306 Works

Models to assess ability to achieve localized areas of reduced white-tailed deer density

Amanda Van Buskirk, Christopher Rosenberry, Bret Wallingford, Emily Just Domoto, Marc McDill, Patrick Drohan & Duane Diefenbach
Localized management of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) involves the removal of matriarchal family units with the intent to create areas of reduced deer density. However, application of this approach has not always been successful, possibly because of female dispersal and high deer densities. We developed a spatially explicit, agent-based model to investigate the intensity of deer removal required to locally reduce deer density depending on the surrounding deer density, dispersal behavior, and size and shape...

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...

Frequent burning causes large losses of carbon from deep soil layers in a temperate savanna

Adam Francis Pellegrini, Kendra K. McLauchlan, Sarah E. Hobbie, Michelle C. Mack, Abbey L. Marcotte, David M. Nelson, Steven Perakis, Peter B. Reich & Kyle Whittinghill
1. Fire activity is changing dramatically across the globe, with uncertain effects on ecosystem processes, especially belowground. Fire‐driven losses of soil carbon (C) are often assumed to occur primarily in the upper soil layers because the repeated combustion of aboveground biomass limits organic matter inputs into surface soil. However, C losses from deeper soil may occur if frequent burning reduces root biomass inputs of C into deep soil layers or stimulates losses of C via...

Relative reproductive phenology and synchrony affect neonate survival in a nonprecocial ungulate

Eric Michel, Bronson Strickland, Stephen Demarais, Jerrold Belant, Todd Kautz, Jared Duquette, Dean Beyer, Michael Chamberlain, Karl Miller, Rebecca Shuman, John Kilgo, Duane Diefenbach, Bret Wallingford, Justin Vreeland, Steve Ditchkoff, Christopher DePerno, Christopher Moorman, Michael Chitwood & Marcus Lashley
1. Degree of reproductive synchronization in prey is hypothesized as a predator defense strategy reducing prey risk via predator satiation or predator avoidance. Species with precocial young, especially those exposed to specialist predators, should be highly synchronous to satiate predators (predator satiation hypothesis), while prey with nonprecocial (i.e., altricial) young, especially those exposed to generalist predators, should become relatively asynchronous to avoid predator detection (predator avoidance hypothesis). The white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) in North America...

Data from: Automated curtailment of wind turbines reduces eagle fatalities

Christopher McClure, Brian Rolek, Leah Dunn, Jennifer McCabe, Luke Martinson & Todd Katzner
Collision-caused fatalities of animals at wind power facilities create a ‘green versus green’ conflict between wildlife conservation and renewable energy. These fatalities can be mitigated via informed curtailment whereby turbines are slowed or stopped when wildlife are considered at increased risk of collision. Automated monitoring systems could improve efficacy of informed curtailment, yet such technology is undertested. We test the efficacy of an automated curtailment system—a camera system that detects flying objects, classifies them, and...

Data from: Life-history theory provides a framework for detecting resource limitation: a test of the Nutritional Buffer Hypothesis

Brett Jesmer, Matthew Kauffman, Alyson Courtemanch, Steve Kilpatrick, Timothy Thomas, Jeff Yost, Kevin Monteith & Jacob Goheen
For ungulates and other long-lived species, life-history theory predicts that nutritional reserves are allocated to reproduction in a state-dependent manner because survival is highly conserved. Further, as per-capita food abundance and nutritional reserves decline (i.e., density-dependence intensifies), reproduction and recruitment become increasingly sensitive to weather. Thus, the degree to which weather influences vital rates should be associated with proximity to nutritional carrying capacity—a notion that we refer to as the Nutritional Buffer Hypothesis. We tested...

Evaluating natural experiments in ecology: using synthetic controls in assessments of remotely-sensed land-treatments

Stephen Fick, Travis Nauman, Colby Brungard & Michael Duniway
Many important ecological phenomena occur on large spatial scales and/or are unplanned and thus do not easily fit within analytical frameworks which rely on randomization, replication, and interspersed a priori controls for statistical comparison. Analyses of such large-scale, natural experiments are common in the health and econometrics literature, where techniques have been developed to derive insight from large, noisy observational datasets. Here, we apply a technique from this literature, synthetic control, to assess landscape change...

Data From: Characterizing patterns of genomic variation in the threatened Utah prairie dog: implications for conservation and management

Rachael Giglio, Tonie Rocke, Jorge Osorio & Emily Latch
Utah prairie dogs (Cynomys parvidens) are federally threatened due to eradication campaigns, habitat destruction, and outbreaks of plague. Today, Utah prairie dogs exist in small, isolated populations, making them less demographically stable and more susceptible to erosion of genetic variation by genetic drift. We characterized patterns of genetic structure at neutral and putatively adaptive loci in order to evaluate the relative effects of genetic drift and local adaptation on population divergence. We sampled individuals across...

Urbanization reduces genetic connectivity in bobcats (Lynx rufus) at both intra- and inter-population spatial scales

Christopher P Kozakiewicz, Christopher Burridge, W. Chris Funk, Patricia E Salerno, Daryl R Trumbo, Roderick B Gagne, Erin E Boydston, Robert N Fisher, Lisa M Lyren, Megan K Jennings, Seth P D Riley, Laurel E K Serieys, Sue VandeWoude, Kevin R Crooks & Scott Carver
Urbanization is a major factor driving habitat fragmentation and connectivity loss in wildlife. However, the impacts of urbanization on connectivity can vary among species and even populations due to differences in local landscape characteristics, and our ability to detect these relationships may depend on the spatial scale at which they are measured. Bobcats (Lynx rufus) are relatively sensitive to urbanization and the status of bobcat populations is an important indicator of connectivity in urban coastal...

The demographic contributions of connectivity versus local dynamics to population growth of an endangered bird

Brian Reichert, Robert Fletcher & Wiley Kitchens
1. Conservation and management increasingly focus on connectivity, because connectivity driven by variation in immigration rates across landscapes is thought to be crucial for maintaining local population and metapopulation persistence. Yet, efforts to quantify the relative role of immigration on population growth across the entire range of species and over time have been lacking. 2. We assessed whether immigration limited local and range-wide population growth of the endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) in Florida, USA,...

Data from: Food web heterogeneity and succession in created saltmarshes

Marie C. Nordström, Amanda W. J. Demopoulos, Christine R. Whitcraft, Andrea Rismondo, Patricia McMillan, Jennifer P. Gonzalez & Lisa A. Levin
Ecological restoration must achieve functional as well as structural recovery. Functional metrics for re-establishment of trophic interactions can be used to complement traditional monitoring of structural attributes. In addition, topographic effects on food web structure provide added information within a restoration context; often, created sites may require spatial heterogeneity to effectively match structure and function of natural habitats. We addressed both of these issues in our study of successional development of benthic food web structure,...

Data from: Changes in data sharing and data reuse practices and perceptions among scientists worldwide

Carol Tenopir, Elizabeth D. Dalton, Suzie Allard, Mike Frame, Ivanka Pjesivac, Ben Birch, Danielle Pollock & Kristina Dorsett
The incorporation of data sharing into the research lifecycle is an important part of modern scholarly debate. In this study, the DataONE Usability and Assessment working group addresses two primary goals: To examine the current state of data sharing and reuse perceptions and practices among research scientists as they compare to the 2009/2010 baseline study, and to examine differences in practices and perceptions across age groups, geographic regions, and subject disciplines. We distributed surveys to...

Data from: Conservation planning for offsetting the impacts of development: a case study of biodiversity and renewable energy in the Mojave Desert

Jason Kreitler, Carrie A. Schloss, Oliver Soong, Lee Hannah & Frank W. Davis
Balancing society's competing needs of development and conservation requires careful consideration of tradeoffs. Renewable energy development and biodiversity conservation are often considered beneficial environmental goals. However, the direct footprint and disturbance of renewable energy can displace species' habitat and negatively impact populations and communities if sited without ecological consideration. To mitigate residual impacts, offsets have emerged as a potentially useful tool after trying to avoid, minimize, or restore affected sites. Yet where many species or...

Data from: Testing the depth-differentiation hypothesis in a deepwater octocoral

Andrea M. Quattrini, Iliana B. Baums, Timothy M. Shank, Cheryl L. Morrison & Erik E. Cordes
The depth-differentiation hypothesis proposes that the bathyal region is a source of genetic diversity and an area where there is a high rate of species formation. Genetic differentiation should thus occur over relatively small vertical distances, particularly along the upper continental slope (200–1000 m) where oceanography varies greatly over small differences in depth. To test whether genetic differentiation within deepwater octocorals is greater over vertical rather than geographical distances, Callogorgia delta was targeted. This species...

Data from: Climate variables explain neutral and adaptive variation within salmonid metapopulations: the importance of replication in landscape genetics

Brian Hand, Ryan Kovach, Clint C. Muhlfeld, Alisa A. Wade, Diane Whited, Shawn Narum, Andrew Matala, Mike Ackerman, Brittany Garner, John Kimball, Jack Stanford, Gordon Luikart, Brian K. Hand, Diane C. Whited, Brittany A. Garner, Jack A. Stanford, John S. Kimball, Shawn R. Narum & Andrew P. Matala
Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure is important for conservation management because it can reveal how human stressors influence population connectivity, genetic diversity, and persistence. We used riverscape genetics modeling to assess whether climatic and habitat variables were related to neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation (population specific and pairwise FST) within five metapopulations (79 populations, 4,583 individuals) of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Columbia River Basin, USA. Using 151 putatively...

Data from: Carrying capacity in a heterogeneous environment with habitat connectivity

Bo Zhang, Alex Kula, Keenan M.L. Mack, Lu Zhai, Arrix L. Ryce, Wei-Ming Ni, Donald L. DeAngelis & J. David Van Dyken
A large body of theory predicts that populations diffusing in heterogeneous environments reach higher total size than if non-diffusing, and, paradoxically, higher size than in a corresponding homogeneous environment. However, this theory and its assumptions have not been rigorously tested. Here, we extended previous theory to include exploitable resources, proving qualitatively novel results, which we tested experimentally using spatially diffusing laboratory populations of yeast. Consistent with previous theory, we predicted and experimentally observed that spatial...

Data from: Monarch butterfly population decline in North America: identifying the threatening processes

Wayne E. Thogmartin, Ruscena Wiederholt, Karen Oberhauser, Ryan G. Drum, Jay E. Diffendorfer, Sonia Altizer, Orley R. Taylor, John Pleasants, Darius Semmens, Brice Semmens, Richard Erickson, Kaitlin Libby & Laura Lopez-Hoffman
The monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) population in North America has sharply declined over the last two decades. Despite rising concern over the monarch butterfly's status, no comprehensive study of the factors driving this decline has been conducted. Using partial least-squares regressions and time-series analysis, we investigated climatic and habitat-related factors influencing monarch population size from 1993 to 2014. Potential threats included climatic factors, habitat loss (milkweed and overwinter forest), disease and agricultural insecticide use (neonicotinoids)....

Data from: Artificial light at night confounds broad-scale habitat use by migrating birds

James D. McLaren, Jeffrey J. Buler, Tim Schreckengost, Jaclyn A. Smolinsky, Matthew Boone, E. Emiel Van Loon, Deanna K. Dawson & Eric L. Walters
With many of the world's migratory bird populations in alarming decline, broad-scale assessments of responses to migratory hazards may prove crucial to successful conservation efforts. Most birds migrate at night through increasingly light-polluted skies. Bright light sources can attract airborne migrants and lead to collisions with structures, but might also influence selection of migratory stopover habitat and thereby acquisition of food resources. We demonstrate, using multi-year weather radar measurements of nocturnal migrants across the northeastern...

Data from: Inferring epidemiologic dynamics from viral evolution: 2014–2015 Eurasian/North American highly pathogenic avian influenza viruses exceed transmission threshold, R0 = 1, in wild birds and poultry in North America

Daniel A. Grear, Jeffrey S. Hall, Robert J. Dusek & Hon S. Ip
Highly pathogenic avian influenza virus (HPAIV) is a multi-host pathogen with lineages that pose health risks for domestic birds, wild birds, and humans. One mechanism of intercontinental HPAIV spread is through wild bird reservoirs and wild birds were the likely sources of a Eurasian (EA) lineage HPAIV into North America in 2014. The introduction resulted in several reassortment events with North American (NA) lineage low pathogenic avian influenza viruses and the reassortant EA/NA H5N2 went...

Data from: Decision making for mitigating wildlife diseases: from theory to practice for an emerging fungal pathogen of amphibians

Stefano Canessa, Claudio Bozzuto, Evan H. Campbell Grant, Sam S. Cruickshank, Matthew C. Fisher, Jacob C. Koella, Stefan Lötters, An Martel, Frank Pasmans, Benjamin C. Scheele, Annemarieke Spitzen-Van Der Sluijs, Sebastian Steinfartz, Benedikt R. Schmidt & Ben C. Scheele
1.Conservation science can be most effective in its decision-support role when seeking answers to clearly formulated questions of direct management relevance. Emerging wildlife diseases, a driver of global biodiversity loss, illustrate the challenges of performing this role: in spite of considerable research, successful disease mitigation is uncommon. Decision analysis is increasingly advocated to guide mitigation planning, but its application remains rare. 2.Using an integral projection model, we explored potential mitigation actions for avoiding population declines...

Data from: Sora (Porzana carolina) autumn migration habitat use

Auriel M.V. Fournier, Doreen C. Mengel, David G. Krementz & Auriel M. V. Fournier
Palustrine wetland management across the United States is often conducted under a moist soil management framework aimed at providing energetic resources for non-breeding waterfowl. Moist soil management techniques typically include seasonal water-level manipulations and mechanical soil disturbance to create conditions conducive to germination and growth of early successional, seed-producing wetland plants. The assumption is that providing stopover and wintering habitat for non-breeding waterfowl will also accommodate life history needs of a broader suite of migratory...

Data from: Mismatches between breeding phenology and resource abundance of resident alpine ptarmigan negatively affect chick survival

Gregory T. Wann, Cameron L. Aldridge, Amy E. Seglund, Sara J. Oyler-McCance, Boris C. Kondratieff & Clait E. Braun
1. Phenological mismatches – defined here as the difference in reproductive timing of an individual relative to the availability of its food resources – occur in many avian species. Mistiming breeding activities in environments with constrained breeding windows may have severe fitness costs due to reduced opportunities for repeated breeding attempts. Therefore, species occurring in alpine environments may be particularly vulnerable. 2. We studied fitness consequences of timing of breeding in an alpine-endemic species, the...

Data from: Variable effects of climate on forest growth in relation to climate extremes, disturbance, and forest dynamics

Malcolm S. Itter, Andrew O. Finley, Anthony W. D'Amato, Jane R. Foster & John B. Bradford
Changes in the frequency, duration, and severity of climate extremes are forecast to occur under global climate change. The impacts of climate extremes on forest productivity and health remain difficult to predict due to potential interactions with disturbance events and forest dynamics—changes in forest stand composition, density, size and age structure over time. Such interactions may lead to non-linear forest growth responses to climate involving thresholds and lag effects. Understanding how forest dynamics influence growth...

Data from: Insular biogeographic origins and high phylogenetic distinctiveness for a recently depleted lizard fauna from Christmas Island, Australia

Paul M. Oliver, Mozes P.K. Blom, Harold G. Cogger, Robert N. Fisher, Jonathan Q. Richmond, John C.Z. Woinarski & John C. Z. Woinarski
Striking faunal turnover across Asia and Australasia, most famously along the eastern edge of the Sunda Shelf or ‘Wallace’s Line’, has been a focus of biogeographic research for over 150 years. Here we investigate the origins of a highly threatened endemic lizard fauna (4 species) on Christmas Island. Despite occurring less 350 km south of the Sunda Shelf, this fauna mostly comprises species from clades centred on the more distant regions of Wallacea, the Pacific...

Data from: Phylogenetic distribution of a male pheromone that may exploit a nonsexual preference in lampreys

Tyler J. Buchinger, Ugo Bussy, Ke Li, Huiyong Wang, Mar Huertas, Cindy F. Baker, Liang Jia, Michael C. Hayes, Weiming Li & Nicholas S. Johnson
Pheromones are among the most important sexual signals used by organisms throughout the animal kingdom. However, few are identified in vertebrates, leaving the evolutionary mechanisms underlying vertebrate pheromones poorly understood. Pre-existing biases in receivers’ perceptual systems shape visual and auditory signaling systems, but studies on how receiver biases influence the evolution of pheromone communication remain sparse. The lamprey Petromyzon marinus uses a relatively well-understood suite of pheromones and offers a unique opportunity to study the...

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