Science.gov

Sample records for prairie island nuclear

  1. Prairie Island Nuclear Station Spent Filter Processing for Direct Disposal - 12333

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, H. Michael

    2012-07-01

    This paper will discuss WMG's filter processing experience within the commercial nuclear power industry, specifically recent experience processing high activity spent filters generated by Xcel Energy's Prairie Island Nuclear Station (Prairie Island), located in Welch, MN. WMG processed for disposal eighty-four 55-gallon drums filled with varying types of high activity spent filters. The scope of work involved characterization, packaging plan development, transport to the WMG's Off-Site Processing location, shredding the filter contents of each drum, cement solidifying the shredded filter material, and finally shipping the solidified container of shredded filter material to Clive, Utah where the container was presented to EnergySolutions Disposal site for disposal in their Containerised Waste Facility. This sequence of events presented in this paper took place a total of nine (9) times over a period of four weeks. All 1294 filters were successfully solidified into nine (9) -WMG 142 steel liners, and each was successfully disposed of as Class A Waste at EnergySolutions Disposal Site in Clive, Utah. Prairie Island's waste material was unique in that all its filters were packaged in 55-gallon drums; and since the station packaged its filters in drums it was much easier to develop packaging plans for such a large volume of legacy filters. For this author, having over 20-years of waste management experiences, storing and shipping waste material in 55-gallon drums is not immediately thought of as a highly efficient method of managing its waste material. However, Prairie Island's use of 55-gallon drums to store and package its filters provided a significant advantage. Drums could be mixed and matched to provide the most efficient processing method while still meeting the Waste Class A limits required for disposal. (author)

  2. 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

    ...-AA90) published in the Federal Register on April 26, 1991 (56 FR 18997); and (C) The Nuclear Energy... contrary to the rationale for rulemaking, as discussed in 56 FR 18997. On October 26 and December 2, 2009... Power Company; Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2; Notice of Issuance of...

  3. 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

    ... COMMISSION Northern States Power Company--Minnesota, Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant, Units 1 and 2; Exemption 1.0 Background Northern States Power Company, a Minnesota corporation (NSPM, the licensee) is the..., ``Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors,'' and...

  4. 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

    ... Storage Installation); Notice of Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Reconstitution Pursuant to 10 CFR 2.313(c) and 2.321(b), the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board (Board) in the above-captioned Prairie Island... Administrative Judge, Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel. BILLING CODE 7590-01-P...

  5. Spent fuel storage at Prairie Island: January 1995 status

    SciTech Connect

    Closs, J.; Kress, L.

    1995-12-31

    The disposal of spent nuclear fuel has been an issue for the US since the inception of the commercial nuclear power industry. In the past decade, it has become a critical factor in the continued operation of some nuclear power plants, including the two units at Prairie Island. As the struggles and litigation over storage alternatives wage on, spent fuel pools continue to fill and plants edge closer to premature shutdown. Due to the delays in the construction of a federal repository, many nuclear power plants have had to seek interim storage alternatives. In the case of Prairie Island, the safest and most feasible option is dry cask storage. This paper discusses the current status of the Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSI) Project at Prairie Island. It provides a historical background to the project, discusses the notable developments over the past year, and presents the projected plans of the Northern States Power Company (NSP) in regards to spent fuel storage.

  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

    ... transfer spent fuel from Prairie Island Nuclear Station Units 1 and 2. Specifically, the amendment seeks to... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION Prairie Island, Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation; Notice of Docketing of...

  7. 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

    ...) published in the Federal Register on April 26, 1991 (56 FR 18997); and (C) Nuclear Energy Institute's (NEI... Nuclear Reactor Regulation. BILLING CODE 7590-01-P ... From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office NUCLEAR...

  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

    ... (76 FR 9827), which informed the public that the Nuclear Regulatory Commission was considering the... 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...

  9. 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

    ... the facility is subject to all rules, regulations, and orders of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory... Commission orders issued after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and implemented by licensees. In... accordance with 10 CFR 73.5, ``Specific exemptions.'' The licensee's November 5 and December 17,...

  10. 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

    ..., ``Acceptance criteria for emergency core cooling systems for light-water nuclear power reactors'', and 10 CFR... pressurized-water reactors. The proposed action is in accordance with the licensee's application dated... . Since the chemical composition of the Optimized ZIRLO TM alloy differs from the specifications...

  11. 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

    ...; Environmental Assessment and Finding of No Significant Impact The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is... accordance with 10 CFR 51.21, the NRC prepared an environmental assessment documenting its finding. The NRC concluded that the proposed actions will have no significant environmental impact. Environmental...

  12. Transient analysis of containment heat removal at Prairie Island with boiling in the fan coil tubes

    SciTech Connect

    Elicson, T.; Fraser, B.; Anderson, D.; Thomas, S.

    1996-12-31

    An analysis has been performed to determine the equilibrium cooling water flow rates and heat removal rates through the Prairie Island Nuclear Generating Plant containment fan coil units (CFCUs) under postulated accident conditions which leads to boiling in the CFCUs. Key components of the analysis include a detailed fan coil heat exchanger model, mass and energy conservation in the cooling tubes, two-phase flow effects on heat transfer and pressure drop, and pipe network modeling.

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, R.F., Jr.; 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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. PMID:24415063

  18. 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.

  19. Nuclear waste storage: A legislative issue

    SciTech Connect

    Novak, S.G.

    1995-12-01

    Following an intense legislative battle, the Minnesota Legislature reaches consensus on a plan to authorize limited dry cask storage of nuclear waste at Northern States Power`s Prairie Island nuclear plant.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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…

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    ... System (ADAMS): You may access publicly available documents online in the NRC Library at http://www.nrc... 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...

  6. 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.…

  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. Thyroid neoplasia in Marshall Islanders exposed to nuclear fallout.

    PubMed

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

    1987-08-01

    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.

  9. Nuclear reactor safety research since three mile island.

    PubMed

    Mynatt, F R

    1982-04-01

    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. PMID:17736229

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. REACTOR DOSIMETRY STUDY OF THE RHODE ISLAND NUCLEAR SCIENCE CENTER.

    SciTech Connect

    HOLDEN, N.E.,; RECINIELLO, R.N.; HU, J.-P.

    2005-05-08

    The Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center (RINSC), located on the Narragansett Bay Campus of the University of Rhode Island, is a state-owned and US NRC-licensed nuclear facility constructed for educational and industrial applications. The main building of RINSC houses a two-megawatt (2 MW) thermal power critical reactor immersed in demineralized water within a shielded tank. As its original design in 1958 by the Rhode Island Atomic Energy Commission focused on the teaching and research use of the facility, only a minimum of 3.85 kg fissile uranium-235 was maintained in the fuel elements to allow the reactor to reach a critical state. In 1986 when RINSC was temporarily shutdown to start US DOE-directed core conversion project for national security reasons, all the U-Al based Highly-Enriched Uranium (HEU, 93% uranium-235 in the total uranium) fuel elements were replaced by the newly developed U{sub 3}Si{sub 2}-Al based Low Enriched Uranium (LEU, {le}20% uranium-235 in the total uranium) elements. The reactor first went critical after the core conversion was achieved in 1993, and feasibility study on the core upgrade to accommodate Boron Neutron-Captured Therapy (BNCT) was completed in 2000 [3]. The 2-MW critical reactor at RINSC which includes six beam tubes, a thermal column, a gamma-ray experimental station and two pneumatic tubes has been extensive utilized as neutron-and-photon dual source for nuclear-specific research in areas of material science, fundamental physics, biochemistry, and radiation therapy. After the core conversion along with several major system upgrade (e.g. a new 3-MW cooling tower, a large secondary piping system, a set of digitized power-level instrument), the reactor has become more compact and thus more effective to generate high beam flux in both the in-core and ex-core regions for advance research. If not limited by the manpower and operating budget in recent years, the RINSC built ''in concrete'' structure and control systems should have

  13. 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.

  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. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    ... account number or VISA or MasterCard number and expiration date. Dated at Rockville, MD, this 27th day of... issuance of the renewed licenses was published in the Federal Register on June 17, 2008 (73 FR 34335)....

  18. 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

    ... Goodhue County. Possible alternatives to the proposed action (license renewal) include the no action alternative and other reasonable alternative energy sources. As discussed in Section 9.4 of the final... are not so great that preserving the option ] of license renewal for energy-planning decision...

  19. 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 the trials and successes of…

  20. Environmentally sound disposal of wastes: Multipurpose offshore islands offer safekeeping, continuous monitoring of hazardous, nuclear wastes

    SciTech Connect

    Tengelsen, W.E.

    1995-05-01

    Solid wastes have become a health threat to all municipalities and safe disposal costs are increasing for coastal cities. Onland dumps have become a continuing source of pollution, existing landfill sites should be eliminated. Ocean dumping is rules out because of the threat to aquatic resources but pollutants deep-sixed in the past should be isolated from the ocean environment before they further harm the aquatic food chain. And there are still no totally satisfactory solutions for nuclear waste disposal, especially for high-level wastes. A practical answer to our waste disposal problem is to build waterproof storage vault islands offshore to safely contain all past and futuer solid wastes so they would not mix with the ocean waters. Contaminated dredged spoil and construction materials can be safely included, in turn providing free shielding for nuclear waste stored in special vault chambers. Offshore islands can be built to ride out erthquakes and the ocean`s waters provide a stable temperature environment. Building modular structures in large quantities reduces per-unit costs; implementing these islands creates quality jobs and an economic stimulus. The island`s tops become valuable waterfront property for commercial, institutional, educational, infrastructural, and recreational uses; tenants and users provide the revenues that make this island concept self-supporting.

  1. Reactor engineering support of operations at Three Mile Island nuclear station

    SciTech Connect

    Tropasso, R.T.

    1995-12-31

    The purpose of this paper is to detail the activities in which plant nuclear engineering personnel provide direct support to plant operations. The specific activities include steady-state, transient, and shutdown/refueling operation support as well as special project involvement. The paper is intended to describe the experiences at Three Mile Island (TMI) in which significant benefit to the success of the activity is achieved through the support of the nuclear engineers.

  2. 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 explored, as is…

  3. Lessons from Prairie Teachers.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Harris, Mary M.

    2001-01-01

    Examined the Prairie Teachers Project, a program of support for new teachers in eight rural schools, focusing on why teachers remained or left. Teachers who remained tended to have lived in and feel committed to small communities. Rural schools likely to retain new teachers had ongoing programs of professional development, supportive colleagues…

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

    Parfrey, H; Babar, J; Fiddler, C A; Chilvers, E R

    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.

  6. 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 site…

  7. 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…

  8. 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. PMID:20622548

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. Reactions of psychiatric patients to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident.

    PubMed

    Bromet, E; Schulberg, H C; Dunn, L

    1982-06-01

    The reaction of patients in the community mental health system to the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (TMI), Middletown, Pa, were assessed. The sample was composed of 151 patients from the TMI area and 64 patients from a comparison site where a similar nuclear plant is located. Mental health status was determined for the period immediately after the accident, nine to ten months later, and one year later. No significant differences were found between the TMI group and the comparison group. To isolate risk factors within the TMI group, patients who were most distressed were compared with patients with the least distress. The results showed that quality of network support and viewing TMI as dangerous were significantly associated with mental health. PMID:7092506

  14. 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. PMID:20622549

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Sedimentation of prairie wetlands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gleason, Robert A.; Euliss, Ned H.

    1998-01-01

    Many wetlands in the prairie pothole region are embedded within an agricultural landscape where they are subject to varying degrees of siltation. Cultivation of wetland catchment areas has exacerbated soil erosion; wetlands in agricultural fields receive more sediment from upland areas than wetlands in grassland landscapes and hence are subject to premature filling (i.e., they have shorter topographic lives). Associated impacts from increased turbidity, sediment deposition, and increased surface water input likely have impaired natural wetland functions. Although trapping of sediments by wetlands is often cited as a water quality benefit, sediment input from agricultural fields has potential to completely fill wetlands and shorten their effective life-span. Thus, the value placed on wetlands to trap sediments is in conflict with maximizing the effective topographic life of wetlands. Herein, we provide an overview of sedimentation, identify associated impacts on wetlands, and suggest remedial management strategies. We also highlight the need to evaluate the impact of agricultural practices on wetland functions from an interdisciplinary approach to facilitate development of best management practices that benefit both wetland and agricultural interests.

  20. Cancer rates after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident and proximity of residence to the plant.

    PubMed Central

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

    1991-01-01

    BACKGROUND: In the light of a possible link between stress and cancer promotion or progression, and of previously reported distress in residents near the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant, we attempted to evaluate the impact of the March 1979 accident on community cancer rates. METHODS: Proximity of residence to the plant, which related to distress in previous studies, was taken as a possible indicator of accident stress; the postaccident pattern in cancer rates was examined in 69 "study tracts" within a 10-mile radius of TMI, in relation to residential proximity. RESULTS: A modest association was found between postaccident cancer rates and proximity (OR = 1.4; 95% CI = 1.3, 1.6). After adjusting for a gradient in cancer risk prior to the accident, the odds ratio contrasting those closest to the plant with those living farther out was 1.2 (95% CI = 1.0, 1.4). A postaccident increase in cancer rates near the Three Mile Island plant was notable in 1982, persisted for another year, and then declined. Radiation emissions, as modeled mathematically, did not account for the observed increase. CONCLUSION: Interpretation in terms of accident stress is limited by the lack of an individual measure of stress and by uncertainty about whether stress has a biological effect on cancer in humans. An alternative mechanism for the cancer increase near the plant is through changes in care-seeking and diagnostic practice arising from postaccident concern. PMID:2029040

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:2087105

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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. PMID:16929293

  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. 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.

  11. Relationships of scincid lizards (Mabuya spp; Reptilia: Scincidae) from the Cape Verde islands based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences.

    PubMed

    Brehm, A; Jesus, J; Pinheiro, M; Harris, D J

    2001-05-01

    Partial DNA sequences from two mitochondrial (mt) and one nuclear gene (cytochrome b, 12S rRNA, and C-mos) were used to estimate the phylogenetic relationships among the six extant species of skinks endemic to the Cape Verde Archipelago. The species form a monophyletic unit, indicating a single colonization of the islands, probably from West Africa. Mabuya vaillanti and M. delalandii are sister taxa, as indicated by morphological characters. Mabuya fogoensis and M. stangeri are closely related, but the former is probably paraphyletic. Mabuya spinalis and M. salensis are also probably paraphyletic. Within species, samples from separate islands always form monophyletic groups. Some colonization events can be hypothesized, which are in line with the age of the islands. C-mos variation is concordant with the topology derived from mtDNA. PMID:11341812

  12. MHTGR-Nuclear Island Engineering: Final summary report for the period November 30, 1987 through December 1, 1988

    SciTech Connect

    1988-12-01

    This report summarizes the Modular High-Temperature Gas-Cooled Reactor (MHTGR) - Nuclear Island Engineering (NIE) design and development work performed by General Atomics (GA) for the period November 30, 1987 through December 1, 1988, under the Department of Energy (DOE) Contract AC03-88SF17367. The scope of the report includes work performed by Bechtel National Inc. (BNI), Combustion Engineering Inc. (C-E), and James Howden Company, as major subcontractors to GA.

  13. 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. PMID:12675119

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:6859357

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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. PMID:20232245

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    PubMed

    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. PMID:3605430

  4. Prairie State begins development work

    SciTech Connect

    Buchsbaum, L.

    2008-12-15

    Lively Grove will be a state-of-the-art super section mine which will supply 6.7 million tons of bituminous coal per annum to a 1,600 MWS supercritical plant which is expected to begin generation electricity in 2011/2012. The projected cost of Prairie State Energy Campus is over $4 billion. The power plant will be 15% more efficient that similar sized plants and could be a model plant for the industry. The article describes the development plans which are 10% complete. 2 photos.

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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).

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    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.

  9. Evaluation of nuclear facility decommissioning projects: Summary status report: Three Mile Island Unit 2. Radioactive waste and laundry shipments

    SciTech Connect

    Doerge, D. H.; Haffner, D. R.

    1988-06-01

    This document summarizes information concerning radioactive waste and laundry shipments from the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station Unit 2 to radioactive waste disposal sites and to protective clothing decontamination facilities (laundries) since the loss of coolant accident experienced on March 28, 1979. Data were collected from radioactive shipment records, summarized, and placed in a computerized data information retrieval/manipulation system which permits extraction of specific information. This report covers the period of April 9, 1979 through April 19, 1987. Included in this report are: waste disposal site locations, dose rates, curie content, waste description, container type and number, volumes and weights. This information is presented in two major categories: protective clothing (laundry) and radioactive waste. Each of the waste shipment reports is in chronological order.

  10. 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. PMID:7058968

  11. Predictors of temporal patterns of psychiatric distress during 10 years following the nuclear accident at Three Mile Island.

    PubMed

    Dew, M A; Bromet, E J

    1993-04-01

    The present study examines psychiatric symptom levels during a 10-year period in a community sample of mothers of young children. All were identified in the early aftermath of the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident, and followed through the accident's 1989 anniversary. Cluster analysis was used to identify long-term distress profiles during the study period; women's temporal profiles were found to be either (a) stable and at low, clinically nonsignificant levels of distress across all measurement points or (b) at consistently elevated, clinically significant levels that varied with the timing of postaccident events such as the restart of the undamaged reactor and the 10th anniversary. Subsequent multivariate analyses indicated that preaccident characteristics, as well as parameters reflecting respondents' initial involvement with, and reactions to the accident, were important for distinguishing between women within the two temporal profile groups. Implications of the results for both policy formulation and continued research on significant environmental stressors is discussed. PMID:8511662

  12. 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

  13. 76 FR 5799 - Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-02-02

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Prairie Power, Inc.; Notice of Filing January 26, 2011. Take notice that on January 25, 2011, Prairie Power, Inc., submitted a proposed revenue requirement filing under Midwest... Transmission System Operator, Inc.\\2\\ \\1\\ Prairie Power is also listed by the Midwest ISO as a...

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    One anticipated benefit of ecosystem restoration efforts is improvement of water quality. This study evaluated NO3-N and phosphorus in subsurface waters during establishment of native prairie vegetation after decades of row-crop agriculture. Prairie seeding in late 2003 resulted in a good prairie co...

  15. Healing and Building Soil on Prairie Birthday Farm

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Native tallgrass prairie was restored as an integral part of a small, food-producing farm called Prairie Birthday Farm in Clay County, Missouri. Reconstruction of native prairie was essential to the farm’s goal of producing high quality food for the family, area residents and restaurant chefs. Impro...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Hydrology of a prairie slough

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Woo, Ming-Ko; Rowsell, Robert D.

    1993-06-01

    A three year study was carried out at a prairie slough to determine the hydrological processes occurring in the wetland and its surrounding uplands. On the upland slopes, snow accumulation was highly uneven, giving rise to spatial variations in infiltration and overland flow during melt. Rainfall distribution was more uniform but much of it was lost to evaporation, leaving minor amounts to groundwater recharge or runoff to the slough. The slough comprises a pond and its fringing non-flooded wetlands, the areal extents of which changed during the season as the pond expanded and contracted. Slough storage was rapidly replenished by the snow and ice melt in the slough and by the meltwater input through overland flow from the uplands. During summer, rainfall was the main source of water supply to the experimental slough, and evaporation exceeded water yield to the groundwater system. Water balance allows a contrast of hydrological conditions between years, with the drier years producing storage deficit for the slough, and wet summers producing a surplus.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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)

  2. 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

  3. 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 . PMID:6724910

  4. 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.

  5. Ecological Restoration: Bringing Back the Prairie.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Murray, Molly Fifield

    1997-01-01

    Defines ecological restoration and offers a plan for prairie restoration as a schoolyard project. Steps include researching and planning the site, preparation and planting, and continuing management of the site. Ecological concepts in this activity also relate to science, language arts, math, social studies, art, and music for K-12 students. (AIM)

  6. 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…

  7. The long-term impact of a man-made disaster: An examination of a small town in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Reactor Accident.

    PubMed

    Goldsteen, R; Schorr, J K

    1982-03-01

    This paper explores the long-term effects of a nuclear accident on residents' perceptions of their physical and mental health, their trust of public officials, and their attitudes toward the future risks of nuclear power generation In their community. We find that in the period after the accident at Three Mile Island that there are constant or Increasing levels of distress reported by community residents. We conclude that the effects of a technological disaster may often be more enduring than those natural disaster and that greater research efforts should be made to Investigate the long-term consequences of man-made catastrophies of all types. PMID:20958512

  8. 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.

  9. Investigation: revelations about Three Mile Island disaster raise doubts over nuclear plant safety: a special facing south investigation by Sue Sturgis.

    PubMed

    Sturgis, Sue

    2009-01-01

    A series of mishaps in a reactor at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear plant led to the 1979 meltdown of almost half the uranium fuel and uncontrolled releases of radiation into the air and surrounding Susquehanna River. It was the single worst disaster ever to befall the U.S. nuclear power industry. Health physics technician Randall Thompson's story about what he witnessed while monitoring radiation there after the incident is being publicly disclosed for the first time. It is supported by a growing body of evidence and it contradicts the U.S. government's contention that the TMI accident posed no threat to the public. Thompson and his wife, a nuclear health physicist who also worked at TMI in the disaster's wake, warn that the government's failure to acknowledge the full scope of the disaster is leading officials to underestimate the risks posed by a new generation of nuclear power plants. PMID:20129905

  10. Investigation: revelations about Three Mile Island disaster raise doubts over nuclear plant safety: a special facing south investigation by Sue Sturgis.

    PubMed

    Sturgis, Sue

    2009-01-01

    A series of mishaps in a reactor at the Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear plant led to the 1979 meltdown of almost half the uranium fuel and uncontrolled releases of radiation into the air and surrounding Susquehanna River. It was the single worst disaster ever to befall the U.S. nuclear power industry. Health physics technician Randall Thompson's story about what he witnessed while monitoring radiation there after the incident is being publicly disclosed for the first time. It is supported by a growing body of evidence and it contradicts the U.S. government's contention that the TMI accident posed no threat to the public. Thompson and his wife, a nuclear health physicist who also worked at TMI in the disaster's wake, warn that the government's failure to acknowledge the full scope of the disaster is leading officials to underestimate the risks posed by a new generation of nuclear power plants.

  11. 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. PMID:19959945

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. A reevaluation of cancer incidence near the Three Mile Island nuclear plant: The collision of evidence and assumptions

    SciTech Connect

    Wing, S.; Richardson, D.; Armstrong, D.; Crawford-Brown, D.

    1997-01-01

    Previous studies concluded that there was no evidence that the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) affected cancer incidence in the surrounding area; however, there were logical and methodological problems in earlier reports that led us to reconsider data previously collected. A 10-mile area around TMI was divided into 69 study tracts, which were assigned radiation dose estimates based on radiation readings and models of atmospheric dispersion. Incident cancers from 1975 to 1985 were ascertained from hospital records and assigned to study tracts. Associations between accident doses and incidence rates of leukemia, lung cancer, and all cancer were assessed using relative dose estimates calculated by the earlier investigators. Adjustments were made for age, sex, socioeconomic characteristics, and preaccident variation in incidence. Considering a 2-year latency, the estimated percent increase per dose unit {plus_minus} standard error was 0.020 {plus_minus} 0.012 for all cancer, 0.082 {plus_minus} 0.032 for lung cancer, and 0.116 {plus_minus} 0.067 for leukemia. Adjustment for socioeconomic variables increased the estimates to 0.034 {plus_minus} 0.013, 0.103 {plus_minus} 0.035, and 0.139 {plus_minus} 0.073 for all cancer, lung cancer, and leukemia, respectively. Associations were generally larger considering a 5-year latency, but were based on smaller numbers of cases. Results support the hypothesis that radiation doses are related to increased cancer incidence around TMI. The analysis avoids medical detection bias, but suffers from inaccurate dose classification; therefore, results may underestimate the magnitude of the association between radiation and cancer incidence. These associations would not be expected, based on previous estimates of near-background levels of radiation exposure following the accident. 35 refs., 3 tabs.

  15. A reevaluation of cancer incidence near the Three Mile Island nuclear plant: the collision of evidence and assumptions.

    PubMed

    Wing, S; Richardson, D; Armstrong, D; Crawford-Brown, D

    1997-01-01

    Previous studies concluded that there was no evidence that the 1979 nuclear accident at Three Mile Island (TMI) affected cancer incidence in the surrounding area; however, there were logical and methodological problems in earlier reports that led us to reconsider data previously collected. A 10-mile area around TMI was divided into 69 study tracts, which were assigned radiation dose estimates based on radiation reading and models of atmospheric dispersion. Incident cancers from 1975 to 1985 were ascertained from hospital records and assigned to study tracts. Associations between accident doses and incidence rates of leukemia, lung cancer, and all cancer were assessed using relative dose estimates calculated by the earlier investigators. Adjustments were made for age, sex, socioeconomic characteristics, and preaccident variation in incidence. Considering a 2-year latency, the estimated percent increase per dose unit +/- standard error was 0.020 +/- 0.012 for all cancer, 0.082 +/- 0.032 for lung cancer, and 0.116 +/- 0.067 for leukemia. Adjustment for socioeconomic variables increased the estimates to 0.034 +/- 0.013, 0.103 +/- 0.035, and 0.139 +/- 0.073 for all cancer, lung cancer, and leukemia, respectively. Associations were generally larger considering a 5-year latency, but were based on smaller numbers of cases. Results support the hypothesis that radiation doses are related to increased cancer incidence around TMI. The analysis avoids medical detection bias, but suffers from inaccurate dose classification; therefore, results may underestimate the magnitude of the association between radiation and cancer incidence. These associations would not be expected, based on previous estimates of near-background levels of radiation exposure following the accident. PMID:9074881

  16. "Duck stamp" dollars reserve native prairie tracts

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Higgins, K.F.

    1981-01-01

    Ducks and wetlands are inseparable in the prairies. Hunters know this, bird watchers know this, wildlife managers know this, and most importantly people who manage the croplands and rangelands know this. The 1,746 tracts of native prairie within these upland-wetland complexes known as Waterfowl Production Areas are not the only lands purchased with "duck stamp" dollars. Considerable acreages have also been purchased in central and southern parts of the United States to provide staging, resting, and wintering areas for waterfowl. Since 1934, when "duck stamps" were first sold, nearly 2.5 million acres of waterfowl habitats have been acquired or taken under easement within the United States with revenue from these sales. By purchasing "duck stamps", more than 2.2 million people provide over $16.5 million in annual revenue. It is certainly gratifying to know that some of the remaining native prairie remnants in the Northern Great Plains are being reserved for the future with "duck stamp" dollars.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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. PMID:26246583

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  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. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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

  8. 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…

  9. 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) ...

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 75 FR 7470 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-02-19

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application February 3, 2010. Take notice that on January 26, 2010, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie), 333 Clay Street... Pine Prairie to: (1) Install six 5,750 hp electric motor drive compressor units instead of the four...

  13. 75 FR 65310 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2010-10-22

    ... 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 Street... convenience and necessity to construct and operate its Phase III Expansion Project. Pine Prairie's Phase...

  14. 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...

  15. Reflections on the prairie as a creative teaching-learning place.

    PubMed

    Bunkers, Sandra Schmidt

    2006-01-01

    In this column, the author reflects on characteristics of the prairie land of South Dakota and how it contributes to a creative teaching-learning place. Attributes of the prairie that are linked with creative teaching-learning include prairie as a space of aloneness and solitude, prairie as a boundless seeing what may be, prairie as contradiction and paradox, and prairie as possibility. These attributes of the prairie are explored through the author's personal experience, theoretical literature on creativity and teaching-learning, and literature from Parse's theory of human becoming. PMID:16407596

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Conceptual site models as a tool in evaluating ecological health: the case of the Department of Energy's Amchitka Island nuclear test site.

    PubMed

    Burger, Joanna; Mayer, Henry J; Greenberg, Michael; Powers, Charles W; Volz, Conrad D; Gochfeld, Michael

    2006-07-01

    Managers of contaminated sites are faced with options ranging from monitoring natural attenuation to complete removal of contaminants to meet residential health standards. Conceptual site models (CSMs) are one tool used by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and other environmental managers to understand, track, help with decisions, and communicate with the public about the risk from contamination. CSMs are simplified graphical representations of the sources, releases, transport and exposure pathways, and receptors, along with possible barriers to interdict pathways and reduce exposure. In this article, three CSMs are created using Amchitka Island, where the remaining contamination is from underground nuclear test shot cavities containing large quantities of numerous radionuclides in various physical and chemical forms: (1) a typical underground nuclear test shot CSM (modeled after other sites), (2) an expanded CSM with more complex receptors, and (3) a regional CSM that takes into account contaminant pathways from sources other than Amchitka. The objective was to expand the CSM used by DOE to be more responsive to different types of receptors. Amchitka Island differs from other DOE test shot sites because it is surrounded by a marine environment that is highly productive and has a high biodiversity, and the source of contamination is underground, not on the surface. The surrounding waters of the Bering Sea and North Pacific Ocean are heavily exploited by commercial fisheries and provide the United States and other countries with a significant proportion of its seafood. It is proposed that the CSMs on Amchitka Island should focus more on the pathways of exposure and critical receptors, rather than sources and blocks. Further, CSMs should be incorporated within a larger regional model because of the potentially rapid transport within ocean ecosystems. The large number of migratory or highly mobile species that pass by Amchitka provide the potential for a direct

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. Powerline Road Grade Crossing at Milepost 31 Camas Prairie ...

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

    Powerline Road Grade Crossing at Milepost 31 - Camas Prairie Railroad, Second Subdivision, From Spalding in Nez Perce County, through Lewis County, to Grangeville in Idaho County, Spalding, Nez Perce County, ID

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 17. PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, NEAR ITS JUNCTION WITH RHODES DITCH, ...

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

    17. PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, NEAR ITS JUNCTION WITH RHODES DITCH, CUT THROUGH SLATY BEDROCK. VIEW TO NORTHEAST. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  13. 20. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, ...

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

    20. VIEW TO SOUTHEAST ALONG NORTH BRANCH, PRAIRIE CITY DITCH, TOWARD SHARP 'V' OF VIEW 18. - Natomas Ditch System, Rhodes Ditch, West of Bidwell Street, north of U.S. Highway 50, Folsom, Sacramento County, CA

  14. Increasing waterfowl nesting success on islands and peninsulas

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lokemoen, J.T.

    1993-01-01

    Waterfowl that nest in uplands in the prairie pothole region have had low recruitment rates in recent decades, primarily because of predation. The loss of breeding waterfowl and their progeny has generated interest in management techniques that safeguard incubating hens and their eggs. Developing islands and peninsulas for nesting waterfowl has potential because these sites are naturally attractive to breeding ducks and geese. In fact, dense nesting colonies of ducks developed on some islands when successful females and a portion of their female progeny returned in subsequent years.Managers have successfully duplicated the beneficial attributes of islands by developing various nesting habitats that are protected by water barriers. This chapter addresses the management of existing islands, the creation of new islands, and the modification of peninsulas into islands to increase nesting success in waterfowl.

  15. Aspirin Prevention of Cholesterol Gallstone Formation in Prairie Dogs

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lee, Sum P.; Carey, Martin C.; Lamont, J. Thomas

    1981-03-01

    When prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are fed a diet containing cholesterol, a marked increase in gallbladder mucin secretion parallels the evolution of cholesterol supersaturated bile. Gelation of mucin precedes the precipitation of cholesterol liquid and solid crystals and the development of gallstones. Aspirin given to prairie dogs inhibited mucin hypersecretion and gel accumulation and prevented gallstone formation without influencing the cholesterol content of supersaturated bile. This suggests that gallbladder mucin is a nucleation matrix for cholesterol gallstones.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Disease Limits Populations: Plague and Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs

    PubMed Central

    Johnson, Tammi L.; Collinge, Sharon K.; Ray, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Abstract 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. PMID:20158327

  1. 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.; 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 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Evaluation of nuclear facility decommissioning projects. Three Mile Island Unit 2. Radioactive waste and laundry shipments. Volume 9. Summary status report

    SciTech Connect

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

    1986-05-01

    This document summarizes information concerning radioactive waste and laundry shipments from the Three Mile Island Nuclear Station Unit 2 to radioactive waste disposal sites and to protective clothing decontamination facilities (laundries) since the loss of coolant accident experienced on March 28, 1979. Data were collected from radioactive shipment records, summarized, and placed in a computerized data information retrieval/manipulation system which permits extraction of specific information. This report covers the period of April 9, 1979 to May 5, 1985. Included in this report are: waste disposal site locations, dose rates, curie content, waste description, container type and number, volumes and weights. This information is presented in two major categories: protective clothing (laundry) and radioactive waste. Each of the waste shipment reports is in chronological order.

  5. 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!!!

  6. 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!!!

  7. 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.

  8. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    PubMed

    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.

  9. 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

    ... Applicable to Oil Pipeline Proceedings, High Prairie Pipeline, LLC (Complainant) filed a formal complaint... 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;...

  10. 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

  11. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    PubMed

    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

  12. 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.

  13. 76 FR 81924 - Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-29

    ... Energy Regulatory Commission Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC; Notice of Application Take notice that on December 15, 2011, Pine Prairie Energy Center, LLC (Pine Prairie), 333 Clay Street, Suite 1500, Houston, TX... necessity to amend its certificate authority previously granted in CP04-379-000, et al. Pine...

  14. 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... Regulatory Commission's (Commission) Rules of Practice and Procedure, 18 CFR 385.206, Prairie Power, Inc.... Prairie Power, Inc. certifies that copies of the complaint were served on the contacts for the...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Impact of soil type on vegetation response to prairie dog herbivory

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie dogs and their impact on vegetation have been the focus of numerous research projects. However, the effect of soil from this interaction has been less thoroughly documented. We evaluated prairie dog colonies (on-colony) and nearby sites without prairie dogs (off-colony) on Wayden, Cabba an...

  18. 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.

  19. Immunoglobulin genomics in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Qin, Tong; Zhao, Huijing; Zhu, Huabin; Wang, Dong; Du, Weihua; Hao, Haisheng

    2015-08-01

    In science, the prairie voles are ideal models for studying the regulatory mechanisms of social behavior in humans. The utility of the prairie vole as a biology model can be further enhanced by characterization of the genes encoding components of the immune system. Here, we report the genomic organization of the prairie vole immunoglobulin heavy and light chain genes. The prairie vole IgH locus on chromosome 1 spans over 1600kb, and consists of at least 79 VH segments (28 potentially functional genes, 2 ORFs and 49 pseudogenes), 7 DH segments, 4 JH segments, four constant region genes (μ, γ, ɛ, and α), and two transmembrane regions of δ gene. The Igκ locus, found on three scaffolds (JH996430, JH996605 and JH996566), contains a totle of 124 Vκ segments (47 potentially functional genes, 1 ORF and 76 pseudogenes), 5 Jκ segments and a single Cκ gene. Two different transcriptional orientations were determined for these Vκ gene segments. In contrast, the Igλ locus on scaffold JH996473 and JH996489 includes 21 Vλ gene segments (14 potentially functional genes, 1 ORF and 6 pseudogenes), all with the same transcriptional polarity as the downstream Jλ-Cλ cluster. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignments suggested the prairie vole's large germline VH, Vκ and Vλ gene segments appear to form limited gene families. Therefore, this species may generate antibody diversity via a gene conversion-like mechanism associated with its pseudogene reserves.

  20. 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.

  1. 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. PMID:27009223

  2. 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. PMID:21923261

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Immunoglobulin genomics in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Qin, Tong; Zhao, Huijing; Zhu, Huabin; Wang, Dong; Du, Weihua; Hao, Haisheng

    2015-08-01

    In science, the prairie voles are ideal models for studying the regulatory mechanisms of social behavior in humans. The utility of the prairie vole as a biology model can be further enhanced by characterization of the genes encoding components of the immune system. Here, we report the genomic organization of the prairie vole immunoglobulin heavy and light chain genes. The prairie vole IgH locus on chromosome 1 spans over 1600kb, and consists of at least 79 VH segments (28 potentially functional genes, 2 ORFs and 49 pseudogenes), 7 DH segments, 4 JH segments, four constant region genes (μ, γ, ɛ, and α), and two transmembrane regions of δ gene. The Igκ locus, found on three scaffolds (JH996430, JH996605 and JH996566), contains a totle of 124 Vκ segments (47 potentially functional genes, 1 ORF and 76 pseudogenes), 5 Jκ segments and a single Cκ gene. Two different transcriptional orientations were determined for these Vκ gene segments. In contrast, the Igλ locus on scaffold JH996473 and JH996489 includes 21 Vλ gene segments (14 potentially functional genes, 1 ORF and 6 pseudogenes), all with the same transcriptional polarity as the downstream Jλ-Cλ cluster. Phylogenetic analysis and sequence alignments suggested the prairie vole's large germline VH, Vκ and Vλ gene segments appear to form limited gene families. Therefore, this species may generate antibody diversity via a gene conversion-like mechanism associated with its pseudogene reserves. PMID:26073565

  7. Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells from the prairie vole.

    PubMed

    Manoli, Devanand S; Subramanyam, Deepa; Carey, Catriona; Sudin, Erik; Van Westerhuyzen, Julie A; Bales, Karen L; Blelloch, Robert; Shah, Nirao M

    2012-01-01

    The vast majority of animals mate more or less promiscuously. A few mammals, including humans, utilize more restrained mating strategies that entail a longer term affiliation with a single mating partner. Such pair bonding mating strategies have been resistant to genetic analysis because of a lack of suitable model organisms. Prairie voles are small mouse-like rodents that form enduring pair bonds in the wild as well as in the laboratory, and consequently they have been used widely to study social bonding behavior. The lack of targeted genetic approaches in this species however has restricted the study of the molecular and neural circuit basis of pair bonds. As a first step in rendering the prairie vole amenable to reverse genetics, we have generated induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) lines from prairie vole fibroblasts using retroviral transduction of reprogramming factors. These IPSC lines display the cellular and molecular hallmarks of IPSC cells from other organisms, including mice and humans. Moreover, the prairie vole IPSC lines have pluripotent differentiation potential since they can give rise to all three germ layers in tissue culture and in vivo. These IPSC lines can now be used to develop conditions that facilitate homologous recombination and eventually the generation of prairie voles bearing targeted genetic modifications to study the molecular and neural basis of pair bond formation. PMID:22675440

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:26544182

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Effects of ungulates and prairie dogs on seed banks and vegetation in a North American mixed-grass prairie

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fahnestock, J.T.; Larson, D.L.; Plumb, G.E.; Detling, J.K.

    2003-01-01

    The relationship between vegetation cover and soil seed banks was studied in five different ungulate herbivoreprairie dog treatment combinations at three northern mixed-grass prairie sites in Badlands National Park, South Dakota. There were distinct differences in both the seed bank composition and the aboveground vegetation between the off-prairie dog colony treatments and the on-colony treatments. The three on-colony treatments were similar to each other at all three sites with vegetation dominated by the forbs Dyssodia papposa, Hedeoma spp., Sphaeralcea coccinea, Conyza canadensis, and Plantago patagonica and seed banks dominated by the forbs Verbena bracteata and Dyssodia papposa. The two off-colony treatments were also similar to each other at all three sites. Vegetation at these sites was dominated by the grasses Pascopyrum smithii, Bromus tectorum and Bouteloua gracilis and the seed banks were dominated by several grasses including Bromus tectorum, Monroa squarrosa, Panicum capillare, Sporobolus cryptandra and Stipa viridula. A total of 146 seedlings representing 21 species germinated and emerged from off-colony treatments while 3069 seedlings comprising 33 species germinated from on-colony treatments. Fifteen of the forty species found in soil seed banks were not present in the vegetation, and 57 of the 82 species represented in the vegetation were not found in the seed banks. Few dominant species typical of mixed-grass prairie vegetation germinated and emerged from seed banks collected from prairie dog colony treatments suggesting that removal of prairie dogs will not result in the rapid reestablishment of representative mixed-grass prairie unless steps are taken to restore the soil seed bank.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-06-01

    Radioactive fission product 131I 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, 134Cs and 137Cs 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-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 134Cs and 137Cs 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-3) variation of stable cesium (133Cs) quantified by elemental analyses using our developed ICP-DRC-MS instrument.

  6. 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!!!

  7. Effects of a realistic tensor force on nuclear quadrupole deformation near the "shore" of the island of inversion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Y.; Nakada, H.; Miyahara, S.

    2016-08-01

    The M3Y-type semirealistic interaction is applied to deformed nuclei for the first time. Constrained Hartree-Fock calculations assuming axial symmetry are implemented for the N =20 isotones 30Ne, 32Mg, 34Si and the N =28 isotones 40Mg, 42Si, 44S with the M3Y-P6 interaction. The results match the experimental data well. Effects of the realistic tensor force on the nuclear quadrupole deformation are investigated in relation to the loss of the N =20 and 28 magic numbers. The tensor force is confirmed to favor the deformation for the N =28 nuclei owing to the closure of the j j shell (i.e., n 0 f7 /2 ), while favoring the sphericity for the N =20 nuclei owing to the ℓ s closure of N =20 .

  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. 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

  10. People Caring about People--The Prairie Housing Cooperative.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kappel, Bruce; Wetherow, David

    1986-01-01

    The Prairie Housing Cooperative has purchased 20 homes which provide 60 people (12 of whom are mentally retarded) with decent affordable housing in five neighborhoods in Winnipeg, Canada. Needed special services are provided by the non-handicapped members when possible or by outside contracts. (DB)

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. The Prairie State Games: Organization of Medical Care.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Noble, H. Bates; And Others

    1988-01-01

    This description of the medical services provided at the Prairie State Games (Illinois), an Olympic-style sports festival, suggests guidelines for providing medical care at large-scale athletic events and covers such areas as medical organization, personnel, medical facilities, communication, equipment, and injury care. A summary of injuries over…

  16. The Great American Prairie: An Integrated Fifth Grade Unit.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Stange, Terrence V.; Wyant, Susan L.

    1999-01-01

    Maintains that children's literature broadens students views and understanding of the past while also offering teachers a means for integrating the elementary curriculum. Provides an integrated unit using a literture-social studies connection that focuses on the Great American Prairie during the pioneer period and gives a list of supporting…

  17. Guide to the 2004 Prairie State Achievement Examination.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Board of Education, 2004

    2004-01-01

    The Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE) measures student achievement relative to the Illinois Learning Standards. It recognizes the excellent achievement of individual students whose scores qualify them for honors, and it measures the progress that schools have made in helping their students meet the Illinois Learning Standards. The PSAE…

  18. Prairie State Achievement Examination: Teacher's Handbook, 2003-2004

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Board of Education, 2004

    2004-01-01

    This handbook contains information for high school educators--teachers, curriculum coordinators, counselors, and principals--as they prepare students to take the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE). The first section explains the purpose of the PSAE, gives timelines and test-day schedules, and shows how the PSAE is constructed. The rest…

  19. 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)

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Black-tailed prairie dogs and the structure of avian communities on the shortgrass plains.

    PubMed

    Smith, Gregory A; Lomolino, Mark V

    2004-03-01

    We tested the hypothesis that black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) influence avian community structure on the shortgrass prairie. We surveyed 36 prairie dog towns and 36 paired sites without prairie dogs during summer and fall of 1997, 1998, and 1999 in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Our surveys totaled 9,040 individual observations for 73 avian species. Significantly distinct avian communities were present on prairie dog towns when compared to sites within four different macrohabitats of the surrounding landscape: open rangeland, scrub/sandsage (Artemisia filifolia) habitats, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) plots, and fallow crop fields. Relative densities of all bird species combined was higher on prairie dog towns versus paired sites in summer and fall. Mean species richness of birds was significantly higher on prairie dog towns than paired sites during summer, but there were no significant differences in fall. Open rangeland had the highest mean species richness in fall. Assemblages of avian communities differed significantly between prairie dog towns and the four macrohabitat types during summer. Burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia), killdeer (Charadrius vociferous), horned larks (Eremophila alpestris), and meadowlarks (Sturnella spp.) were positively and significantly associated with prairie dog towns during summer, while horned larks and ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis) were significantly associated with prairie dog towns during fall. Even in their current remnant state, black-tailed prairie dogs continue to play a significant role in the assembly of ecological communities across the Great Plains. Conservation of prairie dogs goes well beyond a single species, and is an important strategy for the preservation of the prairie ecosystem as a whole. PMID:14685848

  4. Black-tailed prairie dogs and the structure of avian communities on the shortgrass plains.

    PubMed

    Smith, Gregory A; Lomolino, Mark V

    2004-03-01

    We tested the hypothesis that black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) influence avian community structure on the shortgrass prairie. We surveyed 36 prairie dog towns and 36 paired sites without prairie dogs during summer and fall of 1997, 1998, and 1999 in the Oklahoma Panhandle. Our surveys totaled 9,040 individual observations for 73 avian species. Significantly distinct avian communities were present on prairie dog towns when compared to sites within four different macrohabitats of the surrounding landscape: open rangeland, scrub/sandsage (Artemisia filifolia) habitats, Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) plots, and fallow crop fields. Relative densities of all bird species combined was higher on prairie dog towns versus paired sites in summer and fall. Mean species richness of birds was significantly higher on prairie dog towns than paired sites during summer, but there were no significant differences in fall. Open rangeland had the highest mean species richness in fall. Assemblages of avian communities differed significantly between prairie dog towns and the four macrohabitat types during summer. Burrowing owls (Athene cunicularia), killdeer (Charadrius vociferous), horned larks (Eremophila alpestris), and meadowlarks (Sturnella spp.) were positively and significantly associated with prairie dog towns during summer, while horned larks and ferruginous hawks (Buteo regalis) were significantly associated with prairie dog towns during fall. Even in their current remnant state, black-tailed prairie dogs continue to play a significant role in the assembly of ecological communities across the Great Plains. Conservation of prairie dogs goes well beyond a single species, and is an important strategy for the preservation of the prairie ecosystem as a whole.

  5. 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...

  6. 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

  7. A Critical Review of Assumptions About the Prairie Dog as a Keystone Species.

    PubMed

    Kotliar; Baker; Whicker; Plumb

    1999-09-01

    / Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) have been labeled as keystone species because of their influence on biological diversity and ecosystem function. However, the validity of several assumptions used to support keystone status is questionable. We review the strength of the evidence and the magnitude of the prairie dog's effects on ecosystem structure and function. We use this review to reevaluate the keystone role for prairie dogs. Our goal is to encourage sound management of the prairie dog ecosystem by improving the ecological foundation of their keystone status. Our review confirms that prairie dogs affect a number of ecosystem-level functions but that their influence on prairie vertebrates may be less than previously suggested. Species richness and abundance patterns were variable among plants, mammals, and birds and were not consistently higher on prairie dog colonies compared to uncolonized areas. In addition, only nine of the 208 species listed in the literature as observed on or near prairie dogs colonies had quantitative evidence of dependence on prairie dogs. Abundance data indicated opportunistic use of colonies for an additional 20 species. A total of 117 species may have some relationship with prairie dogs, but we lacked sufficient data to evaluate the strength of this relationship. The remaining 62 species may be accidental or alien to the system. Despite our conclusion that some prairie dog functions may be smaller than previously assumed, collectively these functions are quite large compared to other herbivores in the system. We suggest that prairie dogs also provide some unique functions not duplicated by any other species and that continued decline of prairie dogs may lead to a substantial erosion of biological diversity and landscape heterogeneity across prairie and shrub-steppe landscapes. Thus, we concur that keystone status for prairie dogs is appropriate and may aid conservation efforts that help protect species dependent on prairie dogs and support

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    SciTech Connect

    Matamala, Roser

    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.

  12. 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

  13. Extensive lesions of monkeypox in a prairie dog (Cynomys sp).

    PubMed

    Langohr, I M; Stevenson, G W; Thacker, H L; Regnery, R L

    2004-11-01

    Monkeypox with extensive lesions was diagnosed in a prairie dog that was involved in a recent human outbreak of monkeypox in the Midwestern United States. Gross lesions included oral ulcers, pulmonary consolidation, enlarged cervical and thoracic lymph nodes, and multifocal, small, white umbilicated plaques in the gastrointestinal wall. Microscopic lesions were extensive in the lungs and consisted of fibrinonecrotic bronchopneumonia with vasculitis and poorly defined eosinophilic intracytoplasmic inclusion bodies in cells thought to be alveolar epithelial cells, histiocytes, and fibroblasts. Multifocal necrotizing lesions, often accompanied by myxedema, were also present in most of the other examined organs. Aggregates of pox viral particles were observed within lesions by transmission electron microscopy. Monkeypox virus infection was confirmed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and virus culture at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This report highlights the difficulties of rapid diagnosis of exotic or emerging diseases and further substantiates the prairie dog as an animal model of monkeypox.

  14. Prairie dogs disperse when all close kin have disappeared.

    PubMed

    Hoogland, John L

    2013-03-01

    Because competition decreases inclusive fitness among kin, Hamilton and May predicted that the presence of nearby kin should induce the dispersal of individuals from the natal territory, independent of pressures to avoid inbreeding. Many studies support this landmark prediction, but research over 31 years with prairie dogs reveals the opposite pattern: Young females are 12.5 times more likely to disperse in the absence of mother and siblings for one species, and 5.5 times more likely for another species. Such striking patterns probably occur because cooperation among kin is more important than competition among kin for young prairie dogs. The inability to cooperate with close kin, due to their absence, prompts a search for a new territory where cooperation might be less crucial for survival and reproduction. PMID:23471407

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Energy balance components from six sites in a native prairie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Fritschen, Leo J.; Qian, Ping

    1990-01-01

    The surface-flux stations investigated are of similar design and operation, but are located on different slopes and aspects and provided data with significant variations. The largest difference between sites is noticed in the data for soil heat-flux density, and the general variability is theorized to be related to treatment and locations. The number of surface-flux stations required for the prairie topography can be inferred from the results of the data analysis.

  19. Bidirectional reflectance, leaf optical and physiological properties of prairie vegetation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Walter-Shea, E. A.; Blad, B. L.; Starks, P. J; Hays, C. J.; Mesarch, M. A.; Middleton, E. M.

    1990-01-01

    A modular multiband radiometer is used to measure reflected radiation from the vegetative surface of a prairie. The data are compared to estimates of incoming radiation by measuring the reflection from a molded halon panel, and the bidirectional reflectance factors are measured at seven view-zenith angles and various incidence angles. The canopy-reflectance results are compared to leaf-optical and other vegetative physiological properties, and a direct relationship is reported.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Urban geology of the Blackland Prairie: Problems, penalties, and prospects

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, P.M. . Geology Dept.)

    1993-02-01

    Costs related to geologic and engineering problems approaches one hundred million dollars a year within the Blackland Prairie/Interstate-35 Corridor. Five major problems have been identified: expansive soils, erosion, flooding, slope instability, and the loss of mineral resources. Continued urbanization within the Blackland Prairie at rated averaging 162 square miles a year will undoubtedly increase the estimate of environmental costs. Three goals are proposed for solving or reducing this costs: (1) institute and enforce land-use and zoning controls in areas where severe problems have been identified, (2) adopt and enforce modern grading and building codes and modern flood plain ordinances and engineering studies, and (3) establish a clearinghouse for ordinances and engineering and geologic practice standards and reports that have proven effective in counteracting the problems within this geologic area and make them available for use by smaller municipalities. It is estimated that if such practices were instituted that well over 70 percent of the estimated costs to the residents of the Blackland Prairie could be eliminated.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Organization of sensory neocortex in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Campi, Katharine L; Karlen, Sarah J; Bales, Karen L; Krubitzer, Leah

    2007-05-20

    In the current investigation, the functional organization of visual, auditory, and somatosensory cortex was examined in prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) by using electrophysiological recording techniques. Functional boundaries of cortical fields were directly related to myeloarchitectonic boundaries. Our results demonstrated that most of the neocortex is occupied by the visual, auditory, and somatosensory areas. Specifically, a small area 17, or primary visual area (V1), was located on the caudomedial pole of the neocortex; a large auditory cortex (AC), which contains the primary auditory area (A1) and other auditory fields, encompassed almost the entire temporal pole; and a large area 3b, or primary somatosensory area (S1), contained a complete representation of the contralateral body surface. Furthermore, these areas were coextensive with distinct myeloarchitectonic appearances. We also observed that the AC appeared to be disproportionately large in the prairie vole compared with other rodents. In addition, we found that both primary and nonprimary areas contained neurons that responded to auditory stimulation. Finally, we observed within S1 a disproportionate amount of cortex that was devoted to representing the perioral hairs and the snout and also that neurons within this representation had very small receptive fields. We discuss the expanded auditory domain and the enlarged representation of perioral hairs as they relate to the specialized life style of the prairie vole. PMID:17366609

  7. 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.

  8. Nuclear power: Fourth edition

    SciTech Connect

    Deutsch, R.W.

    1986-01-01

    This book describes the basics of nuclear power generation, explaining both the benefits and the real and imagined risks of nuclear power. It includes a discussion of the Three Mile Island accident and its effects. Nuclear Power has been used in the public information programs of more than 100 utilities. The contents discussed are: Nuclear Power and People; Why Nuclear Power. Electricity produced by coal; Electricity produced by nuclear fuel; Nuclear plant sites in the United States; Short History of Commercial Nuclear Power; U.S. nuclear submarines, Regulation of Nuclear Power Plants; Licensing process, Nuclear Power Plant Operator Training; Nuclear power plant simulator, Are Nuclear Plants Safe.; Containment structure, Nuclear Power Plant Insurance; Is Radiation Dangerous.; Man-made radiation, What is Nuclear Fuel.; Fuel cycle for commercial nuclear power plants; Warm Water Discharge; Cooling tower; Protection of Radioactive Materials; Plutonium and Proliferation; Disposal of Radioactive Wastes; Are Alternate Energy Sources Available.; Nuclear Opposition; and Nuclear Power in the Future.

  9. 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…

  10. Anatahan Island

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-19

    ... of the Mariana Islands in 1914 (the first year of World War l) and Germany released the islands to Japan in 1919. Japan received a ... States by the United Nations. The wreckage of a World War II B-29 Superfortress, a four-engine propeller-driven bomber, lies on the north ...

  11. Declining sand dune activity in the southern Canadian prairies: Historical context, controls and ecosystem implications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hugenholtz, Chris H.; Bender, Darren; Wolfe, Stephen A.

    2010-11-01

    Sandhills are islands of biodiversity in the southern Canadian prairies that sustain habitat for many rare and endangered species. These unique areas consist of large expanses of dune fields now mostly stabilized by grassland vegetation. Historically, the number of active dunes has decreased significantly due to vegetation stabilization, resulting in a dramatic decline of open-sand habitat for a variety of dune-dependent species. Without a certain level of wind erosion, opportunities for establishment of early-stage, species-rich vegetation types are diminished and open-sand habitat decreases by encroachment of the surrounding grassland vegetation. The current trend of dune stabilization, however, implies that wind erosion is decreasing, thereby threatening the continued existence of a variety of dune-dependent plants, arthropods and vertebrates, as well as other less-specialized species that benefit indirectly from these habitats. By reviewing factors contributing to the historical decline of active dunes, as well as the ecological implications of dune stabilization, the aim of this paper is to establish the biophysical context for new land management strategies that conserve valued landscape components, such as active dunes, and the processes therein. As dune stabilization continues management interventions will be required to sustain or re-establish open sand and the species that rely on these habitats.

  12. 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

  13. 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. PMID:24057801

  14. 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.

  15. Towards an improved land surface scheme for prairie landscapes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mekonnen, M. A.; Wheater, H. S.; Ireson, A. M.; Spence, C.; Davison, B.; Pietroniro, A.

    2014-04-01

    The prairie region of Canada and the United States is characterized by millions of small depressions of glacial origin called prairie potholes. The transfer of surface runoff in this landscape is mainly through a “fill and spill” mechanism among neighboring potholes. While non-contributing areas, that is small internally drained basins, are common on this landscape, during wet periods these areas can become hydrologically connected to larger regional drainage systems. Accurate prediction of prairie surface runoff generation and streamflow thus requires realistic representation of the dynamic threshold-mediated nature of these contributing areas. This paper presents a new prairie surface runoff generation algorithm for land surface schemes and large scale hydrological models that conceptualizes a hydrologic unit as a combination of variable and interacting storage elements. The proposed surface runoff generation algorithm uses a probability density function to represent the spatial variation of pothole storages and assumes a unique relationship between storage and the fractional contributing area for runoff (and hence amount of direct runoff generated) within a grid cell. In this paper the parameters that define this relationship are obtained by calibration against streamflow. The model was compared to an existing hydrology-land surface scheme (HLSS) applied to a typical Canadian prairie catchment, the Assiniboine River. The existing configuration is based on the Canadian Land Surface Scheme (CLASS) and WATROF (a physically-based overland and interflow scheme). The new configuration consists of CLASS coupled with the new PDMROF model. Results showed that the proposed surface runoff generation algorithm performed better at simulating streamflow, and appears to capture the dynamic nature of contributing areas in an effective and parsimonious manner. A pilot evaluation based on 1 m LiDAR data from a small (10 km2) experimental area suggests that the shape of the

  16. Effects of Prairie Reconstruction on Soil-Water and Groundwater Nutrient Concentrations, Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Prairie reconstruction is increasingly viewed as a viable best management practice for reducing nutrient losses in agricultural regions. At the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City, IA, we are monitoring the effects of prairie reconstruction on subsurface water quality at a single sit...

  17. Physiologic Reference Ranges for Captive Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus)

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

    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. PMID:20587156

  18. 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.

  19. 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...

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    PubMed

    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

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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)

  13. 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)

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The Prairie State Games: Organization of Medical Care.

    PubMed

    Noble, H B; Porter, M; Grogg, E P; Robinson, M

    1988-02-01

    In brief: The finals of the Prairie State Games, an Olympic-style sports festival, annually attract nearly 3,000 Illinois amateur athletes, who sustain an average of 265 injuries per year. Although most of the injuries are orthopedic, a moderate number of heat-related problems occur. Most injuries are associated with soccer, wrestling, and basketball. A medical director who is a physician coordinates the efforts of the more than 30 volunteer physicians and 60 athletic trainers who constitute the medical corps. This article describes the guidelines for providing medical care at this large-scale athletic event.

  18. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-04-01

    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. PMID:24484490

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Prairie grass establishment on calcareous reclaimed mine soil.

    PubMed

    Thorne, Mark; Cardina, John

    2011-01-01

    Reclaimed Appalachian surface mined lands have difficulty in sustaining native deciduous forest communities. Establishing prairie communities could increase ecosystem function; however, a native model system does not exist. We evaluated establishment of 15 North American prairie grasses as monocultures on reclaimed mine soil in southeast Ohio in four randomized complete blocks planted May 2005 and 2006. Population density was assessed 30 d after planting (30 DAP) and in October of the planting year (YR1) and second year following planting (YR2) and expressed as percentage of viable seeds sown (PVSS). Canopy cover of nonnative species reestablishing in the plots was measured in 2007. Eastern gamagrass ( L.) population was >50 PVSS in all censuses. Western wheatgrass [ (Rydb.) A. Löve] was initially 7 PVSS at 30 DAP, but increased to 154 PVSS by YR2 from rhizomes spreading into gaps. Big bluestem ( Vitman) was 7 PVSS at 30 DAP and 4 PVSS at YR2. Blue grama [ (Willd. ex Kunth) Lag. ex Griffiths] and sideoats grama [ (Michx.) Torr.] did not survive past YR1. Gaps left from poor stand establishment were primarily recolonized by nonnative Kentucky bluegrass ( L.) in the 2005 planting and birdsfoot trefoil ( L.) in the 2006 planting, but was least in eastern gamagrass and tall dropseed [ (P. Beauv.) Kunth]. This research demonstrates the potential for increasing diversity and species richness on mine soil habitats with regionally native grasses that could increase functional quality through ecological resilience.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Detecting spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground production in a tallgrass prairie using remotely sensed data

    SciTech Connect

    Su, Haiping; Krummel, J.R.; Briggs, J.M.; Knapp, A.K.; Blair, J.M.

    1996-05-01

    Spatial and temporal patterns of aboveground production is a tallgrass prairie ecosystem constitute one of the important spatial components associated with ecological processes and biophysical resources (e.g. water and nutrients). This study addresses the effects of disturbance, topography, and climate on the spatial and temporal patterns of North American tallgrass prairie at a landscape level by using high resolution satellite data. Spatial heterogeneity derived from the satellite data was related to the impacts of the disturbance of fire and grazing, topographical gradient, and amount of precipitation during the growing season. The result suggests that ecological processes and biophysical resources can be quantified with high resolution satellite data for tallgrass prairie management.

  15. 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

    ... of up to 40 years, in a final rule published in the Federal Register on February 16, 2011 (76 FR 8890...) Decision and Rule Update, vacated the NRC's WC Decision and Rule Update (75 FR 81032 and 75 FR 81037). The... SNM-2506 on land use; transportation; socioeconomics; climatology, meteorology and air...

  16. 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

    ... accordance with the NRC E-Filing rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007). The E-Filing process requires... that the filing requirements of the NRC's E-Filing Rule (72 FR 49139; August 28, 2007) apply to appeals... thermal conductance of the neutron absorber and aluminum 1100 plate utilized in the TN-40HT cask from...

  17. 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.

  18. Siberian Islands

    Atmospheric Science Data Center

    2013-04-16

    ... Distinguishing Clouds from Ice over the East Siberian Sea, Russia     View Larger Image ... ocean are visible. The East Siberian Sea is part of the Arctic Ocean and is ice-covered most of the year. The New Siberian Islands are ...

  19. Hawaiian Islands

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    2002-01-01

    This Multiangle Imaging Spectro-Radiometer (MISR) image of five Hawaiian Islands was acquired by the instrument's vertical- viewing (nadir) camera on June 3, 2000. The image shows the islands of Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Kahoolawe. The prevailing Pacific trade winds bring higher levels of rainfall to the eastern slopes of the islands, leading to a greater abundance of vegetation on the windward coasts. The small change in observation angle across the nadir camera's field-of- view causes the right-hand portion of the image to be more affected by Sun glint, making the ocean surface appear brighter. Oahu is the westernmost of the islands seen in this image. Waikiki Beach and the city of Honolulu are located on the southern shore, to the west of Diamond Head caldera. MISR is one of several Earth-observing instruments on the Terra satellite, launched in December 1999. The Terra spacecraft, the flagship of a fleet of satellites dedicated to understanding our global environment, is part of NASA's Earth Sciences Enterprise, a long-term research program dedicated to understanding how human-induced and natural changes affect our world. Image courtesy NASA/GSFC/JPL, MISR Team

  20. 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

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

    1981-05-01

    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

  1. 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

  2. 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. ...

  3. 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.

  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. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Bouncing Back: Plant-Associated Soil Microbes Respond Rapidly to Prairie Establishment

    PubMed Central

    Herzberger, Anna J.; Duncan, David S.; Jackson, Randall D.

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that soil microbial communities change in response to altered land use and land cover, but less is known about the timing of these changes. Understanding temporal patterns in recovering microbial communities is an important part of improving how we assess and manage reconstructed ecosystems. We assessed patterns of community-level microbial diversity and abundance in corn and prairie plots 2 to 4 years after establishment in agricultural fields, using phospholipid fatty acid biomarkers. Principal components analysis of the lipid biomarkers revealed differing composition between corn and prairie soil microbial communities. Despite no changes to the biomass of Gram-positive bacteria and actinomycetes, total biomass, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biomass, and Gram-negative bacteria biomass were significantly higher in restored prairie plots, approaching levels found in long-established prairies. These results indicate that plant-associated soil microbes in agricultural soils can shift in less than 2 years after establishment of perennial grasslands. PMID:25551613

  9. Bouncing back: plant-associated soil microbes respond rapidly to prairie establishment.

    PubMed

    Herzberger, Anna J; Duncan, David S; Jackson, Randall D

    2014-01-01

    It is well established that soil microbial communities change in response to altered land use and land cover, but less is known about the timing of these changes. Understanding temporal patterns in recovering microbial communities is an important part of improving how we assess and manage reconstructed ecosystems. We assessed patterns of community-level microbial diversity and abundance in corn and prairie plots 2 to 4 years after establishment in agricultural fields, using phospholipid fatty acid biomarkers. Principal components analysis of the lipid biomarkers revealed differing composition between corn and prairie soil microbial communities. Despite no changes to the biomass of Gram-positive bacteria and actinomycetes, total biomass, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biomass, and Gram-negative bacteria biomass were significantly higher in restored prairie plots, approaching levels found in long-established prairies. These results indicate that plant-associated soil microbes in agricultural soils can shift in less than 2 years after establishment of perennial grasslands.

  10. 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.

  11. 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. PMID:24493462

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Field-Level Financial Assessment of Contour Prairie Strips for Enhancement of Environmental Quality

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  15. A genetic linkage map and comparative mapping of the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) genome

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background The prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) is an emerging rodent model for investigating the genetics, evolution and molecular mechanisms of social behavior. Though a karyotype for the prairie vole has been reported and low-resolution comparative cytogenetic analyses have been done in this species, other basic genetic resources for this species, such as a genetic linkage map, are lacking. Results Here we report the construction of a genome-wide linkage map of the prairie vole. The linkage map consists of 406 markers that are spaced on average every 7 Mb and span an estimated ~90% of the genome. The sex average length of the linkage map is 1707 cM, which, like other Muroid rodent linkage maps, is on the lower end of the length distribution of linkage maps reported to date for placental mammals. Linkage groups were assigned to 19 out of the 26 prairie vole autosomes as well as the X chromosome. Comparative analyses of the prairie vole linkage map based on the location of 387 Type I markers identified 61 large blocks of synteny with the mouse genome. In addition, the results of the comparative analyses revealed a potential elevated rate of inversions in the prairie vole lineage compared to the laboratory mouse and rat. Conclusions A genetic linkage map of the prairie vole has been constructed and represents the fourth genome-wide high-resolution linkage map reported for Muroid rodents and the first for a member of the Arvicolinae sub-family. This resource will advance studies designed to dissect the genetic basis of a variety of social behaviors and other traits in the prairie vole as well as our understanding of genome evolution in the genus Microtus. PMID:21736755

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Comparison of capture-recapture and visual count indices of prairie dog densities in black-footed ferret habitat

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Fagerstone, Kathleen A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    1986-01-01

    Black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) are dependent on prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) for food and on their burrows for shelter and rearing young. A stable prairie dog population may therefore be the most important factor determining the survival of ferrets. A rapid method of determining prairie dog density would be useful for assessing prairie dog density in colonies currently occupied by ferrets and for selecting prairie dog colonies in other areas for ferret translocation. This study showed that visual counts can provide a rapid density estimate. Visual counts of white-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys leucurus) were significantly correlated (r = 0.95) with mark-recapture population density estimates on two study areas near Meeteetse, Wyoming. Suggestions are given for use of visual counts.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Stormwater runoff policy on the Spokane/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer

    SciTech Connect

    Hale, E.O.

    1990-01-01

    The Panhandle Health District, in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Water Resources, is developing a stormwater runoff control program under the US EPA Wellhead Protection Program. The goal of the project is to protect the Spokane Valley/Rathdrum Prairie Aquifer from widespread subsurface disposal of stormwater runoff via shallow injection wells. Studies conducted by the health district in 1976 and 1977 established that areas downgradient from urban land uses had elevated nitrate level sand that the aquifer is vulnerable to contamination from surface activities. The stormwater runoff controls are being developed in conjunction with similar programs, such as chemical storage and use, solid waste and subsurface sewage disposal. The expected result will be a groundwater management system that protects the resource by preventing contamination rather than a program that responds to poor water quality with costly remedial action.

  5. 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.

  6. High resolution ion Doppler spectroscopy at Prairie View Rotamak.

    PubMed

    Houshmandyar, Saeid; Yang, Xiaokang; Magee, Richard

    2012-10-01

    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 ~130% increase in ion temperature. Flow measurements are shown to be consistent with plasma rotation.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Estimated areal extent of colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sidle, John G.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Euliss, Betty R.

    2001-01-01

    During 1997–1998, we undertook an aerial survey, with an aerial line-intercept technique, to estimate the extent of colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the northern Great Plains states of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. We stratified the survey based on knowledge of colony locations, computed 2 types of estimates for each stratum, and combined ratio estimates for high-density strata with average density estimates for low-density strata. Estimates of colony areas for black-tailed prairie dogs were derived from the average percentages of lines intercepting prairie dog colonies and ratio estimators. We selected the best estimator based on the correlation between length of transect line and length of intercepted colonies. Active colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs occupied 2,377.8 km2 ± 186.4 SE, whereas inactive colonies occupied 560.4 ± 89.2 km2. These data represent the 1st quantitative assessment of black-tailed prairie dog colonies in the northern Great Plains. The survey dispels popular notions that millions of hectares of colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs exist in the northern Great Plains and can form the basis for future survey efforts.

  11. Water-quality along selected flowpaths in the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer, southeastern Minnesota

    SciTech Connect

    Smith, S.E. )

    1994-04-01

    The Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer in southeastern Minnesota is comprised of the dolomitic Prairie du Chien Group and the underlying Jordan Sandstone. Differences in water quality between the Prairie du Chien and the Jordan parts of the aquifer were investigated by sampling 139 wells in six study areas within Hennepin, Dakota, and Olmsted Counties. The study areas, which represent paths of groundwater flow through the aquifer, averaged 13 miles long and 3 miles wide. The wells were screened in the Jordan, Prairie du Chien, and overlying aquifers. Concentrations of tritium, nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, and chloride were useful indicators of the actual and potential extent of human-related contamination of the aquifer. Differences in water quality were related to land use, aquifer permeability, thickness and lithology of overlying units, presence of confining units, flow path length, and well construction. Water samples from wells completed in the Jordan aquifer have lower tritium, nitrite plus nitrate nitrogen, and chloride concentrations than samples from wells completed in the overlying Prairie du Chien, St. Peter, and glacial drift aquifers. The distribution of these indicators on vertical sections of the aquifer, geochemical analysis of saturation indices (WATEQF), piper diagrams, and statistical analyses were used to analyze the hydrogeology and sensitivity to contamination of the Prairie du Chien-Jordan aquifer.

  12. 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.

  13. Estimated areal extent of colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs in the northern Great Plains

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sidle, John G.; Johnson, D.H.; Euliss, B.R.

    2001-01-01

    During 1997-1998, we undertook an aerial survey, with an aerial line-intercept technique, to estimate the extent of colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) in the northern Great Plains states of Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. We stratified the survey based on knowledge of colony locations, computed 2 types of estimates for each stratum, and combined ratio estimates for high-density strata with average density estimates for low-density strata. Estimates of colony areas for black-tailed prairie dogs were derived from the average percentages of lines intercepting prairie dog colonies and ratio estimators. We selected the best estimator based on the correlation between length of transect line and length of intercepted colonies. Active colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs occupied 2,377.8 km2 i?? 186.4 SE, whereas inactive colonies occupied 560.4 i?? 89.2 km2. These data represent the 1st quantitative assessment of prairie-dog colonies in the northern Great Plains. The survey dispels popular notions that millions of square kilometers of colonies of black-tailed prairie dogs exist in the northern Great Plains and can form the basis for future survey efforts

  14. 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. PMID:26342968

  15. Modelling the effects of Prairie wetlands on streamflow

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shook, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2015-12-01

    Recent research has demonstrated that the contributing areas of Prairie streams dominated by depressional (wetland) storage demonstrate hysteresis with respect to catchment water storage. As such contributing fractions can vary over time from a very small percentage of catchment area to the entire catchment during floods. However, catchments display complex memories of past storage states and their contributing fractions cannot be modelled accurately by any single-valued function. The Cold Regions Hydrological Modelling platform, CRHM, which is capable of modelling all of the hydrological processes of cold regions using a hydrological response unit discretization of the catchment, was used to further investigate dynamical contributing area response to hydrological processes. Contributing fraction in CRHM is also controlled by the episodic nature of runoff generation in this cold, sub-humid environment where runoff is dominated by snowmelt over frozen soils, snowdrifts define the contributing fraction in late spring, unfrozen soils have high water holding capacity and baseflow from sub-surface flow does not exist. CRHM was improved by adding a conceptual model of individual Prairie depression fill and spill runoff generation that displays hysteresis in the storage - contributing fraction relationship and memory of storage state. The contributing area estimated by CRHM shows strong sensitivity to hydrological inputs, storage and the threshold runoff rate chosen. The response of the contributing area to inputs from various runoff generating processes from snowmelt to rain-on-snow to rainfall with differing degrees of spatial variation was investigated as was the importance of the memory of storage states on streamflow generation. The importance of selecting hydrologically and ecologically meaningful runoff thresholds in estimating contributing area is emphasized.

  16. Modeling annual mallard production in the prairie-parkland region

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, M.W.

    2000-01-01

    Biologists have proposed several environmental factors that might influence production of mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) nesting in the prairie-parkland region of the United States and Canada. These factors include precipitation, cold spring temperatures, wetland abundance, and upland breeding habitat. I used long-term historical data sets of climate, wetland numbers, agricultural land use, and size of breeding mallard populations in multiple regression analyses to model annual indices of mallard production. Models were constructed at 2 scales: a continental scale that encompassed most of the mid-continental breeding range of mallards and a stratum-level scale that included 23 portions of that same breeding range. The production index at the continental scale was the estimated age ratio of mid-continental mallards in early fall; at the stratum scale my production index was the estimated number of broods of all duck species within an aerial survey stratum. Size of breeding mallard populations in May, and pond numbers in May and July, best modeled production at the continental scale. Variables that best modeled production at the stratum scale differed by region. Crop variables tended to appear more in models for western Canadian strata; pond variables predominated in models for United States strata; and spring temperature and pond variables dominated models for eastern Canadian strata. An index of cold spring temperatures appeared in 4 of 6 models for aspen parkland strata, and in only 1 of 11 models for strata dominated by prairie. Stratum-level models suggest that regional factors influencing mallard production are not evident at a larger scale. Testing these potential factors in a manipulative fashion would improve our understanding of mallard population dynamics, improving our ability to manage the mid-continental mallard population.

  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. Memory effects of depressional storage in Northern Prairie hydrology

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shook, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    The hydrography of the Prairies of western Canada and the northern United States is unusual in that much of this region drains into small depressions forming wetlands, rather than being connected to a large-scale drainage system. In droughts many of these water bodies completely dry up, whilst in wet periods their expansion can cause infrastructure damage. As wetlands expand and contract with changing water levels, connections among them are formed and broken. The change in hydrographic connectivity dynamically changes the hydrological response of basins by controlling the area of the basin which contributes discharge to local streams. As a result spring high flow events are usually associated with both snowmelt and rapid expansion of the contributing area. Contributing area rapidly declines after snowmelt and streamflow often ceases by early summer. The depressional storage of water in wetlands within these basins also causes flows to show “memory” effects, where outflow during a given year is related to inputs from previous years. Simple models of interconnected wetlands, when forced with physically-based calculations of hydrological processes, demonstrate the same type of memory and also show that the effects of initial states may persist over several years. To date, hydrological models of prairie wetland basins have been restricted to modelling fewer than 20 wetlands. However, even moderately-sized basins may have tens of thousands of wetlands, and it is impossible to know the state of each wetland at the beginning of a model run. Therefore, it is necessary to upscale deterministic models to model the hydrological response of an entire basin.

  19. Nighttime transpiration is highly variable within a tallgrass prairie community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    O'Keefe, K.; Nippert, J. B.

    2014-12-01

    Nighttime transpiration may have significant consequences on plant functioning and earth-atmosphere water fluxes, yet little is known about how this process can vary among species or with environmental changes, particularly in grassland ecosystems. We measured leaf-level nighttime transpiration and daytime photosynthetic rates, as well as whole-plant sap flow rates on eight grass, forb and shrub species in a Kansas tallgrass prairie. Measurements were made periodically across a single growing season (May-August 2014) on three C4 grasses (Andropogon gerardii, Sorghastrum nutans and Panicum virgatum), two C3 forbs (Vernonia baldwinii and Solidago canidensis), and three C3 shrubs (Cornus drummondii, Rhus glabra and Amorpha canescens). At the leaf level, nighttime transpiration rates varied among species and across the growing season. Nighttime transpiration was greater in the three grass species compared to the forbs and shrubs early in the growing season. As the growing season progressed, nighttime transpiration increased and then decreased in all species. These results are consistent with patterns of decreasing daytime stomatal conductance and photosynthetic rates as the growing season became hotter and drier. Nighttime sap flow rates also varied among species and typically accounted for over 10% of total daily water flux at the whole-plant level. These results show that nighttime transpiration is species specific and variable at a small spatial scale. Nighttime transpiration can therefore be a significant portion of a plant water budget in a tallgrass prairie, is highly variable within a community, and is dynamic in response to changing environmental conditions. Forecasts of future ecosystem responses to a changing climate must account for plant water use and loss at night.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Helicobacter marmotae and novel Helicobacter and Campylobacter species isolated from the livers and intestines of prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Beisele, Maike; Shen, Zeli; Parry, Nicola; Mobley, Melissa; Taylor, Nancy S; Buckley, Ellen; Abedin, Mohammad Z; Dewhirst, Floyd E; Fox, James G

    2011-09-01

    Prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) are used to study the aetiology and prevention of gallstones because of the similarities of prairie dog and human bile gallstone composition. Epidemiological and experimental studies have suggested a connection between infection with Helicobacter species and cholesterol cholelithiasis, cholecystis and gallbladder cancer. Ten of the 34 prairie dogs in this study had positive Helicobacter species identified by PCR using Helicobacter genus-specific primers. Ten of 34 prairie dogs had positive Campylobacter species identified in the intestine by PCR with Campylobacter genus-specific primers. Six Helicobacter sp. isolates and three Campylobacter sp. isolates were identified taxonomically by 16S rRNA gene analysis. The prairie dog helicobacters fell into three clusters adjacent to Helicobacter marmotae. On the basis of 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis, three strains in two adjacent clusters were included in the species H. marmotae. Three strains were only 97.1 % similar to the sequence of H. marmotae and can be considered a novel species with the provisional designation Helicobacter sp. Prairie Dog 3. The prairie dog campylobacters formed a single novel cluster and represent a novel Campylobacter sp. with the provisional designation Campylobacter sp. Prairie Dog. They branched with Campylobacter cuniculorum at 96.3 % similarity and had the greatest sequence similarity to Campylobacter helveticus at 97.1 % similarity. Whether H. marmotae or the novel Helicobacter sp. and Campylobacter sp. identified in prairie dogs play a role in cholesterol gallstones or hepatobiliary disease requires further studies. PMID:21546560

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, D.H.

    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. 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

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

    PubMed

    Hopson, Rebecca; Meiman, Paul; Shannon, Graeme

    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

  8. 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

  9. Solomon Islands.

    PubMed

    1988-06-01

    The Solomon Islands, which form an archipelago in the Southwest Pacific about 1900 km northeast of Australia, are described. Included are brief descriptions about such points as geography, people, history, type of government, political conditions, economy, and foreign relations. In 1987 the population was 301,180 (49% under age 14); the annual growth rate was 3.67%. The infant mortality rate is 46/1000; the life expectancy, 54 years. Health conditions in the Solomons generally are adequate, and the country does not suffer from serious endemic diseases other than malaria, in both the vivax and falsiparum strains. Hospitals and pharmacies are limited to population centers and missions. PMID:12177986

  10. Island of Kauai, Hawaii

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1983-01-01

    The island of Kauai, of the Hawaiian Island archipelago (22.0N, 159.5W) peeks out from scattered cloud cover. The island's volcanic origins are easily seen by the distinctive lava flow topography and lush vegetation.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Tenarife Island, Canary Island Archipelago, Atlantic Ocean

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1991-01-01

    Tenarife Island is one of the most volcanically active of the Canary Island archipelago, Atlantic Ocean, just off the NW coast of Africa, (28.5N, 16.5W). The old central caldera, nearly filled in by successive volcanic activity culminating in two stratocones. From those two peaks, a line of smaller cinder cones extend to the point of the island. Extensive gullies dissect the west side of the island and some forests still remain on the east side.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of Sexual Dimorphism and Landscape Composition on the Trophic Behavior of Greater Prairie-Chicken

    PubMed Central

    Blanco-Fontao, Beatriz; Sandercock, Brett K.; Obeso, José Ramón; McNew, Lance B.; Quevedo, Mario

    2013-01-01

    Partitioning of ecological niche is expected in lekking species that show marked sexual size dimorphism as a consequence of sex-specific ecological constraints. However, niche partitioning is uncertain in species with moderate sexual dimorphism. In addition, the ecological niche of a species may also be affected by landscape composition; particularly, agricultural fragmentation may greatly influence the trophic behavior of herbivores. We studied trophic niche variation in Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido), a grouse species that shows moderate sex-dimorphism. Greater Prairie-Chickens are native to tallgrass prairies of North America, although populations persist in less natural mosaics of cropland and native habitats. We used stable isotope analysis of carbon and nitrogen in blood, claws and feathers to assess seasonal differences in trophic niche breadth and individual specialization between male and female Greater Prairie-Chickens, and between birds living in continuous and fragmented landscapes. We found that females showed broader niches and higher individual specialization than males, especially in winter and autumn. However, differences between females and males were smaller in spring when birds converge at leks, suggesting that females and males may exhibit similar feeding behaviors during the lekking period. In addition, we found that birds living in native prairies showed greater annual trophic variability than conspecifics in agricultural mosaic landscapes. Native habitats may provide greater dietary diversity, resulting in greater diversity of feeding strategies. PMID:24244588

  18. Management of northern prairies and wetlands for the conservation of neotropical migratory birds

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Johnson, Douglas H.

    1996-01-01

    Grasslands and wetlands of the northern prairies provide important breeding habitat for a number of birds. Deciding which species deserve most attention in managing those habitats depends, in part, on the importance of the area to the species. Many species in northern prairies are more common elsewhere and need no special consideration in that area. Several species, however, are critically dependent on the prairies. These species merit particular attention if protection of biodiversity is a goal. Both grasslands and wetlands in the northern prairies have been extensively converted for agricultural use, which has reduced the value of these habitats for breeding birds. Most land-use changes took place before monitoring programs for birds began, so quantitative assessments of changes in avian populations are lacking. This paper discusses the status of bird populations in the northern prairies, key upland and wetland habitats, effects of common management practices, and issues that specifically result from a landscape perspective. Most management practices are employed for other objectives; consequences to nongame birds are incidental, but vitally important to some species.

  19. 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.

  20. Trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates formation of partner preference in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Duclot, F; Wang, H; Youssef, C; Liu, Y; Wang, Z; Kabbaj, M

    2016-05-01

    In the socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the development of a social bonding is indicated by the formation of partner preference, which involves a variety of environmental and neurochemical factors and brain structures. In a most recent study in female prairie voles, we found that treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates the formation of partner preference through up-regulation of oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) genes expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TSA treatment also facilitates partner preference formation and alters OTR and V1aR genes expression in the NAcc in male prairie voles. We thus observed that central injection of TSA dose-dependently promoted the formation of partner preference in the absence of mating in male prairie voles. Interestingly, TSA treatment up-regulated OTR, but not V1aR, gene expression in the NAcc similarly as they were affected by mating - an essential process for naturally occurring partner preference. These data, together with others, not only indicate the involvement of epigenetic events but also the potential role of NAcc oxytocin in the regulation of partner preference in both male and female prairie voles.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates formation of partner preference in male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Duclot, F; Wang, H; Youssef, C; Liu, Y; Wang, Z; Kabbaj, M

    2016-05-01

    In the socially monogamous prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster), the development of a social bonding is indicated by the formation of partner preference, which involves a variety of environmental and neurochemical factors and brain structures. In a most recent study in female prairie voles, we found that treatment with the histone deacetylase inhibitor trichostatin A (TSA) facilitates the formation of partner preference through up-regulation of oxytocin receptor (OTR) and vasopressin V1a receptor (V1aR) genes expression in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that TSA treatment also facilitates partner preference formation and alters OTR and V1aR genes expression in the NAcc in male prairie voles. We thus observed that central injection of TSA dose-dependently promoted the formation of partner preference in the absence of mating in male prairie voles. Interestingly, TSA treatment up-regulated OTR, but not V1aR, gene expression in the NAcc similarly as they were affected by mating - an essential process for naturally occurring partner preference. These data, together with others, not only indicate the involvement of epigenetic events but also the potential role of NAcc oxytocin in the regulation of partner preference in both male and female prairie voles. PMID:27074037

  5. 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...

  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. 76 FR 20911 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; 90-Day Finding on a Petition To List the Prairie...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-04-14

    ... trends, including: (a) Habitat requirements for feeding, breeding, and sheltering; (b) Genetics and... Lake, Salt Fork of the Red River, Prairie Dog Town Fork of the Red River, Buck Creek, Pease River... Robinson 2004, p. 126). The peppered and prairie chubs are considered sister species with similar...

  8. 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…

  9. 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...

  10. 76 FR 31906 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Revising the Special Rule for the Utah Prairie Dog

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-06-02

    ... prairie dog (Cynomys parvidens) was listed as an endangered species on June 4, 1973 (38 FR 14678... incorporated into the ESA of 1973, as amended (39 FR 1158; see page 1171). On May 29, 1984, the Service reclassified the Utah prairie dog from endangered to threatened (49 FR 22330) and developed a special...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. 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.

  17. Microbial response to drought in a Texas highplains shortgrass prairie.

    PubMed

    Thayer, D W

    1974-10-01

    The population of the microbial flora of a mixed blue gramma grass (Bouteloua gracilis H. B. K.) and prickly pear (Opuntia polyacantha Haw.) prairie near Amarillo, Texas, was studied during 1971 after a severe drought. Bacteria, fungi, and algae were estimated by plate count and terminal dilution procedures. Rates of grass and paper decomposition were determined. The microbial flora of soil associated with bovine-grazed grass did not differ significantly from the flora associated with ungrazed grass, either qualitatively or quantitatively. During drought, a greater number of fungi were found in soil associated with prickly pear than in that associated with blue gramma grass. The microbial biomass decreased one full log between the surface and a depth of 50 cm, and the percentage of anaerobes increased with depth. The maximum numbers of fungi and algae detected were 8 x 10 and 6 x 10/g respectively. A linear relationship existed between the microbial biomass and soil moisture. The maximum number of aerobic, heterotrophic bacteria detected was 1.5 x 10 viable cells per g of soil.

  18. Acoustic structures in the alarm calls of Gunnison's prairie dogs.

    PubMed

    Slobodchikoff, C N; Placer, J

    2006-05-01

    Acoustic structures of sound in Gunnison's prairie dog alarm calls are described, showing how these acoustic structures may encode information about three different predator species (red-tailed hawk-Buteo jamaicensis; domestic dog-Canis familaris; and coyote-Canis latrans). By dividing each alarm call into 25 equal-sized partitions and using resonant frequencies within each partition, commonly occurring acoustic structures were identified as components of alarm calls for the three predators. Although most of the acoustic structures appeared in alarm calls elicited by all three predator species, the frequency of occurrence of these acoustic structures varied among the alarm calls for the different predators, suggesting that these structures encode identifying information for each of the predators. A classification analysis of alarm calls elicited by each of the three predators showed that acoustic structures could correctly classify 67% of the calls elicited by domestic dogs, 73% of the calls elicited by coyotes, and 99% of the calls elicited by red-tailed hawks. The different distributions of acoustic structures associated with alarm calls for the three predator species suggest a duality of function, one of the design elements of language listed by Hockett [in Animal Sounds and Communication, edited by W. E. Lanyon and W. N. Tavolga (American Institute of Biological Sciences, Washington, DC, 1960), pp. 392-430]. PMID:16708970

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. An impending water crisis in Canada's western prairie provinces.

    PubMed

    Schindler, D W; Donahue, W F

    2006-05-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Prevalence of mycoplasma antibodies in lesser prairie-chicken sera.

    PubMed

    Hagen, Christian A; Crupper, Scott S; Applegate, Roger D; Robel, Robert J

    2002-01-01

    Serologic testing by the serum plate agglutination (SPA) procedure was performed to detect the presence of cross-reacting antibodies to Mycoplasma meleagridis, Mycoplasma synoviae, and Mycoplasma gallisepticum in lesser prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) trapped over a 2-yr period in Finney and Kearny counties of southwestern Kansas. Sera examined from birds (n = 50) obtained in March-April 2000 tested positive for M meleagridis, M. synoviae, and M. gallisepticum at levels of 6%, 10%, and 10%, respectively, for the population examined. Mycoplasma meleagridis antibodies were detected in 3 samples (2.7%), M. synoviae antibodies in 2 samples (1.7%), and M. gallisepticum antibodies in 3 samples (2.7%) from birds (n = 112) collected in March-April 2001. Data obtained by SPA can result in false positives and should be verified by additional procedures such as the hemagglutination-inhibition test. Low amounts of sera prohibited this additional testing. Thus, the positive SPA results should be considered presumptive for the presence of Mycoplasma antibodies. Although Mycoplasma antibodies have been detected in wild turkeys (Meleagris gallopavo) from Kingman and Butler counties in Kansas, this report is the first of possible mycoplasmosis in Finney and Kearny counties, Kansas. All birds testing positive by this procedure should be considered as potential carriers of Mycoplasma and should not be used in relocation efforts.

  7. 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.

  8. Covariance of greenness and terrain variables over the Konza Prairie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Davis, Frank W.; Dubayah, Ralph; Dozier, Jeff; Hall, Forrest G.

    1989-01-01

    An analysis is made of time-dependent covariance of the greenness vegetation index with mapped terrain variables over the Konza Prarie (Kansas) during the 1987 growing season. The analysis was part of an ongoing project to establish appopriate ground-sampling and data-integration strategies for satellite-based monitoring of land surface climate conditions. Greenness images for six dates between May and October were derived from atmospherically corrected thematic mapper (TM) data and coregistered with maps of woody vegetation, fire, and soils. Local variance in greenness peaked in mid-June, falling rapidly until mid-August, and declining gradually thereafter. Greenness images exhibited positive autocorrelation up to distances of 180-210 m, but the dominant scale of pattern occurred at a block size of 60 m by 60 m throughout the growing season. 40-44 percent of total scene variance in July and August was accounted for by the effects of woody vegetation (8.9 percent of the area), prairie burning, and soil type. The effect of these terrain variables was fairly consistent between June and late August and was manifested as additional high-frequency spatial variation in imagery from that period.

  9. 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. PMID:26409174

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Nuclear power after Chernobyl.

    PubMed

    Ahearne, J F

    1987-05-01

    The causes and progress of the accident at Chernobyl are described, and a comparison between the Chernobyl accident and the 1979 accident at the Three Mile Island nuclear power station is made. Significant similarities between Chernobyl and Three Mile Island include complacency of operators and industry, deliberate negation of safety systems, and a lack of understanding of their plant on the part of the operators, which shows the critical importance of the human element. The Chernobyl accident has implications for nuclear power in the United States; it will affect the research program of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, regulation of Department of Energy reactors, new reactor designs, and public attitudes. PMID:3576192

  14. Effects of genetic variation and growing condition of prairie cordgrass on feedstock composition and ethanol yield.

    PubMed

    Kim, Sun Min; Guo, Jia; Kwak, Suryang; Jin, Yong-Su; Lee, D K; Singh, Vijay

    2015-05-01

    Prairie cordgrass (Spartina pectinata L.) has the potential to be a feedstock for bioethanol. It is native to North America, and has extensive genetic diversity. Eleven natural populations of prairie cordgrass harvested in 2011 and 2012 were studied. Compositions of the samples showed significant differences within the same year, and between the two years. Two highest, one medium and two lowest glucan concentration samples from each year were selected to evaluate ethanol yield after dilute acid pretreatment and simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation using Saccharomycescerevisiae SR8 that can ferment both glucose and xylose. Up to 88% of theoretical ethanol yields were achieved. Our research demonstrates the potential of prairie cordgrass as a dedicated energy crop with ethanol yields of 205.0-275.6 g/kg biomass and 1748-4368 L/ha, depending on feedstock composition and biomass yield. These ethanol yields are comparable with those of switchgrass, corn stover and bagasse. PMID:25723129

  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. Orthopoxvirus variola infection of Cynomys ludovicianus (North American black tailed prairie dog).

    PubMed

    Carroll, Darin S; Olson, Victoria A; Smith, Scott K; Braden, Zach H; Patel, Nishi; Abel, Jason; Li, Yu; Damon, Inger K; Karem, Kevin L

    2013-09-01

    Since the eradication of Smallpox, researchers have attempted to study Orthopoxvirus pathogenesis and immunity in animal models in order to correlate results human smallpox. A solely human pathogen, Orthopoxvirus variola fails to produce authentic smallpox illness in any other animal species tested to date. In 2003, an outbreak in the USA of Orthopoxvirus monkeypox, revealed the susceptibility of the North American black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) to infection and fulminate disease. Prairie dogs infected with Orthopoxvirus monkeypox present with a clinical scenario similar to ordinary smallpox, including prodrome, rash, and high mortality. This study examines if Black-tailed prairie dogs can become infected with O. variola and serve as a surrogate model for the study of human smallpox disease. Substantive evidence of infection is found in immunological seroconversion of animals to either intranasal or intradermal challenges with O. variola, but in the absence of overt illness. PMID:23809939

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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. PMID:27144274

  1. Patterns of diversity and adaptation in Glomeromycota from three prairie grasslands.

    PubMed

    Ji, Baoming; Gehring, Catherine A; Wilson, Gail W T; Miller, R M; Flores-Rentería, Lluvia; Johnson, Nancy Collins

    2013-05-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are widespread root symbionts that often improve the fitness of their plant hosts. We tested whether local adaptation in mycorrhizal symbioses would shape the community structure of these root symbionts in a way that maximizes their symbiotic functioning. We grew a native prairie grass (Andropogon gerardii) with all possible combinations of soils and AM fungal inocula from three different prairies that varied in soil characteristics and disturbance history (two native prairie remnants and one recently restored). We identified the AM fungi colonizing A. gerardii roots using PCR amplification and cloning of the small subunit rRNA gene. We observed 13 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) belonging to six genera in three families. Taxonomic richness was higher in the restored than the native prairies with one member of the Gigaspora dominating the roots of plants grown with inocula from native prairies. Inoculum source and the soil environment influenced the composition of AM fungi that colonized plant roots. Correspondingly, host plants and AM fungi responded significantly to the soil-inoculum combinations such that home fungi often had the highest fitness and provided the greatest benefit to A. gerardii. Similar patterns were observed within the soil-inoculum combinations originating from two native prairies, where five sequence types of a single Gigaspora OTU were virtually the only root colonizers. Our results indicate that indigenous assemblages of AM fungi were adapted to the local soil environment and that this process occurred both at a community scale and at the scale of fungal sequence types within a dominant OTU.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  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. Separability of soils in a tallgrass prairie using SPOT and DEM data

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Su, Haiping; Ransom, Michel D.; Yang, Shie-Shien; Kanemasu, Edward T.

    1990-01-01

    An investigation is conducted which uses a canonical transformation technique to reduce the features from SPOT and DEM data and evaluates the statistical separability of several prairie soils from the canonically transformed variables. Both SPOT and DEM data was gathered for a tallgrass prairie near Manhattan, Kansas, and high resolution SPOT satellite images were integrated with DEM data. Two canonical variables derived from training samples were selected and it is suggested that canonically transformed data were superior to combined SPOT and DEM data. High resolution SPOT images and DEM data can be used to aid second-order soil surveys in grasslands.

  7. Forage intake and digestion by cattle grazing midgrass prairie rangeland or sideoats grama/sweetclover pasture.

    PubMed

    Gunter, S A; McCollum, F T; Gillen, R L; Krysl, L J

    1993-12-01

    In mid-May, beef cattle fitted with esophageal (four steers/pasture) or ruminal and duodenal cannulas (six heifers/pasture; 274 +/- 6 kg BW +/- SE) grazed midgrass prairie (excellent range condition; PRAIRIE) or a seeded mixture of sideoats grama (48% of pasture DM) and sweetclover (6% of pasture DM; Bouteloua curtipendula [Michx.] Torr./Melilotus officinalis [L.] Lam.; PASTURE). Masticate NDF, ADF, and in vitro OM disappearance did not differ (P > .11) between forage types (average = 66.6, 36.1, and 58.8% of OM). Only N differed (P = .02) between PRAIRIE (2.1) and PASTURE (2.4% of OM). Extents of in situ OM and N disappearance were greater (P < .05) and rate of N disappearance between 12 and 36 h was slower (P < .10) from PRAIRIE than from PASTURE masticate. Based on in situ data, the ruminally degraded N: ruminally degraded OM (grams/kilogram) ratio differed (P < .05) between PRAIRIE (22) and PASTURE (25). Ruminal ammonia N concentration (milligrams/deciliter) was less (P = .02) for PRAIRIE (2.8) than for PASTURE (3.8). Forage OM intake and fecal OM output did not differ (P > .72; average = 8,207 and 3,380 g/d), but duodenal OM flow tended (P = .13) to be greater (PRAIRIE = 4,892, PASTURE = 5,170 g/d) in cattle grazing PASTURE. Apparent and true ruminal OM digestion did not differ between forage types (P > .18; average = 38.3 and 48.5%). Nitrogen intake, nonammonia N, and forage N flow at the duodenum were greater (P < .04) for PASTURE (198 vs 171, 242 vs 210, and 162 vs 135 g/d) than for PRAIRIE. Microbial N flow (average = 78 g/d) and microbial efficiency (average = 20 g of microbial N/kg of OM truly fermented) did not differ (P > .25) between forage types. Apparent and true ruminal N digestion did not differ (P > .65; average = -26.6 and 19.3%) between forage types. Flow of nonammonia N was in excess relative to digestible OM intake; hence, digestible OM intake seemed to be first-limiting for performance by cattle grazing either forage type.

  8. 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.

  9. Proceedings of the Black-footed Ferret & Prairie Dog Workshop, September 4-6, 1973

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Linder, R.L., (compiler); Hillman, C.N., (compiler)

    1973-01-01

    Both State and Federal agencies have been working with the black-footed ferret and prairie dog during the past few years. Much of the work is not extensive enough for publication in scientific journals and is, therefore, not reported. The objective of this Workshop was to bring workers together for discussion of the current status of the two species. Each of the Conservation Departments in the states and provinces within the former range of the prairie dog and the black-footed ferret was invited to participate. Federal agencies were also invited to report on current programs in progress on public lands.

  10. 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

  11. Influence of male gonadal hormones and familiarity on pregnancy interruption in prairie voles.

    PubMed

    Smale, L

    1988-08-01

    Pregnancy interruption (PI) was examined in female prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster, exposed to stimuli from males 7 to 12 days after pairing. Urine from unfamiliar males interrupted pregnancy when placed directly on the external nares of newly mated females, but urine from familiar stud males was without effect. Castration of males did not reduce the efficacy of unfamiliar male urine in interrupting pregnancy. The neuroendocrine system of female prairie voles responded selectively to male urine as a function of its familiarity; the efficacy of male stimuli leading to PI was not dependent on gonadal hormones. PMID:3061485

  12. Hawaiian Island Archipelago

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1985-01-01

    The entire Hawaiian Island Archipelago (21.5N, 158.0W) is seen in this single view. The islands are a favorite international resort and tourist attraction drawing visitors from all over the world to enjoy the tropical climate, year round beaches and lush island flora. Being volcanic in origin, the islands' offer a rugged landscape and on the big island of Hawaii, there is still an occasional volcanic eruption of lava flows and steam vents.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Mycorrhizas influence functional traits of two tallgrass prairie species.

    PubMed

    Weremijewicz, Joanna; Seto, Kotaro

    2016-06-01

    Over the past decade, functional traits that influence plant performance and thus, population, community, and ecosystem biology have garnered increasing attention. Generally lacking, however, has been consideration of how ubiquitous arbuscular mycorrhizas influence plant allometric and stoichiometric functional traits. We assessed how plant dependence on and responsiveness to mycorrhizas influence plant functional traits of a warm-season, C4 grass, Andropogon gerardii Vitman, and the contrasting, cool-season, C3 grass, Elymus canadensis L. We grew both host species with and without inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi, across a broad gradient of soil phosphorus availabilities. Both host species were facultatively mycotrophic, able to grow without mycorrhizas at high soil phosphorus availability. A. gerardii was most dependent upon mycorrhizas and E. canadensis was weakly dependent, but highly responsive to mycorrhizas. The high dependence of A. gerardii on mycorrhizas resulted in higher tissue P and N concentrations of inoculated than noninoculated plants. When not inoculated, E. canadensis was able to take up both P and N in similar amounts to inoculated plants because of its weak dependence on mycorrhizas for nutrient uptake and its pronounced ability to change root-to-shoot ratios. Unlike other highly dependent species, A. gerardii had a high root-to-shoot ratio and was able to suppress colonization by mycorrhizal fungi at high soil fertilities. E. canadensis, however, was unable to suppress colonization and had a lower root-to shoot ratio than A. gerardii. The mycorrhiza-related functional traits of both host species likely influence their performance in nature: both species attained the maximum responsiveness from mycorrhizas at soil phosphorus availabilities similar to those of tallgrass prairies. Dependence upon mycorrhizas affects performance in the absence of mycorrhizas. Responsiveness to mycorrhizal fungi is also a function of the environment and

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Aerosol optical depth retrievals over the Konza Prairie

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bruegge, Carol J.; Halthore, Rangasayi N.; Markham, Brian; Spanner, Michael; Wrigley, Robert

    1992-01-01

    The aerosol optical depth over the Konza Prairie, near Manhattan, Kansas, was recorded at various locations by five separate teams. These measurements were made in support of the First ISLSCP Field Experiment (FIFE) and used to correct imagery from a variety of satellite and aircraft sensors for the effects of atmospheric scattering and absorption. The results from one instrument are reported here for 26 days in 1987 and for 7 in 1989. Daily averages span a range of 0.05 to 0.28 in the midvisible wavelengths. In addition, diurnal variations are noted in which the afternoon optical depths are greater than those of the morning by as much as 0.07. A comparison between instruments and processing techniques used to determine these aerosol optical depths is provided. The first comparisons are made using summer 1987 data. Differences of as much as 0.05 (midvisible) are observed. Although these data allow reasonable surface reflectance retrievals, they do not agree to within the performance limits typically associated with these types of instruments. With an accuracy goal of 0.02 a preseason calibration/comparison experiment was conducted at a mountain site prior to the final field campaign in 1989. Good calibration data were obtained, and good agreement (0.01, midvisible) was observed in the retrieved optical depth acquired over the Konza. By comparing data from the surface instruments at different locations, spatial inhomogeneities are determined. Then, data from the airborne tracking sunphotometer allow one to determine variations as a function of altitude. Finally, a technique is proposed for using the in situ data to establish an instrument calibration.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Mycorrhizas influence functional traits of two tallgrass prairie species.

    PubMed

    Weremijewicz, Joanna; Seto, Kotaro

    2016-06-01

    Over the past decade, functional traits that influence plant performance and thus, population, community, and ecosystem biology have garnered increasing attention. Generally lacking, however, has been consideration of how ubiquitous arbuscular mycorrhizas influence plant allometric and stoichiometric functional traits. We assessed how plant dependence on and responsiveness to mycorrhizas influence plant functional traits of a warm-season, C4 grass, Andropogon gerardii Vitman, and the contrasting, cool-season, C3 grass, Elymus canadensis L. We grew both host species with and without inoculation with mycorrhizal fungi, across a broad gradient of soil phosphorus availabilities. Both host species were facultatively mycotrophic, able to grow without mycorrhizas at high soil phosphorus availability. A. gerardii was most dependent upon mycorrhizas and E. canadensis was weakly dependent, but highly responsive to mycorrhizas. The high dependence of A. gerardii on mycorrhizas resulted in higher tissue P and N concentrations of inoculated than noninoculated plants. When not inoculated, E. canadensis was able to take up both P and N in similar amounts to inoculated plants because of its weak dependence on mycorrhizas for nutrient uptake and its pronounced ability to change root-to-shoot ratios. Unlike other highly dependent species, A. gerardii had a high root-to-shoot ratio and was able to suppress colonization by mycorrhizal fungi at high soil fertilities. E. canadensis, however, was unable to suppress colonization and had a lower root-to shoot ratio than A. gerardii. The mycorrhiza-related functional traits of both host species likely influence their performance in nature: both species attained the maximum responsiveness from mycorrhizas at soil phosphorus availabilities similar to those of tallgrass prairies. Dependence upon mycorrhizas affects performance in the absence of mycorrhizas. Responsiveness to mycorrhizal fungi is also a function of the environment and

  2. 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.

  3. Native Prairie Adaptive Management: a multi region adaptive approach to invasive plant management on Fish and Wildlife Service owned native prairies

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gannon, Jill J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Moore, Clinton T.

    2013-01-01

    Much of the native prairie managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) of the northern Great Plains is extensively invaded by the introduced cool-season grasses, smooth brome (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis). Management to suppress these invasive plants has had poor to inconsistent success. The central challenge to managers is selecting appropriate management actions in the face of biological and environmental uncertainties. In partnership with the FWS, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed an adaptive decision support framework to assist managers in selecting management actions under uncertainty and maximizing learning from management outcomes. This joint partnership is known as the Native Prairie Adaptive Management (NPAM) initiative. The NPAM decision framework is built around practical constraints faced by FWS refuge managers and includes identification of the management objective and strategies, analysis of uncertainty and construction of competing decision models, monitoring, and mechanisms for model feedback and decision selection. Nineteen FWS field stations, spanning four states of the PPR, have participated in the initiative. These FWS cooperators share a common management objective, available management strategies, and biological uncertainties. Though the scope is broad, the initiative interfaces with individual land managers who provide site-specific information and receive updated decision guidance that incorporates understanding gained from the collective experience of all cooperators. We describe the technical components of this approach, how the components integrate and inform each other, how data feedback from individual cooperators serves to reduce uncertainty across the whole region, and how a successful adaptive management project is coordinated and maintained on a large scale. During an initial scoping workshop, FWS cooperators developed a consensus management objective

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  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. PMID:26582125

  8. 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.

  9. In vitro culture and in vitro fertilization techniques for prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Horie, Kengo; Hidema, Shizu; Hirayama, Takashi; Nishimori, Katsuhiko

    2015-08-01

    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. PMID:26071353

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 76 FR 77245 - Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2011-12-12

    ... process through a notice in the Federal Register (73 FR 65871; November 5, 2008). The Attwater Prairie... conservation plan and environmental assessment (EA) in the Federal Register on November 5, 2008 (73 FR 65871... opportunities for wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education and interpretation. We...

  14. 77 FR 47660 - Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, Austin and Colorado Counties, TX; Final...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-08-09

    ... started this process through a notice in the Federal Register (73 FR 65871; November 5, 2008). We released... in the Federal Register (76 FR 77245; December 12, 2011). The Attwater Prairie Chicken NWR, which... for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation and photography, and environmental education...

  15. Belowground-system development of VA mycorrhiza in a restored tallgrass prairie community

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, B.D.; Jastrow, J.D.; Miller, R.M.; McGraw, A.C.

    1987-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine the relationship between root and VA mycorrhizal fungus development in a tallgrass prairie restoration chronosequence. Emphasis is placed on characterizing the relationship of root length, colonized root length, and percentage of root length occupied by the mycorrhizal fungus by differing root size classes. Mycorrhizal fungus composition and populations along the restoration chronosequence was determined. 3 refs., 1 fig.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  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. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. Serologic survey of free-living nestling prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus) for selected pathogens.

    PubMed

    Morishita, T Y; McFadzen, M E; Mohan, R; Aye, P P; Brooks, D L

    1998-03-01

    Serum samples from 34 free-living nestling prairie falcons (Falco mexicanus) in southwestern Idaho were negative for antibodies to avian influenza virus, Newcastle disease virus, and three Aspergillus species. Serum from a single bird had hemagglutinating inhibition activity in response to Mycoplasma synoviae, and another bird's serum had slight activity in response to M. gallisepticum.

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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. PMID:24628394

  15. Solute Transport in Eroded and Rehabilitated Prairie Landforms. 1. Nonreactive Solute

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Cultivated North American prairie landscapes are often affected by soil erosion. Soil-landscape rehabilitation, in which topsoil is moved from areas of net deposition (lower slope) to areas of net soil loss by erosion (upper slope), can increase uniformity in soil properties across the landform and ...

  16. 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.

  17. "Going to Indian Territory": Attitudes toward Native Americans in Little House on the Prairie.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Heldrich, Philip

    2000-01-01

    Efforts to ban the "Little House on the Prairie" series because of racist depictions of American Indians seem a knee-jerk reaction to a complex text. Teachers can use the books to develop an appreciation of American Indians and their history and to promote understanding of the disparate and conflicting attitudes of the nation when the books were…

  18. Prairie State Achievement Examination: Overview And Preparation Guide For PSAE Day 2. 2003-2004.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Illinois State Board of Education, 2004

    2004-01-01

    The Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) provides this booklet to help in preparing for the Prairie State Achievement Examination (PSAE). Part I of this booklet is an overview that answers some basic questions about the PSAE: What is it? What will it cover? When will it be given? Part II is a preparation guide for the five tests that are…

  19. 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. PMID:27219502

  20. 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.

  1. 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…

  2. 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.

  3. Groundwater recharge during spring thaw in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Snowmelt collects in landscape depressions and appears to replenish groundwater in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America while the soil is frozen. Little is known, however, about the physical state of the soil at the time of recharge. Depth of snow, surface water, water table, and frozen soil ...

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Climate coupling between temperature, humidity, precipitation, and cloud cover over the Canadian Prairies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Betts, Alan K.; Desjardins, Raymond; Worth, Devon; Beckage, Brian

    2014-12-01

    This analysis uses over 50 years of hourly observations of temperature, relative humidity, and opaque cloud cover and daily precipitation from 11 climate stations across the Canadian Prairies to analyze the monthly, seasonal, and long-term climate coupling in the warm season. On climate time scales, temperature depends on cloud forcing, while relative humidity depends on precipitation. The monthly climate depends on both opaque cloud cover for the current month and precipitation for both the present and past 2 months in summer. Multiple linear regression shows that anomalies of opaque cloud and precipitation explain 60-80% of the variance in the diurnal temperature range, afternoon relative humidity, and lifting condensation level on monthly time scales. We analyze the internal coupling of diurnal climate observables as a further guide to evaluating models. We couple the statistics to simplified energy and water budgets for the Prairies in the growing season. The opaque cloud observations have been calibrated against the incoming shortwave and longwave fluxes. We estimate that the drydown of total water storage on the landscape damps 56% of precipitation anomalies for the growing season on large spatial scales, although this drydown increases evapotranspiration. This couples the climatological surface fluxes to four key observables: cloud forcing, precipitation, temperature, and humidity. We estimate a climatological evaporative fraction of 0.61 for the Prairies. The observational relationships of the coupled Prairie climate system across time scale will be useful for evaluating these coupled processes in models for weather and seasonal forecasting and climate simulation.

  7. 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.

  8. Plague outbreaks in prairie dog populations explained by percolation thresholds of alternate host abundance

    PubMed Central

    Salkeld, Daniel J.; Salathé, Marcel; Stapp, Paul; Jones, James Holland

    2010-01-01

    Highly lethal pathogens (e.g., hantaviruses, hendra virus, anthrax, or plague) pose unique public-health problems, because they seem to periodically flare into outbreaks before disappearing into long quiescent phases. A key element to their possible control and eradication is being able to understand where they persist in the latent phase and how to identify the conditions that result in sporadic epidemics or epizootics. In American grasslands, plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, exemplifies this quiescent–outbreak pattern, because it sporadically erupts in epizootics that decimate prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies, yet the causes of outbreaks and mechanisms for interepizootic persistence of this disease are poorly understood. Using field data on prairie community ecology, flea behavior, and plague-transmission biology, we find that plague can persist in prairie-dog colonies for prolonged periods, because host movement is highly spatially constrained. The abundance of an alternate host for disease vectors, the grasshopper mouse (Onychomys leucogaster), drives plague outbreaks by increasing the connectivity of the prairie dog hosts and therefore, permitting percolation of the disease throughout the primary host population. These results offer an alternative perspective on plague's ecology (i.e., disease transmission exacerbated by alternative hosts) and may have ramifications for plague dynamics in Asia and Africa, where a single main host has traditionally been considered to drive Yersinia ecology. Furthermore, abundance thresholds of alternate hosts may be a key phenomenon determining outbreaks of disease in many multihost-disease systems. PMID:20660742

  9. 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. PMID:26321240

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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...

  14. CART peptide following social novelty in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster).

    PubMed

    Hostetler, Caroline M; Kowalczyk, Alex S; Griffin, Luana L; Bales, Karen L

    2011-09-26

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous rodents that display high levels of affiliative behaviors, including pair-bonding, biparental care, and cooperative breeding. Species differences in basal cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA and peptide expression have been found between prairie voles and polygamous meadow voles. Therefore, we hypothesized that the CART system may play a role in the regulation of social behavior in this species. Male and female adult prairie voles were placed in a cage either alone, or with a novel social partner of the same or opposite sex. After 45 min, subjects were sacrificed and CART peptide expression was examined using immunohistochemistry. We examined fifteen hypothalamic, limbic, and hindbrain regions of interest, focusing on areas that show species-specific patterns of expression. We found that subjects paired with a novel conspecific had lower levels of peptide in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) than isolated animals. This may reflect increased peptide release following increased dopaminergic activity in animals exposed to a novel conspecific. Additionally, CART peptide was higher in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of subjects paired with an opposite sex partner compared to those paired with a same-sex conspecific, although there was no difference between isolated subjects and either socially housed group. These findings suggest that CART in the NAc is differentially responsive to the sex of adult conspecifics and that the social environment influences CART expression in the prairie vole in a region- and stimulus-specific manner. PMID:21871610

  15. Prairie voles as a novel model of socially-facilitated excessive drinking

    PubMed Central

    Anacker, Allison M.J.; Loftis, Jennifer M.; Kaur, Simranjit; Ryabinin, Andrey E.

    2010-01-01

    Social relationships strongly affect alcohol drinking in humans. Traditional laboratory rodents do not exhibit social affiliations with specific peers, and cannot adequately model how such relationships impact drinking. The prairie vole is a socially monogamous rodent used to study social bonds. The present study tested the prairie vole as a potential model for the effects of social affiliations on alcohol drinking. Same-sex adult sibling prairie voles were paired for five days, and then either separated into individual cages, or housed in pairs. Starting at the time of separation, the voles received unlimited access to alcohol in a two-bottle choice test versus water. Pair-housed siblings exhibited higher preference for alcohol, but not saccharin, than singly-housed voles. There was a significant correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed by each member of a pair when they were housed together (r = 0.79), but not when housed apart (r = 0.20). Following automated analysis of circadian patterns of fluid consumption indicating peak fluid intake before and after the dark phase, a limited access two-hour two-bottle choice procedure was established. Drinking in this procedure resulted in physiologically relevant blood ethanol concentrations (BECs) and increased Fos immunoreactivity in perioculomotor urocortin containing neurons (but not in nucleus accumbens or central nucleus of the amygdala). The high ethanol preference and sensitivity to social manipulation indicate that prairie voles can serve to model social influences on excessive drinking. PMID:20579002

  16. The effects of stress on social preferences are sexually dimorphic in prairie voles.

    PubMed Central

    DeVries, A C; DeVries, M B; Taymans, S E; Carter, C S

    1996-01-01

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous rodents that form pair bonds characterized by a preference for a familiar social partner. In male prairie voles, exposure to either the stress of swimming or exogenous injections of corticosterone facilitate the development of a social preference for a female with which the male was paired after injection or swimming. Conversely, adrenalectomy inhibits partner preference formation in males and the behavioral effects of adrenalectomy are reversed by corticosterone replacement. In female prairie voles, swim stress interferes with the development of social preferences and corticosterone treatments inhibit the formation of partner preferences, while adrenalectomized females form preferences more quickly than adrenally intact controls. Because sex differences in both behavior and physiology are typically reduced in monogamous species, we initially predicted that male and female prairie voles would exhibit similar behavioral responses to corticosterone. However, our findings suggest an unanticipated sexual dimorphism in the physiological processes modulating social preferences. This dimorphic involvement of stress hormones in pair bonding provides a proximate mechanism for regulating social organization, while permitting males and females to adapt their reproductive strategies in response to environmental challenges. PMID:8876248

  17. CART peptide following social novelty in the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster)

    PubMed Central

    Hostetler, Caroline M.; Kowalczyk, Alex S.; Griffin, Luana L.; Bales, Karen L.

    2011-01-01

    Prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) are monogamous rodents that display high levels of affiliative behaviors, including pair-bonding, biparental care, and cooperative breeding. Species differences in basal cocaine- and amphetamine-regulated transcript (CART) mRNA and peptide expression have been found between prairie voles and polygamous meadow voles. Therefore, we hypothesized that the CART system may play a role in the regulation of social behavior in this species. Male and female adult prairie voles were placed in a cage either alone, or with a novel social partner of the same or opposite sex. After 45 minutes, subjects were sacrificed and CART peptide expression was examined using immunohistochemistry. We examined fifteen hypothalamic, limbic, and hindbrain regions of interest, focusing on areas that show species-specific patterns of expression. We found that subjects paired with a novel conspecific had lower levels of peptide in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) than isolated animals. This may reflect increased peptide release following increased dopaminergic activity in animals exposed to a novel conspecific. Additionally, CART peptide was higher in the nucleus accumbens (NAc) of subjects paired with an opposite sex partner compared to those paired with a same-sex conspecific, although there was no difference between isolated subjects and either socially housed group. These findings suggest that CART in the NAc is differentially responsive to the sex of adult conspecifics and that the social environment influences CART expression in the prairie vole in a region- and stimulus-specific manner. PMID:21871610

  18. PRAIRIEMAP: A GIS database for prairie grassland management in western North America

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    ,

    2003-01-01

    The USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Snake River Field Station (SRFS) maintains a database of spatial information, called PRAIRIEMAP, which is needed to address the management of prairie grasslands in western North America. We identify and collect spatial data for the region encompassing the historical extent of prairie grasslands (Figure 1). State and federal agencies, the primary entities responsible for management of prairie grasslands, need this information to develop proactive management strategies to prevent prairie-grassland wildlife species from being listed as Endangered Species, or to develop appropriate responses if listing does occur. Spatial data are an important component in documenting current habitat and other environmental conditions, which can be used to identify areas that have undergone significant changes in land cover and to identify underlying causes. Spatial data will also be a critical component guiding the decision processes for restoration of habitat in the Great Plains. As such, the PRAIRIEMAP database will facilitate analyses of large-scale and range-wide factors that may be causing declines in grassland habitat and populations of species that depend on it for their survival. Therefore, development of a reliable spatial database carries multiple benefits for land and wildlife management. The project consists of 3 phases: (1) identify relevant spatial data, (2) assemble, document, and archive spatial data on a computer server, and (3) develop and maintain the web site (http://prairiemap.wr.usgs.gov) for query and transfer of GIS data to managers and researchers.

  19. 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...

  20. 77 FR 75119 - Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental Environmental...

    Federal Register 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014

    2012-12-19

    ... Leader, at 240 W. Century Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58503, by email at kdunlap@fs.fed.us or by phone at 701... online at: http://www.fs.fed.us/nepa/fs-usda-pop.php/?project=40652 . Responsible Official Dennis Neitzke, Grasslands Supervisor, Dakota Prairie Grasslands, ] 240 W. Century Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58503. Nature...

  1. 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)

  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. 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.

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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, Dawn M.; 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 Niña 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.

  10. 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.

  11. The predicted influence of climate change on lesser prairie-chicken reproductive parameters.

    PubMed

    Grisham, Blake A; Boal, Clint W; Haukos, David A; Davis, Dawn M; 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 Niña 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.

  12. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  14. 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. PMID:24502719

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Cardioacceleration in alloparents in response to stimuli from prairie vole pups: the significance of thermoregulation.

    PubMed

    Kenkel, William M; Yee, Jason R; Porges, Stephen W; Ferris, Craig F; Carter, C Sue

    2015-06-01

    Autonomic responses, including changes in heart rate and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) can provide indications of emotional reactivity to social stimuli in mammals. We have previously reported that male prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) spontaneously care for unfamiliar infants, showing a robust and sustained increase in heart rate in the presence of a pup, thus providing an opportunity to examine the physiology of care-giving in reproductively naïve animals. However, the purpose of such heart rate increases has not been explained by previous efforts. In the present study, we first compared male and female prairie vole cardiac responses in the presence of a pup and found no evidence of sex differences in heart rate or RSA. Using male prairie voles, we then examined the characteristics of pups that were capable of eliciting physiological responses, including age of the pup and pup odors. As prairie vole pups increased in age they vocalized less and there was an associated decline in alloparental cardioacceleration. Exposure to pup-related odors induced cardioacceleration in adult males, and this effect also diminished with increasing pup age. Finally, we were able to block the cardioacceleratory effect when the testing environment was warmed to a temperature of 36°C [vs ambient room temperature (approximately 22°C)]. These findings suggest that pup-induced cardioacceleration is a robust phenomenon across alloparental prairie voles of both sexes, and depends on multi-modal processing of different stimuli from the pups. Young pups require care-giving behavior, which appears to drive cardioacceleration in the alloparents. This study also supports the usefulness of autonomic measures in the evaluation of social experiences.

  18. Patch-Burn Grazing Effects on the Ecological Integrity of Tallgrass Prairie Streams.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Karen E; Whiles, Matt R; Dodds, Walter K; Reeve, John D; Vandermyde, Jodi M; Rantala, Heidi M

    2015-07-01

    Conversion to agriculture, habitat fragmentation, and the loss of native grazers have made tallgrass prairie one of the most endangered ecosystems. One management option for the remaining prairie parcels, patch-burn grazing (PBG), applies a controlled burn to a portion of the prairie to attract cattle, creating a mosaic of more- and less-grazed patches. Although beneficial to cattle and grassland birds, the potential impacts of PBG on streams have not been studied, and a holistic approach is needed to ensure against adverse effects. We used a Before-After-Control-Impact design to assess potential impacts of PBG with and without riparian protection on tallgrass prairie headwater streams. We sampled stream macroinvertebrates and benthic organic matter 2 yr before and 2 yr during PBG treatments on two grazed watersheds with riparian fencing (fenced), two unfenced grazed watersheds (unfenced), and two ungrazed (control) watersheds. Very fine benthic organic matter increased significantly (51%) in unfenced streams compared with controls ( < 0.007), and fine particulate organic matter (<1 mm and >250 µm) increased 3-fold in the unfenced streams compared with controls ( = 0.008). The contribution of fine inorganic sediments to total substrata increased 28% in unfenced streams during PBG, which was significantly different from controls ( = 0.03). Additionally, the abundance of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa decreased from 7635 to 687 individuals m in unfenced streams, which was significantly lower than in control streams ( = 0.008). Our results indicate that PBG adversely influences prairie streams through sediment inputs and reductions in sensitive invertebrate taxa, but riparian fencing can alleviate these impacts.

  19. Patch-Burn Grazing Effects on the Ecological Integrity of Tallgrass Prairie Streams.

    PubMed

    Jackson, Karen E; Whiles, Matt R; Dodds, Walter K; Reeve, John D; Vandermyde, Jodi M; Rantala, Heidi M

    2015-07-01

    Conversion to agriculture, habitat fragmentation, and the loss of native grazers have made tallgrass prairie one of the most endangered ecosystems. One management option for the remaining prairie parcels, patch-burn grazing (PBG), applies a controlled burn to a portion of the prairie to attract cattle, creating a mosaic of more- and less-grazed patches. Although beneficial to cattle and grassland birds, the potential impacts of PBG on streams have not been studied, and a holistic approach is needed to ensure against adverse effects. We used a Before-After-Control-Impact design to assess potential impacts of PBG with and without riparian protection on tallgrass prairie headwater streams. We sampled stream macroinvertebrates and benthic organic matter 2 yr before and 2 yr during PBG treatments on two grazed watersheds with riparian fencing (fenced), two unfenced grazed watersheds (unfenced), and two ungrazed (control) watersheds. Very fine benthic organic matter increased significantly (51%) in unfenced streams compared with controls ( < 0.007), and fine particulate organic matter (<1 mm and >250 µm) increased 3-fold in the unfenced streams compared with controls ( = 0.008). The contribution of fine inorganic sediments to total substrata increased 28% in unfenced streams during PBG, which was significantly different from controls ( = 0.03). Additionally, the abundance of Ephemeroptera, Plecoptera, and Trichoptera taxa decreased from 7635 to 687 individuals m in unfenced streams, which was significantly lower than in control streams ( = 0.008). Our results indicate that PBG adversely influences prairie streams through sediment inputs and reductions in sensitive invertebrate taxa, but riparian fencing can alleviate these impacts. PMID:26437096

  20. 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. PMID:27055620