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Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America

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https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29465768/controls-on-denitrification-potential-in-nitrate-rich-waterways-and-riparian-zones-of-an-irrigated-agricultural-setting
#1
Alex J Webster, Peter M Groffman, Mary L Cadenasso
Denitrification, the microbial conversion of NO3 - to N gases, is an important process contributing to whether lotic and riparian ecosystems act as sinks for excess NO3 - from agricultural activities. Though agricultural waterways and riparian zones have been a focus of denitrification research for decades, almost none of this research has occurred in the irrigated agricultural settings of arid and semi-arid climates. In this study, we conducted a broad survey of denitrification potential in riparian soils and channel sediment from 79 waterway reaches in the irrigated agricultural landscape of California's Central Valley...
February 21, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29457298/forest-structure-provides-the-income-for-reproductive-success-in-a-southern-population-of-canada-lynx
#2
Megan K Kosterman, John R Squires, Joseph D Holbrook, Daniel H Pletscher, Mark Hebblewhite
Understanding intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of reproductive success is central to advancing animal ecology and characterizing critical habitat. Unfortunately, much of the work examining drivers of reproductive success is biased toward particular groups of organisms (e.g., colonial birds, large herbivores, capital breeders). Long-lived mammalian carnivores that are of conservation concern, solitary, and territorial present an excellent situation to examine intrinsic and extrinsic drivers of reproductive success, yet they have received little attention...
February 19, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29450936/correcting-for-missing-and-irregular-data-in-home-range-estimation
#3
C H Fleming, D Sheldon, W F Fagan, P Leimgruber, T Mueller, D Nandintsetseg, M J Noonan, K A Olson, E Setyawan, A Sianipar, J M Calabrese
Home-range estimation is an important application of animal tracking data that is frequently complicated by autocorrelation, sampling irregularity, and small effective sample sizes. We introduce a novel, optimal weighting method that accounts for temporal sampling bias in autocorrelated tracking data. This method corrects for irregular and missing data, such that oversampled times are downweighted and undersampled times are upweighted to minimize error in the home-range estimate. We also introduce computationally efficient algorithms that make this method feasible with large datasets...
February 16, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29446863/conservation-value-of-low-productive-forests-measured-as-the-amount-and-diversity-of-dead-wood-and-saproxylic-beetles
#4
Aino Hämäläinen, Joachim Strengbom, Thomas Ranius
In many managed landscapes, low-productive land comprises most of the remaining relatively untouched areas, and is often over-represented within protected areas. The relationship between the productivity and conservational value of a site is poorly known; however, it has been hypothesized that biodiversity increases with productivity due to higher resource abundance or heterogeneity, and that the species communities of low-productive land are a nested sub-set of communities from more productive land. We tested these hypotheses for dead wood-dependent beetles by comparing their species richness and composition, as well as the amount and diversity of dead wood, between low-productive (potential forest growth < 1 m 3 ha -1 year -1 ) and productive Scots pine-dominated stands in Sweden...
February 15, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29441692/a-conservation-planning-tool-for-greater-sage-grouse-using-indices-of-species-distribution-resilience-and-resistance
#5
Mark A Ricca, Peter S Coates, K Benjamin Gustafson, Brianne E Brussee, Jeanne C Chambers, Shawn P Espinosa, Scott C Gardner, Sherri Lisius, Pilar Ziegler, David J Delehanty, Michael L Casazza
Managers require quantitative yet tractable tools that can identify areas for restoration yielding effective benefits for targeted wildlife species and the ecosystems they inhabit. As a contemporary example of high national significance for conservation, the persistence of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter 'sage-grouse') in the Great Basin ecoregion is compromised, in part, by strongly interacting stressors of conifer encroachment, annual grass invasion, and larger and more frequent wildfires occurring in sagebrush ecosystems...
February 14, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29438591/restoration-of-eastern-oyster-populations-with-positive-density-dependence
#6
Jacob L Moore, Brandon Puckett, Sebastian J Schreiber
Positive density dependence (i.e. Allee effects) can create a threshold of population states below which extinction of the population occurs. The existence of this threshold, which can often be a complex, multi-dimensional surface, rather than a single point, is of particular importance in degraded populations for which there is a desire for successful restoration. Here, we incorporated positive density dependence into a closed, size- and age-structured integral projection model parameterized with empirical data from an Eastern oyster, Crassostrea virginica, population in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina...
February 13, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29437239/depressional-wetlands-affect-watershed-hydrological-biogeochemical-and-ecological-functions
#7
Grey R Evenson, Heather E Golden, Charles R Lane, Daniel L McLaughlin, Ellen D'Amico
Depressional wetlands of the extensive U.S. and Canadian Prairie Pothole Region afford numerous ecosystem processes that maintain healthy watershed functioning. However, these wetlands have been lost at a prodigious rate over past decades due to drainage for development, climate effects, and other causes. Options for management entities to protect the existing wetlands - and their functions - may focus on conserving wetlands based on spatial location vis-à-vis a floodplain or on size limitations (e.g., permitting smaller wetlands to be destroyed but not larger wetlands)...
February 13, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29431888/management-of-a-stage-structured-insect-pest-an-application-of-approximate-optimization
#8
Sean C Hackett, Michael B Bonsall
Ecological decision problems frequently require the optimization of a sequence of actions over time where actions may have both immediate and downstream effects. Dynamic programming can solve such problems only if the problem dimensionality is sufficiently low. Approximate dynamic programming (ADP) provides a suite of methods applicable to problems of arbitrary complexity at the expense of guaranteed optimality. The most easily generalised method is the lookahead policy: a brute-force algorithm which identifies reasonable actions by constructing and solving a series of temporally truncated approximations of the full problem over a defined planning horizon...
February 12, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29430754/host-pathogen-metapopulation-dynamics-suggest-high-elevation-refugia-for-boreal-toads
#9
Brittany A Mosher, Larissa L Bailey, Erin Muths, Kathryn P Huyvaert
Emerging infectious diseases are an increasingly common threat to wildlife. Chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), is an emerging infectious disease that has been linked to amphibian declines around the world. Few studies exist that explore amphibian-Bd dynamics at the landscape scale, limiting our ability to identify which factors are associated with variation in population susceptibility and to develop effective in situ disease management. Declines of boreal toads (Anaxyrus boreas boreas) in the Southern Rocky Mountains are largely attributed to chytridiomycosis but variation exists in local extinction of boreal toads across this metapopulation...
February 12, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29421847/seascape-models-reveal-places-to-focus-coastal-fisheries-management
#10
Kostantinos A Stamoulis, Jade Ms Delevaux, Ivor D Williams, Matthew Poti, Joey Lecky, Bryan Costa, Matthew S Kendall, Simon J Pittman, Mary K Donovan, Lisa M Wedding, Alan M Friedlander
To design effective marine reserves and support fisheries, more information on fishing patterns and impacts for targeted species is needed, as well as better understanding of their key habitats. However, fishing impacts vary geographically and are difficult to disentangle from other factors that influence targeted fish distributions. We developed a set of fishing effort and habitat layers at high resolution and employed machine learning techniques to create regional-scale seascape models and predictive maps of biomass and body length of targeted reef fishes for the main Hawaiian Islands...
February 8, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29420867/applying-network-theory-to-animal-movements-to-identify-properties-of-landscape-space-use
#11
Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau, Iain Douglas-Hamilton, Stephen Blake, Joseph M Northrup, George Wittemyer
Network (graph) theory is a popular analytical framework to characterize the structure and dynamics among discrete objects, particularly effective at identifying critical hubs and patterns of connectivity. The identification of such attributes is a fundamental objective of animal movement research, yet network theory has rarely been applied directly to animal relocation data. We develop an approach that allows the analysis of movement data using network theory by defining occupied pixels as nodes and connection among these pixels as edges...
February 8, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29412491/a-semiarid-fruit-agroecosystem-as-a-conservation-friendly-option-for-small-mammals-in-an-anthropized-landscape-in-mexico
#12
Mónica E Riojas-López, Eric Mellink, Jaime Luévano
Many studies have addressed the potential of low-input agroecosystems for biological conservation. However, most have been carried out on annual agroecosystems in temperate, developed countries. As agricultural surface will increase and natural protected areas alone will not warrant the conservation of biodiversity, it is crucial to include different types of agroecosystems in research and conservation efforts. In Mexico, perennial, low-input, fruit-oriented nopal orchards (Opuntia spp.), one of the few crops suitable for semiarid areas, are the 10th out of 61 most important fruit crops grown in the country...
February 7, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29411919/logging-and-fire-regimes-alter-plant-communities
#13
Elle J Bowd, David B Lindenmayer, Sam C Banks, David P Blair
Disturbances are key drivers of plant community composition, structure and function. Plant functional traits, including life forms and reproductive strategies are critical to the resilience and resistance of plant communities in the event of disturbance. Climate change and increasing anthropogenic disturbance are altering natural disturbance regimes, globally. When these regimes shift beyond the adaptive resilience of plant functional traits, local populations and ecosystem functions can become compromised...
February 7, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29405527/pre-outbreak-forest-conditions-mediate-the-effects-of-spruce-beetle-outbreaks-on-fuels-in-subalpine-forests-of-colorado
#14
Nathan Mietkiewicz, Dominik Kulakowski, Thomas T Veblen
Over the past 30 years, forest disturbances have increased in size, intensity, and frequency globally, and are predicted to continue increasing due to climate change, potentially relaxing the constraints of vegetation properties on disturbance regimes. However, the consequences of the potentially declining importance of vegetation in determining future disturbance regimes are not well understood. Historically, bark beetles preferentially attack older trees and stands in later stages of development. However, as climate warming intensifies outbreaks by promoting growth of beetle populations and compromising tree defenses, smaller diameter trees and stands in early stages of development now are being affected by outbreaks...
February 5, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29405475/estimating-abundance-of-an-open-population-with-an-n-mixture-model-using-auxiliary-data-on-animal-movements
#15
Alison C Ketz, Therese L Johnson, Ryan J Monello, John A Mack, Janet L George, Benjamin R Kraft, Margaret A Wild, Mevin B Hooten, N Thompson Hobbs
Accurate assessment of abundance forms a central challenge in population ecology and wildlife manage Many statistical techniques have been developed to estimate population sizes because populations change over time and space, and to correct for the bias resulting from animals that are present in a study area but not observed. The mobility of individuals makes it difficult to design sampling procedures that account for movement into and out of areas with fixed jurisdictional boundaries. Aerial surveys are the gold standard used to obtain data of large mobile species in geographic regions with harsh terrain, but these surveys can be prohibitively expensive and dangerous...
February 5, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29364572/intermediate-severity-wind-disturbance-in-mature-temperate-forests-legacy-structure-carbon-storage-and-stand-dynamics
#16
Garrett W Meigs, William S Keeton
Wind is one of the most important natural disturbances influencing forest structure, ecosystem function, and successional processes worldwide. This study quantifies the stand-scale effects of intermediate-severity windstorms (i.e., "blowdowns") on (1) live and dead legacy structure, (2) aboveground carbon storage, and (3) tree regeneration and associated stand dynamics at four mature, mixed hardwood-conifer forest sites in the northeastern United States. We compare wind-affected forests to adjacent reference conditions (i...
January 24, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29350826/dispersal-and-population-state-of-an-endangered-island-lizard-following-a-conservation-translocation
#17
Nicole F Angeli, Ian F Lundgren, Clayton G Pollock, Zandy M Hillis-Starr, Lee A Fitzgerald
Population size is widely used as a unit of ecological analysis, yet to estimate population size requires accounting for observed and latent heterogeneity influencing dispersion of individuals across landscapes. In newly established populations, such as when animals are translocated for conservation, dispersal and availability of resources influence patterns of abundance. We developed a process to estimate population size using N-mixture models and spatial models for newly established and dispersing populations...
January 19, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29345744/land-surveys-show-regional-variability-of-historical-fire-regimes-and-structure-of-dry-forests-of-the-western-usa
#18
William L Baker, Mark A Williams
An understanding of how historical fire and structure in dry forests (ponderosa pine, dry mixed conifer) varied across the western USA remains incomplete. Yet, fire strongly affects ecosystem services, and forest restoration programs are underway. We used General Land Office survey reconstructions from the late-1800s across 11 landscapes covering ∼1.9 million ha in four states to analyze spatial variation in fire regimes and forest structure. We first synthesized the state of validation of our methods using 20 modern validations, 53 historical cross-validations, and corroborating evidence...
January 18, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29345743/refining-mortality-estimates-in-shark-demographic-analyses-a-bayesian-inverse-matrix-approach
#19
Jonathan J Smart, André E Punt, William T White, Colin A Simpfendorfer
Leslie matrix models are an important analysis tool in conservation biology that are applied to a diversity of taxa. The standard approach estimates the finite rate of population growth (λ) from a set of vital rates. In some instances, an estimate of λ is available, but the vital rates are poorly understood and can be solved for using an inverse matrix approach. However, these approaches are rarely attempted due to pre-requisites of information on the structure of age or stage-classes. This study addressed this issue by using a combination of Monte Carlo simulations and the sample-importance-resampling (SIR) algorithm to solve the inverse matrix problem without data on population structure...
January 18, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
https://www.readbyqxmd.com/read/29345735/landscape-simplification-reduces-classical-biological-control-and-crop-yield
#20
Heather Grab, Bryan Danforth, Katja Poveda, Greg Loeb
Agricultural intensification resulting in the simplification of agricultural landscapes is known to negatively impact the delivery of key ecosystem services such as the biological control of crop pests. Both conservation and classical biological control may be influenced by the landscape context in which they are deployed; yet studies examining the role of landscape structure in the establishment and success of introduced natural enemies and their interactions with native communities are lacking. In this study, we investigated the relationship between landscape simplification, classical and conservation biological control services and importantly, the outcome of these interactions for crop yield...
January 18, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
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