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landscape ecology

Alisa L Gallant, Walt Sadinski, Jesslyn F Brown, Gabriel B Senay, Mark F Roth
Assessing climate-related ecological changes across spatiotemporal scales meaningful to resource managers is challenging because no one method reliably produces essential data at both fine and broad scales. We recently confronted such challenges while integrating data from ground- and satellite-based sensors for an assessment of four wetland-rich study areas in the U.S. Midwest. We examined relations between temperature and precipitation and a set of variables measured on the ground at individual wetlands and another set measured via satellite sensors within surrounding 4 km² landscape blocks...
March 16, 2018: Sensors
Nathan H Schumaker, Allen Brookes
Context: Simulation models are increasingly used in both theoretical and applied studies to explore system responses to natural and anthropogenic forcing functions, develop defensible predictions of future conditions, challenge simplifying assumptions that facilitated past research, and to train students in scientific concepts and technology. Researcher's increased use of simulation models has created a demand for new platforms that balance performance, utility, and flexibility. Objectives: We describe HexSim, a powerful new spatially-explicit, individual-based modeling framework that will have applications spanning diverse landscape settings, species, stressors, and disciplines (e...
February 1, 2018: Landscape Ecology
Congyan Wang, Kun Jiang, Jiawei Zhou, Bingde Wu
Soil nitrogen-fixing bacterial communities (SNB) can increase the level of available soil N via biological N-fixation to facilitate successful invasion of several invasive plant species (IPS). Meanwhile, landscape heterogeneity can greatly enhance regional invasibility and increase the chances of successful invasion of IPS. Thus, it is important to understand the soil micro-ecological mechanisms driving the successful invasion of IPS in heterogeneous landscapes. This study performed cross-site comparisons, via metagenomics, to comprehensively analyze the effects of Solidago canadensis invasion on SNB in heterogeneous landscapes in urban ecosystems...
March 12, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Niels Rueegger, Brad Law, Ross Goldingay
Understanding maternity roost requirements is fundamental to guide timber production forest management given such roosts are vital to sustain bat populations. We tracked lactating females of three tree cavity-roosting species: Gould's long-eared bat (Nyctophilus gouldi) (n = 7), eastern broad-nosed bat (Scotorepens orion) (n = 6) and little forest bat (Vespadelus vulturnus) (n = 25), over five weeks in young (predominately <5 years old) forest regenerating from heavy timber harvest in southeast Australia...
2018: PloS One
David J Páez, Olivier Restif, Peggy Eby, Raina K Plowright
Bats provide important ecosystem services such as pollination of native forests; they are also a source of zoonotic pathogens for humans and domestic animals. Human-induced changes to native habitats may have created more opportunities for bats to reside in urban settings, thus decreasing pollination services to native forests and increasing opportunities for zoonotic transmission. In Australia, fruit bats ( Pteropus spp. flying foxes) are increasingly inhabiting urban areas where they feed on anthropogenic food sources with nutritional characteristics and phenology that differ from native habitats...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Leone M Brown, Richard J Hall
Anthropogenic landscape features such as urban parks and gardens, landfills and farmlands can provide novel, seasonally reliable food sources that impact wildlife ecology and distributions. In historically migratory species, food subsidies can cause individuals to forgo migration and form partially migratory or entirely sedentary populations, eroding a crucial benefit of migration: pathogen avoidance through seasonal abandonment of transmission sites and mortality of infected individuals during migration. Since many migratory taxa are declining, and wildlife populations in urban areas can harbour zoonotic pathogens, understanding the mechanisms by which anthropogenic resource subsidies influence infection dynamics and the persistence of migration is important for wildlife conservation and public health...
May 5, 2018: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological Sciences
Galen P Dively, P Dilip Venugopal, Dick Bean, Joanne Whalen, Kristian Holmstrom, Thomas P Kuhar, Hélène B Doughty, Terry Patton, William Cissel, William D Hutchison
Transgenic crops containing the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) genes reduce pests and insecticide usage, promote biocontrol services, and economically benefit growers. Area-wide Bt adoption suppresses pests regionally, with declines expanding beyond the planted Bt crops into other non-Bt crop fields. However, the offsite benefits to growers of other crops from such regional suppression remain uncertain. With data spanning 1976-2016, we demonstrate that vegetable growers benefit via decreased crop damage and insecticide applications in relation to pest suppression in the Mid-Atlantic United States...
March 12, 2018: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Rosemary G Gillespie, Suresh P Benjamin, Michael S Brewer, Malia Ana J Rivera, George K Roderick
Insular adaptive radiations in which repeated bouts of diversification lead to phenotypically similar sets of taxa serve to highlight predictability in the evolutionary process [1]. However, examples of such replicated events are rare. Cross-clade comparisons of adaptive radiations are much needed to determine whether similar ecological opportunities can lead to the same outcomes. Here, we report a heretofore uncovered adaptive radiation of Hawaiian stick spiders (Theridiidae, Ariamnes) in which different species exhibit a set of discrete ecomorphs associated with different microhabitats...
February 27, 2018: Current Biology: CB
Nicholas Dusek, Austin J Hewitt, Kaycie N Schmidt, Peter W Bergholz
E. coli are deposited into soil with feces and exhibit subsequent population decline with concomitant environmental selection. Environmentally persistent strains exhibit longer survival times during this selection process and some strains have adapted to soil and sediments. A georeferenced collection of E. coli isolates was developed comprising 3,329 isolates from 1,428 soil samples that were collected from a landscape spanning the transition from the grasslands to the eastern deciduous forest biomes. The isolate collection and sample database were analyzed together to discover how land cover, site characteristics and soil chemistry influence the prevalence of cultivable E...
March 9, 2018: Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Encarni Montoya, Hayley F Keen, Carmen X Luzuriaga, William D Gosling
Tropical ecosystems play a key role in many aspects of Earth system dynamics currently of global concern, including carbon sequestration and biodiversity. To accurately understand complex tropical systems it is necessary to parameterise key ecological aspects, such as rates of change (RoC), species turnover, dynamism, resilience, or stability. To obtain a long-term (>50 years) perspective on these ecological aspects we must turn to the fossil record. However, compared to temperate zones, collecting continuous sedimentary archives in the lowland tropics is often difficult due to the active landscape processes, with potentially frequent volcanic, tectonic, and/or fluvial events confounding sediment deposition, preservation, and recovery...
2018: Frontiers in Plant Science
Lissette Victorero, Katleen Robert, Laura F Robinson, Michelle L Taylor, Veerle A I Huvenne
Seamounts are proposed to be hotspots of deep-sea biodiversity, a pattern potentially arising from increased productivity in a heterogeneous landscape leading to either high species co-existence or species turnover (beta diversity). However, studies on individual seamounts remain rare, hindering our understanding of the underlying causes of local changes in beta diversity. Here, we investigated processes behind beta diversity using ROV video, coupled with oceanographic and quantitative terrain parameters, over a depth gradient in Annan Seamount, Equatorial Atlantic...
March 7, 2018: Scientific Reports
João Paulo Gomes Viana, Marcos Vinícius Bohrer Monteiro Siqueira, Fabiano Lucas Araujo, Carolina Grando, Patricia Sanae Sujii, Ellida de Aguiar Silvestre, Mariana Novello, José Baldin Pinheiro, Marcelo Mattos Cavallari, Pedro H S Brancalion, Ricardo Ribeiro Rodrigues, Anete Pereira de Souza, Julian Catchen, Maria I Zucchi
The primary focus of tropical forest restoration has been the recovery of forest structure and tree taxonomic diversity, with limited attention given to genetic conservation. Populations reintroduced through restoration plantings may have low genetic diversity and be genetically structured due to founder effects and genetic drift, which limit the potential of restoration to recover ecologically resilient plant communities. Here, we studied the genetic diversity, genetic structure and differentiation using single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) markers between restored and natural populations of the native tree Casearia sylvestris in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil...
2018: PloS One
Xueni Pan, Antonia F de C Hamilton
As virtual reality (VR) technology and systems become more commercially available and accessible, more and more psychologists are starting to integrate VR as part of their methods. This approach offers major advantages in experimental control, reproducibility, and ecological validity, but also has limitations and hidden pitfalls which may distract the novice user. This study aimed to guide the psychologist into the novel world of VR, reviewing available instrumentation and mapping the landscape of possible systems...
March 5, 2018: British Journal of Psychology
Zachary W Culumber, Michael Tobler
The role of ecology in phenotypic and species diversification is widely documented. Nonetheless, numerous non-adaptive processes can shape realized niches and phenotypic variation in natural populations, complicating inferences about adaptive evolution at macroevolutionary scales. We tested for evolved differences in thermal tolerances and their association with the realized thermal niche (including metrics describing diurnal and seasonal patterns of temperature extremes and variability) across a genus of tropical freshwater fishes reared in a standardized environment...
March 2, 2018: Journal of Evolutionary Biology
M Constanza Mannino, M Patricia Juárez, Nicolás Pedrini
The chemical control of Triatoma infestans, the major Chagas disease vector in southern South America, has been threatened in the last years by the emergence of pyrethroid-resistant bug populations. As an alternative approach, the efficacy of the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana to control T. infestans populations (regardless their pyrethroid susceptibility) has been demonstrated. Growing research efforts on the interaction between T. infestans and B. bassiana by molecular, ecological, biochemical and behavioral traits has allowed framing such interaction as an evolutionary arms race...
February 26, 2018: Infection, Genetics and Evolution
Martina Ferraguti, Josué Martínez-de la Puente, Staffan Bensch, David Roiz, Santigo Ruiz, Duarte S Viana, Ramon C Soriguer, Jordi Figuerola
Vector and host communities, as well as habitat characteristics, may have important but different impacts on the prevalence, richness and evenness of vector-borne parasites. We investigated the relative importance of (1) the mosquito community composition, (2) the vertebrate community composition and (3) landscape characteristics on the prevalence, richness and evenness of avian Plasmodium. We hypothesized that parasite prevalence will be more affected by vector-related parameters, while host parameters should be also important to explain Plasmodium richness and evenness...
March 1, 2018: Journal of Animal Ecology
Michael Sievers, Kirsten M Parris, Stephen E Swearer, Robin Hale
Around cities, natural wetlands are rapidly being destroyed and replaced with wetlands constructed to treat stormwater. Although the intended purpose of these wetlands is to manage urban stormwater, they are inhabited by wildlife that might be exposed to contaminants. These effects will be exacerbated if animals are unable to differentiate between stormwater treatment wetlands of varying quality and some function as 'ecological traps' (i.e. habitats that animals prefer despite fitness being lower than in other habitats)...
March 1, 2018: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Alain Isabwe, Jun R Yang, Yongming Wang, Lemian Liu, Huihuang Chen, Jun Yang
Although the influence of microbial community assembly processes on aquatic ecosystem function and biodiversity is well known, the processes that govern planktonic communities in human-impacted rivers remain largely unstudied. Here, we used multivariate statistics and a null model approach to test the hypothesis that environmental conditions and obstructed dispersal opportunities, dictate a deterministic community assembly for phytoplankton and bacterioplankton across contrasting hydrographic conditions in a subtropical mid-sized river (Jiulong River, southeast China)...
February 26, 2018: Science of the Total Environment
Robert A Francis, Jimmy D Taylor, Eric Dibble, Bronson Strickland, Vanessa M Petro, Christine Easterwood, Guiming Wang
Animal habitat selection, among other ecological phenomena, is spatially scale dependent. Habitat selection by American beavers Castor canadensis (hereafter, beaver) has been studied at singular spatial scales, but to date no research addresses multi-scale selection. Our objectives were to determine if beaver habitat selection was specialized to semiaquatic habitats and if variables explaining habitat selection are consistent between landscape and fine spatial scales. We built maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to relate landscape-scale presence-only data to landscape variables, and used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate fine spatial scale habitat selection using global positioning system (GPS) relocation data...
December 2017: Current Zoology
Bryan M Kluever, Eric M Gese, Steven J Dempsey
Anthropogenic manipulation of finite resources on the landscape to benefit individual species or communities is commonly employed by conservation and management agencies. One such action in arid regions is the construction and maintenance of water developments (i.e., wildlife guzzlers) adding free water on the landscape to buttress local populations, influence animal movements, or affect distributions of certain species of interest. Despite their prevalence, the utility of wildlife guzzlers remains largely untested...
April 2017: Current Zoology
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