48 Works

Disease or drought: Environmental fluctuations release zebra from a potential pathogen-triggered ecological trap

Yen-Hua Huang, Hendrina Joel, Martina Küsters, Zoe Barandongo, Claudine Cloete, Axel Hartmann, Pauline Kamath, Werner Kilian, John Mfune, Gabriel Shatumbu, Royi Zidon, Wayne Getz & Wendy Turner
When a transmission hotspot for an environmentally persistent pathogen establishes in otherwise high-quality habitat, the disease may exert a strong impact on a host population. However, fluctuating environmental conditions lead to heterogeneity in habitat quality and animal habitat preference, which may interrupt the overlap between selected and risky habitats. We evaluated spatiotemporal patterns in anthrax mortalities in a plains zebra (Equus quagga) population in Etosha National Park, Namibia, incorporating remote-sensing and host telemetry data. A...

Causes of delayed outbreak responses and their impacts on epidemic spread

Yun Tao, Matthew Ferrari, Katriona Shea, William Probeert, Michael Runge, Kevin Lafferty & Michael Tildesley
Livestock diseases have devastating consequences economically, socially, and politically across the globe. In certain systems, pathogens remain viable after host death, which enables residual transmissions from infected carcasses. Rapid culling and carcass disposal are well-established strategies for stamping out an outbreak and limiting its impact, however, wait-times for these procedures, i.e., response delays, are typically farm-specific and time-varying due to logistical constraints. Failing to incorporate variable response delays in epidemiological models may understate outbreak projections...

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...

Genetic diversity in two insular populations of bobcats (Lynx rufus)

Duane Diefenbach, Cassandra Miller-Butterworth, Jessie Edson, Leslie Hansen, James Jordan, Tess Gingery & Amy Russell
We documented changes in genetic diversity in an isolated, reintroduced population of bobcats on Cumberland Island (CUIS), Georgia, USA, compared to another bobcat population on Kiawah Island, South Carolina, USA, that was naturally established and experiences limited immigration from the mainland. We compared the predictions of a novel population viability analysis (PVA) to empirical estimates of abundance and genetic diversity on CUIS and used our PVA to identify management actions that are likely to support...

Short-term responses to a human-altered landscape do not affect fat dynamics of a migratory ungulate

Samantha Dwinnell, Hall Sawyer, , Jill Randall, Rusty Kaiser, Mark Thonhoff, Gary Fralick & Kevin Monteith
According to risk-sensitive foraging theory, animals should make foraging decisions that balance nutritional costs and gains to promote fitness. Human disturbance is a form of perceived risk that can prompt avoidance of risky habitat over the acquisition of food. Consequently, behavioral responses to perceived risk could induce nutritional costs. Population declines often coincide with increases in human disturbance, which likely is associated with direct and indirect habitat loss. Nevertheless, behavioral and physiological responses to perceived...

Do fine-scale experiments underestimate predator consumption rates?

Lindsey Bruckerhoff, Casey Pennock & Keith Gido
Understanding ecological processes across spatial scales helps link observations and predictions from experiments to ecological patterns occurring at coarser scales relevant to management and conservation. Using fish, we experimentally manipulated the size of arenas to test the spatial scaling of predator-prey interactions. We measured variation in predator consumption and prey behavior (prey aggregation, spatial overlap with predators, and movement) across arena sizes. Variation in prey behavior across arena sizes was hypothesized to drive consumption patterns...

Lake food webs: Species invasion progressively disrupts the trophic structure of native food webs

Charles Wainright, Clint Muhlfeld, James Elser, Samuel Bourret & Shawn Devlin
Species invasions can have substantial impacts on native species and ecosystems, with important consequences for biodiversity. How these disturbances drive changes in the trophic structure of native food webs through time is poorly understood. Here, we quantify trophic disruption in freshwater food webs to invasion by an apex fish predator, lake trout, using an extensive stable isotope dataset across a natural gradient of uninvaded and invaded lakes in the northern Rocky Mountains, USA. Lake trout...

Species mixture effects and climate influence growth, recruitment and mortality in Interior West U.S.A. Populus tremuloides - conifer communities

Christopher Looney, Wilfred Previant, John Bradford & Linda Nagel
Tree-species mixture effects (e.g., complementarity and facilitation) have been found to increase individual-tree productivity, lessen mortality, and improve recruitment in forests worldwide. By promoting more efficient and complete resource use, mixture effects may also lessen individual-tree-level water stress, thus improving drought-resistance. We investigated the influence of mixture effects on tree productivity, mortality, and recruitment across broad compositional and moisture gradients in high-elevation Interior West US mixed-conifer communities, where Populus tremuloides (trembling aspen) is the major...

Behavioral patterns of bats at a wind turbine events

Shifra Goldenberg, Paul Cryan, P. Marcos Gorresen & Lee Jay Fingersh
Bat fatalities at wind energy facilities in North America are predominantly comprised of migratory, tree-dependent species, but it is unclear why these bats are at higher risk. Factors influencing bat susceptibility to wind turbines might be revealed by temporal patterns in their behaviors around these dynamic landscape structures. In northern temperate zones fatalities occur mostly from July through October, but whether this reflects seasonally variable behaviors, passage of migrants, or some combination of factors remains...

Vegetation characteristics and precipitation jointly influence grassland bird abundance beyond the effects of grazing management

Kristin Davis, David Augustine, Adrian Monroe & Cameron Aldridge
Grassland birds have experienced some of the steepest population declines of any guild of birds in North America. The shortgrass steppe contains some of North America’s most-intact grasslands, which makes the region particularly important for these species. Grassland birds differentially respond to variation in vegetation structure generated by spatiotemporally-varying disturbance like grazing management. However, understanding how species respond to characteristics beyond vegetation structure or grazing could better inform management for these species in the shortgrass...

Data from: Hybridization alters growth and migratory life history expression of native trout

Jeffrey T. Strait, Lisa A. Eby, Ryan P. Kovach, Clint C. Muhlfeld, Matthew C. Boyer, Stephen J. Amish, Seth Smith, Winsor H. Lowe & Gordon Luikart
Human-mediated hybridization threatens many native species, but the effects of introgressive hybridization on life history expression are rarely quantified, especially in vertebrates. We quantified the effects of non-native rainbow trout admixture on important life history traits including growth and partial migration behavior in three populations of westslope cutthroat trout over five years. Rainbow trout admixture was associated with increased summer growth rates in all populations, and decreased spring growth rates in two populations with cooler...

Shrub influence on soil carbon and nitrogen in a semi-arid grassland is mediated by precipitation and largely insensitive to livestock grazing

Heather Throop, Seth Munson, Nicole Hornslein & Mitchel McClaran
Dryland (arid and semi-arid) ecosystems globally provide more than half of livestock production and store roughly one-third of soil organic carbon (SOC). Biogeochemical pools are changing due toshrub encroachment, livestock grazing, and climate change. We assessed how vegetation microsite, grazing, and precipitation interacted to affect SOC and total nitrogen (TN) at a site with long-term grazing manipulations and well-described patterns of shrub encroachment across elevation and mean annual precipitation (MAP) gradients. We analyzed SOC and...

Consequences of migratory coupling of predators and prey when mediated by human actions

Navinder Singh, Frauke Ecke, Todd Katzner, Sumanta Bagchi, Per Sandstöm & Birger Hörnfeldt
Aim: Animal migrations influence ecosystem structure, dynamics, and persistence of predator and prey populations. The theory of migratory coupling postulates that aggregations of migrant prey can induce large-scale synchronized movements in predators, and this coupling is consequential for the dynamics of ecological communities. The degree to which humans influence these interactions remains largely unknown. We tested whether the creation of large resource pulses by humans such as seasonal herding of reindeer Rangifer tarandus and hunting...

Integrating ecosystem metabolism and consumer allochthony reveals nonlinear drivers in lake organic matter processing

Meredith Holgerson, Rachel Hovel, Patrick Kelly, Lauren Bortolotti, Jennifer Brentrup, Amber Bellamy, Samantha Oliver & Alexander Reisinger
Lakes process both terrestrial and aquatic organic matter, and the relative contribution from each source is often measured via ecosystem metabolism and terrestrial resource use in the food web (i.e., consumer allochthony). Yet, ecosystem metabolism and consumer allochthony are rarely considered together, despite possible interactions and potential for them to respond to the same lake characteristics. In this study, we compiled global datasets of lake gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration (ER), and zooplankton allochthony...

Threading the needle: how humans influence predator-prey spatiotemporal interactions in a multiple-predator system

Asia Murphy, Duane Diefenbach, Mark Ternent, Matt Lovallo & David Miller
Perceived predation risk and the resulting antipredator behavior varies across space, time, and predator identity. Communities with multiple predators that interact and differ in their use of space, time of activity, and hunting mode create a complex landscape for prey to avoid predation. Anthropogenic presence and disturbance have the potential to shift interactions among predators and prey and the where and when encounters occur. We examined how spatiotemporal antipredator behavior of white-tailed deer fawns (Odocoileus...

Data for impact of “non-lethal” tarsal clipping on bumble bees (Bombus vosnesenskii) may depend on queen stage and worker size

John Mola, Clara Stuligross, Maureen Page, Danielle Rutkowski & Neal Williams
Recent bumble bee declines have prompted the development of novel population monitoring tools, including the use of putatively non-lethal tarsal clipping to obtain genetic material. However, the potential side effects of tarsal clipping have only been tested in the worker caste of a single domesticated species, prompting the need to more broadly test whether tarsal clipping negatively affects sampled individuals. To determine if tarsal clipping reduces queen survivorship and colony establishment, we collected wild queens...

Data from: Intraspecific variation in incubation behaviors along a latitudinal gradient is driven by nest microclimate and selection on neonate quality

Carl Lundblad & Courtney Conway
The strategies by which animals allocate reproductive effort across their lifetimes vary, and the causes of variation in those strategies are actively debated. In birds, most research has focused heavily on variation in clutch size and fecundity, but incubation behavior and other functionally related traits have received less attention. Variation in incubation period duration is notable because time-dependent sources of clutch mortality should impose strong directional selection to minimize the incubation period. However, life-history theory...

Data from: Drivers of site fidelity in ungulates

Thomas Morrison, Jerod Merkel, J. Grant Hopcraft, Ellen Aikens, Jeffrey Beck, Randall Boone, Alyson Courtemanch, Samantha Dwinnell, Sue Fairbanks, Brad Griffith, Arthur Middleton, Kevin Monteith, Brendan Oates, Louise Riotte-Lambert, Hall Sawyer, Kurt Smith, Jared Stabach, Kaitlyn Taylor & Matthew Kauffman
While the tendency to return to previously visited locations – termed ‘site fidelity’ – is common in animals, the cause of this behaviour is not well understood. One hypothesis is that site fidelity is shaped by an animal’s environment, such that animals living in landscapes with predictable resources have stronger site fidelity. Site fidelity may also be conditional on the success of animals’ recent visits to that location, and it may become stronger with age...

Combined influence of intrinsic and environmental factors in shaping productivity in a small pelagic gull, the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla

Aly McKnight, David Irons, Cynthia Loftin, Shawn McKinney & Brian Olsen
While we have a good understanding in many systems of the effects of single variable changes on organisms, we understand far less about how variables act in concert to affect living systems, where interactions among variables can lead to unanticipated results. We used mixed-effect models to evaluate the effects of multiple variables that we expected to play a role in the early reproductive stages of a North Pacific seabird, the black-legged kittiwake Rissa tridactyla, during...

Temperature‐associated decreases in demographic rates of Afrotropical bird species over 30 years

Montague H. C. Neate‐Clegg, Thomas R. Stanley, Çağan H. Şekercioğlu & William D. Newmark
Tropical mountains harbor globally significant levels of biodiversity and endemism. Climate change threatens many tropical montane species, yet little research has assessed the effects of climate change on the demographic rates of tropical species, particularly in the Afrotropics. Here, we report on the demographic rates of 21 Afrotropical bird species over 30 years in montane forests in Tanzania. We used mark-recapture analyses to model rates of population growth, recruitment, and apparent survival as functions of...

Global resorption efficiencies of trace elements in leaves of terrestrial plants

Hao Chen, Sasha Reed, Xiao-Tao Lü, Kongcao Xiao, Kelin Wang & Dejun Li
1. Leaf nutrient resorption is a critical nutrient conservation strategy. Previous studies focus mainly on resorption patterns of macronutrients, but resorption patterns of trace elements remain poorly understood. 2. A meta-analysis was conducted to explore the general patterns of the leaf resorption of eight trace elements [i.e., copper (Cu), molybdenum (Mo), zinc (Zn), boron (B), manganese (Mn), sodium (Na), aluminum (Al), and iron (Fe)], and a macronutrient [i.e., sulfur (S)] using data collected from 53...

Data for: Long-term surveys support declines in early-season forest plants used by bumble bees

John Mola, Leif Richardson, Greg Spyreas, David Zaya & Ian Pearse
Populations of bumble bees and other pollinators have declined over the past several decades due to numerous threats, including habitat loss and degradation. However, we can rarely investigate the role of resource loss due to a lack of detailed long-term records of forage plants and habitats. We use 22-year repeated surveys of more than 262 sites located in grassland, forest, and wetland habitats across Illinois, USA to explore how the abundance and richness of bumble...

Eagles enter rotor-swept zones of wind turbines at rates that vary by turbine

Christopher McClure, Brian Rolek, Melissa Braham, Tricia Miller, Adam Duerr, Jennifer McCabe, Leah Dunn & Todd Katzner
There is increasing pressure on wind energy facilities to manage or mitigate for wildlife collisions. However, little information exists regarding spatial and temporal variation in collision rates, meaning that mitigation is most often a blanket prescription. To address this knowledge gap, we evaluated variation among turbines and months in an aspect of collision risk—probability of entry by an eagle into a rotor swept zone (hereafter, ‘probability of entry’). We examined 10,222 eagle flight paths identified...

Pairing functional connectivity with population dynamics to prioritize corridors for Southern California spotted owls

Erin Conlisk, Emily Haeuser, Alan Flint, Rebecca Lewison & Megan Jennings
Aim: Land use change, climate change, and shifts to disturbance regimes make successful wildlife management challenging, particularly when ongoing urbanization constrains habitat and movement. Preserving and maintaining landscape connectivity is a potential strategy to support wildlife responding to these stressors. Using a novel model framework, we determined the population-level benefit of a set of identified potential corridors for spotted owl population viability. Location: Southern California, United States. Methods: Combining habitat suitability and dynamic metapopulation models,...

Geographic variation in dispersal of western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) populations

Alberto Macías-Duarte & Courtney J. Conway
Dispersal is one of the key elements of species’ metapopulation dynamics and, hence, influences global conservation status. Furthermore, determining the geographic variation in magnitude and direction of dispersal throughout a species’ distribution may expand our understanding of the causes of population declines in species of conservation concern. For instance, western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) populations have declined at the northern and eastern edge of their breeding distribution during the 20th century. In the same...

Registration Year

  • 2021

Resource Types

  • Dataset


  • United States Geological Survey
  • Colorado State University
  • Oregon State University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • Utah State University
  • Centre d'Etudes Biologiques de Chizé
  • University of Wyoming
  • University of Maine