18 Works

Data from: Muilla lordsburgana (Asparagaceae: Brodiaeoideae), a new species found north of Lordsburg, southwestern New Mexico

Patrick Alexander
Muilla lordsburgana P.J.Alexander sp. nov. is described from eastern Lordsburg Mesa in the northwestern fringe of the Chihuahuan Desert, southwestern New Mexico. It is very similar to Muilla coronata, a species known in the Mojave Desert of California and a small area of adjacent Nevada. Compared to Muilla coronata, the style and stigma combined are longer, the anthers are longer, the fruits are larger, and the seeds are larger. It has a short flowering period...

Mitigating ecosystem service tradeoffs in rangelands by using grazing duration and timing to manage water quality

Kristin Hulvey, Cassie Mellon & Andrew Kleinhesselink
1. Mitigating ecosystem service (ES) tradeoffs is a key management goal in locations where stakeholders value different and potentially conflicting ecosystem services (ESs). However, studies are not often designed to examine how local management actions address ES tradeoffs, and therefore do not provide options that can alleviate conflict. 2. In semi-arid rangelands, we examined the potential for managers to mitigate tradeoffs between livestock production and water quality. To move away from solutions that offer cattle...

Social status, forest disturbance, and Barred Owls shape long-term trends in breeding dispersal distance of Northern Spotted Owls

Julianna Jenkins, Damon Lesmeister, Eric Forsman, Katie Dugger, Steven Ackers, L. Steven Andrews, Chris McCafferty, M. Shane Pruett, Janice Reid, Stan Sovern, Rob Horn, Scott Gremel, J. David Wiens & Zhiqiang Yang
Dispersal among breeding sites in territorial animals (i.e. breeding dispersal) is driven by numerous selection pressures, including competition and spatiotemporal variation in habitat quality. The scale and trend of dispersal movements over time may signal changing conditions within the population or on the landscape. We examined 2,158 breeding dispersal events from 694 male and 608 female individually-marked Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) monitored over 28 years on seven study areas to assess the relative...

Data from: Snow-mediated plasticity does not prevent camouflage mismatch

Alexander Kumar, Marketa Zimova, James Sparks & L Scott Mills
Global reduction in snow cover duration is one of the most consistent and widespread climate change outcomes. Declining snow duration has severe negative consequences for diverse taxa including seasonally color molting species, which rely on snow for camouflage. However, phenotypic plasticity may facilitate adaptation to reduced snow duration. Plastic responses could occur in the color molt phenology or through behavior that minimizes coat color mismatch or its consequences. We quantified molt phenology of 200 wild...

How specialized is a soil specialist? Early life history responses of a rare Eriogonum to site-level variation in volcanic soils

Jamey McClinton, Elizabeth Leger, Thomas Parchman, Paul Verburg & Kathleen Torrence
Premise of the study: Understanding edaphic specialization is crucial for conserving rare plants that may need relocation due to habitat loss. Focusing on Eriogonum crosbyae, a rare soil specialist in the Great Basin, US, we asked how site-level variation among volcanic soil outcrops affected plant growth and population distribution. Methods: We measured emergence, survival, size, and biomass allocation of E. crosbyae seedlings planted into soils collected from forty-two outcrops of actual and potential habitat. We...

Conspecific and congeneric interactions shape increasing rates of breeding dispersal of northern spotted owls

Julianna Jenkins, Damon Lesmeister, Eric Forsman, Katie Dugger, Steven Ackers, Lawrence Andrews, Scott Gremel, Bruce Hollen, Chris McCafferty, M. Shane Pruett, Janice Reid, Stan Sovern & J. David Wiens
Breeding dispersal, the movement from one breeding territory to another, is rare for philopatric species that evolved within relatively stable environments, such as the old-growth coniferous forests of the Pacific Northwest. While dispersal is not inherently maladaptive, the consequences of increased dispersal on population dynamics in populations whose historical dispersal rates are low could be significant, particularly for a declining species. We examined rates and possible causes of breeding dispersal based on a sample of...

Behavior and diet data collected from i) GPS video camera collars and ii) fecal samples collected from individuals from the Fortymile Caribou Herd

Libby Ehlers, Gabrielle Coulombe, Jim Herriges, Torsten Bentzen, Mike Suitor, Kyle Joly & Mark Hebblewhite
Summer diets are crucial for large herbivores in the subarctic and are affected by weather, harassment from insects and a variety of environmental changes linked to climate. Yet understanding foraging behavior and diet of large herbivores is challenging in the subarctic because of their remote ranges. We used GPS video-camera collars to observe behaviors and summer diets of the migratory Fortymile Caribou Herd (Rangifer tarandus granti) across Alaska, USA and the Yukon, Canada. First, we...

Data from: Species distribution models of an endangered rodent offer conflicting measures of habitat quality at multiple scales

William T. Bean, R. Stafford, H. Scott Butterfield, Laura R. Prugh, Michael Westphal & Justin S. Brashares
1. The high cost of directly measuring habitat quality has led ecologists to test alternate methods for estimating and predicting this critically important ecological variable. In particular, it is frequently assumed but rarely tested that models of habitat suitability (“species distribution models”, SDMs) may provide useful indices of habitat quality, either from an individual animal or manager’s perspective. Critically, SDMs are increasingly used to estimate species’ ranges, with an implicit assumption that areas of high...

Seeds of success: a conservation and restoration investment in the future of US lands

Sarah Barga, Elizabeth Leger, Peggy Olwell, Fred Edwards & Leah Prescott
Seeds of Success (SOS) is a national seed collection program led by the Bureau of Land Management. SOS represents the most comprehensive native seed repository in the US, supporting native plant restoration, management, and research. Since inception in 2000, SOS has collected seeds from over 24,400 native plant populations from ~5,600 taxa from 43 states. Collections include species important to wildlife, pollinators, and indigenous people, and over 10,000 collections have been shared for restoration and...

Data from: New insights into the phylogenetics and population structure of the prairie falcon (Falco mexicanus)

Jacqueline M. Doyle, Douglas A. Bell, Peter H. Bloom, Gavin Emmons, Amy Fesnock, Todd E. Katzner, Larry LaPré, Kolbe Leonard, Phillip SanMiguel, Rick Westerman & J. Andrew DeWoody
Background: Management requires a robust understanding of between- and within-species genetic variability, however such data are still lacking in many species. For example, although multiple population genetics studies of the peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) have been conducted, no similar studies have been done of the closely-related prairie falcon (F. mexicanus) and it is unclear how much genetic variation and population structure exists across the species’ range. Furthermore, the phylogenetic relationship of F. mexicanus relative to...

Data from: The utility of environmental DNA from sediment and water samples for recovery of observed plant and animal species from four Mojave Desert springs

MAURA PALACIOS MEJIA, Emily Curd, Kiumars Edalati, Mark Renshaw, Roy Dunn, Daniel Potter, Naomi Fraga, Jenna Moore, Justin Saiz, Robert Wayne & Sophie Parker
Background: Mojave Desert springs are fragile ecosystems, hosting endemic plants and animals, which are threatened by the increasing human demand for water and climate change. To develop management practices that will protect the groundwater-dependent ecosystems at Mojave Desert springs, real-time, low cost biodiversity monitoring and assessments are required. Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding uses DNA shed from organisms (e.g. skin cells, feces, pollen, etc.) that is present in water, air, soil, or sediment samples to assess...

Data from: Historical population size change and differentiation of relict populations of the endangered giant kangaroo rat

Mark J. Statham, William T. Bean, Nathan Alexander, Michael F. Westphal & Benjamin N. Sacks
From a conservation management perspective it is important to understand how genetic diversity is partitioned across a species’ range, including (1) identification of evolutionarily distinct units versus those recently isolated through anthropogenic activities and (2) the relative genetic contributions among components of fragmented (meta)populations. To address these questions, we investigated the phylogeography and metapopulation structure among relict populations of the endangered giant kangaroo rat (Dipodomys ingens) in the highly altered San Joaquin Desert Ecosystem. This...

Risky business: how an herbivore navigates spatio-temporal aspects of risk from competitors and predators

Katey Huggler, Joseph Holbrook, Matthew Hayes, Patrick Burke, Mark Zornes, Daniel Thompson, Justin Clapp, Patrick Lionberger, Miguel Valdez & Kevin Monteith
Understanding factors that influence animal behavior is central to ecology. Basic principles of animal ecology imply that individuals should seek to maximize survival and reproduction, which means carefully weighing risk against reward. Decisions become increasingly complex and constrained, however, when risk is spatiotemporally variable. We advance a growing body of work in predator-prey behavior by evaluating novel questions where a prey species is confronted with multiple predators and a potential competitor. We tested how fine-scale...

Data from: Vegetation response to control of invasive Tamarix in southwestern US rivers: a collaborative study including 416 sites

Eduardo González, Anna A. Sher, Robert M. Anderson, Robin F. Bay, Daniel W. Bean, Gabriel J. Bissonnete, Bérenger Bourgeois, David J. Cooper, Kara Dohrenwend, Kim D. Eichhorst, Hisham El Waer, Deborah K. Kennard, Rebecca Harms-Weissinger, Annie L. Henry, Lori J. Makarick, Steven M. Ostoja, Lindsay V. Reynolds, W. Wright Robinson & Patrick B. Shafroth
Most studies assessing vegetation response following control of invasive Tamarix trees along southwestern U.S. rivers have been small in scale (e.g., river reach), or at a regional scale but with poor spatial-temporal replication, and most have not included testing the effects of a now widely-used biological control. We monitored plant composition following Tamarix control along hydrologic, soil and climatic gradients in 244 treated and 172 reference sites across six U.S. States. This represents the largest...

Landscape-scale conservation mitigates the biodiversity loss of grassland birds

David Pavlacky, Adam Green, T. Luke George, Rich Iovanna, Anne Bartuszevige, Maureen Correll, Arvind Panjabi & T. Brandt Ryder
The decline of biodiversity from anthropogenic landscape modification is among the most pressing conservation problems world-wide. In North America, long-term population declines have elevated the recovery of the grassland avifauna to among the highest conservation priorities. Because the vast majority of grasslands of the Great Plains are privately owned, the recovery of these ecosystems and bird populations within them depend on landscape-scale conservation strategies that integrate social, economic, and biodiversity objectives. The Conservation Reserve Program...

Data from: Pellaea zygophylla, a new combination for a distinctive and well-known but neglected fern

Patrick Alexander
Pellaea ovata is a widespread species, sexual diploid in Texas and northeastern Mexico but an apogamous triploid in northwestern Mexico, south to northern Argentina, and on Hispaniola. The type belongs to the southern, apogamous triploid form. Although these two forms have been discussed repeatedly in the literature, morphological distinctions between them have been overlooked and they have not been recognized taxonomically. However, they are distinct. Pellaea ovata s.s. has puberulent rachides and costae; pinnae usually...

Spatiotemporal predictions of the alternative prey hypothesis: Predator habitat use during decreasing prey abundance

Mitchell Brunet, Kevin Monteith, Katey Huggler, Daniel Thompson, Patrick Burke, Mark Zornes, Patrick Lionberger, Miguel Valdez & Joseph Holbrook
The alternative prey hypothesis supposes that predators supported by a primary prey species will shift to consume alternative prey during a decrease in primary prey abundance. The hypothesis implies that during declines of one prey species, a predator modifies their behavior to exploit a secondary, or alternative, species. Despite occurring in many systems, the behavioral mechanisms (e.g., habitat selection) allowing predators to shift toward alternative prey during declines in the abundance of their primary prey...

Cats and dogs: A mesopredator navigating risk and reward provisioned by an apex predator

Mitchell J. Brunet, Kevin Monteith, Katey Huggler, Justin Clapp, Daniel Thompson, Patrick Burke, Mark Zornes, Patrick Lionberger, Miguel Valdez & Joseph Holbrook
Successfully perceiving risk and reward is fundamental to the fitness of an animal, and can be achieved through a variety of perception tactics. For example, mesopredators may ‘directly’ perceive risk by visually observing apex predators, or may ‘indirectly’ perceive risk by observing habitats used by predators. Direct assessments should more accurately characterize the arrangement of risk and reward; however, indirect assessments are used more frequently in studies concerning the response of GPS-marked animals to spatiotemporally...

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