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Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29222956/demographic-drivers-of-a-refugee-species-large-scale-experiments-guide-strategies-for-reintroductions-of-hirola
#1
Abdullahi H Ali, Matthew J Kauffman, Rajan Amin, Amos Kibara, Juliet King, David Mallon, Charles Musyoki, Jacob R Goheen
Effective reintroduction strategies require accurate estimates of vital rates and the factors that influence them. The hirola (Beatragus hunteri) is the rarest antelope on Earth, with a global population size of <500 individuals restricted to the Kenya-Somali border. We estimated vital rates of hirola populations exposed to varying levels of predation and rangeland quality from 2012 to 2015, and then built population matrices to estimate the finite rate of population change (λ) and demographic sensitivities...
December 9, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29205645/using-ricelands-to-provide-temporary-shorebird-habitat-during-migration
#2
Gregory H Golet, Candace Low, Simon Avery, Katie Andrews, Christopher J McColl, Rheyna Laney, Mark D Reynolds
To help mitigate large wetland losses in California, The Nature Conservancy launched a dynamic conservation incentive program to create temporary wetland habitats in harvested and fallow rice fields for shorebirds migrating along the Pacific Flyway. Farmers were invited to participate in a reverse auction bidding process and winning bids were selected based on their cost and potential to provide high quality shorebird habitat. This was done in 2014 and 2015, for separate enrollment periods that overlapped with spring and fall migration, both before and after the traditional post-harvest flooding period...
December 2, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29205644/making-do-with-less-must-sparse-data-preclude-informed-harvest-strategies-for-european-waterbirds
#3
Fred A Johnson, Mikko Alhainen, Anthony D Fox, Jesper Madsen, Matthieu Guillemain
The demography of many European waterbirds is not well understood because most countries have conducted little monitoring and assessment, and coordination among countries on waterbird management has little precedent. Yet intergovernmental treaties now mandate the use of sustainable, adaptive harvest strategies, whose development is challenged by a paucity of demographic information. In this study, we explore how a combination of allometric relationships, fragmentary monitoring and research information, and expert judgment can be used to estimate the parameters of a theta-logistic population model, which in turn can be used in a Markov decision process to derive optimal harvesting strategies...
December 2, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29205627/exacerbated-grassland-degradation-and-desertification-in-central-asia-during-2000-2014
#4
Geli Zhang, Chandrashekhar M Biradar, Xiangming Xiao, Jinwei Dong, Yuting Zhou, Yuanwei Qin, Yao Zhang, Fang Liu, Mingjun Ding, Richard J Thomas
Grassland degradation and desertification is a complex process, including both state conversion (e.g., grasslands to deserts) and gradual within-state change (e.g., greenness dynamics). Existing studies hardly separated the two components and analyzed it as a whole based on time series vegetation index data, which however cannot provide a clear and comprehensive picture for grassland degradation and desertification. Here we proposed an integrated assessment strategy, by considering both state conversion and within-state change of grasslands, to investigate grassland degradation and desertification process in Central Asia...
December 2, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29178482/hierarchical-multi-taxa-models-inform-riparian-vs-hydrologic-restoration-of-urban-streams-in-a-permeable-landscape
#5
Daniel C Gwinn, Jennifer Middleton, Leah Beesley, Paul Close, Belinda Quinton, Tim Storer, Peter M Davies
The degradation of streams caused by urbanization tends to follow predictable patterns; however, there is a growing appreciation for heterogeneity in stream response to urbanization due to the local geoclimatic context. Furthermore, there is building evidence that streams in mildly sloped, permeable landscapes respond uncharacteristically to urban stress calling for a more nuanced approach to restoration. We evaluated the relative influence of local-scale riparian characteristics and catchment-scale imperviousness on the macroinvertebrate assemblages of streams in the flat, permeable urban landscape of Perth, Western Australia...
November 25, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29178395/megafaunal-effects-on-vegetation-structure-throughout-a-densely-wooded-african-landscape
#6
Andrew B Davies, Angela Gaylard, Gregory P Asner
Megafauna strongly affect vegetation structure and composition, often leading to management concern. However, the extent of their influence across large scales and varying ecosystems remains largely unknown. Using high resolution airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), we investigated landscape-scale changes in vegetation height and three-dimensional (3D) structure across landscapes of varying elephant densities and presence over time, and in response to surface water distribution and terrain variability in the heavily-managed thicket biome of the Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa...
November 25, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29178336/taking-error-into-account-when-fitting-models-using-approximate-bayesian-computation
#7
Elske van der Vaart, Dennis Prangle, Richard M Sibly
Stochastic computer simulations are often the only practical way of answering questions relating to ecological management. However, due to their complexity, such models are difficult to calibrate and evaluate. Approximate Bayesian Computation (ABC) offers an increasingly popular approach to this problem, widely applied across a variety of fields. However, ensuring the accuracy of ABC's estimates has been difficult. Here, we obtain more accurate estimates by incorporating estimation of error into the ABC protocol...
November 25, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29171902/early-ecological-outcomes-of-natural-regeneration-and-tree-plantations-for-restoring-agricultural-landscapes
#8
Ricardo G César, Vanessa S Moreno, Gabriel D Coletta, Robin L Chazdon, Silvio F B Ferraz, Danilo R A de Almeida, Pedro H S Brancalion
Mixed tree plantings and natural regeneration are the main restoration approaches for recovering tropical forests worldwide. Despite substantial differences in implementation costs between these methods, little is known regarding how they differ in terms of ecological outcomes, which is key information for guiding decision-making and cost-effective restoration planning. Here, we compared the early ecological outcomes of natural regeneration and tree plantations for restoring the Brazilian Atlantic Forest in agricultural landscapes...
November 24, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29164716/mechanism-matters-the-cause-of-fluctuations-in-boom-bust-populations-governs-optimal-habitat-restoration-strategy
#9
Gina K Himes Boor, Cheryl B Schultz, Elizabeth E Crone, William F Morris
Many populations exhibit boom-bust dynamics in which abundance fluctuates dramatically over time. Past research has focused on identifying whether the cause of fluctuations is primarily exogenous, e.g., environmental stochasticity coupled with weak density dependence, or endogenous, e.g., over-compensatory density dependence. Far fewer studies have addressed whether the mechanism responsible for boom-bust dynamics matters with respect to at-risk species management. Here, we ask whether the best strategy for restoring habitat across a landscape differs under exogenously versus endogenously driven boom-bust dynamics...
November 21, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29140577/herbivory-and-drought-generate-short-term-stochasticity-and-long-term-stability-in-a-savanna-understory-community
#10
Corinna Riginos, Lauren M Porensky, Kari E Veblen, Truman P Young
Rainfall and herbivory are fundamental drivers of grassland plant dynamics, yet few studies have examined long-term interactions between these factors in an experimental setting. Understanding such interactions is important, as rainfall is becoming increasingly erratic and native wild herbivores are being replaced by livestock. Livestock grazing and episodic low rainfall are thought to interact, leading to greater community change than either factor alone. We examined patterns of change and stability in herbaceous community composition through four dry periods, or droughts, over 15 years of the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE), which consists of six different combinations of cattle, native wild herbivores (e...
November 15, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29113017/cumulative-and-partially-recoverable-impacts-of-nitrogen-addition-on-a-temperate-steppe
#11
Tianxiang Hao, Ling Song, Keith Goulding, Fusuo Zhang, Xuejun Liu
Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has been shown to decrease biodiversity and change nutrient cycles in terrestrial ecosystems. However, our understanding of ecological responses to chronic N addition and ecological recovery from N enrichment to grassland is limited. Here we present evidence from an 11-year grassland experiment with a range of N addition rates (0, 30, 60, 120, 240, and 480 kg N ha(-1) yr(-1) ) in Inner Mongolia, China. Chronic N addition led to a reduction in species richness, Shannon Diversity Index and soil pH, and an increase in aboveground biomass, foliar N and soil mineral N...
November 7, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29112790/crop-rotations-for-increased-soil-carbon-perenniality-as-a-guiding-principle
#12
Alison E King, Jennifer Blesh
More diverse crop rotations have been promoted for their potential to remediate the range of ecosystem services compromised by biologically simplified grain-based agroecosystems, including increasing soil organic carbon (SOC). We hypothesized that functional diversity offers a more predictive means of characterizing the impact of crop rotations on SOC concentrations than species diversity per se. Furthermore, we hypothesized that functional diversity can either increase or decrease SOC depending on its associated carbon (C) input to soil...
November 7, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29083522/trait-based-indicators-of-bird-species-sensitivity-to-habitat-loss-are-effective-within-but-not-across-datasets
#13
Jack H Hatfield, C David L Orme, Joseph A Tobias, Cristina Banks-Leite
Species' traits have been widely championed as the key to predicting which species are most threatened by habitat loss, yet previous work has failed to detect trends that are consistent enough to guide large-scale conservation and management. Here we explore whether traits and environmental variables predict species sensitivity to habitat loss across two datasets generated by independent avifaunal studies in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, both of which detected a similar assemblage of species, and similar species-specific responses to habitat change, across an overlapping sample of sites...
October 30, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29083517/uncovering-state-dependent-relationships-in-shallow-lakes-using-bayesian-latent-variable-regression
#14
Kelsey Vitense, Mark A Hanson, Brian R Herwig, Kyle D Zimmer, John Fieberg
Ecosystems sometimes undergo dramatic shifts between contrasting regimes. Shallow lakes, for instance, can transition between two alternative stable states: a clear state dominated by submerged aquatic vegetation and a turbid state dominated by phytoplankton. Theoretical models suggest that critical nutrient thresholds differentiate three lake types: highly resilient clear lakes, lakes that may switch between clear and turbid states following perturbations, and highly resilient turbid lakes. For effective and efficient management of shallow lakes and other systems, managers need tools to identify critical thresholds and state-dependent relationships between driving variables and key system features...
October 30, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29058765/cumulative-effects-of-wildfires-on-forest-dynamics-in-the-eastern-cascade-mountains-usa
#15
Matthew J Reilly, Mario Elia, Thomas A Spies, Matthew J Gregory, Giovanni Sanesi, Raffaele Lafortezza
Wildfires pose a unique challenge to conservation in fire-prone regions, yet few studies quantify the cumulative effects of wildfires on forest dynamics (i.e. changes in structural conditions) across landscape and regional scales. We assessed the contribution of wildfire to forest dynamics in the eastern Cascade Mountains, USA from 1985 to 2010 using imputed maps of forest structure (i.e. tree size and canopy cover) and remotely-sensed burn severity maps. We addressed three questions: (1) How do dynamics differ between the region as a whole and the unburned portion of the region?, (2) How do dynamics vary among vegetation zones differing in biophysical setting and historical fire frequency?, (3) How have forest structural conditions changed in a network of late successional reserves (LSRs)? Wildfires affected 10% of forests in the region, but the cumulative effects at this scale were primarily slight losses of closed-canopy conditions and slight gains in open-canopy conditions...
October 23, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29055070/climate-change-leads-to-increasing-population-density-and-impacts-of-a-key-island-invader
#16
Gregory T W McClelland, Res Altwegg, Rudi J van Aarde, Sam Ferreira, Alan E Burger, Steven L Chown
The considerable threats of invasive rodents to island biodiversity are likely to be compounded by climate change. Forecasts for such interactions have been most pronounced for the Southern Ocean islands where ameliorating conditions are expected to decrease thermal and resource restrictions on rodents. Firm evidence for changing rodent populations in response to climate change, and demonstrations of associated impacts on the terrestrial environment, are nonetheless entirely absent for the region. Using data collected over three decades on sub-Antarctic Marion Island, we tested empirically whether mouse populations have changed through time and whether these changes can be associated significantly with changing abiotic conditions...
October 20, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29044812/roads-to-ruin-conservation-threats-to-a-sentinel-species-across-an-urban-gradient
#17
Blake E Feist, Eric R Buhle, David H Baldwin, Julann A Spromberg, Steven E Damm, Jay W Davis, Nathaniel L Scholz
Urbanization poses a global challenge to species conservation. This is primarily understood in terms of physical habitat loss, as agricultural and forested lands are replaced with urban infrastructure. However, aquatic habitats are also chemically degraded by urban development, often in the form of toxic stormwater runoff. Here we assess threats of urbanization to coho salmon throughout developed areas of the Puget Sound Basin in Washington, USA. Puget Sound coho are a sentinel species for freshwater communities and also a species of concern under the U...
October 18, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29044791/the-role-of-driving-factors-in-historical-and-projected-carbon-dynamics-of-upland-ecosystems-in-alaska
#18
Hélène Genet, Yujie He, Zhou Lyu, A David McGuire, Qianlai Zhuang, Joy Clein, David D'Amore, Alec Bennett, Amy Breen, Frances Biles, Eugénie S Euskirchen, Kristofer Johnson, Tom Kurkowski, Svetlana Kushch Schroder, Neal Pastick, T Scott Rupp, Bruce Wylie, Yujin Zhang, Xiaoping Zhou, Zhiliang Zhu
It is important to understand how upland ecosystems of Alaska, which are estimated to occupy 84% of the state (i.e. 1,237,774 km(2) ), are influencing and will influence state-wide carbon (C) dynamics in the face of ongoing climate change. We coupled fire disturbance and biogeochemical models to assess the relative effects of changing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), climate, logging and fire regimes on the historical and future C balance of upland ecosystems for the four main Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) of Alaska...
October 17, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29035010/ecosystem-regime-shifts-disrupt-trophic-structure
#19
Tessa N Hempson, Nicholas A J Graham, M Aaron MacNeil, Andrew S Hoey, Shaun K Wilson
Regime shifts between alternative stable ecosystem states are becoming commonplace due to the combined effects of local stressors and global climate change. Alternative states are characterised as substantially different in form and function to pre-disturbance states, disrupting the delivery of ecosystem services and functions. On coral reefs, regime shifts are typically characterised by a change in the benthic composition from coral- to macroalgal-dominance. Such fundamental shifts in the benthos are anticipated to impact associated fish communities that are reliant on the reef for food and shelter, yet there is limited understanding of how regime shifts propagate through the fish community over time, relative to initial or recovery conditions...
October 16, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29034532/feces-nitrogen-release-induced-by-different-large-herbivores-in-a-dry-grassland
#20
Jingzhi Wang, Deli Wang, Chunqiang Li, Timothy R Seastedt, Cunzhu Liang, Ling Wang, Wei Sun, Maowei Liang, Yu Li
Large herbivores have pronounced effects on nutrient cycling in grasslands. These organisms are known to alter the quality and quantity of plant production as well as the amounts and quality of plant litter and animal wastes. The generalization that the relative quality of detritus inputs is enhanced by herbivores is well known, but how this process is affected by diet selection processing and feces production of different large herbivores remains largely unstudied. Here, we measured how these differences for cattle and sheep on a dry grassland might influence nitrogen (N) mineralization from feces...
October 16, 2017: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
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