122 Works

Data from: On the relationship between body condition and parasite infection in wildlife: a review and meta‐analysis

Cecilia A. Sánchez, Daniel J. Becker, Claire S. Teitelbaum, Paola Barriga, Leone M. Brown, Ania Aleksandra Majewska, Richard J. Hall & Sonia Altizer
Body condition metrics are widely used to infer animal health and to assess costs of parasite infection. Since parasites harm their hosts, ecologists might expect negative relationships between infection and condition in wildlife, but this assumption is challenged by studies showing positive or null condition–infection relationships. Here, we outline common condition metrics used by ecologists in studies of parasitism, and consider mechanisms that cause negative, positive, and null condition–infection relationships in wildlife systems. We then...

Temporal and spatial limitations in global surveillance for bat filoviruses and henipaviruses

Daniel Becker, Daniel Crowley, Alex Washburne & Raina Plowright
Sampling reservoir hosts over time and space is critical to detect epizootics, predict spillover and design interventions. However, because sampling is logistically difficult and expensive, researchers rarely perform spatio-temporal sampling of many reservoir hosts. Bats are reservoirs of many virulent zoonotic pathogens such as filoviruses and henipaviruses, yet the highly mobile nature of these animals has limited optimal sampling of bat populations. To quantify the frequency of temporal sampling and to characterize the geographical scope...

Assessing the performance of index calibration survey methods to monitor populations of wide-ranging low-density carnivores

Egil Droge, Scott Creel, Matthew Becker, Andrew Loveridge, Lara Sousa & David Macdonald
Apex carnivores are wide-ranging, low-density, hard to detect, and declining throughout most of their range, making population monitoring both critical and challenging. Rapid and inexpensive index calibration survey (ICS) methods have been developed to monitor large African carnivores. ICS methods assume constant detection probability and a predictable relationship between the index and the actual population of interest. The precision and utility of the resulting estimates from ICS methods have been questioned. We assessed the performance...

Analytic dataset informing prediction of subterranean cave and mine ambient temperatures

Meredith McClure, Daniel Crowley, Catherine Haase, Liam McGuire, Nathan Fuller, David Hayman, Cori Lausen, Raina Plowright, Brett Dickson & Sarah Olson
Caves and other subterranean features provide unique environments for many species. The importance of cave microclimate is particularly relevant at temperate latitudes where bats make seasonal use of caves for hibernation. White-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has devastated populations of hibernating bats across eastern and central North America, has brought renewed interest in bat hibernation and hibernaculum conditions. A recent review synthesized current understanding of cave climatology, exploring the qualitative relationship between cave...

Response of lion demography and dynamics to the loss of preferred larger prey

Milan Vinks, Scott Creel, Paul Schuette, Matthew Becker, Elias Rosenblatt, Carolyn Sanguinetti, Kambwiri Banda, Ben Goodheart, Kim Young-Overton, Xia Stevens, Clive Chifunte, Neil Midlane & Chuma Simukonda
Large carnivores are experiencing range contraction and population declines globally. Prey depletion due to illegal offtake is considered a major contributor, but the effects of prey depletion on large carnivore demography are rarely tested. We measured African lion density and tested the factors that affect survival using mark-recapture models fit to six years of data from known individuals in Kafue National Park (KNP), Zambia. KNP is affected by prey depletion, particularly for large herbivores that...

Biotic and abiotic drivers of plant-pollinator community assembly across wildfire gradients

Joseph LaManna, Laura Burkle, R. Belote & Jonathan Myers
1. Understanding how abiotic disturbance and biotic interactions determine pollinator and flowering-plant diversity is critically important given global climate change and widespread pollinator declines. To predict responses of pollinators and flowering-plant communities to changes in wildfire disturbance, a mechanistic understanding of how these two trophic levels respond to wildfire severity is needed. 2. We compared site-to-site variation in community composition (β-diversity), species richness, and abundances of pollinators and flowering plants among landscapes with no recent...

Data From: A new perspective on transient characteristics of quiet stance postural control

Cody Reed, Ajit Chaudhari, Lise Worthen-Chaudhari, Kimberly Bigelow & Scott Monfort
Postural control provides insight into health concerns such as fall risk but remains relatively untapped as a vital sign of health. One understudied aspect of postural control involves transient responses within center of pressure (CoP) data to events such as vision occlusion. Such responses are masked by common whole-trial analyses. We hypothesized that the transient behavior of postural control would yield unique and clinically-relevant information for quiet stance compared to traditionally calculated whole-trial CoP estimates....

Data from: Designing data science workshops for data-intensive environmental science research

Allison Theobold, Stacey Hancock & Sara Mannheimer
Over the last 20 years, statistics preparation has become vital for a broad range of scientific fields, and statistics coursework has been readily incorporated into undergraduate and graduate programs. However, a gap remains between the computational skills taught in statistics service courses and those required for the use of statistics in scientific research. Ten years after the publication of "Computing in the Statistics Curriculum,'' the nature of statistics continues to change, and computing skills are...

An improved understanding of ungulate population dynamics using count data: insights from western Montana

Terrill Paterson, Kelly Proffitt, Jay Rotella & Robert Garrott
Understanding the dynamics of ungulate populations is critical given their ecological and economic importance. In particular, the ability to evaluate the evidence for potential drivers of variation in population trajectories is important for informed management. However, the use of age ratio data (e.g., juveniles:adult females) as an index of variation in population dynamics is hindered by a lack of statistical power and difficult interpretation. Here, we show that the use of a population model based...

Data from: Ungulate distributions in a rangeland with competitors, predators, and pastoralists

Paul Schuette, Scott Creel & Dave Christianson
African rangelands support diverse ungulate communities whose member species exhibit unique combinations of body morphology and behaviour that have evolved over millions of years to limit the effects of competition and predation on fitness, and more recently, to cope with people and livestock. The mechanisms by which native ungulates cope with the combined effects of competition, predation and human disturbance are poorly understood. Addressing this knowledge gap will help guide management and conservation plans for...

Data from: Fire-regime complacency and sensitivity to centennial- through millennial-scale climate change in Rocky Mountain subalpine forests, Colorado, U.S.A.

Philip E. Higuera, Christy E. Briles & Cathy Whitlock
1. Key uncertainties in anticipating future fire regimes are their sensitivity to climate change, and the degree to which climate will impact fire regimes directly, through increasing the probability of fire, versus indirectly, through changes in vegetation and landscape flammability. 2. We studied the sensitivity of subalpine forest fire regimes (i.e., fire frequency, fire severity) to previously documented climate variability over the past 6000 years, utilizing pollen and macroscopic charcoal from high-resolution lake-sediment records in...

Data from: Analysis of local-scale background concentrations of methane and other gas-phase species in the Marcellus Shale

J. Douglas Goetz, Anita Avery, Ben Werden, Cody Floerchinger, Edward C. Fortner, Joda Wormhoudt, Paola Massoli, Scott C. Herndon, Charles E. Kolb, W. Berk Knighton, Jeff Peischl, Carsten Warneke, Joost A. De Gouw, Stephanie L. Shaw & Peter F. DeCarlo
The Marcellus Shale is a rapidly developing unconventional natural gas resource found in part of the Appalachian region. Air quality and climate concerns have been raised regarding development of unconventional natural gas resources. Two ground-based mobile measurement campaigns were conducted to assess the impact of Marcellus Shale natural gas development on local scale atmospheric background concentrations of air pollution and climate relevant pollutants in Pennsylvania. The first campaign took place in Northeastern and Southwestern PA...

Data from: Observed forest sensitivity to climate implies large changes in 21st century North American forest growth

Noah D. Charney, Flurin Babst, Benjamin Poulter, Sydne Record, Valerie M. Trouet, David Frank, Brian J. Enquist & Margaret E. K. Evans
Predicting long-term trends in forest growth requires accurate characterisation of how the relationship between forest productivity and climatic stress varies across climatic regimes. Using a network of over two million tree-ring observations spanning North America and a space-for-time substitution methodology, we forecast climate impacts on future forest growth. We explored differing scenarios of increased water-use efficiency (WUE) due to CO2-fertilisation, which we simulated as increased effective precipitation. In our forecasts: (1) climate change negatively impacted...

Data from: Simulation-based validation of spatial capture-recapture models: a case study using mountain lions

J. Terrill Paterson, Kelly Proffitt, Ben Jimenez, Jay Rotella & Robert Garrott
Spatial capture-recapture (SCR) models have improved the ability to estimate densities of rare and elusive animals. However, SCR models have seldom been validated even as model formulations diversify and expand to incorporate new sampling methods and/or additional sources of information on model parameters. Information on the relationship between encounter probabilities, sources of additional information, and the reliability of density estimates, is rare but crucial to assessing reliability of SCR-based estimates. We used a simulation-based approach...

Data from: Reconstructing the mass and thermal ecology of North American Pleistocene tortoises

Donald A. Esker, Steven L. Forman & Dava K. Butler
Researchers often interpret the presence of tortoises in Pleistocene assemblages as evidence of an interglacial age, based on an assumption that these fossils indicate thermic climates, as modern giant tortoises require. Since the Paleocene, tortoises have been common components of terrestrial fossil assemblages and have repeatedly evolved species of giant size. Whereas extant giant tortoises are found only on islands off the coasts of South America and Africa, at least two species persisted in North...

Data from: Contact and contagion: bighorn sheep demographic states vary in probability of transmission given contact

Kezia R. Manlove, E. Frances Cassirer, Raina K. Plowright, Paul C. Cross & Peter J. Hudson
1. Understanding both contact and probability of transmission given contact are key to managing wildlife disease. However, wildlife disease research tends to focus on contact heterogeneity, in part because probability of transmission given contact is notoriously difficult to measure. Here we present a first step toward empirically investigating probability of transmission given contact in free-ranging wildlife. 2. We used measured contact networks to test whether bighorn sheep demographic states vary systematically in infectiousness or susceptibility...

Data from: Linking beaver dam affected flow dynamics to upstream passage of Arctic grayling

Kyle A. Cutting, Jake M. Ferguson, Michelle L. Anderson, Kristen Cook, Stacy C. Davis & Rebekah Levine
Beaver reintroductions and beaver dam structures are an increasingly utilized ecological tool for rehabilitating degraded streams, yet beaver dams can potentially impact upstream fish migrations. We collected two years of data on Arctic grayling movement through a series of beaver dams in a low gradient mountain stream, utilizing radio-telemetry techniques, to determine how hydrology, dam characteristics, and fish attributes impeded passage and movement rates of spawning grayling. We compared fish movement between a “normal” flow...

35,000-year record of pollen, charcoal and NPP from Bass Strait, southeast Australia

Matthew Adeleye, Simon Haberle, David McWethy, Simon Connor & Janelle Stevenson
We reconstruct the last glacial vegetation (pollen record), fire (charcoal record) and lake levels (NPP record) for Bass Strait. Results show the Bass Strait area was characterized by Eucalyptus woodland and shrubland vegetation, with high fire activity and lake levels from 35,000 to 29,000 years ago. Grassland expanded at the expense of woodland after this period, with a decline in fire activity and lake levels.

Data in support of: Biomineralization of plastic waste to improve the strength of plastic-reinforced cement mortar

Seth Kane, Abby Thane, Michael Espinal, Kendra Lunday, Hakan Armağan, Adrienne Phillips, Chelsea Heveran & Cecily Ryan
The development of methods to reuse large volumes of plastic waste is essential to curb the environmental impact of plastic pollution. Plastic-reinforced cementitious materials (PRCs), such as plastic-reinforced mortar (PRM), may be potential avenues to productively use large quantities of low-value plastic waste. However, poor bonding between the plastic and cement matrix reduces the strength of PRCs, limiting its viable applications. In this study, calcium carbonate biomineralization techniques were applied to coat plastic waste and...

Data from: Evaluating temporal and spatial transferability of a tidal inundation model for foraging waterbirds

Marisa Martinez, Leonardo Calle, Stephanie Romanach & Dale Gawlik
For ecosystem models to be applicable outside their context of development, temporal and spatial transferability must be demonstrated. This presents a challenge for modeling intertidal ecosystems where spatiotemporal variation arises at multiple scales. Models specializing in tidal dynamics are generally inhibited from having wider ecological applications by coarse spatiotemporal resolution or high user competency. The Tidal Inundation Model of Shallow-water Availability (TiMSA) uniquely simulates tides to empirically derive a time-integrated measure of availability for a...

Large contribution of woody plant expansion to recent vegetative greening of the Northern Great Plains

Bryce Currey, David McWethy, Nicholas R. Fox & E.N. Jack Brookshire
Aim: Extensive portions of high-latitude grasslands worldwide have recently experienced increased vegetative productivity (i.e., greening) and have undergone a rapid transition towards woody plant dominance via the process of woody plant expansion (WPE). This raises the underlying question: To what degree are WPE and greening spatiotemporally linked? Given that these vegetative changes are predicted to continue, we seek to understand how recent changes in vegetation extent and productivity have interacted under recent climate change and...

Influence of biomimicry structures on ecosystem function in a Rocky Mountain incised stream

James Reinert, Lindsey Albertson & James Junker
Rising levels of stream degradation have motivated a boom in restoration projects across the globe. However, post-restoration monitoring is still frequently lacking and does not always incorporate biotic responses to changes in the physical template. Beaver mimicry structures (BMS) are becoming a popular tool to restore degraded streams throughout the American West, but relatively little is known about how these installations influence both biotic and abiotic factors, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. We monitored basal...

Habitat Selection by a Threatened Desert Amphibian

Ross Hinderer
Aim. Habitat degradation and fragmentation are major drivers of amphibian declines. The loss of environmental features that allow for movement between water sources may be particularly detrimental for amphibians in arid environments. Climate changes will increase the importance of microhabitats to amphibians. Enhancing areas to facilitate movement may be a necessary conservation strategy for many animal species that depend on wetlands, including federally-threatened Chiricahua leopard frogs (Lithobates chiricahuensis). Habitat preferences of this frog species are...

Data from: Estimating the phenology of elk brucellosis transmission with hierarchical models of cause-specific and baseline hazards

Paul C. Cross, Eric J. Maichak, Jared D. Rogerson, Kathryn M. Irvine, Jennifer D. Jones, Dennis M. Heisey, William H. Edwards & Brandon M. Scurlock
Understanding the seasonal timing of disease transmission can lead to more effective control strategies, but the seasonality of transmission is often unknown for pathogens transmitted directly. We inserted vaginal implant transmitters (VITs) in 575 elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) from 2006 to 2014 to assess when reproductive failures (i.e., abortions or still births) occur, which is the primary transmission route of Brucella abortus, the causative agent of brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Using a survival...

Data from: Genetic connectivity for two bear species at wildlife crossing structures in Banff National Park

Michael A. Sawaya, Steven T. Kalinowski & Anthony P. Clevenger
Roads can fragment and isolate wildlife populations, which will eventually decrease genetic diversity within populations. Wildlife crossing structures may counteract these impacts, but most crossings are relatively new, and there is little evidence that they facilitate gene flow. We conducted a three-year research project in Banff National Park, Alberta, to evaluate the effectiveness of wildlife crossings to provide genetic connectivity. Our main objective was to determine how the Trans-Canada Highway and crossing structures along it...

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