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landscape ecology

Xiaobing Zhou, Hilda Smith, Ana Giraldo Silva, Jayne Belnap, Ferran Garcia-Pichel
N2 fixation and ammonia oxidation (AO) are the two most important processes in the nitrogen (N) cycle of biological soil crusts (BSCs). We studied the short-term response of acetylene reduction assay (ARA) rates, an indicator of potential N2 fixation, and AO rates to temperature (T, -5°C to 35°C) in BSC of different successional stages along the BSC ecological succession and geographic origin (hot Chihuahuan and cooler Great Basin deserts). ARA in all BSCs increased with T until saturation occurred between 15 and 20°C, and declined at 30-35°C...
2016: PloS One
Bruce H Noden, Scott R Loss, Courtney Maichak, Faithful Williams
The prevalence of tick-borne diseases has increased dramatically in many urban areas of the U.S., yet little is known about the ecology of ticks and tick-borne pathogens in relation to characteristics of North American urban and suburban landscapes. This study aimed to begin identification of the risk of encountering ticks and tick-borne pathogens within a rapidly expanding metropolitan area in the U.S. Great Plains region. Ten sites across Oklahoma City, Oklahoma were selected for tick sampling based on presence of tick habitat and level of urbanization intensity...
October 14, 2016: Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases
Megan K Creutzburg, Robert M Scheller, Melissa S Lucash, Stephen D LeDuc, Mark G Johnson
Balancing economic, ecological and social values has long been a challenge in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, where conflict over timber harvest and old-growth habitat on public lands has been contentious for the past several decades. The Northwest Forest Plan, adopted two decades ago to guide management on federal lands, is currently being revised as the region searches for a balance between sustainable timber yields and habitat for sensitive species. In addition, climate change imposes a high degree of uncertainty on future forest productivity, sustainability of timber harvest, wildfire risk, and species habitat...
October 21, 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Afshin Pourmokhtarian, Charles T Driscoll, John L Campbell, Katharine Hayhoe, Anne M K Stoner
Assessments of future climate change impacts on ecosystems typically rely on multiple climate model projections, but often utilize only one downscaling approach trained on one set of observations. Here, we explore the extent to which modeled biogeochemical responses to changing climate are affected by the selection of the climate downscaling method and training observations used at the montane landscape of the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, USA. We evaluated three downscaling methods: the delta method (or the change factor method), monthly quantile mapping (Bias Correction-Spatial Disaggregation, or BCSD), and daily quantile regression (Asynchronous Regional Regression Model, or ARRM)...
July 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Jeffrey D Kline, Mark E Harmon, Thomas A Spies, Anita T Morzillo, Robert J Pabst, Brenda C McComb, Frank Schnekenburger, Keith A Olsen, Blair Csuti, Jody C Vogeler
Forest policymakers and managers have long sought ways to evaluate the capability of forest landscapes to jointly produce timber, habitat, and other ecosystem services in response to forest management. Currently, carbon is of particular interest as policies for increasing carbon storage on federal lands are being proposed. However, a challenge in joint production analysis of forest management is adequately representing ecological conditions and processes that influence joint production relationships. We used simulation models of vegetation structure, forest sector carbon, and potential wildlife habitat to characterize landscape-level joint production possibilities for carbon storage, timber harvest, and habitat for seven wildlife species across a range of forest management regimes...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Patricia M Alexandre, Susan I Stewart, Nicholas S Keuler, Murray K Clayton, Miranda H Mockrin, Avi Bar-Massada, Alexandra D Syphard, Volker C Radeloff
Wildfire is globally an important ecological disturbance affecting biochemical cycles and vegetation composition, but also puts people and their homes at risk. Suppressing wildfires has detrimental ecological effects and can promote larger and more intense wildfires when fuels accumulate, which increases the threat to buildings in the wildland-urban interface (WUI). Yet, when wildfires occur, typically only a small proportion of the buildings within the fire perimeter are lost, and the question is what determines which buildings burn...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Bérenger Bourgeois, Eduardo González, Anne Vanasse, Isabelle Aubin, Monique Poulin
The disruption of hydrological connectivity by human activities such as flood regulation or land-use changes strongly impacts riparian plant communities. However, landscape-scale processes have generally been neglected in riparian restoration projects as opposed to local conditions, even though such processes might largely influence community recovery. We surveyed plant composition of field edges and riverbanks in 51 riparian zones restored by tree planting (565 1-m(2) plots) within two agricultural watersheds in southeastern Québec, Canada...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Kelly M Proffitt, Mark Hebblewhite, Wibke Peters, Nicole Hupp, Julee Shamhart
Understanding how habitat and nutritional condition affect ungulate populations is necessary for informing management, particularly in areas experiencing carnivore recovery and declining ungulate population trends. Variations in forage species availability, plant phenological stage, and the abundance of forage make it challenging to understand landscape-level effects of nutrition on ungulates. We developed an integrated spatial modeling approach to estimate landscape-level elk (Cervus elaphus) nutritional resources in two adjacent study areas that differed in coarse measures of habitat quality and related the consequences of differences in nutritional resources to elk body condition and pregnancy rates...
October 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Thomas M Neeson, Sigrid D P Smith, J David Allan, Peter B McIntyre
Most ecosystems are impacted by multiple local and long-distance stressors, many of which interact in complex ways. We present a framework for prioritizing ecological restoration efforts among sites in multi-stressor landscapes. Using a simple model, we show that both the economic and sociopolitical costs of restoration will typically be lower at sites with a relatively small number of severe problems than at sites with numerous lesser problems. Based on these results, we propose using cumulative stress and evenness of stressor impact as complementary indices that together reflect key challenges of restoring a site to improved condition...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Jonathan A Mee, John R Post, Hillary Ward, Kyle L Wilson, Eric Newton, Ariane Cantin
Effective management of socioecological systems requires an understanding of the complex interactions between people and the environment. In recreational fisheries, which are prime examples of socioecological systems, anglers are analogous to mobile predators in natural predator-prey systems, and individual fisheries in lakes across a region are analogous to a spatially structured landscape of prey patches. Hence, effective management of recreational fisheries across large spatial scales requires an understanding of the dynamic interactions among ecological density dependent processes, landscape-level characteristics, and angler behaviors...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Maria J Santos, Shruti Khanna, Erin L Hestir, Jonathan A Greenberg, Susan L Ustin
Processes of spread and patterns of persistence of invasive species affect species and communities in the new environment. Predicting future rates of spread is of great interest for timely management decisions, but this depends on models that rely on understanding the processes of invasion and historic observations of spread and persistence. Unfortunately, the rates of spread and patterns of persistence are difficult to model or directly observe, especially when multiple rates of spread and diverse persistence patterns may be co-occurring over the geographic distribution of the invaded ecosystem...
September 2016: Ecological Applications: a Publication of the Ecological Society of America
Antoine Adde, Emmanuel Roux, Morgan Mangeas, Nadine Dessay, Mathieu Nacher, Isabelle Dusfour, Romain Girod, Sébastien Briolant
Local variation in the density of Anopheles mosquitoes and the risk of exposure to bites are essential to explain the spatial and temporal heterogeneities in the transmission of malaria. Vector distribution is driven by environmental factors. Based on variables derived from satellite imagery and meteorological observations, this study aimed to dynamically model and map the densities of Anopheles darlingi in the municipality of Saint-Georges de l'Oyapock (French Guiana). Longitudinal sampling sessions of An...
2016: PloS One
Kjetil Lysne Voje
The dominating view of evolution based on the fossil record is that established species remain more or less unaltered during their existence. Substantial evolution is on the other hand routinely reported for contemporary populations, and most quantitative traits show high potential for evolution. These contrasting observations on long and short time scales are often referred to as the paradox of stasis, which rests on the fundamental assumption that periods of morphological stasis in the fossil record represent minimal evolutionary change...
October 17, 2016: Evolution; International Journal of Organic Evolution
Jan Plue, Floriane Colas, Alistair G Auffret, Sara A O Cousins
Persistent seed banks are a key plant regeneration strategy, buffering environmental variation to allow population and species persistence. Understanding seed bank functioning within herb layer dynamics is therefore important. However, rather than assessing emergence from the seed bank in herb layer gaps, most studies evaluate the seed bank functioning via a greenhouse census. We hypothesize that greenhouse data may not reflect seed bank driven emergence in disturbance gaps due to methodological differences...
October 14, 2016: Plant Biology
Carrie A Deans, Spencer T Behmer, Justin Fiene, Gregory A Sword
Plant soluble protein and digestible carbohydrate content significantly affect insect herbivore fitness, but studies reporting plant protein and carbohydrate content are rare. Instead, the elements nitrogen and carbon often are used as surrogates for plant protein and digestible carbohydrate content, respectively. However, this is problematic for two reasons. First, carbon is found in all organic molecules, which precludes strong correlations with ecologically important dietary macronutrients (e.g., digestible carbohydrates, the primary energy source for most insect herbivores)...
October 13, 2016: Journal of Chemical Ecology
João Vitor Campos-Silva, Carlos A Peres
Tropical wetlands are highly threatened socio-ecological systems, where local communities rely heavily on aquatic animal protein, such as fish, to meet food security. Here, we quantify how a 'win-win' community-based resource management program induced stock recovery of the world's largest scaled freshwater fish (Arapaima gigas), providing both food and income. We analyzed stock assessment data over eight years and examined the effects of protected areas, community-based management, and landscape and limnological variables across 83 oxbow lakes monitored along a ~500-km section of the Juruá River of Western Brazilian Amazonia...
October 12, 2016: Scientific Reports
Irene Asensio, Marina Vicente-Rubiano, María Jesús Muñoz, Eduardo Fernández-Carrión, José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno, Matilde Carballo
We analyzed six apiaries in several natural environments with a Mediterranean ecosystem in Madrid, central Spain, in order to understand how landscape and management characteristics may influence apiary health and bee production in the long term. We focused on five criteria (habitat quality, landscape heterogeneity, climate, management and health), as well as 30 subcriteria, and we used the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) to rank them according to relevance. Habitat quality proved to have the highest relevance, followed by beehive management...
2016: PloS One
Yann Clough, Vijesh V Krishna, Marife D Corre, Kevin Darras, Lisa H Denmead, Ana Meijide, Stefan Moser, Oliver Musshoff, Stefanie Steinebach, Edzo Veldkamp, Kara Allen, Andrew D Barnes, Natalie Breidenbach, Ulrich Brose, Damayanti Buchori, Rolf Daniel, Reiner Finkeldey, Idham Harahap, Dietrich Hertel, A Mareike Holtkamp, Elvira Hörandl, Bambang Irawan, I Nengah Surati Jaya, Malte Jochum, Bernhard Klarner, Alexander Knohl, Martyna M Kotowska, Valentyna Krashevska, Holger Kreft, Syahrul Kurniawan, Christoph Leuschner, Mark Maraun, Dian Nuraini Melati, Nicole Opfermann, César Pérez-Cruzado, Walesa Edho Prabowo, Katja Rembold, Akhmad Rizali, Ratna Rubiana, Dominik Schneider, Sri Sudarmiyati Tjitrosoedirdjo, Aiyen Tjoa, Teja Tscharntke, Stefan Scheu
Smallholder-dominated agricultural mosaic landscapes are highlighted as model production systems that deliver both economic and ecological goods in tropical agricultural landscapes, but trade-offs underlying current land-use dynamics are poorly known. Here, using the most comprehensive quantification of land-use change and associated bundles of ecosystem functions, services and economic benefits to date, we show that Indonesian smallholders predominantly choose farm portfolios with high economic productivity but low ecological value...
October 11, 2016: Nature Communications
D Olefeldt, S Goswami, G Grosse, D Hayes, G Hugelius, P Kuhry, A D McGuire, V E Romanovsky, A B K Sannel, E A G Schuur, M R Turetsky
Thermokarst is the process whereby the thawing of ice-rich permafrost ground causes land subsidence, resulting in development of distinctive landforms. Accelerated thermokarst due to climate change will damage infrastructure, but also impact hydrology, ecology and biogeochemistry. Here, we present a circumpolar assessment of the distribution of thermokarst landscapes, defined as landscapes comprised of current thermokarst landforms and areas susceptible to future thermokarst development. At 3.6 × 10(6) km(2), thermokarst landscapes are estimated to cover ∼20% of the northern permafrost region, with approximately equal contributions from three landscape types where characteristic wetland, lake and hillslope thermokarst landforms occur...
October 11, 2016: Nature Communications
Caio Graco Zeppelini, Alzira Maria Paiva de Almeida, Pedro Cordeiro-Estrela
As a zoonosis, Plague is also an ecological entity, a complex system of ecological interactions between the pathogen, the hosts, and the spatiotemporal variations of its ecosystems. Five reservoir system models have been proposed: (i) assemblages of small mammals with different levels of susceptibility and roles in the maintenance and amplification of the cycle; (ii) species-specific chronic infection models; (ii) flea vectors as the true reservoirs; (iii) Telluric Plague, and (iv) a metapopulation arrangement for species with a discrete spatial organization, following a source-sink dynamic of extinction and recolonization with naïve potential hosts...
October 2016: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases
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