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    Pronounced 'Ki-ris-mas,' Kiritimati Island has a large infilled lagoon that gives it the largest land area (125 square miles, 321 square km) of any atoll in the world. Captain Cook named the atoll Christmas Island when he arrived on Christmas Eve in 1777. Used for nuclear testing in the 1950s and 1960s, the island is now valued for its marine and wildlife resources. It is particularly important as a seabird nesting site-with an estimated 6 million birds using or breeding on the island, including several million Sooty Terns. Rainfall on Kiritimati is linked to El Nino patterns, with long droughts experienced between the wetter El Nino years. This image is based on a mosaic of four digital photographs taken on 16 January 2002 from the Space Station Alpha as part of the Crew Earth Observations Project. The underlying data have 10 meter spatial resolution. Coral reefs are one of the areas selected as a scientific theme for this project (see also the recent Earth Observatory article, Mapping the Decline of Coral Reefs. The mosaic, based on images ISS004-ESC-6249 to 6252, was provided by the Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory at Johnson Space Center. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA-JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth.

  3. Citizen knowledge of and attitudes toward black-tailed prairie dogs: completion report

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lamb, B.L.; Cline, Kurt; Brinson, Ayeisha; Sexton, N.R.; Ponds, P.D.

    2001-01-01

    In the late summer of 2000, we canvassed a random sample of residents in the 11-sate short grass prairie region of the United States. We asked about peoplea??s attitude toward and knowledge of black-tailed prairie dogs and their management. The survey received 1,933 useable responses with a response rate of 56.4% (margin of error 2.2%). We developed a questionnaire (OMB Control Number: 1028-0073; see Appendix B) to answer the following questions: * What is the level of citizen knowledge regarding black-tailed prairie dogs? * What are citizensa?? attitudes and preferences regarding black-tailed prairie dogs and the environment in general? * What are the factors that explain difference in attitudes and knowledge about prairie dogs? * What are the factors that explain citizen participation in these types of issues? * What are the important differences between rural and urban citizens regarding their political participation and their knowledge and attitude about prairie dogs? In general, we found that citizens do not have a high regard for black-tailed prairie dogs. Citizens generally have a positive orientation towards the environment and favor a balanced or somewhat environmental approach on questions--like prairie dog management--that involve environmental protection and economic considerations. People having direct experience with prairie dogs are less inclined to view them as beneficial to society than are those who infrequently see or come in contact with the animals. When asked about prairie dogs specifically, most citizens did not believe the question of what to do about these animals was a highly important environmental issue.

  4. PRECIPITATION, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND PARASITISM OF PRAIRIE DOGS BY FLEAS THAT TRANSMIT PLAGUE.

    PubMed

    Eads, David; Hoogland, John

    2017-03-30

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that can reduce the fitness of vertebrate hosts. Laboratory populations of fleas decline under dry conditions, implying that populations of fleas will also decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. If precipitation and hence vegetative production are reduced, however, then herbivorous hosts might suffer declines in body condition and have weakened defenses against fleas, so that fleas will increase in abundance. We tested these competing hypotheses using information from 23 yr of research on 3 species of colonial prairie dogs in western USA: Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni, 1989-1994), Utah prairie dogs (C. parvidens, 1996-2005), and white-tailed prairie dogs (C. leucurus, 2006-2012). For all 3 species, flea-counts per individual varied inversely with the number of days in the prior growing season with >10 mm of precipitation, an index of the number of precipitation events that might have caused a substantial, prolonged increase in soil moisture and vegetative production. Flea-counts per Utah prairie dog also varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the prior growing season. Further, flea-counts per Gunnison's and white-tailed prairie dog varied inversely with cumulative precipitation of the just-completed January and February. These results complement research on black-tailed prairie dogs (C. ludovicianus) and might have important ramifications for plague, a bacterial disease, transmitted by fleas, that devastates populations of prairie dogs. In particular, our results might help to explain why, at some colonies, epizootics of plague, which can kill >95% of prairie dogs, are more likely to occur during or shortly after periods of reduced precipitation. Climate change is projected to increase the frequency of droughts in the grasslands of western North America. If so, then climate change might affect the occurrence of plague epizootics among prairie dogs and other

  5. 1989 IEEE Annual Conference on Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects, 26th, Marco Island, FL, July 25-29, 1989, Proceedings. Part 1

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ochoa, Agustin, Jr. (Editor)

    1989-01-01

    Various papers on nuclear science are presented. The general topics addressed include: basic mechanics of radiation effects, dosimetry and energy-dependent effects, hardness assurance and testing techniques, spacecraft charging and space radiation effects, EMP/SGEMP/IEMP phenomena, device radiation effects and hardening, radiation effects on isolation technologies, IC radiation effects and hardening, and single-event phenomena.

  6. Treatment of black-tailed prairie dog burrows with deltamethrin to control fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) and plague.

    PubMed

    Seery, David B; Biggins, Dean E; Montenieri, John A; Enscore, Russell E; Tanda, Dale T; Gage, Kenneth L

    2003-09-01

    Burrows within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge, Colorado, were dusted with deltamethrin insecticide to reduce flea (Insecta: Siphonaptera) abundance. Flea populations were monitored pre- and posttreatment by combing prairie dogs and collecting fleas from burrows. A single application of deltamethrin significantly reduced populations of the plague vector Oropsylla hirsuta, and other flea species on prairie dogs and in prairie dog burrows for at least 84 d. A plague epizootic on the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge caused high mortality of prairie dogs on some untreated colonies, but did not appear to affect nearby colonies dusted with deltamethrin.

  7. Devon Island

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-17

    article title:  Mars Researchers Rendezvous on Remote Arctic Island   ... each summer since 1999, researchers from NASA's Haughton-Mars Project and the Mars Society reside at this "polar desert" location to study the geologic and ...

  8. Anatahan Island

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ... deepest ocean trench. Anatahan had no known historical eruptions until May 2003. The evacuation of the island's residents in 1990 was ... earthquake swarm that suggested the possibility of impending volcanic activity. The Micronesian Megapode is an endangered species of ...

  9. Island of Okinawa, Japan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1982-01-01

    The island of Okinawa, (26.5N, 128.0E) largest of the Ryukyu Islands, Japan. The Ryukyu island group lies south of the main home islands of Japan in an arc towards the Chinese island Republic of Taiwan. As is typical throughout the Japanese home islands, intense urban development can be observed all over the island in this near vertical view.

  10. 77 FR 46561 - Amendments to Adjudicatory Process Rules and Related Requirements

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-03

    ... Commission recently reinforced this point in Northern States Power Co. (Prairie Island Nuclear Generating...., Dominion Nuclear Conn., Inc. (Millstone Nuclear Power Station, Units 2 and 3), CLI-05- 24, 62 NRC 551,...

  11. Utilization of satellite data for inventorying prairie ponds and lakes

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

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

    1976-01-01

    ERTS-1 data were used in mapping open surface water features in the glaciated prairies. Emphasis was placed on the recognition of these features based upon water's uniquely low radiance in a single near-infrared waveband. On the basis of these results, thematic maps and statistics relating to open surface water were obtained. In a related effort, the added information content of multiple spectral wavebands was used for discriminating surface water at a level of detail finer than the virtual resolution of the data. The basic theory of this technique and some preliminary results are described.

  12. Extracellular enzyme activity and biogeochemical cycling in restored prairies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lynch, L.; Hernandez, D.; Schade, J. D.

    2011-12-01

    Winter microbial activity in mid-latitude prairie ecosystems is thermally sensitive and significantly influenced by snow depth. Snow insulates the soil column facilitating microbial processing of complex organic substrates. Previous studies in forests and tundra ecosystems suggest patterns of substrate utilization and limitation are seasonal; above freezing, soil microbes access fresh litter inputs and sugar exudates from plant roots, while under frozen condition they recycle nutrients incorporated in microbial biomass. In order to liberate nutrients required for carbon degradation, soil microbes invest energy in the production of extracellular enzymes that cleave monomers from polymer bonds. The inverse relationship between relative enzyme abundance and substrate availability makes enzyme assays a useful proxy to assess changes in resources over time. Our objective in this study was to assess patterns in microbial biomass, nutrient availability, and extracellular enzyme activity in four snow exclosure sites over a seven-month period. Over the past three years, we have maintained a snow removal experiment on two restored prairies in central Minnesota. In each prairie, snow was continuously removed annually from two 4 x 4 m plots by shoveling after each snow event. Extractable C, N and P, and microbial C, N and P in soil samples were measured in samples collected from these snow removal plots, as well as in adjacent unmanipulated prairie control plots. Pools of C, N, and P were estimated using standard extraction protocols, and microbial pools were estimated using chloroform fumigation direct extraction (CFDE). We conducted fluorometric extracellular enzyme assays (EEA) to assess how the degradation potential of cellulose (cellobiohydrolase, CBH), protein (leucine aminopeptidase, LAP), and phosphate esters (phosphatase, PHOS) changed seasonally. Microbial C and N declined between October and June, while microbial P declined during the fall and winter, but increased

  13. Enumeration of prairie wetlands with Landsat and aircraft data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gilmer, D. S.; Work, E. A., Jr.; Colwell, J. E.; Rebel, D. L.

    1980-01-01

    A method is described for estimating wetland abundance in the 700,000 sq km prairie pothole region of North America. A double sampling procedure is described, incorporating the use of high resolution aircraft imagery, capable of delineating ponds as small as 5 m across, as a means of adjusting the count of surface water features derived from the low-resolution Landsat census over a 38,876 sq km area in east-central North Dakota. The regression expansion formula used to estimate the actual number of total wetlands is also presented.

  14. Enumeration of prairie wetlands with Landsat and aircraft data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gilmer, D.S.; Work, E.A.; Colwell, J.E.; Rebel, D.L.

    1980-01-01

    A method is described for making an estimate of wetland numbers in the glaciated prairie region. A double-phase sampling approach is used which consists of first making a total census of wetlands using Landsat data, and then adjusting the Landsat results on the basis of samples derived from high resolution aircraft data. The method is relatively simple to use and has general applicability for estimating habitat features not consistently detectable or resolvable on Landsat imagery because their size range includes features less than the resolution capability of the satellite's sensor.

  15. Prairie restoration at the National Wildlife Health Laboratory (Wisconsin)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Windingstad, R.M.

    1986-01-01

    The National Wildlife Health Laboratory (NWHL), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Madison are in the process of a 7-ha prairie restoration project on their lands to create a microcosmic representation of presettlement Wisconsin. Visiting scientists, personnel from local schools and universities, and neighboring public will eventually be able to use this land for its educational and esthetic value while becoming more familiar with the goals and objectives of the Fish and Wildlife Service and the NWHL. Self-guiding nature trails and a kiosk will facilitate public use after the project is completed.

  16. Season and application rates affect vaccine bait consumption by prairie dogs in Colorado and Utah, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Streich, Sean P.; Brown, Nathanael L.; Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Miller, Michael W.

    2014-01-01

    Plague, a zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, causes high rates of mortality in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.). An oral vaccine against plague has been developed for prairie dogs along with a palatable bait to deliver vaccine and a biomarker to track bait consumption. We conducted field trials between September 2009 and September 2012 to develop recommendations for bait distribution to deliver plague vaccine to prairie dogs. The objectives were to evaluate the use of the biomarker, rhodamine B, in field settings to compare bait distribution strategies, to compare uptake of baits distributed at different densities, to assess seasonal effects on bait uptake, and to measure bait uptake by nontarget small mammal species. Rhodamine B effectively marked prairie dogs' whiskers during these field trials. To compare bait distribution strategies, we applied baits around active burrows or along transects at densities of 32, 65, and 130 baits/ha. Distributing baits at active burrows or by transect did not affect uptake by prairie dogs. Distributing baits at rates of ≥65/ha (or ≥1 bait/active burrow) produced optimal uptake, and bait uptake by prairie dogs in the autumn was superior to uptake in the spring. Six other species of small mammals consumed baits during these trials. All four species of tested prairie dogs readily consumed the baits, demonstrating that vaccine uptake will not be an obstacle to plague control via oral vaccination.

  17. Protecting Black-Footed Ferrets and Prairie Dogs Against Sylvatic Plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Rocke, Tonie E.

    2008-01-01

    Scientists at the USGS National Wildlife Health Center (NWHC), in collaboration with colleagues at other federal agencies and the University of Wisconsin, are developing and testing vaccines that can be used to protect black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs against plague. The black-footed ferret is commonly regarded as the most endangered mammal in North America, and sylvatic plague is a major impediment to its recovery. The three prairie dog species (Gunnison's, black-tailed, and white-tailed prairie dogs), upon which the ferret depends for food and whose burrows they use for shelter, have been drastically reduced from historical levels, resulting in the near extinction of the ferret. All three species are considered 'at risk' and have been petitioned for listing as 'threatened' or 'endangered' by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS). Additionally, the Utah prairie dog is listed as threatened and the Mexican prairie dog is considered endangered in Mexico. Like the black-footed ferret, all five prairie dog species are highly susceptible to plague and regularly experience outbreaks with devastating losses. Controlling plague outbreaks in prairie dogs and ferrets is a vital concern for ongoing recovery programs and conservation efforts for both species.

  18. Influence of conservation programs on amphibians using seasonal wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Balas, Caleb J.; Euliss, Ned H.; Mushnet, David M.

    2012-01-01

    Extensive modification of upland habitats surrounding wetlands to facilitate agricultural production has negatively impacted amphibian communities in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. In attempts to mitigate ecosystem damage associated with extensive landscape alteration, vast tracks of upland croplands have been returned to perennial vegetative cover (i.e., conservation grasslands) under a variety of U.S. Department of Agriculture programs. We evaluated the influence of these conservation grasslands on amphibian occupancy of seasonal wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region. Using automated call surveys, aquatic funnel traps, and visual encounter surveys, we detected eight amphibian species using wetlands within three land-use categories (farmed, conservation grasslands, and native prairie grasslands) during the summers of 2005 and 2006. Seasonal wetlands within farmlands were used less frequently by amphibians than those within conservation and native prairie grasslands, and wetlands within conservation grasslands were used less frequently than those within native prairie grasslands by all species and life-stages we successfully modeled. Our results suggest that, while not occupied as frequently as wetlands within native prairie, wetlands within conservation grasslands provide important habitat for maintaining amphibian biodiversity in the Prairie Pothole Region

  19. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities < 2 trees ∙ ha− 1; however, we could not test if nest survival was affected at greater tree densities as no nests were detected at densities > 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving

  20. Climate change and prairie pothole wetlands: mitigating water-level and hydroperiod effects through upland management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Renton, David A.; Mushet, David M.; DeKeyser, Edward S.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie pothole wetlands offer crucial habitat for North America’s waterfowl populations. The wetlands also support an abundance of other species and provide ecological services valued by society. The hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands is dependent on atmospheric interactions. Therefore, changes to the region’s climate can have profound effects on wetland hydrology. The relevant literature related to climate change and upland management effects on prairie pothole wetland water levels and hydroperiods was reviewed. Climate change is widely expected to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole wetlands, as well as the biota and ecological services that the wetlands support. In general, hydrologic model projections that incorporate future climate change scenarios forecast lower water levels in prairie pothole wetlands and longer periods spent in a dry condition, despite potential increases in precipitation. However, the extreme natural variability in climate and hydrology of prairie pothole wetlands necessitates caution when interpreting model results. Recent changes in weather patterns throughout much of the Prairie Pothole Region have been in increased precipitation that results in increased water inputs to wetlands above losses associated with warmer temperatures. However, observed precipitation increases are within the range of natural climate variability and therefore, may not persist. Identifying management techniques with the potential to affect water inputs to prairie pothole wetlands would provide increased options for managers when dealing with the uncertainties associated with a changing climate. Several grassland management techniques (for example, grazing and burning) have the potential to affect water levels and hydroperiods of prairie pothole by affecting infiltration, evapotranspiration, and snow deposition.

  1. Spatial variation in keystone effects: Small mammal diversity associated with black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Van Nimwegen, R. E.; Ray, C.; Johnson, W.C.; Thiagarajan, B.; Conlin, D.B.; Holmes, B.E.

    2010-01-01

    Species with extensive geographic ranges may interact with different species assemblages at distant locations, with the result that the nature of the interactions may vary spatially. Black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys ludovicianus occur from Canada to Mexico in grasslands of the western Great Plains of North America. Black-tailed prairie dogs alter vegetation and dig extensive burrow systems that alter grassland habitats for plants and other animal species. These alterations of habitat justify the descriptor " ecological engineer," and the resulting changes in species composition have earned them status as a keystone species. We examined the impact of black-tailed prairie dogs on small mammal assemblages by trapping at on- and off-colony locations at eight study areas across the species' geographic range. We posed 2 nested hypotheses: 1) prairie dogs function as a keystone species for other rodent species; and 2) the keystone role varies spatially. Assuming that it does, we asked what are the sources of the variation? Black-tailed prairie dogs consistently functioned as a keystone species in that there were strong statistically significant differences in community composition on versus off prairie dog colonies across the species range in prairie grassland. Small mammal species composition varied along both latitudinal and longitudinal gradients, and species richness varied from 4 to 11. Assemblages closer together were more similar; such correlations approximately doubled when including only on- or off-colony grids. Black-tailed prairie dogs had a significant effect on associated rodent assemblages that varied regionally, dependent upon the composition of the local rodent species pool. Over the range of the black-tailed prairie dog, on-colony rodent richness and evenness were less variable, and species composition was more consistent than off-colony assemblages. ?? 2010 The Authors.

  2. Avoidance behavior by prairie grouse: implications for development of wind energy.

    PubMed

    Pruett, Christin L; Patten, Michael A; Wolfe, Donald H

    2009-10-01

    New wind-energy facilities and their associated power transmission lines and roads are being constructed at a rapid pace in the Great Plains of North America. Nevertheless, little is known about the possible negative effects these anthropogenic features might have on prairie birds, one of the most threatened groups in North America. We examined radiotelemetry tracking locations of Lesser Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) in two locations in Oklahoma to determine whether these birds avoided or changed movement behavior near power lines and paved highways. We tracked 463 Lesser Prairie-Chickens (15,071 tracking locations) and 216 Greater Prairie-Chickens (5,750 locations) for 7 and 3 years, respectively. Individuals of both species avoided power lines by at least 100 m and Lesser Prairie-Chickens avoided one of the two highways by 100 m. Prairie-chickens crossed power lines less often than expected if birds moved randomly (p < 0.05) but did not appear to perceive highways as a movement barrier (p > 0.05). In addition, home ranges of Lesser Prairie-Chickens overlapped the power line less often than would be expected by chance placement of home ranges; this result was supported by kernel-density estimation of home ranges. It is likely that new power lines (and other tall structures such as wind turbines) will lead to avoidance of previously suitable habitat and will serve as barriers to movement. These two factors will likely increase fragmentation in an already fragmented landscape if wind energy development continues in prairie habitats.

  3. Rangewide genetic analysis of Lesser Prairie-Chicken reveals population structure, range expansion, and possible introgression

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oyler-McCance, Sara J.; DeYoung, Randall W; Fike, Jennifer; Hagen, Christian A.; Johnson, Jeff A.; Larsson, Lena C; Patten, Michael

    2016-01-01

    The distribution of the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has been markedly reduced due to loss and fragmentation of habitat. Portions of the historical range, however, have been recolonized and even expanded due to planting of conservation reserve program (CRP) fields that provide favorable vegetation structure for Lesser Prairie-Chickens. The source population(s) feeding the range expansion is unknown, yet has resulted in overlap between Lesser and Greater Prairie-Chickens (T. cupido) increasing the potential for hybridization. Our objectives were to characterize connectivity and genetic diversity among populations, identify source population(s) of recent range expansion, and examine hybridization with the Greater Prairie-Chicken. We analyzed 640 samples from across the range using 13 microsatellites. We identified three to four populations corresponding largely to ecoregions. The Shinnery Oak Prairie and Sand Sagebrush Prairie represented genetically distinct populations (F ST > 0.034 and F ST > 0.023 respectively). The Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic and Mixed Grass ecoregions appeared admixed (F ST = 0.009). Genetic diversity was similar among ecoregions and N e ranged from 142 (95 % CI 99–236) for the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic to 296 (95 % CI 233–396) in the Mixed Grass Prairie. No recent migration was detected among ecoregions, except asymmetric dispersal from both the Mixed Grass Prairie and to a lesser extent the Sand Sagebrush Prairie north into adjacent Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic (m = 0.207, 95 % CI 0.116–0.298, m = 0.097, 95 % CI 0.010–0.183, respectively). Indices investigating potential hybridization in the Shortgrass/CRP Mosaic revealed that six of the 13 individuals with hybrid phenotypes were significantly admixed suggesting hybridization. Continued monitoring of diversity within and among ecoregions is warranted as are actions promoting genetic connectivity and range expansion.

  4. Spatiotemporal distribution of 137Cs in the sea surrounding Japanese Islands in the decades before the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011.

    PubMed

    Watabe, Teruhisa; Oikawa, Shinji; Isoyama, Naohiko; Suzuki, Chiyoshi; Misonoo, Jun; Morizono, Shigemitsu

    2013-10-01

    The historic spatiotemporal distribution of 137Cs in the seawaters and sea-floor sediments adjacent to nuclear power plants in Japan are summarized, using data obtained over a period of time more than 20 years prior to the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in 2011. Relatively uniform distributions of 137Cs were observed both in the surface seawaters (1 m in depth) and in deeper seawaters (10 to 30 m above the seabed and ranging from tens to hundreds of meters in depth) independent of the geographical position, although lower concentrations were observed in significantly deeper bottom seawaters. Conversely, there were wide variations in 137Cs levels between sediments, such that higher 137Cs concentrations were observed in the deeper sampling locations. A mathematical model describing the successive transfer of 137Cs from surface waters through deeper waters to sediments suggested that the transfer rate of 137Cs from deep water to the sediments, and the loss rate from bottom sediments, were both greater than the transfer rate from surface water to deeper water. It was found that the calculated regression lines for 137Cs depletion rates over time for surface waters, deeper waters, and sediments were approximately parallel when plotted on a semi-logarithmic coordinate system, regardless of the sampling location. A radionuclide depletion half-life was calculated to be 4 months to 16 years with the geometric mean of 2.22 y for the sediments in the Fukushima region, suggesting that nuclear contamination will be remediated over time through sediment redistribution processes such as remobilization, bioturbation, and migration due to sea currents.

  5. Energy and conservation benefits from managed prairie biomass

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jungers, Jacob M.; Trost, Jared J.; Lehman, Clarence L.; Tilman, David; Booth, Elaine

    2011-01-01

    Marginally productive land, such as that enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), may provide acreage and economic incentives for cellulosic energy production. Improving the yields from these lands will help establish a biomass producer?s position in the marketplace. The effects of water and nitrogen on biomass yields were investigated in both a plot-scale experiment and a broad-scale survey of CRP lands. The plot-scale experiment demonstrated that irrigation improved mixed-species prairie biomass yields more than nitrogen fertilizer on coarse-textured, marginally productive soils. Experimental plots amended with both irrigation and moderate (but not high) nitrogen produced more biomass than other treatment combinations, but this trend was not statistically significant. The survey of biomass yields on CRP lands across four Midwestern States indicates that yields are better correlated with June rainfall than any other individual month. Applying nutrient-enriched water such as agricultural runoff could benefit prairie yields if applied at appropriate times.

  6. Groundwater nutrient concentrations during prairie reconstruction on an Iowa landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tomer, M.D.; Schilling, K.E.; Cambardella, C.A.; Jacobson, P.; Drobney, P.

    2010-01-01

    One anticipated benefit of ecosystem restoration is water quality improvement. This study evaluated NO3-N and phosphorus in subsurface waters during prairie establishment following decades of row-crop agriculture. A prairie seeding in late 2003 became established in 2006. Wells and suction cup samplers were monitored for NO3-N and phosphorus. Nitrate-N varied with time and landscape position. Non-detectable NO3-N concentrations became modal along ephemeral drainageways in 2006, when average concentrations in uplands first became <10mg NO3-NL-1. This decline continued and upland groundwater averaged near 2mg NO3-NL-1 after 2007. The longer time lag in NO3-N response in uplands was attributed to greater quantities of leachable N in upland subsoils. Spatial differences in vadose-zone travel times were less important, considering water table dynamics. Phosphorus showed a contrasting landscape pattern, without any obvious temporal trend. Phosphorus was greatest along and near ephemeral drainageways. Sediment accumulation from upland agricultural erosion provided a source of P along drainageways, where shallow, reductive groundwater increased P solubility. Phosphorus exceeded eutrophication risk thresholds in these lower areas, where saturation-excess runoff could readily transport P to surface waters. Legacy impacts of past agricultural erosion and sedimentation may include soluble phosphorus in shallow groundwater, at sites prone to saturation-excess runoff. ?? 2010.

  7. Turnover and dispersal of prairie falcons in southwestern Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lehman, Robert N.; Steenhof, Karen; Carpenter, L.B.; Kochert, Michael N.

    2000-01-01

    We studied Prairie Falcon (Falco mexicanus) breeding dispersal, natal dispersal, and turnover at nesting areas in the Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area (NCA) from 1971- 95. Of 61 nesting areas where falcons identified one year were known to be present or absent the following year, 57% had a different falcon. This turnover rate was 2-3 times higher than that reported elsewhere for large falcons, and may have been related to high nesting densities in the NCA. Turnover at nesting areas was independent of nesting success in the previous year, but was significantly higher for females nesting on large cliffs. Mean distance between natal and breeding locations for 26 falcons banded as nestlings and later encountered as nesting adults was 8.9 km. Natal dispersal distances were similar for males and females, but more than twice as many males marked as nestlings were later encountered nesting in the NCA. Fourteen adult falcons found on different nesting areas in successive years moved an average of 1.5 km between nesting areas; males dispersed significantly farther than females. Natal and breeding dispersal distances in the NCA were lower than those reported for Prairie Falcons in other study areas. Only four falcons banded as nestlings were found outside NCA boundaries during the breeding period, and only one of these birds was known to be occupying a nesting area. We encountered no falcons banded outside the NCA occupying nesting areas in the NCA during this study.

  8. Fire and grazing regulate belowground processes in tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Loretta C.; Matchett, John R.

    2001-01-01

    In tallgrass prairie, belowground processes are even more important than in forested systems because aboveground biomass and standing dead litter are periodically removed by frequent fires or grazers. Thus, studies that address factors regulating belowground processes are especially relevant for tallgrass prairie. We predicted that effects of grazing and burning differ belowground and that changes in root productivity caused by burning or grazing provide feedback that affects ecosystem fluxes of C and N. These differences in belowground response should be driven largely by changes in N dynamics and the degree to which burning and grazing affect the pathway and magnitude of N loss and the degree of N limitation in these systems. Fire, the major pathway of N loss in ungrazed tallgrass prairie, should result in reduced net N mineralization and N availability. We expected plants to compensate for increased N limitation by increasing their allocation to roots, as manifested in increased soil respiration and C cycling belowground. In contrast, grazing conserves N in the ecosystem by redistributing the N once contained in grass to labile forms in urine and dung. Thus, we predicted that grazing should increase N cycling rates and N availability to plants. Consequently, grazed plants should be less N limited and should allocate less C to roots and more to shoots. This, in turn, should decrease belowground C cycling, manifested as reduced soil CO2 flux.We explored the roles of grazing and burning on root growth in experimental watersheds at Konza Prairie, Kansas, USA. To assess effects of fire on root productivity, we installed root ingrowth cores in two watersheds without grazers that differ in fire frequency: annually vs. infrequently burned (four years since the last fire). To assess effects of grazing, we installed root ingrowth cores in an annually burned watershed grazed by bison and in fenced controls (exclosures). Within bison “grazing lawns,” root ingrowth cores

  9. Pup exposure elicits hippocampal cell proliferation in the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Ruscio, Michael G; Sweeny, Timothy D; Hazelton, Julie L; Suppatkul, Patrin; Boothe, Emily; Carter, C Sue

    2008-02-11

    The onset of parental behavior has profound and enduring effects on behavior and neurobiology across a variety of species. In some cases, mere exposure to a foster neonate (and a subsequent parental response) can have similar effects. In the present experiment, we exposed adult male and female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) to two foster pups for 20 min and quantified cell proliferation in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus (DG), medial amygdala (MeA) and cortical amygdala (CorA). Prairie voles are highly social rodents that typically display biparental care and spontaneous parental care when exposed to foster pups. Comparisons were made between the animals that responded parentally or non-parentally towards the pups, as well as control conditions. Cell proliferation was assessed using injections of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and immunocytochemical localization of this marker. The phenotype of the cells was determined using double label immunofluoresence for BrdU and TuJ1 (a neuronal marker). An increase in cell proliferation in the DG was seen in animals exposed to pups. However, animals that responded non-parentally had a greater number of BrdU labeled cells in the DG compared to those that responded parentally. The majority of BrdU labeled cells co-expressed TuJ1 across all groups. These results demonstrate that exposure to a foster pup and the behavioral reaction to it (parental or non-parental) are associated with site-specific changes in cell proliferation.

  10. Spatiotemporal dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog colonies affected by plague

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Augustine, D.J.; Matchett, M.R.; Toombs, T.P.; Cully, J.F.; Johnson, T.L.; Sidle, John G.

    2008-01-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are a key component of the disturbance regime in semi-arid grasslands of central North America. Many studies have compared community and ecosystem characteristics on prairie dog colonies to grasslands without prairie dogs, but little is known about landscape-scale patterns of disturbance that prairie dog colony complexes may impose on grasslands over long time periods. We examined spatiotemporal dynamics in two prairie dog colony complexes in southeastern Colorado (Comanche) and northcentral Montana (Phillips County) that have been strongly influenced by plague, and compared them to a complex unaffected by plague in northwestern Nebraska (Oglala). Both plague-affected complexes exhibited substantial spatiotemporal variability in the area occupied during a decade, in contrast to the stability of colonies in the Oglala complex. However, the plague-affected complexes differed in spatial patterns of colony movement. Colonies in the Comanche complex in shortgrass steppe shifted locations over a decade. Only 10% of the area occupied in 1995 was still occupied by prairie dogs in 2006. In 2005 and 2006 respectively, 74 and 83% of the total area of the Comanche complex occurred in locations that were not occupied in 1995, and only 1% of the complex was occupied continuously over a decade. In contrast, prairie dogs in the Phillips County complex in mixed-grass prairie and sagebrush steppe primarily recolonized previously occupied areas after plague-induced colony declines. In Phillips County, 62% of the area occupied in 1993 was also occupied by prairie dogs in 2004, and 12% of the complex was occupied continuously over a decade. Our results indicate that plague accelerates spatiotemporal movement of prairie dog colonies, and have significant implications for landscape-scale effects of prairie dog disturbance on grassland composition and productivity. These findings highlight the need to combine landscape-scale measures of

  11. Mine spoil prairies expand critical habitat for endangered and threatened amphibian and reptile species

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lannoo, Michael J.; Kinney, Vanessa C.; Heemeyer, Jennifer L.; Engbrecht, Nathan J.; Gallant, Alisa L.; Klaver, Robert W.

    2009-01-01

    Coal extraction has been occurring in the Midwestern United States for over a century. Despite the pre-mining history of the landscape as woodlands, spent surface coalfields are often reclaimed to grasslands. We assessed amphibian and reptile species on a large tract of coal spoil prairie and found 13 species of amphibians (nine frog and four salamander species) and 19 species of reptiles (one lizard, five turtle, and 13 snake species). Two state-endangered and three state species of special concern were documented. The amphibian diversity at our study site was comparable to the diversity found at a large restored prairie situated 175 km north, within the historic prairie peninsula.

  12. Vegetation of wetlands of the prairie pothole region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Kantrud, H.A.; Millar, J.B.; Van Der Valk, A.G.; van der Valk, A.

    1989-01-01

    Five themes dominate the literature dealing with the vegetation of palustrine and lacustrine wetlands of the prairie pothole region: environmental conditions (water or moisture regime, salinity), agricultural disturbances (draining, grazing, burning, sedimentation, etc.), vegetation dynamics, zonation patterns, and classification of the wetlands.The flora of a prairie wetland is a function of its water regime, salinity, and disturbance by man. Within a pothole, water depth and duration determines distribution of species. In potholes deep enough to have standing water even during droughts, the central zone will be dominated by submersed species (open water). In wetlands that go dry during periods of drought or annually, the central zone will be dominated by either tall emergent species (deep marsh) or midheight emergents (shallow marsh), respectively. Potholes that are only flooded briefly in the spring are dominated by grasses, sedges, and forbs (wet meadow). Within a pothole, the depth of standing water in the deepest, usually central, part of the basin determines how many zones will be present. Lists of species associated with different water regimes and salinity levels are presented.Disturbances due to agricultural activities have impacted wetlands throughout the region. Drainage has eliminated many potholes, particularly in the southern and eastern parts of the region. Grazing, mowing, and burning have altered the composition of pothole vegetation. The composition of different vegetation types impacted by grazing, haying, and cultivation is presented in a series of tables. Indirect impacts of agriculture (increased sediment, nutrient, and pesticide inputs) are widespread over the region, but their impacts on the vegetation have never been studied.Because of the periodic droughts and wet periods, many palustrine and lacustrine wetlands undergo vegetation cycles associated with water-level changes produced by these wet-dry cycles. Periods of above normal

  13. ¹³⁴Cs and ¹³⁷Cs radioactivity in soil and moss samples of Jeju Island after Fukushima nuclear reactor accident.

    PubMed

    Park, Kyung-Ho; Kang, Tae-Woo; Kim, Won-Jik; Park, Jae Woo

    2013-11-01

    Specific activities of (134)Cs and (137)Cs in surface soil and moss samples were investigated at 12 locations of Jeju Island, Korea. Specific activities of (134)Cs and (137)Cs in the surface soil vary from less than MDA to 17 Bq/kg and from 12 Bq/kg to 109 Bq/kg, respectively. Specific activities of (134)Cs and (137)Cs in moss samples lie in the range 6 Bq/kg-39 Bq/kg and 15 Bq/kg-41 Bq/kg, respectively. The activity ratios (134)Cs/(137)Cs in the soil samples are much less than the reference value of about 1.0, but they are close to 1.0 in the moss samples. Average amount of (137)Cs added to the surface soil after the Fukushima accident is estimated to be 7.8 ± 1.7 Bq/kg. The depth profile of (137)Cs specific activity has a lognormal shape with a peak between 5 cm and 7.5 cm below the ground. For the cored soil sample, (134)Cs was detected up to 3 cm below the ground.

  14. Hydraulic properties of Mt. Simon aquifer, Prairie Island Indian community, southeastern Minnesota, 2001

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winterstein, Thomas A.

    2002-01-01

    Hantush and Theis methods type curves were fitted to the measured drawdown and recovery curves in the observation well. The results of matching the type curves to the measured data indicate that leakage is negligible from the overlying Eau Claire confining unit into the Mt. Simon aquifer. The transmissivity and storage coeffi-cients for the Mt. Simon aquifer, determined by both methods, are 3, 000 ft2/d and 3 x 10-4, respectively. The average hydraulic conductivity, assuming an aquifer thickness of 233 ft, is 10 ft/d.

  15. Water resources of the Prairie Island Indian Reservation, Minnesota, 1994-97

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cowdery, Timothy K.

    1999-01-01

    The only surface-water constituents exceeding U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking water standards was coliform or fecal streptococci bacteria, which was exceeded in all samples. Thirteen percent of ground-water samples exceeded the nitrate maximum contaminant level (MCL), but this is probably higher than the percentage of the aquifer exceeding the nitrate MCL because most of the wells sampled were shallow. Surface-water recharge to and ground-water discharge from the surficial aquifer influence the water quality in both the aquifer and the surrounding surface water. However, surface water probably influences ground-water quality more because of the greater amount of surface water flowing through the study area.

  16. Cultural Resources Investigation of St. Friole Island, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    1983-02-01

    the road is in doubt. The hotel on lot 19 (No. 3) is identified as the Mann hotel in Hoagland and Frandsen (1978:19). 10 Hoagland and Frandsen also...place Charles Lapointe’s hotel and tavern, the Franklin House, on lot 20 prior to 1821. The lot was sold to Joseph Rolette in that year. This is the...The log jail still exists, it did not burn down until 1834. The Mann Hotel on lot 19 was now owned by Jean Brunet who also ran a ferry from this S11

  17. Population structure of loggerhead shrikes in the California Channel Islands.

    PubMed

    Eggert, Lori S; Mundy, Nicholas I; Woodruff, David S

    2004-08-01

    The loggerhead shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), a songbird that hunts like a small raptor, maintains breeding populations on seven of the eight California Channel Islands. One of the two subspecies, L. l. anthonyi, was described as having breeding populations on six of the islands while a second subspecies, L. l. mearnsi, was described as being endemic to San Clemente Island. Previous genetic studies have demonstrated that the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike is well differentiated genetically from both L. l. anthonyi and mainland populations, despite the fact that birds from outside the population are regular visitors to the island. Those studies, however, did not include a comparison between San Clemente Island shrikes and the breeding population on Santa Catalina Island, the closest island to San Clemente. Here we use mitochondrial control region sequences and nuclear microsatellites to investigate the population structure of loggerhead shrikes in the Channel Islands. We confirm the genetic distinctiveness of the San Clemente Island loggerhead shrike and, using Bayesian clustering analysis, demonstrate the presence and infer the source of the nonbreeding visitors. Our results indicate that Channel Island loggerhead shrikes comprise three distinct genetic clusters that inhabit: (i) San Clemente Island, (ii) Santa Catalina Island and (iii) the Northern Channel Islands and nearby mainland; they do not support a recent suggestion that all Channel Island loggerhead shrikes should be managed as a single entity.

  18. The absence of concordant population genetic structure in the black-tailed prairie dog and the flea, Oropsylla hirsuta, with implications for the spread of Yersinia pestis.

    PubMed

    Jones, Philip H; Britten, Hugh B

    2010-05-01

    The black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) is a keystone species on the mid- and short-grass prairies of North America. The species has suffered extensive colony extirpations and isolation as a result of human activity including the introduction of an exotic pathogen, Yersinia pestis, the causative agent of sylvatic plague. The prairie dog flea, Oropsylla hirsuta, is the most common flea on our study colonies in north-central Montana and it has been shown to carry Y. pestis. We used microsatellite markers to estimate the level of population genetic concordance between black-tailed prairie dogs and O. hirsuta in order to determine the extent to which prairie dogs are responsible for dispersing this potential plague vector among prairie dog colonies. We sampled fleas and prairie dogs from six prairie dog colonies in two regions separated by about 46 km. These colonies were extirpated by a plague epizootic that began months after our sampling was completed in 2005. Prairie dogs showed significant isolation-by-distance and a tendency toward genetic structure on the regional scale that the fleas did not. Fleas exhibited higher estimated rates of gene flow among prairie dog colonies than the prairie dogs sampled from the same colonies. While the findings suggested black-tailed prairie dogs may have contributed to flea dispersal, we attributed the lack of concordance between the population genetic structures of host and ectoparasite to additional flea dispersal that was mediated by mammals other than prairie dogs that were present in the prairie system.

  19. Aboveground predation by an American badger (Taxidea taxus) on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.

    2008-01-01

    During research on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus), we repeatedly observed a female American badger (Taxidea taxus) hunting prairie dogs on a colony in southern Phillips County, Montana. During 1-14 June 2006, we observed 7 aboveground attacks (2 successful) and 3 successful excavations of prairie dogs. The locations and circumstances of aboveground attacks suggested that the badger improved her probability of capturing prairie dogs by planning the aboveground attacks based on perceptions of speeds, angles, distances, and predicted escape responses of prey. Our observations add to previous reports on the complex and varied predatory methods and cognitive capacities of badgers. These observations also underscore the individuality of predators and support the concept that predators are active participants in predator-prey interactions.

  20. Anticoagulant Prairie Dog Bait Risk Mitigation Measures to Protect Endangered Species

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This Web page contains information on how certified pesticide applicators can use anticoagulant prairie dog bait products such as Rozol and Kaput-D while minimizing exposure risks to listed and non-target species.

  1. Pleasant Prairie Power Plant air quality control upgrade project, Pleasant Praire, Wisconsin

    SciTech Connect

    Gebhart, S.; Pennline, D.; Brodsky, I.; Bichler, D.

    2007-10-15

    We Energies recently completed a multiyear project at its Pleasant Prairie Power Plant to add a selective catalytic reduction system to one of its two units and a scrubber to both. These projects are described. 7 figs., 1 tab.

  2. SPATIAL AND DIEL AVAILABILITY OF FLYING INSECTS AS POTENTIAL DUCKLING FOOD IN PRAIRIE WETLANDS.

    EPA Science Inventory

    The study examined spatial and diel availibility of flying insects that are a critical food resource to young duckings. Insects were sampled in three native prairie wetlands on the Woodworth Study Area of south-central North Dakota.

  3. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide important breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of r...

  4. Feral biofuel crop effects in constructed wet prairie and oak savannah communities

    EPA Science Inventory

    We examined the potential effects of feral biofuel crop escapes on constructed plant communities growing in outdoor mesocosms. Mesocosms containing wet prairie or oak savannah communities were exposed to two temperature levels (ambient and elevated) and two moisture levels (cont...

  5. Influence of resource availability on Juniperus virginiana expansion in a forest–prairie ecotone

    EPA Science Inventory

    Despite being native to the United States, Juniperus virginiana has rapidly expanded in prairie ecosystems bringing detrimental ecological effects and increased wildfire risk. We transplanted J. virginiana seedlings in three plant communities to investigate mechanisms driving J. ...

  6. No evidence of persistent Yersina pestis infection at prairie dog colonies in north-central Montana.

    PubMed

    Holmes, Brian E; Foresman, Kerry R; Matchett, Marc R

    2006-01-01

    Sylvatic plague is a flea-borne zoonotic disease caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, which can cause extensive mortality among prairie dogs (Cynomys) in western North America. It is unclear whether the plague organism persists locally among resistant host species or elsewhere following epizootics. From June to August 2002 and 2003 we collected blood and flea samples from small mammals at prairie dog colonies with a history of plague, at prairie dog colonies with no history of plague, and from off-colony sites where plague history was unknown. Blood was screened for antibody to Y. pestis by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay or passive hemagglutination assay and fleas were screened for Y. pestis DNA by polymerase chain reaction. All material was negative for Y. pestis including 156 blood samples and 553 fleas from colonies with a known history of plague. This and other studies provide evidence that Y. pestis may not persist at prairie dog colonies following an epizootic.

  7. GHG PSD Permit: Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power / Black Hills Power, Inc. – Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station

    EPA Pesticide Factsheets

    This page contains the final PSD permit for the Cheyenne Light, Fuel & Power / Black Hills Power, Inc. Cheyenne Prairie Generating Station, located in Laramie, Wyoming, and operated by Black Hills Service Company.

  8. Impurities in Snow: Effects on Spectral Albedo of Prairie Snowpacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Morris, J. N.; Klein, A. G.

    2007-12-01

    While extensive research on soot in snow has been done in the Polar Regions, there remains a lack of observations addressing the effect of soot on snow albedo in North American prairie snowpacks which causes uncertainty to the overall global effect that soot in snow has on climate. Measurements of snow impurities in freshly fallen prairie snowpacks in northwestern Iowa and central Texas collected from February 28 - March 5, 2007 and April 6, 2007, respectively. Two significant snowfall events occurred in northwestern Iowa during the study; the second snowfall event produced the most severe blizzard conditions in northwestern Iowa in the last thirty years. An unusual snowfall event in central Texas offered a unique sampling opportunity Several types of sites were sampled during the field campaign; this includes: frozen lakes with minimal human impact, agricultural fields impacted by agricultural dust, and human impacted sample sites. At twelve sites in northwestern Iowa samples were collected on multiple days and for both snow events to examine changes in snow impurities over time. At all site locations snow samples, temperature, density, and grain size were recorded. Snow reflectance and snow radiance was collected at a subset of the sites with an ASD VNIR Spectroradiometer (350 - 1500 nm). Snow impurities of light-absorbing particulate matter were measured by filtering the meltwater through a nuclepore 0.4 micrometer filter. Impurity concentration was determined by comparing the filters against a set of standards. A photometer will provide a more exact determination of snow impurities in the near future. Preliminary soot observations indicate prairie snow pack concentrations ranging from 1 ngC/g to 236 ngC/g with an average of 61.4 ngC/g. These measurements are within range of previously published values in the Arctic and can lower snow albedo. Differences in soot concentrations were observed between the two Iowa snowfall events. Impurity concentrations measured

  9. Nitrogen recycling in prairie species managed for biomass production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, L.; Jackson, R. D.

    2011-12-01

    Plant nutrient recycling is an important mechanism for nitrogen (N) retention in plants and has been identified as a means for reducing N losses in perennial grass systems managed for biomass production. Warm-season (C4 photosynthesis) prairie grasses are thought to be inherently good at recycling N, because they often thrive in nutrient-limited native grasslands where N recycling strategies would be advantageous. Results from studies of plant responses to altered N resources and the subsequent ability or need for plants to resorb N in high-productivity environments have been equivocal. We addressed N resorption of four species -- Panicum virgatum in a switchgrass monoculture, and Andropogen gerardii, Sorghastrum nutans and Helianthus grosseserratus in a restored prairie -- and their responses to fertilizer additions of 0, 50, or 150 kg N ha-1 on productive mollisols. We hypothesized that senesced leaf N (the final N concentration retained in a senesced leaf) would increase with fertility, while N resorption efficiency (the proportion of original green leaf N resorbed after senescence) would decrease with fertility. N resorption efficiency rates in the prairie differed mainly by species without significant treatment effects. Helianthus grosseserratus resorption efficiency was highest (69.0 ± 2.6% [s.e.]), followed by Sorghastrum nutans (47.9 ± 5.4%) and Andropogen gerardii (35.3 ± 5.7%). Panicum virgatum resorption efficiencies responded opposite to our predictions with the highest resorption rates in the high-fertility treatment (62.9 ± 5.7%) and the lowest resorption rates in the unfertilized treatment (49.4 ± 6.1%). Fertilizer effects were only significant in senesced Panicum virgatum leaves, but across all species, plants with high green leaf N tended to also have higher senesced leaf N. This suggests that plants with high N resorption efficiencies may resorb a higher proportion of original leaf N because there is more N to remobilize. However, these

  10. Extreme plasticity in thermoregulatory behaviors of free-ranging black-tailed prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lehmer, E.M.; Savage, L.T.; Antolin, M.F.; Biggins, D.E.

    2006-01-01

    In the natural environment, hibernating sciurids generally remain dormant during winter and enter numerous deep torpor bouts from the time of first immergence in fall until emergence in spring. In contrast, black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) remain active throughout winter but periodically enter short and shallow bouts of torpor. While investigating body temperature (Tb) patterns of black-tailed prairie dogs from six separate colonies in northern Colorado, we observed one population that displayed torpor patterns resembling those commonly seen in hibernators. Five individuals in this population experienced multiple torpor bouts in immediate succession that increased in length and depth as winter progressed, whereas 16 prairie dogs in five neighboring colonies remained euthermic for the majority of winter and entered shallow bouts of torpor infrequently. Our results suggest that these differences in torpor patterns did not result from differences in the physiological indicators that we measured because the prairie dogs monitored had similar body masses and concentrations of stored lipids across seasons. Likewise, our results did not support the idea that differences in overwinter Tb patterns between prairie dogs in colonies with differing torpor patterns resulted from genetic differences between populations; genetic analyses of prairie dog colonies revealed high genetic similarity between the populations and implied that individuals regularly disperse between colonies. Local environmental conditions probably played a role in the unusual T b patterns experienced by prairie dogs in the colony where hibernation-like patterns were observed; this population received significantly less rainfall than neighboring colonies during the summer growing seasons before, during, and after the year of the winter in which they hibernated. Our study provides a rare example of extreme plasticity in thermoregulatory behaviors of free-ranging prairie dogs and provides

  11. A baiting system for delivery of an oral plague vaccine to black-tailed prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Creekmore, Terry E.; Rocke, T.E.; Hurley, J.

    2002-01-01

    Laboratory and field studies were conducted between July and October 1999 to identify bait preference, biomarker efficacy, and bait acceptance rates for delivering an oral plague vaccine to black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Twenty juvenile captive prairie dogs were offered alfalfa baits containing either alfalfa, alfalfa and 5% molasses, or alfalfa, 5% molasses and 4% salt. Based on the results of these trials we selected a bait containing alfalfa, 7% molasses, and 1% salt for field trials to determine bait acceptance rates by free-ranging animals. The biomarkers DuPont Blue dye, iophenoxic acid, and tetracycline hydrochloride were orally administered to captive prairie dogs to determine their efficacy. Only tetracycline proved effective as a biomarker. Two field trials were conducted at separate prairie dog colonies located at the Buffalo Gap National Grassland (Pennington County, South Dakota, USA). In Trial 1, three baits containing tetracycline were distributed around each active burrow entrance and an additional bait was placed inside the burrow (1,276 baits total). In Trial 2, baits were distributed at the same density per burrow as Trial 1, but along transects spaced 10 m apart (1,744 baits total). Trapping began 3 days after bait distribution, and 30 prairie dogs then were captured at each site to determine the percentage of animals marked. In Trial 1, 67% of the prairie dogs captured had tetracycline deposits indicative of bait consumption. In Trial 2, 83% of the prairie dogs had ingested a bait. Approximately 15% of the animals in both trials ate more than one bait. Fleas (Opisocrostis hirsutus) were found on 64 of 70 (91%) of the prairie dogs captured during this study.

  12. Estimating numbers of greater prairie-chickens using mark-resight techniques

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Clifton, A.M.; Krementz, D.G.

    2006-01-01

    Current monitoring efforts for greater prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus cupido pinnatus) populations indicate that populations are declining across their range. Monitoring the population status of greater prairie-chickens is based on traditional lek surveys (TLS) that provide an index without considering detectability. Estimators, such as immigration-emigration joint maximum-likelihood estimator from a hypergeometric distribution (IEJHE), can account for detectability and provide reliable population estimates based on resightings. We evaluated the use of mark-resight methods using radiotelemetry to estimate population size and density of greater prairie-chickens on 2 sites at a tallgrass prairie in the Flint Hills of Kansas, USA. We used average distances traveled from lek of capture to estimate density. Population estimates and confidence intervals at the 2 sites were 54 (CI 50-59) on 52.9 km 2 and 87 (CI 82-94) on 73.6 km2. The TLS performed at the same sites resulted in population ranges of 7-34 and 36-63 and always produced a lower population index than the mark-resight population estimate with a larger range. Mark-resight simulations with varying male:female ratios of marks indicated that this ratio was important in designing a population study on prairie-chickens. Confidence intervals for estimates when no marks were placed on females at the 2 sites (CI 46-50, 76-84) did not overlap confidence intervals when 40% of marks were placed on females (CI 54-64, 91-109). Population estimates derived using this mark-resight technique were apparently more accurate than traditional methods and would be more effective in detecting changes in prairie-chicken populations. Our technique could improve prairie-chicken management by providing wildlife biologists and land managers with a tool to estimate the population size and trends of lekking bird species, such as greater prairie-chickens.

  13. Progress report: baseline monitoring of indicator species (butterflies) at tallgrass prairie restorations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Allain, Larry; Vidrine, Malcolm

    2014-01-01

    This project provides baseline data of butterfly populations at two coastal prairie restoration sites in Louisiana, the Duralde Unit of Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge (hereafter, the Duralde site) and the Cajun Prairie Restoration Project in Eunice (hereafter, the Eunice site). In all, four distinct habitat types representing different planting methods were sampled. These data will be used to assess biodiversity and health of native grasslands and also provide a basis for adaptive management.

  14. A baiting system for delivery of an oral plague vaccine to black-tailed prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Creekmore, Terry E; Rocke, Tonie E; Hurley, Jerry

    2002-01-01

    Laboratory and field studies were conducted between July and October 1999 to identify bait preference, biomarker efficacy, and bait acceptance rates for delivering an oral plague vaccine to black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Twenty juvenile captive prairie dogs were offered alfalfa baits containing either alfalfa, alfalfa and 5% molasses, or alfalfa, 5% molasses and 4% salt. Based on the results of these trials we selected a bait containing alfalfa, 7% molasses, and 1% salt for field trials to determine bait acceptance rates by free-ranging animals. The biomarkers DuPont Blue dye, iophenoxic acid, and tetracycline hydrochloride were orally administered to captive prairie dogs to determine their efficacy. Only tetracycline proved effective as a biomarker. Two field trials were conducted at separate prairie dog colonies located at the Buffalo Gap National Grassland (Pennington County, South Dakota, USA). In Trial 1, three baits containing tetracycline were distributed around each active burrow entrance and an additional bait was placed inside the burrow (1,276 baits total). In Trial 2, baits were distributed at the same density per burrow as Trial 1, but along transects spaced 10 m apart (1,744 baits total). Trapping began 3 days after bait distribution, and 30 prairie dogs then were captured at each site to determine the percentage of animals marked. In Trial 1, 67% of the prairie dogs captured had tetracycline deposits indicative of bait consumption. In Trial 2, 83% of the prairie dogs had ingested a bait. Approximately 15% of the animals in both trials ate more than one bait. Fleas (Opisocrostis hirsutus) were found on 64 of 70 (91%) of the prairie dogs captured during this study.

  15. Rodent and flea abundance fail to predict a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Brinkerhoff, Robert Jory; Collinge, Sharon K; Ray, Chris; Gage, Ken L

    2010-01-01

    Small rodents are purported to be enzootic hosts of Yersinia pestis and may serve as sources of infection to prairie dogs or other epizootic hosts by direct or flea-mediated transmission. Recent research has shown that small rodent species composition and small rodent flea assemblages are influenced by the presence of prairie dogs, with higher relative abundance of both small rodents and fleas at prairie dog colony sites compared to grasslands without prairie dogs. However, it is unclear if increased rodent or flea abundance predisposes prairie dogs to infection with Y. pestis. We tracked rodent and flea occurrence for 3 years at a number of prairie dog colony sites in Boulder County, Colorado, before, during, and after a local plague epizootic to see if high rodent or flea abundance was associated with plague-affected colonies when compared to colonies that escaped infection. We found no difference in preepizootic rodent abundance or flea prevalence or abundance between plague-positive and plague-negative colonies. Further, we saw no significant before-plague/after-plague change in these metrics at either plague-positive or plague-negative sites. We did, however, find that small rodent species assemblages changed in the year following prairie dog die-offs at plague-affected colonies when compared to unaffected colonies. In light of previous research from this system that has shown that landscape features and proximity to recently plagued colonies are significant predictors of plague occurrence in prairie dogs, we suggest that landscape context is more important to local plague occurrence than are characteristics of rodent or flea species assemblages.

  16. Ring-necked Pheasant parasitism of Lesser Prairie-Chicken nests in Kansas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hagen, C.A.; Jamison, B.E.; Robel, R.J.; Applegate, R.D.

    2002-01-01

    We report observations of Ring-necked Pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) parasitizing Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) nests in native sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) rangeland in southwestern Kansas. We found low incidence of interspecific nest parasitism as only 3 of 75 prairie-chicken nests were parasitized. Two of the three parasitized clutches hatched, but no Ring-necked Pheasant chicks were known to have survived.

  17. A Geospatial Approach to Mapping Bioenergy Potential of Perennial Crops in North American Tallgrass Prairie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, S.; Fritschi, F. B.; Stacy, G.

    2009-12-01

    Biomass is the largest source of renewable energy in the United States and is expected to replace 30% of the domestic petroleum consumption by 2030. Corn ethanol currently constitutes 99% of the country’s biofuels. Extended annual crop planting for biofuel production, however, has raised concerns about long-term environmental, ecological and socio-economical consequences. More sustainable bioenergy resources might therefore be developed to meet the energy demand, food security and climate policy. The DOD has identified switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.) as a model bioenergy crop. Switchgrass, along with other warm-season grasses, is native to the pre-colonial tallgrass prairie in North America. This study maps the spatial distributions of prairie grasses and marginal croplands in the tallgrass prairie with remote sensing and GIS techniques. In 2000-2008, the 8-day composition MODIS imagery was downloaded to calculate the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). With pixel-level temporal trajectory of NDVI, time-series trend analysis was performed to identify native prairie grasses based on their phenological uniqueness. In a case study in southwest Missouri, this trajectory approach distinguished more than 80% of warm-season prairie grasslands from row crops and cool-season pastures (Figure 1). Warm season grasses dominated in the 19 public prairies in the study area in a range of 45-98%. This study explores the geographic context of current and potential perennial bioenergy supplies in the tallgrass prairie. Beyond the current findings, it holds promise for further investigations to provide quantitative economic and environmental information in assisting bioenergy policy decision-making. Figure 1 The distribution of grasslands in the study area. The "WSG", "CSG" and “non-grass” represent warm-season prairie grasses, introduced cool-season grasses and crops and other non-grasses.

  18. Predation of artificial ground nests on white-tailed prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baker, B.W.; Stanley, T.R.; Sedgwick, J.A.

    1999-01-01

    Prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) colonies are unique to prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. However, widespread eradication, habitat loss, and sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) have reduced their numbers by 98% since historical times. Birds associated with prairie dogs also are declining. Potential nest predators, such as coyotes (Canis latrans), swift foxes (Vulpes velox), and badgers (Taxidea taxus), may be attracted to colonies where a high concentration of prairie dogs serve as available prey. Increased abundance of small mammals, including prairie dogs, also may increase the risk of predation for birds nesting on colonies. Finally, because grazing by prairie dogs may decrease vegetation height and canopy cover, bird nests may be easier for predators to locate. In this study, we placed 1,444 artificial ground nests on and off 74 white-tailed prairie dog (C. leucurus) colonies to test the hypothesis that nest predation rates are higher on colonies than at nearby off sites (i.e., uncolonized habitat). We sampled colonies from 27 May to 16 July 1997 at the following 3 complexes: Coyote Basin, Utah and Colorado; Moxa Arch, Wyoming; and Shirley Basin, Wyoming. Differences in daily predation rates between colonies and paired off sites averaged 1.0% (P = 0.060). When converted to a typical 14-day incubation period, predation rates averaged 14% higher on colonies (57.7 ?? 2.7%; ?? ?? SE) than at off sites (50.4 ?? 3.1%). Comparisons of habitat variables on colonies to off sites showed percent canopy cover of vegetation was similar (P = 0.114), percent bare ground was higher on colonies (P 0.288). Although we found the risk of nest predation was higher on white-tailed prairie dog colonies than at off sites, fitness of birds nesting on colonies might depend on other factors that influence foraging success, reproductive success, or nestling survival.

  19. Multiscale habitat selection by burrowing owls in black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lantz, S.J.; Conway, C.J.; Anderson, S.H.

    2007-01-01

    Some populations of western burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) have declined in recent decades. To design and implement effective recovery efforts, we need a better understanding of how distribution and demographic traits are influenced by habitat quality. To this end, we measured spatial patterns of burrowing owl breeding habitat selection within black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in northeastern Wyoming, USA. We compared burrow-, site-, colony-, and landscape-scale habitat parameters between burrowing owl nest burrows (n = 105) and unoccupied burrows (n = 85). We sampled 4 types of prairie dog colonies: 1) owl-occupied, active with prairie dogs (n = 16); 2) owl-occupied, inactive (n = 13); 3) owl-unoccupied, active (n = 14); and 4) owl-unoccupied, inactive (n = 14). We used an information-theoretic approach to examine a set of candidate models of burrowing owl nest-site selection. The model with the most support included variables at all 4 spatial scales, and results were consistent among the 4 types of prairie dog colonies. Nest burrows had longer tunnels, more available burrows within 30 m, and less shrub cover within 30 m, more prairie dog activity within 100 m, and were closer to water than unoccupied burrows. The model correctly classified 76% of cases, all model coefficients were stable, and the model had high predictive ability. Based on our results, we recommend actions to ensure persistence of the remaining prairie dog colonies as an important management strategy for burrowing owl conservation in the Great Plains of North America.

  20. Distribution of Two C Cycle Enzymes in Soil Aggregates of a Prairie Chronosequence

    SciTech Connect

    Fansler, Sarah J.; Smith, Jeffery L.; Bolton, Harvey; Bailey, Vanessa L.

    2005-11-01

    Recently attention has focused on the potential of using soil as a sink for atmospheric CO2. The objective of this study was to use soil enzymes and classical methods of soil aggregate fractionation to explore the relationship between microbial community function and soil structure of a tallgrass prairie chronosequence. The soils within the chronosequence were: (1) remnant native prairie, (2) agricultural soil, and (3, 4) tallgrass prairies restored from agriculture in 1979 and 1993. β-glucosidase (E.C. 3.2.1.21) and N-acetyl-β-glucosaminidase (NAGase, EC 3.2.1.30) assays were conducted on four different aggregate size fractions (>2 mm, 1 -2 mm, 250µm-1 mm, and 2 - 250 µm) from each soil. Specific activities for both enzymes (µg PNP g-1 soil h-1) were greatest in the microaggregate (2 µm -250 µm) fractions across the chronosequence; however, this size fraction makes up only a small proportion of the whole soil. Therefore, it is the larger macroaggregate-derived enzyme activities that have the greatest impact on the activity of the whole soil. Analyzing both enzymes and the physical structure, a reversion from an agricultural soil through the restored to more like the prairie soil, was not detected. It appears that the function of these microbial community systems in the native tallgrass prairie and agricultural soils of the chronosequence are in equilibria while the lands restored to tallgrass prairie are in an ongoing state of recovery.

  1. Laboratory Analysis of Tularemia in Wild-Trapped, Commercially Traded Prairie Dogs, Texas, 2002

    PubMed Central

    Schriefer, Martin E.; Carter, Leon G.; Zhou, Yan; Sealy, Tara; Bawiec, Darcy; Yockey, Brook; Urich, Sandra; Zeidner, Nordin S.; Avashia, Swati; Kool, Jacob L.; Buck, Jan; Lindley, Connie; Celeda, Leos; Monteneiri, John A.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Chu, May C.

    2004-01-01

    Oropharyngeal tularemia was identified as the cause of a die-off in captured wild prairie dogs at a commercial exotic animal facility in Texas. From this point source, Francisella tularensis–infected prairie dogs were traced to animals distributed to the Czech Republic and to a Texas pet shop. F. tularensis culture isolates were recovered tissue specimens from 63 prairie dogs, including one each from the secondary distribution sites. Molecular and biochemical subtyping indicated that all isolates were F. tularensis subsp. holarctica (Type B). Microagglutination assays detected antibodies against F. tularensis, with titers as great as 1:4,096 in some live animals. All seropositive animals remained culture positive, suggesting that prairie dogs may act as chronic carriers of F. tularensis. These findings demonstrate the need for additional studies of tularemia in prairie dogs, given the seriousness of the resulting disease, the fact that prairie dogs are sold commercially as pets, and the risk for pet-to-human transmission. PMID:15109407

  2. Effects of population density on corticosterone levels of prairie voles in the field

    PubMed Central

    Blondel, Dimitri V.; Wallace, Gerard N.; Calderone, Stefanie; Gorinshteyn, Marija; St. Mary, Colette M.; Phelps, Steven M.

    2015-01-01

    High population density is often associated with increased levels of stress-related hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT). Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are a socially monogamous species known for their large population density fluctuations in the wild. Although CORT influences the social behavior of prairie voles in the lab, the effect of population density on CORT has not previously been quantified in this species in the field. We validated a non-invasive hormone assay for measuring CORT metabolites in prairie vole feces. We then used semi-natural enclosures to experimentally manipulate population density, and measured density effects on male space use and fecal CORT levels. Our enclosures generated patterns of space use and social interaction that were consistent with previous prairie vole field studies. Contrary to the positive relationship between CORT and density typical of other taxa, we found that lower population densities (80 animals/ha) produced higher fecal CORT than high densities (240/ha). Combined with prior work in the lab and field, the data suggest that high prairie vole population densities indicate favorable environments, perhaps through reduced predation risk. Lastly, we found that field animals had lower fecal CORT levels than laboratory-living animals. The data emphasize the usefulness of prairie voles as models for integrating ecological, evolutionary and mechanistic questions in social behavior. PMID:26342968

  3. Flea abundance on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) increases during plague epizootics.

    PubMed

    Tripp, Daniel W; Gage, Kenneth L; Montenieri, John A; Antolin, Michael F

    2009-06-01

    Black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on the Great Plains of the United States are highly susceptible to plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, with mortality on towns during plague epizootics often approaching 100%. The ability of flea-borne transmission to sustain disease spread has been questioned because of inefficiency of flea vectors. However, even with low individual efficiency, overall transmission can be increased if flea abundance (the number of fleas on hosts) increases. Changes in flea abundance on hosts during plague outbreaks were recorded during a large-scale study of plague outbreaks in prairie dogs in north central Colorado during 3 years (2004-2007). Fleas were collected from live-trapped black-tailed prairie dogs before and during plague epizootics and tested by PCR for the presence of Y. pestis. The predominant fleas were two prairie dog specialists (Oropsylla hirsuta and Oropsylla tuberculata cynomuris), and a generalist flea species (Pulex simulans) was also recorded from numerous mammals in the area. The three species differ in seasonal abundance, with greatest abundance in spring (February and March) and fall (September and October). Flea abundance and infestation intensity increased during epizootics and were highest on prairie dogs with Y. pestis-infected fleas. Seasonal occurrence of epizootics among black-tailed prairie dogs was found to coincide with seasonal peaks in flea abundance. Concentration of infected fleas on surviving animals may account for rapid spread of plague during epizootics. In particular, the role of the generalist flea P. simulans was previously underappreciated.

  4. A plague epizootic in the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    PubMed

    Pauli, Jonathan N; Buskirk, Steven W; Williams, Elizabeth S; Edwards, William H

    2006-01-01

    Plague is the primary cause for the rangewide decline in prairie dog (Cynomys spp.) distribution and abundance, yet our knowledge of plague dynamics in prairie dog populations is limited. Our understanding of the effects of plague on the most widespread species, the black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus), is particularly weak. During a study on the population biology of black-tailed prairie dogs in Wyoming, USA, plague was detected in a colony under intensive monitoring, providing a unique opportunity to quantify various consequences of plague. The epizootic reduced juvenile abundance by 96% and adult abundance by 95%. Of the survivors, eight of nine adults and one of eight juveniles developed antibodies to Yersinia pestis. Demographic groups appeared equally susceptible to infection, and age structure was unaffected. Survivors occupied three small coteries and exhibited improved body condition, but increased flea infestation compared to a neighboring, uninfected colony. Black-tailed prairie dogs are capable of surviving a plague epizootic and reorganizing into apparently functional coteries. Surviving prairie dogs may be critical in the repopulation of plague-decimated colonies and, ultimately, the evolution of plague resistance.

  5. Effects of population density on corticosterone levels of prairie voles in the field.

    PubMed

    Blondel, Dimitri V; Wallace, Gerard N; Calderone, Stefanie; Gorinshteyn, Marija; St Mary, Colette M; Phelps, Steven M

    2016-01-01

    High population density is often associated with increased levels of stress-related hormones, such as corticosterone (CORT). Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are a socially monogamous species known for their large population density fluctuations in the wild. Although CORT influences the social behavior of prairie voles in the lab, the effect of population density on CORT has not previously been quantified in this species in the field. We validated a non-invasive hormone assay for measuring CORT metabolites in prairie vole feces. We then used semi-natural enclosures to experimentally manipulate population density, and measured density effects on male space use and fecal CORT levels. Our enclosures generated patterns of space use and social interaction that were consistent with previous prairie vole field studies. Contrary to the positive relationship between CORT and density typical of other taxa, we found that lower population densities (80 animals/ha) produced higher fecal CORT than higher densities (240/ha). Combined with prior work in the lab and field, the data suggest that high prairie vole population densities indicate favorable environments, perhaps through reduced predation risk. Lastly, we found that field animals had lower fecal CORT levels than laboratory-living animals. The data emphasize the usefulness of prairie voles as models for integrating ecological, evolutionary, and mechanistic questions in social behavior.

  6. Land cover associations of nesting territories of three sympatric buteos in shortgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    McConnell, S.; O'Connell, T. J.; Leslie, David M.

    2008-01-01

    Three species of Buteo hawks nest sympatrically in the southern Great Plains of the United States. Dietary overlap among them is broad and we tested the hypothesis these species partition their breeding habitat spatially. We compared land cover and topography around 224 nests of the three species breeding in shortgrass prairie in 2004 and 2005. Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis) nested almost exclusively in riparian timber surrounded by prairie (95% prairie land cover around nests) and disproportionately used areas with greater topographic relief within prairie landscapes. Swainson's Hawks (B. swainsoni) commonly nested in low-relief areas dominated by small-grain production agriculture but generally used habitats in proportion to availability. Most nest sites of Ferruginous Hawks (B. regalis) were in prairie (78% prairie land cover around nests), but some were in areas that were at least partially agricultural. Ferruginous Hawks had at least two times more sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) around their nests than their two congeners. We conclude that sympatric breeding Buteos on the southern Great Plains spatially partitioned nest sites according to subtle differences in land cover and topography.

  7. Anonymous nuclear markers reveal taxonomic incongruence and long-term disjunction in a cactus species complex with continental-island distribution in South America.

    PubMed

    Perez, Manolo F; Carstens, Bryan C; Rodrigues, Gustavo L; Moraes, Evandro M

    2016-02-01

    The Pilosocereus aurisetus complex consists of eight cactus species with a fragmented distribution associated to xeric enclaves within the Cerrado biome in eastern South America. The phylogeny of these species is incompletely resolved, and this instability complicates evolutionary analyses. Previous analyses based on both plastid and microsatellite markers suggested that this complex contained species with inherent phylogeographic structure, which was attributed to recent diversification and recurring range shifts. However, limitations of the molecular markers used in these analyses prevented some questions from being properly addressed. In order to better understand the relationship among these species and make a preliminary assessment of the genetic structure within them, we developed anonymous nuclear loci from pyrosequencing data of 40 individuals from four species in the P. aurisetus complex. The data obtained from these loci were used to identify genetic clusters within species, and to investigate the phylogenetic relationship among these inferred clusters using a species tree methodology. Coupled with a palaeodistributional modelling, our results reveal a deep phylogenetic and climatic disjunction between two geographic lineages. Our results highlight the importance of sampling more regions from the genome to gain better insights on the evolution of species with an intricate evolutionary history. The methodology used here provides a feasible approach to develop numerous genealogical molecular markers throughout the genome for non-model species. These data provide a more robust hypothesis for the relationship among the lineages of the P. aurisetus complex.

  8. Vulnerability of northern prairie wetlands to climate change

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, W.C.; Millett, B.V.; Gilmanov, T.; Voldseth, R.A.; Guntenspergen, G.R.; Naugle, D.E.

    2005-01-01

    The prairie pothole region (PPR) lies in the heart of North America and contains millions of glacially formed, depressional wetlands embedded in a landscape matrix of natural grassland and agriculture. These wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services and produce 50% to 80% of the continent's ducks. We explored the broad spatial and temporal patterns across the PPR between climate and wetland water levels and vegetation by applying a wetland simulation model (WETSIM) to 18 stations with 95-year weather records. Simulations suggest that the most productive habitat for breeding waterfowl would shift under a drier climate from the center of the PPR (the Dakotas and southeastern Saskatchewan) to the wetter eastern and northern fringes, areas currently less productive or where most wetlands have been drained. Unless these wetlands are protected and restored, there is little insurance for waterfowl against future climate warming. WETSIM can assist wetland managers in allocating restoration dollars in an uncertain climate future.

  9. High-value renewable energy from prairie grasses.

    PubMed

    McLaughlin, S B; de la Torre Ugarte, D G; Garten, C T; Lynd, L R; Sanderson, M A; Tolbert, V R; Wolf, D D

    2002-05-15

    Projected economic benefits of renewable energy derived from a native prairie grass, switchgrass, include nonmarket values that can reduce net fuel costs to near zero. At a farm gate price of $44.00/dry Mg, an agricultural sector model predicts higher profits for switchgrass than conventional crops on 16.9 million hectares (ha). Benefits would include an annual increase of $6 billion in net farm returns, a $1.86 billion reduction in government subsidies, and displacement of 44-159 Tg/year (1 Tg = 1012 g) of greenhouse gas emissions. Incorporating these values into the pricing structure for switchgrass bioenergy could accelerate commercialization and provide net benefits to the U.S. economy.

  10. Current studies of the hydrology of prairie potholes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Shjeflo, Jelmer B.

    1962-01-01

    The prairie potholes in the North-Central States and in Canada are of glacial origin. Because many of them contain ponds or marshes, they are important in the production of livestock and waterfowl. The objective of the present investigation is to determine the amount of water that accumulates in and is used in the potholes in their natural environment. Two study areas were selected in North Dakota, and construction of gaging facilities was completed in 1960. Each study area contains four potholes. Three of the potholes for each area contain dense growths of aquatic vegetation, and one is clear of aquatic vegetation. The instruments to provide the basic data for computing water losses include: water-stage recorder, water-temperature recorder, rain gage, anemometer, and hygrothermograph. Observations will also be made of ground-water levels, rate of growth and type of vegetation, and quality of water.

  11. Wildlife habitat management on the northern prairie landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Douglas H.; Haseltine, Susan D.; Cowardin, Lewis M.

    1994-01-01

    The northern prairie landscape has changed dramatically within the past century as a result of settlement by Europeans. Natural ecosystems have been disrupted and wildlife populations greatly altered. Natural resource agencies control only limited areas within the landscape, which they cannot manage independently of privately owned lands. Wildlife managers need first to set quantifiable objectives, based on the survival, reproduction, and distribution of wildlife. Second, they need to build public support and partnerships for meeting those objectives. Finally, they need to evaluate progress not only with respect to attitudes of the public and partners but, more importantly, of the wildlife response. This paper describes some useful tools for managing information at all phases of this process. We follow by discussing management options at a landscape level. Examples are given that involve agency lands as well as private lands, managed for biological resources and diversity as well as economic sustainability.

  12. Shortgrass prairie spectral measurements. [for terrain analysis and photomapping

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Tucker, C. J.; Miller, L. D.; Pearson, R. L.

    1975-01-01

    The spectral methods of vegetation analysis not only measure herbage biomass on a nondestructive basis but also can be adapted to aircraft and satellite devices to map the spatial distribution over an area in an efficient and economical fashion. This study reviews the ground-based in situ field spectrometry in the 0.350-0.800 micron region of the spectrum. A statistical analysis of in situ spectroreflectance data from sample plots of the shortgrass prairie shows that green biomass, chlorophyll concentration, and leaf water content are directly interrelated to that composite property of the plot which is called functioning green biomass. Spectrocorrelation data indicate the spectral regions of optimum sensitivity for a remote estimation of the green biomass, chlorophyll, and leaf water content. The near-infrared region of the spectrum shows a high positive spectrocorrelation to these three sample parameters, regardless of the amount of standing dead vegetation.

  13. High-value renewable energy from prairie grasses

    SciTech Connect

    McLaughlin Jr, Samuel B; De La Torre Ugarte, D.; Garten Jr, Charles T; Lynd, L.; Sanderson, M.; Tolbert, Virginia R; Wolf, D.

    2002-05-01

    Projected economic benefits of renewable energy derived from a native prairie grass, switchgrass, include nonmarket values that can reduce net fuel costs to near zero. At a farm gate price of $44.00/dry Mg, an agricultural sector model predicts higher profits for switchgrass than conventional crops on 16.9 million hectares (ha). Benefits would include an annual increase of $6 billion in net farm returns, a $1.86 billion reduction in government subsidies, and displacement of 44-159 Tg/year (1 Tg = 10{sup 12} g) of greenhouse gas emissions. Incorporating these values into the pricing structure for switchgrass bioenergy could accelerate commercialization and provide net benefits to the U.S. economy.

  14. High resolution ion Doppler spectroscopy at Prairie View Rotamak

    SciTech Connect

    Houshmandyar, Saeid; Yang Xiaokang; Magee, Richard

    2012-10-15

    A fast ion Doppler spectroscopy (IDS) diagnostic system is installed on the Prairie View Rotamak to measure ion temperature and plasma flow. The diagnostic employs a single channel photomultiplier tube and a Jarrell-Ash 50 monochromator with a diffraction grating line density of 1180 lines/mm, which allows for first order spectra of 200-600 nm. The motorized gear of the monochromator allows spectral resolution of 0.01 nm. Equal IDS measurements are observed for various impurity emission lines of which carbon lines exhibit stronger intensities. Furthermore, the diagnostics is examined in an experiment where plasma experiences sudden disruption and quick recovery. In this case, the IDS measurements show {approx}130% increase in ion temperature. Flow measurements are shown to be consistent with plasma rotation.

  15. Environmental Assessment: Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2005-12-01

    1997). Domestic dogs and cats passing through prairie dog towns are susceptible to infection and may carry fleas to residential areas where humans...the Proposed Action is to manage the prairie dog population to ensure ecosystem stability, population control, genetic diversity, and successful...Environmental Assessment for Black-Tailed Prairie Dog Management for Cannon Air Force Base and Melrose Air Force Range, New Mexico United States Air

  16. Bartonella and Rickettsia from fleas (Siphonaptera: Ceratophyllidae) of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) from the western United States.

    PubMed

    Reeves, Will K; Rogers, Thomas E; Dasch, Gregory A

    2007-08-01

    Fleas of prairie dogs have been implicated in the transmission of Bartonella spp. We used PCR to test DNA extracts from 47 fleas of prairie dogs from 6 states. We amplified DNA from 5 unique genotypes of Bartonella spp. and 1 Rickettsia sp. from 12 fleas collected in North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming. Sequences from the Bartonella spp. were similar, but not identical, to those from prairie dogs and their fleas in Colorado.

  17. Effects of climate on numbers of northern prairie wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Larson, Diane L.

    1995-01-01

    The amount of water held in individual wetland basins depends not only on local climate patterns but also on groundwater flow regime, soil permeability, and basin size. Most wetland basins in the northern prairies hold water in some years and are dry in others. To assess the potential effect of climate change on the number of wetland basins holding water in a given year, one must first determine how much of the variability in number of wet basins is accounted for by climatic variables. I used multiple linear regression to examine the relationship between climate variables and percentage of wet basins throughout the Prairie Pothole Region of Canada and the United States. The region was divided into three areas: parkland, Canadian grassland, and United States grassland (i.e., North Dakota and South Dakota). The models - which included variables for spring and fall temperature, yearly precipitation, the previous year's count of wet basins, and for grassland areas, the previous fall precipitation - accounted for 63 to 65% of the variation in the number of wet basins. I then explored the sensitivities of the models to changes in temperature and precipitation, as might be associated with increased greenhouse gas concentrations. Parkland wetlands are shown to be much more vulnerable to increased temperatures than are wetlands in either Canadian or United States grasslands. Sensitivity to increased precipitation did not vary geographically. These results have implications for waterfowl and other wildlife populations that depend on availability of wetlands in the parklands for breeding or during periods of drought in the southern grasslands.

  18. Potential of Multiple Dendroclimatic Proxies for the Prairies?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vanstone, J. R.; Sauchyn, D. J.

    2009-05-01

    Concern to establish the nature and rate of climatic changes, should serve to reinforce our determination to understand similar details of the 'natural' (i.e. non-anthropogenic) variability of climate. Dendrochronology offers great potential for studying climatic and environmental variability at local and regional levels, because of the wide geographical distribution of suitable sites, high temporal resolution (annual or even seasonal), continuous and relatively long, absolutely-dated, well replicated and environmentally sensitive (i.e. accurate) characteristics of tree rings. Patterns within the annual rings of Quercus (oak) species, suggest that environmental factors influence the size and density of vessels within the ring, either by acting as a limiting factor for growth or through fine tuning of the wood structure to environmental factors. The purpose of this study is to investigate growth responses (annual, early- and late-wood widths) of Q. macrocarpa to regional climatic variability affecting the Canadian Prairies. Results indicate that annual ring widths, as well as early- and late- wood chronologies from southeastern Saskatchewan capture regional signals related to moisture and drought conditions. Correlations suggest that late-wood measurements are more strongly representative of annual ring-widths, than are early-wood widths, and can therefore be applied for investigating seasonal fluctuations in climatic data. Correlations with precipitation and PDSI values indicate that annual, early- and latewood chronologies are useful proxies for investigating large scale climatic fluctuations, and present the opportunity for further investigation of the effects of indices that represent major modes of climate variability, such as the effects of El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) patterns that are thought to influence climate within the Prairie region. This study is novel in terms of sub-annual analysis of tree-rings in a

  19. Distribution and Ratios of 137Cs and K in Control and K-treated Coconut Trees at Bikini Island where Nuclear Test Fallout Occurred: Effects and Implications

    SciTech Connect

    Robison, W L; Brown, P H; Stone, E L; Hamilton, T F; Conrado, C L; Kehl, S R

    2008-05-19

    Coconut trees growing on atolls of the Bikini Islands are on the margin of K deficiency because the concentration of exchangeable K in coral soil is very low ranging from only 20 to 80 mg kg{sup -1}. When provided with additional K, coconut trees absorb large quantities of K and this uptake of K significantly alters the patterns of distribution of {sup 137}Cs within the plant. Following a single K fertilization event, mean total K in trunks of K-treated trees is 5.6 times greater than in trunks of control trees. In contrast, {sup 137}Cs concentration in trunks of K-treated and control trees is statistically the same while {sup 137}Cs is significantly lower in edible fruits of K treated trees. Within one year after fertilization (one rainy season), K concentration in soil is back to naturally, low concentrations, however, the tissue concentrations of K in treated trees stays very high internally in the trees for years while {sup 137}Cs concentration in treated trees remains very low in all tree compartments except for the trunk. Potassium fertilization did not change soil Cs availability. Mass balance calculations suggest that the fertilization event increased above ground plant K content by at least a factor of 5 or 2.2 kg. Potassium concentrations and content were higher in all organs of K fertilized trees with the greatest increases seen in organs that receive a portion of tissue K through xylem transport (trunk, fronds and fruit husks) and lowest in organs supplied predominantly with K via the phloem (palm heart, spathe, coco meat and fluid). {sup 137}Cesium concentrations and contents were dramatically lower in all organs of K treated trees with greatest proportional reductions observed in organs supplied predominantly with K via the phloem (palm heart, spathe, coco meat and fluid). All trees remobilize both K and {sup 137}Cs from fronds as they proceed toward senescence. In control trees the reduction in concentration of K and {sup 137}Cs in fronds as they age

  20. Distribution and ratios of 137Cs and K in control and K-treated coconut trees at Bikini Island where nuclear test fallout occurred: effects and implications.

    PubMed

    Robison, William L; Brown, Patrick H; Stone, Earl L; Hamilton, Terry F; Conrado, Cynthia L; Kehl, Steven

    2009-01-01

    Coconut trees growing on atolls of the Bikini Islands are on the margin of K deficiency because the concentration of exchangeable K in coral soil is very low, ranging from only 20 to 80mgkg(-1). When provided with additional K, coconut trees absorb large quantities of K and this uptake of K significantly alters the patterns of distribution of 137Cs within the plant. Following a single K fertilization event, mean total K in trunks of K-treated trees is 5.6 times greater than in trunks of control trees. In contrast, 137Cs concentration in trunks of K-treated and control trees is statistically the same while 137Cs is significantly lower in edible fruits of K-treated trees. Within one year after fertilization (one rainy season), K concentration in soil is back to naturally low concentrations. However, the tissue concentrations of K in treated trees stays very high internally in the trees for years while 137Cs concentration in treated trees remains very low in all tree compartments except for the trunk. Potassium fertilization did not change soil Cs availability. Mass balance calculations suggest that the fertilization event increased above ground plant K content by at least a factor of 5 (2.2kg). Potassium concentrations and content were higher in all organs of K-fertilized trees with the greatest increases seen in organs that receive a portion of tissue K through xylem transport (trunk, fronds and fruit husks) and lowest in organs supplied predominantly with K via the phloem (palm heart, spathe, coco meat and fluid). The 137Cesium concentrations and contents were dramatically lower in all organs of K-treated trees with greatest proportional reductions observed in organs supplied predominantly with K via the phloem (palm heart, spathe, coco meat and fluid). All trees remobilize both K and 137Cs from fronds as they proceed toward senescence. In control trees the reduction in concentration of K and 137Cs in fronds as they age is logarithmic, but K remobilization is

  1. Streamlined Island

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2003-01-01

    MGS MOC Release No. MOC2-514, 15 October 2003

    This Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) picture shows a streamlined island in Marte Vallis, a large outflow channel system that crosses the 180oW meridian between the Elysium and Amazonis regions of Mars. The flow patterns on the floor of Marte Vallis might be the remains of lava flows or mud flows. Marte is the Spanish word for Mars. Most of the largest valleys on the red planet are named for 'Mars' in various languages. This island is located near 21.8oN, 175.3oW. The picture covers an area 3 km (1.9 mi) wide and is illuminated by sunlight from the lower left.

  2. Classifying Pacific islands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nunn, Patrick D.; Kumar, Lalit; Eliot, Ian; McLean, Roger F.

    2016-12-01

    An earth-science-based classification of islands within the Pacific Basin resulted from the preparation of a database describing the location, area, and type of 1779 islands, where island type is determined as a function of the prevailing lithology and maximum elevation of each island, with an island defined as a discrete landmass composed of a contiguous land area ≥1 ha (0.01 km2) above mean high-water level. Reefs lacking islands and short-lived (<20 years) transient islands are not included. The principal aim of the classification is to assess the spatial diversity of the geologic and geomorphic attributes of Pacific islands. It is intended to be valid at a regional scale and based on two attributes: five types of lithology (volcanic, limestone, composite, continental, surficial) and a distinction between high and low islands. These attributes yielded eight island types: volcanic high and low islands; limestone high and low islands; composite high and low islands; reef (including all unconsolidated) islands; and continental islands. Most common are reef islands (36 %) and volcanic high islands (31 %), whereas the least common are composite low islands (1 %). Continental islands, 18 of the 1779 islands examined, are not included in maps showing the distribution of island attributes and types. Rationale for the spatial distributions of the various island attributes is drawn from the available literature and canvassed in the text. With exception of the few continental islands, the distribution of island types is broadly interpretable from the proximity of island-forming processes. It is anticipated the classification will become the basis for more focused investigation of spatial variability of the climate and ocean setting as well as the biological attributes of Pacific islands. It may also be used in spatial assessments of second-order phenomena associated with the islands, such as their vulnerability to various disasters, coastal erosion, or ocean pollution as

  3. Effects of fire on bird populations in mixed-grass prairie: Chapter 8

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Douglas H.; Knopf, F.L.; Samson, F.B.

    1997-01-01

    The mixed-grass prairie is one of the largest ecosystems in North America, originally covering about 69 million hectares (Bragg and Steuter 1995). Although much of the natural vegetation has been replaced by cropland and other uses (Samson and Knopf 1994, Bragg and Steuter 1995), significant areas have been preserved in national wildlife refuges, waterfowl production areas, state game management areas, and nature preserves. Mixed-grass prairie evolved with fire (Bragg 1995), and fire is frequently used as a management tool for prairie (Berkey et al. 1993). Much of the mixed-grass prairie that has been protected is managed to enhance the reproductive success of waterfowl and other gamebirds, but nongame birds now are receiving increasing emphasis. Despite the importance of the area to numerous species of birds and the aggressive management applied to many sites, relatively little is known about the effects of fire on the suitability of mixed-grass prairie for breeding birds. Several studies have examined effects of fire on breeding birds in the tallgrass prairie (e.g., Tester and Marshall 1961, Eddleman 1974, Halvorsen and Anderson 1983, Westenmeier and Buhnerkempe 1983, Zimmerman 1992, Herkert 1994), in western sagebrush grasslands (Peterson and Best 1987), and in shrubsteppe (Bock and Bock 1987). Studies of fire effects in the mixed-grass prairie are limited. Huber and Steuter (1984) examined the effects on birds during the breeding season following an early-May prescribed burn on a 122-ha site in South Dakota. They contrasted the bird populations on that site to those on a nearby 462-ha unburned site that had been lightly grazed by bison (Bison bison). Pylypec (1991) monitored breeding bird populations occurring in fescue prairies of Canada on a single 12.9-ha burned area and on an adjacent 5.6-ha unburned fescue prairie for three years after a prescribed burn. This chapter describes the effects of prescribed fire on common terrestrial birds at a mixed

  4. Long interspersed nuclear element-1 hypomethylation is a potential biomarker for the prediction of response to oral fluoropyrimidines in microsatellite stable and CpG island methylator phenotype-negative colorectal cancer.

    PubMed

    Kawakami, Kazuyuki; Matsunoki, Aika; Kaneko, Mami; Saito, Kenichiro; Watanabe, Go; Minamoto, Toshinari

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the clinical value of methylation of long interspersed nuclear element-1 (LINE-1) for the prognosis of colorectal cancer (CRC) and for the survival benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy with oral fluoropyrimidines. LINE-1 methylation in tumor DNA was measured by quantitative methylation-specific PCR in 155 samples of stage II and stage III CRC. The presence of microsatellite instability and CpG island methylator phenotype (CIMP) were assessed and 131 microsatellite stable/CIMP- cases were selected for survival analysis, of which 77 patients had received postoperative adjuvant chemotherapy with oral fluoropyrimidines. The CRC cell lines were used to investigate possible mechanistic links between LINE-1 methylation and effects of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). High LINE-1 methylation was a marker for better prognosis in patients treated by surgery alone. Patients with low LINE-1 methylation who were treated with adjuvant chemotherapy survived longer than those treated by surgery alone, suggestive of a survival benefit from the use of oral fluoropyrimidines. In contrast, a survival benefit from chemotherapy was not observed for patients with high LINE-1 methylation. The CRC cell lines treated with 5-FU showed increased expression of LINE-1 mRNA. This was associated with upregulation of the phospho-histone H2A.X in cells with low LINE-1 methylation, but not in cells with high LINE-1 methylation. The 5-FU-mediated induction of phospho-histone H2A.X, a marker of DNA damage, was inhibited by knockdown of LINE-1. These results suggest that LINE-1 methylation is a novel predictive marker for survival benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy with oral fluoropyrimidines in CRC patients. This finding could be important for achieving personalized chemotherapy.

  5. Impact of Residential Prairie Gardens on the Physical Properties of Urban Soil in Madison, Wisconsin.

    PubMed

    Johnston, Marie R; Balster, Nick J; Zhu, Jun

    2016-01-01

    Prairie gardens have become a common addition to residential communities in the midwestern United States because prairie vegetation is native to the region, requires fewer resources to maintain than turfgrass, and has been promoted to help remediate urban soil. Although prairie systems typically have deeper and more diverse root systems than traditional turfgrass, no one has tested the effect of this vegetation type on the physical properties of urban soil. We hypothesized that residential prairie gardens would yield lower soil bulk density (BD), lower penetration resistance (PR), greater soil organic matter (SOM), and greater saturated hydraulic conductivity () compared with turfgrass lawns. To test this hypothesis, we examined 12 residential properties in Madison, WI, where homeowners had established a prairie garden within their turfgrass lawn. Despite a consistent trend in the difference between vegetation types, no significant main effects were found (i.e., a difference between vegetation types when averaged over depth) for any of the four soil properties measured in this study. Differences were found with depth and depended on a significant interaction with vegetation type. At the surface depth (0-0.15 m), soil beneath prairie gardens had 10% lower mean BD, 15% lower mean PR, 25% greater level of SOM, and 33% greater compared with soil beneath the adjacent lawns. These differences were not detected at deeper sampling intervals of 0.15 to 0.30 m and 0.30 to 0.45 m. Although not statistically significant, the consistent trend and direction among soil variables suggest that residential prairie gardens had changed the surface soil at a rate that marginally outpaced turfgrass and calls for controlled experiments to identify the mechanisms that might enhance these trends.

  6. Rangeland dynamics: investigating vegetation composition and structure of urban and exurban prairie dog habitat

    PubMed Central

    Hopson, Rebecca; Meiman, Paul

    2015-01-01

    Rapid human population growth and habitat modification in the western United States has led to the formation of urban and exurban rangelands. Many of these rangelands are also home to populations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Our study aimed to compare the vegetation composition of an urban and exurban rangeland, and explore the role that prairie dogs play in these systems. The percent absolute canopy cover of graminoids (grasses and grass-likes), forbs, shrubs, litter, and bare ground were estimated at sampling areas located on and off prairie dog colonies at an urban and an exurban site. Herbaceous forage quality and quantity were determined on plant material collected from exclosure cages located on the colony during the entire growing season, while a relative estimate of prairie dog density was calculated using maximum counts. The exurban site had more litter and plant cover and less bare ground than the urban site. Graminoids were the dominant vegetation at the exurban plots. In contrast, mostly introduced forbs were found on the urban prairie dog colony. However, the forage quality and quantity tests demonstrated no difference between the two colonies. The relative prairie dog density was greater at the urban colony, which has the potential to drive greater vegetation utilization and reduced cover. Exurban rangeland showed lower levels of impact and retained all of the plant functional groups both on- and off-colony. These results suggest that activities of prairie dogs might further exacerbate the impacts of humans in fragmented urban rangeland habitats. Greater understanding of the drivers of these impacts and the spatial scales at which they occur are likely to prove valuable in the management and conservation of rangelands in and around urban areas. PMID:25650011

  7. Land use and small mammal predation effects on shortgrass prairie birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Stanley, T.R.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds endemic to the central shortgrass prairie ecoregion of the United States have experienced steep and widespread declines over the last 3 decades, and factors influencing reproductive success have been implicated. Nest predation is the major cause of nest failure in passerines, and nesting success for some shortgrass prairie birds is exceptionally low. The 3 primary land uses in the central shortgrass prairie ecoregion are native shortgrass prairie rangeland (62), irrigated and nonirrigated cropland (29), and Conservation Reserve Program (CRP, 8). Because shortgrasscropland edges and CRP may alter the community of small mammal predators of grassland bird nests, I sampled multiple sites on and near the Pawnee National Grasslands in northeast Colorado, USA, to evaluate 1) whether small mammal species richness and densities were greater in CRP fields and shortgrass prairiecropland edges compared to shortgrass prairie habitats, and 2) whether daily survival probabilities of ground-nesting grassland bird nests were negatively correlated with densities of small mammals. Small mammal species richness and densities, estimated using trapping webs, were generally greater along edges and on CRP sites compared to shortgrass sites. Vegetation did not differ among edges and shortgrass sites but did differ among CRP and shortgrass sites. Daily survival probabilities of artificial nests at edge and CRP sites and natural nests at edge sites did not differ from shortgrass sites, and for natural nests small mammal densities did not affect nest survival. However, estimated daily survival probability of artificial nests was inversely proportional to thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus) densities. In conclusion, these data suggest that although land-use patterns on the shortgrass prairie area in my study have substantial effects on the small mammal community, insufficient data existed to determine whether land-use patterns or small mammal density

  8. Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie aquifer, Washington and Idaho

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Drost, B.W.; Seitz, Harold R.

    1977-01-01

    The Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie aquifer is composed of unconsolidated Quaternary glaciofluvial deposits underlying an area of about 350 square miles. Transmissivities in the aquifer range from about 0.13 million to 11 million feet squared per day and ground-water velocities exceed 60 feet per day in some areas. The water-table gradient ranges from about 2 feet per mile to more than 60 feet per mile, and during a year the water table fluctuates on the order of 5 to 10 feet. For most of the aquifer the water table is between 40 and 400 feet below land surface. The aquifer is recharged and discharged at an average rate of about 1,320 cubic feet per second. Water is presently (1976) pumped from the aquifer at an average rate of about 239 cubic feet per second for domestic, industrial, and agricultural uses. Most of this is discharged to the Spokane River, lost to evapotranspiration, or applied to the land surface with little or no change in quality. However, about 34 cubic feet per second becomes waste water generated by domestic and industrial activities and is returned to the aquifer by percolation from cesspools and drain fields. The quality of water in the aquifer is generally good. Less than one-half of 1 percent of the 3,300 analyses available exceeded the maximum contaminant levels specified in the National Interim Primary (or Proposed Secondary) Drinking Water Regulations (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1975) for constituents which may be hazardous to health. Of the 6,300 analyses for constituents considered detrimental to the esthetic quality of water, about 1.4 percent have yielded values which exceeded the recommended levels. Alternative water sources for the area supplied by the aquifer are the Spokane and Little Spokane Rivers, lakes adjacent to the aquifer, and other aquifers. All of these potential sources are less desirable than the Spokane Valley-Rathdrum Prairie aquifer because of insufficient supplies, poor water quality, and (or

  9. Annual Climatology of the Diurnal Cycle on the Canadian Prairies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betts, Alan; Tawfik, Ahmed

    2016-01-01

    We show the annual climatology of the diurnal cycle, stratified by opaque cloud, using the full hourly resolution of the Canadian Prairie data. The opaque cloud field itself has distinct cold and warm season diurnal climatologies; with a near-sunrise peak of cloud in the cold season and an early afternoon peak in the warm season. There are two primary climate states on the Canadian Prairies, separated by the freezing point of water, because a reflective surface snow cover acts as a climate switch. Both cold and warm season climatologies can be seen in the transition months of November, March and April with a large difference in mean temperature. In the cold season with snow, the diurnal ranges of temperature and relative humidity increase quasi-linearly with decreasing cloud, and increase from December to March with increased solar forcing. The warm season months, April to September, show a homogeneous coupling to the cloud cover, and a diurnal cycle of temperature and humidity that depends only on net longwave. Our improved representation of the diurnal cycle shows that the warm season coupling between diurnal temperature range and net longwave is weakly quadratic through the origin, rather than the linear coupling shown in earlier papers. We calculate the conceptually important 24-h imbalances of temperature and relative humidity (and other thermodynamic variables) as a function of opaque cloud cover. In the warm season under nearly clear skies, there is a warming of +2oC and a drying of -6% over the 24-h cycle, which is about 12% of their diurnal ranges. We summarize results on conserved variable diagrams and explore the impact of surface windspeed on the diurnal cycle in the cold and warm seasons. In all months, the fall in minimum temperature is reduced with increasing windspeed, which reduces the diurnal temperature range. In July and August, there is an increase of afternoon maximum temperature and humidity at low windspeeds, and a corresponding rise in

  10. Implications of black-tailed prairie dog spatial dynamics to black-footed ferrets

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jachowski, D.S.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Biggins, D.E.; Livieri, T.M.; Matchett, M.R.

    2008-01-01

    The spatial dynamics of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies affect the utility of these environments for other wildlife, including the endangered black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). We used location data of active and inactive black-tailed prairie dog burrows to investigate colony structure, spatial distribution, and patch dynamics of two colonies at ferret recovery sites. We used kernel-based utilization distributions (UDs) of active and inactive burrows from two time periods (six and 11 years apart) as the basis for our analysis. Overall, the total extent of our prairie dog colonies changed little over time. However, within colonies, areas with high densities of active and inactive prairie dog burrows formed patches and the distribution of these patches changed in size, shape, and connectivity over time. At the Conata Basin site, high-density active burrow patches increased in total area covered while decreasing in connectivity as they shifted towards the perimeter of the colony over time. At the UL Bend site, we observed a similar but less pronounced shift over a longer period of time. At both sites, while at a large scale it appeared that prairie dogs were simply shifting areas of activity towards the perimeter of colonies and abandoning the center of colonies, we observed a dynamic interaction between areas of active and inactive burrows within colonies over time. Areas that previously contained inactive burrows tended to become active, and vice versa, leading us to hypothesize that there are shifts of activity areas within colonies over time as dictated by forage availability. The spatial dynamics we observed have important implications for techniques to estimate the suitability of ferret habitat and for the management of prairie dog colonies. First, fine-scale techniques for measuring prairie dog colonies that account for their patchy spatial distribution are needed to better assess ferret habitat suitability. Second, the shift of

  11. Persistence of black-tailed prairie-dog populations affected by plague in northern Colorado, USA.

    PubMed

    George, Dylan B; Webb, Colleen T; Pepin, Kim M; Savage, Lisa T; Antolini, Michael F

    2013-07-01

    The spatial distribution of prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in North America has changed from large, contiguous populations to small, isolated colonies in metapopulations. One factor responsible for this drastic change in prairie-dog population structure is plague (caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis). We fit stochastic patch occupancy models to 20 years of prairie-dog colony occupancy data from two discrete metapopulations (west and east) in the Pawnee National Grassland in Colorado, USA, that differ in connectivity among suitable habitat patches. We conducted model selection between two hypothesized modes of plague movement: independent of prairie-dog dispersal (colony-area) vs. plague movement consistent with prairie-dog dispersal (connectivity to extinct colonies). The best model, which fit the data well (area under the curve [AUC]: 0.94 west area; 0.79 east area), revealed that over time the proportion of extant colonies was better explained by colony size than by connectivity to extinct (plagued) colonies. The idea that prairie dogs are not likely to be the main vector that spreads Y. pestis across the landscape is supported by the observation that colony extinctions are primarily caused by plague, prairie-dog dispersal is short range, and connectivity to extinct colonies was not selected as a factor in the models. We also conducted simulations with the best model to examine long-term patterns of colony occupancy and persistence of prairie-dog metapopulations. In the case where the metapopulations persist, our model predicted that the western metapopulation would have a colony occupancy rate approximately 2.5 times higher than that of the eastern metapopulation (-50% occupied colonies vs. 20%) in 50 years, but that the western metapopulation has -80% chance of extinction in 100 years while the eastern metapopulation has a less than 25% chance. Extinction probability of individual colonies depended on the frequency with which colonies of the

  12. Amchitka Island Environmental Analysis at Idaho National Laboratory

    SciTech Connect

    Gracy Elias; W. F. Bauer; J.G. Eisenmenger; C.C. Jensen; B.K. Schuetz; T. C. Sorensen; B.M. White; A. L. Freeman; M. E. McIlwain

    2005-08-01

    The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) provided support to Consortium for Risk Evaluation with Stakeholder Participation (CRESP) in their activities which is supported by the Department of Energy (DOE) to assess the impact of past nuclear testing at Amchitka Island on the ecosystemof the island and surrounding ocean. INL participated in this project in three phases, Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3.

  13. Prairie Voles as a Model to Screen Medications for the Treatment of Alcoholism and Addictions.

    PubMed

    Ryabinin, A E; Hostetler, C M

    2016-01-01

    Most preclinical studies of medications to treat addictions are performed in mice and rats. These two rodent species belong to one phylogenetic subfamily, which narrows the likelihood of identifying potential mechanisms regulating addictions in other species, ie, humans. Expanding the genetic diversity of organisms modeling alcohol and drug abuse enhances our ability to screen for medications to treat addiction. Recently, research laboratories adapted the prairie vole model to study mechanisms of alcohol and drugs of abuse. This development not only expanded the diversity of genotypes used to screen medications, but also enhanced capabilities of such screens. Prairie voles belong to 3-5% of mammalian species exhibiting social monogamy. This unusual trait is reflected in their ability to form lasting long-term affiliations between adult individuals. The prairie vole animal model has high predictive validity for mechanisms regulating human social behaviors. In addition, these animals exhibit high alcohol intake and preference. In laboratory settings, prairie voles are used to model social influences on drug reward and alcohol consumption as well as effects of addictive substances on social bonding. As a result, this species can be adapted to screen medications whose effectiveness could be (a) resistant to social influences promoting excessive drug taking, (b) dependent on the presence of social support, and (c) medications affecting harmful social consequences of alcohol and drug abuse. This report reviews the literature on studies of alcohol and psychostimulants in prairie voles and discusses capabilities of this animal model as a screen for novel medications to treat alcoholism and addictions.

  14. Population genetic structure of the prairie dog flea and plague vector, Oropsylla hirsuta.

    PubMed

    Brinkerhoff, R Jory; Martin, Andrew P; Jones, Ryan T; Collinge, Sharon K

    2011-01-01

    Oropsylla hirsuta is the primary flea of the black-tailed prairie dog and is a vector of the plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis. We examined the population genetic structure of O. hirsuta fleas collected from 11 prairie dog colonies, 7 of which had experienced a plague-associated die-off in 1994. In a sample of 332 O. hirsuta collected from 226 host individuals, we detected 24 unique haplotype sequences in a 480 nucleotide segment of the cytochrome oxidase II gene. We found significant overall population structure but we did not detect a signal of isolation by distance, suggesting that O. hirsuta may be able to disperse relatively quickly at the scale of this study. All 7 colonies that were recently decimated by plague showed signs of recent population expansion, whereas 3 of the 4 plague-negative colonies showed haplotype patterns consistent with stable populations. These results suggest that O. hirsuta populations are affected by plague-induced prairie dog die-offs and that flea dispersal among prairie dog colonies may not be dependent exclusively on dispersal of prairie dogs. Re-colonization following plague events from plague-free refugia may allow for rapid flea population expansion following plague epizootics.

  15. Morning ambush attacks by black-footed ferrets on emerging prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, D.A.; Biggins, D.E.; Jachowski, D.S.; Livieri, T.M.; Millspaugh, J.J.; Forsberg, M.

    2010-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) often hunt at night, attacking normally diurnal prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) in underground burrow systems. While monitoring black-footed ferrets in South Dakota during morning daylight hours, we observed an adult female ferret ambush a black-tailed prairie dog (C. ludovicianus) emerging from a burrow. On a neighboring colony, we observed a second adult female ferret engaging in similar ambush behaviors on 12 occasions, although prey was not visible. We retrospectively assessed radio-telemetry data on white-tailed prairie dogs (C. leucurus) and a male and a female ferret to evaluate ferret activity in relation to timing of prairie dog emergence. Activity of radio-collared ferrets was high during the hourly period when prairie dogs first emerged and the following 2 hr, relative to later daylight hours. Such behavior is consistent with behaviors observed in South Dakota. Nighttime movements by ferrets might involve hunting but also reconnaissance of prey preparatory to morning ambush attacks.

  16. Factors that affect parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs by fleas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David; Hoogland, John L.

    2016-01-01

    Fleas (Insecta: Siphonaptera) are hematophagous ectoparasites that feed on vertebrate hosts. Fleas can reduce the fitness of hosts by interfering with immune responses, disrupting adaptive behaviors, and transmitting pathogens. The negative effects of fleas on hosts are usually most pronounced when fleas attain high densities. In lab studies, fleas desiccate and die under dry conditions, suggesting that populations of fleas will tend to decline when precipitation is scarce under natural conditions. To test this hypothesis, we compared precipitation vs. parasitism of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) by fleas at a single colony during May and June of 13 consecutive years (1976–1988) at Wind Cave National Park, South Dakota, USA. The number of fleas on prairie dogs decreased with increasing precipitation during both the prior growing season (April through August of the prior year) and the just-completed winter–spring (January through April of current year). Due to the reduction in available moisture and palatable forage in dry years, herbivorous prairie dogs might have been food-limited, with weakened behavioral and immunological defenses against fleas. In support of this hypothesis, adult prairie dogs of low mass harbored more fleas than heavier adults. Our results have implications for the spread of plague, an introduced bacterial disease, transmitted by fleas, that devastates prairie dog colonies and, in doing so, can transform grassland ecosystems.

  17. Biotic interactions as determinants of ecosystem structure in prairie wetlands: An example using fish

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hanson, M.A.; Zimmer, K.D.; Butler, Malcolm G.; Tangen, B.A.; Herwig, B.R.; Euliss, N.H.

    2005-01-01

    Wetlands are abundant throughout the prairie pothole region (PPR), an area comprising over 700,000 km2 in central North America. Prairie wetland communities are strongly influenced by regional physiography and climate, resulting in extreme spatial and temporal variability relative to other aquatic ecosystems. Given the strong influence of abiotic factors, PPR wetland communities have been viewed traditionally in the context of their responses to chemical and physical features of landscape and climate. Although useful, this physical-chemical paradigm may fail to account for ecosystem variability due to biotic influences, particularly those associated with presence of fish. Spatial and temporal variability in fish populations, in turn, may reflect anthropogenic activities, landscape characteristics, and climate-mediated effects on water levels, surface connectivity, and hydroperiods. We reviewed studies assessing influences of fish on prairie wetlands and examined precipitation patterns and biological data from PPR wetlands in east-central North Dakota and western Minnesota, USA. Our review and analysis indicated that native fish influence many characteristics of permanently flooded prairie wetlands, including water clarity and abundance of phytoplankton, submerged macrophytes, and aquatic invertebrates. We suggest that ecologists and managers will benefit from conceptual paradigms that better meld biotic interactions associated with fish, and perhaps other organisms, with chemical and physical influences on prairie wetland communities. ?? 2005, The Society of Wetland Scientists.

  18. A proposal to conserve black-footed ferrets and the prairie dog ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Miller, Brian; Wemmer, Christen; Biggins, Dean; Reading, Richard

    1990-11-01

    Prairie dogs ( Cynomys spp.) have been poisoned throughout this century because of grazing competition with livestock. Recent evidence showed these early claims were exaggerated, but animal control was already entrenched in government policy. As a result, ongoing government subsidized poisoning has reduced prairie dogs to about 2% of their former distribution. The reduction of prairie dogs diminished species diversity in the arid grasslands of North America, including the potential extinction of the black-footed ferret ( Mustela nigripes). Cost-benefit analysis revealed that poisoning costs more than any grazing benefits accrued. This analysis did not consider the long-term costs of reversing ecosystem degradation, the intangible value of biological diversity as a public benefit, or the depletion of biotic resources as a loss of actual or potential wealth. The government presently finances the poisoning policy and the preservation of endangered species like the black-footed ferret, two apparently conflicting programs. We, therefore, propose an integrated management plan that considers both interests. We propose that federal monies allocated to the poisoning program be converted into a rebate for ranchers who manage livestock while preserving the prairie dog community. This would redirect funds and personnel already allocated to prairie dog eradication to an incentive for ranchers who manage for livestock and wildlife. Livestock interests and grassland biotic diversity would both benefit.

  19. Advances towards a Marker-Assisted Selection Breeding Program in Prairie Cordgrass, a Biomass Crop

    PubMed Central

    Gedye, K. R.; Gonzalez-Hernandez, J. L.; Owens, V.; Boe, A.

    2012-01-01

    Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata Bosc ex Link) is an indigenous, perennial grass of North America that is being developed into a cellulosic biomass crop suitable for biofuel production. Limited research has been performed into the breeding of prairie cordgrass; this research details an initial investigation into the development of a breeding program for this species. Genomic libraries enriched for four simple sequence repeat (SSR) motifs were developed, 25 clones from each library were sequenced, identifying 70 SSR regions, and primers were developed for these regions, 35 of which were amplified under standard PCR conditions. These SSR markers were used to validate the crossing methodology of prairie cordgrass and it was found that crosses between two plants occurred without the need for emasculation. The successful cross between two clones of prairie cordgrass indicates that this species is not self-incompatible. The results from this research will be used to instigate the production of a molecular map of prairie cordgrass which can be used to incorporate marker-assisted selection (MAS) protocols into a breeding program to improve this species for cellulosic biomass production. PMID:23227036

  20. Hydrology of prairie wetlands: Understanding the integrated surface-water and groundwater processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hayashi, Masaki; van der Kamp, Garth; Rosenberry, Donald O.

    2016-01-01

    Wetland managers and policy makers need to make decisions based on a sound scientific understanding of hydrological and ecological functions of wetlands. This article presents an overview of the hydrology of prairie wetlands intended for managers, policy makers, and researchers new to this field (e.g., graduate students), and a quantitative conceptual framework for understanding the hydrological functions of prairie wetlands and their responses to changes in climate and land use. The existence of prairie wetlands in the semi-arid environment of the Prairie-Pothole Region (PPR) depends on the lateral inputs of runoff water from their catchments because mean annual potential evaporation exceeds precipitation in the PPR. Therefore, it is critically important to consider wetlands and catchments as highly integrated hydrological units. The water balance of individual wetlands is strongly influenced by runoff from the catchment and the exchange of groundwater between the central pond and its moist margin. Land-use practices in the catchment have a sensitive effect on runoff and hence the water balance. Surface and subsurface storage and connectivity among individual wetlands controls the diversity of pond permanence within a wetland complex, resulting in a variety of eco-hydrological functionalities necessary for maintaining the integrity of prairie-wetland ecosystems.

  1. A proposal to conserve black-footed ferrets and the prairie dog ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Brian; Wemmer, Christen; Biggins, Dean; Reading, Richard P.

    1990-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been poisoned throughout this century because of grazing competition with livestock. Recent evidence showed these early claims were exaggerated, but animal control was already entrenched in government policy. As a result, ongoing government subsidized poisoning has reduced prairie dogs to about 2% of their former distribution. The reduction of prairie dogs diminished species diversity in the arid grasslands of North America, including the potential extinction of the black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes). Cost-benefit analysis revealed that poisoning costs more than any grazing benefits accrued. This analysis did not consider the long-term costs of reversing ecosystem degradation, the intangible value of biological diversity as a public benefit, or the depletion of biotic resources as a loss of actual or potential wealth. The government presently finances the poisoning policy and the preservation of endangered species like the black-footed ferret, two apparently conflicting programs. We, therefore, propose an integrated management plan that considers both interests. We propose that federal monies allocated to the poisoning program be converted into a rebate for ranchers who manage livestock while preserving the prairie dog community. This would redirect funds and personnel already allocated to prairie dog eradication to an incentive for ranchers who manage for livestock and wildlife. Livestock interests and grassland biotic diversity would both benefit.

  2. Illinois Natural Heritage Conservation/Education Kit III. Special Theme: Prairie and Open Habitats Ecology and Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stone, Sally F.

    This instructional guide contains 15 activities and exercises designed to help teachers familiarize their students with prairie and open habitat resources of Illinois. Each activity or exercise is ready to be copied and given to students. Activities include: (1) making a marsh hawk model; (2) building a prairie ecosystem; (3) investigating food…

  3. 76 FR 35210 - Pocahontas Prairie Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-16

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Pocahontas Prairie Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based... above-referenced proceeding of Pocahontas Prairie Wind, LLC's application for market-based...

  4. W.A.S.P.s and Others: The Immigration Debate on the Prairies, 1896-1920.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Palmer, Howard

    The public controversy which developed between 1896 and 1920 in the Canadian prairie provinces over the question of immigration is examined in this paper. It is shown that although many of the social, political, religious and cultural characteristics which have differentiated the prairies have been a result of ethnic diversity, the predominantly…

  5. Random amplified polymorphic DNA variation among remnant big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii vitman) populations from Arkansas' grand prairie

    PubMed

    Gustafson; Gibson; Nickrent

    1999-10-01

    Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis was used to characterize genetic diversity and genetic distinctiveness of Andropogon gerardii from remnant Arkansas prairies. Six oligonucleotide primers, which generated 37 RAPD bands, were used to analyse 30-32 plants from six Grand Prairie populations, Baker Prairie (Arkansas Ozarks), two Illinois prairies and two cultivars. Genetic diversity of the Arkansas remnants ranged from 82.7 to 99.3%, with 89% of the total genetic variation within and 11% among populations. The partitioning of genetic variation was consistent with that reported for other outcrossing perennial grasses, using the more conservative allozyme markers. Principal component analysis indicated a northern and southern association within Arkansas' Grand Prairie. Although there was no genetic structuring at the landscape level, the Illinois prairies and cultivars were different from all Arkansas prairies tested. There was significant within-population structuring in four of the seven Arkansas remnants, with a negative relationship between genetic similarity and geographical distance. The three nonstructured populations were from a linear railroad remnant, suggesting different population-level dynamics from nonlinear prairies. The results of this study indicated that small isolated remnant big bluestem populations were not genetically depauperate and that genetic relationships among populations could not be predicted solely on geographical proximity.

  6. 78 FR 62300 - Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-10-15

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market... in the above-referenced proceeding, of Prairie Breeze Wind Energy LLC's application for...

  7. Students' Perceptions of a Highly Controversial yet Keystone Species, the Black-Tailed Prairie Dog: A Case Study

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fox-Parrish, Lynne; Jurin, Richard R.

    2008-01-01

    The authors used a case-study methodology to explore the perceptions of 30 9th-grade biology students relative to black-tailed prairie dogs. The case study, which involved classroom- and field-based experiences that focused on black-tailed prairie dogs, revealed 3 major themes: apathy, egocentrism, and naive conceptions. The authors had hoped that…

  8. Effects of short-term cattle exclusion on plant community composition: Prairie dog and ecological site influences

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant community composition is an important indicator of healthy, proper functioning rangelands. We evaluated the impacts prairie dog grazing, ecological site and short term cattle exclusion on Northern Mixed-Grass prairie near McLaughlin, SD. Modified Daubenmire frames provided canopy cover, litte...

  9. 77 FR 46157 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-02

    ... to decimation by plague, and, consequently, curb the species' boom-and-bust population cycle. The... prairie dog populations are susceptible to sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis), a bacterium introduced to the North American continent in 1899 (Cully 1993, p. 38). Plague occurs in prairie dog colonies...

  10. Notice of release of Fanny Germplasm, Carmel Germplasm, and Bonneville Germplasm Searls' prairie clover: Selected class of natural germplasm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Three natural-track selected germplasms of Searls' prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae [A. Gray] Barneby [Fabaceae]) have been released for use in revegetation/restoration of semi-arid rangelands in the western US. Searls' prairie clover is a perennial leguminous forb that is native to Utah, Nevada, Ar...

  11. 77 FR 57082 - Prairie Rose Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market-Based Rate Filing Includes...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-09-17

    ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Rose Wind, LLC; Supplemental Notice That Initial Market- Based Rate...-referenced proceeding, of Prairie Rose Wind, LLC's application for market-based rate authority, with...

  12. Island Formation: Constructing a Coral Island

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Austin, Heather; Edd, Amelia

    2009-01-01

    The process of coral island formation is often difficult for middle school students to comprehend. Coral island formation is a dynamic process, and students should have the opportunity to experience this process in a synergistic context. The authors provide instructional guidelines for constructing a coral island. Students play an interactive role…

  13. Pacific Enewetak Atoll Crater Exploration (PEACE) Program, Enewetak Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands. Part 3. Stratigraphic Analysis and Other Geologic and Geophysical Studies in Vicinity of KOA and OAK Craters,

    DTIC Science & Technology

    STRATIGRAPHY, *OCEAN BOTTOM, *CRATERS, NUCLEAR WARFARE, NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS, DEFENSE SYSTEMS, SURVIVABILITY, DYNAMICS, OBSERVATION, UNDERWATER EXPLOSIONS, MARSHALL ISLANDS, ATOLLS , MINERALOGY, RADIATION CHEMISTRY.

  14. Proceedings of the symposium on the management of prairie dog complexes for the reintroduction of the black-footed ferret

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Oldemeyer, John L.; Biggins, Dean E.; Miller, Brian J.; Crete, Ronald

    1993-01-01

    The workshop featured a review of current knowledge in the biology of prairie dogs in the context of managing black-footed ferret habitat. The review addressed two main components. The first consisted of a series of papers on prairie dog habitat and biology. The second component of the workshop was a summary of the participants' discussion about managing prairie dog complexes. This discussion was based on the previously identified papers and profited from the participants' expertise on the ecology of black-footed ferrets and prairie dogs. The report provides current and comprehensive information about management of habitat for prairie dogs and black-footed ferrets and is a useful guide for agencies and individuals that manage black-footed ferrets.

  15. Habitat relationships of birds overwintering in a managed coastal prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Baldwin, H.Q.; Grace, J.B.; Barrow, W.C.; Rohwer, F.C.

    2007-01-01

    Grassland birds are considered to be rapidly declining in North America. Management approaches for grassland birds frequently rely on prescribed burning to maintain habitat in suitable condition. We evaluated the relationships among years since burn, vegetation structure, and overwintering grassland bird abundance in coastal prairie. Le Conte's Sparrows (Ammodramus leconteii) were most common in areas that had: (1) been burned within the previous 2 years, (2) medium density herbaceous vegetation, and (3) sparse shrub densities. Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis) were associated with areas: (1) burned within 1 year, (2) with sparse herbaceous vegetation, and (3) with sparse shrub densities. Sedge Wrens (Cistothorus platensis) were most common in areas that had: (1) burned greater than 2 years prior and (2) dense herbaceous vegetation. Swamp Sparrows (Melospiza georgiana): (1) were most common in areas of dense shrubs, (2) not related to time since burnings, and (3) demonstrated no relationship to herbaceous vegetation densities. The relationships to fire histories for all four bird species could be explained by the associated vegetation characteristics indicating the need for a mosaic of burn rotations and modest levels of woody vegetation.

  16. Hydrology and Geomorphology of Tallgrass Prairie Intermittent Headwater Streams

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Daniels, M. D.; Grudzinski, B.

    2011-12-01

    The arid to semi-arid Great Plains region of the United States covers more than 1 million km2, yet virtually nothing is known about the geomorphology of its intermittent headwater streams. These streams and the perennial rivers they feed support a unique and increasingly endangered assemblage of endemic fish species. While human impacts in the region are not at first glace significant, the reality is that the Great Plains are an intensively managed landscape, with pervasive cattle grazing, channelization, and groundwater over-pumping affecting these systems. These stresses will only increase with potential climate and related land use changes. Few natural remnants of native grassland remain today, limiting opportunities to study the natural dynamics of these systems in contrast to the anthropogenically modified systems. This paper presents a review of the existing geomorphological and hydrological knowledge of Great Plains headwater streams and presents the initial analysis of an 18 year intermittent headwater stream record from the tallgrass Konza Prairie LTER, Kansas. Results suggest that fire frequency and grazing and the resultant riparian vegetation composition strongly influence stream flow dynamics as well as stream geomorphology.

  17. Exposure of migrant bald eagles to lead in prairie Canada.

    PubMed

    Miller, M J; Wayland, M E; Bortolotti, G R

    2001-01-01

    The prevalence of elevated exposure to lead was assessed in a migrant population of bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) at a waterfowl staging area in the southern portion of the Canadian prairies, from September to November, 1992-1995. Of 103 eagles, 8% exhibited blood lead (PbB) concentrations suggestive of elevated exposure to lead (> or = 0.200 microgram ml-1 wet wt.). PbB concentrations in eagles from the study area ranged from < 0.01 to 0.585 microgram ml-1, while those of nestling eagles from a reference site indicated normal or background exposure (< 0.01 microgram ml-1). No differences in the prevalence of elevated exposure were detected among genders or age classes (0.5- and > or = 1.5-year-old birds) (P > 0.05). The prevalence of elevated exposure was significantly greater in November than in October (21.7 vs. 3.8%) (all years: chi 2Y = 5.75, P = 0.017). Eagles with shotshell pellets in the digestive tract did not have accompanying high PbB concentrations. The prevalence of elevated lead exposure in this study was low in comparison to other areas in North America. Potential biases in the trapping technique as they relate to interpreting the results are addressed.

  18. Voluntary exercise facilitates pair-bonding in male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Kenkel, William M; Carter, C Sue

    2016-01-01

    The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in exercise, as well as monogamy and parental behavior. In this study, we compared behavioral and neuroendocrine effects of access to an exercise wheel vs. the sedentary state typical in lab animal housing. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were studied because of their extensive repertoire of social behaviors including pair bond formation and biparental care, which are influenced by oxytocin and vasopressin. Subjects in one group had access to a running wheel in their cage (wheel), and voluntarily ran approximately 1.5 km/day for six weeks; these animals were compared to males in standard housing conditions (n=10/group). Males allowed to exercise formed partner preferences significantly faster than controls and exhibited fewer oxytocin neurons, as measured by immunohistochemistry in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. We observed no differences in terms of anxiety-related behavior, or alloparental responsiveness. Males with a running wheel equipped cage gained more total body weight, and by the end of the six weeks were found to have less subcutaneous fat and larger testes as a percentage of bodyweight. The changes to gonadal regulation and pair-bonding behavior associated with voluntary exercise are discussed in terms of their possible relevance to the natural history of this species.

  19. An impending water crisis in Canada's western prairie provinces

    PubMed Central

    Schindler, D. W.; Donahue, W. F.

    2006-01-01

    Canada is usually considered to be a country with abundant freshwater, but in its western prairie provinces (WPP), an area 1/5 the size of Europe, freshwater is scarce. European settlement of the WPP did not begin until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fortuitously, the period since European settlement appears to have been the wettest century of the past two millennia. The frequent, long periods of drought that characterized earlier centuries of the past two millennia were largely absent in the 20th century. Here, we show that climate warming and human modifications to catchments have already significantly reduced the flows of major rivers of the WPP during the summer months, when human demand and in-stream flow needs are greatest. We predict that in the near future climate warming, via its effects on glaciers, snowpacks, and evaporation, will combine with cyclic drought and rapidly increasing human activity in the WPP to cause a crisis in water quantity and quality with far-reaching implications. PMID:16606829

  20. Factors limiting mallard brood survival in prairie pothole landscapes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Krapu, Gary L.; Pietz, Pamela J.; Brandt, David A.; Cox, Robert R.

    2000-01-01

    In order to estimate mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) production from managed and unmanaged lands, waterfowl biologists need measurable predictors of brood survival. We evaluated effects of percent of seasonal basins holding water (WETSEAS), percent of upland landscape in perennial cover (PERNCOVER), rainfall (RAIN), daily minimum ambient temperature (TMIN), hatch date (HATCHDATE), brood age (BA; 0-7 or 8-30 days), age of brood females, and brood size on mallard brood survival in prairie pothole landscapes, and developed a predictive model using factors found to have significant effects. Sixteen of 56 radiomarked broods experienced total loss during 1,250 exposure days. Our final fitted model of brood survival contained only main effects of WETSEAS, HATCHDATE, and RAIN. Total brood loss during the first 30 days of exposure was 11.2 times more likely for broods hatched on areas with 59% WETSEAS. Total brood loss was 5.2 times more likely during rainy conditions than during dry periods, and the hazard of total brood loss increased by 5% for each 1-day delay in hatching between 17 May and 12 August. High survival of mallard broods in landscapes where most seasonal basins contain water underscores the importance of maintaining seasonal wetlands as a major component of wetland complexes managed for mallard production. Because early hatched broods have higher survival, we also suggest that waterfowl managers focus their efforts on enhancing nest success of early laid clutches, especially in wet years.

  1. Map of mixed prairie grassland vegetation, Rocky Flats, Colorado

    SciTech Connect

    Clark, S J.V.; Webber, P J; Komarkova, V; Weber, W A

    1980-01-01

    A color vegetation map at the scale of 1:12,000 of the area surrounding the Rocky Flats, Rockwell International Plant near Boulder, Colorado, provides a permanent record of baseline data which can be used to monitor changes in both vegetation and environment and thus to contribute to future land management and land-use policies. Sixteen mapping units based on species composition were identified, and characterized by two 10-m/sup 2/ vegetation stands each. These were grouped into prairie, pasture, and valley side on the basis of their species composition. Both the mapping units and these major groups were later confirmed by agglomerative clustering analysis of the 32 vegetation stands on the basis of species composition. A modified Bray and Curtis ordination was used to determine the environmental factor complexes controlling the distribution of vegetation at Rocky flats. Recommendations are made for future policies of environmental management and predictions of the response to environmental change of the present vegetation at the Rocky Flats site.

  2. Response of two prairie forbs to repeated vole herbivory.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Amy T; Howe, Henry F

    2011-04-01

    Vertebrate herbivores as diverse as ungulates, geese, and rabbits preferentially feed on plants that have previously experienced herbivory. Here, we ask whether smaller grassland "cryptic consumers" such as voles (Microtus ochrogaster and M. pennsylvanicus) preferentially clip (cut stems for access to leaves or seeds) or avoid previously clipped individuals of two tallgrass prairie species (Desmanthus illinoensis and Echinacea purpurea) within a growing season. Further, we ask how these plants respond to repeated clipping within a growing season, and whether the effects of this herbivory last into the subsequent growing season. Voles preferentially clipped stems of D. illinoensis and E. purpurea plants that had been previously clipped. The exception was indiscriminant clipping of stems of E. purpurea late in the growing season when its achenes, a favorite vole food, ripened. For D. illinoensis, repeated clipping resulted in a 59% reduction in biomass, 42% lower ratio of reproductive to vegetative biomass, and 57% fewer seeds produced per plant compared with unclipped plants. These effects lasted into the following growing season in which plants were protected from voles. In contrast, the only effect of repeated clipping for E. purpurea was that the number of achenes per plant was substantially reduced by three episodes of clipping. This effect did not carry over to the next growing season. Such differences in D. illinoensis and E. purpurea response to repeated stem clipping by voles offer insights into how these small rodents can effect major changes in composition and dominance in grassland communities.

  3. Temperature and hydrology affect methane emissions from Prairie Pothole Wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Bansal, Sheel; Tangen, Brian; Finocchiaro, Raymond

    2016-01-01

    The Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) in central North America consists of millions of depressional wetlands that each have considerable potential to emit methane (CH4). Changes in temperature and hydrology in the PPR from climate change may affect methane fluxes from these wetlands. To assess the potential effects of changes in climate on methane emissions, we examined the relationships between flux rates and temperature or water depth using six years of bi-weekly flux measurements during the snow-free period from six temporarily ponded and six permanently ponded wetlands in North Dakota, USA. Methane flux rates were among the highest reported for freshwater wetlands, and had considerable spatial and temporal variation. Methane flux rates increased with increasing temperature and water depth, and were especially high when conditions were warmer and wetter than average (163 ± 28 mg CH4 m−2 h−1) compared to warmer and drier (37 ± 7 mg CH4 m−2 h−1). Methane emission rates from permanent wetlands were less sensitive to changes in temperature and water depth compared to temporary wetlands, likely due to higher sulfate concentrations in permanent wetlands. While the predicted increase in temperature with climate change will likely increase methane emission rates from PPR wetlands, drier conditions could moderate these increases.

  4. Comparison of filter with Prairie and European Network data

    SciTech Connect

    Canavan, G.H.

    1997-10-01

    Earlier notes derived a model for the hydrodynamics, ablation, and radiation of meteor impacts at the level needed to infer meteor parameters from observations and extended it to objects that fragment during entry, using models based on related cometary studies. This note completes the comparison of the resulting filter model to European and Prairie Network (EN and PN) data and models of meteor impact. In cases of mutual applicability, US and European models give broadly consistent results. The quantitative analysis of the EN and PN data is best discussed in conjunction with the Russian program of its analysis, because the Russian program has bypassed the large reported photometrically based masses to derive more plausible estimates of sizes, masses, and radiation efficiencies, which are the primary quantities of concern here. This note completes the discussion of the PN and EN data begun earlier, uses the data to produce filter predictions, and compares it with observations and the predictions of the Russian analytic effort. The overall agreement is useful in that the Russian efforts have employed more complex models that use observational data directly, while the filter model is at a level of simplification much better suited to data inversion.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritzell, E.K.

    1978-01-01

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

  6. Evidence for edge effects on multiple levels in tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Winter, M.; Johnson, D.H.; Faaborg, J.

    2000-01-01

    We tested how edges affect nest survival and predator distribution in a native tallgrass prairie system in southwestern Missouri using artificial nests, natural nests of Dickcissels (Spiza americana) and Henslow's Sparrows (Ammodramus henslowii), and mammal track stations. Survival of artificial nests was lower within 30 m of forest edge. Nesting success of Dickcissels and Henslow's Sparrows was lower within 50 m to a shrubby edge than at greater distances, whereas fates of nests were not related to distances to roads, agricultural fields, or forests. Evidence from clay eggs placed in artificial nests indicated that mid-sized carnivores were the major predators within 30 m of forest edges. Furthermore, mid-sized carnivores visited track stations most frequently within 50 m of forest edges. Because proximity of woody habitat explained more variation in nest survival and mammal activity than did fragment size, it appears that edge effects were more pronounced than area effects. Edge effects appeared to be caused mainly by greater exposure of nests to midsized carnivores. We argue that, based on edge avoidance behavior, 'grassland-interior' species such as the Henslow's Sparrow respond to edge effects mainly by a decrease in density, whereas habitat generalists such as the Dickcissel are affected mainly by a decrease in nesting success.

  7. Social recognition is context dependent in single male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Zheng, Da-Jiang; Foley, Lauren; Rehman, Asad; Ophir, Alexander G

    2013-11-01

    Single males might benefit from knowing the identity of neighbouring males when establishing and defending boundaries. Similarly, males should discriminate between individual females if this leads to more reproductive opportunities. Contextual social cues may alter the value of learning identity. Knowing the identity of competitors that intrude into an animal's territory may be more salient than knowing the identity of individuals on whose territory an animal is trespassing. Hence, social and environmental context could affect social recognition in many ways. Here we test social recognition of socially monogamous single male prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster. In experiment 1 we tested recognition of male or female conspecifics and found that males discriminated between different males but not between different females. In experiment 2 we asked whether recognition of males is influenced when males are tested in their own cage (familiar), in a clean cage (neutral) or in the home cage of another male (unfamiliar). Although focal males discriminated between male conspecifics in all three contexts, individual variation in recognition was lower when males were tested in their home cage (in the presence of familiar social cues) compared to when the context lacked social cues (neutral). Experiment 1 indicates that selective pressures may have operated to enhance male territorial behaviour and indiscriminate mate selection. Experiment 2 suggests that the presence of a conspecific cue heightens social recognition and that home-field advantages might extend to social cognition. Taken together, our results indicate social recognition depends on the social and possibly territorial context.

  8. Voluntary Exercise Facilitates Pair-Bonding in Male Prairie Voles

    PubMed Central

    Kenkel, William M; Carter, C. Sue

    2015-01-01

    The neuropeptides oxytocin and vasopressin have been implicated in exercise, as well as monogamy and parental behavior. In this study, we compared behavioral and neuroendocrine effects of access to an exercise wheel versus the sedentary state typical in lab animal housing. Male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) were studied because of their extensive repertoire of social behaviors including pair bond formation and biparental care, which are influenced by oxytocin and vasopressin. Subjects in one group had access to a running wheel in their cage (Wheel), and voluntarily ran approximately 1.5 km/day for six weeks; these animals were compared to males in standard housing conditions (n = 10 / group). Males allowed to exercise formed partner preferences significantly faster than controls and exhibited fewer oxytocin neurons, as measured by immunohistochemistry in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis. We observed no differences in terms of anxiety-related behavior, or alloparental responsiveness. Males with a running wheel equipped cage gained more total body weight, and by the end of the six weeks were found to have less subcutaneous fat and larger testes as a percentage of bodyweight. The changes to gonadal regulation and pair-bonding behavior associated with voluntary exercise are discussed in terms of their possible relevance to the natural history of this species. PMID:26409174

  9. An impending water crisis in Canada's western prairie provinces.

    PubMed

    Schindler, D W; Donahue, W F

    2006-05-09

    Canada is usually considered to be a country with abundant freshwater, but in its western prairie provinces (WPP), an area 1/5 the size of Europe, freshwater is scarce. European settlement of the WPP did not begin until the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Fortuitously, the period since European settlement appears to have been the wettest century of the past two millennia. The frequent, long periods of drought that characterized earlier centuries of the past two millennia were largely absent in the 20th century. Here, we show that climate warming and human modifications to catchments have already significantly reduced the flows of major rivers of the WPP during the summer months, when human demand and in-stream flow needs are greatest. We predict that in the near future climate warming, via its effects on glaciers, snowpacks, and evaporation, will combine with cyclic drought and rapidly increasing human activity in the WPP to cause a crisis in water quantity and quality with far-reaching implications.

  10. A standardized sampling protocol for channel catfish in prairie streams

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Vokoun, Jason C.; Rabeni, Charles F.

    2001-01-01

    Three alternative gears—an AC electrofishing raft, bankpoles, and a 15-hoop-net set—were used in a standardized manner to sample channel catfish Ictalurus punctatus in three prairie streams of varying size in three seasons. We compared these gears as to time required per sample, size selectivity, mean catch per unit effort (CPUE) among months, mean CPUE within months, effect of fluctuating stream stage, and sensitivity to population size. According to these comparisons, the 15-hoop-net set used during stable water levels in October had the most desirable characteristics. Using our catch data, we estimated the precision of CPUE and size structure by varying sample sizes for the 15-hoop-net set. We recommend that 11–15 repetitions of the 15-hoop-net set be used for most management activities. This standardized basic unit of effort will increase the precision of estimates and allow better comparisons among samples as well as increased confidence in management decisions.

  11. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Ana; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands. PMID:27144274

  12. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ponce-Guevara, Eduardo; Davidson, Ana; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands.

  13. Distribution and conservation status of prairie dogs Cynomys mexicanus and Cynomys ludovicianus in Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Mellink, Eric; Hanebury, Louis R.

    1993-01-01

    The two living species of black-tailed prairie dogs Cynomys mexicanus and C. ludovicianus are found in Mexico. Cynomys mexicanus, a Mexican endemic, is restricted to a 600-km2 region in northwestern Mexico. It is found in six large arid grassland valleys associated with gypsum soils and surrounded by arid scrub. Due to the small geographic range and destruction of its habitat this species is considered endangered. Cynomys ludovicianus is found in northwestern Mexico. Its present distribution comprises a very large complex covering approximately 55 000 ha, eight major dogtowns, and more than one million prairie dogs. Indeed, this population represents the largest continuous prairie dog complex left in North America. However, its present conservation status is considered as threatened, mainly because of the rapid deterioration of its habitat.

  14. Citizen knowledge and perception of black-tailed prairie dog management: Report to respondents

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sexton, Natalie R.; Brinson, Ayeisha; Ponds, Phadrea D.; Cline, Kurt; Lamb, Berton L.

    2001-01-01

    The results show that although people do not believe prairie dogs are a big environmental issue, they favor a balanced approach when dealing with such problems. When asked about their views on environmental policy, respondents reported being more conservative than liberal: 40% reported slightly conservative or conservative environmental views, 24% reported moderate environmental views, and 19% reported slightly liberal or liberal environmental views. Ninteen percent (19%) said they did not know or had not thought about their environmental values. When asked how important black-tailed prairie dogs are compared to other environmental problems, 69% said they are less important than other issues or not an issue at all. Thirty one percent (31%) said prairie dogs are about the same or more important than other issues.

  15. Prairie wetland complexes as landscape functional units in a changing climate

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, W. Carter; Werner, Brett; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Voldseth, Richard A.; Millett, Bruce; Naugle, David E.; Tulbure, Mirela; Carroll, Rosemary W.H.; Tracy, John; Olawsky, Craig

    2010-01-01

    The wetland complex is the functional ecological unit of the prairie pothole region (PPR) of central North America. Diverse complexes of wetlands contribute high spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity, productivity, and biodiversity to these glaciated prairie landscapes. Climatewarming simulations using the new model WETLANDSCAPE (WLS) project major reductions in water volume, shortening of hydroperiods, and less-dynamic vegetation for prairie wetland complexes. The WLS model portrays the future PPR as a much less resilient ecosystem: The western PPR will be too dry and the eastern PPR will have too few functional wetlands and nesting habitat to support historic levels of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. Maintaining ecosystem goods and services at current levels in a warmer climate will be a major challenge for the conservation community.

  16. The effect of listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species on rural property values.

    PubMed

    Wietelman, Derek C; Melstrom, Richard T

    2017-04-15

    This paper estimates the effect of Endangered Species Act protections for the lesser prairie chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) on rural property values in Oklahoma. The political and legal controversy surrounding the listing of imperiled species raises questions about the development restrictions and opportunity costs the Endangered Species Act imposes on private landowners. Examining parcel-level sales data before and after the listing of the endemic lesser prairie chicken, we employ difference-in-differences (DD) regression to measure the welfare costs of these restrictions. While our basic DD regression provides evidence the listing was associated with a drop in property values, this finding does not hold up in models that control for latent county and year effects. The lack of a significant price effect is confirmed by several robustness checks. Thus, the local economic costs of listing the lesser prairie chicken under the Endangered Species Act appear to have been small.

  17. Habitat associations of small fishes around islands in the upper Mississippi River

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Barry L.; Jennings, Cecil A.

    1998-01-01

    In large rivers, islands provide a variety of habitat types and increase habitat heterogeneity. Creating or modifying islands with dredged sediments from channel maintenance operations provides an opportunity to enhance habitat features that might promote certain fish communities or general fish abundance. To determine associations between fish species and habitat features of islands, we sampled fish by seining at 62 sites around 20 islands in the upper Mississippi River from Winona, Minnesota, to Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin (180 km). Habitat characteristics were divided into macrohabitat features associated with islands, such as island shape, location, or maximum depth around the island, and mesohabitat features of sites, such as depth, sediment type, and vegetation abundance. Cluster analysis of islands based on macrohabitat features identified four clusters distinguished primarily by water depth and distance from the main channel. Mean fish density did not differ among island clusters. Cluster analysis of sites based on mesohabitat features produced four clusters distinguished primarily by vegetation abundance. Mean densities of most fish taxa were highest in clusters with moderate or dense vegetation and lowest in the cluster with no vegetation. For the eight most abundant fish species, multiple-regression analysis of density on mesohabitat features across all sites indicated that all species were positively correlated with vegetation abundance, which explained 7-49% of variation in density. Our results suggest that mesohabitat features of sites were more important than macrohabitat features of islands in determining density of small fishes and that modifications that increase the abundance of vegetation around islands are most likely to increase fish density.

  18. Nest sites of ducks in grazed mixed-grass prairie in North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Duebbert, H.F.; Lokemoen, J.T.; Sharp, D.E.

    1986-01-01

    Habitat use and nesting success of seven species of dabbling ducks were evaluated in five vegetative associations within grazed mixed-grass prairie in central North Dakota. During 1976-80, 548 nests were found on 412 ha of grazed prairie for an annual average density of 27 nests/100 ha. Numbers of nests found ranged from 1/100 ha in 1977 (a drought year) to 58/100 ha in 1979 (a very wet year), reflecting the variability that may be expected in a dynamic prairie wetland environment. Nesting success ranged from an average of 23% in the western snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) association to 34% in the mixed-grass association. Forty-two percent of the mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) nests and 35% of the gadwall (A. strepera) nests were in patches of western snowberry and/or Wood's rose (Rosa woodsii) that made up 2% of the available cover. Numbers of nests of blue-winged teal (A. discors) and northern shoveler (A. clypeata) were highest in cool-season grasses, especially green needlegrass (Stipa viridula) and western wheatgrass (Agropyron smithii). Height/density (HD) of residual cover decreased exponentially with increased grazing pressure. Use of grazed prairie by blue-winged teal was maximized when the HD of residual cover was 0.5 dm or higher, as could be maintained under light grazing. Results of this study indicated that properly grazed mixed-grass prairie can provide adequate nesting habitat for dabbling ducks. We recommend that preservation and sound ecological management be focused on large tracts of mixed-grass prairie with complexes of seasonal and semipermanent wetlands.

  19. Soil Carbon Storage and Turnover in an Old-Growth Coastal Redwood Forest and Adjacent Prairie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    McFarlane, K. J.; Torn, M. S.; Mambelli, S.; Dawson, T. E.

    2010-12-01

    Coastal redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) forests store lots of carbon in aboveground tree biomass because redwoods are very long-lived and can grow very large. Redwood is known for its high resistance to decay, a result of high levels of aromatic compounds (tannins) in the tree’s tissues. We tested the hypothesis that because coastal redwoods are highly productive and produce organic matter that is chemically resistant to decay, old-growth redwood forests should store large amounts of stabilized soil carbon. We measured soil C storage to 110 cm depth in an old-growth coastal redwood forest and used physical soil fractionation combined with radiocarbon measurements to determine soil organic matter turnover time. In addition, we measured soil C storage and turnover at an adjacent prairie experiencing the same climate and with soils derived from the same parent material. We found larger soil C stocks to 110 cm at the prairie (350 Mg C ha-1) than the redwood forest (277 Mg C ha-1) even with O-horizons included for the forest. Larger N stocks were also observed at the prairie than the redwood and these differences in stocks were driven by higher C and N concentrations in mineral soils at the prairie. Differences between ecosystems in soil C and N concentrations, C:N ratios, and C and N stocks were observed for the top 50 cm only, suggesting that the influence of the different litter types did not extend to deeper soils. Contrary to what was expected, bulk soil and heavy density-fraction Δ14C values were higher, indicating shorter turnover times, for the redwood forest than the prairie. In summary, we did not observe greater C storage or 14C-based turnover times in old-growth redwood forest compared to adjacent prairie, suggesting chemical recalcitrance of litter inputs does not drive soil C stabilization at these ecosystems.

  20. Scavenging by mammalian carnivores on prairie dog colonies: implications for the spread of plague.

    PubMed

    Boone, Amanda; Kraft, John P; Stapp, Paul

    2009-04-01

    Plague causes mass mortality of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in shortgrass steppe. Although the pathogen, the bacterium Yersinia pestis, is spread within colonies by flea bites or contact between infected hosts, it is unclear how Y. pestis is transported over long distances between isolated colonies. One possibility is that wideranging, plague-resistant mammalian carnivores pick up fleas when scavenging prairie dog carcasses. Using guinea pigs as surrogates for prairie dogs, we compared how quickly scavengers discovered carcasses on active prairie dog colonies, on colonies recently extirpated by plague, and in grasslands without prairie dogs. In June-July 2007, we monitored the fates of 20 guinea pig carcasses for 4 consecutive days on each site type. Ten carcasses were placed in wire exclosures that restricted access only to arthropods and small rodents; the other 10 were exposed to all scavengers. Scavengers were identified by tracks, evidence of consumption, and/or remote cameras. Carnivores discovered carcasses more quickly on active and plague colonies (mean +/- 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.6 +/- 0.7, 1.4 +/- 1.4 days, respectively) than on grasslands (3.1 +/- 0.7 days). By the end of the trials, all (100%) exposed carcasses were removed from active colonies, whereas 60% were removed from plague colonies and 30% were removed from grasslands. Rates of carcass discovery and removal on active colonies were significantly greater than in grasslands, which mirrored differences in carnivore activity recorded during earlier scat surveys. A small fraction (30%-40%) of carcasses in exclosures were eaten by rodents, but only on active and plague colonies, suggesting that small rodents, presumably grasshopper mice (Onychomys leucogaster), may also consume carcasses and pick up fleas if carcasses are not removed by carnivores first. These results, combined with observations that fleas remain alive on prairie dogs at least 1 day following their death, suggest that

  1. Landscape composition creates a threshold influencing Lesser Prairie-Chicken population resilience to extreme drought

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Ross, Beth E.; Haukos, David A.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and degradation compound the effects of climate change on wildlife, yet responses to climate and land cover change are often quantified independently. The interaction between climate and land cover change could be intensified in the Great Plains region where grasslands are being converted to row-crop agriculture concurrent with increased frequency of extreme drought events. We quantified the combined effects of land cover and climate change on a species of conservation concern in the Great Plains, the Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus  ). We combined extreme drought events and land cover change with lek count surveys in a Bayesian hierarchical model to quantify changes in abundance of male Lesser Prairie-Chickens from 1978 to 2014 in Kansas, the core of their species range. Our estimates of abundance indicate a gradually decreasing population through 2010 corresponding to drought events and reduced grassland areas. Decreases in Lesser Prairie-Chicken abundance were greatest in areas with increasing row-crop to grassland land cover ratio during extreme drought events, and decreased grassland reduces the resilience of Lesser Prairie-Chicken populations to extreme drought events. A threshold exists for Lesser Prairie-Chickens in response to the gradient of cropland:grassland land cover. When moving across the gradient of grassland to cropland, abundance initially increased in response to more cropland on the landscape, but declined in response to more cropland after the threshold (δ=0.096, or 9.6% cropland). Preservation of intact grasslands and continued implementation of initiatives to revert cropland to grassland should increase Lesser Prairie-Chicken resilience to extreme drought events due to climate change.

  2. Good Engineering + Poor Communication = Three Mile Island.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Mathes, J. C.

    The accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant resulted from a communication failure. Following an incident at an Ohio plant a year and a half earlier, B. M. Dunn, manager of Emergency Core Cooling Systems Analysis at Babcock and Wilcox (engineers), wrote a memorandum making specific recommendations on written instructions for nuclear…

  3. Normal Accident at Three Mile Island.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Perrow, Charles

    1981-01-01

    Discusses some aspects of the accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant. Explains a number of factors involved including the type of accident, warnings, design and equipment failure, operator error, and negative synergy. Presents alternatives to systems with catastrophic potential. (MK)

  4. Bee communities along a prairie restoration chronosequence: similar abundance and diversity, distinct composition.

    PubMed

    Tonietto, Rebecca K; Ascher, John S; Larkin, Daniel J

    2017-04-01

    Recognition of the importance of bee conservation has grown in response to declines of managed honey bees and some wild bee species. Habitat loss has been implicated as a leading cause of declines, suggesting that ecological restoration is likely to play an increasing role in bee conservation efforts. In the midwestern United States, restoration of tallgrass prairie has traditionally targeted plant community objectives without explicit consideration for bees. However, restoration of prairie vegetation is likely to provide ancillary benefits to bees through increased foraging and nesting resources. We investigated community assembly of bees across a chronosequence of restored eastern tallgrass prairies and compared patterns to those in control and reference habitats (old fields and prairie remnants, respectively). We collected bees for 3 yr and measured diversity and abundance of in-bloom flowering plants, vegetation structure, ground cover, and surrounding land use as predictors of bee abundance and bee taxonomic and functional diversity. We found that site-level variables, but not site type or restoration age, were significant predictors of bee abundance (bloom diversity, P = 0.004; bare ground cover, P = 0.02) and bee diversity (bloom diversity, P = 0.01). There were significant correlations between overall composition of bee and blooming plant communities (Mantel test, P = 0.002), and both plant and bee assemblages in restorations were intermediate between those of old fields and remnant prairies. Restorations exhibited high bee beta diversity, i.e., restored sites' bee assemblages were taxonomically and functionally differentiated from each other. This pattern was strong in younger restorations (<20 yr old), but absent from older restorations (>20 yr), suggesting restored prairie bee communities become more similar to one another and more similar to remnant prairie bee communities over time with the arrival of more species and functional groups of

  5. Correspondence of surface temperatures and terrain variables over a tallgrass prairie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Friedl, Mark A.; Davis, Frank W.; Michaelsen, Joel C.

    1991-01-01

    The time-dependent correspondence between maps of surface brightness temperature derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper data and mapped terrain variables over a tallgrass prairie in northeastern Kansas is examined. Individual terrain variables including burning treatment, vegetation cover type (agriculture, prairie, woody vegetation), hillslope position, and greenness exhibit varying degrees of association with surface temperature. Burning treatment is most strongly associated with mid-morning surface temperature. Examination of terrain strata based on combinations of terrain variables, notably burning treatment and hillslope position, suggest that terrain variables interact in affecting surface temperature. Interaction between hillslope position, burning treatment, and surface temperature is more important in August than in May.

  6. Field-level financial assessment of contour prairie strips for enhancement of environmental quality.

    PubMed

    Tyndall, John C; Schulte, Lisa A; Liebman, Matthew; Helmers, Matthew

    2013-09-01

    The impacts of strategically located contour prairie strips on sediment and nutrient runoff export from watersheds maintained under an annual row crop production system have been studied at a long-term research site in central Iowa. Data from 2007 to 2011 indicate that the contour prairie strips utilized within row crop-dominated landscapes have greater than proportionate and positive effects on the functioning of biophysical systems. Crop producers and land management agencies require comprehensive information about the Best Management Practices with regard to performance efficacy, operational/management parameters, and the full range of financial parameters. Here, a farm-level financial model assesses the establishment, management, and opportunity costs of contour prairie strips within cropped fields. Annualized, depending on variable opportunity costs the 15-year present value cost of utilizing contour prairie strips ranges from $590 to $865 ha(-1) year(-1) ($240-$350 ac(-1) year(-1)). Expressed in the context of "treatment area" (e.g., in this study 1 ha of prairie treats 10 ha of crops), the costs of contour prairie strips can also be viewed as $59 to about $87 per treated hectare ($24-$35 ac(-1)). If prairie strips were under a 15-year CRP contract, total per acre cost to farmers would be reduced by over 85 %. Based on sediment, phosphorus, and nitrogen export data from the related field studies and across low, medium, and high land rent scenarios, a megagram (Mg) of soil retained within the watershed costs between $7.79 and $11.46 mg(-1), phosphorus retained costs between $6.97 and $10.25 kg(-1), and nitrogen retained costs between $1.59 and $2.34 kg(-1). Based on overall project results, contour prairie strips may well become one of the key conservation practices used to sustain US Corn Belt agriculture in the decades to come.

  7. Density-dependent habitat selection by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) in tallgrass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jensen, W.E.; Cully, J.F.

    2005-01-01

    Local distributions of avian brood parasites among their host habitats may depend upon conspecific parasite density. We used isodar analysis to test for density-dependent habitat selection in brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater) among tallgrass prairie adjacent to wooded edges, and prairie interior habitat (>100 m from wooded edges) with and without experimental perches. Eight study sites containing these three habitat treatments were established along a geographical gradient in cowbird abundance within the Flint Hills region of Eastern Kansas and Oklahoma, USA. The focal host species of our study, the dickcissel (Spiza americana), is the most abundant and preferred cowbird host in the prairie of this region. Cowbird relative abundance and cowbird:host abundance ratios were used as estimates of female cowbird density, whereas cowbird egg density was measured as parasitism frequency (percent of dickcissel nests parasitized), and parasitism intensity (number of cowbird eggs per parasitized nest). Geographical variation in cowbird abundance was independent of host abundance. Within study sites, host abundance was highest in wooded edge plots, intermediate in the experimental perch plots, and lowest in prairie interior. Cowbirds exhibited a pattern of density-dependent selection of prairie edge versus experimental perch and interior habitats. On sites where measures of cowbird density were lowest, all cowbird density estimates (female cowbirds and their eggs) were highest near (???100 m) wooded edges, where host and perch availability are highest. However, as overall cowbird density increased geographically, these density estimates increased more rapidly in experimental perch plots and prairie interiors. Variation in cowbird abundance and cowbird:host ratios suggested density-dependent cowbird selection of experimental perch over prairie interior habitat, but parasitism levels on dickcissel nests were similar among these two habitats at all levels of local cowbird

  8. Amchitka Island, Alaska, special sampling project 1997

    SciTech Connect

    U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office

    2000-06-28

    This 1997 special sampling project represents a special radiobiological sampling effort to augment the 1996 Long-Term Hydrological Monitoring Program (LTHMP) for Amchitka Island in Alaska. Lying in the western portion of the Aleutian Islands arc, near the International Date Line, Amchitka Island is one of the southernmost islands of the Rat Island Chain. Between 1965 and 1971, the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission conducted three underground nuclear tests on Amchitka Island. In 1996, Greenpeace collected biota samples and speculated that several long-lived, man-made radionuclides detected (i.e., americium-241, plutonium-239 and -240, beryllium-7, and cesium-137) leaked into the surface environment from underground cavities created during the testing. The nuclides of interest are detected at extremely low concentrations throughout the environment. The objectives of this special sampling project were to scientifically refute the Greenpeace conclusions that the underground cavities were leaking contaminants to the surface. This was achieved by first confirming the presence of these radionuclides in the Amchitka Island surface environment and, second, if the radionuclides were present, determining if the source is the underground cavity or worldwide fallout. This special sampling and analysis determined that the only nonfallout-related radionuclide detected was a low level of tritium from the Long Shot test, which had been previously documented. The tritium contamination is monitored and continues a decreasing trend due to radioactive decay and dilution.

  9. A multiscale assessment of tree avoidance by prairie birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Thompson, Sarah J.; Arnold, Todd W.; Amundson, Courtney L.

    2014-01-01

    In North America, grassland bird abundances have declined, likely as a result of loss and degradation of prairie habitat. Given the expense and limited opportunity to procure new grasslands, managers are increasingly focusing on ways to improve existing habitat for grassland birds, using techniques such as tree removal. To examine the potential for tree removal to benefit grassland birds, we conducted 446 point counts on 35 grassland habitat patches in the highly fragmented landscape of west-central Minnesota during 2009–2011. We modeled density of four grassland bird species in relation to habitat composition at multiple scales, focusing on covariates that described grass, woody vegetation (trees and large shrubs), or combinations of grass and woody vegetation. The best-supported models for all four grassland bird species incorporated variables measured at multiple scales, including local features such as grass height, litter depth, and local tree abundance, as well as landscape-level measures of grass and tree cover. Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis), Sedge Wrens (Cistothorus platensis), and Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) responded consistently and negatively to woody vegetation, but response to litter depth, grass height, and grassland extent were mixed among species. Our results suggest that reducing shrub and tree cover is more likely to increase the density of grassland birds than are attempts to improve grass quality or quantity. In particular, tree removal is more likely to increase density of Savannah Sparrows and Sedge Wrens than any reasonable changes in grass quality or quantity. Yet tree removal may not result in increased abundance of grassland birds if habitat composition is not considered at multiple scales. Managers will need to either manage at large scales (80–300 ha) or focus their efforts on removing trees in landscapes that contain some grasslands but few nearby wooded areas.

  10. Ecological consequences of shifting the timing of burning tallgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Towne, E Gene; Craine, Joseph M

    2014-01-01

    In the Kansas Flint Hills, grassland burning is conducted during a relatively narrow window because management recommendations for the past 40 years have been to burn only in late spring. Widespread prescribed burning within this restricted time frame frequently creates smoke management issues downwind. A potential remedy for the concentrated smoke production in late spring is to expand burning to times earlier in the year. Yet, previous research suggested that burning in winter or early spring reduces plant productivity and cattle weight gain while increasing the proportion of undesirable plant species. In order to better understand the ecological consequences of burning at different times of the year, plant production and species abundance were measured for 20 years on ungrazed watersheds burned annually in autumn, winter, or spring. We found that there were no significant differences in total grass production among the burns on either upland or lowland topographic positions, although spring burned watersheds had higher grass culm production and lower forb biomass than autumn and winter burned watersheds. Burning in autumn or winter broadened the window of grass productivity response to precipitation, which reduces susceptibility to mid-season drought. Burning in autumn or winter also increased the phenological range of species by promoting cool-season graminoids without a concomitant decrease in warm-season grasses, potentially widening the seasonal window of high-quality forage. Incorporating autumn and winter burns into the overall portfolio of tallgrass prairie management should increase the flexibility in managing grasslands, promote biodiversity, and minimize air quality issues caused by en masse late-spring burning with little negative consequences for cattle production.

  11. Microbial Community Responses to Glycine Addition in Kansas Prairie Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bottos, E.; Roy Chowdhury, T.; White, R. A., III; Brislawn, C.; Fansler, S.; Kim, Y. M.; Metz, T. O.; McCue, L. A.; Jansson, J.

    2015-12-01

    Advances in sequencing technologies are rapidly expanding our abilities to unravel aspects of microbial community structure and function in complex systems like soil; however, characterizing the highly diverse communities is problematic, due primarily to challenges in data analysis. To tackle this problem, we aimed to constrain the microbial diversity in a soil by enriching for particular functional groups within a community through addition of "trigger substrates". Such trigger substrates, characterized by low molecular weight, readily soluble and diffusible in soil solution, representative of soil organic matter derivatives, would also be rapidly degradable. A relatively small energy investment to maintain the cell in a state of metabolic alertness for such substrates would be a better evolutionary strategy and presumably select for a cohort of microorganisms with the energetics and cellular machinery for utilization and growth. We chose glycine, a free amino acid (AA) known to have short turnover times (in the range of hours) in soil. As such, AAs are a good source of nitrogen and easily degradable, and can serve as building blocks for microbial proteins and other biomass components. We hypothesized that the addition of glycine as a trigger substrate will decrease microbial diversity and evenness, as taxa capable of metabolizing it are enriched in relation to those that are not. We tested this hypothesis by incubating three Kansas native prairie soils with glycine for 24 hours at 21 degree Celsius, and measured community level responses by 16S rRNA gene sequencing, metagenomics, and metatranscriptomics. Preliminary evaluation of 16S rRNA gene sequences revealed minor changes in bacterial community composition in response to glycine addition. We will also present data on functional gene abundance and expression. The results of these analyses will be useful in designing sequencing strategies aimed at dissecting and deciphering complex microbial communities.

  12. The scale dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gamon, J. A.; Wang, R.; Stilwell, A.; Zygielbaum, A. I.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Townsend, P. A.

    2015-12-01

    Biodiversity loss, one of the most crucial challenges of our time, endangers ecosystem services that maintain human wellbeing. Traditional methods of measuring biodiversity require extensive and costly field sampling by biologists with extensive experience in species identification. Remote sensing can be used for such assessment based upon patterns of optical variation. This provides efficient and cost-effective means to determine ecosystem diversity at different scales and over large areas. Sampling scale has been described as a "fundamental conceptual problem" in ecology, and is an important practical consideration in both remote sensing and traditional biodiversity studies. On the one hand, with decreasing spatial and spectral resolution, the differences among different optical types may become weak or even disappear. Alternately, high spatial and/or spectral resolution may introduce redundant or contradictory information. For example, at high resolution, the variation within optical types (e.g., between leaves on a single plant canopy) may add complexity unrelated to specie richness. We studied the scale-dependence of optical diversity in a prairie ecosystem at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, Minnesota, USA using a variety of spectrometers from several platforms on the ground and in the air. Using the coefficient of variation (CV) of spectra as an indicator of optical diversity, we found that high richness plots generally have a higher coefficient of variation. High resolution imaging spectrometer data (1 mm pixels) showed the highest sensitivity to richness level. With decreasing spatial resolution, the difference in CV between richness levels decreased, but remained significant. These findings can be used to guide airborne studies of biodiversity and develop more effective large-scale biodiversity sampling methods.

  13. Bioturbation by Fire Ants in the Coastal Prairie of Texas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cameron, G.; Williams, L.

    2001-12-01

    Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) were introduced to the US in the early part of the last century. They have spread throughout the southeastern US in the absence of native competitors and predators with a range limited by abiotic factors. Each fire ant mound contains thousands of individuals, can be large, and can be numerous enough to comprise a dominant feature of the landscape. Studies of this species have focused upon its spread, formation of single- and multiple-queen colonies, genetic structure, and impact on native fauna and human health. Some studies have analyzed native fire ant-soil interactions, but few studies have examined the process of bioturbation by introduced fire ants in native ecosystems. Fire ants on the coastal prairie of Texas primarily are of the multiple-queen type that exhibit a much higher density of mounds than the single-queen type. Consequently, mound-building activities by fire ants can have a marked effect upon soil structure and nutrient content and may affect soil organisms and plants. Fire ant activity, mound density, mound dispersion, soil texture, soil permeability, soil moisture content, and soil nutrients were measured. Fire ants mounds are visible aboveground from April-November. Density of mounds was 117-738/ha, and average mound lifespan was 3.6 months with only 9% of the mounds remaining active throughout the entire season. Mounds were dispersed randomly. Foraging activity by fire ants was from June through October with a peak in July. Annual soil turnover was estimated by collecting and weighing mounds. There was no effect of ant mounds on soil texture, but water infiltration was higher in areas with ant mounds. Early-season samples showed no nutrient differences, but late-season samples showed that ant mounds contained higher amounts of micronutrients than random samples of soil. These data are compared to similar data on effects of mounds from native ants and from native and introduced ants in different habitats.

  14. Quantification of the nitrogen cycle in a prairie stream

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dodds, Walter K.; Evans-White, Michelle A.; Gerlanc, Nicole M.; Gray, Lawrence; Gudder, Dolly A.; Kemp, Melody J.; Lopez, Amanda L.; Stagliano, David; Strauss, Eric A.; Tank, Jennifer L.; Whiles, Matt R.; Wollheim, Wilfred M.

    2000-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) was added for 35 days in the form of 15NH4Cl to Kings Creek on Konza Prairie, Kansas. Standing stocks of N in key compartments (that is, nutrients, detritus, organisms) were quantified, and the amount of labeled N entering the compartments was analyzed. These data were used to calculate turnover and flux rates of N cycling through the food web, as well as nutrient transformation rates. Inorganic N pools turned over much more rapidly in the water column of this stream than in pelagic systems where comparable measurements have been made. As with other systems, the mass of ammonium was low but it was the key compartment mediating nutrient flux through the ecosystem, whereas dissolved organic N, the primary component of N flux through the system, is not actively cycled. Nitrification was also a significant flux of N in the stream, with rates in the water column and surface of benthos accounting for approximately 10% of the total ammonium uptake. Primary consumers assimilated 67% of the inorganic N that entered benthic algae and microbes. Predators acquired 23% of the N that consumers obtained. Invertebrate collectors, omnivorous crayfish (Orconectes spp.), and invertebrate shredders dominated the N flux associated with primary consumers. Mass balance calculations indicated that at least 23% of the 309 mg of 15N added during the 35 days of release was retained within the 210-m stream reach during the release. Overall, the rates of turnover of N in organisms and organic substrata were significantly greater when C:N was low. This ratio may be a surrogate for biological activity with regard to N flux in streams.

  15. Different time and energy budgets of Lesser Snow Geese in rice-prairies and coastal marshes in southwest Louisiana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Jonsson, J.E.; Afton, A.D.

    2006-01-01

    Many bird species use human-made habitats and an important issue is whether these are equally suitable foraging habitats as are historical, natural habitats. Historically, Lesser Snow Geese (Chen caerulescens caerulescens, hereafter Snow Geese) wintered in coastal marshes in Louisiana but began using rice-prairies within the last 60 years. Time spent feeding was used as an indicator of habitat suitability and time and energy budgets of Snow Geese were compared between rice-prairies and coastal marshes in southwest Louisiana. Composite diets of Snow Geese have a lower energy density in the rice-prairies than in coastal marshes; thus, we predicted that Snow Geese would spend relatively more time feeding in rice-praires to obtain existence energy. However, time spent feeding was higher in coastal marshes and thus, not proportional to energy density of composite diets. Snow Geese in coastal marshes ingested less apparent metabolizable energy than did Snow Geese in rice-prairies. In rice-prairies, juveniles spent more time feeding than did adults; however, time spent feeding was similar between age classes in coastal marshes. Undeveloped foraging skills probably cause juvenile Snow Geese to forage less efficiently in coastal marshes than in rice-prairies. These findings are consistent with recent trends in Snow Goose numbers, which increased in rice-prairies but remained stable in coastal marshes.

  16. In vitro culture and in vitro fertilization techniques for prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Horie, Kengo; Hidema, Shizu; Hirayama, Takashi; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2015-08-07

    Prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a highly social animal and is a commonly used animal model for neuropsychopharmacological and psychiatric studies. To date, only a few reports on the development of transgenic prairie voles which was primarily due to the suboptimal development of assisted reproductive technology (ART) in prairie voles. Limitations in ART further hinder the development of genetically modified prairie voles such as the application of conventional gene targeting technologies using embryonic stem (ES) or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells to generate chimeric prairie voles. Moreover, recent advancement in genome-editing tools such as transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) and clustered regulatory interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)/Cas technology provide an unprecedented opportunity to create gene targeting animal model and the development of ART in prairie voles is necessary for future development of novel transgenic prairie vole model. We have established efficient method for in vitro embryo culture and sperm cryopreservation with high fertilization rate. In G-1 PLUS and G-2 PLUS sequential culture condition, 81.0% (# of Blastocysts/total n) of one-cell embryos developed to blastocysts. In contrary, no embryos were developed to blastocyst stage in KSOM medium (0/total # of embryos in culture). In vitro fertilization rate using fresh and frozen-thawed sperm was 32.6% and 29.3%, respectively. This is the first report of IVF using cryopreserved prairie vole sperm. We employed mouse IVF methods in prairie voles and optimize culture conditions using human G-1/G-2 PLUS sequential culture method that resulted in high embryonic development rate. The development in vole reproductive technology will facilitate the generation of transgenic voles in the future.

  17. 75 FR 21649 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-04-26

    ... Fish and Wildlife Service Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Attwater's Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) Recovery Plan, Second Revision AGENCY: Fish and Wildlife Service, Interior. ACTION: Notice of document availability: revised recovery plan. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish and...

  18. 78 FR 17224 - Environmental Impact Statement; Proposed South Puget Sound Prairie Habitat Conservation Plan...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-03-20

    ... taylori) is a native butterfly that was once widespread throughout prairies in association with golden... locations: one where the butterfly naturally occurs, and the other where it has been reintroduced. Both... marmorata affinus), western toad (Bufo boreas), mardon skipper (Polites mardon), Puget blue...

  19. An assessment of diurnal water uptake in a mesic prairie: evidence for hydraulic lift?

    PubMed

    O'Keefe, Kimberly; Nippert, Jesse B

    2017-04-01

    Hydraulic lift, the passive movement of water through plant roots from wet to dry soil, is an important ecohydrological process in a wide range of water-limited ecosystems. This phenomenon may also alter plant functioning, growth, and survival in mesic grasslands, where soil moisture is spatially and temporally variable. Here, we monitored diurnal changes in the isotopic signature of soil and plant xylem water to assess (1) whether hydraulic lift occurs in woody and herbaceous tallgrass prairie species (Rhus glabra, Amorpha canescens, Vernonia baldwinii, and Andropogon gerardii), (2) if nocturnal transpiration or grazing by large ungulates limits hydraulic lift, and (3) if a dominant grass, A. gerardii, utilizes water lifted by other tallgrass prairie species. Broadly, the results shown here suggest that hydraulic lift does not appear to be widespread or common in this system, but isolated instances suggest that this process does occur within tallgrass prairie. The isolated instance of hydraulic lift did not vary by grazing treatment, nor did they result in facilitation for neighboring grasses. We suggest that the topographic complexity of this tallgrass prairie and the high rates of nocturnal transpiration observed in this study likely limit the frequency and occurrence of hydraulic lift. These results suggest that hydraulic lift can be a patchy process, particularly in heterogeneous landscapes.

  20. A review of ecological consequences of shifting the timing of burning tallgrass prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prescribed burning is widely accepted as a critical management tool in the tallgrass prairie, however, the ecological effects of burning at different times of the season are poorly understood. In the Kansas Fleet Hills, timing of fire is an important management issue that carries socio-economic as w...

  1. Costs of pair-bonding and paternal care in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster)

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The direct costs of paternal care are relatively well documented in primates, however little research has explored these effects in monogamous rodents. The present study examines the long-term effects that pairing and parenting have on male prairie voles. We hypothesized that there would be a signif...

  2. Attitudes of Prairie Bible College Students toward Human Genetic Manipulation. A Survey and Comparative Study.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Jordahl, Ron, Ed.

    This document reports a survey instituted to compare the attitudes of students at a Christian college (Prairie Bible College) in Alberta, Canada with those of college students in general concerning the possible use of genetic manipulation. Comparison was made with the findings of a 1990 study by Geremia Veglia, et al., "Public Attitudes…

  3. Burning reveals cryptic plant diversity and promotes coexistence in a California prairie restoration experiment

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland and prairie restoration projects in California often result in long-term establishment of only a few native plant species, even when they begin with a diverse seed palette. A likely explanation for the disappearance of certain native species over time is that they are excluded through comp...

  4. Burning reveals cryptic diversity and promotes coexistence of native species in a restored California prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland and prairie restoration projects in California often result in long-term establishment of only a few native plant species, even when they begin with a diverse palette of species. A likely explanation for the disappearance of certain native species over time is that they are outcompeted by ...

  5. Macro-invertebrate Biodiversity of a Coastal Prairie with Vernal Pool Habitat

    PubMed Central

    Drake, Tracy

    2016-01-01

    Abstract Background The California Coastal Prairie has the highest biodiversity of North America's grasslands, but also has the highest percentage of urbanization. The most urbanized part of the California Coastal Prairie is its southernmost area, in Los Angeles County. This southernmost region, known as the Los Angeles Coastal Prairie, was historically dotted with vernal pools, and has a unique biodiverse composition. More than 99.5% of its estimated original 95 km2 (23,475 acres), as well as almost all its vernal pool complexes, have been lost to urbanization. The Madrona Marsh Preserve, in Torrance, California, safeguards approximately 18 hectares (44 acres) of Los Angeles Coastal Prairie and includes a complex of vernal pools. Its aquatic biodiversity had been studied, predominantly to genus level, but its terrestrial macro-invertebrates were virtually unknown, aside from butterfly, dragonfly, and damselfly observations. New information In order to better understand the biodiversity at the Madrona Marsh Preserve, a minimally-invasive macro-invertebrate inventory was conducted. The results of this inventory, with 689 invertebrate organisms recorded, covering eight phyla, 13 classes, 39 orders, and 222 families, are presented in this document. PMID:27226744

  6. Evaluation of leadplant (Amorpha canescens) germplasm collected from prairies in the Midwest USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Leadplant (Amorpha canescens Pursh.) is a small leguminous shrub native to the prairies and plains of the central USA where it is a valuable forage species. Seed of leadplant is in high demand for reseeding grasslands to native species. Released cultivars and source identified germplasms are not a...

  7. Reclamation problems and procedures for the oil industry and the canadian prairies

    SciTech Connect

    De Jong, E.

    1980-01-01

    Procedures used in western Canada to enhance biodegradation of waste oil are analyzed. In the prairie region, brine spills are more damaging to soil than oil spills are/ reclamation efforts aimed at neutralizing brine spills have been ineffective. Manure application is more immediately beneficial than gypsum application/ however, more research is needed to develop reclamation techniques that would provide acceptable soil reclamation.

  8. 78 FR 35017 - Prairie Power, Inc. v. Ameren Services Company, Ameren Illinois Company, Ameren Transmission...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2013-06-11

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc. v. Ameren Services Company, Ameren Illinois Company, Ameren Transmission Company of Illinois; Notice of Complaint Take notice that on May 31, 2013, pursuant to section 206 of the Federal Power Act (FPA), 16 USC 825(e) and Rule 206 of the Federal...

  9. Herbicide sorption coefficients in relation to soil properties and terrain attributes on a cultivated prairie

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The sorption of the herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate in soil was quantified for 286 surface soil samples (0-15 cm) collected in a 10 m X 10 m grid across a heavily-eroded undulating calcareous prairie landscape. At each sampling point soil organic carbon content, soil carbonate content, soil pH, till...

  10. Growing Spartina pectinata in previously farmed prairie wetlands for economic and ecological benefits

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wetlands in the Prairie Pothole Region of the U.S. are threatened by continued drainage and conversion to cropland. Commercial incentives may increase wetland restoration in lieu of easements. Therefore, we designed an experiment to compare two populations of Spartina pectinata, compare two planti...

  11. Neonatal exposure to amphetamine alters social affiliation and central dopamine activity in adult male prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Fukushiro, D F; Olivera, A; Liu, Y; Wang, Z

    2015-10-29

    The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is a socially monogamous rodent species that forms pair bonds after mating. Recent data have shown that amphetamine (AMPH) is rewarding to prairie voles as it induces conditioned place preferences. Further, repeated treatment with AMPH impairs social bonding in adult prairie voles through a central dopamine (DA)-dependent mechanism. The present study examined the effects of neonatal exposure to AMPH on behavior and central DA activity in adult male prairie voles. Our data show that neonatal exposure to AMPH makes voles less social in an affiliation test during adulthood, but does not affect animals' locomotor activity and anxiety-like behavior. Neonatal exposure to AMPH also increases the levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and DA transporter (DAT) mRNA expression in the ventral tegmental area (VTA) in the brain, indicating an increase in central DA activity. As DA has been implicated in AMPH effects on behavioral and cognitive functions, altered DA activity in the vole brain may contribute to the observed changes in social behavior.

  12. Sylvatic plague reduces genetic variability in black-tailed prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Trudeau, Kristie M; Britten, Hugh B; Restani, Marco

    2004-04-01

    Small, isolated populations are vulnerable to loss of genetic diversity through in-breeding and genetic drift. Sylvatic plague due to infection by the bacterium Yersinia pestis caused an epizootic in the early 1990s resullting in declines and extirpations of many black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies in north-central Montana, USA. Plague-induced population bottlenecks may contribute to significant reductions in genetic variability. In contrast, gene flow maintains genetic variability within colonies. We investigated the impacts of the plague epizootic and distance to nearest colony on levels of genetic variability in six prairie dog colonies sampled between June 1999 and July 2001 using 24 variable randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) markers. Number of effective alleles per locus (n(e)) and gene diversity (h) were significantly decreased in the three colonies affected by plague that were recovering from the resulting bottlenecks compared with the three colonies that did not experience plague. Genetic variability was not significantly affected by geographic distance between colonies. The majority of variance in gene fieqnencies was found within prairie clog colonies. Conservation of genetic variability in black-tailed prairie dogs will require the preservation of both large and small colony complexes and the gene flow amonog them.

  13. Climate-driven spatial dynamics of plague among prairie dog colonies.

    PubMed

    Snäll, T; O'Hara, R B; Ray, C; Collinge, S K

    2008-02-01

    We present a Bayesian hierarchical model for the joint spatial dynamics of a host-parasite system. The model was fitted to long-term data on regional plague dynamics and metapopulation dynamics of the black-tailed prairie dog, a declining keystone species of North American prairies. The rate of plague transmission between colonies increases with increasing precipitation, while the rate of infection from unknown sources decreases in response to hot weather. The mean annual dispersal distance of plague is about 10 km, and topographic relief reduces the transmission rate. Larger colonies are more likely to become infected, but colony area does not affect the infectiousness of colonies. The results suggest that prairie dog movements do not drive the spread of plague through the landscape. Instead, prairie dogs are useful sentinels of plague epizootics. Simulations suggest that this model can be used for predicting long-term colony and plague dynamics as well as for identifying which colonies are most likely to become infected in a specific year.

  14. Trace gas fluxes from a northern mixed-grass prairie interseeded with alfalfa

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The role of legumes in improving soil fertility, forage quantity and quality is well established, however what is less clear is the extent that the nitrogen fixed by legumes may drive increased trace gas emissions. A chronosequence study in native prairie that had been interseed with the legume alfa...

  15. Factors associated with plant species richness in a coastal tall-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grace, J.B.; Allain, L.; Allen, C.

    2000-01-01

    In this study we examine the factors associated with variations in species richness within a remnant tall-grass prairie in order to gain insight into the relative importance of controlling variables. The study area was a small, isolated prairie surrounded by wetlands and located within the coastal prairie region, which occurs along the northwestern Gulf of Mexico coastal plain. Samples were taken along three transects that spanned the prairie. Parameters measured included micro-elevation, soil characteristics, indications of recent disturbance, above-ground biomass (including litter), light penetration through the plant canopy, and species richness. Species richness was found to correlate with micro-elevation, certain soil parameters, and light penetration through the canopy, but not with above-ground biomass. Structural equation analysis was used to assess the direct and indirect effects of micro-elevation, soil properties, disturbance, and indicators of plant abundance on species richness. The results of this analysis showed that observed variations in species richness were primarily associated with variations in environmental effects (from soil and microtopography) and were largely unrelated to variations in measures of plant abundance (biomass and light penetration). These findings suggest that observed variations in species richness in this system primarily resulted from environmental effects on the species pool. These results fit with a growing body of information that suggests that environmental effects on species richness are of widespread importance.

  16. Survey of macromoths (Insecta: Lepidoptera) of a Palouse prairie remnant site in eastern Washington State

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The Palouse or Palouse Prairie is a bioregion consisting primarily of native grasses, shrubs, and forbs that originally covered over 16,000 km2 of central Idaho, southeastern Washington, and northeastern Oregon. Less than 1% of this habitat remains with much of it having been converted to agricultu...

  17. Land use effects on pesticides in sediments of prairie pothole wetlands in North and South Dakota.

    PubMed

    McMurry, Scott T; Belden, Jason B; Smith, Loren M; Morrison, Shane A; Daniel, Dale W; Euliss, Betty R; Euliss, Ned H; Kensinger, Bart J; Tangen, Brian A

    2016-09-15

    Prairie potholes are the dominant wetland type in the intensively cultivated northern Great Plains of North America, and thus have the potential to receive pesticide runoff and drift. We examined the presence of pesticides in sediments of 151 wetlands split among the three dominant land use types, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), cropland, and native prairie, in North and South Dakota in 2011. Herbicides (glyphosate and atrazine) and fungicides were detected regularly, with no insecticide detections. Glyphosate was the most detected pesticide, occurring in 61% of all wetlands, with atrazine in only 8% of wetlands. Pyraclostrobin was one of five fungicides detected, but the only one of significance, being detected in 31% of wetlands. Glyphosate was the only pesticide that differed by land use, with concentrations in cropland over four-times that in either native prairie or CRP, which were equal in concentration and frequency of detection. Despite examining several landscape variables, such as wetland proximity to specific crop types, watershed size, and others, land use was the best variable explaining pesticide concentrations in potholes. CRP ameliorated glyphosate in wetlands at concentrations comparable to native prairie and thereby provides another ecosystem service from this expansive program.

  18. Raptor community composition in the Texas Southern High Plains lesser prairie-chicken range

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Behney, A.C.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, H.A.; Lucia, D.R.

    2012-01-01

    Predation can be a factor in preventing prey population growth and sustainability when prey populations are small and fragmented, and when predator density is unrelated to the density of the single prey species. We conducted monthly raptor surveys from February 2007 to May 2009 in adjacent areas of the Texas Southern High Plains (USA) that do and do not support lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act. During the summer period corresponding to prairie-chicken nesting and brood-rearing, Swainson's hawks (Buteo swainsoni) were the most abundant raptor. During the lekking and overwintering period, the raptor community was diverse, with northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) being the most abundant species. Raptor abundance peaked during the early autumn and was lowest during the spring. Utility poles were a significant predictor of raptor density at survey points and Swainson's hawks and all raptors, pooled, were found in greater densities in non-prairie-chicken habitat dominated by mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa). Avian predation risk on prairie-chickens, based on presence and abundance of raptors, appears to be greatest during winter when there is a more abundant and diverse raptor community, and in areas with utility poles.

  19. Herbicide Control of Sand Sagebrush: Impacts on Lesser Prairie Chicken Habitat.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Traditional management of rangelands dominated by sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) has centered around removal of sagebrush to increase forage for livestock production. There has been both concern and support over shrub control strategies when managing lesser prairie-chicken (LPC, Tympanuchus p...

  20. Chemical control of sand sagebrush: implications for lesser prairie-chicken habitat

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Traditional management of rangelands dominated by sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) has emphasized sagebrush control to increase forage for livestock. Since the 1950’s, shrub removal has been primarily achieved with herbicides. Concerns about the declining lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pa...

  1. EFFECTS OF AGRICULTURAL ACTIVITIES AND BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES ON WATER QUALITY OF SEASONAL PRAIRIE POTHOLE WETLANDS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Long-term effectsof within-basin tillage can constrain condition and function of prairie wetlands even after uplands are restored. Runoff was significantly greater to replicate wetlands within tilled basins with or without vegetated buffer strips as compared to ConsrvationReserve...

  2. Impacts of a human disturbance on greater prairie chickens: Insights from a spatial IBM

    EPA Science Inventory

    The Flint Hills of Kansas are home to the largest remaining tallgrass prairie ecosystem in North America. The Flint Hills are currently managed under an early season burn-intensive stocking regime, whereby ranchers will ignite the majority of pasture land each year to increase r...

  3. A Regional Guidebook for Applying the Hydrogeomorphic Approach to Assessing Wetland Functions of Prairie Potholes

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2006-05-01

    15 Landscape setting: physiographic divisions ............................................15 Geology ...variable subindex ..........40 Figure 12. Relationship between the B horizon depth and the variable sub-index for Western and Eastern Prairie...Classification Criteria Potential Regional Wetland Subclasses Geomorphic Setting Dominant Water Source Dominant Hydrodynamics Eastern United States

  4. Spread of plague among black-tailed prairie dogs is associated with colony spatial characteristics

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, T.L.; Cully, J.F.; Collinge, S.K.; Ray, C.; Frey, C.M.; Sandercock, B.K.

    2011-01-01

    Sylvatic plague (Yersinia pestis) is an exotic pathogen that is highly virulent in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and causes widespread colony losses and individual mortality rates >95%. We investigated colony spatial characteristics that may influence inter-colony transmission of plague at 3 prairie dog colony complexes in the Great Plains. The 4 spatial characteristics we considered include: colony size, Euclidean distance to nearest neighboring colony, colony proximity index, and distance to nearest drainage (dispersal) corridor. We used multi-state mark-recapture models to determine the relationship between these colony characteristics and probability of plague transmission among prairie dog colonies. Annual mapping of colonies and mark-recapture analyses of disease dynamics in natural colonies led to 4 main results: 1) plague outbreaks exhibited high spatial and temporal variation, 2) the site of initiation of epizootic plague may have substantially influenced the subsequent inter-colony spread of plague, 3) the long-term effect of plague on individual colonies differed among sites because of how individuals and colonies were distributed, and 4) colony spatial characteristics were related to the probability of infection at all sites although the relative importance and direction of relationships varied among sites. Our findings suggest that conventional prairie dog conservation management strategies, including promoting large, highly connected colonies, may need to be altered in the presence of plague. ?? 2011 The Wildlife Society.

  5. Testing for thresholds in a semiarid grassland: The influence of prairie dogs and plague

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    State and transition models for semiarid grasslands in the Great Plains of North America suggest that the presence of herbivorous black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on a site (1) creates a vegetation state characterized by increased dominance of annual forbs and unpalatable bunchgrasse...

  6. Efficacy of insecticides to limit caterpillar damage to prairie cordgrass seed

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The moth Aethes spartinana (Tortricidae) is a severe pest of prairie cordgrass, a native perennial grown for biomass and habitat restoration. Small larvae may damage 75% or more of developing seed as they feed, crawling through spikes. After feeding in the spikes, larvae enter stems and crawl downwa...

  7. Wetland soil carbon in a watershed context for the prairie pothole region

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Wetland restoration in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) often involves soil removal to enhance water storage volume and/or remove seedbanks of invasive species. Consequences of soil removal could include loss of soil organic carbon (SOC) important to ecosystem functions, such as water-holding capaci...

  8. Vegetation dynamics of restored and remnant Willamette Valley, OR wet prairie wetlands

    EPA Science Inventory

    Wet prairie wetlands are now one of the rarest habitat types in the Willamette Valley of Oregon, USA. Less than two percent of their historic extent remains, with most having been converted into agricultural fields (Christy and Alverson 2011, ONHP 1983). This habitat is the obl...

  9. Comparison of cellulosic ethanol yields from midwestern maize and reconstructed tallgrass prairie systems managed for bioenergy

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Maize- and prairie-based systems were investigated as cellulosic feedstocks by conducting a 9 ha side-by-side comparison on fertile soils in the Midwestern United States. Maize was grown continuously with adequate fertilization over years both with and without a winter rye cover crop, and the 31-spe...

  10. Phenotypic and genetic characterization of western prairie clover collections from the western USA

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Few North American legumes are available for rangeland revegetation in the semi-arid western USA. Western prairie clover (Dalea ornata [Douglas] Eaton & Wright) is a perennial legume with desirable characteristics and is distributed in the Great Basin, Snake River Basin, and southern Columbia Plate...

  11. Carbon dioxide and water vapor fluxes of winter wheat and tallgrass prairie ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) and tallgrass prairie are common land cover types in the Southern Plains of the United States. In recent years, agricultural expansion into native grasslands has been extensive, particularly either managed pasture or dryland crops such as wheat. In this study, we ...

  12. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    PubMed

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development.

  13. Hydrologic response of hillslope seeps and headwater streams of the Fort Worth Prairie

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Slattery, Michael; Jones, Shannon

    2015-04-01

    There has been minimal research on the relationships among vegetation, topography, and hydrology of hillslope seeps and headwater streams in general, and in the Fort Worth Prairie ecoregion in particular. Unlike traditional descriptions of Midwestern tallgrass prairies, these riparian zones are often dominated by annuals. Due to the ephemeral or intermittent nature of headwater stream hydrology, the high variation of soil moisture restricts tallgrasses from dominating riparian zones. In this study we quantify the hydrologic regime of a Fort Worth Prairie hillslope hollow by analyzing the spatio-temporal response of soil moisture to precipitation and drying, its impact on runoff generation, and the vegetation-soil moisture relationship. We conducted the study between August 2012 to March 2013, under drought-like conditions that prevented streamflow. Results show that, despite extreme moisture stress, the hillslope seep completely saturates during wet periods and saturates along the hillslope base during dry conditions. Autumn vegetation most accurately aligns with moderate soil moisture conditions. This research describes Fort Worth Prairie headwater stream and seep habitats and provides a basis for how they function hydrologically to create a foundation for improved habitat management, protection, and restoration of riparian headwaters in North Central Texas.

  14. Monitoring black-tailed prairie dog colonies with high-resolution satellite imagery

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sidle, John G.; Johnson, D.H.; Euliss, B.R.; Tooze, M.

    2002-01-01

    The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has determined that the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) warrants listing as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Central to any conservation planning for the black-tailed prairie dog is an appropriate detection and monitoring technique. Because coarse-resolution satellite imagery is not adequate to detect black-tailed prairie dog colonies, we examined the usefulness of recently available high-resolution (1-m) satellite imagery. In 6 purchased scenes of national grasslands, we were easily able to visually detect small and large colonies without using image-processing algorithms. The Ikonos (Space Imaging(tm)) satellite imagery was as adequate as large-scale aerial photography to delineate colonies. Based on the high quality of imagery, we discuss a possible monitoring program for black-tailed prairie dog colonies throughout the Great Plains, using the species' distribution in North Dakota as an example. Monitoring plots could be established and imagery acquired periodically to track the expansion and contraction of colonies.

  15. Maastrichtian ammonites chiefly from the Prairie Bluff Chalk in Alabama and Mississippi

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Cobban, W.A.; Kennedy, W.J.

    1995-01-01

    The Prairie Bluff Chalk of Alabama and Mississippi yields a diverse ammonite fauna of Maastrichtian age. Twenty-eight species, of which three are new, are recorded. The bulk of the fauna can be referred to a Discoscaphites conradi assemblage zone, but some elements in the fauna are significantly older. -Authors

  16. TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN MESOCARNIVORES IN CANADA SEROPREVALENCE OF TOXOPLASMA GONDII IN MESOCARNIVORE OF THE CANADIAN PRAIRIES

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The protozoon Toxoplasma gondii has a worldwide distribution and affects many species of warm-blooded animals. In the Canadian prairies, mesocarnivores such as striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) have experienced an increase in density and distribution and are in close c...

  17. First flowering dates and flowering periods of prairie plants at Woodworth, North Dakota

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Callow, J.M.; Kantrud, H.A.; Higgins, K.F.

    1992-01-01

    We recorded flowering events for 97 species of prairie plants for 2-6 years near Woodworth, ND. Earliest and latest flower initiation dates varied by year. Temperature seemed much more important than precipitation in influencing phenology of species that bloom from late March through May, but no strong climatic effect was evident for plants that bloom later in the growing season.

  18. Temporal-spatial distribution of American bison (Bison bison) in a tallgrass prairie fire mosaic

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schuler, K.L.; Leslie, David M.; Shaw, J.H.; Maichak, E.J.

    2006-01-01

    Fire and bison (Bison bison) are thought to be historically responsible for shaping prairie vegetation in North America. Interactions between temporal-spatial distributions of bison and prescribed burning protocols are important in current restoration of tallgrass prairies. We examined dynamics of bison distribution in a patch-burned tallgrass prairie in the south-central United States relative to bison group size and composition, and burn age and temporal distribution. Bison formed larger mixed groups during summer and smaller sexually segregated groups the rest of the year, and bison selected dormant-season burn patches in the 1st posture growing season most often during spring and summer. Large bison herds selecting recently burned areas resulted in seasonally variable and concentrated grazing pressure that may substantially alter site-specific vegetation. These dynamics must be considered when reintroducing bison and fire into tallgrass prairie because variable outcomes of floral richness and structural complexity are likely depending on temporal-spatial distribution of bison. ?? 2006 American Society of Mammalogists.

  19. An Energy Management Programme for Grande Prairie Public School District. Energy Conservation: Energy Management.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Calgary Univ. (Alberta).

    This report describes a pilot energy conservation project in Grande Prairie (Alberta) School District No. 2357. Extensive data collection and analysis were undertaken to provide a sound, quantitative basis for evaluation of the program. Energy conserving measures requiring capital outlays were not considered. During the project, electric demand…

  20. 76 FR 77245 - Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-12

    ... 3: Manage three food Same as Alternative A; plus Eliminate wildlife Wildlife Food Plots (Farming plots totaling up to explore additional ways to food plots. Program). 150 acres. provide supplemental food to Attwater's prairie- chicken, including capability to irrigate and addition of food plots...

  1. Evaluation of a native prairie Junegrass collection from Eastern Oregon for use in the Great Basin

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native prairie Junegrass [Koeleria macrantha (Ledeb.) Schult.; PJG] has potential for contributing to increased western U.S. rangeland productivity given its putative drought and heat tolerance. In 2010 a collection of PJG was received from L&H Seed Company, originating from several sites in the Um...

  2. Environmental Impacts of Wind Power Development on the Population Biology of Greater Prairie-Chickens

    SciTech Connect

    Sandercock, Brett K.

    2013-05-22

    This report summarizes the results of a seven-year, DOE-funded research project, conducted by researchers from Kansas State University and the National Wind Coordinating Collaborative, to assess the effects of wind energy development in Kansas on the population and reproduction of greater prairie chickens.

  3. A faunistic survey of bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea) in the Black Belt Prairie of Mississippi

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    A survey of bees (Apoidea) in the Black Belt Prairie of northern Mississippi was conducted from 1991 to 2001. Collecting methods included netting specimens from floral hosts and use of malaise traps. The survey resulted in collection of 6138 specimens, of which 3627 were identified to 118 species. O...

  4. Isolation and morphological and metabolic characterization of common endophytes in annually burned tallgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Mandyam, Keerthi; Loughin, Thomas; Jumpponen, Ari

    2010-01-01

    Dark septate endophytes (DSE) are common and abundant root-colonizing fungi in the native tallgrass prairie. To characterize DSE fungi were isolated from roots of mixed tallgrass prairie plant communities. Isolates were grouped according to morphology, and the grouping was refined by ITS-RFLP and/or sequencing of the ITS region. Sporulating species of Periconia, Fusarium, Microdochium and Aspergillus were isolated along with many sterile fungi. Leek resynthesis was used to quickly screen for DSE fungi among the isolates. Periconia macro-spinosa and Microdochium sp. formed typical DSE structures in the roots; Periconia produced melanized intracellular microsclerotia in host root cortex, whereas Microdochium produced abundant melanized inter- and intracellular chlamydospores. To further validate the results of the leek resynthesis growth responses of leek and a dominant prairie grass, Andropogon gerardii, were assessed in a laboratory resynthesis system. Leek growth mainly was unresponsive to the inoculation with Periconia or Microdochium, whereas Andropogon tended to respond positively. Select Periconia and Microdochium isolates were tested further for their enzymatic capabilities and for ability to use organic and inorganic nitrogen sources. These fungi tested positive for amylase, cellulase, polyphenol oxidases and gelatinase. Periconia isolates used both organic and inorganic nitrogen sources. Our study identified distinct endophytes in a tallgrass prairie ecosystem and indicated that these endo-phytes can use a variety of complex nutrient sources, suggesting facultative biotrophic and saprotrophic habits.

  5. Effects of prairie fragmentation on the nest success of breeding birds in the midcontinental United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Herkert, J.R.; Reinking, D.L.; Wiedenfeld, D.A.; Winter, M.; Zimmerman, J.L.; Jensen, W.E.; Finck, E.J.; Koford, Rolf R.; Wolfe, D.H.; Sherrod, S.K.; Jenkins, M.A.; Faaborg, J.; Robinson, S.K.

    2003-01-01

    Grassland fragmentation and habitat loss are hypothesized to be contributing to widespread grassland bird declines in North America due to the adverse effects of fragmentation on breeding bird abundance and reproductive success. To assess the effects of fragmentation on the reproductive success of grassland birds, we measured rates of nest predation and brood parasitism for four species of birds (Grasshopper Sparrow [Ammodramus savannaru], Henslow's Sparrow[Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern Meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and Dickcissel [Spiza Americana]) in 39 prairie fragments ranging from 24 to >40,000 ha in size in five states in the mid-continental United States. Throughout the region, nest-predation rates were significantly influenced by habitat fragmentation. Nest predation was highest in small (1000 ha) prairie fragments. Rates of brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater), however, were not consistently related to fragment size and instead were more strongly related to regional cowbird abundance, being significantly higher in regions with high cowbird abundance. Differences in nest-predation rates between large fragments (54-68% of all nests lost to predators) and small fragments (78-84% lost to predators) suggest that fragmentation of prairie habitats may be contributing to regional declines of grassland birds. Maintaining grassland bird populations, therefore, may require protection and restoration of large prairie areas.

  6. Application of a Library Network Model: A Case Study of the Rolling Prairie Library System.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Slate, Mitchell Perry

    This case study applies a mathematical model to the Illinois Library and Information Network (ILLINET) Rolling Prairie Library (RPL) System. Given certain dimensions, parameters, and operating policies of a library network, the model calculates probability of satisfying a request, average processing time, average total and unit costs, and average…

  7. Tallgrass prairie ants: their species composition, ecological roles, and response to management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ants are highly influential organisms in terrestrial ecosystems, including the tallgrass prairie, one of the most endangered ecosystems in North America. Through their tunneling, ants affect soil properties and resource availability for animals and plants. Ants also have important ecological roles a...

  8. Mountain plover population responses to black-tailed prairie dogs in Montana

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Dinsmore, S.J.; White, Gary C.; Knopf, F.L.

    2005-01-01

    We studied a local population of mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) in southern Phillips County, Montana, USA, from 1995 to 2000 to estimate annual rates of recruitment rate (f) and population change (??). We used Pradel models, and we modeled ?? as a constant across years, as a linear time trend, as year-specific, and with an additive effect of area occupied by prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). We modeled recruitment rate (f) as a function of area occupied by prairie dogs with the remaining model structure identical to the best model used to estimate ??. Our results indicated a strong negative effect of area occupied by prairie dogs on both ?? (slope coefficient on a log scale was -0.11; 95% CI was -0.17, -0.05) and f (slope coefficient on a logit scale was -0.23; 95% CI was -0.36, -0.10). We also found good evidence for a negative time trend on ??; this model had substantial weight (wi = 0.31), and the slope coefficient on the linear trend on a log scale was -0.10 (95% CI was -0.15, -0.05). Yearly estimates of ?? were >1 in all years except 1999, indicating that the population initially increased and then stabilized in the last year of the study. We found weak evidence for year-specific estimates of ??; the best model with year-specific estimates had a low weight (wi = 0.02), although the pattern of yearly estimates of ?? closely matched those estimated with a linear time trend. In southern Phillips County, the population trend of mountain plovers closely matched the trend in the area occupied by black-tailed prairie dogs. Black-tailed prairie dogs declined sharply in the mid-1990s in response to an outbreak of sylvatic plague, but their numbers have steadily increased since 1996 in concert with increases in plovers. The results of this study (1) increase our understanding of the dynamics of this population and how they relate to the area occupied by prairie dogs, and (2) will be useful for planning plover conservation in a prairie dog ecosystem.

  9. Long-term lesser prairie-chicken nest ecology in response to grassland management

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fritts, Sarah R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Boal, Clint W.; Patten, Michael; Wolfe, Don H.; Dixon, Charles; Cox, Robert D.; Heck, Willard R.

    2016-01-01

    Long-term population and range declines from habitat loss and fragmentation caused the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) to be a species of concern throughout its range. Current lesser prairie-chicken range in New Mexico and Texas is partially restricted to sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii; hereafter shinnery oak) prairies, on which cattle grazing is the main socioeconomic driver for private landowners. Cattle producers within shinnery oak prairies often focus land management on shrub eradication using the herbicide tebuthiuron to promote grass production for forage; however, herbicide application alone, and in combination with grazing, may affect nest site selection and nest survival of lesser prairie-chickens through the reduction of shinnery oak and native grasses. We used a controlled, paired, completely randomized design study to assess the influence of grazing and tebuthiuron application and their combined use on nest site selection and nest survival from 2001 to 2010 in Roosevelt County, New Mexico, USA at 2 spatial scales (i.e., treatment and microhabitat) in 4 treatments: tebuthiuron with grazing, tebuthiuron without grazing, no tebuthiuron with grazing, and a control of no tebuthiuron and no grazing. Grazing treatment was a short-duration system in which plots were grazed once during the dormant season and once during the growing season. Stocking rate was calculated each season based on measured forage production and applied to remove ≤25% of available herbaceous material per season. At the treatment scale, we compared nest site selection among treatments using 1-way χ2 tests and nest survival among treatments using a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK. At the microhabitat scale, we identified important habitat predictors of nest site selection and nest survival using logistic regression and a priori candidate nest survival models in Program MARK, respectively. Females typically used treatments as expected and

  10. Neonicotinoid insecticide removal by prairie strips in row-cropped watersheds with historical seed coating use

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Hladik, Michelle; Bradbury, Steven; Schulte, Lisa A.; Helmers, Matthew; Witte, Christopher; Kolpin, Dana W.; Garrett, Jessica D.; Harris, Mary

    2017-01-01

    Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticides that are commonly applied as seed coatings for agricultural crops. Such neonicotinoid use may pose a risk to non-target insects, including pollinators and natural enemies of crop pests, and ecosystems. This study assessed neonicotinoid residues in groundwater, surface runoff water, soil, and native plants adjacent to corn and soybean crop fields with a history of being planted with neonicotinoid-treated seeds from 2008-2013. Data from six sites with the same crop management history, three with and three without in-field prairie strips, were collected in 2015-2016, 2-3 years after neonicotinoid (clothianidin and imidacloprid) seed treatments were last used. Three of the six neonicotinoids analyzed were detected in at least one environmental matrix: the two applied as seed coatings on the fields (clothianidin and imidacloprid) and another widely used neonicotinoid (thiamethoxam). Sites with prairie strips generally had lower concentrations of neonicotinoids: groundwater and footslope soil neonicotinoid concentrations were significantly lower in the sites with prairie strips than those without; mean concentrations for groundwater were 11 and 20 ng/L (p = 0.048) and <1 and 6 ng/g (p = 0.0004) for soil, respectively. Surface runoff water concentrations were not significantly (p = 0.38) different for control sites (44 ng/L) or sites with prairie strips (140 ng/L). Consistent with the decreased inputs of neonicotinoids, concentrations tended to decrease over the sampling timeframe. Two sites recorded concentration increases, however, potentially due to disturbance of previous applications or influence from nearby fields where use of seed treatments continued. There were no detections (limit of detection: 1 ng/g) of neonicotinoids in the foliage or roots of plants comprising prairie strips, indicating a low likelihood of exposure to pollinators and other insects visiting these plants following the cessation of seed

  11. The imprint of geologic history on within-island diversification of woodlouse-hunter spiders (Araneae, Dysderidae) in the Canary Islands.

    PubMed

    Macías-Hernández, Nuria; Bidegaray-Batista, Leticia; Emerson, Brent C; Oromí, Pedro; Arnedo, Miquel

    2013-01-01

    Geological processes and ecological adaptation are major drivers of diversification on oceanic islands. Although diversification in these islands is often interpreted as resulting from dispersal or island hopping rather than vicariance, this may not be the case in islands with complex geological histories. The island of Tenerife, in the Canary Islands, emerged in the late Miocene as 3 precursor islands that were subsequently connected and reisolated by volcanic cycles. The spider Dysdera verneaui is endemic to the island of Tenerife, where it is widely distributed throughout most island habitats, providing an excellent model to investigate the role of physical barriers and ecological adaptation in shaping within-island diversity. Here, we present evidence that the phylogeographic patterns of this species trace back to the independent emergence of the protoislands. Molecular markers (mitochondrial genes cox1, 16S, and nad1 and the nuclear genes ITS-2 and 28S) analyzed from 100 specimens (including a thorough sampling of D. verneaui populations and additional outgroups) identify 2 distinct evolutionary lineages that correspond to 2 precursor islands, each with diagnostic genital characters indicative of separate species status. Episodic introgression events between these 2 main evolutionary lineages explain the observed incongruence between mitochondrial and nuclear markers, probably as a result of the homogenization of their ITS-2 sequence types. The most widespread lineage exhibits a complex population structure, which is compatible with either secondary contact, following connection of deeply divergent lineages, or alternatively, a back colonization from 1 precursor island to another.

  12. Dendritic arbor of neurons in the hypothalamic ventromedial nucleus in female prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Ferri, Sarah L; Rohrbach, Carlos J; Way, Samantha E; Curtis, Kathleen S; Curtis, J Thomas; Flanagan-Cato, Loretta M

    2013-01-01

    Female mating behavior in rats is associated with hormone-induced changes in the dendritic arbor of neurons in the ventromedial nucleus of the hypothalamus (VMH), particularly the ventrolateral portion. Regulation of mating behavior in female prairie voles differs substantially from that in rats; therefore, we examined the dendritic morphology of VMH neurons in this species. Sexually naïve adult female prairie voles were housed with a male to activate the females' reproductive endocrine system. Following 48 h of cohabitation, females were tested for evidence of reproductive activation by assessing the level of male sexual interest, after which their brains were processed using Golgi impregnation, which allowed ventrolateral VMH neurons to be visualized and analyzed. Dendritic arborization in the female prairie vole VMH neurons was strikingly similar to that of female rats. The key difference was that in the prairie voles the long primary dendrites extended considerably further than those observed in rats. Although most female voles paired with males exhibited sexual activation, some females did not. These two groups displayed specific differences in their VMH dendrites. In particular, the long primary dendrites were longer in the reproductively active females compared with those in the non-activated females. Overall, dendrite lengths were positively correlated with plasma estradiol levels in females exposed to males, but not in unpaired females. Although causal relationships between the neuroendocrine events, dendrite length, and the outward, behavioral manifestation of reproductive activation cannot be determined from this study, these results suggest an association between ventrolateral VMH dendrite morphology and female mating behavior in prairie voles, akin to what has been observed in female rats.

  13. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grisham, Blake A.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Davis, D.; Boydston, Kathy K.; Dixon, Charles; Heck, Willard R.

    2013-01-01

    The Southern High Plains is anticipated to experience significant changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change. These changes may influence the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) in positive or negative ways. We assessed the potential changes in clutch size, incubation start date, and nest survival for lesser prairie-chickens for the years 2050 and 2080 based on modeled predictions of climate change and reproductive data for lesser prairie-chickens from 2001-2011 on the Southern High Plains of Texas and New Mexico. We developed 9 a priori models to assess the relationship between reproductive parameters and biologically relevant weather conditions. We selected weather variable(s) with the most model support and then obtained future predicted values from climatewizard.org. We conducted 1,000 simulations using each reproductive parameter's linear equation obtained from regression calculations, and the future predicted value for each weather variable to predict future reproductive parameter values for lesser prairie-chickens. There was a high degree of model uncertainty for each reproductive value. Winter temperature had the greatest effect size for all three parameters, suggesting a negative relationship between above-average winter temperature and reproductive output. The above-average winter temperatures are correlated to La Nina events, which negatively affect lesser prairie-chickens through resulting drought conditions. By 2050 and 2080, nest survival was predicted to be below levels considered viable for population persistence; however, our assessment did not consider annual survival of adults, chick survival, or the positive benefit of habitat management and conservation, which may ultimately offset the potentially negative effect of drought on nest survival.

  14. Lesser prairie-chicken fence collision risk across its northern distribution

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Robinson, Samantha G.; Haukos, David A.; Plumb, Reid T.; Hagen, Christian A.; Pitman, James C.; Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Sullins, Daniel S.; Kraft, John D.; Lautenbach, Jonathan D.

    2016-01-01

    Livestock fences have been hypothesized to significantly contribute to mortality of lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus); however, quantification of mortality due to fence collisions is lacking across their current distribution. Variation in fence density, landscape composition and configuration, and land use could influence collision risk of lesser prairie-chickens. We monitored fences within 3 km of known leks during spring and fall and surveyed for signs of collision occurrence within 20 m of fences in 6 study sites in Kansas and Colorado, USA during 2013 and 2014. We assessed mortality locations of radio-tagged birds (n = 286) for evidence of fence collisions and compared distance to fence relative to random points. Additionally, we quantified locations, propensity, and frequency of fences crossed by lesser prairie-chickens. We tested for landscape and vegetative characteristics that influenced fence-cross propensity and frequency of global positioning system (GPS)-marked birds. A minimum of 12,706 fence crossings occurred by GPS-marked lesser prairie-chickens. We found 3 carcasses and 12 additional possible instances of evidence of collision during >2,800 km of surveyed fences. We found evidence for a single suspected collision based on carcass evidence for 148 mortalities of transmittered birds. Mortality locations of transmittered birds were located at distances from fences 15% farther than expected at random. Our data suggested minimal biological significance and indicated that propensity and frequency of fence crossings were random processes. Lesser prairie-chickens do not appear to be experiencing significant mortality risk due to fence collisions in Kansas and Colorado. Focusing resources on other limiting factors (i.e., habitat quality) has greater potential for impact on population demography than fence marking and removal.

  15. Exposure of small rodents to plague during epizootics in black-tailed prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Stapp, Paul; Salkeld, Daniel J; Eisen, Rebecca J; Pappert, Ryan; Young, John; Carter, Leon G; Gage, Kenneth L; Tripp, Daniel W; Antolin, Michael F

    2008-07-01

    Plague, caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, causes die-offs of colonies of prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). It has been argued that other small rodents are reservoirs for plague, spreading disease during epizootics and maintaining the pathogen in the absence of prairie dogs; yet there is little empirical support for distinct enzootic and epizootic cycles. Between 2004 and 2006, we collected blood from small rodents captured in colonies in northern Colorado before, during, and for up to 2 yr after prairie dog epizootics. We screened 1,603 blood samples for antibodies to Y. pestis, using passive hemagglutination and inhibition tests, and for a subset of samples we cultured blood for the bacterium itself. Of the four species of rodents that were common in colonies, the northern grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster) was the only species with consistent evidence of plague infection during epizootics, with 11.1-23.1% of mice seropositive for antibody to Y. pestis during these events. Seropositive grasshopper mice, thirteen-lined ground squirrels (Spermophilus tridecemlineatus), and deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) were captured the year following epizootics. The appearance of antibodies to Y. pestis in grasshopper mice coincided with periods of high prairie dog mortality; subsequently, antibody prevalence rates declined, with no seropositive individuals captured 2 yr after epizootics. We did not detect plague in any rodents off of colonies, or on colonies prior to epizootics, and found no evidence of persistent Y. pestis infection in blood cultures. Our results suggest that grasshopper mice could be involved in epizootic spread of Y. pestis, and possibly, serve as a short-term reservoir for plague, but provide no evidence that the grasshopper mouse or any small rodent acts as a long-term, enzootic host for Y. pestis in prairie dog colonies.

  16. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Busch, Joseph D; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E; Cobble, Kacy R; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William; Shuey, Megan M; Foster, Jeffrey T; Schupp, James M; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L; Rocke, Tonie E; Wagner, David M

    2013-10-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  17. The innate immune response may be important for surviving plague in wild Gunnison's prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Busch, Joseph D.; Van Andel, Roger; Stone, Nathan E.; Cobble, Kacy R.; Nottingham, Roxanne; Lee, Judy; VerSteeg, Michael; Corcoran, Jeff; Cordova, Jennifer; Van Pelt, William E.; Shuey, Megan M.; Foster, Jeffrey T.; Schupp, James M.; Beckstrom-Sternberg, Stephen; Beckstrom-Sternberg, James; Keim, Paul; Smith, Susan; Rodriguez-Ramos, Julia; Williamson, Judy L.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Wagner, David M.

    2013-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) are highly susceptible to Yersinia pestis, with ≥99% mortality reported from multiple studies of plague epizootics. A colony of Gunnison's prairie dogs (Cynomys gunnisoni) in the Aubrey Valley (AV) of northern Arizona appears to have survived several regional epizootics of plague, whereas nearby colonies have been severely affected by Y. pestis. To examine potential mechanisms accounting for survival in the AV colony, we conducted a laboratory Y. pestis challenge experiment on 60 wild-caught prairie dogs from AV and from a nearby, large colony with frequent past outbreaks of plague, Espee (n = 30 per colony). Test animals were challenged subcutaneously with the fully virulent Y. pestis strain CO92 at three doses: 50, 5,000, and 50,000 colony-forming units (cfu); this range is lethal in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Contrary to our expectations, only 40% of the animals died. Although mortality trended higher in the Espee colony (50%) compared with AV (30%), the differences among infectious doses were not statistically significant. Only 39% of the survivors developed moderate to high antibody levels to Y. pestis, indicating that mechanisms other than humoral immunity are important in resistance to plague. The ratio of neutrophils to lymphocytes was not correlated with plague survival in this study. However, several immune proteins with roles in innate immunity (VCAM-1, CXCL-1, and vWF) were upregulated during plague infection and warrant further inquiry into their role for protection against this disease. These results suggest plague resistance exists in wild populations of the Gunnison's prairie dog and provide important directions for future studies.

  18. Effects of climate change and land use on duck abundance in Canadian prairie-parklands

    SciTech Connect

    Bethke, R.W.; Nudds, T.D.

    1995-08-01

    Recent declines in breeding ducks in the Canadian prairie-parklands may be due to loss of habitat to agriculture. However, prairie-parkland also has experienced wetland loss to drought as well as to agriculture. For sucessful habitat restoration, it is important to separate the effects of anthropogenic changes to the landscape from those caused by changes in climate. The researchers used data from annual air-ground surveys and from precipitation records to develop relationships between indices of abundance of each of 10 species of ducks and indices of wetland conditions during 1955-1974. Average annual deficits within Canadian prairie-parkland over the period 1975-1989 were estimated at 1.2 x 10{sup 6} birds for both Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Northern Pintail (A. acuta), 480 000 for Blue-winged Teal (A. discors), 190 000 for American Wigeon (A. americana), 175 000 for Northern Shoveler (A. clypeata), 50 000 for Gadwall (A. strepera), 10 000 for Green-winged Teal (A. crecca), 40 000 for Canvasback (Aythya valisineria), 25 000 for Lesser Scaup (A. affinis), and 5000 for Redhead (A. americana). The effect of agricultural expansion in the east on prime waterfowl habitat since 1951 appears to have been negligible. There, as much as 90% had been already lost prior to 1951. In the west, however, where prime waterfowl habitat was still relatively abundant in 1951, agricultural development has encroached substantially. The relationship between the lost area of the best breeding habitats and the size of population deficits for Mallards and Northern Pintails in the entire Canadian prairie-parkland region was significant for both species (P < 0.0027 and P < 0.0001, respectively). Consequently, habitat restoration programs located where the highest quality waterfowl habitat and the lowest quality agricultural lands overlap most should have the greatest potential to affect recovery of breeding duck populations in the Canadian prairie-parklands. 39 refs., 8 figs., 4 tabs.

  19. Influence of fire on black-tailed prairie dog colony expansion in shortgrass steppe

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Augustine, D.J.; Cully, J.F.; Johnson, T.L.

    2007-01-01

    Factors influencing the distribution and abundance of black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies are of interest to rangeland managers because of the significant influence prairie dogs can exert on both livestock and biodiversity. We examined the influence of 4 prescribed burns and one wildfire on the rate and direction of prairie dog colony expansion in shortgrass steppe of southeastern Colorado. Our study was conducted during 2 years with below-average precipitation, when prairie dog colonies were expanding throughout the study area. Under these dry conditions, the rate of black-tailed prairie dog colony expansion into burned grassland (X?? = 2.6 ha??100-m perimeter-1??y-1; range = 0.8-5.9 ha??100-m perimeter-1??y-1; N = 5 colonies) was marginally greater than the expansion rate into unburned grassland (X?? =1.3 ha??100-m perimeter-1??y-1; range = 0.2-4.9 ha??100-m perimeter-1??y-1; N = 23 colonies; P = 0.066). For 3 colonies that were burned on only a portion of their perimeter, we documented consistently high rates of expansion into the adjacent burned grassland (38%-42% of available burned habitat colonized) but variable expansion rates into the adjacent unburned grassland (2%-39% of available unburned habitat colonized). While our results provide evidence that burning can increase colony expansion rate even under conditions of low vegetative structure, this effect was minor at the scale of the overall colony complex because some unburned colonies were also able to expand at high rates. This result highlights the need to evaluate effects of fire on colony expansion during above-average rainfall years, when expansion into unburned grassland may be considerably lower.

  20. Winter habitat use and survival of lesser prairie-chickens in West Texas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Pirius, Nicholas E.; Boal, Clint W.; Haukos, David A.; Wallace, M.C.

    2013-01-01

    The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has experienced declines in population and occupied range since the late 1800s and is currently proposed for Federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. Populations and the distribution of lesser prairie-chickens in Texas, USA, are thought to be at or near all-time lows. Currently, there is a paucity of data on the wintering ecology of the species. We measured home range, habitat use, and survival of lesser prairie-chickens during the non-breeding seasons (1 Sep-28 Feb) of 2008-2009, 2009-2010, and 2010-2011 in sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) landscapes in the West Texas panhandle region. Home range size did not differ among years or between females (503 ha) andmales (489 ha). Over 97% of locations of both male and female prairie-chickens were within 3.2 km of the lek of capture, and 99.9% were within 3.2 km of an available water source (i.e., livestock water tank). Habitat cover types were not used proportional to occurrence within the home ranges; grassland-dominated areas with co-occurring sand shinnery oak were used more than available, but sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia)-dominated areas with grassland and sand sagebrush-dominated areas with bare ground were both used less than available. Survival rates during the first 2 non-breeding seasons (>80%) were among the highest reported for the species. However, survival during the third non-breeding season was only 57%, resulting in a 3-year average of 72%. It does not appear that non-breeding season mortality is a strong limiting factor in lesser prairie-chicken persistence in the study area.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  2. Methylation of avpr1a in the cortex of wild prairie voles: effects of CpG position and polymorphism

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, S. M.; Phelps, S. M.

    2017-01-01

    DNA methylation can cause stable changes in neuronal gene expression, but we know little about its role in individual differences in the wild. In this study, we focus on the vasopressin 1a receptor (avpr1a), a gene extensively implicated in vertebrate social behaviour, and explore natural variation in DNA methylation, genetic polymorphism and neuronal gene expression among 30 wild prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster). Examination of CpG density across 8 kb of the locus revealed two distinct CpG islands overlapping promoter and first exon, characterized by few CpG polymorphisms. We used a targeted bisulfite sequencing approach to measure DNA methylation across approximately 3 kb of avpr1a in the retrosplenial cortex, a brain region implicated in male space use and sexual fidelity. We find dramatic variation in methylation across the avrp1a locus, with pronounced diversity near the exon–intron boundary and in a genetically variable putative enhancer within the intron. Among our wild voles, differences in cortical avpr1a expression correlate with DNA methylation in this putative enhancer, but not with the methylation status of the promoter. We also find an unusually high number of polymorphic CpG sites (polyCpGs) in this focal enhancer. One polyCpG within this enhancer (polyCpG 2170) may drive variation in expression either by disrupting transcription factor binding motifs or by changing local DNA methylation and chromatin silencing. Our results contradict some assumptions made within behavioural epigenetics, but are remarkably concordant with genome-wide studies of gene regulation. PMID:28280564

  3. Proteomic Responses of Switchgrass and Prairie Cordgrass to Senescence.

    PubMed

    Paudel, Bimal; Das, Aayudh; Tran, Michaellong; Boe, Arvid; Palmer, Nathan A; Sarath, Gautam; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Jose L; Rushton, Paul J; Rohila, Jai S

    2016-01-01

    Senescence in biofuel grasses is a critical issue because early senescence decreases potential biomass production by limiting aerial growth and development. 2-Dimensional, differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) followed by mass spectrometry of selected protein spots was used to evaluate differences between leaf proteomes of early (ES)- and late- senescing (LS) genotypes of Prairie cordgrass (ES/LS PCG) and switchgrass (ES/LS SG), just before and after senescence was initiated. Analysis of the manually filtered and statistically evaluated data indicated that 69 proteins were significantly differentially abundant across all comparisons, and a majority (41%) were associated with photosynthetic processes as determined by gene ontology analysis. Ten proteins were found in common between PCG and SG, and nine and 18 proteins were unique to PCG and SG respectively. Five of the 10 differentially abundant spots common to both species were increased in abundance, and five were decreased in abundance. Leaf proteomes of the LS genotypes of both grasses analyzed before senescence contained significantly higher abundances of a 14-3-3 like protein and a glutathione-S-transferase protein when compared to the ES genotypes, suggesting differential cellular metabolism in the LS vs. the ES genotypes. The higher abundance of 14-3-3 like proteins may be one factor that impacts the senescence process in both LS PCG and LS SG. Aconitase dehydratase was found in greater abundance in all four genotypes after the onset of senescence, consistent with literature reports from genetic and transcriptomic studies. A Rab protein of the Ras family of G proteins and an s-adenosylmethionine synthase were more abundant in ES PCG when compared with the LS PCG. In contrast, several proteins associated with photosynthesis and carbon assimilation were detected in greater abundance in LS PCG when compared to ES PCG, suggesting that a loss of these proteins potentially contributed to the ES phenotype

  4. Modeling Prairie Pothole Lakes: Linking Satellite Observation and Calibration (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schwartz, F. W.; Liu, G.; Zhang, B.; Yu, Z.

    2009-12-01

    This paper examines the response of a complex lake wetland system to variations in climate. The focus is on the lakes and wetlands of the Missouri Coteau, which is part of the larger Prairie Pothole Region of the Central Plains of North America. Information on lake size was enumerated from satellite images, and yielded power law relationships for different hydrological conditions. More traditional lake-stage data were made available to us from the USGS Cottonwood Lake Study Site in North Dakota. A Probabilistic Hydrologic Model (PHM) was developed to simulate lake complexes comprised of tens-of-thousands or more individual closed-basin lakes and wetlands. What is new about this model is a calibration scheme that utilizes remotely-sensed data on lake area as well as stage data for individual lakes. Some ¼ million individual data points are used within a Genetic Algorithm to calibrate the model by comparing the simulated results with observed lake area-frequency power law relationships derived from Landsat images and water depths from seven individual lakes and wetlands. The simulated lake behaviors show good agreement with the observations under average, dry, and wet climatic conditions. The calibrated model is used to examine the impact of climate variability on a large lake complex in ND, in particular, the “Dust Bowl Drought” 1930s. This most famous drought of the 20th Century devastated the agricultural economy of the Great Plains with health and social impacts lingering for years afterwards. Interestingly, the drought of 1930s is unremarkable in relation to others of greater intensity and frequency before AD 1200 in the Great Plains. Major droughts and deluges have the ability to create marked variability of the power law function (e.g. up to one and a half orders of magnitude variability from the extreme Dust Bowl Drought to the extreme 1993-2001 deluge). This new probabilistic modeling approach provides a novel tool to examine the response of the

  5. Defining western prairie fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) habitat

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knudson, Michael David

    Terrestrial orchids are at the forefront of the discussion about anthropogenically-driven extinction with more species threatened globally than any other plant family, mostly because of loss of habitat. The Western Prairie Fringed Orchid ( Platanthera praeclara) is a threatened species found on the Sheyenne National Grassland in southeast North Dakota, USA. This conservation area that is a vital refuge for this species is subject to management for multiple uses including livestock grazing and recreation. Orchids are subject to continuous monitoring, but knowledge of the relationship between landscape indicators and orchid locations is limited. Research is needed to provide a greater understanding of the landscape relative to orchid habitat to develop conservation management strategies suited to dealing with threats arising from future interactions between land management and use, and climate change. The spatial distribution of orchid habitat was defined using a suite of indicators that characterize topography, moisture, and vegetation cover and compared with orchid point-based field observations. High resolution infrared imagery, a LiDAR-derived DEM, and well observations were used to characterize landscape properties. The NDVI (a measure of vegetation cover), the Topographic Wetness Index (TWI: a measure of moisture on the landscape), the Topographic Position Index (TPI: a measure of position on the landscape), and the depth to groundwater (a measure of the depth from the land surface to the groundwater surface) provided the best set of indicators of orchid habitat. Comparison between orchid locations and landscape indicators identified orchid metrics (+/-2 sigma) used to classify landscape indicators which were combined to create orchid habitat maps. This study supports that distribution of orchid habitat are influenced by the selected landscape indicators, each providing important information to the analysis. Comparison of orchid metrics with groundwater

  6. Prairie forb response to timing of vole herbivory.

    PubMed

    Sullivan, Amy T; Howe, Henry F

    2009-05-01

    The timing of herbivory can be an important factor in the strength and direction of plant response to herbivore damage. To determine the effect of vole herbivory timing within a growing season on tallgrass prairie forbs, we used individual plant enclosures to limit vole access to three species, Desmanthus illinoensis, Echinacea purpurea, and Heliopsis helianthoides, in an experimental restoration in northern Illinois, USA. As part of a long-term experiment, we implemented five vole access treatments in 2003: (1) vole access for the entire growing season, (2) early-season access, (3) mid-season access, (4) late-season access, and (5) no vole access. We protected all plants from herbivory in the following growing season (2004) to test whether the effects of herbivory in one growing season carried over to the next. We also tested how restoration planting design, including seeding time (June or December) and density (35 or 350 seeds/m2 of each species) affected patterns of herbivory and plant recovery. Vole access for the entire growing season was most detrimental for the growth and reproduction of all three species. In contrast, vole access for a portion of the growing season had different effects on the three species: Desmanthus growth and reproduction was negatively affected by early-season access, Echinacea reproductive output was reduced by late-season access, and Heliopsis was not affected by early-, mid-, or late-season vole access. Negative effects of continual vole access carried over to the following growing season for Desmanthus and Heliopsis, but not for Echinacea. Effects of herbivory did not carry over to the next season for Echinacea and Heliopsis when plants were accessible to voles for only part of the growing season. In contrast, Desmanthus plants exposed to early-season herbivory in one year continued to produce fewer seeds per plant after being protected from vole herbivory for a growing season. Planting density and planting season had mixed effects

  7. Proteomic Responses of Switchgrass and Prairie Cordgrass to Senescence

    PubMed Central

    Paudel, Bimal; Das, Aayudh; Tran, Michaellong; Boe, Arvid; Palmer, Nathan A.; Sarath, Gautam; Gonzalez-Hernandez, Jose L.; Rushton, Paul J.; Rohila, Jai S.

    2016-01-01

    Senescence in biofuel grasses is a critical issue because early senescence decreases potential biomass production by limiting aerial growth and development. 2-Dimensional, differential in-gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) followed by mass spectrometry of selected protein spots was used to evaluate differences between leaf proteomes of early (ES)- and late- senescing (LS) genotypes of Prairie cordgrass (ES/LS PCG) and switchgrass (ES/LS SG), just before and after senescence was initiated. Analysis of the manually filtered and statistically evaluated data indicated that 69 proteins were significantly differentially abundant across all comparisons, and a majority (41%) were associated with photosynthetic processes as determined by gene ontology analysis. Ten proteins were found in common between PCG and SG, and nine and 18 proteins were unique to PCG and SG respectively. Five of the 10 differentially abundant spots common to both species were increased in abundance, and five were decreased in abundance. Leaf proteomes of the LS genotypes of both grasses analyzed before senescence contained significantly higher abundances of a 14-3-3 like protein and a glutathione-S-transferase protein when compared to the ES genotypes, suggesting differential cellular metabolism in the LS vs. the ES genotypes. The higher abundance of 14-3-3 like proteins may be one factor that impacts the senescence process in both LS PCG and LS SG. Aconitase dehydratase was found in greater abundance in all four genotypes after the onset of senescence, consistent with literature reports from genetic and transcriptomic studies. A Rab protein of the Ras family of G proteins and an s-adenosylmethionine synthase were more abundant in ES PCG when compared with the LS PCG. In contrast, several proteins associated with photosynthesis and carbon assimilation were detected in greater abundance in LS PCG when compared to ES PCG, suggesting that a loss of these proteins potentially contributed to the ES phenotype

  8. Barrier Island Hazard Mapping.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pilkey, Orrin H.; Neal, William J.

    1980-01-01

    Describes efforts to evaluate and map the susceptibility of barrier islands to damage from storms, erosion, rising sea levels and other natural phenomena. Presented are criteria for assessing the safety and hazard potential of island developments. (WB)

  9. Demographic History of a Recent Invasion of House Mice on the Isolated Island of Gough

    PubMed Central

    Gray, Melissa M.; Wegmann, Daniel; Haasl, Ryan J.; White, Michael A.; Gabriel, Sofia I.; Searle, Jeremy B.; Cuthbert, Richard J.; Ryan, Peter G.; Payseur, Bret A.

    2014-01-01

    Island populations provide natural laboratories for studying key contributors to evolutionary change, including natural selection, population size, and the colonization of new environments. The demographic histories of island populations can be reconstructed from patterns of genetic diversity. House mice (Mus musculus) inhabit islands throughout the globe, making them an attractive system for studying island colonization from a genetic perspective. Gough Island, in the central South Atlantic Ocean, is one of the remotest islands in the world. House mice were introduced to Gough Island by sealers during the 19th century, and display unusual phenotypes, including exceptionally large body size and carnivorous feeding behavior. We describe genetic variation in Gough Island mice using mitochondrial sequences, nuclear sequences, and microsatellites. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial sequences suggested that Gough Island mice belong to Mus musculus domesticus, with the maternal lineage possibly originating in England or France. Cluster analyses of microsatellites revealed genetic membership for Gough Island mice in multiple coastal populations in Western Europe, suggesting admixed ancestry. Gough Island mice showed substantial reductions in mitochondrial and nuclear sequence variation and weak reductions in microsatellite diversity compared with Western European populations, consistent with a population bottleneck. Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) estimated that mice recently colonized Gough Island (~100 years ago) and experienced a 98% reduction in population size followed by a rapid expansion. Our results indicate that the unusual phenotypes of Gough Island mice evolved rapidly, positioning these mice as useful models for understanding rapid phenotypic evolution. PMID:24617968

  10. Demographic history of a recent invasion of house mice on the isolated Island of Gough.

    PubMed

    Gray, Melissa M; Wegmann, Daniel; Haasl, Ryan J; White, Michael A; Gabriel, Sofia I; Searle, Jeremy B; Cuthbert, Richard J; Ryan, Peter G; Payseur, Bret A

    2014-04-01

    Island populations provide natural laboratories for studying key contributors to evolutionary change, including natural selection, population size and the colonization of new environments. The demographic histories of island populations can be reconstructed from patterns of genetic diversity. House mice (Mus musculus) inhabit islands throughout the globe, making them an attractive system for studying island colonization from a genetic perspective. Gough Island, in the central South Atlantic Ocean, is one of the remotest islands in the world. House mice were introduced to Gough Island by sealers during the 19th century and display unusual phenotypes, including exceptionally large body size and carnivorous feeding behaviour. We describe genetic variation in Gough Island mice using mitochondrial sequences, nuclear sequences and microsatellites. Phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial sequences suggested that Gough Island mice belong to Mus musculus domesticus, with the maternal lineage possibly originating in England or France. Cluster analyses of microsatellites revealed genetic membership for Gough Island mice in multiple coastal populations in Western Europe, suggesting admixed ancestry. Gough Island mice showed substantial reductions in mitochondrial and nuclear sequence variation and weak reductions in microsatellite diversity compared with Western European populations, consistent with a population bottleneck. Approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) estimated that mice recently colonized Gough Island (~100 years ago) and experienced a 98% reduction in population size followed by a rapid expansion. Our results indicate that the unusual phenotypes of Gough Island mice evolved rapidly, positioning these mice as useful models for understanding rapid phenotypic evolution.

  11. Canary Island Archipelago

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1989-01-01

    This nearly vertical view of the Canary Archipelago (28.5N, 16.5W) shows five of the seven islands: Grand Canary, Tenerife, Gomera, Hierro and La Palma. The largest island in view is Tenerife. Island cloud wakes evident in this photo are the result of southerly winds giving rise to cloud banks on the lee side especially on Tenerife which has the highest volcanic peaks. Island water wakes and internal waves are also evident but not as apparent.

  12. Falkland Islands, UK

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    This view of the Falkland Islands (52.0S, 58.5W) was taken with a dual camera mount. Compare this scene with STS048-109-043 to analyze the unique properties of each film type. Seldom seen cloud free, the Falkland Islands lie off the southern coast of Argentina. The cold Falklands Ocean Current keeps the islands chilly, ideal for sheep herding and fishing, the two main industries. Colonies of seals and penguins also thrive on the islands.

  13. Arctic ice islands

    SciTech Connect

    Sackinger, W.M.; Jeffries, M.O.; Lu, M.C.; Li, F.C.

    1988-01-01

    The development of offshore oil and gas resources in the Arctic waters of Alaska requires offshore structures which successfully resist the lateral forces due to moving, drifting ice. Ice islands are floating, a tabular icebergs, up to 60 meters thick, of solid ice throughout their thickness. The ice islands are thus regarded as the strongest ice features in the Arctic; fixed offshore structures which can directly withstand the impact of ice islands are possible but in some locations may be so expensive as to make oilfield development uneconomic. The resolution of the ice island problem requires two research steps: (1) calculation of the probability of interaction between an ice island and an offshore structure in a given region; and (2) if the probability if sufficiently large, then the study of possible interactions between ice island and structure, to discover mitigative measures to deal with the moving ice island. The ice island research conducted during the 1983-1988 interval, which is summarized in this report, was concerned with the first step. Monte Carlo simulations of ice island generation and movement suggest that ice island lifetimes range from 0 to 70 years, and that 85% of the lifetimes are less then 35 years. The simulation shows a mean value of 18 ice islands present at any time in the Arctic Ocean, with a 90% probability of less than 30 ice islands. At this time, approximately 34 ice islands are known, from observations, to exist in the Arctic Ocean, not including the 10-meter thick class of ice islands. Return interval plots from the simulation show that coastal zones of the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, already leased for oil development, have ice island recurrences of 10 to 100 years. This implies that the ice island hazard must be considered thoroughly, and appropriate safety measures adopted, when offshore oil production plans are formulated for the Alaskan Arctic offshore. 132 refs., 161 figs., 17 tabs.

  14. Amchitka Island, Alaska, Biological Monitoring Report 2011 Sampling Results

    SciTech Connect

    2013-09-01

    The Long-Term Surveillance and Maintenance (LTS&M) Plan for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) Amchitka Island sites describes how LM plans to conduct its mission to protect human health and the environment at the three nuclear test sites located on Amchitka Island, Alaska. Amchitka Island, near the western end of the Aleutian Islands, is approximately 1,340 miles west-southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Amchitka is part of the Aleutian Island Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Since World War II, Amchitka has been used by multiple U.S. government agencies for various military and research activities. From 1943 to 1950, it was used as a forward air base for the U.S. Armed Forces. During the middle 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) used a portion of the island as a site for underground nuclear tests. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the U.S. Navy constructed and operated a radar station on the island. Three underground nuclear tests were conducted on Amchitka Island. DOD, in conjunction with AEC, conducted the first nuclear test (named Long Shot) in 1965 to provide data that would improve the United States' capability of detecting underground nuclear explosions. The second nuclear test (Milrow) was a weapons-related test conducted by AEC in 1969 as a means to study the feasibility of detonating a much larger device. Cannikin, the third nuclear test on Amchitka, was a weapons-related test detonated on November 6, 1971. With the exception of small concentrations of tritium detected in surface water shortly after the Long Shot test, radioactive fission products from the tests remain in the subsurface at each test location As a continuation of the environmental monitoring that has taken place on Amchitka Island since before 1965, LM in the summer of 2011 collected biological and

  15. Avifauna: Turnover on Islands.

    PubMed

    Mayr, E

    1965-12-17

    The percentage of endemic species of birds on islands increases with island area at a double logarithmic rate. This relation is apparently due to extinction, which is more rapid the smaller the island. The turnover resulting from extinction and replacement appears to be far more rapid than hitherto suspected.

  16. Diomede Islands, Bering Straight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2008-01-01

    The Diomede Islands consisting of the western island Big Diomede (also known as Imaqliq, Nunarbuk or Ratmanov Island), and the eastern island Little Diomede (also known as Krusenstern Island or Inaliq), are two rocky islands located in the middle of the Bering Strait between Russia and Alaska. The islands are separated by an international border and the International Date Line which is approximately 1.5 km from each island; you can look from Alaska into tomorrow in Russia. At the closest land approach between the United States, which controls Little Diomede, and Russia, which controls Big Diomede, they are 3 km apart. Little Diomede Island constitutes the Alaskan City of Diomede, while Big Diomede Island is Russia's easternmost point. The first European to reach the islands was the Russian explorer Semyon Dezhnev in 1648. The text of the 1867 treaty finalizing the sale of Alaska uses the islands to designate the border between the two nations.

    The image was acquired July 8, 2000, covers an area of 13.5 x 10.8 km, and is located at 65.8 degrees north latitude, 169 degrees west longitude.

    The U.S. science team is located at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The Terra mission is part of NASA's Science Mission Directorate.

  17. The effects of dietary deprivation on body temperature and oxygen consumption in black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus).

    PubMed

    Wallace, G M; Pfeiffer, E W

    1992-04-01

    1. Body temperature (Tb) and oxygen consumption (VO2) were compared between fed (Control), food and water deprived (FWD), and water deprived (WD) black-tailed prairie dogs, in the month of January. 2. Mean Tb of Control black-tailed prairie dogs (36.2 degrees C) was significantly different from FWD (33.4 degrees C) and WD (30.4 degrees C) black-tailed prairie dogs. 3. VO2 was not significantly different between FWD and Control black-tailed prairie dogs (4.4 and 4.0 ml O2/kg/hr, respectively), while VO2 was significantly different between WD and Control animals (2.9 and 4.0 ml O2/kg/hr, respectively). 4. These findings are discussed as possible mechanisms for conserving body water.

  18. Water-quality and geophysical data for three study sites within the Williston Basin and Prairie Pothole Region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, Todd M.; Smith, Bruce D.; Thamke, Joanna N.; Chesley-Preston, Tara

    2012-01-01

    This report is a data release for water geochemical sample analyses and geophysical surveys for three sites within the Williston Basin and Prairie Pothole Region of Montana and North Dakota. The data collection sites and procedures are described.

  19. Global warming and prairie wetlands: potential consequences for waterfowl habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Poiani, Karen A.; Johnson, W. Carter

    1991-01-01

    The accumulation of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere is expected to warm the earth's climate at an unprecedented rate (Ramanathan 1988, Schneider 1989). If the climate models are correct, within 100 years the earth will not only be warmer than it has been during the past million years, but the change will have occurred more rapidly than any on record. Many profound changes in the earth's environment are expected, including rising sea level, increasing aridity in continental interiors, and melting permafrost. Ecosystems are expected to respond variously to a rapidly changing climate. Tree ranges in eastern North American are expected to shift northward, and seed dispersal may not be adequate to maintain current diversity (Cohn 1989, Johnson and Webb 1989). In coastal wetlands, rising sea level from melting icecaps and thermal expansion could flood salt-grass marshes and generally reduce the size and productivity of the intertidal zone (Peters and Darling 1985). As yet, little attention has been given to the possible effects of climatic warming on inland prairie wetland ecosystems. These wetlands, located in the glaciated portion of the North American Great Plains (Figure 1), constitute the single most important breeding area for waterfowl on this continent (Hubbard 1988). This region annually produces 50-80% of the continent's total duck production (Batt et al. 1989). These marshes also support a variety of other wildlife, including many species of nongame birds, muskrat, and mink (Kantrud et al. 1989a). Prairie wetlands are relatively shallow, water-holding depressions that vary in size, water permanence, and water chemistry. Permanence types include temporary ponds (typically holding water for a few weeks in the springs), seasonal ponds (holding water from spring until early summer), semipermanent ponds (holding water throughout the growing season during most years), and large permanent lakes (Stewart and Kantrud 1971). Refilling usually occurs in spring from

  20. The effects of black-tailed prairie dogs on plant communities within a complex urban landscape: an ecological surprise?

    PubMed

    Beals, Stower C; Hartley, Laurel M; Prevéy, Janet S; Seastedt, Timothy R

    2014-05-01

    Historically, prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been considered essential keystone species of western United States grassland ecosystems because they provide unique services and increase vegetation community richness, evenness, and diversity. However, the effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on lands adjacent to or surrounded by urban areas may not result in the same ecosystem benefits historically associated with their presence. An urban landscape presents prairie dogs with movement challenges unparalleled in natural landscapes, as well as suites of nonnative plant species that are more common in disturbed areas. This study examined a complex ecosystem where vegetation communities are being influenced by directional environmental change, and quantified the synergistic effects resulting from the protective management of a native keystone species. The data set for this analysis was comprised of 71 paired (occupied by prairie dogs vs. unoccupied) vegetation surveys and 156 additional unpaired surveys collected from around the city of Boulder, Colorado, USA for 14 yr. Linear mixed models were used to compare data from transects occupied and unoccupied by prairie dogs, as well as to evaluate the effect of prairie dog occupation duration. In the absence of prairie dogs, vegetation in this region exhibited declines in native grasses, no changes in introduced grasses, and increases in native and nonnative forbs and bare soil over the study interval. In the presence of prairie dogs, these observed directional changes were nearly all amplified at rates four to 10 times greater than when prairie dogs were absent. Areas in Boulder occupied by prairie dogs also had significantly lower richness, evenness, and diversity of plant species, compared to unoccupied areas. Analysis of plant functional groups revealed the significant reduction of perennial native grasses, as well as a significantly higher cover of introduced forbs in occupied areas. Prairie dogs

  1. A qualitative study on student attitudes towards a controversial species, the black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fox-Parrish, Lynne

    This case study determined the attitudes held by high school students toward a controversial, yet keystone, species of the Great Plains, the black-tailed prairie dog. Black-tailed prairie dogs have declined dramatically over the past century as a result of large scale poisoning programs, plague, shooting, and habitat loss. The eradication programs put forth were primarily the result of strongly held misconceptions regarding black-tailed prairie dogs. The misconceptions are ingrained in many agricultural and/or rural communities throughout the prairie dogs' range. The decline of this species has resulted in the decline of many other species and the near extinction of the black-footed ferret. Biodiversity continues to decline and the health of the prairie dog ecosystem (i.e. prairie habitats) is in jeopardy. Although studies have shown that landowners and the adult population that live within the range of black-tailed prairie dogs harbor negative attitudes, nothing is known about the attitudes of adolescents. With an eco-feminist theoretical perspective, a case study methodology was used. Thirty 9th grade students comprised the case. The students lived in a mid-sized urban northern Colorado city whose county ranks 5th in the nation and 1st state wide for the value of their agricultural products. Black-tailed prairie dogs could be found throughout the city and adjacent areas. Students were engaged in a year-long "lesson" on black-tailed prairie dogs and conducted a field research experiment on an active prairie dog town. Interviews were conducted in May 2004. Follow-up interviews were conducted in May 2005. Other data collected were: observations, photographs, journals, and classroom documents. Themes generated were devised by a constant comparative method of data analysis. Three major themes emerged: apathy, egocentrism, and naive conceptions. Two smaller themes also emerged: caring and hopelessness. Adolescents are our future policy and decision makers; therefore

  2. Using occupancy models to investigate the prevalence of ectoparasitic vectors on hosts: an example with fleas on prairie dogs

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.; Doherty, Paul F.; Gage, Kenneth L.; Huyvaert, Kathryn P.; Long, Dustin H.; Antolin, Michael F.

    2013-01-01

    Ectoparasites are often difficult to detect in the field. We developed a method that can be used with occupancy models to estimate the prevalence of ectoparasites on hosts, and to investigate factors that influence rates of ectoparasite occupancy while accounting for imperfect detection. We describe the approach using a study of fleas (Siphonaptera) on black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). During each primary occasion (monthly trapping events), we combed a prairie dog three consecutive times to detect fleas (15 s/combing). We used robust design occupancy modeling to evaluate hypotheses for factors that might correlate with the occurrence of fleas on prairie dogs, and factors that might influence the rate at which prairie dogs are colonized by fleas. Our combing method was highly effective; dislodged fleas fell into a tub of water and could not escape, and there was an estimated 99.3% probability of detecting a flea on an occupied host when using three combings. While overall detection was high, the probability of detection was always <1.00 during each primary combing occasion, highlighting the importance of considering imperfect detection. The combing method (removal of fleas) caused a decline in detection during primary occasions, and we accounted for that decline to avoid inflated estimates of occupancy. Regarding prairie dogs, flea occupancy was heightened in old/natural colonies of prairie dogs, and on hosts that were in poor condition. Occupancy was initially low in plots with high densities of prairie dogs, but, as the study progressed, the rate of flea colonization increased in plots with high densities of prairie dogs in particular. Our methodology can be used to improve studies of ectoparasites, especially when the probability of detection is low. Moreover, the method can be modified to investigate the co-occurrence of ectoparasite species, and community level factors such as species richness and interspecific interactions.

  3. Sediment accretion rates and sediment composition in Prairie Pothole wetlands under varying land use practices, Montana, United States

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Preston, T.M.; Sojda, R.S.; Gleason, R.A.

    2013-01-01

    Increased sedimentation and nutrient cycle changes in Prairie Pothole Region wetlands associated with agriculture threaten the permanence and ecological functionality of these important resources. To determine the effects of land use on sedimentation and nutrient cycling, soil cores were analyzed for cesium-137 (137Cs), lead-210 (210Pb), and potassium-40 (40K) activities; textural composition; organic and inorganic carbon (C); and total nitrogen (N) from twelve wetlands surrounded by cropland, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) lands, or native prairie uplands. Separate soil cores from nine of these wetlands were also analyzed for phosphorus (P), nitrate (NO3), and ammonium (NH4) concentrations. Wetlands surrounded by cropland had significantly greater linear sediment accretion rates than wetlands surrounded by CRP or native prairie. Linear sediment accretion rates from wetlands surrounded by cropland were 2.7 and 6 times greater than wetlands surrounded by native prairie when calculated from the initial and peak occurrence of 137Cs, respectively, and 0.15 cm y−1 (0.06 in yr−1) greater when calculated from 210Pb. Relative to wetlands surrounded by CRP, linear sediment accretion rates for wetlands surrounded by cropland were 4.4 times greater when calculated from the peak occurrence of 137Cs. No significant differences existed between the linear sediment accretion rates between wetlands surrounded by native prairie or CRP uplands. Wetlands surrounded by cropland had increased clay, P, NO3, and NH4, and decreased total C and N concentrations compared to wetlands surrounded by native prairie. Wetlands surrounded by CRP had the lowest P and NO3 concentrations and had clay, NH4, C, and N concentrations between those of cropland and native prairie wetlands. We documented increased linear sediment accretion rates and changes in the textural and chemical properties of sediments in wetlands with cultivated uplands relative to wetlands with native prairie uplands. These

  4. Winter ecology and habitat use of lesser prairie-chickens in west Texas, 2008-11

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Boal, Clint W.; Pirius, Nicholas E.

    2012-01-01

    The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has experienced declines in population and occupied range by more than 90 percent since the late 1800s. The lesser prairie-chicken has been listed as a candidate species for protection under the Endangered Species Act and is undergoing review for actual listing. Populations and distribution of lesser prairie-chickens in Texas are thought to be at or near all time lows. These factors have led to substantially increased concern for conservation of the species. It is apparent that sound management and conservation strategies for lesser prairie-chickens are necessary to ensure the long-term persistence of the species. To develop those strategies, basic ecological information is required. Currently, there is a paucity of data on the wintering ecology of the species. We examined home range, habitat use, and survival of lesser prairie-chickens during the winters of 2008–9, 2009–10, and 2010–11 in sand shinnery oak (Quercus havardii) landscapes in west Texas. We captured and radio-tagged 53 adult lesser prairie-chickens. We obtained sufficient locations to estimate winter home-range size for 23 individuals. Home-range size did not differ between years or by sex. Although female prairie-chickens had slightly larger home ranges (503.5 ± 34.9 ha) compared to males (489.1 ± 34.9 ha), the differences were not significant (t2 = 0.05, P = 0.96). During the nonbreeding season, we found that 97.2 percent of locations of male and female prairie-chickens alike were within 3.2 kilometers (km) of the lek of capture. Most locations (96.8%) were within 1.7 km of a known lek and almost all locations (99.9%) were within 3.2 km of an available water source. Habitat cover types were not used proportional to occurrence within the home ranges, grassland dominated areas with sand shinnery oak were used more than available, and sand sagebrush (Artemisia filifolia) areas dominated with grassland as well as sand sagebrush areas

  5. Possible vector dissemination by swift foxes following a plague epizootic in black-tailed prairie dogs in northwestern Texas.

    PubMed

    McGee, Brady K; Butler, Matthew J; Pence, Danny B; Alexander, James L; Nissen, Janet B; Ballard, Warren B; Nicholson, Kerry L

    2006-04-01

    To determine whether swift foxes (Vulpes velox) could facilitate transmission of Yersinia pestis to uninfected black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies by acquiring infected fleas, ectoparasite and serologic samples were collected from swift foxes living adjacent to prairie dog towns during a 2004 plague epizootic in northwestern Texas, USA. A previous study (1999-2001) indicated that these swift foxes were infested almost exclusively with the flea Pulex irritans. Black-tailed prairie dogs examined from the study area harbored only Pulex simulans and Oropsylla hirsuta. Although P. irritans was most common, P. simulans and O. hirsuta were collected from six swift foxes and a single coyote (Canis latrans) following the plague epizootic. Thus, both of these canids could act as transport hosts (at least temporarily) of prairie dog fleas following the loss of their normal hosts during a plague die-off. All six adult swift foxes tested positive for antibodies to Y. pestis. All 107 fleas from swift foxes tested negative for Y. pestis by mouse inoculation. Although swift foxes could potentially carry Y. pestis to un-infected prairie dog colonies, we believe they play only a minor role in plague epidemiology, considering that they harbored just a few uninfected prairie dog fleas (P. simulans and O. hirsuta).

  6. Abundance of diurnal raptors in relation to prairie dog colonies: Implications for bird-aircraft strike hazard

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Merriman, J.W.; Boal, C.W.; Bashore, T.L.; Zwank, P.J.; Wester, D.B.

    2007-01-01

    Some diurnal raptors are frequently observed at prairie dog (Cynomys sp.) colonies. As a result, some military installations have conducted prairie dog control activities to reduce the bird-aircraft strike hazard (BASH) potential of low-flying aircraft. To evaluate the validity of this management strategy, we assessed raptor associations with prairie dog colonies at 2 short-grass prairie study areas: southern Lubbock County, Texas, USA, and Melrose Bombing and Gunnery Range in east-central New Mexico, USA. We quantified diurnal raptors (i.e., Falconiformes) at plots occupied (colony plots) and unoccupied (noncolony plots) by black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) at both sites throughout 2002. We compared the number of individual birds of a given species at colony and noncolony plots within each study area by season. Ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis) and northern harriers (Circus cyaneus) were more abundant at colony plots, whereas Swainson's hawks (B. swainsoni) and American kestrels (Falco sparverius) were more abundant at noncolony plots. Red-tailed hawk (B. jamaicensis) abundance did not differ between the 2 plot types. Our results suggest prairie dog control as a method of reducing BASH potential may be effective at some sites but may be ineffective or even increase the BASH potential at others. Thus, bird-avoidance models assessing the BASH potential should be conducted on a site-specific basis using information on relative and seasonal abundances of individual raptor species and the relative strike risks they pose to aircraft.

  7. Aerial surveys adjusted by ground surveys to estimate area occupied by black-tailed prairie dog colonies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sidle, John G.; Augustine, David J.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Miller, Sterling D.; Cully, Jack F.; Reading, Richard P.

    2012-01-01

    Aerial surveys using line-intercept methods are one approach to estimate the extent of prairie dog colonies in a large geographic area. Although black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) construct conspicuous mounds at burrow openings, aerial observers have difficulty discriminating between areas with burrows occupied by prairie dogs (colonies) versus areas of uninhabited burrows (uninhabited colony sites). Consequently, aerial line-intercept surveys may overestimate prairie dog colony extent unless adjusted by an on-the-ground inspection of a sample of intercepts. We compared aerial line-intercept surveys conducted over 2 National Grasslands in Colorado, USA, with independent ground-mapping of known black-tailed prairie dog colonies. Aerial line-intercepts adjusted by ground surveys using a single activity category adjustment overestimated colonies by ≥94% on the Comanche National Grassland and ≥58% on the Pawnee National Grassland. We present a ground-survey technique that involves 1) visiting on the ground a subset of aerial intercepts classified as occupied colonies plus a subset of intercepts classified as uninhabited colony sites, and 2) based on these ground observations, recording the proportion of each aerial intercept that intersects a colony and the proportion that intersects an uninhabited colony site. Where line-intercept techniques are applied to aerial surveys or remotely sensed imagery, this method can provide more accurate estimates of black-tailed prairie dog abundance and trends

  8. Nuclear rights - nuclear wrongs

    SciTech Connect

    Paul, E.F.; Miller, F.D.; Paul, J.; Ahrens, J.

    1986-01-01

    This book contains 11 selections. The titles are: Three Ways to Kill Innocent Bystanders: Some Conundrums Concerning the Morality of War; The International Defense of Liberty; Two Concepts of Deterrence; Nuclear Deterrence and Arms Control; Ethical Issues for the 1980s; The Moral Status of Nuclear Deterrent Threats; Optimal Deterrence; Morality and Paradoxical Deterrence; Immoral Risks: A Deontological Critique of Nuclear Deterrence; No War Without Dictatorship, No Peace Without Democracy: Foreign Policy as Domestic Politics; Marxism-Leninism and its Strategic Implications for the United States; Tocqueveille War.

  9. Decline of Hesperia ottoe (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae) in Northern Tallgrass Prairie Preserves

    PubMed Central

    Swengel, Ann B.; Swengel, Scott R.

    2013-01-01

    We counted butterflies on transect surveys during Hesperia ottoe flight period in 1988–2011 at tallgrass prairie preserves in four states (Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin), divided into units cross-referenced to vegetation type and management history. H. ottoe occurred only in dry and sand prairie types, and was significantly more abundant in undegraded than semi-degraded prairie, and in discontinuous sod (with numerous unvegetated areas due to bare sand and/or rock outcrops) than in continuous sod. This skipper was significantly more abundant in small sites compared to medium and large sites, even when the analysis was limited to undegraded prairie analyzed separately by sod type. H. ottoe was significantly under-represented in year-burn 0 (the first growing season after fire) compared to an expected distribution proportional to survey effort. However, H. ottoe was also over-represented in fire-managed units compared to non-fire-managed units. However, by far most units and sites were in fire management and most populations declined to subdetection during this study. Peak abundance post-fire occurred in a later year-burn in discontinuous sod and was much higher than in continuous sod. We also analyze H. ottoe status and trend in midwestern prairie preserves by compiling a dataset of our and others’ butterfly surveys from 1974 to 2011. Only 1/9 sites with continuous sod had detectable H. ottoe in recent year(s). In discontinuous sod, 2/6 did, with two sites lacking data for the last few years. The number of years H. ottoe was still detectable after preservation and the number of years to consistent non-detection were both significantly higher in discontinuous than continuous sod. Both measures of population persistence averaged over twice as long in discontinuous than continuous sod, and correlated negatively with prairie size. The year when consistent non-detection began varied over several decades among sites. Despite the currently urgent need to

  10. Vegetation Influences on Long-Term Carbon Stabilization in Soils: a Coast Redwood-Prairie Comparison

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mambelli, S.; Burton, S. D.; McFarlane, K. J.; Torn, M. S.; Dawson, T. E.

    2010-12-01

    Complex interactions and feedbacks among soil, biota, climate, and parent material determine the long-term pathways and mechanisms of carbon persistence in soils. While it is well known that litter chemistry influences litter decay on annual-decadal timescales, its impact on long-term SOM storage is still under debate. We tested the role of the substrate available to decomposers in determining decomposition and sequestration of carbon by comparing two contrasting ecosystems representing end-members in terms of tissue lifespan and litter recalcitrance, an old-growth redwood forest and an adjacent tree-less prairie, at one site with identical climate, topography, and parent material. Solid-state CP MAS 13C NMR was applied to investigate the chemical structure of vegetation tissues (aboveground and belowground), and of soil fractions (particulate organic carbon free in the soil matrix and particulate organic carbon located inside soil aggregates, or free and occluded light fraction (LF), respectively) at different depths. In addition, the carbon stability of these soil density fractions was estimated based on radiocarbon modeling. Preliminary NMR results showed strong differences between redwood and prairie tissues, and between litters and surface soil fractions. On average, redwood litter contained more aromatic carbon (C and O substituted aryl C), more lipids (alkyl C) and fewer carbohydrates (O-alkyl C) than prairie litter. Under both vegetation types we found that the chemical structure changed consistently from litter to free LF, and from free LF to occluded LF. The alkyl C signal intensity increased, while the O-alkyl C fraction decreased, but more strongly at the redwood forest. The proportion of aromatic functional groups in the total organic matter (aromaticity) was always higher in the soil fractions compared with the original litters. Redwood soil fractions aromaticity was 0.32 (+80% from litter), while prairie soil fractions aromaticity varied from 0

  11. Genetic variation and population structure in a threatened species, the Utah prairie dog Cynomys parvidens: the use of genetic data to inform conservation actions.

    PubMed

    Brown, Nathanael L; Peacock, Mary M; Ritchie, Mark E

    2016-01-01

    The Utah prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens), listed as threatened under the United States Endangered Species Act, was the subject of an extensive eradication program throughout its range during the 20th century. Eradication campaigns, habitat destruction/fragmentation/conversion, and epizootic outbreaks (e.g., sylvatic plague) have reduced prairie dog numbers from an estimated 95,000 individuals in the 1920s to approximately 14,000 (estimated adult spring count) today. As a result of these anthropogenic actions, the species is now found in small isolated sets of subpopulations. We characterized the levels of genetic diversity and population genetic structure using 10 neutral nuclear microsatellite loci for twelve populations (native and transplanted) representative of the three management designated "recovery units," found in three distinct biogeographic regions, sampled across the species' range. The results indicate (1) low levels of genetic diversity within colonies (H e = 0.109-0.357; H o = 0.106- 0.313), (2) high levels of genetic differentiation among colonies (global F ST = 0.296), (3) very small genetic effective population sizes, and (4) evidence of genetic bottlenecks. The genetic data reveal additional subdivision such that colonies within recovery units do not form single genotype clusters consistent with recovery unit boundaries. Genotype cluster membership support historical gene flow among colonies in the easternmost West Desert Recovery Unit with the westernmost Pausaugunt colonies and among the eastern Pausaugunt colonies and the Awapa Recovery unit to the north. In order to maintain the long-term viability of the species, there needs to be an increased focus on maintaining suitable habitat between groups of existing populations that can act as connective corridors. The location of future translocation sites should be located in areas that will maximize connectivity, leading to maintenance of genetic variation and evolutionary potential.

  12. Vicariance and marine migration in continental island populations of a frog endemic to the Atlantic Coastal forest

    PubMed Central

    Duryea, M C; Zamudio, K R; Brasileiro, C A

    2015-01-01

    The theory of island biogeography is most often studied in the context of oceanic islands where all island inhabitants are descendants from founding events involving migration from mainland source populations. Far fewer studies have considered predictions of island biogeography in the case of continental islands, where island formation typically splits continuous populations and thus vicariance also contributes to the diversity of island populations. We examined one such case on continental islands in southeastern Brazil, to determine how classic island biogeography predictions and past vicariance explain the population genetic diversity of Thoropa taophora, a frog endemic to the Atlantic Coastal Forest. We used nuclear microsatellite markers to examine the genetic diversity of coastal and island populations of this species. We found that island isolation has a role in shaping the genetic diversity of continental island species, with island populations being significantly less diverse than coastal populations. However, area of the island and distance from coast had no significant effect on genetic diversity. We also found no significant differences between migration among coastal populations and migration to and from islands. We discuss how vicariance and the effects of continued migration between coastal and island populations interact to shape evolutionary patterns on continental islands. PMID:25920672

  13. Vicariance and marine migration in continental island populations of a frog endemic to the Atlantic Coastal forest.

    PubMed

    Duryea, M C; Zamudio, K R; Brasileiro, C A

    2015-09-01

    The theory of island biogeography is most often studied in the context of oceanic islands where all island inhabitants are descendants from founding events involving migration from mainland source populations. Far fewer studies have considered predictions of island biogeography in the case of continental islands, where island formation typically splits continuous populations and thus vicariance also contributes to the diversity of island populations. We examined one such case on continental islands in southeastern Brazil, to determine how classic island biogeography predictions and past vicariance explain the population genetic diversity of Thoropa taophora, a frog endemic to the Atlantic Coastal Forest. We used nuclear microsatellite markers to examine the genetic diversity of coastal and island populations of this species. We found that island isolation has a role in shaping the genetic diversity of continental island species, with island populations being significantly less diverse than coastal populations. However, area of the island and distance from coast had no significant effect on genetic diversity. We also found no significant differences between migration among coastal populations and migration to and from islands. We discuss how vicariance and the effects of continued migration between coastal and island populations interact to shape evolutionary patterns on continental islands.

  14. Apparent field safety of a raccoon poxvirus-vectored plague vaccine in free-ranging prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), Colorado, USA

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Tripp, Daniel W.; Rocke, Tonie E.; Streich, Sean P.; Abbott, Rachel C.; Osorio, Jorge E.; Miller, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) suffer high rates of mortality from plague. An oral sylvatic plague vaccine using the raccoon poxvirus vector (designated RCN-F1/V307) has been developed for prairie dogs. This vaccine is incorporated into palatable bait along with rhodamine B as a biomarker. We conducted trials in August and September 2012 to demonstrate uptake and apparent safety of the RCN-F1/V307 vaccine in two prairie dog species under field conditions. Free-ranging prairie dogs and other associated small rodents readily consumed vaccine-laden baits during field trials with no apparent adverse effects; most sampled prairie dogs (90%) and associated small rodents (78%) had consumed baits. Visual counts of prairie dogs and their burrows revealed no evidence of prairie dog decline after vaccine exposure. No vaccine-related morbidity, mortality, or gross or microscopic lesions were observed. Poxviruses were not isolated from any animal sampled prior to bait distribution or on sites that received placebo baits. We isolated RCN-F1/V307 from 17 prairie dogs and two deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) captured on sites where vaccine-laden baits were distributed. Based on these findings, studies examining the utility and effectiveness of oral vaccination to prevent plague-induced mortality in prairie dogs and associated species are underway.

  15. Apparent field safety of a raccoon poxvirus-vectored plague vaccine in free-ranging prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), Colorado, USA.

    PubMed

    Tripp, Daniel W; Rocke, Tonie E; Streich, Sean P; Abbott, Rachel C; Osorio, Jorge E; Miller, Michael W

    2015-04-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) suffer high rates of mortality from plague. An oral sylvatic plague vaccine using the raccoon poxvirus vector (designated RCN-F1/V307) has been developed for prairie dogs. This vaccine is incorporated into palatable bait along with rhodamine B as a biomarker. We conducted trials in August and September 2012 to demonstrate uptake and apparent safety of the RCN-F1/V307 vaccine in two prairie dog species under field conditions. Free-ranging prairie dogs and other associated small rodents readily consumed vaccine-laden baits during field trials with no apparent adverse effects; most sampled prairie dogs (90%) and associated small rodents (78%) had consumed baits. Visual counts of prairie dogs and their burrows revealed no evidence of prairie dog decline after vaccine exposure. No vaccine-related morbidity, mortality, or gross or microscopic lesions were observed. Poxviruses were not isolated from any animal sampled prior to bait distribution or on sites that received placebo baits. We isolated RCN-F1/V307 from 17 prairie dogs and two deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) captured on sites where vaccine-laden baits were distributed. Based on these findings, studies examining the utility and effectiveness of oral vaccination to prevent plague-induced mortality in prairie dogs and associated species are underway.

  16. Enhancing professionalism at GPU Nuclear

    SciTech Connect

    Coe, R.P. )

    1992-01-01

    Late in 1988, GPU Nuclear embarked on a major program aimed at enhancing professionalism at its Oyster Creek and Three Mile Island nuclear generating stations. The program was also to include its corporate headquarters in Parsippany, New Jersey. The overall program was to take several directions, including on-site degree programs, a sabbatical leave-type program for personnel to finish college degrees, advanced technical training for licensed staff, career progression for senior reactor operators, and expanded teamwork and leadership training for control room crew. The largest portion of this initiative was the development and delivery of professionalism training to the nearly 2,000 people at both nuclear generating sites.

  17. Information Services at the Nuclear Safety Analysis Center.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Simard, Ronald

    This paper describes the operations of the Nuclear Safety Analysis Center. Established soon after an accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, its efforts were initially directed towards a detailed analysis of the accident. Continuing functions include: (1) the analysis of generic nuclear safety issues,…

  18. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    PubMed

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research.

  19. Use of rhodamine B as a biomarker for oral plague vaccination of prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Fernandez, Julia Rodriguez-Ramos; Rocke, Tonie E

    2011-07-01

    Oral vaccination against Yersinia pestis could provide a feasible approach for controlling plague in prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for conservation and public health purposes. Biomarkers are useful in wildlife vaccination programs to demonstrate exposure to vaccine baits. Rhodamine B (RB) was tested as a potential biomarker for oral plague vaccination because it allows nonlethal sampling of animals through hair, blood, and feces. We found that RB is an appropriate marker for bait uptake studies of <60 days in black-tailed prairie dogs (C. ludovicianus) when used at concentrations <0.5% of bait mass dosed to deliver >10 mg RB per kg target animal mass. Whiskers with follicles provided the best sample for RB detection.

  20. Catch the wave: prairie dogs assess neighbours’ awareness using contagious displays

    PubMed Central

    Hare, James F.; Campbell, Kevin L.; Senkiw, Robert W.

    2014-01-01

    The jump–yip display of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) is contagious, spreading through a prairie dog town as ‘the wave’ through a stadium. Because contagious communication in primates serves to assess conspecific social awareness, we investigated whether instigators of jump–yip bouts adjusted their behaviour relative to the response of conspecifics recruited to display bouts. Increased responsiveness of neighbouring town members resulted in bout initiators devoting a significantly greater proportion of time to active foraging. Contagious jump–yips thus function to assess neighbours’ alertness, soliciting social information to assess effective conspecific group size in real time and reveal active probing of conspecific awareness consistent with theory of mind in these group-living rodents. PMID:24403324