WorldWideScience

Sample records for anthropogenic habitat change

  1. Population genetic dynamics of three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) in anthropogenic altered habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scharsack, Joern P; Schweyen, Hannah; Schmidt, Alexander M; Dittmar, Janine; Reusch, Thorsten Bh; Kurtz, Joachim

    2012-06-01

    In industrialized and/or agriculturally used landscapes, inhabiting species are exposed to a variety of anthropogenic changes in their environments. Genetic diversity may be reduced if populations encounter founder events, bottlenecks, or isolation. Conversely, genetic diversity may increase if populations adapt to changes in selective regimes in newly created habitats. With the present study, genetic variability of 918 sticklebacks from 43 samplings (21.3 ± 3.8 per sample) at 36 locations from cultivated landscapes in Northwest Germany was analyzed at nine neutral microsatellite loci. To test if differentiation is influenced by habitat alterations, sticklebacks were collected from ancient running waters and adjacent artificial stagnant waters, from brooks with salt water inflow of anthropogenic and natural origin and adjacent freshwater sites. Overall population structure was dominated by isolation by distance (IBD), which was significant across all populations, and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed that 10.6% of the variation was explained by river catchment area. Populations in anthropogenic modified habitats deviated from the general IBD structure and in the AMOVA, grouping by habitat type running/stagnant water explained 4.9% of variation and 1.4% of the variation was explained by salt-/freshwater habitat. Sticklebacks in salt-polluted water systems seem to exhibit elevated migratory activity between fresh- and saltwater habitats, reducing IBD. In other situations, populations showed distinct signs of genetic isolation, which in some locations was attributed to mechanical migration barriers, but in others to potential anthropogenic induced bottleneck or founder effects. The present study shows that anthropogenic habitat alterations may have diverse effects on the population genetic structure of inhabiting species. Depending on the type of habitat change, increased genetic differentiation, diversification, or isolation are possible consequences.

  2. Evaluating Anthropogenic Risk of Grassland and Forest Habitat Degradation using Land-Cover Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt Riitters

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available The effects of landscape context on habitat quality are receiving increased attention in conservation biology. The objective of this research is to demonstrate a landscape-level approach to mapping and evaluating the anthropogenic risks of grassland and forest habitat degradation by examining habitat context as defined by intensive anthropogenic land uses at multiple spatial scales. A landscape mosaic model classifies a given location according to the amounts of intensive agriculture and intensive development in its surrounding landscape, providing measures of anthropogenic risks attributable to habitat isolation and edge effects at that location. The model is implemented using a land-cover map (0.09 ha/pixel of the conterminous United States and six landscape sizes (4.4, 15.2, 65.6, 591, 5300, and 47800 ha to evaluate the spatial scales of anthropogenic risk. Statistics for grassland and forest habitat are extracted by geographic overlays of the maps of land-cover and landscape mosaics. Depending on landscape size, 81 to 94 percent of all grassland and forest habitat occurs in landscapes that are dominated by natural land-cover including habitat itself. Within those natural-dominated landscapes, 50 percent of grassland and 59 percent of forest is within 590 m of intensive agriculture and/or intensive developed land which is typically a minor component of total landscape area. The conclusion is that anthropogenic risk attributable to habitat patch isolation affects a small proportion of the total grassland or forest habitat area, while the majority of habitat area is exposed to edge effects.

  3. Evaluating anthropogenic risk of grassland and forest habitat degradation using land-cover data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt Riitters; James Wickham; Timothy Wade

    2009-01-01

    The effects of landscape context on habitat quality are receiving increased attention in conservation biology. The objective of this research is to demonstrate a landscape-level approach to mapping and evaluating the anthropogenic risks of grassland and forest habitat degradation by examining habitat context as defined by intensive anthropogenic land uses at multiple...

  4. What is the impact on fish recruitment of anthropogenic physical and structural habitat change in shallow nearshore areas in temperate systems? A systematic review protocol

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    MacUra, B.; Lönnstedt, O.M.; Byström, P.

    2016-01-01

    and spawning habitats of many fish and other aquatic species. Several coastal fish populations have seen marked declines in abundance and diversity during the past two decades. A systematic review on the topic would clarify if anthropogenic physical and structural changes of near-shore areas have effects...... on fish recruitment and which these effects are. Methods: The review will examine how various physical and structural anthropogenic changes of nearshore fish habitats affect fish recruitment. Relevant studies include small- and large-scale field studies in marine and brackish systems or large lakes......Background: Shallow nearshore marine ecosystems are changing at an increasing rate due to a range of human activities such as urbanisation and commercial development. The growing numbers of constructions and other physical and structural alterations of the shoreline often take place in nursery...

  5. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar

    OpenAIRE

    Farris, Zach J.; Golden, Christopher D.; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M.; Kelly, Marcella J.

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore c...

  6. Gastropod diversity, distribution and abundance in habitats with and without anthropogenic disturbances in Lake Victoria, Kenya

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lange, C. N.; Kristensen, Thomas K.; Madsen, Henry

    2013-01-01

    We investigated freshwater gastropod diversity, abundance and distribution in habitats with and without anthropogenic disturbance in two localities, Ndere in the Winam Gulf and Mbita Point, Lake Victoria, Kenya, from May 2002 to January 2004. A total of 133 984 gastropod specimens belonging to 15...... species were recorded, 14 from Mbita and 12 from Ndere. Two species, Ferrissia kavirondica and Cleopatra cridlandi, which were recorded only from undisturbed habitats, could be indicators of least disturbed habitats. Water chemistry did differ between fish landing sites and undisturbed habitats at some......, while other species may not tolerate these changes. In order to protect gastropod diversity and avoid dominance of intermediate hosts, such as B. choanomphala, a management plan for the use of these fish landing sites should be developed. This could include rules on how to dispose of fish remnants...

  7. Equisetum telmateia Ehrh. morphotypes related to anthropogenic habitats

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    Dominik Wróbel

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The Giant Horsetail (Equisetum telmateia is the only representative of Equisetum genus included in the list of strictly protected species. In Central and Western Europe the species is found in communities belonging to alliances: Alno-Padion and Calthion. With progressing destruction of these biotopes, one can observe the phenomenon of this species moving to the habitats extremely anthropogenic in character. Frequent and intensive observations of this phenomenon were conducted in the Jasło - Krosno Dale area in southern Poland in three anthropogenic localities. In these localities three interesting, irregular Equisetum telmateia morphotypes were found: fo. serotinum subfo. proliferum, fo. spiralis and a morphotype with branched shoot. The phenomenon of morphological plasticity of sporophytes is thought to be connected with the action of genes, which regulate the identity of developing plant organs and their distribution. These genes perform a superior part in relation to the system of growth regulators.

  8. Aqueous Neem Extract Versus Neem Powder on Culex quinquefasciatus: Implications for Control in Anthropogenic Habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Kudom, Andreas A.; Mensah, Ben A.; Botchey, Mary A.

    2011-01-01

    Control programs using conventional insecticides to target anthropogenic mosquito habitats are very expensive because these habitats are widespread, particularly in cities of most African countries. Additionally, there are serious environmental concerns regarding large-scale application of most conventional insecticides. Clearly there is a need for alternative methods that are more effective, less expensive, and environmentally friendly. One such method would be the application of preparation...

  9. Anthropogenic Habitats Facilitate Dispersal of an Early Successional Obligate: Implications for Restoration of an Endangered Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katrina E Amaral

    Full Text Available Landscape modification and habitat fragmentation disrupt the connectivity of natural landscapes, with major consequences for biodiversity. Species that require patchily distributed habitats, such as those that specialize on early successional ecosystems, must disperse through a landscape matrix with unsuitable habitat types. We evaluated landscape effects on dispersal of an early successional obligate, the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis. Using a landscape genetics approach, we identified barriers and facilitators of gene flow and connectivity corridors for a population of cottontails in the northeastern United States. We modeled dispersal in relation to landscape structure and composition and tested hypotheses about the influence of habitat fragmentation on gene flow. Anthropogenic and natural shrubland habitats facilitated gene flow, while the remainder of the matrix, particularly development and forest, impeded gene flow. The relative influence of matrix habitats differed between study areas in relation to a fragmentation gradient. Barrier features had higher explanatory power in the more fragmented site, while facilitating features were important in the less fragmented site. Landscape models that included a simultaneous barrier and facilitating effect of roads had higher explanatory power than models that considered either effect separately, supporting the hypothesis that roads act as both barriers and facilitators at all spatial scales. The inclusion of LiDAR-identified shrubland habitat improved the fit of our facilitator models. Corridor analyses using circuit and least cost path approaches revealed the importance of anthropogenic, linear features for restoring connectivity between the study areas. In fragmented landscapes, human-modified habitats may enhance functional connectivity by providing suitable dispersal conduits for early successional specialists.

  10. Anthropogenic areas as incidental substitutes for original habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Jiménez, Juan

    2016-06-01

    One speaks of ecological substitutes when an introduced species performs, to some extent, the ecosystem function of an extirpated native species. We suggest that a similar case exists for habitats. Species evolve within ecosystems, but habitats can be destroyed or modified by natural and human-made causes. Sometimes habitat alteration forces animals to move to or remain in a suboptimal habitat type. In that case, the habitat is considered a refuge, and the species is called a refugee. Typically refugee species have lower population growth rates than in their original habitats. Human action may lead to the unintended generation of artificial or semiartificial habitat types that functionally resemble the essential features of the original habitat and thus allow a population growth rate of the same magnitude or higher than in the original habitat. We call such areas substitution habitats and define them as human-made habitats within the focal species range that by chance are partial substitutes for the species' original habitat. We call species occupying a substitution habitat adopted species. These are 2 new terms in conservation biology. Examples of substitution habitats are dams for European otters, wheat and rice fields for many steppeland and aquatic birds, and urban areas for storks, falcons, and swifts. Although substitution habitats can bring about increased resilience against the agents of global change, the conservation of original habitat types remains a conservation priority. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J; Golden, Christopher D; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M; Kelly, Marcella J

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting) affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar's largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar's largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana) occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (mean=90 individuals consumed/year), the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans) (mean=58 consumed/year), and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (mean=31 consumed/year). Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are highest. These various

  12. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zach J Farris

    Full Text Available The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar's largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar's largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica. Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (mean=90 individuals consumed/year, the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans (mean=58 consumed/year, and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox (mean=31 consumed/year. Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are highest

  13. Hunting, Exotic Carnivores, and Habitat Loss: Anthropogenic Effects on a Native Carnivore Community, Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farris, Zach J.; Golden, Christopher D.; Karpanty, Sarah; Murphy, Asia; Stauffer, Dean; Ratelolahy, Felix; Andrianjakarivelo, Vonjy; Holmes, Christopher M.; Kelly, Marcella J.

    2015-01-01

    The wide-ranging, cumulative, negative effects of anthropogenic disturbance, including habitat degradation, exotic species, and hunting, on native wildlife has been well documented across a range of habitats worldwide with carnivores potentially being the most vulnerable due to their more extinction prone characteristics. Investigating the effects of anthropogenic pressures on sympatric carnivores is needed to improve our ability to develop targeted, effective management plans for carnivore conservation worldwide. Utilizing photographic, line-transect, and habitat sampling, as well as landscape analyses and village-based bushmeat hunting surveys, we provide the first investigation of how multiple forms of habitat degradation (fragmentation, exotic carnivores, human encroachment, and hunting) affect carnivore occupancy across Madagascar’s largest protected area: the Masoala-Makira landscape. We found that as degradation increased, native carnivore occupancy and encounter rates decreased while exotic carnivore occupancy and encounter rates increased. Feral cats (Felis species) and domestic dogs (Canis familiaris) had higher occupancy than half of the native carnivore species across Madagascar’s largest protected landscape. Bird and small mammal encounter rates were negatively associated with exotic carnivore occupancy, but positively associated with the occupancy of four native carnivore species. Spotted fanaloka (Fossa fossana) occupancy was constrained by the presence of exotic feral cats and exotic small Indian civet (Viverricula indica). Hunting was intense across the four study sites where hunting was studied, with the highest rates for the small Indian civet (x¯ = 90 individuals consumed/year), the ring-tailed vontsira (Galidia elegans) (x¯ = 58 consumed/year), and the fosa (Cryptoprocta ferox) (x¯ = 31 consumed/year). Our modeling results suggest hunters target intact forest where carnivore occupancy, abundance, and species richness, are

  14. Potential for spatial displacement of Cook Inlet beluga whales by anthropogenic noise in critical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Small, Robert J.; Brost, Brian M.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Castellote, Manuel; Mondragon, Jeffrey

    2017-01-01

    The population of beluga whales in Cook Inlet, Alaska, USA, declined by nearly half in the mid-1990s, primarily from an unsustainable harvest, and was listed as endangered in 2008. In 2014, abundance was ~340 whales, and the population trend during 1999-2014 was -1.3% yr-1. Cook Inlet beluga whales are particularly vulnerable to anthropogenic impacts, and noise that has the potential to reduce communication and echolocation range considerably has been documented in critical habitat; thus, noise was ranked as a high potential threat in the Cook Inlet beluga Recovery Plan. The current recovery strategy includes research on effects of threats potentially limiting recovery, and thus we examined the potential impact of anthropogenic noise in critical habitat, specifically, spatial displacement. Using a subset of data on anthropogenic noise and beluga detections from a 5 yr acoustic study, we evaluated the influence of noise events on beluga occupancy probability. We used occupancy models, which account for factors that affect detection probability when estimating occupancy, the first application of these models to examine the potential impacts of anthropogenic noise on marine mammal behavior. Results were inconclusive, primarily because beluga detections were relatively infrequent. Even though noise metrics (sound pressure level and noise duration) appeared in high-ranking models as covariates for occupancy probability, the data were insufficient to indicate better predictive ability beyond those models that only included environmental covariates. Future studies that implement protocols designed specifically for beluga occupancy will be most effective for accurately estimating the effect of noise on beluga displacement.

  15. Combined effects of local habitat, anthropogenic stress, and dispersal on stream ecosystems: a mesocosm experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turunen, Jarno; Louhi, Pauliina; Mykrä, Heikki; Aroviita, Jukka; Putkonen, Emmi; Huusko, Ari; Muotka, Timo

    2018-06-06

    The effects of anthropogenic stressors on community structure and ecosystem functioning can be strongly influenced by local habitat structure and dispersal from source communities. Catchment land uses increase the input of fine sediments into stream channels, clogging the interstitial spaces of benthic habitats. Aquatic macrophytes enhance habitat heterogeneity and mediate important ecosystem functions, being thus a key component of habitat structure in many streams. Therefore, the recovery of macrophytes following in-stream habitat modification may be prerequisite for successful stream restoration. Restoration success is also affected by dispersal of organisms from the source community, with potentially strongest responses in relatively isolated headwater sites that receive limited amount of dispersing individuals. We used a factorial design in a set of stream mesocosms to study the independent and combined effects of an anthropogenic stressor (sand sedimentation), local habitat (macrophytes, i.e. moss transplants) and enhanced dispersal (two levels: high vs. low) on organic matter retention, algal accrual rate, leaf decomposition and macroinvertebrate community structure. Overall, all responses were simple additive effects with no interactions between treatments. Sand reduced algal accumulation, total invertebrate density and density of a few individual taxa. Mosses reduced algal accrual rate and algae-grazing invertebrates, but enhanced organic matter retention and detritus- and filter-feeders. Mosses also reduced macroinvertebrate diversity by increasing the dominance by a few taxa. Mosses also reduced leaf-mass loss, possibly because the organic matter retained by mosses provided an additional food source for leaf-shredding invertebrates and thus reduced shredder aggregation into leaf packs. The effect of mosses on macroinvertebrate communities and ecosystem functioning was distinct irrespective of the level of dispersal, suggesting strong environmental

  16. Satellite Earth observation data to identify anthropogenic pressures in selected protected areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagendra, Harini; Mairota, Paola; Marangi, Carmela; Lucas, Richard; Dimopoulos, Panayotis; Honrado, João Pradinho; Niphadkar, Madhura; Mücher, Caspar A.; Tomaselli, Valeria; Panitsa, Maria; Tarantino, Cristina; Manakos, Ioannis; Blonda, Palma

    2015-05-01

    Protected areas are experiencing increased levels of human pressure. To enable appropriate conservation action, it is critical to map and monitor changes in the type and extent of land cover/use and habitat classes, which can be related to human pressures over time. Satellite Earth observation (EO) data and techniques offer the opportunity to detect such changes. Yet association with field information and expert interpretation by ecologists is required to interpret, qualify and link these changes to human pressure. There is thus an urgent need to harmonize the technical background of experts in the field of EO data analysis with the terminology of ecologists, protected area management authorities and policy makers in order to provide meaningful, context-specific value-added EO products. This paper builds on the DPSIR framework, providing a terminology to relate the concepts of state, pressures, and drivers with the application of EO analysis. The type of pressure can be inferred through the detection of changes in state (i.e. changes in land cover and/or habitat type and/or condition). Four broad categories of changes in state are identified, i.e. land cover/habitat conversion, land cover/habitat modification, habitat fragmentation and changes in landscape connectivity, and changes in plant community structure. These categories of change in state can be mapped through EO analyses, with the goal of using expert judgement to relate changes in state to causal direct anthropogenic pressures. Drawing on expert knowledge, a set of protected areas located in diverse socio-ecological contexts and subject to a variety of pressures are analysed to (a) link the four categories of changes in state of land cover/habitats to the drivers (anthropogenic pressure), as relevant to specific target land cover and habitat classes; (b) identify (for pressure mapping) the most appropriate spatial and temporal EO data sources as well as interpretations from ecologists and field data

  17. Anthropogenic climate change drives shift and shuffle in North Atlantic phytoplankton communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Andrew D; Irwin, Andrew J; Finkel, Zoe V; Stock, Charles A

    2016-03-15

    Anthropogenic climate change has shifted the biogeography and phenology of many terrestrial and marine species. Marine phytoplankton communities appear sensitive to climate change, yet understanding of how individual species may respond to anthropogenic climate change remains limited. Here, using historical environmental and phytoplankton observations, we characterize the realized ecological niches for 87 North Atlantic diatom and dinoflagellate taxa and project changes in species biogeography between mean historical (1951-2000) and future (2051-2100) ocean conditions. We find that the central positions of the core range of 74% of taxa shift poleward at a median rate of 12.9 km per decade (km⋅dec(-1)), and 90% of taxa shift eastward at a median rate of 42.7 km⋅dec(-1) The poleward shift is faster than previously reported for marine taxa, and the predominance of longitudinal shifts is driven by dynamic changes in multiple environmental drivers, rather than a strictly poleward, temperature-driven redistribution of ocean habitats. A century of climate change significantly shuffles community composition by a basin-wide median value of 16%, compared with seasonal variations of 46%. The North Atlantic phytoplankton community appears poised for marked shift and shuffle, which may have broad effects on food webs and biogeochemical cycles.

  18. Low genetic diversity and strong population structure shaped by anthropogenic habitat fragmentation in a critically endangered primate, Trachypithecus leucocephalus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, W; Qiao, Y; Li, S; Pan, W; Yao, M

    2017-06-01

    Habitat fragmentation may strongly impact population genetic structure and reduce the genetic diversity and viability of small and isolated populations. The white-headed langur (Trachypithecus leucocephalus) is a critically endangered primate species living in a highly fragmented and human-modified habitat in southern China. We examined the population genetic structure and genetic diversity of the species and investigated the environmental and anthropogenic factors that may have shaped its population structure. We used 214 unique multi-locus genotypes from 41 social groups across the main distribution area of T. leucocephalus, and found strong genetic structure and significant genetic differentiation among local populations. Our landscape genetic analyses using a causal modelling framework suggest that a large habitat gap and geographical distance represent the primary landscape elements shaping genetic structure, yet high levels of genetic differentiation also exist between patches separated by a small habitat gap or road. This is the first comprehensive study that has evaluated the population genetic structure and diversity of T. leucocephalus using nuclear markers. Our results indicate strong negative impacts of anthropogenic land modifications and habitat fragmentation on primate genetic connectivity between forest patches. Our analyses suggest that two management units of the species could be defined, and indicate that habitat continuity should be enforced and restored to reduce genetic isolation and enhance population viability.

  19. Land use compounds habitat losses under projected climate change in a threatened California ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin Coulter Riordan

    Full Text Available Given the rapidly growing human population in mediterranean-climate systems, land use may pose a more immediate threat to biodiversity than climate change this century, yet few studies address the relative future impacts of both drivers. We assess spatial and temporal patterns of projected 21(st century land use and climate change on California sage scrub (CSS, a plant association of considerable diversity and threatened status in the mediterranean-climate California Floristic Province. Using a species distribution modeling approach combined with spatially-explicit land use projections, we model habitat loss for 20 dominant shrub species under unlimited and no dispersal scenarios at two time intervals (early and late century in two ecoregions in California (Central Coast and South Coast. Overall, projected climate change impacts were highly variable across CSS species and heavily dependent on dispersal assumptions. Projected anthropogenic land use drove greater relative habitat losses compared to projected climate change in many species. This pattern was only significant under assumptions of unlimited dispersal, however, where considerable climate-driven habitat gains offset some concurrent climate-driven habitat losses. Additionally, some of the habitat gained with projected climate change overlapped with projected land use. Most species showed potential northern habitat expansion and southern habitat contraction due to projected climate change, resulting in sharply contrasting patterns of impact between Central and South Coast Ecoregions. In the Central Coast, dispersal could play an important role moderating losses from both climate change and land use. In contrast, high geographic overlap in habitat losses driven by projected climate change and projected land use in the South Coast underscores the potential for compounding negative impacts of both drivers. Limiting habitat conversion may be a broadly beneficial strategy under climate change

  20. Coastal sediment elevation change following anthropogenic mangrove clearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Heather L.; Granek, Elise F.

    2015-11-01

    Coastal mangrove forests along tropical shorelines serve as an important interface between land and sea. They provide a physical buffer protecting the coastline from erosion and act as sediment "traps" catching terrestrial sediment, thus preventing smothering of subtidal coral reefs. Coastal development that removes mangrove habitat may impact adjacent nearshore coral reefs through sedimentation and nutrient loading. We examined differences in sediment elevation change between patches of open-coast intact and anthropogenically cleared red mangroves (Rhizophora mangle) on the east side of Turneffe Atoll, Belize, to quantify changes following mangrove clearing. Samples were collected over a 24 month period at five study sites, each containing paired intact (+mangrove) and cleared (-mangrove) plots. Five sediment elevation pins were deployed in each plot: behind areas cleared of mangroves (-mangrove) and behind adjacent intact mangroves (+mangrove). Sediment elevation increased at intact mangrove sites (M = +3.83 mm, SE = 0.95) whereas cleared mangrove areas suffered elevation loss (M = -7.30 mm, SE = 3.38). Mangroves inshore of partial or continuous gaps in the adjacent fringing reefs had higher rates of elevation loss (M = -15.05 mm) than mangroves inshore of continuous fringing reefs (M = -1.90 mm). Our findings provide information on potential effects of mangrove clearing and the role of offshore habitat characteristics on coastal sediment trapping and maintenance of sediment elevation by mangroves. With implications for coastline capacity to adjust to sea level rise, these findings are relevant to management of coastal fringing mangrove forests across the Caribbean.

  1. Projections of climate-driven changes in tuna vertical habitat based on species-specific differences in blood oxygen affinity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mislan, K A S; Deutsch, Curtis A; Brill, Richard W; Dunne, John P; Sarmiento, Jorge L

    2017-10-01

    Oxygen concentrations are hypothesized to decrease in many areas of the ocean as a result of anthropogenically driven climate change, resulting in habitat compression for pelagic animals. The oxygen partial pressure, pO 2 , at which blood is 50% saturated (P 50 ) is a measure of blood oxygen affinity and a gauge of the tolerance of animals for low ambient oxygen. Tuna species display a wide range of blood oxygen affinities (i.e., P 50 values) and therefore may be differentially impacted by habitat compression as they make extensive vertical movements to forage on subdaily time scales. To project the effects of end-of-the-century climate change on tuna habitat, we calculate tuna P 50 depths (i.e., the vertical position in the water column at which ambient pO 2 is equal to species-specific blood P 50 values) from 21st century Earth System Model (ESM) projections included in the fifth phase of the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). Overall, we project P 50 depths to shoal, indicating likely habitat compression for tuna species due to climate change. Tunas that will be most impacted by shoaling are Pacific and southern bluefin tunas-habitat compression is projected for the entire geographic range of Pacific bluefin tuna and for the spawning region of southern bluefin tuna. Vertical shifts in P 50 depths will potentially influence resource partitioning among Pacific bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin, and skipjack tunas in the northern subtropical and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, the Arabian Sea, and the Bay of Bengal. By establishing linkages between tuna physiology and environmental conditions, we provide a mechanistic basis to project the effects of anthropogenic climate change on tuna habitats. Published 2017. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  2. Habitat-based conservation strategies cannot compensate for climate-change-induced range loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wessely, Johannes; Hülber, Karl; Gattringer, Andreas; Kuttner, Michael; Moser, Dietmar; Rabitsch, Wolfgang; Schindler, Stefan; Dullinger, Stefan; Essl, Franz

    2017-11-01

    Anthropogenic habitat fragmentation represents a major obstacle to species shifting their range in response to climate change. Conservation measures to increase the (meta-)population capacity and permeability of landscapes may help but the effectiveness of such measures in a warming climate has rarely been evaluated. Here, we simulate range dynamics of 51 species from three taxonomic groups (vascular plants, butterflies and grasshoppers) in Central Europe as driven by twenty-first-century climate scenarios and analyse how three habitat-based conservation strategies (establishing corridors, improving the landscape matrix, and protected area management) modify species' projected range size changes. These simulations suggest that the conservation strategies considered are unable to save species from regional extinction. For those persisting, they reduce the magnitude of range loss in lowland but not in alpine species. Protected area management and corridor establishment are more effective than matrix improvement. However, none of the conservation strategies evaluated could fully compensate the negative impact of climate change for vascular plants, butterflies or grasshoppers in central Europe.

  3. On a dhole trail: examining ecological and anthropogenic correlates of dhole habitat occupancy in the Western ghats of India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arjun Srivathsa

    Full Text Available Although they play a critical role in shaping ecological communities, many threatened predator species are data-deficient. The Dhole Cuon alpinus is one such rare canid with a global population thought to be <2500 wild individuals. We assessed habitat occupancy patterns of dholes in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India, to understand ecological and anthropogenic determinants of their distribution and habitat-use. We conducted spatially replicated detection/non-detection surveys of dhole signs along forest trails at two appropriate scales: the entire landscape and a single wildlife reserve. Landscape-scale habitat occupancy was assessed across 38,728 km(2 surveying 206 grid cells of 188-km(2 each. Finer scale habitat-use within 935 km2 Bandipur Reserve was studied surveying 92 grid cells of 13-km(2 km each. We analyzed the resulting data of dhole signs using likelihood-based habitat occupancy models. The models explicitly addressed the problematic issue of imperfect detection of dhole signs during field surveys as well as potential spatial auto-correlation between sign detections made on adjacent trail segments. We show that traditional 'presence versus absence' analyses underestimated dhole habitat occupancy by 60% or 8682 km2 [naïve = 0.27; ψL(SE  = 0.68 (0.08] in the landscape. Addressing imperfect sign detections by estimating detection probabilities [p(t(L (SE = 0.12 (0.11] was critical for reliable estimation. Similar underestimation occurred while estimating habitat-use probability at reserve-scale [naïve = 0.39; Ψs(SE = 0.71 (0.06]. At landscape scale, relative abundance of principal ungulate prey primarily influenced dhole habitat occupancy. Habitat-use within a reserve, however, was predominantly and negatively influenced by anthropogenic disturbance. Our results are the first rigorous assessment of dhole occupancy at multiple spatial scales with potential conservation value. The approach used in this study has potential

  4. Potential effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on avian habitats and populations in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.

    1994-01-01

    Biotic response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere is considerably more complex than an adjustment to changing temperature and precipitation. The fertilization effect carbon dioxide has on some plants, the impact UVB radiation has on health and productivity of organisms, and the resulting changes in competitive balance and trophic structure must also be considered. The intent of this paper is to review direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on wildlife, and to explore possible effects on populations of birds and their habitats in the northern Great Plains.Many of the potential effects of increasing greenhouse gases, such as declining plant nutritional value, changes in timing of insect emergence, and fewer and saltier wetlands, foreshadow a decline in avian populations on the Great Plains. However, other possible effects such as increased drought resistance and water use efficiency of vegetation, longer growing seasons, and greater overall plant biomass promise at least some mitigation. Effects of multiple simultaneous perturbations such as can be expected under doubled carbon dioxide scenarios will require substantial basic research to clarify.

  5. Influence of Holocene environmental change and anthropogenic impact on the diversity and distribution of roe deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baker, K H; Hoelzel, A R

    2014-06-01

    Extant patterns of population structure and levels of diversity are a consequence of factors that vary in both space and time. Our objective in this study is to investigate a species that has responded to both natural and anthropogenic changes in ways that have shaped modern populations and provide insight into the key processes. The roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) is one of the two species of deer native to Britain. During the last glacial maximum (LGM), the British habitat was largely under ice and there was a land bridge to mainland Europe. As the Earth warmed during the early Holocene, the land bridge was lost. Subsequent hunting on the British mainland left the southern region extirpated of roe deer, whereas a refugial population remained in the north. Later reintroductions from Europe led to population expansion, especially in southern United Kingdom. Here, we combine data from ancient and modern DNA to track population dynamics and patterns of connectivity, and test hypotheses about the influence of natural and anthropogenic environmental change. We find that past expansion and divergence events coincided with a warming environment and the subsequent closure of the land bridge between Europe and the United Kingdom. We also find turnover in British roe deer haplotypes between the late-Holocene and modern day that have likely resulted from recent human disturbance activities such as habitat perturbation, overhunting and restocking.

  6. Anthropogenic Land-use Change and the Dynamics of Amazon Forest Biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurance, William F.

    2004-01-01

    This project was focused on assessing the effects of prevailing land uses, such as habitat fragmentation, selective logging, and fire, on biomass and carbon storage in Amazonian forests, and on the dynamics of carbon sequestration in regenerating forests. Ancillary goals included developing GIs models to help predict the future condition of Amazonian forests, and assessing the effects of anthropogenic climate change and ENS0 droughts on intact and fragmented forests. Ground-based studies using networks of permanent plots were linked with remote-sensing data (including Landsat TM and AVHRR) at regional scales, and higher-resolution techniques (IKONOS imagery, videography, LIDAR, aerial photographs) at landscape and local scales. The project s specific goals were quite eclectic and included: Determining the effects of habitat fragmentation on forest dynamics, floristic composition, and the various components of above- and below-ground biomass. Assessing historical and physical factors that affect trajectories of forest regeneration and carbon sequestration on abandoned lands. Extrapolating results from local studies of biomass dynamics in fragmented and regenerating forests to landscape and regional scales in Amazonia, using remote sensing and GIS. Testing the hypothesis that intact Amazonian forests are functioning as a significant carbon sink. Examining destructive synergisms between forest fragmentation and fire. Assessing the short-term impacts of selective logging on aboveground biomass. Developing GIS models that integrate current spatial data on forest cover, deforestation, logging, mining, highway and roads, navigable rivers, vulnerability to wild fires, protected areas, and existing and planned infrastructure projects, in an effort to predict the future condition of Brazilian Amazonian forests over the next 20-25 years. Devising predictive spatial models to assess the influence of varied biophysical and anthropogenic predictors on Amazonian deforestation.

  7. Anthropogenic habitat disturbance and ecological divergence between incipient species of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamdem, Colince; Tene Fossog, Billy; Simard, Frédéric; Etouna, Joachim; Ndo, Cyrille; Kengne, Pierre; Boussès, Philippe; Etoa, François-Xavier; Awono-Ambene, Parfait; Fontenille, Didier; Antonio-Nkondjio, Christophe; Besansky, Nora J; Costantini, Carlo

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat disturbance is a prime cause in the current trend of the Earth's reduction in biodiversity. Here we show that the human footprint on the Central African rainforest, which is resulting in deforestation and growth of densely populated urban agglomerates, is associated to ecological divergence and cryptic speciation leading to adaptive radiation within the major malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae. In southern Cameroon, the frequency of two molecular forms--M and S--among which reproductive isolation is strong but still incomplete, was correlated to an index of urbanisation extracted from remotely sensed data, expressed as the proportion of built-up surface in each sampling unit. The two forms markedly segregated along an urbanisation gradient forming a bimodal cline of ∼6-km width: the S form was exclusive to the rural habitat, whereas only the M form was present in the core of densely urbanised settings, co-occurring at times in the same polluted larval habitats of the southern house mosquito Culex quinquefasciatus--a species association that was not historically recorded before. Our results indicate that when humans create novel habitats and ecological heterogeneities, they can provide evolutionary opportunities for rapid adaptive niche shifts associated with lineage divergence, whose consequences upon malaria transmission might be significant.

  8. Detecting anthropogenic climate change with an optimal fingerprint method

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hegerl, G.C.; Storch, H. von; Hasselmann, K.; Santer, B.D.; Jones, P.D.

    1994-01-01

    We propose a general fingerprint strategy to detect anthropogenic climate change and present application to near surface temperature trends. An expected time-space-variable pattern of anthropogenic climate change (the 'signal') is identified through application of an appropriate optimally matched space-time filter (the 'fingerprint') to the observations. The signal and the fingerprint are represented in a space with sufficient observed and simulated data. The signal pattern is derived from a model-generated prediction of anthropogenic climate change. Application of the fingerprint filter to the data yields a scalar detection variable. The statistically optimal fingerprint is obtained by weighting the model-predicted pattern towards low-noise directions. A combination of model output and observations is used to estimate the noise characteristics of the detection variable, arising from the natural variability of climate in the absence of external forcing. We test then the null hypothesis that the observed climate change is part of natural climate variability. We conclude that a statistically significant externally induced warming has been observed, with the caveat of a possibly inadequate estimate of the internal climate variability. In order to attribute this warming uniquely to anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing, more information on the climate's response to other forcing mechanisms (e.g. changes in solar radiation, volcanic or anthropogenic aerosols) and their interaction is needed. (orig./KW)

  9. Anthropogenic climate change has altered primary productivity in Lake Superior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Beirne, M D; Werne, J P; Hecky, R E; Johnson, T C; Katsev, S; Reavie, E D

    2017-06-09

    Anthropogenic climate change has the potential to alter many facets of Earth's freshwater resources, especially lacustrine ecosystems. The effects of anthropogenic changes in Lake Superior, which is Earth's largest freshwater lake by area, are not well documented (spatially or temporally) and predicted future states in response to climate change vary. Here we show that Lake Superior experienced a slow, steady increase in production throughout the Holocene using (paleo)productivity proxies in lacustrine sediments to reconstruct past changes in primary production. Furthermore, data from the last century indicate a rapid increase in primary production, which we attribute to increasing surface water temperatures and longer seasonal stratification related to longer ice-free periods in Lake Superior due to anthropogenic climate warming. These observations demonstrate that anthropogenic effects have become a prominent influence on one of Earth's largest, most pristine lacustrine ecosystems.

  10. Assessing the observed impact of anthropogenic climate change

    OpenAIRE

    Hansen, G; Stone, D

    2016-01-01

    © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved. Impacts of recent regional changes in climate on natural and human systems are documented across the globe, yet studies explicitly linking these observations to anthropogenic forcing of the climate are scarce. Here we provide a systematic assessment of the role of anthropogenic climate change for the range of impacts of regional climate trends reported in the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report. We find that almost two-thirds of the impacts...

  11. Anthropogenic climate change affects meteorological drought risk in Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gudmundsson, L; Seneviratne, S I

    2016-01-01

    Drought constitutes a significant natural hazard in Europe, impacting societies and ecosystems across the continent. Climate model simulations with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations project increased drought risk in southern Europe, and on the other hand decreased drought risk in the north. Observed changes in water balance components and drought indicators resemble the projected pattern. However, assessments of possible causes of the reported regional changes have so far been inconclusive. Here we investigate whether anthropogenic emissions have altered past and present meteorological (precipitation) drought risk. For doing so we first estimate the magnitude of 20 year return period drought years that would occur without anthropogenic effects on the climate. Subsequently we quantify to which degree the occurrence probability, i.e. the risk, of these years has changed if anthropogenic climate change is accounted for. Both an observational and a climate model-based assessment suggest that it is >95% likely that human emissions have increased the probability of drought years in the Mediterranean, whereas it is >95% likely that the probability of dry years has decreased in northern Europe. In central Europe the evidence is inconclusive. The results highlight that anthropogenic climate change has already increased drought risk in southern Europe, stressing the need to develop efficient mitigation measures. (letter)

  12. Modelling of anthropogenic and natural climate changes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grassl, H; Mikolajewicz, U; Bakan, S [Max Planck Institute of Meteorology, Hamburg (Germany)

    1993-06-01

    The delay of anthropogenic climate change caused by oceans and other slowly reacting climate system components forces us to numerical modeling as the basis of decisions. For three three-dimensional numerical examples, namely transient coupled ocean-atmosphere models for the additional greenhouse effect, internal ocean-atmosphere variability, and disturbance by soot particles from burning oil wells, the present-day status is described. From all anthropogenic impacts on the radiative balance, the contribution from trace gases is the most important.

  13. Meta-replication reveals nonstationarity in multi-scale habitat selection of Mexican Spotted Owl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho Yi Wan; Kevin McGarigal; Joseph L. Ganey; Valentin Lauret; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic environmental changes are leading to habitat loss and degradation, driving many species to extinction. In this context, habitat models become increasingly important for effective species management and conservation. However, most habitat studies lack replicated study areas and do not properly address the role of nonstationarity and spatial scales in...

  14. Rapid response of a marine mammal species to holocene climate and habitat change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark de Bruyn

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Environmental change drives demographic and evolutionary processes that determine diversity within and among species. Tracking these processes during periods of change reveals mechanisms for the establishment of populations and provides predictive data on response to potential future impacts, including those caused by anthropogenic climate change. Here we show how a highly mobile marine species responded to the gain and loss of new breeding habitat. Southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina, remains were found along the Victoria Land Coast (VLC in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, 2,500 km from the nearest extant breeding site on Macquarie Island (MQ. This habitat was released after retreat of the grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea Embayment 7,500-8,000 cal YBP, and is within the range of modern foraging excursions from the MQ colony. Using ancient mtDNA and coalescent models, we tracked the population dynamics of the now extinct VLC colony and the connectivity between this and extant breeding sites. We found a clear expansion signal in the VLC population approximately 8,000 YBP, followed by directional migration away from VLC and the loss of diversity at approximately 1,000 YBP, when sea ice is thought to have expanded. Our data suggest that VLC seals came initially from MQ and that some returned there once the VLC habitat was lost, approximately 7,000 years later. We track the founder-extinction dynamics of a population from inception to extinction in the context of Holocene climate change and present evidence that an unexpectedly diverse, differentiated breeding population was founded from a distant source population soon after habitat became available.

  15. Rapid response of a marine mammal species to holocene climate and habitat change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Bruyn, Mark; Hall, Brenda L; Chauke, Lucas F; Baroni, Carlo; Koch, Paul L; Hoelzel, A Rus

    2009-07-01

    Environmental change drives demographic and evolutionary processes that determine diversity within and among species. Tracking these processes during periods of change reveals mechanisms for the establishment of populations and provides predictive data on response to potential future impacts, including those caused by anthropogenic climate change. Here we show how a highly mobile marine species responded to the gain and loss of new breeding habitat. Southern elephant seal, Mirounga leonina, remains were found along the Victoria Land Coast (VLC) in the Ross Sea, Antarctica, 2,500 km from the nearest extant breeding site on Macquarie Island (MQ). This habitat was released after retreat of the grounded ice sheet in the Ross Sea Embayment 7,500-8,000 cal YBP, and is within the range of modern foraging excursions from the MQ colony. Using ancient mtDNA and coalescent models, we tracked the population dynamics of the now extinct VLC colony and the connectivity between this and extant breeding sites. We found a clear expansion signal in the VLC population approximately 8,000 YBP, followed by directional migration away from VLC and the loss of diversity at approximately 1,000 YBP, when sea ice is thought to have expanded. Our data suggest that VLC seals came initially from MQ and that some returned there once the VLC habitat was lost, approximately 7,000 years later. We track the founder-extinction dynamics of a population from inception to extinction in the context of Holocene climate change and present evidence that an unexpectedly diverse, differentiated breeding population was founded from a distant source population soon after habitat became available.

  16. Impact of anthropogenic climate change on wildfire across western US forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abatzoglou, John T; Williams, A Park

    2016-10-18

    Increased forest fire activity across the western continental United States (US) in recent decades has likely been enabled by a number of factors, including the legacy of fire suppression and human settlement, natural climate variability, and human-caused climate change. We use modeled climate projections to estimate the contribution of anthropogenic climate change to observed increases in eight fuel aridity metrics and forest fire area across the western United States. Anthropogenic increases in temperature and vapor pressure deficit significantly enhanced fuel aridity across western US forests over the past several decades and, during 2000-2015, contributed to 75% more forested area experiencing high (>1 σ) fire-season fuel aridity and an average of nine additional days per year of high fire potential. Anthropogenic climate change accounted for ∼55% of observed increases in fuel aridity from 1979 to 2015 across western US forests, highlighting both anthropogenic climate change and natural climate variability as important contributors to increased wildfire potential in recent decades. We estimate that human-caused climate change contributed to an additional 4.2 million ha of forest fire area during 1984-2015, nearly doubling the forest fire area expected in its absence. Natural climate variability will continue to alternate between modulating and compounding anthropogenic increases in fuel aridity, but anthropogenic climate change has emerged as a driver of increased forest fire activity and should continue to do so while fuels are not limiting.

  17. On Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference and Climate Change Risk (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, M. E.

    2009-12-01

    The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) commits signatory nations (which includes all major nations including the United States) to stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations at levels short of Dangerous Anthropogenic Interference (“ DAI”) with the climate. To properly define DAI, one must take into account issues that are not only scientific, but, economic, political, and ethical in nature. Defining DAI is furthermore complicated by the inter-generational and regionally-disaggregated nature of the risks associated with climate change. In this talk, I will explore the nature of anthropogenic climate change risks and the notion of DAI.

  18. Bird assemblage patterns in relation to anthropogenic habitat ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Using habitat stratification, birds were surveyed along transects in tidal and supralittoral sub-habitats using DISTANCE sampling protocol, and along the river by encounter rates to determine abundance and species richness. Indices of human activity as well as habitat structure parameters including ground cover, plant ...

  19. Assessing the observed impact of anthropogenic climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hansen, G.E.

    2015-01-01

    Assessing the observed impact of anthropogenic climate change

    Gerrit Hansen

    Global climate change is unequivocal, and greenhouse gas emissions continue rising despite international mitigation efforts. Hence whether and to what extent the impacts of human induced

  20. Spatial distribution and seasonality of ichthyoplankton and anthropogenic debris in a river delta in the Caribbean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correa-Herrera, T; Barletta, M; Lima, A R A; Jiménez-Segura, L F; Arango-Sánchez, L B

    2017-04-01

    Temporal changes in larval fish species composition and abundance compared with other components of the seston are described in four estuarine habitats in the Atrato Delta, Colombia. In comparison with zooplankton, fish larvae and egg density and anthropogenic debris abundance were low in the South Atrato Delta. Transparency, water temperature and chlorophyll a were the major factors influencing the spatiotemporal distribution of ichthyoplankton in the delta. The most abundant fish larvae were Astyanax sp. 1, Anchovia clupeoides, Cetengraulis edentulus, Anchoa sp., Bathygbius curacao, Dormitator maculatus, Hyporhamphus sp., Atherinella blackburni, Gobiosoma sp. 1 and Menticirrhus americanus (92·8% of total abundance). Spatial temporal analysis shows that in this delta, shrub (arracachal) and grass (eneal) habitats are important for freshwater and estuarine species, whilst mudflat and mangrove are important for estuarine species and estuarine-marine species, since most flexion and post-flexion stages of these species were found there. Anthropogenic debris density never surpassed the total ichthyoplankton density, but was ubiquitous. Shrub and mangrove habitats had higher densities of anthropogenic debris, since these are flood-stem habitats that trap solids. © 2017 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  1. Morphological divergence and flow-induced phenotypic plasticity in a native fish from anthropogenically altered stream habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franssen, Nathan R; Stewart, Laura K; Schaefer, Jacob F

    2013-11-01

    Understanding population-level responses to human-induced changes to habitats can elucidate the evolutionary consequences of rapid habitat alteration. Reservoirs constructed on streams expose stream fishes to novel selective pressures in these habitats. Assessing the drivers of trait divergence facilitated by these habitats will help identify evolutionary and ecological consequences of reservoir habitats. We tested for morphological divergence in a stream fish that occupies both stream and reservoir habitats. To assess contributions of genetic-level differences and phenotypic plasticity induced by flow variation, we spawned and reared individuals from both habitats types in flow and no flow conditions. Body shape significantly and consistently diverged in reservoir habitats compared with streams; individuals from reservoirs were shallower bodied with smaller heads compared with individuals from streams. Significant population-level differences in morphology persisted in offspring but morphological variation compared with field-collected individuals was limited to the head region. Populations demonstrated dissimilar flow-induced phenotypic plasticity when reared under flow, but phenotypic plasticity in response to flow variation was an unlikely explanation for observed phenotypic divergence in the field. Our results, together with previous investigations, suggest the environmental conditions currently thought to drive morphological change in reservoirs (i.e., predation and flow regimes) may not be the sole drivers of phenotypic change.

  2. Species richness in natural and disturbed habitats: Asteraceae and Flower-head insects (Tephritidae: Diptera).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diniz, Soraia; Prado, Paulo I; Lewinsohn, Thomas M

    2010-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in the landscape result in an environmental mosaic with serious consequences for biodiversity. The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of the anthropogenic changes on Asteraceae richness and abundance, and to evaluate the consequences for the richness of Tephritidae assemblages in five sampling sites, with three sampled habitats in each: cerrado (Brazilian savanna), eucalyptus stands and pasture. Sampling was carried out in 15 random transects (cerrados and one pasture) and in 30 transects (eucalyptus stands and the remaining pastures). Composition, species richness and insect abundance in each habitat type was estimated by sampling the flower heads for each species of host plant, collected by four people for 1h. Differences in mean abundance of plant population between habitats and sites were tested by two-way ANOVA. Differences in plant species richness between habitats and sites and effects of habitat, site and host plant richness on insect richness were tested using a generalized linear model with Poisson errors. Within each sampling site, cerrados showed higher species richness of Asteraceae than pastures and eucalyptus stands. There were also significant differences in plant richness among sites. Mean population abundance values were significantly different among habitats, but not among sites. Increased host plant richness led to significant insect species richness. There were no additional significant effects of habitat on insect richness. Therefore, anthropogenic alterations in landscape determined the impoverishment of plant assemblages and therefore of insect assemblages, because of the positive relationship between host plant richness and insect richness.

  3. U.S. ozone air quality under changing climate and anthropogenic emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Racherla, Pavan N; Adams, Peter J

    2009-02-01

    We examined future ozone (O3) air quality in the United States (U.S.) under changing climate and anthropogenic emissions worldwide by performing global climate-chemistry simulations, utilizing various combinations of present (1990s) and future (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Emissions Scenarios (SRES) A2 2050s) climates, and present and future (2050s; IPCC SRES A2 and B1) anthropogenic emissions. The A2 climate scenario is employed here because it lies at the upper extreme of projected climate change for the 21st century. To examine the sensitivity of U.S. O3 to regional emissions increases (decreases), the IPCC SRES A2 and B1 scenarios, which have overall higher and lower O3-precursor emissions for the U.S., respectively, have been chosen. We find that climate change, by itself, significantly worsens the severity and frequency of high-O3 events ("episodes") over most locations in the U.S., with relatively small changes in average O3 air quality. These high-O3 increases due to climate change alone will erode moderately the gains made under a U.S. emissions reduction scenario (e.g., B1). The effect of climate change on high- and average-O3 increases with anthropogenic emissions. Insofar as average O3 air quality is concerned, changes in U.S. anthropogenic emissions will play the most important role in attaining (or not) near-term U.S. O3 air quality standards. However, policy makers must plan appropriately for O3 background increases due to projected increases in global CH4 abundance and non-U.S. anthropogenic emissions, as well as potential local enhancements that they could cause. These findings provide strong incentives for more-than-planned emissions reductions at locations that are currently O3-nonattainment.

  4. Pollution, habitat loss, fishing, and climate change as critical threats to penguins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trathan, Phil N; García-Borboroglu, Pablo; Boersma, Dee; Bost, Charles-André; Crawford, Robert J M; Crossin, Glenn T; Cuthbert, Richard J; Dann, Peter; Davis, Lloyd Spencer; De La Puente, Santiago; Ellenberg, Ursula; Lynch, Heather J; Mattern, Thomas; Pütz, Klemens; Seddon, Philip J; Trivelpiece, Wayne; Wienecke, Barbara

    2015-02-01

    Cumulative human impacts across the world's oceans are considerable. We therefore examined a single model taxonomic group, the penguins (Spheniscidae), to explore how marine species and communities might be at risk of decline or extinction in the southern hemisphere. We sought to determine the most important threats to penguins and to suggest means to mitigate these threats. Our review has relevance to other taxonomic groups in the southern hemisphere and in northern latitudes, where human impacts are greater. Our review was based on an expert assessment and literature review of all 18 penguin species; 49 scientists contributed to the process. For each penguin species, we considered their range and distribution, population trends, and main anthropogenic threats over the past approximately 250 years. These threats were harvesting adults for oil, skin, and feathers and as bait for crab and rock lobster fisheries; harvesting of eggs; terrestrial habitat degradation; marine pollution; fisheries bycatch and resource competition; environmental variability and climate change; and toxic algal poisoning and disease. Habitat loss, pollution, and fishing, all factors humans can readily mitigate, remain the primary threats for penguin species. Their future resilience to further climate change impacts will almost certainly depend on addressing current threats to existing habitat degradation on land and at sea. We suggest protection of breeding habitat, linked to the designation of appropriately scaled marine reserves, including in the High Seas, will be critical for the future conservation of penguins. However, large-scale conservation zones are not always practical or politically feasible and other ecosystem-based management methods that include spatial zoning, bycatch mitigation, and robust harvest control must be developed to maintain marine biodiversity and ensure that ecosystem functioning is maintained across a variety of scales. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology

  5. Attributing Changing Rates of Temperature Record Breaking to Anthropogenic Influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, Andrew D.

    2017-11-01

    Record-breaking temperatures attract attention from the media, so understanding how and why the rate of record breaking is changing may be useful in communicating the effects of climate change. A simple methodology designed for estimating the anthropogenic influence on rates of record breaking in a given time series is proposed here. The frequency of hot and cold record-breaking temperature occurrences is shown to be changing due to the anthropogenic influence on the climate. Using ensembles of model simulations with and without human-induced forcings, it is demonstrated that the effect of climate change on global record-breaking temperatures can be detected as far back as the 1930s. On local scales, a climate change signal is detected more recently at most locations. The anthropogenic influence on the increased occurrence of hot record-breaking temperatures is clearer than it is for the decreased occurrence of cold records. The approach proposed here could be applied in rapid attribution studies of record extremes to quantify the influence of climate change on the rate of record breaking in addition to the climate anomaly being studied. This application is demonstrated for the global temperature record of 2016 and the Central England temperature record in 2014.

  6. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chantel E Markle

    Full Text Available Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015 and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna.

  7. Long-term habitat changes in a protected area: Implications for herpetofauna habitat management and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markle, Chantel E; Chow-Fraser, Gillian; Chow-Fraser, Patricia

    2018-01-01

    Point Pelee National Park, located at the southern-most tip of Canada's mainland, historically supported a large number of herpetofauna species; however, despite nearly a century of protection, six snake and five amphibian species have disappeared, and remaining species-at-risk populations are thought to be in decline. We hypothesized that long-term changes in availability and distribution of critical habitat types may have contributed to the disappearance of herpetofauna. To track habitat changes we used aerial image data spanning 85 years (1931-2015) and manually digitized and classified image data using a standardized framework. Change-detection analyses were used to evaluate the relative importance of proportionate loss and fragmentation of 17 habitat types. Marsh habitat diversity and aquatic connectivity has declined since 1931. The marsh matrix transitioned from a graminoid and forb shallow marsh interspersed with water to a cattail dominated marsh, altering critical breeding, foraging, and overwintering habitat. Reduced diversity of marsh habitats appears to be linked to the expansion of invasive Phragmites australis, which invaded prior to 2000. Loss of open habitats such as savanna and meadow has reduced availability of high quality thermoregulation habitat for reptiles. Restoration of the northwestern region and tip of Point Pelee National Park to a mixed landscape of shallow wetlands (cattail, graminoid, forb, open water) and eradication of dense Phragmites stands should improve habitat diversity. Our results suggest that long-term landscape changes resulting from habitat succession and invasive species can negatively affect habitat suitability for herpetofauna and protection of land alone does not necessarily equate to protection of sensitive herpetofauna.

  8. Attribution of irreversible loss to anthropogenic climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huggel, Christian; Bresch, David; Hansen, Gerrit; James, Rachel; Mechler, Reinhard; Stone, Dáithí; Wallimann-Helmer, Ivo

    2016-04-01

    The Paris Agreement (2015) under the UNFCCC has anchored loss and damage in a separate article which specifies that understanding and support should be enhanced in areas addressing loss and damage such as early warning, preparedness, insurance and resilience. Irreversible loss is a special category under loss and damage but there is still missing clarity over what irreversible loss actually includes. Many negative impacts of climate change may be handled or mitigated by existing risk management, reduction and absorption approaches. Irreversible loss, however, is thought to be insufficiently addressed by risk management. Therefore, countries potentially or actually affected by irreversible loss are calling for other measures such as compensation, which however is highly contested in international climate policy. In Paris (2015) a decision was adopted that loss and damage as defined in the respective article of the agreement does not involve compensation and liability. Nevertheless, it is likely that some sort of mechanism will eventually need to come into play for irreversible loss due to anthropogenic climate change, which might involve compensation, other forms of non-monetary reparation, or transformation. Furthermore, climate litigation has increasingly been attempted to address negative effects of climate change. In this context, attribution is important to understand the drivers of change, what counts as irreversible loss due to climate change, and, possibly, who or what is responsible. Here we approach this issue by applying a detection and attribution perspective on irreversible loss. We first analyze detected climate change impacts as assessed in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. We distinguish between irreversible loss in physical, biological and human systems, and accordingly identify the following candidates of irreversible loss in these systems: loss of glaciers and ice sheets, loss of subsurface ice (permafrost) and related loss of lake systems; loss

  9. Evaluation of anthropogenic urban soils. Final report; Bewertung anthropogener Stadtboeden. Abschlussbericht

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blume, H.P.; Schleuss, U. [eds.

    1997-12-31

    The research project `Evaluation of Anthropogenic Urban Soils` was subsidized by the German Federal Ministry of Education, Science, Research and Technology and adviced by the working group `Stadtboeden` of the German Society of Soil Science. It was realized as a cooperation between the universities of Berlin (TU), Halle-Wittenberg, Hohenheim, Kiel and Rostock and had three objectives: - to characterize soils developed from anthropogenic substratums (`urban soils`), - to figure out distribution patterns of such soils and - to verify whether urban soils could be evaluated according to their filtering and habitat function in the same way as soils developed from natural parent material. Evaluation methods based on easily obtainable field data had to be adapted to `urban soils` respectively developed anew. For that reason some typical soils of anthropogenic lithogenesis had to be examined between 1993 and 1996 both on their importance as habitats for plants and soil organisms and on their filtering, buffering and transforming capacities for organic and inorganic pollutants. Accordingly representative `urban soils` were gathered in the towns of Berlin, Eckernfoerde, Essen, Halle, Kiel, Rostock and Stuttgart; these soils had developed from technogenic substratums (brick and mortar debris, municipal waste, ashes, slag, sludge) and redeposited alkaline resp. acidic natural substratums (mud, coal mine and coking plant deposits). Some of the soils were influenced by ground water, and all soils developed from the same kind of parent material belonged to different stages of development. (orig./SR) [Deutsch] Ziele des vom BMBF gefoerderten und vom Arbeitskreis Stadtboeden der Deutschen Bodenkundlichen Gesellschaft beratenen Verbundprojektes `Bewertung anthropogener Stadtboeden` waren die Charakterisierung von Boeden anthropogener Substrate, die exemplarische Ermittlung des Verteilungsmusters derartiger Boeden und die Pruefung, inwieweit sie sich aehnlich den Boeden natuerlicher

  10. Gastropod diversity, distribution and abundance in habitats with and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Water chemistry did differ between fish landing sites and undisturbed habitats at some sampling times, indicating that differences due to human impact do exist, but these are dependent on periods of calm weather. The study shows that anthropogenic disturbances cause ecological changes that can be exploited by some ...

  11. Research on the daily activity of the stone marten (Martes foina erxl. in anthropogenically influenced habitats in Bulgaria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Georgi S. Dudin

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The study was done on a kind of a small predator by digital photo cameras in three remote geographic areas. There have been 709 photos of stone marten (Martes foina, of which 518 in Sinite Kamani Nature Park, 118 in State Hunting Department "Chepino" and 75 in anthropogenically influenced habitats in the villages of Byga and Isperihovo. By analyzing the daily activity of the species is recorded night or twilight activity between 17 and 7:00 hours (morning, evening or night. In the time interval between 07-17 during the day, the activity of the type is not registered.

  12. Reconciling anthropogenic climate change with observed temperature 1998-2008.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufmann, Robert K; Kauppi, Heikki; Mann, Michael L; Stock, James H

    2011-07-19

    Given the widely noted increase in the warming effects of rising greenhouse gas concentrations, it has been unclear why global surface temperatures did not rise between 1998 and 2008. We find that this hiatus in warming coincides with a period of little increase in the sum of anthropogenic and natural forcings. Declining solar insolation as part of a normal eleven-year cycle, and a cyclical change from an El Nino to a La Nina dominate our measure of anthropogenic effects because rapid growth in short-lived sulfur emissions partially offsets rising greenhouse gas concentrations. As such, we find that recent global temperature records are consistent with the existing understanding of the relationship among global surface temperature, internal variability, and radiative forcing, which includes anthropogenic factors with well known warming and cooling effects.

  13. Tracking Public Beliefs About Anthropogenic Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamilton, Lawrence C; Hartter, Joel; Lemcke-Stampone, Mary; Moore, David W; Safford, Thomas G

    2015-01-01

    A simple question about climate change, with one choice designed to match consensus statements by scientists, was asked on 35 US nationwide, single-state or regional surveys from 2010 to 2015. Analysis of these data (over 28,000 interviews) yields robust and exceptionally well replicated findings on public beliefs about anthropogenic climate change, including regional variations, change over time, demographic bases, and the interacting effects of respondent education and political views. We find that more than half of the US public accepts the scientific consensus that climate change is happening now, caused mainly by human activities. A sizable, politically opposite minority (about 30 to 40%) concede the fact of climate change, but believe it has mainly natural causes. Few (about 10 to 15%) say they believe climate is not changing, or express no opinion. The overall proportions appear relatively stable nationwide, but exhibit place-to-place variations. Detailed analysis of 21 consecutive surveys within one fairly representative state (New Hampshire) finds a mild but statistically significant rise in agreement with the scientific consensus over 2010-2015. Effects from daily temperature are detectable but minor. Hurricane Sandy, which brushed New Hampshire but caused no disaster there, shows no lasting impact on that state's time series-suggesting that non-immediate weather disasters have limited effects. In all datasets political orientation dominates among individual-level predictors of climate beliefs, moderating the otherwise positive effects from education. Acceptance of anthropogenic climate change rises with education among Democrats and Independents, but not so among Republicans. The continuing series of surveys provides a baseline for tracking how future scientific, political, socioeconomic or climate developments impact public acceptance of the scientific consensus.

  14. Fish assemblages associated with natural and anthropogenically-modified habitats in a marine embayment: comparison of baited videos and opera-house traps.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Corey B Wakefield

    Full Text Available Marine embayments and estuaries play an important role in the ecology and life history of many fish species. Cockburn Sound is one of a relative paucity of marine embayments on the west coast of Australia. Its sheltered waters and close proximity to a capital city have resulted in anthropogenic intrusion and extensive seascape modification. This study aimed to compare the sampling efficiencies of baited videos and fish traps in determining the relative abundance and diversity of temperate demersal fish species associated with naturally occurring (seagrass, limestone outcrops and soft sediment and modified (rockwall and dredge channel habitats in Cockburn Sound. Baited videos sampled a greater range of species in higher total and mean abundances than fish traps. This larger amount of data collected by baited videos allowed for greater discrimination of fish assemblages between habitats. The markedly higher diversity and abundances of fish associated with seagrass and limestone outcrops, and the fact that these habitats are very limited within Cockburn Sound, suggests they play an important role in the fish ecology of this embayment. Fish assemblages associated with modified habitats comprised a subset of species in lower abundances when compared to natural habitats with similar physical characteristics. This suggests modified habitats may not have provided the necessary resource requirements (e.g. shelter and/or diet for some species, resulting in alterations to the natural trophic structure and interspecific interactions. Baited videos provided a more efficient and non-extractive method for comparing fish assemblages and habitat associations of smaller bodied species and juveniles in a turbid environment.

  15. Nuclear Renaissance in an Era of Anthropogenic Climate Change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bird, John

    2008-01-01

    This paper substantiates the anthropogenic origin of climate change, demonstrates the resulting consequences, and thereby establishes the need for a nuclear renaissance over the next thirty years. First, the mechanisms behind the natural cycles in global warming, specifically, cycles of precession and eccentricity in Earth's orbit, as measured in ice cores, are compared to the mechanisms of anthropogenic warming, revealing the scientific basis for the observed correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature. Second, the resulting climate change is exemplified by key results from experiments performed by the author in the Arctic and at the South Geographic Pole, and the author's experience of Switzerland's costliest natural catastrophe - the flash flood of 2005. Third, although facing barriers such as research and development requirements, political will and public acceptance, the potential for nuclear power to triple to 1,000 GWe by 2050 would mitigate climate change by holding carbon dioxide concentration below 500 ppm, thereby challenging the younger nuclear generation to contribute to the most important issue facing humanity. (authors)

  16. Connecting the fragmented habitat of endangered mammals in the landscape of Riau–Jambi–Sumatera Barat (RIMBA), central Sumatra, Indonesia (connecting the fragmented habitat due to road development)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sulistyawan, Barano Siswa; Eichelberger, Bradley A.; Verweij, Pita; Boot, Rene’ G A; Hardian, Oki; Adzan, Gemasakti; Sukmantoro, Wisnu

    2017-01-01

    The trend of wildlife habitat fragmentation worldwide continues as a result of anthropogenic activities on development of a linear infrastructure and land use changes, which is often implemented as part of spatial planning policies. In this paper we expand upon an existing approach to design

  17. Modeling Impacts of Climate Change on Giant Panda Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Songer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca are one of the most widely recognized endangered species globally. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the main threats, and climate change could significantly impact giant panda survival. We integrated giant panda habitat information with general climate models (GCMs to predict future geographic distribution and fragmentation of giant panda habitat. Results support a major general prediction of climate change—a shift of habitats towards higher elevation and higher latitudes. Our models predict climate change could reduce giant panda habitat by nearly 60% over 70 years. New areas may become suitable outside the current geographic range but much of these areas is far from the current giant panda range and only 15% fall within the current protected area system. Long-term survival of giant pandas will require the creation of new protected areas that are likely to support suitable habitat even if the climate changes.

  18. Anthropogenic disturbance on the vegetation in makurunge

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mgina

    landscape in Tanzania that has been severely affected by anthropogenic disturbance ... Fragmentation of habitats formed patches that have reduced plant species population sizes, and ... by the movement of the Inter-Tropical ..... of pollinators.

  19. Does habitat disturbance affect stress, body condition and parasitism in two sympatric lemurs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rakotoniaina, Josué H; Kappeler, Peter M; Ravoniarimbinina, Pascaline; Pechouskova, Eva; Hämäläinen, Anni M; Grass, Juliane; Kirschbaum, Clemens; Kraus, Cornelia

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how animals react to human-induced changes in their environment is a key question in conservation biology. Owing to their potential correlation with fitness, several physiological parameters are commonly used to assess the effect of habitat disturbance on animals' general health status. Here, we studied how two lemur species, the fat-tailed dwarf lemur (Cheirogaleus medius) and the grey mouse lemur (Microcebus murinus), respond to changing environmental conditions by comparing their stress levels (measured as hair cortisol concentration), parasitism and general body condition across four habitats ordered along a gradient of human disturbance at Kirindy Forest, Western Madagascar. These two species previously revealed contrasting responses to human disturbance; whereas M. murinus is known as a resilient species, C. medius is rarely encountered in highly disturbed habitats. However, neither hair cortisol concentrations nor parasitism patterns (prevalence, parasite species richness and rate of multiple infections) and body condition varied across the gradient of anthropogenic disturbance. Our results indicate that the effect of anthropogenic activities at Kirindy Forest is not reflected in the general health status of both species, which may have developed a range of behavioural adaptations to deal with suboptimal conditions. Nonetheless, a difference in relative density among sites suggests that the carrying capacity of disturbed habitat is lower, and both species respond differently to environmental changes, with C. medius being more negatively affected. Thus, even for behaviourally flexible species, extended habitat deterioration could hamper long-term viability of populations.

  20. Assessing range-wide habitat suitability for the Lesser Prairie-Chicken

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Grisham, Blake A.; Timmer, Jennifer M.; Boal, Clint W.; Butler, Matthew; Pitman, James C.; Kyle, Sean; Klute, David; Beauprez, Grant M.; Janus, Allan; Van Pelt, William E.

    2016-01-01

    Population declines of many wildlife species have been linked to habitat loss incurred through land-use change. Incorporation of conservation planning into development planning may mitigate these impacts. The threatened Lesser Prairie-Chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) is experiencing loss of native habitat and high levels of energy development across its multijurisdictional range. Our goal was to explore relationships of the species occurrence with landscape characteristics and anthropogenic effects influencing its distribution through evaluation of habitat suitability associated with one particular habitat usage, lekking. Lekking has been relatively well-surveyed, though not consistently, in all jurisdictions. All five states in which Lesser Prairie-Chickens occur cooperated in development of a Maxent habitat suitability model. We created two models, one with state as a factor and one without state. When state was included it was the most important predictor, followed by percent of land cover consisting of known or suspected used vegetation classes within a 5000 m area around a lek. Without state, land cover was the most important predictor of relative habitat suitability for leks. Among the anthropogenic predictors, landscape condition, a measure of human impact integrated across several factors, was most important, ranking third in importance without state. These results quantify the relative suitability of the landscape within the current occupied range of Lesser Prairie-Chickens. These models, combined with other landscape information, form the basis of a habitat assessment tool that can be used to guide siting of development projects and targeting of areas for conservation.

  1. Differences in meiofauna communities with sediment depth are greater than habitat effects on the New Zealand continental margin: implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Norliana Rosli

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Studies of deep-sea benthic communities have largely focused on particular (macro habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. Compared to mega-epifauna and macrofauna, much less is known about habitat-related variation in meiofaunal community attributes (abundance, diversity and community structure. Here, we investigated meiofaunal community attributes in slope, canyon, seamount, and seep habitats in two regions on the continental slope of New Zealand (Hikurangi Margin and Bay of Plenty at four water depths (700, 1,000, 1,200 and 1,500 m. We found that patterns were not the same for each community attribute. Significant differences in abundance were consistent across regions, habitats, water and sediment depths, while diversity and community structure only differed between sediment depths. Abundance was higher in canyon and seep habitats compared with other habitats, while between sediment layer, abundance and diversity were higher at the sediment surface. Our findings suggest that meiofaunal community attributes are affected by environmental factors that operate on micro- (cm to meso- (0.1–10 km, and regional scales (> 100 km. We also found a weak, but significant, correlation between trawling intensity and surface sediment diversity. Overall, our results indicate that variability in meiofaunal communities was greater at small scale than at habitat or regional scale. These findings provide new insights into the factors controlling meiofauna in these deep-sea habitats and their potential vulnerability to anthropogenic activities.

  2. Anthropogenic changes in sodium affect neural and muscle development in butterflies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snell-Rood, Emilie C.; Espeset, Anne; Boser, Christopher J.; White, William A.; Smykalski, Rhea

    2014-01-01

    The development of organisms is changing drastically because of anthropogenic changes in once-limited nutrients. Although the importance of changing macronutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, is well-established, it is less clear how anthropogenic changes in micronutrients will affect organismal development, potentially changing dynamics of selection. We use butterflies as a study system to test whether changes in sodium availability due to road salt runoff have significant effects on the development of sodium-limited traits, such as neural and muscle tissue. We first document how road salt runoff can elevate sodium concentrations in the tissue of some plant groups by 1.5–30 times. Using monarch butterflies reared on roadside- and prairie-collected milkweed, we then show that road salt runoff can result in increased muscle mass (in males) and neural investment (in females). Finally, we use an artificial diet manipulation in cabbage white butterflies to show that variation in sodium chloride per se positively affects male flight muscle and female brain size. Variation in sodium not only has different effects depending on sex, but also can have opposing effects on the same tissue: across both species, males increase investment in flight muscle with increasing sodium, whereas females show the opposite pattern. Taken together, our results show that anthropogenic changes in sodium availability can affect the development of traits in roadside-feeding herbivores. This research suggests that changing micronutrient availability could alter selection on foraging behavior for some roadside-developing invertebrates. PMID:24927579

  3. Anthropogenic changes in sodium affect neural and muscle development in butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Snell-Rood, Emilie C; Espeset, Anne; Boser, Christopher J; White, William A; Smykalski, Rhea

    2014-07-15

    The development of organisms is changing drastically because of anthropogenic changes in once-limited nutrients. Although the importance of changing macronutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, is well-established, it is less clear how anthropogenic changes in micronutrients will affect organismal development, potentially changing dynamics of selection. We use butterflies as a study system to test whether changes in sodium availability due to road salt runoff have significant effects on the development of sodium-limited traits, such as neural and muscle tissue. We first document how road salt runoff can elevate sodium concentrations in the tissue of some plant groups by 1.5-30 times. Using monarch butterflies reared on roadside- and prairie-collected milkweed, we then show that road salt runoff can result in increased muscle mass (in males) and neural investment (in females). Finally, we use an artificial diet manipulation in cabbage white butterflies to show that variation in sodium chloride per se positively affects male flight muscle and female brain size. Variation in sodium not only has different effects depending on sex, but also can have opposing effects on the same tissue: across both species, males increase investment in flight muscle with increasing sodium, whereas females show the opposite pattern. Taken together, our results show that anthropogenic changes in sodium availability can affect the development of traits in roadside-feeding herbivores. This research suggests that changing micronutrient availability could alter selection on foraging behavior for some roadside-developing invertebrates.

  4. Nuclear Renaissance in an Era of Anthropogenic Climate Change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bird, John [Bruce Power, Box 3000 B06, Tiverton, Ontario N0G 2T0 (Canada)

    2008-07-01

    This paper substantiates the anthropogenic origin of climate change, demonstrates the resulting consequences, and thereby establishes the need for a nuclear renaissance over the next thirty years. First, the mechanisms behind the natural cycles in global warming, specifically, cycles of precession and eccentricity in Earth's orbit, as measured in ice cores, are compared to the mechanisms of anthropogenic warming, revealing the scientific basis for the observed correlation between carbon dioxide and temperature. Second, the resulting climate change is exemplified by key results from experiments performed by the author in the Arctic and at the South Geographic Pole, and the author's experience of Switzerland's costliest natural catastrophe - the flash flood of 2005. Third, although facing barriers such as research and development requirements, political will and public acceptance, the potential for nuclear power to triple to 1,000 GWe by 2050 would mitigate climate change by holding carbon dioxide concentration below 500 ppm, thereby challenging the younger nuclear generation to contribute to the most important issue facing humanity. (authors)

  5. Edge responses are different in edges under natural versus anthropogenic influence: a meta-analysis using ground beetles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magura, Tibor; Lövei, Gábor L; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2017-02-01

    Most edges are anthropogenic in origin, but are distinguishable by their maintaining processes (natural vs. continued anthropogenic interventions: forestry, agriculture, urbanization). We hypothesized that the dissimilar edge histories will be reflected in the diversity and assemblage composition of inhabitants. Testing this "history-based edge effect" hypothesis, we evaluated published information on a common insect group, ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in forest edges. A meta-analysis showed that the diversity-enhancing properties of edges significantly differed according to their history. Forest edges maintained by natural processes had significantly higher species richness than their interiors, while edges with continued anthropogenic influence did not. The filter function of edges was also essentially different depending on their history. For forest specialist species, edges maintained by natural processes were penetrable, allowing these species to move right through the edges, while edges still under anthropogenic interventions were impenetrable, preventing the dispersal of forest specialists out of the forest. For species inhabiting the surrounding matrix (open-habitat and generalist species), edges created by forestry activities were penetrable, and such species also invaded the forest interior. However, natural forest edges constituted a barrier and prevented the invasion of matrix species into the forest interior. Preserving and protecting all edges maintained by natural processes, and preventing anthropogenic changes to their structure, composition, and characteristics are key factors to sustain biodiversity in forests. Moreover, the increasing presence of anthropogenic edges in a landscape is to be avoided, as they contribute to the loss of biodiversity. Simultaneously, edges under continued anthropogenic disturbance should be restored by increasing habitat heterogeneity.

  6. Anthropogenic disturbances jeopardize biodiversity conservation within tropical rainforest reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Ramos, Miguel; Ortiz-Rodríguez, Iván A; Piñero, Daniel; Dirzo, Rodolfo; Sarukhán, José

    2016-05-10

    Anthropogenic disturbances affecting tropical forest reserves have been documented, but their ecological long-term cumulative effects are poorly understood. Habitat fragmentation and defaunation are two major anthropogenic threats to the integrity of tropical reserves. Based on a long-term (four decades) study, we document how these disturbances synergistically disrupt ecological processes and imperil biodiversity conservation and ecosystem functioning at Los Tuxtlas, the northernmost tropical rainforest reserve in the Americas. Deforestation around this reserve has reduced the reserve to a medium-sized fragment (640 ha), leading to an increased frequency of canopy-gap formation. In addition, hunting and habitat loss have caused the decline or local extinction of medium and large herbivores. Combining empirical, experimental, and modeling approaches, we support the hypothesis that such disturbances produced a demographic explosion of the long-lived (≈120 y old, maximum height of 7 m) understory palm Astrocaryum mexicanum, whose population has increased from 1,243-4,058 adult individuals per hectare in only 39 y (annual growth rate of ca 3%). Faster gap formation increased understory light availability, enhancing seed production and the growth of immature palms, whereas release from mammalian herbivory and trampling increased survival of seedlings and juveniles. In turn, the palm's demographic explosion was followed by a reduction of tree species diversity, changing forest composition, altering the relative contribution of trees to forest biomass, and disrupting litterfall dynamics. We highlight how indirect anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., palm proliferation) on otherwise protected areas threaten tropical conservation, a phenomenon that is currently eroding the planet's richest repositories of biodiversity.

  7. Assessing habitat selection when availability changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, S.; Garner, G.; ,

    1996-01-01

    We present a method of comparing data on habitat use and availability that allows availability to differ among observations. This method is applicable when habitats change over time and when animals are unable to move throughout a predetermined study area between observations. We used maximum-likelihood techniques to derive an index that estimates the probability that each habitat type would be used if all were equally available. We also demonstrate how these indices can be used to compare relative use of available habitats, assign them ranks, and assess statistical differences between pairs of indices. The set of these indices for all habitats can be compared between groups of animals that represent different seasons, sex or age classes, or experimental treatments. This method allows quantitative comparisons among types and is not affected by arbitrary decisions about which habitats to include in the study. We provide an example by comparing the availability of four categories of sea ice concentration to their use by adult female polar bears, whose movements were monitored by satellite radio tracking in the Bering and Chukchi Seas during 1990. Use of ice categories by bears was nonrandom, and the pattern of use differed between spring and late summer seasons.

  8. Detecting the anthropogenic influences on recent changes in ocean carbon uptake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seferian, Roland; Ribes, Aurelien; Bopp, Laurent

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have modified the rate at which oceans have absorbed atmospheric CO 2 over the last centuries through rising atmospheric CO 2 and modifications in climate. However, there are still missing pieces in our understanding of the recent evolution of air-sea CO 2 exchanges related to the magnitude of their response to anthropogenic forcing versus that controlled by the internal variability. Here, to detect and attribute anthropogenic influences on oceanic CO 2 uptake between 1960 and 2005, we compare an ensemble of Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) climate model simulations forced by individual drivers to ocean-only model reconstructions. We demonstrate that the evolution of the global oceanic carbon sink over the last decades can be understood without invoking climate change, attributing rising atmospheric CO 2 as prominent driver of the oceanic sink. Nonetheless, at regional scale, the influence of climate change on air-sea CO 2 exchanges seems to emerge from the internal variability within the low-latitude oceans. (authors)

  9. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel; Moore, Clinton; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species’ fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species’ foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  10. Complex demographic heterogeneity from anthropogenic impacts in a coastal marine predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oro, Daniel; Álvarez, David; Velando, Alberto

    2018-04-01

    Environmental drivers, including anthropogenic impacts, affect vital rates of organisms. Nevertheless, the influence of these drivers may depend on the physical features of the habitat and how they affect life history strategies depending on individual covariates such as age and sex. Here, the long-term monitoring (1994-2014) of marked European Shags in eight colonies in two regions with different ecological features, such as foraging habitat, allowed us to test several biological hypotheses about how survival changes by age and sex in each region by means of multi-event capture-recapture modeling. Impacts included fishing practices and bycatch, invasive introduced carnivores and the severe Prestige oil spill. Adult survival was constant but, unexpectedly, it was different between sexes. This difference was opposite in each region. The impact of the oil spill on survival was important only for adults (especially for females) in one region and lasted a single year. Juvenile survival was time dependent but this variability was not synchronized between regions, suggesting a strong signal of regional environmental variability. Mortality due to bycatch was also different between sex, age and region. Interestingly the results showed that the size of the fishing fleet is not necessarily a good proxy for assessing the impact of bycatch mortality, which may be more dependent on the fishing grounds and the fishing gears employed in each season of the year. Anthropogenic impacts affected survival differently by age and sex, which was expected for a long-lived organism with sexual size dimorphism. Strikingly, these differences varied depending on the region, indicating that habitat heterogeneity is demographically important to how environmental variability (including anthropogenic impacts) and resilience influence population dynamics. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  11. Natural versus anthropogenic climate change: Swedish farmers' joint construction of climate perceptions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asplund, Therese

    2016-07-01

    While previous research into understandings of climate change has usually examined general public perceptions, this study offers an audience-specific departure point. This article analyses how Swedish farmers perceive climate change and how they jointly shape their understandings. The agricultural sector is of special interest because it both contributes to and is directly affected by climate change. Through focus group discussions with Swedish farmers, this study finds that (1) farmers relate to and understand climate change through their own experiences, (2) climate change is understood either as a natural process subject to little or no human influence or as anthropogenic and (3) various communication tools contribute to the formation of natural and anthropogenic climate change frames. The article ends by discussing frame resonance and frame clash in public understanding of climate change and by comparing potential similarities and differences in how various segments of the public make sense of climate change. © The Author(s) 2014.

  12. Cascading impacts of anthropogenically driven habitat loss: deforestation, flooding, and possible lead poisoning in howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serio-Silva, Juan Carlos; Olguín, Eugenia J; Garcia-Feria, Luis; Tapia-Fierro, Karla; Chapman, Colin A

    2015-01-01

    To construct informed conservation plans, researchers must go beyond understanding readily apparent threats such as habitat loss and bush-meat hunting. They must predict subtle and cascading effects of anthropogenic environmental modifications. This study considered a potential cascading effect of deforestation on the howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra) of Balancán, Mexico. Deforestation intensifies flooding. Thus, we predicted that increased flooding of the Usumacinta River, which creates large bodies of water that slowly evaporate, would produce increased lead content in the soils and plants, resulting in lead exposure in the howler monkeys. The average lead levels were 18.18 ± 6.76 ppm in the soils and 5.85 ± 4.37 ppm in the plants. However, the average lead content of the hair of 13 captured howler monkeys was 24.12 ± 5.84 ppm. The lead levels in the animals were correlated with 2 of 15 blood traits (lactate dehydrogenase and total bilirubin) previously documented to be associated with exposure to lead. Our research illustrates the urgent need to set reference values indicating when adverse impacts of high environmental lead levels occur, whether anthropogenic or natural, and the need to evaluate possible cascading effects of deforestation on primates.

  13. Soil Landscape Pattern Changes in Response to Rural Anthropogenic Activity across Tiaoxi Watershed, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Rui; Jiang, Diwei; Christakos, George; Fei, Xufeng; Wu, Jiaping

    2016-01-01

    Soil sealing (loss of soil resources due to extensive land covering for the purpose of house building, road construction etc.) and subsequent soil landscape pattern changes constitute typical environmental problems in many places worldwide. Previous studies concentrated on soil sealing in urbanized regions, whereas rural areas have not been given sufficient attention. Accordingly, this paper studies soil landscape pattern dynamics (i.e., landscape pattern changes in response to rural anthropogenic activities) in the Tiaoxi watershed (Zhejiang province, eastern China), in which surface sealing is by far the predominant component of human forcing with respect to environmental change. A novel approach of quantifying the impacts of rural anthropogenic activities on soil resources is presented. Specifically, quantitative relationships were derived between five soil landscape pattern metrics (patch density, edge density, shape index, Shannon’s diversity index and aggregation index) and three rural anthropogenic activity indicators (anthropogenic activity intensity, distance to towns, and distance to roads) at two landscape block scales (3 and 5 km) between 1985 and 2010. The results showed that the Tiaoxi watershed experienced extensive rural settlement expansion and high rates of soil sealing. Soil landscapes became more fragmented, more irregular, more isolated, and less diverse. Relationships between soil landscape pattern changes and rural anthropogenic activities differed with the scale (spatial and temporal) and variable considered. In particular, the anthropogenic activity intensity was found to be the most important indicator explaining social development intensity, whereas the other two proximity indicators had a significant impact at certain temporal interval. In combination with scale effects, spatial dependency (correlation) was shown to play a key role that should be carefully taken into consideration in any relevant environmental study. Overall, the

  14. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.

    2010-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for food and shelter during winter, yet few studies have assessed winter habitat selection, particularly at scales applicable to conservation planning. Small changes to availability of winter habitats have caused drastic reductions in some sage-grouse populations. We modeled winter habitat selection by sage-grouse in Alberta, Canada, by using a resource selection function. Our purpose was to 1) generate a robust winter habitat-selection model for Alberta sage-grouse; 2) spatially depict habitat suitability in a Geographic Information System to identify areas with a high probability of selection and thus, conservation importance; and 3) assess the relative influence of human development, including oil and gas wells, in landscape models of winter habitat selection. Terrain and vegetation characteristics, sagebrush cover, anthropogenic landscape features, and energy development were important in top Akaike's Information Criterionselected models. During winter, sage-grouse selected dense sagebrush cover and homogenous less rugged areas, and avoided energy development and 2-track truck trails. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development highlights the need for comprehensive management strategies that maintain suitable habitats across all seasons. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.

  15. The Use of Aerial RGB Imagery and LIDAR in Comparing Ecological Habitats and Geomorphic Features on a Natural versus Man-Made Barrier Island

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlton P. Anderson

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The Mississippi (MS barrier island chain along the northern Gulf of Mexico coastline is subject to rapid changes in habitat, geomorphology and elevation by natural and anthropogenic disturbances. The purpose of this study was to compare habitat type coverage with respective elevation, geomorphic features and short-term change between the naturally-formed East Ship Island and the man-made Sand Island. Ground surveys, multi-year remotely-sensed data, habitat classifications and digital elevation models were used to quantify short-term habitat and geomorphic change, as well as to examine the relationships between habitat types and micro-elevation. Habitat types and species composition were the same on both islands with the exception of the algal flat existing on the lower elevated spits of East Ship. Both islands displayed common patterns of vegetation succession and ranges of existence in elevation. Additionally, both islands showed similar geomorphic features, such as fore and back dunes and ponds. Storm impacts had the most profound effects on vegetation and geomorphic features throughout the study period. Although vastly different in age, these two islands show remarkable commonalities among the traits investigated. In comparison to East Ship, Sand Island exhibits key characteristics of a natural barrier island in terms of its vegetated habitats, geomorphic features and response to storm impacts, although it was established anthropogenically only decades ago.

  16. Habitat-specific effects of climate change on a low-mobility Arctic spider species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bowden, Joseph James; Hansen, Rikke Reisner; Olsen, Kent

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Terrestrial ecosystems are heterogeneous habitat mosaics of varying vegetation types that are differentially affected by climate change. Arctic plant communities, for example, are changing faster in moist habitats than in dry habitats and abiotic changes like snowmelt vary locally among...... was significantly related to the timing of snowmelt and differed significantly between the sexes and habitats with the spiders in the mesic habitat showing a stronger temporal response to later snowmelt. Juvenile/ female ratios also differed significantly between habitats; as did the overall abundance...

  17. Landscape alteration and habitat modification: impacts on plant-pollinator systems

    OpenAIRE

    Vanbergen, Adam J.

    2014-01-01

    Insect pollinators provide an important ecosystem service to many crop species and underpin the reproductive assurance of many wild plant species. Multiple, anthropogenic pressures threaten insect pollinators. Land-use change and intensification alters the habitats and landscapes that provide food and nesting resources for pollinators. These impacts vary according to species traits, producing winners and losers, while the intrinsic robustness of plant-pollinator networks may provide stability...

  18. Undergraduate Students' Conceptions of Natural and Anthropogenic Climate Change: A Case Study Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trenbath, Thien-Kim Leckie

    2012-01-01

    This dissertation shows the evolution of five undergraduate students' ideas of natural and anthropogenic climate change throughout a lecture hall course on climate change. This research was informed by conceptual change theory and students' inaccurate ideas of climate change. Subjects represented different levels of climate change understanding at…

  19. Utilizing NASA Earth Observations to investigate habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture in the Western Cape Province of South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, D.; Estes, M. G., Jr.; Griffin, R.; Estes, S. M.

    2017-12-01

    As the global urban population rapidly increases, many wild species lose habitat to human development. The Western Cape of South Africa contains one of Earth's 35 biodiversity hotspots, with remarkably high levels of species richness and endemism. Understanding the relationship between anthropogenic changes and key species in this region is crucial for conservation of its threatened ecosystems. The objective of this research was to investigate the effect that climate change and urbanization each have on habitat suitability of the Cape Vulture. This research utilized NASA satellite data and crowdsourced species sightings to model past, current, and future habitat suitability for this key species in the Western Cape. Data used from NASA Earth Observations included: Landsat 8- derived Land Cover, Modis Land Surface Temperature, Digital Elevation Models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, and precipitation data which integrated in-situ stations with Infrared data. Species observations were sourced from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility online database. A geospatial modelling framework was used to generate maps of present, past and future suitable habitats for analysis and comparison. Changes in precipitation and temperature may be a factor in the extreme loss of habitat since 1995, and predict even more drastic loss in the future. This research provides insights on anthropogenic effects on a species' range which may be used to inform discussions of conservation as an element of environmentally sustainable development.

  20. Trust Species and Habitat Branch: using the innovative approaches of today to conserve biodiversity for tomorrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevens, Patricia; Walters, Katie D.

    2015-01-01

    Some of the biggest challenges facing wildlife today are changes to their environment from both natural and anthropogenic causes. Natural resource managers, planners, policy makers, industry and private landowners must make informed decisions and policies regarding management, conservation, and restoration of species, habitats, and ecosystem function in response to these changes. Specific needs include (1) a better understanding of population status and trends; (2) understanding of species’ habitat needs and roles in supporting ecosystem functions; (3) the ability to assess species’ responses to environmental changes and predict future responses; and (4) the development of innovative techniques and tools to better understand, minimize or prevent any unintended consequences of environmental change.

  1. Tropical coral reef habitat in a geoengineered, high-CO2 world

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couce, E.; Irvine, P. J.; Gregorie, L. J.; Ridgwell, A.; Hendy, E. J.

    2013-05-01

    Continued anthropogenic CO2 emissions are expected to impact tropical coral reefs by further raising sea surface temperatures (SST) and intensifying ocean acidification (OA). Although geoengineering by means of solar radiation management (SRM) may mitigate temperature increases, OA will persist, raising important questions regarding the impact of different stressor combinations. We apply statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models to project changes in shallow water tropical coral reef habitat as a single niche (without resolving biodiversity or community composition) under various representative concentration pathway and SRM scenarios, until 2070. We predict substantial reductions in habitat suitability centered on the Indo-Pacific Warm Pool under net anthropogenic radiative forcing of ≥3.0 W/m2. The near-term dominant risk to coral reefs is increasing SSTs; below 3 W/m2 reasonably favorable conditions are maintained, even when achieved by SRM with persisting OA. "Optimal" mitigation occurs at 1.5 W/m2 because tropical SSTs overcool in a fully geoengineered (i.e., preindustrial global mean temperature) world.

  2. Tracking changes and preventing loss in critical tiger habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joshi, Anup R; Dinerstein, Eric; Wikramanayake, Eric; Anderson, Michael L; Olson, David; Jones, Benjamin S; Seidensticker, John; Lumpkin, Susan; Hansen, Matthew C; Sizer, Nigel C; Davis, Crystal L; Palminteri, Suzanne; Hahn, Nathan R

    2016-04-01

    The global population of wild tigers remains dangerously low at fewer than 3500 individuals. Habitat loss, along with poaching, can undermine the international target recovery of doubling the number of wild tigers by 2022. Using a new satellite-based monitoring system, we analyzed 14 years of forest loss data within the 76 landscapes (ranging from 278 to 269,983 km(2)) that have been prioritized for conservation of wild tigers. Our analysis provides an update of the status of tiger habitat and describes new applications of technology to detect precisely where forest loss is occurring in order to curb future habitat loss. Across the 76 landscapes, forest loss was far less than anticipated (79,597 ± 22,629 km(2), 7.7% of remaining habitat) over the 14-year study period (2001-2014). Habitat loss was unevenly distributed within a subset of 29 landscapes deemed most critical for doubling wild tiger populations: 19 showed little change (1.5%), whereas 10 accounted for more than 98% (57,392 ± 16,316 km(2)) of habitat loss. Habitat loss in source population sites within 76 landscapes ranged from no loss to 435 ± 124 km(2) ([Formula: see text], SD = 89, total = 1676 ± 476 km(2)). Doubling the tiger population by 2022 requires moving beyond tracking annual changes in habitat. We highlight near-real-time forest monitoring technologies that provide alerts of forest loss at relevant spatial and temporal scales to prevent further erosion.

  3. Retrospective analysis of bottlenose dolphin foraging: a legacy of anthropogenic ecosystem disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossman, Sam; Barros, Nélio B.; Ostrom, Peggy H.; Stricker, Craig A.; Hohn, Aleta A.; Gandhi, Hasand; Wells, Randall S.

    2013-01-01

    We used stable isotope analysis to investigate the foraging ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in relation to a series of anthropogenic disturbances. We first demonstrated that stable isotopes are a faithful indicator of habitat use by comparing muscle isotope values to behavioral foraging data from the same individuals. δ13C values increased, while δ34S and δ15N values decreased with the percentage of feeding observations in seagrass habitat. We then utilized stable isotope values of muscle to assess temporal variation in foraging habitat from 1991 to 2010 and collagen from tooth crown tips to assess the time period 1944 to 2007. From 1991 to 2010, δ13C values of muscle decreased while δ34S values increased indicating reduced utilization of seagrass habitat. From 1944 to 1989 δ13C values of the crown tip declined significantly, likely due to a reduction in the coverage of seagrass habitat and δ15N values significantly increased, a trend we attribute to nutrient loading from a rapidly increasing human population. Our results demonstrate the utility of using marine mammal foraging habits to retrospectively assess the extent to which anthropogenic disturbance impacts coastal food webs.

  4. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellis-Soto, Diego; Blake, Stephen; Soultan, Alaaeldin; Guézou, Anne; Cabrera, Fredy; Lötters, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava) and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis) occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.). Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  5. Plant species dispersed by Galapagos tortoises surf the wave of habitat suitability under anthropogenic climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Ellis-Soto

    Full Text Available Native biodiversity on the Galapagos Archipelago is severely threatened by invasive alien species. On Santa Cruz Island, the abundance of introduced plant species is low in the arid lowlands of the Galapagos National Park, but increases with elevation into unprotected humid highlands. Two common alien plant species, guava (Psidium guajava and passion fruit (Passiflora edulis occur at higher elevations yet their seeds are dispersed into the lowlands by migrating Galapagos tortoises (Chelonoidis spp.. Tortoises transport large quantities of seeds over long distances into environments in which they have little or no chance of germination and survival under current climate conditions. However, climate change is projected to modify environmental conditions on Galapagos with unknown consequences for the distribution of native and introduced biodiversity. We quantified seed dispersal of guava and passion fruit in tortoise dung piles and the distribution of adult plants along two elevation gradients on Santa Cruz to assess current levels of 'wasted' seed dispersal. We computed species distribution models for both taxa under current and predicted future climate conditions. Assuming that tortoise migratory behaviour continues, current levels of "wasted" seed dispersal in lowlands were projected to decline dramatically in the future for guava but not for passion fruit. Tortoises will facilitate rapid range expansion for guava into lowland areas within the Galapagos National Park where this species is currently absent. Coupled with putative reduction in arid habitat for native species caused by climate change, tortoise driven guava invasion will pose a serious threat to local plant communities.

  6. Larval habitat for the avian malaria vector culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in altered mid-elevation mesic-dry forests in Hawai'i

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reiter, M.E.; Lapointe, D.A.

    2009-01-01

    Effective management of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in Hawai'i's endemic honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) requires the identification and subsequent reduction or treatment of larval habitat for the mosquito vector, Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae). We conducted ground surveys, treehole surveys, and helicopter aerial surveys from 20012003 to identify all potential larval mosquito habitat within two 100+ ha mesic-dry forest study sites in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai'i; 'Ainahou Ranch and Mauna Loa Strip Road. At 'Ainahou Ranch, anthropogenic sites (43%) were more likely to contain mosquitoes than naturally occurring (8%) sites. Larvae of Cx. quinquefasciatus were predominately found in anthropogenic sites while Aedes albopictus larvae occurred less frequently in both anthropogenic sites and naturally-occurring sites. Additionally, moderate-size (???20-22,000 liters) anthropogenic potential larval habitat had >50% probability of mosquito presence compared to larger- and smaller-volume habitat (malaria, may be controlled by larval habitat reduction in the mesic-dry landscapes of Hawai'i where anthropogenic sources predominate.

  7. World-wide anthropogenic climate changes: facts, uncertainties and open questions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schoenwiese, C.D.

    1994-01-01

    Various human activities are, without a doubt, leading to a steady increase world-wide in the emissions of trace gases which affect the climate into the atmosphere. As a result, the global climate is also forced to change. The evidence from climate models regarding this is uncertain, however, both with respect to the quantitative aspect and the regional aspect, especially concerning climatic elements apart from temperature. It is therefore important to examine the data of climate history for anthropogenic climate signals. It is difficult, though, to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic climate effects. Despite these uncertainties, however, which result in many questions remaining open, estimations of risk and the principle of responsibility lead to immediate, international climate protection measures being demanded. (orig.) [de

  8. Genetic data suggest a natural prehuman origin of open habitats in northern Madagascar and question the deforestation narrative in this region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quéméré, Erwan; Amelot, Xavier; Pierson, Julie; Crouau-Roy, Brigitte; Chikhi, Lounès

    2012-08-07

    The impact of climate change and anthropogenic deforestation on biodiversity is of growing concern worldwide. Disentangling how past anthropogenic and natural factors contributed to current biome distribution is thus a crucial issue to understand their complex interactions on wider time scales and to improve predictions and conservation strategies. This is particularly important in biodiversity hotspots, such as Madagascar, dominated by large open habitats whose origins are increasingly debated. Although a dominant narrative argues that Madagascar was originally entirely covered by woodlands, which were destroyed by humans, a number of recent studies have suggested that past climatic fluctuations played a major role in shaping current biome distributions well before humans arrived. Here, we address the question of the origin of open habitats in the Daraina region in northern Madagascar, using a multiproxy approach combining population genetics modeling and remote-sensing analyses. We show that (i) contrary to most regions of Madagascar, the forest cover in Daraina remained remarkably stable over the past 60 y, and (ii) the golden-crowned sifaka (Propithecus tattersalli), a forest-dwelling lemur, underwent a strong population contraction before the arrival of the first humans, hence excluding an anthropogenic cause. Prehuman Holocene droughts may have led to a significant increase of grasslands and a reduction in the species' habitat. This contradicts the prevailing narrative that land cover changes are necessarily anthropogenic in Madagascar but does not preclude the later role played by humans in other regions in which recent lemur bottlenecks have been observed.

  9. The fate of threatened coastal dune habitats in Italy under climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prisco, Irene; Carboni, Marta; Acosta, Alicia T R

    2013-01-01

    Coastal dunes worldwide harbor threatened habitats characterized by high diversity in terms of plant communities. In Italy, recent assessments have highlighted the insufficient state of conservation of these habitats as defined by the EU Habitats Directive. The effects of predicted climate change could have dramatic consequences for coastal environments in the near future. An assessment of the efficacy of protection measures under climate change is thus a priority. Here, we have developed environmental envelope models for the most widespread dune habitats in Italy, following two complementary approaches: an "indirect" plant-species-based one and a simple "direct" one. We analyzed how habitats distribution will be altered under the effects of two climate change scenarios and evaluated if the current Italian network of protected areas will be effective in the future after distribution shifts. While modeling dune habitats with the "direct" approach was unsatisfactory, "indirect" models had a good predictive performance, highlighting the importance of using species' responses to climate change for modeling these habitats. The results showed that habitats closer to the sea may even increase their geographical distribution in the near future. The transition dune habitat is projected to remain stable, although mobile and fixed dune habitats are projected to lose most of their actual geographical distribution, the latter being more sensitive to climate change effects. Gap analysis highlighted that the habitats' distribution is currently adequately covered by protected areas, achieving the conservation target. However, according to predictions, protection level for mobile and fixed dune habitats is predicted to drop drastically under the climate change scenarios which we examined. Our results provide useful insights for setting management priorities and better addressing conservation efforts to preserve these threatened habitats in future.

  10. AMPHIBIAN COMMUNITIES IN BIOGEOCOENOSIS WITH DIFFERENT STAGES OF ANTHROPOGENIC CLYMAX

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marchenkovskaya А. А.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available We examined the abundance of juvenile (fingerlings and yearlings and sexually mature (3-6 years of various anurans at various biotopes with different degrees of anthropogenic influence. Population analysis has revealed that the number of juveniles in all the habitats are depended on type and level of anthropogenic influence. In all the habitats the most numerous species was synanthropic bufo viridis. In biotopes with high contamination of pollutants, only one species of amphibians - the marsh frog has populations with juveniles migrating here in the early fall. The highest number of mature individuals registered for the population of Bombina bombina, pelobates fuscus and in one biotope for hyla arborea. The populations of pelophylax ridibundus could be considered as the most balanced by number of juvenile and mature individuals.

  11. Changes in anthropogenic carbon storage in the Northeast Pacific in the last decade

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Sophie N.; Wang, Zhaohui Aleck; Doney, Scott C.; Lawson, Gareth L.; Hoering, Katherine A.

    2016-07-01

    In order to understand the ocean's role as a sink for anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2), it is important to quantify changes in the amount of anthropogenic CO2 stored in the ocean interior over time. From August to September 2012, an ocean acidification cruise was conducted along a portion of the P17N transect (50°N 150°W to 33.5°N 135°W) in the Northeast Pacific. These measurements are compared with data from the previous occupation of this transect in 2001 to estimate the change in the anthropogenic CO2 inventory in the Northeast Pacific using an extended multiple linear regression (eMLR) approach. Maximum increases in the surface waters were 11 µmol kg-1 over 11 years near 50°N. Here, the penetration depth of anthropogenic CO2 only reached ˜300 m depth, whereas at 33.5°N, penetration depth reached ˜600 m. The average increase of the depth-integrated anthropogenic carbon inventory was 0.41 ± 0.12 mol m-2 yr-1 across the transect. Lower values down to 0.20 mol m-2 yr-1 were observed in the northern part of the transect near 50°N and increased up to 0.55 mol m-2 yr-1 toward 33.5°N. This increase in anthropogenic carbon in the upper ocean resulted in an average pH decrease of 0.002 ± 0.0003 pH units yr-1 and a 1.8 ± 0.4 m yr-1 shoaling rate of the aragonite saturation horizon. An average increase in apparent oxygen utilization of 13.4 ± 15.5 µmol kg-1 centered on isopycnal surface 26.6 kg m-3 from 2001 to 2012 was also observed.

  12. Factors Influencing Expanded Use of Urban Marine Habitats by Foraging Wading Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urban marine habitats are often utilized by wildlife for foraging and other activities despite surrounding anthropogenic impact or disturbance. However little is known of the ecological factors that determine habitat value of these and other remnant natural habitats. We examine...

  13. Surf zone fish diet as an indicator of environmental and anthropogenic influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Costa, Leonardo Lopes; Zalmon, Ilana Rosental

    2017-10-01

    Changes in species' abundance have been used as indicators of environmental and anthropogenic disturbances. However, sublethal, e.g., diet, changes should be detected before some alterations in the composition and structure of fish assemblages occur as a result of ecological negative impacts. The objective of the present study was to assess possible changes in surf zone fish diet in response to environmental and anthropogenic disturbances. Surf zone fish were sampled and their stomach contents were analyzed on two sandy beaches under different levels of human pressure in Southeastern Brazil. Habitat variables related to seasonality, food availability, anthropogenic disturbance, upwelling and river influence were measured as follows: (1) wave height; (2) water temperature; (3) intertidal macroinvertebrates abundance; (4) solid waste amount; (5) salinity; (6) particulate organic carbon (POC) and (7) chlorophyll a (Chl a). Our results showed the influence of seasonality, prey abundance and hydrodynamics in prey selection, and diet overlap between typical surf zone residents. A literature search was also performed and it shows that insects and Emerita brasiliensis eggs, which were the main food item consumed by some surf zone fish at urbanized Brazilian beaches, are unusual worldwide. Furthermore, solid waste was related to high consumption of insects by pompanos fish in urbanized areas, suggesting that this fish diet could be a sublethal indicator of human impact on sandy beaches.

  14. Climate change and human colonization triggered habitat loss and fragmentation in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salmona, Jordi; Heller, Rasmus; Quéméré, Erwan; Chikhi, Lounès

    2017-10-01

    The relative effect of past climate fluctuations and anthropogenic activities on current biome distribution is subject to increasing attention, notably in biodiversity hot spots. In Madagascar, where humans arrived in the last ~4 to 5,000 years, the exact causes of the demise of large vertebrates that cohabited with humans are yet unclear. The prevailing narrative holds that Madagascar was covered with forest before human arrival and that the expansion of grasslands was the result of human-driven deforestation. However, recent studies have shown that vegetation and fauna structure substantially fluctuated during the Holocene. Here, we study the Holocene history of habitat fragmentation in the north of Madagascar using a population genetics approach. To do so, we infer the demographic history of two northern Madagascar neighbouring, congeneric and critically endangered forest dwelling lemur species-Propithecus tattersalli and Propithecus perrieri-using population genetic analyses. Our results highlight the necessity to consider population structure and changes in connectivity in demographic history inferences. We show that both species underwent demographic fluctuations which most likely occurred after the mid-Holocene transition. While mid-Holocene climate change probably triggered major demographic changes in the two lemur species range and connectivity, human settlements that expanded over the last four millennia in northern Madagascar likely played a role in the loss and fragmentation of the forest cover. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Will Outer Tropical Cyclone Size Change due to Anthropogenic Warming?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schenkel, B. A.; Lin, N.; Chavas, D. R.; Vecchi, G. A.; Knutson, T. R.; Oppenheimer, M.

    2017-12-01

    Prior research has shown significant interbasin and intrabasin variability in outer tropical cyclone (TC) size. Moreover, outer TC size has even been shown to vary substantially over the lifetime of the majority of TCs. However, the factors responsible for both setting initial outer TC size and determining its evolution throughout the TC lifetime remain uncertain. Given these gaps in our physical understanding, there remains uncertainty in how outer TC size will change, if at all, due to anthropogenic warming. The present study seeks to quantify whether outer TC size will change significantly in response to anthropogenic warming using data from a high-resolution global climate model and a regional hurricane model. Similar to prior work, the outer TC size metric used in this study is the radius in which the azimuthal-mean surface azimuthal wind equals 8 m/s. The initial results from the high-resolution global climate model data suggest that the distribution of outer TC size shifts significantly towards larger values in each global TC basin during future climates, as revealed by 1) statistically significant increase of the median outer TC size by 5-10% (p<0.05) according to a 1,000-sample bootstrap resampling approach with replacement and 2) statistically significant differences between distributions of outer TC size from current and future climate simulations as shown using two-sample Kolmogorov Smirnov testing (p<<0.01). Additional analysis of the high-resolution global climate model data reveals that outer TC size does not uniformly increase within each basin in future climates, but rather shows substantial locational dependence. Future work will incorporate the regional mesoscale hurricane model data to help focus on identifying the source of the spatial variability in outer TC size increases within each basin during future climates and, more importantly, why outer TC size changes in response to anthropogenic warming.

  16. Eelgrass habitat near Liberty Bay: Chapter 5

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinicola, Richard S.; Takesue, Renee K.

    2015-01-01

    Seagrasses are a widespread type of marine flowering plants that grow in nearshore intertidal and subtidal zones. Seagrass beds are ecologically important because they affect physical, biological, and chemical characteristics of nearshore habitat, and they are sensitive to changes in coastal water quality (Stevenson and others, 1993; Koch, 2001; Martinez-Crego and others, 2008). Zostera marina, commonly known as eelgrass, is protected by a no-net-loss policy in Washington State where it may be used as spawning habitat by herring, a key prey species for salmon, seabirds, and marine mammals (Bargmann, 1998). Eelgrass forms broad meadows in shallow embayments or narrow fringes on open shorelines (Berry and others, 2003). Anthropogenic activities that increase turbidity, nutrient loading, and physical disturbance at the coast can result in dramatic seagrass decline (Ralph and others, 2006).

  17. Information to support to monitoring and habitat restoration on Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scoppettone, G. Gary

    2013-01-01

    for monitoring native fish populations in relation to restoration efforts on the Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. There are no precise records on conditions of each of the spring systems prior to anthropogenic alteration; however, fostering conditions that favor native over non-natives will be key to habitat restoration. Information regarding native species carbon source is needed to create habitat that favors native species, thus habitat restoration fostering food stuff consumed by native species should be considered in restoration efforts. In compiling data for the first part of this report, we tracked carbon source for native and non-native species at four stations along the Jackrabbit Spring system. Thus, we were able to contrast carbon source in warm- and cool-water habitats. Habitat in Jackrabbit Spring was improved for native fishes in 2007. The second paper in this report focuses on native fish populations in Jackrabbit Spring system pre- and post-restoration. Much of the Ash Meadows Oases is marsh habitat where non-native red swamp crayfish and western mosquitofish are often abundant, to the detriment of non-natives. Because marsh habitat is broadly represented in the Ash Meadows landscape, establishing marsh habitat most conducive to the native fishes is important to the restoration effort, and the third paper addresses marsh habitat type with the relative abundance of fishes and crayfish. There are previous years of monitoring Ash Meadows’ native fish populations, but not all monitoring occurred at the same time of year. Desert-fish populations sometimes undergo seasonal fluctuation, so it might not be valid to compare population trends using difference seasons. For report four, we tracked a closed population of Amargosa pupfish (Cyprinodon nevadensis) year round to track seasonal trends. Knowledge of seasonal trends is important in tracking changes of populations pre- and post-restoration.

  18. Interactive effects of anthropogenic nitrogen enrichment and climate change on terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change and Nr from anthropogenic activities are causing some of the most rapid changes in biodiversity in recent times. Climate change is causing warming trends that result in poleward and elevational range shiftsof flora and fauna, and changes in phenology, particularly ...

  19. Testing the robustness of the anthropogenic climate change detection statements using different empirical models

    KAUST Repository

    Imbers, J.; Lopez, A.; Huntingford, C.; Allen, M. R.

    2013-01-01

    This paper aims to test the robustness of the detection and attribution of anthropogenic climate change using four different empirical models that were previously developed to explain the observed global mean temperature changes over the last few decades. These studies postulated that the main drivers of these changes included not only the usual natural forcings, such as solar and volcanic, and anthropogenic forcings, such as greenhouse gases and sulfates, but also other known Earth system oscillations such as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). In this paper, we consider these signals, or forced responses, and test whether or not the anthropogenic signal can be robustly detected under different assumptions for the internal variability of the climate system. We assume that the internal variability of the global mean surface temperature can be described by simple stochastic models that explore a wide range of plausible temporal autocorrelations, ranging from short memory processes exemplified by an AR(1) model to long memory processes, represented by a fractional differenced model. In all instances, we conclude that human-induced changes to atmospheric gas composition is affecting global mean surface temperature changes. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Testing the robustness of the anthropogenic climate change detection statements using different empirical models

    KAUST Repository

    Imbers, J.

    2013-04-27

    This paper aims to test the robustness of the detection and attribution of anthropogenic climate change using four different empirical models that were previously developed to explain the observed global mean temperature changes over the last few decades. These studies postulated that the main drivers of these changes included not only the usual natural forcings, such as solar and volcanic, and anthropogenic forcings, such as greenhouse gases and sulfates, but also other known Earth system oscillations such as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). In this paper, we consider these signals, or forced responses, and test whether or not the anthropogenic signal can be robustly detected under different assumptions for the internal variability of the climate system. We assume that the internal variability of the global mean surface temperature can be described by simple stochastic models that explore a wide range of plausible temporal autocorrelations, ranging from short memory processes exemplified by an AR(1) model to long memory processes, represented by a fractional differenced model. In all instances, we conclude that human-induced changes to atmospheric gas composition is affecting global mean surface temperature changes. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

  1. Use of Anthropogenic Sea Floor Structures by Australian Fur Seals: Potential Positive Ecological Impacts of Marine Industrial Development?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnould, John P Y; Monk, Jacquomo; Ierodiaconou, Daniel; Hindell, Mark A; Semmens, Jayson; Hoskins, Andrew J; Costa, Daniel P; Abernathy, Kyler; Marshall, Greg J

    2015-01-01

    Human-induced changes to habitats can have deleterious effects on many species that occupy them. However, some species can adapt and even benefit from such modifications. Artificial reefs have long been used to provide habitat for invertebrate communities and promote local fish populations. With the increasing demand for energy resources within ocean systems, there has been an expansion of infrastructure in near-shore benthic environments which function as de facto artificial reefs. Little is known of their use by marine mammals. In this study, the influence of anthropogenic sea floor structures (pipelines, cable routes, wells and shipwrecks) on the foraging locations of 36 adult female Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) was investigated. For 9 (25%) of the individuals, distance to anthropogenic sea floor structures was the most important factor in determining the location of intensive foraging activity. Whereas the influence of anthropogenic sea floor structures on foraging locations was not related to age and mass, it was positively related to flipper length/standard length (a factor which can affect manoeuvrability). A total of 26 (72%) individuals tracked with GPS were recorded spending time in the vicinity of structures (from 75% of the foraging trip duration) with pipelines and cable routes being the most frequented. No relationships were found between the amount of time spent frequenting anthropogenic structures and individual characteristics. More than a third (35%) of animals foraging near anthropogenic sea floor structures visited more than one type of structure. These results further highlight potentially beneficial ecological outcomes of marine industrial development.

  2. Use of Anthropogenic Sea Floor Structures by Australian Fur Seals: Potential Positive Ecological Impacts of Marine Industrial Development?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John P Y Arnould

    Full Text Available Human-induced changes to habitats can have deleterious effects on many species that occupy them. However, some species can adapt and even benefit from such modifications. Artificial reefs have long been used to provide habitat for invertebrate communities and promote local fish populations. With the increasing demand for energy resources within ocean systems, there has been an expansion of infrastructure in near-shore benthic environments which function as de facto artificial reefs. Little is known of their use by marine mammals. In this study, the influence of anthropogenic sea floor structures (pipelines, cable routes, wells and shipwrecks on the foraging locations of 36 adult female Australian fur seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus was investigated. For 9 (25% of the individuals, distance to anthropogenic sea floor structures was the most important factor in determining the location of intensive foraging activity. Whereas the influence of anthropogenic sea floor structures on foraging locations was not related to age and mass, it was positively related to flipper length/standard length (a factor which can affect manoeuvrability. A total of 26 (72% individuals tracked with GPS were recorded spending time in the vicinity of structures (from 75% of the foraging trip duration with pipelines and cable routes being the most frequented. No relationships were found between the amount of time spent frequenting anthropogenic structures and individual characteristics. More than a third (35% of animals foraging near anthropogenic sea floor structures visited more than one type of structure. These results further highlight potentially beneficial ecological outcomes of marine industrial development.

  3. Adaptations of lowland jungle mosses to anthropogenic environments in Guyana

    OpenAIRE

    Kuc, Marian

    2000-01-01

    Sixteen lowland jungle mosses growing in anthropogenic habitats at Santa and The Bell - Ituni localities on the Demerara River in Guyana were examined in detail with the aim of detecting any features which would indicate their adaptations to new habitats. Amounts of chlorophyll in leaf cells, protective coloration, alterations in leaf morphology, characteristics of old stems, rhizoid tomentum and fertility are considered as the most pronounced adaptive features of these species to new localit...

  4. Climate Change and Anthropogenic Impacts on Wetland and Agriculture in the Songnen and Sanjiang Plain, Northeast China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hao Chen

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Influences of the increasing pressure of climate change and anthropogenic activities on wetlands ecosystems and agriculture are significant around the world. This paper assessed the spatiotemporal land use and land cover changes (LULCC, especially for conversion from marshland to other LULC types (e.g., croplands over the Songnen and Sanjiang Plain (SNP and SJP, northeast China, during the past 35 years (1980–2015. The relative role of human activities and climatic changes in terms of their impacts on wetlands and agriculture dynamics were quantitatively distinguished and evaluated in different periods based on a seven-stage LULC dataset. Our results indicated that human activities, such as population expansion and socioeconomic development, and institutional policies related to wetlands and agriculture were the main driving forces for LULCC of the SJP and SNP during the past decades, while increasing contributions of climatic changes were also found. Furthermore, as few studies have identified which geographic regions are most at risk, how the future climate changes will spatially and temporally impact wetlands and agriculture, i.e., the suitability of wetlands and agriculture distributions under different future climate change scenarios, were predicted and analyzed using a habitat distribution model (Maxent at the pixel-scale. The present findings can provide valuable references for policy makers on regional sustainability for food security, water resource rational management, agricultural planning and wetland protection as well as restoration of the region.

  5. Anthropogenic range contractions bias species climate change forecasts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faurby, Søren; Araújo, Miguel B.

    2018-03-01

    Forecasts of species range shifts under climate change most often rely on ecological niche models, in which characterizations of climate suitability are highly contingent on the species range data used. If ranges are far from equilibrium under current environmental conditions, for instance owing to local extinctions in otherwise suitable areas, modelled environmental suitability can be truncated, leading to biased estimates of the effects of climate change. Here we examine the impact of such biases on estimated risks from climate change by comparing models of the distribution of North American mammals based on current ranges with ranges accounting for historical information on species ranges. We find that estimated future diversity, almost everywhere, except in coastal Alaska, is drastically underestimated unless the full historical distribution of the species is included in the models. Consequently forecasts of climate change impacts on biodiversity for many clades are unlikely to be reliable without acknowledging anthropogenic influences on contemporary ranges.

  6. Understanding the Impact of Anthropogenic and Environmental Changes on Dengue Fever Cases in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akanda, A. S.; Serman, E. A.; Couret, J.; Puggioni, G.; Ginsberg, H. S.

    2016-12-01

    Worldwide, there are an estimated 50-100 million cases of dengue fever each year, roughly 30 times the number of cases as 50 years ago. Dengue was introduced to Puerto Rico (PR) in 1963 and it has experienced epidemic activity ever since. There have been 4 large epidemics since 1990, the most recent in 2010 where almost 27,000 cases were reported. Vaccine development remains in the testing stages, and years away from mass distribution. Effective control thus depends on our understanding of the complex relationships between environmental and anthropogenic factors, mosquito vector ecology, and disease epidemiology. Dengue virus is primarily transmitted by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which also carry the Zika virus, and humans in urban environments are their preferred hosts. The purpose of our analysis is to identify trends between anthropogenic and environmental changes and dengue fever cases in PR over the past 15 years. Data on housing and population density, percent impervious surface, and percent tree canopy at the municipality level were procured from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Multi-Resolution Land Characteristics Consortium (MLRC) project, respectively. Land cover data from the National Land Cover Database, created by USGS and NOAA, as well as environmental data from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC), were also used. Smaller land cover and green space analysis studies have been performed for PR, but this is the first study to consider the island as a whole, and in six distinct regions, with regards to increases in dengue fever cases. The results from this study can be used to understand the effects of urbanization and climate change on vector-borne disease transmission in PR and to project the impact of growing sub-urban and urban areas on dengue cases in coming years. Our results could also be used to assess Dengue and Zika transmission in growing megacites of the world, where urban slums provide a favorable habitat for Ae. aegypti and foster

  7. Keeping Pace with Climate Change: Habitat Protection in the Face of Uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flitcroft, R. L.; Burnett, K.; Giannico, G.

    2014-12-01

    Estuaries provide critical habitat for many economically and culturally important species. In the Pacific Northwest, intertidal and subtidal areas provide critical habitat for production of native and commercial oysters (Olympia oyster Ostrea lurida and Pacific oyster Crassostrea gigas, respectively) that in turn provide refuge and rearing habitat for Dungeness Crab, Metacarcinus magister. Environments ranging from subtidal through freshwater zones provide nursery areas for juvenile salmonids at different development stages in their life history. Most Oregon estuaries have been significantly altered by humans over the past century, reducing the quantity and diversity of available habitats. Management agencies have responded with projects to restore and enhance estuarine habitats. Unfortunately, future climate change and sea-level rise could render many current restoration projects ineffective over time. Planning for habitat restoration that keeps pace with climate change will be critical to the sustainable production of seafood and maintenance of ecosystem function. However, land managers and citizens lack the spatially-explicit data needed to incorporate the potential effects of climate change and sea-level rise into planning for habitat improvement projects in estuarine areas. To meet this need, we developed simple models using LiDAR to characterize the geomorphologies of multiple Oregon estuaries. We were able to map the margin of current mean high tide, and contour intervals associated with different potential increases in mean high tide. Because our analysis relied on digital data, we compared three types of digital data in one estuary to assess the utility of different data sets in predicting changes in estuary shape. For each estuary, we assessed changes in the amount and complexity of edge habitats. The simple modeling approach we applied can also be used to identify areas that may be most amenable to pre-emptive restoration actions to mitigate or enhance

  8. Future potential distribution of the emerging amphibian chytrid fungus under anthropogenic climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rödder, Dennis; Kielgast, Jos; Lötters, Stefan

    2010-11-01

    Anthropogenic climate change poses a major threat to global biodiversity with a potential to alter biological interactions at all spatial scales. Amphibians are the most threatened vertebrates and have been subject to increasing conservation attention over the past decade. A particular concern is the pandemic emergence of the parasitic chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, which has been identified as the cause of extremely rapid large-scale declines and species extinctions. Experimental and observational studies have demonstrated that the host-pathogen system is strongly influenced by climatic parameters and thereby potentially affected by climate change. Herein we project a species distribution model of the pathogen onto future climatic scenarios generated by the IPCC to examine their potential implications on the pandemic. Results suggest that predicted anthropogenic climate change may reduce the geographic range of B. dendrobatidis and its potential influence on amphibian biodiversity.

  9. Quantifying Anthropogenic Dust Emissions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Nicholas P.; Pierre, Caroline

    2018-02-01

    Anthropogenic land use and land cover change, including local environmental disturbances, moderate rates of wind-driven soil erosion and dust emission. These human-dust cycle interactions impact ecosystems and agricultural production, air quality, human health, biogeochemical cycles, and climate. While the impacts of land use activities and land management on aeolian processes can be profound, the interactions are often complex and assessments of anthropogenic dust loads at all scales remain highly uncertain. Here, we critically review the drivers of anthropogenic dust emission and current evaluation approaches. We then identify and describe opportunities to: (1) develop new conceptual frameworks and interdisciplinary approaches that draw on ecological state-and-transition models to improve the accuracy and relevance of assessments of anthropogenic dust emissions; (2) improve model fidelity and capacity for change detection to quantify anthropogenic impacts on aeolian processes; and (3) enhance field research and monitoring networks to support dust model applications to evaluate the impacts of disturbance processes on local to global-scale wind erosion and dust emissions.

  10. Habitat change influences mate search behaviour in three-spined sticklebacks

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heuschele, Jan; Salminen, Tiina; Candolin, Ulrika

    2012-01-01

    Mate choice is one of the main mechanisms of sexual selection, with profound implications for individual fitness. Changes in environmental conditions can cause individuals to alter their mate search behaviour, with consequences for mate choice. Human-induced eutrophication of water bodies...... is a global problem that alters habitat structure and visibility in aquatic ecosystems. We investigated whether changes in habitat complexity and male cue modality, visual or olfactory, influence mate search behaviour of female three-spined sticklebacks, Gasterosteus aculeatus. We allowed gravid females...... evaluation in the absence of visual stimulation. This reduced the rate of mate encounters and probably also the opportunity for choice. Our results show that changes in habitat structure and visibility can alter female mate searching, with potential consequences for the opportunity for sexual selection....

  11. Anthropogenic Changes in Mid-latitude Storm and Blocking Activities from Observations and Climate Models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, D.

    2017-12-01

    Fingerprints of anthropogenic climate change can be most readily detected in the high latitudes of Northern Hemisphere, where temperature has been rising faster than the rest of the globe and sea ice cover has shrunk dramatically over recent decades. Reducing the meridional temperature gradient, this amplified warming over the high latitudes influences weather in the middle latitudes by modulating the jet stream, storms, and atmospheric blocking activities. Whether observational records have revealed significant changes in mid-latitude storms and blocking activities, however, has remained a subject of much debate. Buried deep in strong year-to-year variations, the long-term dynamic responses of the atmosphere are more difficult to identify, compared with its thermodynamic responses. Variabilities of decadal and longer timescales further obscure any trends diagnosed from satellite observations, which are often shorter than 40 years. Here, new metrics reflecting storm and blocking activities are developed using surface air temperature and pressure records, and their variations and long-term trends are examined. This approach gives an inkling of the changes in storm and blocking activities since the Industrial Revolution in regions with abundant long-term observational records, e.g. Europe and North America. The relationship between Atlantic Multi-decadal Oscillation and variations in storm and blocking activities across the Atlantic is also scrutinized. The connection between observed centennial trends and anthropogenic forcings is investigated using a hierarchy of numerical tools, from highly idealized to fully coupled atmosphere-ocean models. Pre-industrial control simulations and a set of large ensemble simulations forced by increased CO2 are analyzed to evaluate the range of natural variabilities, which paves the way to singling out significant anthropogenic changes from observational records, as well as predicting future changes in mid-latitude storm and

  12. The human footprint in the west: a large-scale analysis of anthropogenic impacts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leu, M.; Hanser, S.E.; Knick, S.T.

    2008-01-01

    Anthropogenic features such as urbanization, roads, and power lines, are increasing in western United States landscapes in response to rapidly growing human populations. However, their spatial effects have not been evaluated. Our goal was to model the human footprint across the western United States. We first delineated the actual area occupied by anthropogenic features, the physical effect area. Next, we developed the human footprint model based on the ecological effect area, the zone influenced by features beyond their physical presence, by combining seven input models: three models quantified top-down anthropogenic influences of synanthropic predators (avian predators, domestic dog and cat presence risk), and four models quantified bottom-up anthropogenic influences on habitat (invasion of exotic plants, human-caused fires, energy extraction, and anthropogenic wildland fragmentation). Using independent bird population data, we found bird abundance of four synanthropic species to correlate positively with human footprint intensity and negatively for three of the six species influenced by habitat fragmentation. We then evaluated the extent of the human footprint in relation to terrestrial (ecoregions) and aquatic systems (major rivers and lakes), regional management and conservation status, physical environment, and temporal changes in human actions. The physical effect area of anthropogenic features covered 13% of the western United States with agricultural land (9.8%) being most dominant. High-intensity human footprint areas (class 8–10) overlapped highly productive low-elevation private landholdings and covered 7% of the western United States compared to 48% for low-intensity areas (class 1–3), which were confined to low-productivity high-elevation federal landholdings. Areas within 1 km of rivers were more affected by the human footprint compared to lakes. Percentage human population growth was higher in low-intensity human footprint areas. The

  13. Whole Atmosphere Simulation of Anthropogenic Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, Stanley C.; Liu, Han-Li; Marsh, Daniel R.; McInerney, Joseph M.; Qian, Liying; Vitt, Francis M.

    2018-02-01

    We simulated anthropogenic global change through the entire atmosphere, including the thermosphere and ionosphere, using the Whole Atmosphere Community Climate Model-eXtended. The basic result was that even as the lower atmosphere gradually warms, the upper atmosphere rapidly cools. The simulations employed constant low solar activity conditions, to remove the effects of variable solar and geomagnetic activity. Global mean annual mean temperature increased at a rate of +0.2 K/decade at the surface and +0.4 K/decade in the upper troposphere but decreased by about -1 K/decade in the stratosphere-mesosphere and -2.8 K/decade in the thermosphere. Near the mesopause, temperature decreases were small compared to the interannual variation, so trends in that region are uncertain. Results were similar to previous modeling confined to specific atmospheric levels and compared favorably with available measurements. These simulations demonstrate the ability of a single comprehensive numerical model to characterize global change throughout the atmosphere.

  14. The influence of vegetation dynamics on anthropogenic climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Port

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study, vegetation–climate and vegetation–carbon cycle interactions during anthropogenic climate change are assessed by using the Earth System Model of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology (MPI ESM that includes vegetation dynamics and an interactive carbon cycle. We assume anthropogenic CO2 emissions according to the RCP 8.5 scenario in the time period from 1850 to 2120. For the time after 2120, we assume zero emissions to evaluate the response of the stabilising Earth System by 2300.

    Our results suggest that vegetation dynamics have a considerable influence on the changing global and regional climate. In the simulations, global mean tree cover extends by 2300 due to increased atmospheric CO2 concentration and global warming. Thus, land carbon uptake is higher and atmospheric CO2 concentration is lower by about 40 ppm when considering dynamic vegetation compared to the static pre-industrial vegetation cover. The reduced atmospheric CO2 concentration is equivalent to a lower global mean temperature. Moreover, biogeophysical effects of vegetation cover shifts influence the climate on a regional scale. Expanded tree cover in the northern high latitudes results in a reduced albedo and additional warming. In the Amazon region, declined tree cover causes a regional warming due to reduced evapotranspiration. As a net effect, vegetation dynamics have a slight attenuating effect on global climate change as the global climate cools by 0.22 K due to natural vegetation cover shifts in 2300.

  15. Habitat stability affects dispersal and the ability to track climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hof, Christian; Brändle, Martin; Dehling, D. Matthias

    2012-01-01

    Habitat persistence should influence dispersal ability, selecting for stronger dispersal in habitats of lower temporal stability. As standing (lentic) freshwater habitats are on average less persistent over time than running (lotic) habitats, lentic species should show higher dispersal abilities ...... that lentic species track climatic changes more rapidly than lotic species. These results are consistent with the proposed hypothesis that habitat persistence affects the evolution of dispersal....... than lotic species. Assuming that climate is an important determinant of species distributions, we hypothesize that lentic species should have distributions that are closer to equilibrium with current climate, and should more rapidly track climatic changes. We tested these hypotheses using datasets...... from 1988 and 2006 containing all European dragon- and damselfly species. Bioclimatic envelope models showed that lentic species were closer to climatic equilibrium than lotic species. Furthermore, the models over-predicted lotic species ranges more strongly than lentic species ranges, indicating...

  16. Impact of anthropogenic and natural environmental changes on Echinococcus transmission in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the People's Republic of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yu Rong; Clements, Archie C A; Gray, Darren J; Atkinson, Jo-An M; Williams, Gail M; Barnes, Tamsin S; McManus, Donald P

    2012-07-24

    Echinococcus transmission is known to be affected by various environmental factors, which may be modified by human influence or natural events including global warming. Considerable population growth in the last fifty years in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR), the People's Republic of China (PRC), has led to dramatic increases in deforestation and modified agricultural practices. In turn, this has resulted in many changes in the habitats for the definitive and intermediate hosts of both Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, which have increased the risks for transmission of both parasites, affecting echinococcosis prevalence and human disease. Ecological environmental changes due to anthropogenic activities and natural events drive Echinococcus transmission and NHAR provides a notable example illustrating how human activity can impact on a parasitic infection of major public health significance. It is very important to continually monitor these environmental (including climatic) factors that drive the distribution of Echinococcus spp. and their impact on transmission to humans because such information is necessary to formulate reliable future public health policy for echinococcosis control programs and to prevent disease spread.

  17. Attenuating initial beliefs: increasing the acceptance of anthropogenic climate change information by reflecting on values.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Prooijen, Anne-Marie; Sparks, Paul

    2014-05-01

    Anthropogenic climate change information tends to be interpreted against the backdrop of initial environmental beliefs, which can lead to some people being resistant toward the information. In this article (N = 88), we examined whether self-affirmation via reflection on personally important values could attenuate the impact of initial beliefs on the acceptance of anthropogenic climate change evidence. Our findings showed that initial beliefs about the human impact on ecological stability influenced the acceptance of information only among nonaffirmed participants. Self-affirmed participants who were initially resistant toward the information showed stronger beliefs in the existence of climate change risks and greater acknowledgment that individual efficacy has a role to play in reducing climate change risks than did their nonaffirmed counterparts. © 2013 Society for Risk Analysis.

  18. Biochemical parameters in the blood of grass snakes (Natrix natrix in ecosystems under varying degrees of anthropogenic influence

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Y. Gasso

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The grass snake Natrix natrix (Linnaeus, 1758 is a partly hygrophilous species, distributed throughoutUkraine. This snake may be considered as a test object for environmental biomonitoring. Modern biochemical methods make it possible to obtain new scientific data on the effects of anthropogenic pressure on reptiles. Blood is a sensitive and informative indicator of the condition of an organism as it responds quickly to most changes in exogenous and endogenous factors, and reflects negative influences on both individual and, indirectly, populations. Changes in biochemical parameters may be used as biomarkers of the state of health of reptiles in ecosystems under varying degrees of anthropogenic pressure. Due the increase in anthropogenic influence the development and introduction of new methods of perceptual research, collection of up-to-date information and development of a database of reptile biochemical parameters have become an urgent priority. We collected mature individuals of the grass snake in floodplain ecosystems on the right bank of the Dnieper River in Dnipropetrovsk city. Grass snakes from floodplain habitats on the left bank of theSamaraRiver (O.L. Belgard Prysamarskii International Biosphere Station, Novomoskovsk district, Dnipropetrovsk province were studied as the control specimens. Our study demonstrated statistically significant differences between snakes from the study sites in the amount of albumin, urea and urea nitrogen, and inorganic phosphorus, as well as in alanine aminotransferase (ALT and alkaline phosphatise (AP activity. The amount of albumin in the blood serum of specimens from the anthropogenically transformed areas was significantly lower (by 25% than in that of the snakes caught in the control habitats. Decrease of the albumin concentration usually indicates abnormal processes in the kidneys and liver. According to the changes observed in the concentration of albumin, a corresponding increase in the albumin to

  19. Connecting the fragmented habitat of endangered mammals in the landscape of Riau–Jambi–Sumatera Barat (RIMBA, central Sumatra, Indonesia (connecting the fragmented habitat due to road development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barano Siswa Sulistyawan

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The trend of wildlife habitat fragmentation worldwide continues as a result of anthropogenic activities on development of a linear infrastructure and land use changes, which is often implemented as part of spatial planning policies. In this paper we expand upon an existing approach to design wildlife corridors through habitat quality assessment. We used models of Habitat Quality of Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST and Corridor Design tools. The habitat quality model of InVEST provides a rapid approach to assess status and change of biodiversity, and can contribute to enhanced corridor design of fragmented wildlife habitat. We conducted an assessment of habitat quality of the RIMBA corridor landscape, which is part of Riau, Jambi and West Sumatra provinces of central Sumatra Island. The result of the habitat quality model was used as the main input to evaluate habitat connectivity and assess the target segment of roads that cross the modelled corridor. We found 20 wildland blocks, the total area of the corridor modelled including wildland blocks was calculated as about 0.77 million hectares. We have obtained accurate quantitative measurement of the length of roads crossing the corridor, with a total of 417.78 km (artery 10.31 km; collector 19.52 km; and local 1987.9 km roads. This method can be replicated as an approach in valuing the quality of habitat as part of the implementation of the presidential decree of Sumatra Island Spatial Planning. This may also be applied to the spatial planning of other major islands in Indonesia and elsewhere.

  20. Long-term genetic monitoring of a riverine dragonfly, Orthetrum coerulescens (Odonata: Libellulidae]: Direct anthropogenic impact versus climate change effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herzog, Rebecca; Hadrys, Heike

    2017-01-01

    Modern conservationists call for long term genetic monitoring datasets to evaluate and understand the impact of human activities on natural ecosystems and species on a global but also local scale. However, long-term monitoring datasets are still rare but in high demand to correctly identify, evaluate and respond to environmental changes. In the presented study, a population of the riverine dragonfly, Orthetrum coerulescens (Odonata: Libellulidae), was monitored over a time period from 1989 to 2013. Study site was an artificial irrigation ditch in one of the last European stone steppes and "nature heritage", the Crau in Southern France. This artificial riverine habitat has an unusual high diversity of odonate species, prominent indicators for evaluating freshwater habitats. A clearing of the canal and destruction of the bank vegetation in 1996 was assumed to have great negative impact on the odonate larval and adult populations. Two mitochondrial markers (CO1 & ND1) and a panel of nuclear microsatellite loci were used to assess the genetic diversity. Over time they revealed a dramatic decline in diversity parameters between the years 2004 and 2007, however not between 1996 and 1997. From 2007 onwards the population shows a stabilizing trend but has not reached the amount of genetic variation found at the beginning of this survey. This decline cannot be referred to the clearing of the canal or any other direct anthropogenic impact. Instead, it is most likely that the populations' decay was due to by extreme weather conditions during the specific years. A severe drought was recorded for the summer months of these years, leading to reduced water levels in the canal causing also other water parameters to change, and therefore impacting temperature sensitive riverine habitat specialists like the O. coerulescens in a significant way. The data provide important insights into population genetic dynamics and metrics not always congruent with traditional monitoring data (e

  1. Assessing multi-taxa sensitivity to the human footprint, habitat fragmentation and loss by exploring alternative scenarios of dispersal ability and population size: A simulation approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian K. Hand; Samuel A. Cushman; Erin L. Landguth; John Lucotch

    2014-01-01

    Quantifying the effects of landscape change on population connectivity is compounded by uncertainties about population size and distribution and a limited understanding of dispersal ability for most species. In addition, the effects of anthropogenic landscape change and sensitivity to regional climatic conditions interact to strongly affect habitat...

  2. Is the global rise of asthma an early impact of anthropogenic climate change?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul John Beggs

    Full Text Available The increase in asthma incidence, prevalence, and morbidity over recent decades presents a significant challenge to public health. Pollen is an important trigger of some types of asthma, and both pollen quantity and season depend on climatic and meteorological variables. Over the same period as the global rise in asthma, there have been considerable increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration and global average surface temperature. We hypothesize anthropogenic climate change as a plausible contributor to the rise in asthma. Greater concentrations of carbon dioxide and higher temperatures may increase pollen quantity and induce longer pollen seasons. Pollen allergenicity can also increase as a result of these changes in climate. Exposure in early life to a more allergenic environment may also provoke the development of other atopic conditions, such as eczema and allergic rhinitis. Although the etiology of asthma is complex, the recent global rise in asthma could be an early health effect of anthropogenic climate change.

  3. Anthropogenic and natural influence on disease prevalence at the humanlivestockwildlife interface in the Serengeti ecosystem, Tanzania

    OpenAIRE

    Fyumagwa, Robert Dominikus

    2012-01-01

    Anthropogenic activities in ecosystems interfere with natural processes and cause habitat fragmentation and loss. Habitat fragmentation and loss restrict wildlife movement between populations consequently reducing the gene flow and genetic diversity. Increased human encroachment on wildlife habitat compromises immunity and disturbs host-pathogen relationships resulting in disease outbreaks in naïve populations. Tick-borne and infectious diseases are considered a major threat to the health of ...

  4. Detection and Attribution of Anthropogenic Climate Change Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenzweig, Cynthia; Neofotis, Peter

    2013-01-01

    Human-influenced climate change is an observed phenomenon affecting physical and biological systems across the globe. The majority of observed impacts are related to temperature changes and are located in the northern high- and midlatitudes. However, new evidence is emerging that demonstrates that impacts are related to precipitation changes as well as temperature, and that climate change is impacting systems and sectors beyond the Northern Hemisphere. In this paper, we highlight some of this new evidence-focusing on regions and sectors that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report (IPCC AR4) noted as under-represented-in the context of observed climate change impacts, direct and indirect drivers of change (including carbon dioxide itself), and methods of detection. We also present methods and studies attributing observed impacts to anthropogenic forcing. We argue that the expansion of methods of detection (in terms of a broader array of climate variables and data sources, inclusion of the major modes of climate variability, and incorporation of other drivers of change) is key to discerning the climate sensitivities of sectors and systems in regions where the impacts of climate change currently remain elusive. Attributing such changes to human forcing of the climate system, where possible, is important for development of effective mitigation and adaptation. Current challenges in documenting adaptation and the role of indigenous knowledge in detection and attribution are described.

  5. University-Level Teaching of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change (AGCC) via Student Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Drew; Sieber, Renee; Seiler, Gale; Chandler, Mark

    2017-01-01

    This paper reviews university-level efforts to improve understanding of anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) through curricula that enable student scientific inquiry. We examined 152 refereed publications and proceedings from academic conferences and selected 26 cases of inquiry learning that overcome specific challenges to AGCC teaching.…

  6. Changes in forest habitat classes under alternative climate and land-use change scenarios in the northeast and midwest, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian G. Tavernia; Mark D. Nelson; Michael E. Goerndt; Brian F. Walters; Chris Toney

    2013-01-01

    Large-scale and long-term habitat management plans are needed to maintain the diversity of habitat classes required by wildlife species. Planning efforts would benefit from assessments of potential climate and land-use change effects on habitats. We assessed climate and land-use driven changes in areas of closed- and open-canopy forest across the Northeast and Midwest...

  7. Rates of change in natural and anthropogenic radiative forcing over the past 20,000 years.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joos, Fortunat; Spahni, Renato

    2008-02-05

    The rate of change of climate codetermines the global warming impacts on natural and socioeconomic systems and their capabilities to adapt. Establishing past rates of climate change from temperature proxy data remains difficult given their limited spatiotemporal resolution. In contrast, past greenhouse gas radiative forcing, causing climate to change, is well known from ice cores. We compare rates of change of anthropogenic forcing with rates of natural greenhouse gas forcing since the Last Glacial Maximum and of solar and volcanic forcing of the last millennium. The smoothing of atmospheric variations by the enclosure process of air into ice is computed with a firn diffusion and enclosure model. The 20th century increase in CO(2) and its radiative forcing occurred more than an order of magnitude faster than any sustained change during the past 22,000 years. The average rate of increase in the radiative forcing not just from CO(2) but from the combination of CO(2), CH(4), and N(2)O is larger during the Industrial Era than during any comparable period of at least the past 16,000 years. In addition, the decadal-to-century scale rate of change in anthropogenic forcing is unusually high in the context of the natural forcing variations (solar and volcanoes) of the past millennium. Our analysis implies that global climate change, which is anthropogenic in origin, is progressing at a speed that is unprecedented at least during the last 22,000 years.

  8. Seagrass habitat metabolism increases short-term extremes and long-term offset of CO2 under future ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacella, Stephen R; Brown, Cheryl A; Waldbusser, George G; Labiosa, Rochelle G; Hales, Burke

    2018-04-10

    The role of rising atmospheric CO 2 in modulating estuarine carbonate system dynamics remains poorly characterized, likely due to myriad processes driving the complex chemistry in these habitats. We reconstructed the full carbonate system of an estuarine seagrass habitat for a summer period of 2.5 months utilizing a combination of time-series observations and mechanistic modeling, and quantified the roles of aerobic metabolism, mixing, and gas exchange in the observed dynamics. The anthropogenic CO 2 burden in the habitat was estimated for the years 1765-2100 to quantify changes in observed high-frequency carbonate chemistry dynamics. The addition of anthropogenic CO 2 alters the thermodynamic buffer factors (e.g., the Revelle factor) of the carbonate system, decreasing the seagrass habitat's ability to buffer natural carbonate system fluctuations. As a result, the most harmful carbonate system indices for many estuarine organisms [minimum pH T , minimum Ω arag , and maximum pCO 2(s.w.) ] change up to 1.8×, 2.3×, and 1.5× more rapidly than the medians for each parameter, respectively. In this system, the relative benefits of the seagrass habitat in locally mitigating ocean acidification increase with the higher atmospheric CO 2 levels predicted toward 2100. Presently, however, these mitigating effects are mixed due to intense diel cycling of CO 2 driven by aerobic metabolism. This study provides estimates of how high-frequency pH T , Ω arag , and pCO 2(s.w.) dynamics are altered by rising atmospheric CO 2 in an estuarine habitat, and highlights nonlinear responses of coastal carbonate parameters to ocean acidification relevant for water quality management.

  9. Effects of Changes in Lugu Lake Water Quality on Schizothorax Yunnansis Ecological Habitat Based on HABITAT Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Mynnet, Arthur

    Schizothorax Yunnansis is an unique fish species only existing in Lugu Lake, which is located in the southwestern China. The simulation and research on Schizothorax Yunnansis habitat environment have a vital significance to protect this rare fish. With the development of the tourism industry, there bring more pressure on the environmental protection. The living environment of Schizothorax Yunnansis is destroyed seriously because the water quality is suffering the sustaining pollution of domestic sewage from the peripheral villages. This paper analyzes the relationship between water quality change and Schizothorax Yunnansis ecological habitat and evalutes Schizothorax Yunnansis's ecological habitat impact based on HABITAT model. The results show that when the TP concentration in Lugu Lake does not exceed Schizothorax Yunnansis's survival threshold, Schizothorax Yunnansis can get more nutrients and the suitable habitat area for itself is increased. Conversely, it can lead to TP toxicity in the Schizothorax Yunnansis and even death. Therefore, unsuitable habitat area for Schizothorax Yunnansis is increased. It can be seen from the results that HABITAT model can assist in ecological impact assessment studies by translating results of hydrological, water quality models into effects on the natural environment and human society.

  10. Sensitivity of heterogeneous marine benthic habitats to subtle stressors.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iván F Rodil

    Full Text Available It is important to understand the consequences of low level disturbances on the functioning of ecological communities because of the pervasiveness and frequency of this type of environmental change. In this study we investigated the response of a heterogeneous, subtidal, soft-sediment habitat to small experimental additions of organic matter and calcium carbonate to examine the sensitivity of benthic ecosystem functioning to changes in sediment characteristics that relate to the environmental threats of coastal eutrophication and ocean acidification. Our results documented significant changes between key biogeochemical and sedimentary variables such as gross primary production, ammonium uptake and dissolved reactive phosphorus flux following treatment additions. Moreover, the application of treatments affected relationships between macrofauna communities, sediment characteristics (e.g., chlorophyll a content and biogeochemical processes (oxygen and nutrient fluxes. In this experiment organic matter and calcium carbonate showed persistent opposing effects on sedimentary processes, and we demonstrated that highly heterogeneous sediment habitats can be surprisingly sensitive to subtle perturbations. Our results have important biological implications in a world with relentless anthropogenic inputs of atmospheric CO2 and nutrients in coastal waters.

  11. Impact of anthropogenic and natural environmental changes on Echinococcus transmission in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the People’s Republic of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    Echinococcus transmission is known to be affected by various environmental factors, which may be modified by human influence or natural events including global warming. Considerable population growth in the last fifty years in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), has led to dramatic increases in deforestation and modified agricultural practices. In turn, this has resulted in many changes in the habitats for the definitive and intermediate hosts of both Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, which have increased the risks for transmission of both parasites, affecting echinococcosis prevalence and human disease. Ecological environmental changes due to anthropogenic activities and natural events drive Echinococcus transmission and NHAR provides a notable example illustrating how human activity can impact on a parasitic infection of major public health significance. It is very important to continually monitor these environmental (including climatic) factors that drive the distribution of Echinococcus spp. and their impact on transmission to humans because such information is necessary to formulate reliable future public health policy for echinococcosis control programs and to prevent disease spread. PMID:22827890

  12. Impact of anthropogenic and natural environmental changes on Echinococcus transmission in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, the People’s Republic of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yang Yu

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Echinococcus transmission is known to be affected by various environmental factors, which may be modified by human influence or natural events including global warming. Considerable population growth in the last fifty years in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region (NHAR, the People’s Republic of China (PRC, has led to dramatic increases in deforestation and modified agricultural practices. In turn, this has resulted in many changes in the habitats for the definitive and intermediate hosts of both Echinococcus granulosus and E. multilocularis, which have increased the risks for transmission of both parasites, affecting echinococcosis prevalence and human disease. Ecological environmental changes due to anthropogenic activities and natural events drive Echinococcus transmission and NHAR provides a notable example illustrating how human activity can impact on a parasitic infection of major public health significance. It is very important to continually monitor these environmental (including climatic factors that drive the distribution of Echinococcus spp. and their impact on transmission to humans because such information is necessary to formulate reliable future public health policy for echinococcosis control programs and to prevent disease spread.

  13. Interfacing models of wildlife habitat and human development to predict the future distribution of puma habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdett, Christopher L.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Theobald, David M.; Wilson, Kenneth R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa A.; Fisher, Robert N.; Vickers, T. Winston; Morrison, Scott A.; Boyce, Walter M.

    2010-01-01

    The impact of human land uses on ecological systems typically differ relative to how extensively natural conditions are modified. Exurban development is intermediate-intensity residential development that often occurs in natural landscapes. Most species-habitat models do not evaluate the effects of such intermediate levels of human development and even fewer predict how future development patterns might affect the amount and configuration of habitat. We addressed these deficiencies by interfacing a habitat model with a spatially-explicit housing-density model to study the effect of human land uses on the habitat of pumas (Puma concolor) in southern California. We studied the response of pumas to natural and anthropogenic features within their home ranges and how mortality risk varied across a gradient of human development. We also used our housing-density model to estimate past and future housing densities and model the distribution of puma habitat in 1970, 2000, and 2030. The natural landscape for pumas in our study area consisted of riparian areas, oak woodlands, and open, conifer forests embedded in a chaparral matrix. Pumas rarely incorporated suburban or urban development into their home ranges, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the behavioral decisions of individuals can be collectively manifested as population-limiting factors at broader spatial scales. Pumas incorporated rural and exurban development into their home ranges, apparently perceiving these areas as modified, rather than non-habitat. Overall, pumas used exurban areas less than expected and showed a neutral response to rural areas. However, individual pumas that selected for or showed a neutral response to exurban areas had a higher risk of mortality than pumas that selected against exurban habitat. Exurban areas are likely hotspots for puma-human conflict in southern California. Approximately 10% of our study area will transform from exurban, rural, or undeveloped areas to suburban or

  14. Coyote abundance in relation to habitat characteristics in Sierra San Luis, Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eduardo Ponce Guevara; Karla Pelz Serrano; Carlos A. Lopez Gonzalez

    2005-01-01

    Coyotes have expanded their historical distribution range because of anthropogenic activities and habitat transformation, where forests have been considered marginal habitat. We tested the relationship between vegetation structure and coyote abundance in different habitat types. We expected to find a higher abundance in open lands than in thicker areas. We used scent...

  15. Multidecadal change in streamflow associated with anthropogenic disturbances in the tropical Andes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molina, A.; Vanacker, V.; Brisson, E.; Mora, D.; Balthazar, V.

    2015-10-01

    Andean headwater catchments are an important source of freshwater for downstream water users. However, few long-term studies exist on the relative importance of climate change and direct anthropogenic perturbations on flow regimes in these catchments. In this paper, we assess change in streamflow based on long time series of hydrometeorological data (1974-2008) and land cover reconstructions (1963-2009) in the Pangor catchment (282 km2) located in the tropical Andes. Three main land cover change trajectories can be distinguished during the period 1963-2009: (1) expansion of agricultural land by an area equal to 14 % of the catchment area (or 39 km2) in 46 years' time, (2) deforestation of native forests by 11 % (or -31 km2) corresponding to a mean rate of 67 ha yr-1, and (3) afforestation with exotic species in recent years by about 5 % (or 15 km2). Over the time period 1963-2009, about 50 % of the 64 km2 of native forests was cleared and converted to agricultural land. Given the strong temporal variability of precipitation and streamflow data related to El Niño-Southern Oscillation, we use empirical mode decomposition techniques to detrend the time series. The long-term increasing trend in rainfall is remarkably different from the observed changes in streamflow, which exhibit a decreasing trend. Hence, observed changes in streamflow are not the result of long-term change in precipitation but very likely result from anthropogenic disturbances associated with land cover change.

  16. Parasite spread at the domestic animal - wildlife interface: anthropogenic habitat use, phylogeny and body mass drive risk of cat and dog flea (Ctenocephalides spp.) infestation in wild mammals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Nicholas J; Seddon, Jennifer M; Šlapeta, Jan; Wells, Konstans

    2018-01-08

    Spillover of parasites at the domestic animal - wildlife interface is a pervasive threat to animal health. Cat and dog fleas (Ctenocephalides felis and C. canis) are among the world's most invasive and economically important ectoparasites. Although both species are presumed to infest a diversity of host species across the globe, knowledge on their distributions in wildlife is poor. We built a global dataset of wild mammal host associations for cat and dog fleas, and used Bayesian hierarchical models to identify traits that predict wildlife infestation probability. We complemented this by calculating functional-phylogenetic host specificity to assess whether fleas are restricted to hosts with similar evolutionary histories, diet or habitat niches. Over 130 wildlife species have been found to harbour cat fleas, representing nearly 20% of all mammal species sampled for fleas. Phylogenetic models indicate cat fleas are capable of infesting a broad diversity of wild mammal species through ecological fitting. Those that use anthropogenic habitats are at highest risk. Dog fleas, by contrast, have been recorded in 31 mammal species that are primarily restricted to certain phylogenetic clades, including canids, felids and murids. Both flea species are commonly reported infesting mammals that are feral (free-roaming cats and dogs) or introduced (red foxes, black rats and brown rats), suggesting the breakdown of barriers between wildlife and invasive reservoir species will increase spillover at the domestic animal - wildlife interface. Our empirical evidence shows that cat fleas are incredibly host-generalist, likely exhibiting a host range that is among the broadest of all ectoparasites. Reducing wild species' contact rates with domestic animals across natural and anthropogenic habitats, together with mitigating impacts of invasive reservoir hosts, will be crucial for reducing invasive flea infestations in wild mammals.

  17. Adapting to a changing world: unraveling the role of man-made habitats as alternative feeding areas for slender-billed gull (Chroicocephalus genei.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Francisco Ramírez

    Full Text Available Current rates of wildlife habitat loss have placed increasing demands on managers to develop, validate and implement tools aimed at improving our ability to evaluate such impacts on wildlife. Here, we present a case study conducted at the Natural Area of Doñana (SW Spain where remote sensing and stable isotope (δ(13C, δ(15N analyses of individuals were combined to unravel (1 the effect of variations in availability of natural food resources (i.e. from natural marshes on reproductive performance of a Slender-billed Gull (Chroicocephalus genei population, and (2 the role of two adjacent, artificial systems (a fish farm and saltmines as alternate anthropogenic feeding areas. Based on long-term (1983-2004 remote-sensing, we inferred the average extent of flooded area at the marshland (a proxy to natural resource availability annually. Estimated flooded areas (ranging from extreme drought [ca. 151 ha, 1995] to high moisture [15,049 ha, 2004] were positively related to reproductive success of gulls (estimated for the 1993-2004 period, and ranging from ca. 0 to 1.7 fledglings per breeding pairs, suggesting that habitat availability played a role in determining their reproductive performance. Based on blood δ(13C and δ(15N values of fledglings, 2001-2004, and a Bayesian isotopic mixing model, we conclude that saltmines acted as the main alternative foraging habitat for gulls, with relative contributions increasing as the extent of marshland decreased. Although adjacent, anthropogenic systems have been established as the preferred breeding sites for this gull population, dietary switches towards exploitation of alternative (anthropogenic food resources negatively affected the reproductive output of this species, thus challenging the perception that these man-made systems are necessarily a reliable buffer against loss of natural feeding habitats. The methodology and results derived from this study could be extended to a large suite of threatened

  18. Lessons learned while integrating habitat, dispersal, disturbance, and life-history traits into species habitat models under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Stephen N. Matthews; Matthew P. Peters

    2011-01-01

    We present an approach to modeling potential climate-driven changes in habitat for tree and bird species in the eastern United States. First, we took an empirical-statistical modeling approach, using randomForest, with species abundance data from national inventories combined with soil, climate, and landscape variables, to build abundance-based habitat models for 134...

  19. Change in diurnal variations of meteorological variables induced by anthropogenic aerosols over the North China Plain in summer 2008

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yi; Zhang, Meigen; Liu, Xiaohong; Wang, Lili

    2016-04-01

    This study investigates the impacts of all anthropogenic aerosols and anthropogenic black carbon (BC) on the diurnal variations of meteorological variables in the atmospheric boundary layer over the North China Plain (NCP) during June to August 2008, using a coupled meteorology and chemistry model (WRF-Chem). The results of the ensemble numerical experiments show that surface air temperature decreases by about 0.6 to 1.2 K with the maximum decrease over the Beijing urban area and the southern part of Hebei province, and the surface relative humidity (RH) increases by 2-4 % owing to all anthropogenic aerosols. On the contrary, anthropogenic BC induces a small change of temperature and RH at surface. Averaged for Beijing, Tianjin, and Hebei province (BTH region) and High Particle Concentration (HPC) periods when PM2.5 surface concentration is more than 60 μg m-3 and daily AOD is more than 0.9, all anthropogenic aerosols decrease air temperature under 850 hPa and increase it between 500 and 850 hPa, while anthropogenic BC increases it for whole atmosphere. The maximum changes occur at 08:00-20:00 (local time). Aerosol-induced surface energy and diabatic heating change leads to a cooling at the surface and in the lower atmosphere and a warming in the middle troposphere at 08:00-17:00, with reversed effects at 20:00-05:00. BC cools the atmosphere at the surface and warms the atmosphere above for the whole day. As a result, the equivalent potential temperature profile change shows that the lower atmosphere is more stable at 08:00 and 14:00. All anthropogenic aerosols decrease the surface wind speed by 20-60 %, while anthropogenic BC decreases the wind speed by 10-40 % over the NCP with the maximum decrease at 08:00. The aerosol-induced stabilization of the lower atmosphere favors the accumulation of air pollutants and thus contributes to deterioration of visibility and fog-haze events.

  20. Anthropogenic chemical cues can alter the swimming behaviour of juvenile stages of a temperate fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Gil, Carlos; Cotgrove, Lucy; Smee, Sarah Louise; Simón-Otegui, David; Hinz, Hilmar; Grau, Amalia; Palmer, Miquel; Catalán, Ignacio A

    2017-04-01

    Human pressure on coastal areas is affecting essential ecosystems including fish nursery habitats. Among these anthropogenic uses, the seasonal increment in the pressure due to leisure activities such as coastal tourism and yachting is an important environmental stressor in many coastal zones. These pressures may elicit understudied impacts due to, for example, sunscreens or other seasonal pollutants. The island of Majorca, northwest Mediterranean Sea, experiences one of the highest number of tourist visits per capita in the world, thus the surrounding coastal habitat is subject to high anthropogenic seasonal stress. Studies on early stages of fishes have observed responses to coastal chemical cues for the selection or avoidance of habitats. However, the potential interferences of human impacts on these signals are largely unknown. A choice chamber was used to determine water type preference and behaviour in naïve settled juvenile gilt-head sea bream (Sparus aurata), a temperate species of commercial interest. Fish were tested individually for behavioural changes with respect to water types from potential beneficial habitats, such as seawater with extract of the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica, anthropogenically influenced habitats such as water extracted from a commercial and recreational harbour and seawater mixed with sunscreen at concentrations observed in coastal waters. Using a Bayesian approach, we investigated a) water type preference; b) mean speed; and c) variance in the movement (as an indicator of burst swimming activity, or "sprint" behaviour) as behavioural descriptors with respect to water type. Fish spent similar percentage of time in treatment and control water types. However, movement descriptors showed that fish in sunscreen water moved slower (98.43% probability of being slower) and performed fewer sprints (90.1% probability of having less burst in speed) compared to control water. Less evident increases in sprints were observed in harbour

  1. Idiosyncratic responses of grizzly bear habitat to climate change based on projected food resource changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, David R; Nielsen, Scott E; Stenhouse, Gordon B

    2014-07-01

    Climate change vulnerability assessments for species of conservation concern often use species distribution and ecological niche modeling to project changes in habitat. One of many assumptions of these approaches is that food web dependencies are consistent in time and environmental space. Species at higher trophic levels that rely on the availability of species at lower trophic levels as food may be sensitive to extinction cascades initiated by changes in the habitat of key food resources. Here we assess climate change vulnerability for Ursus arctos (grizzly bears) in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains using projected changes to 17 of the most commonly consumed plant food items. We used presence-absence information from 7088 field plots to estimate ecological niches and to project changes in future distributions of each species. Model projections indicated idiosyncratic responses among food items. Many food items persisted or even increased, although several species were found to be vulnerable based on declines or geographic shifts in suitable habitat. These included Hedysarum alpinum (alpine sweet vetch), a critical spring and autumn root-digging resource when little else is available. Potential habitat loss was also identified for three fruiting species of lower importance to bears: Empetrum nigrum (crowberry), Vaccinium scoparium (grouseberry), and Fragaria virginiana (strawberry). A general trend towards uphill migration of bear foods may result in higher vulnerability to bear populations at low elevations, which are also those that are most likely to have human-bear conflict problems. Regardless, a wide diet breadth of grizzly bears, as well as wide environmental niches of most food items, make climate change a much lower threat to grizzly bears than other bear species such as polar bears and panda bears. We cannot exclude, however, future alterations in human behavior and land use resulting from climate change that may reduce survival rates.

  2. Future of African terrestrial biodiversity and ecosystems under anthropogenic climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Midgley, Guy F.; Bond, William J.

    2015-09-01

    Projections of ecosystem and biodiversity change for Africa under climate change diverge widely. More than other continents, Africa has disturbance-driven ecosystems that diversified under low Neogene CO2 levels, in which flammable fire-dependent C4 grasses suppress trees, and mega-herbivore action alters vegetation significantly. An important consequence is metastability of vegetation state, with rapid vegetation switches occurring, some driven by anthropogenic CO2-stimulated release of trees from disturbance control. These have conflicting implications for biodiversity and carbon sequestration relevant for policymakers and land managers. Biodiversity and ecosystem change projections need to account for both disturbance control and direct climate control of vegetation structure and function.

  3. Functional changes in littoral macroinvertebrate communities in response to watershed-level anthropogenic stress.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katya E Kovalenko

    Full Text Available Watershed-scale anthropogenic stressors have profound effects on aquatic communities. Although several functional traits of stream macroinvertebrates change predictably in response to land development and urbanization, little is known about macroinvertebrate functional responses in lakes. We assessed functional community structure, functional diversity (Rao's quadratic entropy and voltinism in macroinvertebrate communities sampled across the full gradient of anthropogenic stress in Laurentian Great Lakes coastal wetlands. Functional diversity and voltinism significantly decreased with increasing development, whereas agriculture had smaller or non-significant effects. Functional community structure was affected by watershed-scale development, as demonstrated by an ordination analysis followed by regression. Because functional community structure affects energy flow and ecosystem function, and functional diversity is known to have important implications for ecosystem resilience to further environmental change, these results highlight the necessity of finding ways to remediate or at least ameliorate these effects.

  4. Bird communities of the arctic shrub tundra of Yamal: habitat specialists and generalists.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliy Sokolov

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The ratio of habitat generalists to specialists in birds has been suggested as a good indicator of ecosystem changes due to e.g. climate change and other anthropogenic perturbations. Most studies focusing on this functional component of biodiversity originate, however, from temperate regions. The Eurasian Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by domestic reindeer and growing human activity. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Here we monitored bird communities in a tundra landscape harbouring shrub and open habitats in order to analyse bird habitat relationships and quantify habitat specialization. We used ordination methods to analyse habitat associations and estimated the proportions of specialists in each of the main habitats. Correspondence Analysis identified three main bird communities, inhabiting upland, lowland and dense willow shrubs. We documented a stable structure of communities despite large multiannual variations of bird density (from 90 to 175 pairs/km(2. Willow shrub thickets were a hotspot for bird density, but not for species richness. The thickets hosted many specialized species whose main distribution area was south of the tundra. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: If current arctic changes result in a shrubification of the landscape as many studies suggested, we would expect an increase in the overall bird abundance together with an increase of local specialists, since they are associated with willow thickets. The majority of these species have a southern origin and their increase in abundance would represent a strengthening of the boreal component in the southern tundra, perhaps at the expense of species typical of the subarctic zone, which appear to be generalists within this zone.

  5. The functional value of Caribbean coral reef, seagrass and mangrove habitats to ecosystem processes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harborne, Alastair R; Mumby, Peter J; Micheli, Fiorenza; Perry, Christopher T; Dahlgren, Craig P; Holmes, Katherine E; Brumbaugh, Daniel R

    2006-01-01

    overall functional roles of different habitats. The resulting ordination suggests that each habitat has a unique suite of functional values and, potentially, a distinct role within the ecosystem. This review shows that further data are required for many habitat types and processes, particularly forereef and escarpment habitats on reefs and for seagrass beds and mangroves. Furthermore, many data were collected prior to the regional mass mortality of Diadema and Acropora, and subsequent changes to benthic communities have, in many cases, altered a habitat's functional value, hindering the use of these data for parameterising maps and models. Similarly, few data exist on how functional values change when environmental parameters, such as water clarity, are altered by natural or anthropogenic influences or the effects of a habitat's spatial context within the seascape. Despite these limitations, sufficient data are available to construct maps and models to better understand tropical marine ecosystem processes and assist more effective mitigation of threats that alter habitats and their functional values.

  6. Anthropogenic Climate Change in Undergraduate Marine and Environmental Science Programs in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vlietstra, Lucy S.; Mrakovcich, Karina L.; Futch, Victoria C.; Stutzman, Brooke S.

    2016-01-01

    To develop a context for program-level design decisions pertaining to anthropogenic climate change, the authors studied the prevalence of courses focused on human-induced climate change in undergraduate marine science and environmental science degree programs in the United States. Of the 86 institutions and 125 programs the authors examined, 37%…

  7. Simple but accurate GCM-free approach for quantifying anthropogenic climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lovejoy, S.

    2014-12-01

    We are so used to analysing the climate with the help of giant computer models (GCM's) that it is easy to get the impression that they are indispensable. Yet anthropogenic warming is so large (roughly 0.9oC) that it turns out that it is straightforward to quantify it with more empirically based methodologies that can be readily understood by the layperson. The key is to use the CO2 forcing as a linear surrogate for all the anthropogenic effects from 1880 to the present (implicitly including all effects due to Greenhouse Gases, aerosols and land use changes). To a good approximation, double the economic activity, double the effects. The relationship between the forcing and global mean temperature is extremely linear as can be seen graphically and understood without fancy statistics, [Lovejoy, 2014a] (see the attached figure and http://www.physics.mcgill.ca/~gang/Lovejoy.htm). To an excellent approximation, the deviations from the linear forcing - temperature relation can be interpreted as the natural variability. For example, this direct - yet accurate approach makes it graphically obvious that the "pause" or "hiatus" in the warming since 1998 is simply a natural cooling event that has roughly offset the anthropogenic warming [Lovejoy, 2014b]. Rather than trying to prove that the warming is anthropogenic, with a little extra work (and some nonlinear geophysics theory and pre-industrial multiproxies) we can disprove the competing theory that it is natural. This approach leads to the estimate that the probability of the industrial scale warming being a giant natural fluctuation is ≈0.1%: it can be dismissed. This destroys the last climate skeptic argument - that the models are wrong and the warming is natural. It finally allows for a closure of the debate. In this talk we argue that this new, direct, simple, intuitive approach provides an indispensable tool for communicating - and convincing - the public of both the reality and the amplitude of anthropogenic warming

  8. Climate change and Southern Ocean ecosystems I: how changes in physical habitats directly affect marine biota.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Constable, Andrew J; Melbourne-Thomas, Jessica; Corney, Stuart P; Arrigo, Kevin R; Barbraud, Christophe; Barnes, David K A; Bindoff, Nathaniel L; Boyd, Philip W; Brandt, Angelika; Costa, Daniel P; Davidson, Andrew T; Ducklow, Hugh W; Emmerson, Louise; Fukuchi, Mitsuo; Gutt, Julian; Hindell, Mark A; Hofmann, Eileen E; Hosie, Graham W; Iida, Takahiro; Jacob, Sarah; Johnston, Nadine M; Kawaguchi, So; Kokubun, Nobuo; Koubbi, Philippe; Lea, Mary-Anne; Makhado, Azwianewi; Massom, Rob A; Meiners, Klaus; Meredith, Michael P; Murphy, Eugene J; Nicol, Stephen; Reid, Keith; Richerson, Kate; Riddle, Martin J; Rintoul, Stephen R; Smith, Walker O; Southwell, Colin; Stark, Jonathon S; Sumner, Michael; Swadling, Kerrie M; Takahashi, Kunio T; Trathan, Phil N; Welsford, Dirk C; Weimerskirch, Henri; Westwood, Karen J; Wienecke, Barbara C; Wolf-Gladrow, Dieter; Wright, Simon W; Xavier, Jose C; Ziegler, Philippe

    2014-10-01

    Antarctic and Southern Ocean (ASO) marine ecosystems have been changing for at least the last 30 years, including in response to increasing ocean temperatures and changes in the extent and seasonality of sea ice; the magnitude and direction of these changes differ between regions around Antarctica that could see populations of the same species changing differently in different regions. This article reviews current and expected changes in ASO physical habitats in response to climate change. It then reviews how these changes may impact the autecology of marine biota of this polar region: microbes, zooplankton, salps, Antarctic krill, fish, cephalopods, marine mammals, seabirds, and benthos. The general prognosis for ASO marine habitats is for an overall warming and freshening, strengthening of westerly winds, with a potential pole-ward movement of those winds and the frontal systems, and an increase in ocean eddy activity. Many habitat parameters will have regionally specific changes, particularly relating to sea ice characteristics and seasonal dynamics. Lower trophic levels are expected to move south as the ocean conditions in which they are currently found move pole-ward. For Antarctic krill and finfish, the latitudinal breadth of their range will depend on their tolerance of warming oceans and changes to productivity. Ocean acidification is a concern not only for calcifying organisms but also for crustaceans such as Antarctic krill; it is also likely to be the most important change in benthic habitats over the coming century. For marine mammals and birds, the expected changes primarily relate to their flexibility in moving to alternative locations for food and the energetic cost of longer or more complex foraging trips for those that are bound to breeding colonies. Few species are sufficiently well studied to make comprehensive species-specific vulnerability assessments possible. Priorities for future work are discussed. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  9. Temporal changes in giant panda habitat connectivity across boundaries of Wolong Nature Reserve, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Viña, Andrés; Bearer, Scott; Chen, Xiaodong; He, Guangming; Linderman, Marc; An, Li; Zhang, Hemin; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Liu, Jianguo

    2007-06-01

    Global biodiversity loss is largely driven by human activities such as the conversion of natural to human-dominated landscapes. A popular approach to mitigating land cover change is the designation of protected areas (e.g., nature reserves). Nature reserves are traditionally perceived as strongholds of biodiversity conservation. However, many reserves are affected by land cover changes not only within their boundaries, but also in their surrounding areas. This study analyzed the changes in habitat for the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) inside Wolong Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China, and in a 3-km buffer area outside its boundaries, through a time series of classified satellite imagery and field observations. Habitat connectivity between the inside and the outside of the reserve diminished between 1965 and 2001 because panda habitat was steadily lost both inside and outside the reserve. However, habitat connectivity slightly increased between 1997 and 2001 due to the stabilization of some panda habitat inside and outside the reserve. This stabilization most likely occurred as a response to changes in socioeconomic activities (e.g., shifts from agricultural to nonagricultural economies). Recently implemented government policies could further mitigate the impacts of land cover change on panda habitat. The results suggest that Wolong Nature Reserve, and perhaps other nature reserves in other parts of the world, cannot be managed as an isolated entity because habitat connectivity declines with land cover changes outside the reserve even if the area inside the reserve is well protected. The findings and approaches presented in this paper may also have important implications for the management of other nature reserves across the world.

  10. Impact of anthropogenic aerosols on regional climate change in Beijing, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, B.; Liou, K. N.; He, C.; Lee, W. L.; Gu, Y.; Li, Q.; Leung, L. R.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic aerosols affect regional climate significantly through radiative (direct and semi-direct) and indirect effects, but the magnitude of these effects over megacities are subject to large uncertainty. In this study, we evaluated the effects of anthropogenic aerosols on regional climate change in Beijing, China using the online-coupled Weather Research and Forecasting/Chemistry Model (WRF/Chem) with the Fu-Liou-Gu radiation scheme and a spatial resolution of 4km. We further updated this radiation scheme with a geometric-optics surface-wave (GOS) approach for the computation of light absorption and scattering by black carbon (BC) particles in which aggregation shape and internal mixing properties are accounted for. In addition, we incorporated in WRF/Chem a 3D radiative transfer parameterization in conjunction with high-resolution digital data for city buildings and landscape to improve the simulation of boundary-layer, surface solar fluxes and associated sensible/latent heat fluxes. Preliminary simulated meteorological parameters, fine particles (PM2.5) and their chemical components agree well with observational data in terms of both magnitude and spatio-temporal variations. The effects of anthropogenic aerosols, including BC, on radiative forcing, surface temperature, wind speed, humidity, cloud water path, and precipitation are quantified on the basis of simulation results. With several preliminary sensitivity runs, we found that meteorological parameters and aerosol radiative effects simulated with the incorporation of improved BC absorption and 3-D radiation parameterizations deviate substantially from simulation results using the conventional homogeneous/core-shell configuration for BC and the plane-parallel model for radiative transfer. Understanding of the aerosol effects on regional climate change over megacities must consider the complex shape and mixing state of aerosol aggregates and 3D radiative transfer effects over city landscape.

  11. Real-time observational evidence of changing Asian dust morphology with the mixing of heavy anthropogenic pollution

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, X.; Uno, I.; Wang, Z.; Nishizawa, T.; Sugimoto, N.; Yamamoto, S.; Kobayashi, H.; Sun, Y.; Fu, P.; Tang, X.; Wang, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Natural mineral dust and heavy anthropogenic pollution and its complex interactions cause significant environmental problems in East Asia. Due to restrictions of observing technique, real-time morphological change in Asian dust particles owing to coating process of anthropogenic pollutants is still statistically unclear. Here, we first used a newly developed, single-particle polarization detector and quantitatively investigate the evolution of the polarization property of backscattering light reflected from dust particle as they were mixing with anthropogenic pollutants in North China. The decrease in observed depolarization ratio is mainly attributed to the decrease of aspect ratio of the dust particles as a result of continuous coating processes. Hygroscopic growth of Calcium nitrate (Ca(NO3)2) on the surface of the dust particles played a vital role, particularly when they are stagnant in the polluted region with high RH conditions. Reliable statistics highlight the significant importance of internally mixed, `quasi-spherical' Asian dust particles, which markedly act as cloud condensation nuclei and exert regional climate change.

  12. Forced decadal changes in the East Asian summer monsoon: the roles of greenhouse gases and anthropogenic aerosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Fangxing; Dong, Buwen; Robson, Jon; Sutton, Rowan

    2018-02-01

    Since the mid-1990s precipitation trends over eastern China display a dipole pattern, characterized by positive anomalies in the south and negative anomalies in the north, named as the Southern-Flood-Northern-Drought (SFND) pattern. This work investigates the drivers of decadal changes of the East Asian summer monsoon (EASM), and the dynamical mechanisms involved, by using a coupled climate model (specifically an atmospheric general circulation model coupled to an ocean mixed layer model) forced by changes in (1) anthropogenic greenhouse gases (GHG), (2) anthropogenic aerosol (AA) and (3) the combined effects of both GHG and AA (All Forcing) between two periods across the mid-1990s. The model experiment forced by changes in All Forcing shows a dipole pattern of response in precipitation over China that is similar to the observed SFND pattern across the mid-1990s, which suggests that anthropogenic forcing changes played an important role in the observed decadal changes. Furthermore, the experiments with separate forcings indicate that GHG and AA forcing dominate different parts of the SFND pattern. In particular, changes in GHG increase precipitation over southern China, whilst changes in AA dominate in the drought conditions over northern China. Increases in GHG cause increased moisture transport convergence over eastern China, which leads to increased precipitation. The AA forcing changes weaken the EASM, which lead to divergent wind anomalies over northern China and reduced precipitation.

  13. The importance of benthic-pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffiths, Jennifer R; Kadin, Martina; Nascimento, Francisco J A; Tamelander, Tobias; Törnroos, Anna; Bonaglia, Stefano; Bonsdorff, Erik; Brüchert, Volker; Gårdmark, Anna; Järnström, Marie; Kotta, Jonne; Lindegren, Martin; Nordström, Marie C; Norkko, Alf; Olsson, Jens; Weigel, Benjamin; Žydelis, Ramunas; Blenckner, Thorsten; Niiranen, Susa; Winder, Monika

    2017-06-01

    Benthic-pelagic coupling is manifested as the exchange of energy, mass, or nutrients between benthic and pelagic habitats. It plays a prominent role in aquatic ecosystems, and it is crucial to functions from nutrient cycling to energy transfer in food webs. Coastal and estuarine ecosystem structure and function are strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures; however, there are large gaps in our understanding of the responses of inorganic nutrient and organic matter fluxes between benthic habitats and the water column. We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures - climate change, nutrient loading, and fishing - using the Baltic Sea as a case study and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. Traditionally measured benthic-pelagic coupling processes (e.g., nutrient exchange and sedimentation of organic material) are to some extent quantifiable, but the magnitude and variability of biological processes are rarely assessed, preventing quantitative comparisons. Changing oxygen conditions will continue to have widespread effects on the processes that govern inorganic and organic matter exchange among habitats while climate change and nutrient load reductions may have large effects on organic matter sedimentation. Many biological processes (predation, bioturbation) are expected to be sensitive to anthropogenic drivers, but the outcomes for ecosystem function are largely unknown. We emphasize how improved empirical and experimental understanding of benthic-pelagic coupling processes and their variability are necessary to inform models that can quantify the feedbacks among processes and ecosystem responses to a changing world. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  14. Seagrass habitat metabolism increases short-term extremes and long-term offset of CO2 under future ocean acidification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pacella, Stephen R.; Brown, Cheryl A.; Waldbusser, George G.; Labiosa, Rochelle G.; Hales, Burke

    2018-04-01

    The role of rising atmospheric CO2 in modulating estuarine carbonate system dynamics remains poorly characterized, likely due to myriad processes driving the complex chemistry in these habitats. We reconstructed the full carbonate system of an estuarine seagrass habitat for a summer period of 2.5 months utilizing a combination of time-series observations and mechanistic modeling, and quantified the roles of aerobic metabolism, mixing, and gas exchange in the observed dynamics. The anthropogenic CO2 burden in the habitat was estimated for the years 1765–2100 to quantify changes in observed high-frequency carbonate chemistry dynamics. The addition of anthropogenic CO2 alters the thermodynamic buffer factors (e.g., the Revelle factor) of the carbonate system, decreasing the seagrass habitat’s ability to buffer natural carbonate system fluctuations. As a result, the most harmful carbonate system indices for many estuarine organisms [minimum pHT, minimum Ωarag, and maximum pCO2(s.w.)] change up to 1.8×, 2.3×, and 1.5× more rapidly than the medians for each parameter, respectively. In this system, the relative benefits of the seagrass habitat in locally mitigating ocean acidification increase with the higher atmospheric CO2 levels predicted toward 2100. Presently, however, these mitigating effects are mixed due to intense diel cycling of CO2 driven by aerobic metabolism. This study provides estimates of how high-frequency pHT, Ωarag, and pCO2(s.w.) dynamics are altered by rising atmospheric CO2 in an estuarine habitat, and highlights nonlinear responses of coastal carbonate parameters to ocean acidification relevant for water quality management.

  15. Climate change, animal species, and habitats: Adaptation and issues (Chapter 5)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; D. Max Smith; Olivia LeDee; Jean-Luc E. Cartron; Mark A. Rumble

    2012-01-01

    Because the rate of anthropogenic climate change exceeds the adaptive capacity of many animal and plant species, the scientific community anticipates negative consequences for ecosystems. Changes in climate have expanded, contracted, or shifted the climate niches of many species, often resulting in shifting geographic ranges. In the Great Basin, for example, projected...

  16. The Mechanisms of Natural Variability and its Interaction with Anthropogenic Climate Change Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vallis, Geoffrey K. [Princeton Univ., NJ (United States)

    2015-01-30

    The project had two main components. The first concerns estimating the climate sensitivity in the presence of forcing uncertainty and natural variability. Climate sensitivity is the increase in the average surface temperature for a given increase in greenhouse gases, for example a doubling of carbon dioxide. We have provided new, probabilistic estimates of climate sensitivity using a simple climate model an the observed warming in the 20th century, in conjunction with ideas in data assimilation and parameter estimation developed in the engineering community. The estimates combine the uncertainty in the anthropogenic aerosols with the uncertainty arising because of natural variability. The second component concerns how the atmospheric circulation itself might change with anthropogenic global warming. We have shown that GCMs robustly predict an increase in the length scale of eddies, and we have also explored the dynamical mechanisms whereby there might be a shift in the latitude of the jet stream associated with anthropogenic warming. Such shifts in the jet might cause large changes in regional climate, potentially larger than the globally-averaged signal itself. We have also shown that the tropopause robustly increases in height with global warming, and that the Hadley Cell expands, and that the expansion of the Hadley Cell is correlated with the polewards movement of the mid-latitude jet.

  17. Assessing Habitat Quality of Forest-Corridors through NDVI Analysis in Dry Tropical Forests of South India: Implications for Conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paramesha Mallegowda

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Most wildlife habitats and migratory routes are extremely threatened due to increasing demands on forestland and forest resources by burgeoning human population. Corridor landscape in Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve (BRT is one among them, subjected to various anthropogenic pressures. Human habitation, intensive farming, coffee plantations, ill-planned infrastructure developments and rapid spreading of invasive plant species Lantana camara, pose a serious threat to wildlife habitat and their migration. Aim of this work is to create detailed NDVI based land change maps and to use them to identify time-series trends in greening and browning in forest corridors in the study area and to identify the drivers that are influencing the observed changes. Over the four decades in BRT, NDVI increased in the core area of the forest and reduced in the fringe areas. The change analysis between 1973 and 2014 shows significant changes; browning due to anthropogenic activities as well as natural processes and greening due to Lantana spread. This indicates that the change processes are complex, involving multiple driving factors, such as socio-economic changes, high population growth, historical forest management practices and policies. Our study suggests that the use of updated and accurate change detection maps will be useful in taking appropriate site specific action-oriented conservation decisions to restore and manage the degraded critical wildlife corridors in human-dominated landscape.

  18. Mosquito Vector Diversity across Habitats in Central Thailand Endemic for Dengue and Other Arthropod-Borne Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thongsripong, Panpim; Green, Amy; Kittayapong, Pattamaporn; Kapan, Durrell; Wilcox, Bruce; Bennett, Shannon

    2013-01-01

    Recent years have seen the greatest ecological disturbances of our times, with global human expansion, species and habitat loss, climate change, and the emergence of new and previously-known infectious diseases. Biodiversity loss affects infectious disease risk by disrupting normal relationships between hosts and pathogens. Mosquito-borne pathogens respond to changing dynamics on multiple transmission levels and appear to increase in disturbed systems, yet current knowledge of mosquito diversity and the relative abundance of vectors as a function of habitat change is limited. We characterize mosquito communities across habitats with differing levels of anthropogenic ecological disturbance in central Thailand. During the 2008 rainy season, adult mosquito collections from 24 sites, representing 6 habitat types ranging from forest to urban, yielded 62,126 intact female mosquitoes (83,325 total mosquitoes) that were assigned to 109 taxa. Female mosquito abundance was highest in rice fields and lowest in forests. Diversity indices and rarefied species richness estimates indicate the mosquito fauna was more diverse in rural and less diverse in rice field habitats, while extrapolated estimates of true richness (Chao1 and ACE) indicated higher diversity in the forest and fragmented forest habitats and lower diversity in the urban. Culex sp. (Vishnui subgroup) was the most common taxon found overall and the most frequent in fragmented forest, rice field, rural, and suburban habitats. The distributions of species of medical importance differed significantly across habitat types and were always lowest in the intact, forest habitat. The relative abundance of key vector species, Aedes aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus, was negatively correlated with diversity, suggesting that direct species interactions and/or habitat-mediated factors differentially affecting invasive disease vectors may be important mechanisms linking biodiversity loss to human health. Our results are an

  19. Nesting habits influence population genetic structure of a bee living in anthropogenic disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickruck, J L; Richards, M H

    2017-05-01

    While most organisms are negatively affected by anthropogenic disturbance, a few species thrive in landscapes altered by humans. Typically, native bees are negatively impacted by anthropogenic environmental change, including habitat alteration and climate change. Here, we investigate the population structure of the eastern carpenter bee Xylocopa virginica, a generalist pollinator with a broad geographic range spanning eastern North America. Eastern carpenter bees now nest almost exclusively in artificial wooden structures, linking their geographic distribution and population structure to human activities and disturbance. To investigate the population structure of these bees, we sampled females from 16 different populations from across their range. Nine species-specific microsatellite loci showed that almost all populations are genetically distinct, but with high levels of genetic diversity and low levels of inbreeding overall. Broadly speaking, populations clustered into three distinct genetic groups: a northern group, a western group and a core group. The northern group had low effective population sizes, decreased genetic variability and the highest levels of inbreeding in the data set, suggesting that carpenter bees may be expanding their range northward. The western group was genetically distinct, but lacked signals of a recent range expansion. Climatic data showed that summer and winter temperatures explained a significant amount of the genetic differentiation seen among populations, while precipitation did not. Our results indicate that X. virginica may be one of the rare 'anthrophilic' species that thrive in the face of anthropogenic disturbance. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  20. Climatic changes and anthropogenic pollution as evidenced by two Alpine lacustrine records, Switzerland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thevenon, Florian; Poté, John; Guédron, Stéphane; Adatte, Thierry; Chiaradia, Massimo; Loizeau, Jean-Luc; Spangenberg, Jorge; Anselmetti, Flavio S.

    2010-05-01

    This study aims to provide high-resolution records of climatic changes and human impacts on two different Alpine environments: Lake Lucerne is a large (114 km2) lake located at 434 m asl in Central Switzerland, whereas Meidsee is a small (industrial history and the last millennia were sampled with a resolution of 1 cm, and investigated for organic (13δC, 15δN, C/N) and/or inorganic (δ13C, δ18O) matter contents, and elemental composition (REE compositions, trace elements, and heavy metals). Both sites exhibit 1) rapid hydrological changes related to variations in winter precipitations, and 2) increases in atmospheric pollution due to human activities. Lead enrichment factors combined to changes in lead isotopic composition (206Pb/207Pb ratio) are used to distinguish natural from anthropogenic sources. The greatest mercury and lead atmospheric emissions occurred during the twentieth century, resulting from the extensive combustion of fossil coal and petroleum in Europe. Although the highest heavy metals fluxes are synchronous with major anthropogenic changes (e.g. Roman mining, industrial revolution), proxies show that in absence of such events, the heavy metals deposition in the sedimentary records is primarily influenced by sedimentological processes linked to climate variations (i.e. runoff and erosion processes).

  1. How hedge woody species diversity and habitat change is a function of land use history and recent management in a European agricultural landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCann, Thomas; Cooper, Alan; Rogers, David; McKenzie, Paul; McErlean, Thomas

    2017-07-01

    European hedged agricultural landscapes provide a range of ecosystem services and are an important component of cultural and biodiversity heritage. This paper investigates the extent of hedges, their woody species diversity (including the influence of historical versus recent hedge origin) and dynamics of change. The rationale is to contribute to an ecological basis for hedge habitat management. Sample sites were allocated based on a multivariate classification of landscape attributes. All field boundaries present in each site were mapped and surveyed in 1998 and 2007. To assess diversity, a list of all woody species was recorded in one standard 30 m linear plot within each hedge. There was a net decrease in hedge habitat extent, mainly as a result of removal, and changes between hedges and other field boundary types due to the development and loss of shrub growth-form. Agricultural intensification, increased rural building, and variation in hedge management practices were the main drivers of change. Hedges surveyed at baseline, which were lost at resurvey, were more species rich than new hedges gained. Hedges coinciding with historical land unit boundaries of likely Early Medieval origin were found to be more species rich. The most frequent woody species in hedges were native, including a high proportion with Fraxinus excelsior, a species under threat from current and emerging plant pests and pathogens. Introduced species were present in circa 30% of hedges. We conclude that since hedge habitat distribution and woody species diversity is a function of ecology and anthropogenic factors, the management of hedges in enclosed agricultural landscapes requires an integrated approach. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Fire Data as Proxy for Anthropogenic Landscape Change in the Yucatán

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marco Millones

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Fire is one of the earliest and most common tools used by humans to modify the earth surface. Landscapes in the Yucatán Peninsula are composed of a mosaic of old growth subtropical forest, secondary vegetation, grasslands, and agricultural land that represent a well-documented example of anthropogenic intervention, much of which involves the use of fire. This research characterizes land use systems and land cover changes in the Yucatán during the 2000–2010 time period. We used an active fire remotely sensed data time series from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS, in combination with forest loss, and anthrome map sources to (1 establish the association between fire and land use change in the region; and (2 explore links between the spatial and temporal patterns of fire and specific types of land use practices, including within- and between-anthromes variability. A spatial multinomial logit model was constructed using fire, landscape configuration, and a set of commonly used control variables to estimate forest persistence, non-forest persistence, and change. Cross-tabulations and descriptive statistics were used to explore the relationships between fire occurrence, location, and timing with respect to the geography of land use. We also compared fire frequencies within and between anthrome groups using a negative binomial model and Tukey pairwise comparisons. Results show that fire data broadly reproduce the geography and timing of anthropogenic land change. Findings indicate that fire and landscape configuration is useful in explaining forest change and non-forest persistence, especially in fragmented (mosaicked landscapes. Absence of fire occurrence is related usefully to the persistence of spatially continuous core areas of older growth forest. Fire has a positive relationship with forest to non-forest change and a negative relationship with forest persistence. Fire is also a good indicator to distinguish between

  3. Climate change expands the spatial extent and duration of preferred thermal habitat for lake Superior fishes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy J Cline

    Full Text Available Climate change is expected to alter species distributions and habitat suitability across the globe. Understanding these shifting distributions is critical for adaptive resource management. The role of temperature in fish habitat and energetics is well established and can be used to evaluate climate change effects on habitat distributions and food web interactions. Lake Superior water temperatures are rising rapidly in response to climate change and this is likely influencing species distributions and interactions. We use a three-dimensional hydrodynamic model that captures temperature changes in Lake Superior over the last 3 decades to investigate shifts in habitat size and duration of preferred temperatures for four different fishes. We evaluated habitat changes in two native lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush ecotypes, siscowet and lean lake trout, Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha, and walleye (Sander vitreus. Between 1979 and 2006, days with available preferred thermal habitat increased at a mean rate of 6, 7, and 5 days per decade for lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye, respectively. Siscowet lake trout lost 3 days per decade. Consequently, preferred habitat spatial extents increased at a rate of 579, 495 and 419 km(2 per year for the lean lake trout, Chinook salmon, and walleye while siscowet lost 161 km(2 per year during the modeled period. Habitat increases could lead to increased growth and production for three of the four fishes. Consequently, greater habitat overlap may intensify interguild competition and food web interactions. Loss of cold-water habitat for siscowet, having the coldest thermal preference, could forecast potential changes from continued warming. Additionally, continued warming may render more suitable conditions for some invasive species.

  4. Using catenas for GIS-based mapping of NW Mediterranean littoral habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariani, Simone; Cefalì, Maria Elena; Terradas, Marc; Chappuis, Eglantine; Ballesteros, Enric

    2014-06-01

    Studies aimed at describing habitats and mapping their distributions are pivotal to implementing management plans and to effectively guide conservation measures. We developed a novel approach of data collection and entry (CAT-LIT) to establish a detailed cartography of the littoral habitats found along the Catalan coast (Spain). Field data were recorded using coded, two-digit hierarchical lists (e.g. Aa, Ab, etc.) of horizons found at each point along the coast, called catenas. The horizons were either dominated by species (on the rocky bottoms) or sediment types (on the beaches) and corresponded to LPRE, EUNIS and CORINE habitats. Catenas were transferred into a database and calculations about the extent of bottom types, habitats, and catenas themselves along the coast were carried out with GIS tools. In addition, habitat link richness was calculated and represented using network analysis programs. The application of CAT-LIT to the Catalan coast showed that the habitats dominated by the lichen Verrucaria amphibia and the flattened barnacle Euraphia depressa and those dominated by the barnacle Chthamalus spp. were almost ubiquitous. Those dominated by the red alga Corallina elongata, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis and the red alga Rissoella verruculosa were also common. Because of the frequency of their connections, those habitats formed a huge hub of links in the networks. By using catenas, the habitats can be viewed using GIS based programs keeping the catena as the main informational and ecological unit. The catenas allow maximum compactness when vertically distributed habitats are to be shown on a 2D map. The complete cartography and dataset on the spatial distribution of the littoral habitats from Catalonia is valuable for coastal management and conservation to study changes in the habitat distribution and relate such changes to anthropogenic pressures. Furthermore, the CAT-LIT can be easily adapted to shores of other seas and oceans to obtain accurate

  5. Emergence timescales for detection of anthropogenic climate change in US tropical cyclone loss data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crompton, Ryan P; McAneney, K John; Pielke, Roger A Jr

    2011-01-01

    Recent reviews have concluded that efforts to date have yet to detect or attribute an anthropogenic climate change influence on Atlantic tropical cyclone (of at least tropical storm strength) behaviour and concomitant damage. However, the possibility of identifying such influence in the future cannot be ruled out. Using projections of future tropical cyclone activity from a recent prominent study we estimate the time that it would take for anthropogenic signals to emerge in a time series of normalized US tropical cyclone losses. Depending on the global climate model(s) underpinning the projection, emergence timescales range between 120 and 550 years, reflecting a large uncertainty. It takes 260 years for an 18-model ensemble-based signal to emerge. Consequently, under the projections examined here, the detection or attribution of an anthropogenic signal in tropical cyclone loss data is extremely unlikely to occur over periods of several decades (and even longer). This caution extends more generally to global weather-related natural disaster losses.

  6. Can phenological shifts compensate for adverse effects of climate change on butterfly metapopulation viability?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cormont, A.; Jochem, R.; Malinowska, A.H.; Verboom, J.; Wallis de Vries, M.F.; Opdam, P.F.M.

    2012-01-01

    The interaction between climate change and habitat fragmentation has been presented as a deadly anthropogenic cocktail. We cannot stop climate change, but it is within our circle of influence as ecologists to suggest landscape adaptation. Detailed population models that take into account climate

  7. Limitations to mapping habitat-use areas in changing landscapes using the Mahalanobis distance statistic

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T.; Rotenberry, J.T.

    1998-01-01

    We tested the potential of a GIS mapping technique, using a resource selection model developed for black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and based on the Mahalanobis distance statistic, to track changes in shrubsteppe habitats in southwestern Idaho. If successful, the technique could be used to predict animal use areas, or those undergoing change, in different regions from the same selection function and variables without additional sampling. We determined the multivariate mean vector of 7 GIS variables that described habitats used by jackrabbits. We then ranked the similarity of all cells in the GIS coverage from their Mahalanobis distance to the mean habitat vector. The resulting map accurately depicted areas where we sighted jackrabbits on verification surveys. We then simulated an increase in shrublands (which are important habitats). Contrary to expectation, the new configurations were classified as lower similarity relative to the original mean habitat vector. Because the selection function is based on a unimodal mean, any deviation, even if biologically positive, creates larger Malanobis distances and lower similarity values. We recommend the Mahalanobis distance technique for mapping animal use areas when animals are distributed optimally, the landscape is well-sampled to determine the mean habitat vector, and distributions of the habitat variables does not change.

  8. Anthropogenic effect on avalanche and debris flow activity

    OpenAIRE

    S. A. Sokratov; Yu. G. Seliverstov; A. L. Shnyparkov; K. P. Koltermann

    2013-01-01

    The paper presents examples of the change in snow avalanches and debris flows activity due to the anthropogenic pressure on vegetation and relief. The changes in dynamical characteristics of selected snow avalanches and debris flows due to the anthropogenic activity are quantified. The conclusion is made that the anthropogenic effects on the snow avalanches and debris flows activity are more pronounced than the possible effects of the climate change. The necessity is expressed on the unavoida...

  9. The impacts of Cenozoic climate and habitat changes on small mammal diversity of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuels, Joshua X.; Hopkins, Samantha S. B.

    2017-02-01

    Through the Cenozoic, paleoclimate records show general trends of global cooling and increased aridity, and environments in North America shifted from predominantly forests to more open habitats. Paleobotanical records indicate grasses were present on the continent in the Eocene; however, paleosol and phytolith studies indicate that open habitats did not arise until the late Eocene or even later in the Oligocene. Studies of large mammalian herbivores have documented changes in ecomorphology and community structure through time, revealing that shifts in mammalian morphology occurred millions of years after the environmental changes thought to have triggered them. Smaller mammals, like rodents and lagomorphs, should more closely track climate and habitat changes due to their shorter generation times and smaller ranges, but these animals have received much less study. To examine changes in smaller mammals through time, we have assembled and analyzed an ecomorphological database of all North American rodent and lagomorph species. Analyses of these data found that rodent and lagomorph community structure changed dramatically through the Cenozoic, and shifts in diversity and ecology correspond closely with the timing of habitat changes. Cenozoic rodent and lagomorph species diversity is strongly biased by sampling of localities, but sampling-corrected diversity reveals diversity dynamics that, after an initial density-dependent diversification in the Eocene, track habitat changes and the appearance of new ecological adaptations. As habitats became more open and arid through time, rodent and lagomorph crown heights increased while burrowing, jumping, and cursorial adaptations became more prevalent. Through time, open-habitat specialists were added during periods of diversification, while closed-habitat taxa were disproportionately lost in subsequent diversity declines. While shifts among rodents and lagomorphs parallel changes in ungulate communities, they started

  10. The role of reserves and anthropogenic habitats for functional connectivity and resilience of ephemeral wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uden, Daniel R; Hellman, Michelle L; Angeler, David G; Allen, Craig R

    Ecological reserves provide important wildlife habitat in many landscapes, and the functional connectivity of reserves and other suitable habitat patches is crucial for the persistence and resilience of spatially structured populations. To maintain or increase connectivity at spatial scales larger than individual patches, conservation actions may focus on creating and maintaining reserves and/or influencing management on non-reserves. Using a graph-theoretic approach, we assessed the functional connectivity and spatial distribution of wetlands in the Rainwater Basin of Nebraska, USA, an intensively cultivated agricultural matrix, at four assumed, but ecologically realistic, anuran dispersal distances. We compared connectivity in the current landscape to the historical landscape and putative future landscapes, and evaluated the importance of individual and aggregated reserve and non-reserve wetlands for maintaining connectivity. Connectivity was greatest in the historical landscape, where wetlands were also the most densely distributed. The construction of irrigation reuse pits for water storage has maintained connectivity in the current landscape by replacing destroyed wetlands, but these pits likely provide suboptimal habitat. Also, because there are fewer total wetlands (i.e., wetlands and irrigation reuse pits) in the current landscape than the historical landscape, and because the distribution of current wetlands is less clustered than that of historical wetlands, larger and longer dispersing, sometimes nonnative species may be favored over smaller, shorter dispersing species of conservation concern. Because of their relatively low number, wetland reserves do not affect connectivity as greatly as non-reserve wetlands or irrigation reuse pits; however, they likely provide the highest quality anuran habitat. To improve future levels of resilience in this wetland habitat network, management could focus on continuing to improve the conservation status of non

  11. The importance of benthic-pelagic coupling for marine ecosystem functioning in a changing world

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Griffiths, Jennifer R.; Kadin, Martina; Nascimento, Francisco J. A.

    2017-01-01

    and function is strongly affected by anthropogenic pressures, however there are large gaps in our understanding of the responses of inorganic nutrient and organic matter fluxes between benthic habitats and the water column. We illustrate the varied nature of physical and biological benthic-pelagic coupling...... processes and their potential sensitivity to three anthropogenic pressures - climate change, nutrient loading, and fishing - using the Baltic Sea as a case study, and summarize current knowledge on the exchange of inorganic nutrients and organic material between habitats. Traditionally measured benthic......Benthic-pelagic coupling is manifested as the exchange of energy, mass, or nutrients between benthic and pelagic habitats. It plays a prominent role in aquatic ecosystems and it is crucial to functions from nutrient cycling to energy transfer in food webs. Coastal and estuarine ecosystem structure...

  12. Projected Impacts of Climate, Urbanization, Water Management, and Wetland Restoration on Waterbird Habitat in California's Central Valley.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elliott L Matchett

    Full Text Available The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats. Future effects of urban development, changes in water supply management, and precipitation and air temperature related to global climate change on area of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley are uncertain, yet potentially substantial. Therefore, we modeled area of waterbird habitats for 17 climate, urbanization, water supply management, and wetland restoration scenarios for years 2006-2099 using a water resources and scenario modeling framework. Planned wetland restoration largely compensated for adverse effects of climate, urbanization, and water supply management changes on habitat areas through 2065, but fell short thereafter for all except one scenario. Projected habitat reductions due to climate models were more frequent and greater than under the recent historical climate and their magnitude increased through time. After 2065, area of waterbird habitat in all scenarios that included severe warmer, drier climate was projected to be >15% less than in the "existing" landscape most years. The greatest reduction in waterbird habitat occurred in scenarios that combined warmer, drier climate and plausible water supply management options affecting priority and delivery of water available for waterbird habitats. This scenario modeling addresses the complexity and uncertainties in the Central Valley landscape, use and management of related water supplies, and climate to inform waterbird habitat conservation and other resource management planning. Results indicate that increased wetland restoration

  13. Projected Impacts of Climate, Urbanization, Water Management, and Wetland Restoration on Waterbird Habitat in California's Central Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matchett, Elliott L; Fleskes, Joseph P

    2017-01-01

    The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats. Future effects of urban development, changes in water supply management, and precipitation and air temperature related to global climate change on area of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley are uncertain, yet potentially substantial. Therefore, we modeled area of waterbird habitats for 17 climate, urbanization, water supply management, and wetland restoration scenarios for years 2006-2099 using a water resources and scenario modeling framework. Planned wetland restoration largely compensated for adverse effects of climate, urbanization, and water supply management changes on habitat areas through 2065, but fell short thereafter for all except one scenario. Projected habitat reductions due to climate models were more frequent and greater than under the recent historical climate and their magnitude increased through time. After 2065, area of waterbird habitat in all scenarios that included severe warmer, drier climate was projected to be >15% less than in the "existing" landscape most years. The greatest reduction in waterbird habitat occurred in scenarios that combined warmer, drier climate and plausible water supply management options affecting priority and delivery of water available for waterbird habitats. This scenario modeling addresses the complexity and uncertainties in the Central Valley landscape, use and management of related water supplies, and climate to inform waterbird habitat conservation and other resource management planning. Results indicate that increased wetland restoration and additional

  14. Symbiotic bacteria of helminths: what role may they play in ecosystems under anthropogenic stress?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morley, N J

    2016-11-01

    Symbiotic bacteria are a common feature of many animals, particularly invertebrates, from both aquatic and terrestrial habitats. These bacteria have increasingly been recognized as performing an important role in maintaining invertebrate health. Both ecto- and endoparasitic helminths have also been found to harbour a range of bacterial species which provide a similar function. The part symbiotic bacteria play in sustaining homeostasis of free-living invertebrates exposed to anthropogenic pressure (climate change, pollution), and the consequences to invertebrate populations when their symbionts succumb to poor environmental conditions, are increasingly important areas of research. Helminths are also susceptible to environmental stress and their symbiotic bacteria may be a key aspect of their responses to deteriorating conditions. This article summarizes the ecophysiological relationship helminths have with symbiotic bacteria and the role they play in maintaining a healthy parasite and the relevance of specific changes that occur in free-living invertebrate-bacteria interactions under anthropogenic pressure to helminths and their bacterial communities. It also discusses the importance of understanding the mechanistic sensitivity of helminth-bacteria relationships to environmental stress for comprehending the responses of parasites to challenging conditions.

  15. Harvesting interacts with climate change to affect future habitat quality of a focal species in eastern Canada's boreal forest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tremblay, Junior A; Boulanger, Yan; Cyr, Dominic; Taylor, Anthony R; Price, David T; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues

    2018-01-01

    Many studies project future bird ranges by relying on correlative species distribution models. Such models do not usually represent important processes explicitly related to climate change and harvesting, which limits their potential for predicting and understanding the future of boreal bird assemblages at the landscape scale. In this study, we attempted to assess the cumulative and specific impacts of both harvesting and climate-induced changes on wildfires and stand-level processes (e.g., reproduction, growth) in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. The projected changes in these landscape- and stand-scale processes (referred to as "drivers of change") were then assessed for their impacts on future habitats and potential productivity of black-backed woodpecker (BBWO; Picoides arcticus), a focal species representative of deadwood and old-growth biodiversity in eastern Canada. Forest attributes were simulated using a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, and were used to infer future landscape suitability to BBWO under three anthropogenic climate forcing scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5), compared to the historical baseline. We found climate change is likely to be detrimental for BBWO, with up to 92% decline in potential productivity under the worst-case climate forcing scenario (RCP 8.5). However, large declines were also projected under baseline climate, underlining the importance of harvest in determining future BBWO productivity. Present-day harvesting practices were the single most important cause of declining areas of old-growth coniferous forest, and hence appeared as the single most important driver of future BBWO productivity, regardless of the climate scenario. Climate-induced increases in fire activity would further promote young, deciduous stands at the expense of old-growth coniferous stands. This suggests that the biodiversity associated with deadwood and old-growth boreal forests may be greatly altered by the cumulative impacts of natural and

  16. Harvesting interacts with climate change to affect future habitat quality of a focal species in eastern Canada's boreal forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Junior A Tremblay

    Full Text Available Many studies project future bird ranges by relying on correlative species distribution models. Such models do not usually represent important processes explicitly related to climate change and harvesting, which limits their potential for predicting and understanding the future of boreal bird assemblages at the landscape scale. In this study, we attempted to assess the cumulative and specific impacts of both harvesting and climate-induced changes on wildfires and stand-level processes (e.g., reproduction, growth in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. The projected changes in these landscape- and stand-scale processes (referred to as "drivers of change" were then assessed for their impacts on future habitats and potential productivity of black-backed woodpecker (BBWO; Picoides arcticus, a focal species representative of deadwood and old-growth biodiversity in eastern Canada. Forest attributes were simulated using a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, and were used to infer future landscape suitability to BBWO under three anthropogenic climate forcing scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5, compared to the historical baseline. We found climate change is likely to be detrimental for BBWO, with up to 92% decline in potential productivity under the worst-case climate forcing scenario (RCP 8.5. However, large declines were also projected under baseline climate, underlining the importance of harvest in determining future BBWO productivity. Present-day harvesting practices were the single most important cause of declining areas of old-growth coniferous forest, and hence appeared as the single most important driver of future BBWO productivity, regardless of the climate scenario. Climate-induced increases in fire activity would further promote young, deciduous stands at the expense of old-growth coniferous stands. This suggests that the biodiversity associated with deadwood and old-growth boreal forests may be greatly altered by the cumulative impacts of

  17. The changing ecology of Narragansett Bay as told by habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narragansett Bay has changed in many ways over millennia due to natural and human forces, and the rate of this change increased greatly after European colonization. We evaluated distributions of three stressors and four habitats in eight subdivisions of the Bay for aspects of ec...

  18. Use of functional traits to assess changes in stream fish assemblages across a habitat gradient

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariela Domiciano Ribeiro

    Full Text Available Abstract Functional traits are important for understanding the links between species occurrence and environmental conditions. Identifying these links makes it possible to predict changes in species composition within communities under specific environmental conditions. We used functional traits related to habitat use and trophic ecology in order to assess the changes in fish community composition between streams with varying habitat structure. The relationship between the species traits and habitat characteristics was analyzed using an RLQ ordination analysis. Although species were widely distributed in habitats with different structures, physical conditions did favor some species based on their functional characteristics. Eight functional traits were found to be associated with stream habitat structure, allowing us to identify traits that may predict the susceptibility of fish species to physical habitat degradation.

  19. Can soda ash dumping grounds provide replacement habitats for digger wasps (Hymenoptera, Apoidea, Spheciformes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucyna Twerd

    Full Text Available Published sources document a loss of biodiversity at an extreme rate, mainly because natural and semi-natural ecosystems are becoming fragmented and isolated, thus losing their biological functions. These changes significantly influence biological diversity, which is a complex phenomenon that changes over time. Contemporary ecologists must therefore draw attention to anthropogenic replacement habitats and increase their conservation status. In our studies we show the positive role of soda ash dumping grounds as an alternative habitat for digger wasps, especially the thermophilic species.In the years 2007-2010 we carried out investigations in postindustrial soda ash dumping grounds located in Central Poland. We demonstrated that these areas serve as replacement habitats for thermophilic species of Spheciformes and, indirectly, for their potential prey. The studies were conducted in three microhabitat types, varying in soil moisture, salinity and alkalinity, that were changing in the course of ecological succession. We trapped 2571 specimens belonging to 64 species of digger wasps. Species typical of open sunny spaces comprised 73% of the whole inventory. The obtained results suggest that the stage of succession determines the richness, abundance and diversity of Spheciformes. The most favorable conditions for digger wasps were observed in habitats at late successional stages.Our results clearly showed that these habitats were replacement habitats for thermophilous Spheciformes, including rare taxa that require genetic, species and ecosystem protection, according to the Biodiversity Convention. We showed that some types of industry might play a positive role in the preservation of taxa in the landscape, and that even degraded industrial wasteland can replace habitats under anthropopressure, serving as refugia of biological diversity, especially for disturbance-dependent species.

  20. Habitat disturbance results in chronic stress and impaired health status in forest-dwelling paleotropical bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seltmann, Anne; Czirják, Gábor Á; Courtiol, Alexandre; Bernard, Henry; Struebig, Matthew J; Voigt, Christian C

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic habitat disturbance is a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. Yet, before population declines are detectable, individuals may suffer from chronic stress and impaired immunity in disturbed habitats, making them more susceptible to pathogens and adverse weather conditions. Here, we tested in a paleotropical forest with ongoing logging and fragmentation, whether habitat disturbance influences the body mass and immunity of bats. We measured and compared body mass, chronic stress (indicated by neutrophil to lymphocyte ratios) and the number of circulating immune cells between several bat species with different roost types living in recovering areas, actively logged forests, and fragmented forests in Sabah, Malaysia. In a cave-roosting species, chronic stress levels were higher in individuals from fragmented habitats compared with conspecifics from actively logged areas. Foliage-roosting species showed a reduced body mass and decrease in total white blood cell counts in actively logged areas and fragmented forests compared with conspecifics living in recovering habitats. Our study highlights that habitat disturbance may have species-specific effects on chronic stress and immunity in bats that are potentially related to the roost type. We identified foliage-roosting species as particularly sensitive to forest habitat deterioration. These species may face a heightened extinction risk in the near future if anthropogenic habitat alterations continue.

  1. Refugia: identifying and understanding safe havens for biodiversity under climate change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keppel, G.; Niel, Van K.P.; Wardell-Johnson, G.W.; Yates, C.J.; Byrne, M.; Mucina, L.; Schut, A.G.T.; Hopper, S.D.; Franklin, S.E.

    2012-01-01

    Aim Identifying and protecting refugia is a priority for conservation under projected anthropogenic climate change, because of their demonstrated ability to facilitate the survival of biota under adverse conditions. Refugia are habitats that components of biodiversity retreat to, persist in and can

  2. A Synopsis of Global Mapping of Freshwater Habitats and Biodiversity: Implications for Conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McManamay, Ryan A. [ORNL; Griffiths, Natalie A. [ORNL; DeRolph, Christopher R. [ORNL; Pracheil, Brenda M. [ORNL

    2018-01-01

    Accurately mapping freshwater habitats and biodiversity at high-resolutions across the globe is essential for assessing the vulnerability and threats to freshwater organisms and prioritizing conservation efforts. Since the 2000s, extensive efforts have been devoted to mapping global freshwater habitats (rivers, lakes, and wetlands), the spatial representation of which has changed dramatically over time with new geospatial data products and improved remote sensing technologies. Some of these mapping efforts, however, are still coarse representations of actual conditions. Likewise, the resolution and scope of global freshwater biodiversity compilation efforts have also increased, but are yet to mirror the spatial resolution and fidelity of mapped freshwater environments. In our synopsis, we find that efforts to map freshwater habitats have been conducted independently of those for freshwater biodiversity; subsequently, there is little congruence in the spatial representation and resolution of the two efforts. We suggest that global species distribution models are needed to fill this information gap; however, limiting data on habitat characteristics at scales that complement freshwater habitats has prohibited global high-resolution biogeography efforts. Emerging research trends, such as mapping habitat alteration in freshwater ecosystems and trait biogeography, show great promise in mechanistically linking global anthropogenic stressors to freshwater biodiversity decline and extinction risk.

  3. Regional and sediment depth differences in nematode community structure greater than between habitats on the New Zealand margin: Implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosli, Norliana; Leduc, Daniel; Rowden, Ashley A.; Probert, P. Keith; Clark, Malcolm R.

    2018-01-01

    Deep-sea community attributes vary at a range of spatial scales. However, identifying the scale at which environmental factors affect variability in deep-sea communities remains difficult, as few studies have been designed in such a way as to allow meaningful comparisons across more than two spatial scales. In the present study, we investigated nematode diversity, community structure and trophic structure at different spatial scales (sediment depth (cm), habitat (seamount, canyon, continental slope; 1-100 km), and geographic region (100-10000 km)), while accounting for the effects of water depth, in two regions on New Zealand's continental margin. The greatest variability in community attributes was found between sediment depth layers and between regions, which explained 2-4 times more variability than habitats. The effect of habitat was consistently stronger in the Hikurangi Margin than the Bay of Plenty for all community attributes, whereas the opposite pattern was found in the Bay of Plenty where effect of sediment depth was greater in Bay of Plenty. The different patterns at each scale in each region reflect the differences in the environmental variables between regions that control nematode community attributes. Analyses suggest that nematode communities are mostly influenced by sediment characteristics and food availability, but that disturbance (fishing activity and bioturbation) also accounts for some of the observed patterns. The results provide new insight on the relative importance of processes operating at different spatial scales in regulating nematode communities in the deep-sea, and indicate potential differences in vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance.

  4. Anthropogenic fragmentation may not alter pre-existing patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation in perennial shrubs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llorens, Tanya M; Ayre, David J; Whelan, Robert J

    2018-04-01

    Many plant species have pollination and seed dispersal systems and evolutionary histories that have produced strong genetic structuring. These genetic patterns may be consistent with expectations following recent anthropogenic fragmentation, making it difficult to detect fragmentation effects if no prefragmentation genetic data are available. We used microsatellite markers to investigate whether severe habitat fragmentation may have affected the structure and diversity of populations of the endangered Australian bird-pollinated shrub Grevillea caleyi R.Br., by comparing current patterns of genetic structure and diversity with those of the closely related G. longifolia R.Br. that has a similar life history but has not experienced anthropogenic fragmentation. Grevillea caleyi and G. longifolia showed similar and substantial population subdivision at all spatial levels (global F' ST  = 0.615 and 0.454; S p  = 0.039 and 0.066), marked isolation by distance and large heterozygous deficiencies. These characteristics suggest long-term effects of inbreeding in self-compatible species that have poor seed dispersal, limited connectivity via pollen flow and undergo population bottlenecks because of periodic fires. Highly structured allele size distributions, most notably in G. caleyi, imply historical processes of drift and mutation were important in isolated subpopulations. Genetic diversity did not vary with population size but was lower in more isolated populations for both species. Through this comparison, we reject the hypothesis that anthropogenic fragmentation has impacted substantially on the genetic composition or structure of G. caleyi populations. Our results suggest that highly self-compatible species with limited dispersal may be relatively resilient to the genetic changes predicted to follow habitat fragmentation. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  5. Projected impacts of climate, urbanization, water management, and wetland restoration on waterbird habitat in California’s Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matchett, Elliott L.; Fleskes, Joseph

    2017-01-01

    The Central Valley of California is one of the most important regions for wintering waterbirds in North America despite extensive anthropogenic landscape modification and decline of historical wetlands there. Like many other mediterranean-climate ecosystems across the globe, the Central Valley has been subject to a burgeoning human population and expansion and intensification of agricultural and urban development that have impacted wildlife habitats. Future effects of urban development, changes in water supply management, and precipitation and air temperature related to global climate change on area of waterbird habitat in the Central Valley are uncertain, yet potentially substantial. Therefore, we modeled area of waterbird habitats for 17 climate, urbanization, water supply management, and wetland restoration scenarios for years 2006–2099 using a water resources and scenario modeling framework. Planned wetland restoration largely compensated for adverse effects of climate, urbanization, and water supply management changes on habitat areas through 2065, but fell short thereafter for all except one scenario. Projected habitat reductions due to climate models were more frequent and greater than under the recent historical climate and their magnitude increased through time. After 2065, area of waterbird habitat in all scenarios that included severe warmer, drier climate was projected to be >15% less than in the “existing” landscape most years. The greatest reduction in waterbird habitat occurred in scenarios that combined warmer, drier climate and plausible water supply management options affecting priority and delivery of water available for waterbird habitats. This scenario modeling addresses the complexity and uncertainties in the Central Valley landscape, use and management of related water supplies, and climate to inform waterbird habitat conservation and other resource management planning. Results indicate that increased wetland restoration and additional

  6. Spatial patterns of aquatic habitat richness in the Upper Mississippi River floodplain, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Jager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.

    2012-01-01

    Interactions among hydrology and geomorphology create shifting mosaics of aquatic habitat patches in large river floodplains (e.g., main and side channels, floodplain lakes, and shallow backwater areas) and the connectivity among these habitat patches underpins high levels of biotic diversity and productivity. However, the diversity and connectivity among the habitats of most floodplain rivers have been negatively impacted by hydrologic and structural modifications that support commercial navigation and control flooding. We therefore tested the hypothesis that the rate of increase in patch richness (# of types) with increasing scale reflects anthropogenic modifications to habitat diversity and connectivity in a large floodplain river, the Upper Mississippi River (UMR). To do this, we calculated the number of aquatic habitat patch types within neighborhoods surrounding each of the ≈19 million 5-m aquatic pixels of the UMR for multiple neighborhood sizes (1–100 ha). For all of the 87 river-reach focal areas we examined, changes in habitat richness (R) with increasing neighborhood length (L, # pixels) were characterized by a fractal-like power function R = Lz (R2 > 0.92 (P z) measures the rate of increase in habitat richness with neighborhood size and is related to a fractal dimension. Variation in z reflected fundamental changes to spatial patterns of aquatic habitat richness in this river system. With only a few exceptions, z exceeded the river-wide average of 0.18 in focal areas where side channels, contiguous floodplain lakes, and contiguous shallow-water areas exceeded 5%, 5%, and 10% of the floodplain respectively. In contrast, z was always less than 0.18 for focal areas where impounded water exceeded 40% of floodplain area. Our results suggest that rehabilitation efforts that target areas with <5% of the floodplain in side channels, <5% in floodplain lakes, and/or <10% in shallow-water areas could improve habitat diversity across multiple scales in the UMR.

  7. Anthropogenic effect on avalanche and debris flow activity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. A. Sokratov

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents examples of the change in snow avalanches and debris flows activity due to the anthropogenic pressure on vegetation and relief. The changes in dynamical characteristics of selected snow avalanches and debris flows due to the anthropogenic activity are quantified. The conclusion is made that the anthropogenic effects on the snow avalanches and debris flows activity are more pronounced than the possible effects of the climate change. The necessity is expressed on the unavoidable changes of the natural environment as the result of a construction and of use of the constructed infrastructure to be account for in corresponding planning of the protection measures.

  8. Changes in biotic and abiotic processes following mangrove clearing

    Science.gov (United States)

    Granek, Elise; Ruttenberg, Benjamin I.

    2008-12-01

    Mangrove forests, important tropical coastal habitats, are in decline worldwide primarily due to removal by humans. Changes to mangrove systems can alter ecosystem properties through direct effects on abiotic factors such as temperature, light and nutrient supply or through changes in biotic factors such as primary productivity or species composition. Despite the importance of mangroves as transitional habitats between land and sea, little research has examined changes that occur when they are cleared. We examined changes in a number of biotic and abiotic factors following the anthropogenic removal of red mangroves ( Rhizophora mangle) in the Panamanian Caribbean, including algal biomass, algal diversity, algal grazing rates, light penetration, temperature, sedimentation rates and sediment organic content. In this first study examining multiple ecosystem-level effects of mangrove disturbance, we found that areas cleared of mangroves had higher algal biomass and richness than intact mangrove areas. This increase in algal biomass and richness was likely due to changes in abiotic factors (e.g. light intensity, temperature), but not biotic factors (fish herbivory). Additionally the algal and cyanobacterial genera dominating mangrove-cleared areas were rare in intact mangroves and included a number of genera that compete with coral for space on reefs. Interestingly, sedimentation rates did not differ between intact and cleared areas, but the sediments that accumulated in intact mangroves had higher organic content. These findings are the first to demonstrate that anthropogenic clearing of mangroves changes multiple biotic and abiotic processes in mangrove forests and that some of these changes may influence adjacent habitats such as coral reefs and seagrass beds. Additional research is needed to further explore the community and ecosystem-level effects of mangrove clearing and their influence on adjacent habitats, but it is clear that mangrove conservation is an

  9. Identifying Greater Sage-Grouse source and sink habitats for conservation planning in an energy development landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirol, Christopher P; Beck, Jeffrey L; Huzurbazar, Snehalata V; Holloran, Matthew J; Miller, Scott N

    2015-06-01

    Conserving a declining species that is facing many threats, including overlap of its habitats with energy extraction activities, depends upon identifying and prioritizing the value of the habitats that remain. In addition, habitat quality is often compromised when source habitats are lost or fragmented due to anthropogenic development. Our objective was to build an ecological model to classify and map habitat quality in terms of source or sink dynamics for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in the Atlantic Rim Project Area (ARPA), a developing coalbed natural gas field in south-central Wyoming, USA. We used occurrence and survival modeling to evaluate relationships between environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple spatial scales and for all female summer life stages, including nesting, brood-rearing, and non-brooding females. For each life stage, we created resource selection functions (RSFs). We weighted the RSFs and combined them to form a female summer occurrence map. We modeled survival also as a function of spatial variables for nest, brood, and adult female summer survival. Our survival-models were mapped as survival probability functions individually and then combined with fixed vital rates in a fitness metric model that, when mapped, predicted habitat productivity (productivity map). Our results demonstrate a suite of environmental and anthropogenic variables at multiple scales that were predictive of occurrence and survival. We created a source-sink map by overlaying our female summer occurrence map and productivity map to predict habitats contributing to population surpluses (source habitats) or deficits (sink habitat) and low-occurrence habitats on the landscape. The source-sink map predicted that of the Sage-Grouse habitat within the ARPA, 30% was primary source, 29% was secondary source, 4% was primary sink, 6% was secondary sink, and 31% was low occurrence. Our results provide evidence that energy development and avoidance of

  10. Modeled impact of anthropogenic land cover change on climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Findell, K.L.; Shevliakova, E.; Milly, P.C.D.; Stouffer, R.J.

    2007-01-01

    Equilibrium experiments with the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory's climate model are used to investigate the impact of anthropogenic land cover change on climate. Regions of altered land cover include large portions of Europe, India, eastern China, and the eastern United States. Smaller areas of change are present in various tropical regions. This study focuses on the impacts of biophysical changes associated with the land cover change (albedo, root and stomatal properties, roughness length), which is almost exclusively a conversion from forest to grassland in the model; the effects of irrigation or other water management practices and the effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide changes associated with land cover conversion are not included in these experiments. The model suggests that observed land cover changes have little or no impact on globally averaged climatic variables (e.g., 2-m air temperature is 0.008 K warmer in a simulation with 1990 land cover compared to a simulation with potential natural vegetation cover). Differences in the annual mean climatic fields analyzed did not exhibit global field significance. Within some of the regions of land cover change, however, there are relatively large changes of many surface climatic variables. These changes are highly significant locally in the annual mean and in most months of the year in eastern Europe and northern India. They can be explained mainly as direct and indirect consequences of model-prescribed increases in surface albedo, decreases in rooting depth, and changes of stomatal control that accompany deforestation. ?? 2007 American Meteorological Society.

  11. Linking occurrence and fitness to persistence: Habitat-based approach for endangered Greater Sage-Grouse

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.

    2007-01-01

    Detailed empirical models predicting both species occurrence and fitness across a landscape are necessary to understand processes related to population persistence. Failure to consider both occurrence and fitness may result in incorrect assessments of habitat importance leading to inappropriate management strategies. We took a two-stage approach to identifying critical nesting and brood-rearing habitat for the endangered Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Alberta at a landscape scale. First, we used logistic regression to develop spatial models predicting the relative probability of use (occurrence) for Sage-Grouse nests and broods. Secondly, we used Cox proportional hazards survival models to identify the most risky habitats across the landscape. We combined these two approaches to identify Sage-Grouse habitats that pose minimal risk of failure (source habitats) and attractive sink habitats that pose increased risk (ecological traps). Our models showed that Sage-Grouse select for heterogeneous patches of moderate sagebrush cover (quadratic relationship) and avoid anthropogenic edge habitat for nesting. Nests were more successful in heterogeneous habitats, but nest success was independent of anthropogenic features. Similarly, broods selected heterogeneous high-productivity habitats with sagebrush while avoiding human developments, cultivated cropland, and high densities of oil wells. Chick mortalities tended to occur in proximity to oil and gas developments and along riparian habitats. For nests and broods, respectively, approximately 10% and 5% of the study area was considered source habitat, whereas 19% and 15% of habitat was attractive sink habitat. Limited source habitats appear to be the main reason for poor nest success (39%) and low chick survival (12%). Our habitat models identify areas of protection priority and areas that require immediate management attention to enhance recruitment to secure the viability of this population. This novel

  12. Simulation of climate variability and anthropogenic climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bengtsson, Lennart

    1999-01-01

    The climatic changes in the last century were discussed and focus was on the questions: 1) What are the causes of the rapid climate fluctuations and 2) Is the global warming, which is observed during the last century, caused by natural or anthropogenic effects. It is concluded that an understanding of climate based on the interpretation of observational data only is not feasible, unless supported by an adequate theoretical interpretation. The capabilities of climatic models were discussed and the importance of incorporating 1) calculations of the internal variability of the atmosphere when forced from an ocean with prescribed sea surface temperature as well as for a system consisting of an atmosphere and a mixed ocean of limited depth, 2) a fully coupled atmospheric and ocean model and finally, 3) a fully coupled system including transiently changing greenhouse gases and aerosols. A short summation of the results is presented. The pronounced warming during the last century is not reproduced under the assumption of constant forcing and pollution emissions have to be incorporated into the models in order to bring the simulated data in agreement with observations

  13. The sea surface microlayer: biology, chemistry and anthropogenic enrichment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hardy, J T

    1982-01-01

    Recent studies increasingly point to the interface between the world's atmosphere and hydrosphere (the sea-surface microlayer) as an important biological habitat and a collection point for anthropogenic materials. Newly developed sampling techniques collect different qualitative and quantitative fractions of the upper sea surface from depths of less than one micron to several centimeters. The microlayer provides a habitat for a biota, including the larvae of many commercial fishery species, which are often highly enriched in density compared to subsurface water only a few cm below. Common enrichments for bacterioneuston, phytoneuston, and zooneuston are 10/sup 2/-10/sup 4/, 1-10/sup 2/, and 1-10, respectively. The trophic relationships or intergrated functioning of these neustonic communities have not been examined. Surface tension forces provide a physically stable microlayer, but one which is subjected to greater environmental and climatic variation than the water column. A number of poorly understood physical processes control the movement and flux of materials within and through the microlayer. The microlayer is generally coated with a natural organic film of lipid and fatty acid material overlying a polysaccharide protein complex. The microlayer serves as both a source and a sink for materials in the atmosphere and the water column. Among these materials are large quantities of anthropogenic substances which frequently occur at concentrations 10/sup 2/-10/sup 4/ greater than those in the water column. These include plastics, tar lumps, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and potentially toxic metals, such as, lead, copper, zinc, and nickel. How the unique processes occurring in the microlayer affect the fate of anthropogenic substances is not yet clear.

  14. The Teaching of Anthropogenic Climate Change and Earth Science via Technology-Enabled Inquiry Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Drew; Sieber, Renee; Seiler, Gale; Chandler, Mark

    2016-01-01

    A gap has existed between the tools and processes of scientists working on anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) and the technologies and curricula available to educators teaching the subject through student inquiry. Designing realistic scientific inquiry into AGCC poses a challenge because research on it relies on complex computer models,…

  15. Attenuating initial beliefs: Increasing the acceptance of anthropogenic climate change information by reflecting on values

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Prooijen, A.M.; Sparks, P.

    2014-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change information tends to be interpreted against the backdrop of initial environmental beliefs, which can lead to some people being resistant toward the information. In this article (N = 88), we examined whether self-affirmation via reflection on personally important values

  16. Modelling climate change impacts on stream habitat conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boegh, Eva; Conallin, John; Karthikeyan, Matheswaran

    Impact from groundwater abstraction on freshwater resources and ecosystems is an issue of sincere concern in Denmark and many other countries worldwide. In addition, climate change projections add complexity to the existing conflict between water demands to satisfy human needs and water demands...... required to conserve streams as biologically diverse and healthy ecosystems. Solutions to this intensifying conflict require a holistic approach whereby stream biota is related to their physical environment at catchment scale, as also demanded by the EU Water Framework Directive. In the present study......, climate impacts on stream ecological conditions were quantified by combining a heat and mass stream flow with a habitat suitability modelling approach. Habitat suitability indices were developed for stream velocity, water depth, water temperature and substrate. Generally, water depth was found...

  17. Has Anthropogenic Forcing Caused a Discernible Change in Atlantic Hurricane Activity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, T. R.; Vecchi, G. A.

    2007-12-01

    the time series and ends with the recent high activity, perhaps exaggerating the significance of the trend. The trend beginning from 1878 is weakly positive, and not statistically significant with p=0.3. The uncertainty in the late 1800s is larger than that during the 1900s--an important caveat on the results using the earlier start date. Tropical cyclone occurrence rates appear to have decreased in the western part of the basin (consistent with declining U.S. landfalling hurricane counts) but may have increased slightly in the central and eastern basin, suggesting a structural change such as shifts in storm tracks. Important assumptions of our methodology, such as that all landfalling storms since 1878 were detected and reported, require further investigation. In an attempt to reconcile the past observations with models, we have developed a regional modeling framework for downscaling Atlantic hurricane activity. Given observed large-scale atmospheric conditions and SSTs from reanalyses, the model reproduces several aspects of past Atlantic hurricane behavior (1980-2006). However, much further work is needed to produce simulations where hurricane activity changes can be confidently attributed, using such models, to various anthropogenic forcings or natural processes. Based on available evidence, we cannot yet conclude with high confidence that anthropogenic forcing has caused a discernible anthropogenic influence on hurricane activity to date.

  18. Lethal effects of habitat degradation on fishes through changing competitive advantage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCormick, Mark I

    2012-10-07

    Coral bleaching has caused catastrophic changes to coral reef ecosystems around the world with profound ecological, social and economic repercussions. While its occurrence is predicted to increase in the future, we have little understanding of mechanisms that underlie changes in the fish community associated with coral degradation. The present study uses a field-based experiment to examine how the intensity of interference competition between juveniles of two species of damselfish changes as healthy corals degrade through thermal bleaching. The mortality of a damselfish that is a live coral specialist (Pomacentrus moluccensis) increased on bleached and dead coral in the presence of the habitat generalist (Pomacentrus amboinensis). Increased mortality of the specialist was indirectly owing to enhanced aggression by the generalist forcing the specialist higher up and further away from shelter on bleached and dead coral. Evidence from this study stresses the importance of changing interspecific interactions to community dynamics as habitats change.

  19. Mapping critical habitat of waterbirds in the Arctic for risk management in respect of IFC PS6

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hilarides, Lammert; Langendoen, Tom; Flink, Stephan; van Leeuwen, Merijn; Steen, Bart; Kondratyev, Alexander; Kölzsch, Andrea; Aarvak, Tomas; Kruckenberg, Helmut; Vangeluwe, Didier; Todorov, Emil; Harrison, Anne L.; Rees, Eileen; Dokter, Adriaan; Nolet, Bart; Mundkur, Taej

    2017-01-01

    Economic development and energy exploration are increasing in the Arctic. Important breeding habitats for many waterbird species, which have previously been relatively undisturbed, are now being subjected to these anthropogenic pressures. The conservation of the habitats and the species they support

  20. Global premature mortality due to anthropogenic outdoor air pollution and the contribution of past climate change

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silva, Raquel A; West, J Jason; Zhang Yuqiang; Anenberg, Susan C; Lamarque, Jean-François; Shindell, Drew T; Faluvegi, Greg; Collins, William J; Dalsoren, Stig; Skeie, Ragnhild; Folberth, Gerd; Rumbold, Steven; Horowitz, Larry W; Nagashima, Tatsuya; Naik, Vaishali; Sudo, Kengo; Takemura, Toshihiko; Bergmann, Daniel; Cameron-Smith, Philip; Cionni, Irene

    2013-01-01

    Increased concentrations of ozone and fine particulate matter (PM 2.5 ) since preindustrial times reflect increased emissions, but also contributions of past climate change. Here we use modeled concentrations from an ensemble of chemistry–climate models to estimate the global burden of anthropogenic outdoor air pollution on present-day premature human mortality, and the component of that burden attributable to past climate change. Using simulated concentrations for 2000 and 1850 and concentration–response functions (CRFs), we estimate that, at present, 470 000 (95% confidence interval, 140 000 to 900 000) premature respiratory deaths are associated globally and annually with anthropogenic ozone, and 2.1 (1.3 to 3.0) million deaths with anthropogenic PM 2.5 -related cardiopulmonary diseases (93%) and lung cancer (7%). These estimates are smaller than ones from previous studies because we use modeled 1850 air pollution rather than a counterfactual low concentration, and because of different emissions. Uncertainty in CRFs contributes more to overall uncertainty than the spread of model results. Mortality attributed to the effects of past climate change on air quality is considerably smaller than the global burden: 1500 (−20 000 to 27 000) deaths yr −1 due to ozone and 2200 (−350 000 to 140 000) due to PM 2.5 . The small multi-model means are coincidental, as there are larger ranges of results for individual models, reflected in the large uncertainties, with some models suggesting that past climate change has reduced air pollution mortality. (letter)

  1. Anthropogenic host plant expansion leads a nettle-feeding butterfly out of the forest: consequences for larval survival and developmental plasticity in adult morphology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merckx, Thomas; Serruys, Mélanie; Van Dyck, Hans

    2015-04-01

    Recent anthropogenic eutrophication has meant that host plants of nettle-feeding insects became quasi-omnipresent in fertile regions of Western Europe. However, host plant resource quality - in terms of microclimate and nutritional value - may vary considerably between the 'original' forest habitat and 'recent' agricultural habitat. Here, we compared development in both environmental settings using a split-brood design, so as to explore to what extent larval survival and adult morphology in the nettle-feeding butterfly Aglais urticae are influenced by the anthropogenic environment. Nettles along field margins had higher C/N ratios and provided warmer microclimates to larvae. Larvae developed 20% faster and tended to improve their survival rates, on the agricultural land compared to woodland. Our split-brood approach indicated plastic responses within families, but also family effects in the phenotypic responses. Adult males and females had darker wing pigmentation in the drier and warmer agricultural environment, which contrasts with the thermal melanism hypothesis. Developmental plasticity in response to this microclimatically different and more variable habitat was associated with a broader phenotypic parameter space for the species. Both habitat expansion and developmental plasticity are likely contributors to the ecological and evolutionary success of these nettle-feeding insects in anthropogenic environments under high nitrogen load.

  2. Boat noise prevents soundscape-based habitat selection by coral planulae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lecchini, David; Bertucci, Frédéric; Gache, Camille; Khalife, Adam; Besson, Marc; Roux, Natacha; Berthe, Cecile; Singh, Shubha; Parmentier, Eric; Nugues, Maggy M; Brooker, Rohan M; Dixson, Danielle L; Hédouin, Laetitia

    2018-06-18

    Understanding the relationship between coral reef condition and recruitment potential is vital for the development of effective management strategies that maintain coral cover and biodiversity. Coral larvae (planulae) have been shown to use certain sensory cues to orient towards settlement habitats (e.g. the odour of live crustose coralline algae - CCA). However, the influence of auditory cues on coral recruitment, and any effect of anthropogenic noise on this process, remain largely unknown. Here, we determined the effect of protected reef (MPA), exploited reef (non-MPA) soundscapes, and a source of anthropogenic noise (boat) on the habitat preference for live CCA over dead CCA in the planula of two common Indo-Pacific coral species (Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora cytherea). Soundscapes from protected reefs significantly increased the phonotaxis of planulae of both species towards live CCA, especially when compared to boat noise. Boat noise playback prevented this preferential selection of live CCA as a settlement substrate. These results suggest that sources of anthropogenic noise such as motor boat can disrupt the settlement behaviours of coral planulae. Acoustic cues should be accounted for when developing management strategies aimed at maximizing larval recruitment to coral reefs.

  3. Hungry Horse Dam fisheries mitigation program: Fish passage and habitat improvement in the Upper Flathead River basin

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Knotek, W.L.; Deleray, M.; Marotz, B.

    1997-08-01

    In the past 50 years, dramatic changes have occurred in the Flathead Lake and River system. Degradation of fishery resources has been evident, in part due to deterioration of aquatic habitat and introduction of non-endemic fish and invertebrate species. Habitat loss has been attributed to many factors including the construction and operation of Hungry Horse Dam, unsound land use practices, urban development, and other anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Fish migration has also been limited by barriers such as dams and impassible culverts. Cumulatively, these factors have contributed to declines in the distribution and abundance of native fish populations. Recovery of fish populations requires that a watershed approach be developed that incorporates long-term aquatic habitat needs and promotes sound land use practices and cooperation among natural resource management agencies. In this document, the authors (1) describe completed and ongoing habitat improvement and fish passage activities under the Hungry Horse Fisheries Mitigation Program, (2) describe recently identified projects that are in the planning stage, and (3) develop a framework for identifying prioritizing, implementing, and evaluating future fish habitat improvement and passage projects

  4. Analysis of the Contribution Rate of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Activity to Runoff Variation in Nenjiang Basin, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Liqin Dong

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Pettitt abrupt change test method based on ArcGIS was used to undertake change-point analysis on climatic (precipitation and potential evapotranspiration; 39 meteorological stations and runoff data (27 hydrological stations from 1954–2015 in the Nenjiang basin. The hydrological sensitivity analysis method was also used to calculate the influential component of climate change upstream, mid-stream, and downstream of the Nenjiang basin, as well as the effect of anthropogenic activities on runoff. Our results show that the upstream area has the highest contribution rate of climate change, followed by the mid-stream area; the downstream area has the lowest contribution rate. Studying climate change contribution rates in various sites in the Nenjiang basin, in addition to anthropogenic activities affecting runoff, can provide the foundation for the protection and utilization of basin water resources, as well as the conservation and restoration of wetlands.

  5. Quantifying changes in flooding and habitats in the Tonle Sap Lake (Cambodia) caused by water infrastructure development and climate change in the Mekong Basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arias, Mauricio E; Cochrane, Thomas A; Piman, Thanapon; Kummu, Matti; Caruso, Brian S; Killeen, Timothy J

    2012-12-15

    The economic value of the Tonle Sap Lake Floodplain to Cambodia is arguably among the highest provided to a nation by a single ecosystem around the world. Nonetheless, the Mekong River Basin is changing rapidly due to accelerating water infrastructure development (hydropower, irrigation, flood control, and water supply) and climate change, bringing considerable modifications to the flood pulse of the Tonle Sap Lake in the foreseeable future. This paper presents research conducted to determine how the historical flooding regime, together with human action, influenced landscape patterns of habitats in the Tonle Sap Lake, and how these habitats might shift as a result of hydrological changes. Maps of water depth, annual flood duration, and flood frequency were created for recent historical hydrological conditions and for simulated future scenarios of water infrastructure development and climate change. Relationships were then established between the historical flood maps and land cover, and these were subsequently applied to assess potential changes to habitat cover in future decades. Five habitat groups were clearly distinguishable based on flood regime, physiognomic patterns, and human activity: (1) Open water, flooded for 12 months in an average hydrological year; (2) Gallery forest, with flood duration of 9 months annually; (3) Seasonally flooded habitats, flooded 5-8 months and dominated by shrublands and grasslands; (4) transitional habitats, flooded 1-5 months and dominated by abandoned agricultural fields, receding rice/floating rice, and lowland grasslands; and (5) Rainfed habitats, flooded up to 1 month and consisting mainly of wet season rice fields and village crops. It was found that water infrastructure development could increase the area of open water (+18 to +21%) and the area of rainfed habitats (+10 to +14%), while reducing the area covered with seasonally flooded habitats (-13 to -22%) and gallery forest (-75 to -83%). Habitat cover shifts as a

  6. Ocean acidification in the coastal zone from an organism's perspective: multiple system parameters, frequency domains, and habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waldbusser, George G; Salisbury, Joseph E

    2014-01-01

    Multiple natural and anthropogenic processes alter the carbonate chemistry of the coastal zone in ways that either exacerbate or mitigate ocean acidification effects. Freshwater inputs and multiple acid-base reactions change carbonate chemistry conditions, sometimes synergistically. The shallow nature of these systems results in strong benthic-pelagic coupling, and marine invertebrates at different life history stages rely on both benthic and pelagic habitats. Carbonate chemistry in coastal systems can be highly variable, responding to processes with temporal modes ranging from seconds to centuries. Identifying scales of variability relevant to levels of biological organization requires a fuller characterization of both the frequency and magnitude domains of processes contributing to or reducing acidification in pelagic and benthic habitats. We review the processes that contribute to coastal acidification with attention to timescales of variability and habitats relevant to marine bivalves.

  7. Harvesting interacts with climate change to affect future habitat quality of a focal species in eastern Canada’s boreal forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulanger, Yan; Cyr, Dominic; Taylor, Anthony R.; Price, David T.; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues

    2018-01-01

    Many studies project future bird ranges by relying on correlative species distribution models. Such models do not usually represent important processes explicitly related to climate change and harvesting, which limits their potential for predicting and understanding the future of boreal bird assemblages at the landscape scale. In this study, we attempted to assess the cumulative and specific impacts of both harvesting and climate-induced changes on wildfires and stand-level processes (e.g., reproduction, growth) in the boreal forest of eastern Canada. The projected changes in these landscape- and stand-scale processes (referred to as “drivers of change”) were then assessed for their impacts on future habitats and potential productivity of black-backed woodpecker (BBWO; Picoides arcticus), a focal species representative of deadwood and old-growth biodiversity in eastern Canada. Forest attributes were simulated using a forest landscape model, LANDIS-II, and were used to infer future landscape suitability to BBWO under three anthropogenic climate forcing scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5), compared to the historical baseline. We found climate change is likely to be detrimental for BBWO, with up to 92% decline in potential productivity under the worst-case climate forcing scenario (RCP 8.5). However, large declines were also projected under baseline climate, underlining the importance of harvest in determining future BBWO productivity. Present-day harvesting practices were the single most important cause of declining areas of old-growth coniferous forest, and hence appeared as the single most important driver of future BBWO productivity, regardless of the climate scenario. Climate-induced increases in fire activity would further promote young, deciduous stands at the expense of old-growth coniferous stands. This suggests that the biodiversity associated with deadwood and old-growth boreal forests may be greatly altered by the cumulative impacts of natural and

  8. Cloud albedo changes in response to anthropogenic sulfate and non-sulfate aerosol forcings in CMIP5 models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Frey

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The effects of different aerosol types on cloud albedo are analysed using the linear relation between total albedo and cloud fraction found on a monthly mean scale in regions of subtropical marine stratocumulus clouds and the influence of simulated aerosol variations on this relation. Model experiments from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5 are used to separately study the responses to increases in sulfate, non-sulfate and all anthropogenic aerosols. A cloud brightening on the month-to-month scale due to variability in the background aerosol is found to dominate even in the cases where anthropogenic aerosols are added. The aerosol composition is of importance for this cloud brightening, that is thereby region dependent. There is indication that absorbing aerosols to some extent counteract the cloud brightening but scene darkening with increasing aerosol burden is generally not supported, even in regions where absorbing aerosols dominate. Month-to-month cloud albedo variability also confirms the importance of liquid water content for cloud albedo. Regional, monthly mean cloud albedo is found to increase with the addition of anthropogenic aerosols and more so with sulfate than non-sulfate. Changes in cloud albedo between experiments are related to changes in cloud water content as well as droplet size distribution changes, so that models with large increases in liquid water path and/or cloud droplet number show large cloud albedo increases with increasing aerosol. However, no clear relation between model sensitivities to aerosol variations on the month-to-month scale and changes in cloud albedo due to changed aerosol burden is found.

  9. Projected gains and losses of wildlife habitat from bioenergy-induced landscape change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarr, Nathan M.; Rubino, Matthew J.; Costanza, Jennifer K.; McKerrow, Alexa; Collazo, Jaime A.; Abt, Robert C.

    2016-01-01

    Domestic and foreign renewable energy targets and financial incentives have increased demand for woody biomass and bioenergy in the southeastern United States. This demand is expected to be met through purpose-grown agricultural bioenergy crops, short-rotation tree plantations, thinning and harvest of planted and natural forests, and forest harvest residues. With results from a forest economics model, spatially explicit state-and-transition simulation models, and species–habitat models, we projected change in habitat amount for 16 wildlife species caused by meeting a renewable fuel target and expected demand for wood pellets in North Carolina, USA. We projected changes over 40 years under a baseline ‘business-as-usual’ scenario without bioenergy production and five scenarios with unique feedstock portfolios. Bioenergy demand had potential to influence trends in habitat availability for some species in our study area. We found variation in impacts among species, and no scenario was the ‘best’ or ‘worst’ across all species. Our models projected that shrub-associated species would gain habitat under some scenarios because of increases in the amount of regenerating forests on the landscape, while species restricted to mature forests would lose habitat. Some forest species could also lose habitat from the conversion of forests on marginal soils to purpose-grown feedstocks. The conversion of agricultural lands on marginal soils to purpose-grown feedstocks increased habitat losses for one species with strong associations with pasture, which is being lost to urbanization in our study region. Our results indicate that landscape-scale impacts on wildlife habitat will vary among species and depend upon the bioenergy feedstock portfolio. Therefore, decisions about bioenergy and wildlife will likely involve trade-offs among wildlife species, and the choice of focal species is likely to affect the results of landscape-scale assessments. We offer general principals

  10. Using multiscale spatial models to assess potential surrogate habitat for an imperiled reptile.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Fill

    Full Text Available In evaluating conservation and management options for species, practitioners might consider surrogate habitats at multiple scales when estimating available habitat or modeling species' potential distributions based on suitable habitats, especially when native environments are rare. Species' dependence on surrogates likely increases as optimal habitat is degraded and lost due to anthropogenic landscape change, and thus surrogate habitats may be vital for an imperiled species' survival in highly modified landscapes. We used spatial habitat models to examine a potential surrogate habitat for an imperiled ambush predator (eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus; EDB at two scales. The EDB is an apex predator indigenous to imperiled longleaf pine ecosystems (Pinus palustris of the southeastern United States. Loss of native open-canopy pine savannas and woodlands has been suggested as the principal cause of the species' extensive decline. We examined EDB habitat selection in the Coastal Plain tidewater region to evaluate the role of marsh as a potential surrogate habitat and to further quantify the species' habitat requirements at two scales: home range (HR and within the home range (WHR. We studied EDBs using radiotelemetry and employed an information-theoretic approach and logistic regression to model habitat selection as use vs.We failed to detect a positive association with marsh as a surrogate habitat at the HR scale; rather, EDBs exhibited significantly negative associations with all landscape patches except pine savanna. Within home range selection was characterized by a negative association with forest and a positive association with ground cover, which suggests that EDBs may use surrogate habitats of similar structure, including marsh, within their home ranges. While our HR analysis did not support tidal marsh as a surrogate habitat, marsh may still provide resources for EDBs at smaller scales.

  11. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    The physical habitat template is a fundamental influence on riverine ecosystem structure and function. Habitat dynamics refers to the variation in habitat through space and time as the result of varying discharge and varying geomorphology. Habitat dynamics can be assessed at spatial scales ranging from the grain (the smallest resolution at which an organism relates to its environment) to the extent (the broadest resolution inclusive of all space occupied during its life cycle). In addition to a potentially broad range of spatial scales, assessments of habitat dynamics may include dynamics of both occupied and nonoccupied habitat patches because of process interactions among patches. Temporal aspects of riverine habitat dynamics can be categorized into hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Hydrodynamics refers to habitat variation that results from changes in discharge in the absence of significant change of channel morphology and at generally low sediment-transport rates. Hydrodynamic assessments are useful in cases of relatively high flow exceedance (percent of time a flow is equaled or exceeded) or high critical shear stress, conditions that are applicable in many studies of instream flows. Morphodynamics refers to habitat variation resulting from changes to substrate conditions or channel/floodplain morphology. Morphodynamic assessments are necessary when channel and floodplain boundary conditions have been significantly changed, generally by relatively rare flood events or in rivers with low critical shear stress. Morphodynamic habitat variation can be particularly important as disturbance mechanisms that mediate population growth or for providing conditions needed for reproduction, such as channel-migration events that erode cutbanks and provide new pointbar surfaces for germination of riparian trees. Understanding of habitat dynamics is increasing in importance as societal goals shift toward restoration of riverine ecosystems. Effective investment in restoration

  12. Changing expression of vertebrate immunity genes in an anthropogenic environment: a controlled experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hablützel, Pascal I; Brown, Martha; Friberg, Ida M; Jackson, Joseph A

    2016-09-01

    The effect of anthropogenic environments on the function of the vertebrate immune system is a problem of general importance. For example, it relates to the increasing rates of immunologically-based disease in modern human populations and to the desirability of identifying optimal immune function in domesticated animals. Despite this importance, our present understanding is compromised by a deficit of experimental studies that make adequately matched comparisons between wild and captive vertebrates. We transferred post-larval fishes (three-spined sticklebacks), collected in the wild, to an anthropogenic (captive) environment. We then monitored, over 11 months, how the systemic expression of immunity genes changed in comparison to cohort-matched wild individuals in the originator population (total n = 299). We found that a range of innate (lyz, defbl2, il1r-like, tbk1) and adaptive (cd8a, igmh) immunity genes were up-regulated in captivity, accompanied by an increase in expression of the antioxidant enzyme, gpx4a. For some genes previously known to show seasonality in the wild, this appeared to be reduced in captive fishes. Captive fishes tended to express immunity genes, including igzh, foxp3b, lyz, defbl2, and il1r-like, more variably. Furthermore, although gene co-expression patterns (analyzed through gene-by-gene correlations and mutual information theory based networks) shared common structure in wild and captive fishes, there was also significant divergence. For one gene in particular, defbl2, high expression was associated with adverse health outcomes in captive fishes. Taken together, these results demonstrate widespread regulatory changes in the immune system in captive populations, and that the expression of immunity genes is more constrained in the wild. An increase in constitutive systemic immune activity, such as we observed here, may alter the risk of immunopathology and contribute to variance in health in vertebrate populations exposed to

  13. Status of vulnerable Cystoseira populations along the Italian infralittoral fringe, and relationships with environmental and anthropogenic variables.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancuso, F P; Strain, E M A; Piccioni, E; De Clerck, O; Sarà, G; Airoldi, L

    2017-11-03

    We analyzed the occurrence and status of infralittoral fringe populations of Cystoseira spp. (Fucales) at thirteen rocky sites around the Italian coastline, and explored the relationships with relevant environmental and anthropogenic variables. We found Cystoseira populations at 11 sites: most were scattered and comprised monospecific stands of C. compressa, and only 6 sites also supported sparse specimens of either C. amentacea var. stricta or C. brachycarpa. Coastal human population density, Chlorophyll a seawater concentrations, sea surface temperature, annual range of sea surface temperature and wave fetch explained most of the variation of the status of C. compressa. We hypothesize a generally unhealthy state of the Italian Cystoseira infralittoral fringe populations and identify multiple co-occurring anthropogenic stressors as the likely drivers of these poor conditions. Extensive baseline monitoring is needed to describe how Cystoseira populations are changing, and implement a management framework for the conservation of these valuable but vulnerable habitats. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Habitat influence on antioxidant activity and tannin concentrations of Spondias tuberosa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Sousa Araújo, Thiago Antônio; de Almeida e Castro, Valerium Thijan Nobre; de Amorim, Elba Lúcia Cavalcanti; de Albuquerque, Ulysses Paulino

    2012-06-01

    Different habitat conditions can be responsible for the production of secondary metabolites and for the antioxidant properties of plant products. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate whether the antioxidant activity and tannin concentrations in the stem bark of Spondias tuberosa Arruda (Anacardiaceae) varied with collection site. The bark was collected from 25 individual trees, distributed in five different landscape units, as follows: agroforestry gardens, areas of pastures, maize cultivation areas, mountain areas and mountain bases, with the former 3 being considered as anthropogenic habitats, and the latter 2 considered as habitats with native coverage. The study was conducted in the rural area of the city of Altinho, Pernambuco State (Northeast Brazil). The DPPH (1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl) method was used to measure the antioxidant activity and tannin concentrations were evaluated by using the radial diffusion method. The results demonstrated that there were no significant differences among the tannin concentrations of the individuals from the native (6.27% ± 1.75) or anthropogenic areas (4.63% ± 2.55), (H = 2.24; p > 0.05). In contrast, there were significant differences (H = 5.1723; p 0.05) or in the anthropogenic areas (r = 0.38; p > 0.05). Because the variation of the antioxidant capacity of S. tuberosa bark was not accompanied by a variation in the tannin concentration, this property may be related to the presence of other metabolite(s).

  15. A test of the substitution-habitat hypothesis in amphibians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Abraín, Alejandro; Galán, Pedro

    2017-12-08

    Most examples that support the substitution-habitat hypothesis (human-made habitats act as substitutes of original habitat) deal with birds and mammals. We tested this hypothesis in 14 amphibians by using percentage occupancy as a proxy of habitat quality (i.e., higher occupancy percentages indicate higher quality). We classified water body types as original habitat (no or little human influence) depending on anatomical, behavioral, or physiological adaptations of each amphibian species. Ten species had relatively high probabilities (0.16-0.28) of occurrence in original habitat, moderate probability of occurrence in substitution habitats (0.11-0.14), and low probability of occurrence in refuge habitats (0.05-0.08). Thus, the substitution-habitat hypothesis only partially applies to amphibians because the low occupancy of refuges could be due to the negligible human persecution of this group (indicating good conservation status). However, low occupancy of refuges could also be due to low tolerance of refuge conditions, which could have led to selective extinction or colonization problems due to poor dispersal capabilities. That original habitats had the highest probabilities of occupancy suggests amphibians have a good conservation status in the region. They also appeared highly adaptable to anthropogenic substitution habitats. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. A concept for extraction of habitat features from laser scanning and hypersprectral imaging for evaluation of Natura 2000 sites - the ChangeHabitats2 project approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Székely, B.; Kania, A.; Pfeifer, N.; Heilmeier, H.; Tamás, J.; Szöllősi, N.; Mücke, W.

    2012-04-01

    The goal of the ChangeHabitats2 project is the development of cost- and time-efficient habitat assessment strategies by employing effective field work techniques supported by modern airborne remote sensing methods, i.e. hyperspectral imagery and laser scanning (LiDAR). An essential task of the project is the design of a novel field work technique that on the one hand fulfills the reporting requirements of the Flora-Fauna-Habitat (FFH-) directive and on the other hand serves as a reference for the aerial data analysis. Correlations between parameters derived from remotely sensed data and terrestrial field measurements shall be exploited in order to create half- or fully-automated methods for the extraction of relevant Natura2000 habitat parameters. As a result of these efforts a comprehensive conceptual model has been developed for extraction and integration of Natura 2000 relevant geospatial data. This scheme is an attempt to integrate various activities within ChangeHabitats2 project defining pathways of development, as well as encompassing existing data processing chains, theoretical approaches and field work. The conceptual model includes definition of processing levels (similar to those existing in remote sensing), whereas these levels cover the range from the raw data to the extracted habitat feature. For instance, the amount of dead wood (standing or lying on the surface) is an important evaluation criterion for the habitat. The tree trunks lying on the ground surface typically can be extracted from the LiDAR point cloud, and the amount of wood can be estimated accordingly. The final result will be considered as a habitat feature derived from laser scanning data. Furthermore, we are also interested not only in the determination of the specific habitat feature, but also in the detection of its variations (especially in deterioration). In this approach the variation of this important habitat feature is considered to be a differential habitat feature, that can

  17. Correlated factors in amphibian decline: Exotic species and habitat change in western Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adams, Michael J.

    1999-01-01

    Amphibian declines may frequently be associated with multiple, correlated factors. In western North America, exotic species and hydrological changes are often correlated and are considered 2 of the greatest threats to freshwater systems. Bullfrog (Rana catesbeiana) introductions are frequently cited as a threat to lentic-breeding anurans native to western North America and are a suspected factor in the decline of red-legged frogs (Rana aurora) in California. Introduced fish and habitat change are cited less frequently but are equally viable hypotheses. I examined the relation among introduced species, habitat, and the distribution and abundance of red-legged frogs in western Washington. Red-legged frog occurrence in the Puget Lowlands was more closely associated with habitat structure and the presence of exotic fish than with the presence of bull-frogs. The spread of exotics is correlated with a shift toward greater permanence in wetland habitats regionally. Conservation of more ephemeral wetland habitats may have direct benefits for some native amphibians and may also reduce the threat of exotic fish and bullfrogs, both of which were associated with permanent wetlands. Research and conservation efforts for lowland anurans in the West should emphasize the complexities of multiple contributing factors to amphibian losses.

  18. Redox-Stratified Bacterial Communities in Sediments Associated with Multiple Lucinid Bivalve Species: Implications for Symbiosis in Changing Coastal Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paterson, A. T.; Fortier, C. M.; Long, B.; Kokesh, B. S.; Lim, S. J.; Campbell, B. J.; Anderson, L. C.; Engel, A. S.

    2017-12-01

    Lucinids, chemosymbiotic marine bivalves, occupy strong redox gradient habitats, including the rhizosphere of coastal seagrass beds and mangrove forests in subtropical to tropical ecosystems. Lucinids and their sulfide-oxidizing gammaproteobacterial endosymbionts, which are acquired from the environment, provide a critical ecosystem service by removing toxic reduced sulfur compounds from the surrounding environment, and lucinids may be an important food source to economically valuable fisheries. The habitats of Phacoides pectinatus, Stewartia floridana, Codakia orbicularis, Ctena orbiculata, and Lucina pensylvanica lucinids in Florida and San Salvador in The Bahamas were evaluated in comprehensive malacological, microbiological, and geochemical surveys. Vegetation cover included different seagrass species or calcareous green macroalgae. All sites were variably affected by anthropogenic activities, as evidenced by visible prop scars in seagrass beds, grain size distributions atypical of low energy environments (i.e., artificial fill or dredge material from nearby channels), and high levels of pyrogenic hydrocarbon compounds in sediment indicative of urbanization impact. Where present, lucinid population densities frequently exceeded 2000 individuals per cubic meter, and were typically more abundant underlying seagrass compared to unvegetated, bare sand. Dissolved oxygen and sulfide levels varied from where lucinids were recovered. The sediment bacterial communities from classified 16S rRNA gene sequences indicated that the diversity of putative anaerobic groups increased with sediment depth, but putative aerobes, including of Gammaproteobacteria related to the lucinid endosymbionts, decreased with depth. Where multiple seagrass species co-occurred, retrieved bacterial community compositions correlated to overlying seagrass species, but diversity differed from bare sand patches, including among putative free-living endosymbiont groups. As such, continued sea

  19. Habitat differences in deep-sea megafaunal communities off New Zealand: implications for vulnerability to anthropogenic disturbance and management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley Alun Rowden

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Research on benthic communities in the deep sea has focused largely on habitats in isolation, with few studies considering multiple habitats simultaneously in a comparable manner. The present study aimed to determine the structural differences in benthic communities of continental slope, seamount, canyon, vent, and seep habitats, and assess their relative vulnerabilities to disturbance from bottom trawling and potential seabed mining. Megafaunal invertebrate communities of these habitats were sampled in two regions off New Zealand, in four depth strata between 700 and 1500 m, using an epibenthic sled and a beam trawl. Patterns of community and trophic structure, and the potential influence of environmental variables, were determined using multivariate analyses. The difference in community structure between regions was greater than among habitats and depth strata. Levels of food availability may explain regional differences in community structure, although some influence of fishing disturbance is also possible. Differences in community and trophic structure were most pronounced between the chemosynthetic vent and seep habitats, and other habitats. Differences among these other habitats within a region were inconsistent, except that canyon and slope communities always differed from each other. Community and trophic structural patterns were partly explained by the environmental differences observed among habitats. The relative vulnerabilities of benthic communities to human disturbance in the two regions were determined based on patterns of abundance and feeding mode of the megafauna. Communities of vent and seep habitats were assessed to be more vulnerable to disturbance than those of the other habitats based on a number of habitat-related attributes. However, the relative vulnerability of megafaunal communities at slope, canyon, and seamount habitats could not confidently be assessed on a habitat basis alone. The results of the present study have

  20. Response of the agile antechinus to habitat edge, configuration and condition in fragmented forest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher P Johnstone

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation and degradation seriously threaten native animal communities. We studied the response of a small marsupial, the agile antechinus Antechinus agilis, to several environmental variables in anthropogenically fragmented Eucalyptus forest in south-east Australia. Agile antechinus were captured more in microhabitats dominated by woody debris than in other microhabitats. Relative abundances of both sexes were positively correlated with fragment core area. Male and female mass-size residuals were smaller in larger fragments. A health status indicator, haemoglobin-haematocrit residuals (HHR, did not vary as a function of any environmental variable in females, but male HHR indicated better health where sites' microhabitats were dominated by shrubs, woody debris and trees other than Eucalyptus. Females were trapped less often in edge than interior fragment habitat and their physiological stress level, indicated by the neutrophil/lymphocyte ratio in peripheral blood, was higher where fragments had a greater proportion of edge habitat. The latter trend was potentially due to lymphopoenia resulting from stress hormone-mediated leukocyte trafficking. Using multiple indicators of population condition and health status facilitates a comprehensive examination of the effects of anthropogenic disturbances, such as habitat fragmentation and degradation, on native vertebrates. Male agile antechinus' health responded negatively to habitat degradation, whilst females responded negatively to the proportion of edge habitat. The health and condition indicators used could be employed to identify conservation strategies that would make habitat fragments less stressful for this or similar native, small mammals.

  1. Environmental and Anthropogenic Impacts on Avifaunal Assemblages in an Urban Parkland, 1976 to 2007

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Elizabeth Ormond

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Urban environments are unique, rapidly changing habitats in which almost half of the world’s human population resides. The effects of urbanisation, such as habitat (vegetation removal, pollution and modification of natural areas, commonly cause biodiversity loss. Long-term ecological monitoring of urban environments is vital to determine the composition and long-term trends of faunal communities. This paper provides a detailed view of long-term changes in avifaunal assemblages of the Adelaide City parklands and discusses the anthropogenic and environmental factors that contributed to the changes between 1976 and 2007. The Adelaide City parklands (ACP comprise 760 ha of land surrounding Adelaide’s central business district. Naturalist Robert Whatmough completed a 32-year survey of the ACP to determine the structure of the urban bird community residing there. Annual species richness and the abundance of birds in March and September months were analysed. Linear regression analysis was applied to species richness and abundance data of each assemblage. Resident parkland birds demonstrated significant declines in abundance. Native and introduced species also exhibited long-term declines in species richness and abundance throughout the 32-year period. Cycles of varying time periods indicated fluctuations in avian biodiversity demonstrating the need for future monitoring and statistical analyses on bird communities in the Adelaide City parklands.

  2. Incorporating Anthropogenic Influences into Fire Probability Models: Effects of Human Activity and Climate Change on Fire Activity in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Michael L; Batllori, Enric; Moritz, Max A; Waller, Eric K; Berck, Peter; Flint, Alan L; Flint, Lorraine E; Dolfi, Emmalee

    2016-01-01

    The costly interactions between humans and wildfires throughout California demonstrate the need to understand the relationships between them, especially in the face of a changing climate and expanding human communities. Although a number of statistical and process-based wildfire models exist for California, there is enormous uncertainty about the location and number of future fires, with previously published estimates of increases ranging from nine to fifty-three percent by the end of the century. Our goal is to assess the role of climate and anthropogenic influences on the state's fire regimes from 1975 to 2050. We develop an empirical model that integrates estimates of biophysical indicators relevant to plant communities and anthropogenic influences at each forecast time step. Historically, we find that anthropogenic influences account for up to fifty percent of explanatory power in the model. We also find that the total area burned is likely to increase, with burned area expected to increase by 2.2 and 5.0 percent by 2050 under climatic bookends (PCM and GFDL climate models, respectively). Our two climate models show considerable agreement, but due to potential shifts in rainfall patterns, substantial uncertainty remains for the semiarid inland deserts and coastal areas of the south. Given the strength of human-related variables in some regions, however, it is clear that comprehensive projections of future fire activity should include both anthropogenic and biophysical influences. Previous findings of substantially increased numbers of fires and burned area for California may be tied to omitted variable bias from the exclusion of human influences. The omission of anthropogenic variables in our model would overstate the importance of climatic ones by at least 24%. As such, the failure to include anthropogenic effects in many models likely overstates the response of wildfire to climatic change.

  3. Incorporating Anthropogenic Influences into Fire Probability Models: Effects of Human Activity and Climate Change on Fire Activity in California.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael L Mann

    Full Text Available The costly interactions between humans and wildfires throughout California demonstrate the need to understand the relationships between them, especially in the face of a changing climate and expanding human communities. Although a number of statistical and process-based wildfire models exist for California, there is enormous uncertainty about the location and number of future fires, with previously published estimates of increases ranging from nine to fifty-three percent by the end of the century. Our goal is to assess the role of climate and anthropogenic influences on the state's fire regimes from 1975 to 2050. We develop an empirical model that integrates estimates of biophysical indicators relevant to plant communities and anthropogenic influences at each forecast time step. Historically, we find that anthropogenic influences account for up to fifty percent of explanatory power in the model. We also find that the total area burned is likely to increase, with burned area expected to increase by 2.2 and 5.0 percent by 2050 under climatic bookends (PCM and GFDL climate models, respectively. Our two climate models show considerable agreement, but due to potential shifts in rainfall patterns, substantial uncertainty remains for the semiarid inland deserts and coastal areas of the south. Given the strength of human-related variables in some regions, however, it is clear that comprehensive projections of future fire activity should include both anthropogenic and biophysical influences. Previous findings of substantially increased numbers of fires and burned area for California may be tied to omitted variable bias from the exclusion of human influences. The omission of anthropogenic variables in our model would overstate the importance of climatic ones by at least 24%. As such, the failure to include anthropogenic effects in many models likely overstates the response of wildfire to climatic change.

  4. Effects of climate change and anthropogenic modification on a disturbance-dependent species in a large riverine system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigler, Sara; Catlin, Daniel H.; Bomberger Brown, M.; Fraser, J.D.; Dinan, Lauren R.; Hunt, Kelsi L.; Jorgensen, Joel G.; Karpanty, Sarah M.

    2017-01-01

    Humans have altered nearly every natural disturbance regime on the planet through climate and land-use change, and in many instances, these processes may have interacting effects. For example, projected shifts in temperature and precipitation will likely influence disturbance regimes already affected by anthropogenic fire suppression or river impoundments. Understanding how disturbance-dependent species respond to complex and interacting environmental changes is important for conservation efforts. Using field-based demographic and movement rates, we conducted a metapopulation viability analysis for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus), a threatened disturbance-dependent species, along the Missouri and Platte rivers in the Great Plains of North America. Our aim was to better understand current and projected future metapopulation dynamics given that natural disturbances (flooding or high-flow events) have been greatly reduced by river impoundments and that climate change could further alter the disturbance regime. Although metapopulation abundance has been substantially reduced under the current suppressed disturbance regime (high-flow return interval ~ 20 yr), it could grow if the frequency of high-flow events increases as predicted under likely climate change scenarios. We found that a four-year return interval would maximize metapopulation abundance, and all subpopulations in the metapopulation would act as sources at a return interval of 15 yr or less. Regardless of disturbance frequency, the presence of even a small, stable source subpopulation buffered the metapopulation and sustained a low metapopulation extinction risk. Therefore, climate change could have positive effects in ecosystems where disturbances have been anthropogenically suppressed when climatic shifts move disturbance regimes toward more historical patterns. Furthermore, stable source populations, even if unintentionally maintained through anthropogenic activities, may be critical for the

  5. Glucocorticoid Stress Responses of Reintroduced Tigers in Relation to Anthropogenic Disturbance in Sariska Tiger Reserve in India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharjee, Subhadeep; Kumar, Vinod; Chandrasekhar, Mithileshwari; Malviya, Manjari; Ganswindt, Andre; Ramesh, Krishnamurthy; Sankar, Kalyanasundaram; Umapathy, Govindhaswamy

    2015-01-01

    Tiger (Panthera tigris), an endangered species, is under severe threat from poaching, habitat loss, prey depletion and habitat disturbance. Such factors have been reported causing local extermination of tiger populations including in one of the most important reserves in India, namely Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) in northwestern India. Consequently, tigers were reintroduced in STR between 2008 and 2010, but inadequate breeding success was observed over the years, thus invoking an investigation to ascertain physiological correlates. In the present study, we report glucocorticoid stress responses of the reintroduced tigers in relation to anthropogenic disturbance in the STR from 2011 to 2013. We found anthropogenic disturbance such as encounter rates of livestock and humans, distance to roads and efforts to kill domestic livestock associated with an elevation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM) concentrations in the monitored tigers. In this regard, female tigers seem more sensitive to such disturbance than males. It was possible to discern that tiger's fGCM levels were significantly positively related to the time spent in disturbed areas. Resulting management recommendations include relocation of villages from core areas and restriction of all anthropogenic activities in the entire STR.

  6. Glucocorticoid Stress Responses of Reintroduced Tigers in Relation to Anthropogenic Disturbance in Sariska Tiger Reserve in India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

    Full Text Available Tiger (Panthera tigris, an endangered species, is under severe threat from poaching, habitat loss, prey depletion and habitat disturbance. Such factors have been reported causing local extermination of tiger populations including in one of the most important reserves in India, namely Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR in northwestern India. Consequently, tigers were reintroduced in STR between 2008 and 2010, but inadequate breeding success was observed over the years, thus invoking an investigation to ascertain physiological correlates. In the present study, we report glucocorticoid stress responses of the reintroduced tigers in relation to anthropogenic disturbance in the STR from 2011 to 2013. We found anthropogenic disturbance such as encounter rates of livestock and humans, distance to roads and efforts to kill domestic livestock associated with an elevation in fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (fGCM concentrations in the monitored tigers. In this regard, female tigers seem more sensitive to such disturbance than males. It was possible to discern that tiger's fGCM levels were significantly positively related to the time spent in disturbed areas. Resulting management recommendations include relocation of villages from core areas and restriction of all anthropogenic activities in the entire STR.

  7. Future changes in Yuan River ecohydrology: Individual and cumulative impacts of climates change and cascade hydropower development on runoff and aquatic habitat quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wen, Xin; Liu, Zhehua; Lei, Xiaohui; Lin, Rongjie; Fang, Guohua; Tan, Qiaofeng; Wang, Chao; Tian, Yu; Quan, Jin

    2018-08-15

    The eco-hydrological system in southwestern China is undergoing great changes in recent decades owing to climate change and extensive cascading hydropower exploitation. With a growing recognition that multiple drivers often interact in complex and nonadditive ways, the purpose of this study is to predict the potential future changes in streamflow and fish habitat quality in the Yuan River and quantify the individual and cumulative effect of cascade damming and climate change. The bias corrected and spatial downscaled Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase 5 (CMIP5) General Circulation Model (GCM) projections are employed to drive the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) hydrological model and to simulate and predict runoff responses under diverse scenarios. Physical habitat simulation model is established to quantify the relationship between river hydrology and fish habitat, and the relative change rate is used to assess the individual and combined effects of cascade damming and climate change. Mean annual temperature, precipitation and runoff in 2015-2100 show an increasing trend compared with that in 1951-2010, with a particularly pronounced difference between dry and wet years. The ecological habitat quality is improved under cascade hydropower development since that ecological requirement has been incorporated in the reservoir operation policy. As for middle reach, the runoff change from January to August is determined mainly by damming, and climate change influence becomes more pronounced in dry seasons from September to December. Cascade development has an effect on runoff of lower reach only in dry seasons due to the limited regulation capacity of reservoirs, and climate changes have an effect on runoff in wet seasons. Climate changes have a less significant effect on fish habitat quality in middle reach than damming, but a more significant effect in lower reach. In addition, the effect of climate changes on fish habitat quality in lower reach is high

  8. Impacts of habitat degradation and stream spatial location on biodiversity in a disturbed riverine landscape

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Göthe, Emma; Wiberg-Larsen, Peter; Kristensen, Esben Astrup

    2015-01-01

    gradients. We used macrophyte, fish and macroinvertebrate data from Danish lowland streams to investigate whether (1) high connectivity in reaches situated in lower parts of the stream network (downstream sites) generates high α-diversity, while dispersal limitation and high habitat heterogeneity across......The ongoing degradation of freshwater habitat quality and subsequent losses of biodiversity is alarming. One key to successful freshwater management is to understand how different scale-dependent diversity components (i.e. γ-, α- and β-diversity) change along present-day anthropogenic impact...... the more isolated upper reaches (headwater sites) generate high β-diversity, (2) γ-, α- and β- diversity decrease with increasing hydromorphological impact and (3) high connectivity in downstream reaches buffers against impacts on biodiversity. Results showed that α-diversity was higher in downstream sites...

  9. Impact of anthropogenic climate change and human activities on environment and ecosystem services in arid regions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoud, Shereif H; Gan, Thian Y

    2018-08-15

    The implications of anthropogenic climate change, human activities and land use change (LUC) on the environment and ecosystem services in the coastal regions of Saudi Arabia were analyzed. Earth observations data was used to drive land use categories between 1970 and 2014. Next, a Markov-CA model was developed to characterize the dynamic of LUC between 2014 and 2100 and their impacts on regions' climate and environment. Non-parametric change point and trend detection algorithms were applied to temperature, precipitation and greenhouse gases data to investigate the presence of anthropogenic climate change. Lastly, climate models were used to project future climate change between 2014 and 2100. The analysis of LUC revealed that between 1970 and 2014, built up areas experienced the greatest growth during the study period, leading to a significant monotonic trend. Urban areas increased by 2349.61km 2 between 1970 and 2014, an average increase of >53.4km 2 /yr. The projected LUC between 2014 and 2100 indicate a continued increase in urban areas and irrigated cropland. Human alteration of land use from natural vegetation and forests to other uses after 1970, resulted in a loss, degradation, and fragmentation, all of which usually have devastating effects on the biodiversity of the region. Resulting in a statistically significant change point in temperature anomaly after 1968 with a warming trend of 0.24°C/decade and a downward trend in precipitation anomaly of 12.2mm/decade. Total greenhouse gas emissions including all anthropogenic sources showed a statistically significant positive trend of 78,090Kt/decade after 1991. This is reflected in the future projection of temperature anomaly between 1900 and 2100 with a future warming trend of 0.19°C/decade. In conclusion, human activities, industrial revelation, deforestation, land use transformation and increase in greenhouse gases had significant implications on the environment and ecosystem services of the study area

  10. Frugivorous bats maintain functional habitat connectivity in agricultural landscapes but rely strongly on natural forest fragments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripperger, Simon P; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Rodríguez-Herrera, Bernal; Mayer, Frieder; Tschapka, Marco

    2015-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae), a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

  11. Frugivorous bats maintain functional habitat connectivity in agricultural landscapes but rely strongly on natural forest fragments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon P Ripperger

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic changes in land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem functioning by the conversion of natural habitat into agricultural mosaic landscapes, often with drastic consequences for the associated fauna. The first step in the development of efficient conservation plans is to understand movement of animals through complex habitat mosaics. Therefore, we studied ranging behavior and habitat use in Dermanura watsoni (Phyllostomidae, a frugivorous bat species that is a valuable seed disperser in degraded ecosystems. Radio-tracking of sixteen bats showed that the animals strongly rely on natural forest. Day roosts were exclusively located within mature forest fragments. Selection ratios showed that the bats foraged selectively within the available habitat and positively selected natural forest. However, larger daily ranges were associated with higher use of degraded habitats. Home range geometry and composition of focal foraging areas indicated that wider ranging bats performed directional foraging bouts from natural to degraded forest sites traversing the matrix over distances of up to three hundred meters. This behavior demonstrates the potential of frugivorous bats to functionally connect fragmented areas by providing ecosystem services between natural and degraded sites, and highlights the need for conservation of natural habitat patches within agricultural landscapes that meet the roosting requirements of bats.

  12. Movement reveals scale dependence in habitat selection of a large ungulate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northrup, Joseph; Anderson, Charles R.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Wittemyer, George

    2016-01-01

    Ecological processes operate across temporal and spatial scales. Anthropogenic disturbances impact these processes, but examinations of scale dependence in impacts are infrequent. Such examinations can provide important insight to wildlife–human interactions and guide management efforts to reduce impacts. We assessed spatiotemporal scale dependence in habitat selection of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the Piceance Basin of Colorado, USA, an area of ongoing natural gas development. We employed a newly developed animal movement method to assess habitat selection across scales defined using animal-centric spatiotemporal definitions ranging from the local (defined from five hour movements) to the broad (defined from weekly movements). We extended our analysis to examine variation in scale dependence between night and day and assess functional responses in habitat selection patterns relative to the density of anthropogenic features. Mule deer displayed scale invariance in the direction of their response to energy development features, avoiding well pads and the areas closest to roads at all scales, though with increasing strength of avoidance at coarser scales. Deer displayed scale-dependent responses to most other habitat features, including land cover type and habitat edges. Selection differed between night and day at the finest scales, but homogenized as scale increased. Deer displayed functional responses to development, with deer inhabiting the least developed ranges more strongly avoiding development relative to those with more development in their ranges. Energy development was a primary driver of habitat selection patterns in mule deer, structuring their behaviors across all scales examined. Stronger avoidance at coarser scales suggests that deer behaviorally mediated their interaction with development, but only to a degree. At higher development densities than seen in this area, such mediation may not be possible and thus maintenance of sufficient

  13. Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Availability and Configuration for an Endemic Coastal Alpine Bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle M Jackson

    Full Text Available North America's coastal mountains are particularly vulnerable to climate change, yet harbour a number of endemic species. With little room "at the top" to track shifting climate envelopes, alpine species may be especially negatively affected by climate-induced habitat fragmentation. We ask how climate change will affect the total amount, mean patch size, and number of patches of suitable habitat for Vancouver Island White-tailed Ptarmigan (Lagopus leucura saxatilis; VIWTP, a threatened, endemic alpine bird. Using a Random Forest model and a unique dataset consisting of citizen science observations combined with field surveys, we predict the distribution and configuration of potential suitable summer habitat for VIWTP under baseline and future (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s climates using three general circulation models and two greenhouse gas scenarios. VIWTP summer habitat is predicted to decline by an average of 25%, 44%, and 56% by the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s, respectively, under the low greenhouse gas scenario and 27%, 59%, and 74% under the high scenario. Habitat patches are predicted to become fragmented, with a 52-79% reduction in mean patch size. The average elevation of suitable habitat patches is expected to increase, reflecting a loss of patches at lower elevations. Thus ptarmigan are in danger of being "squeezed off the mountain", as their remaining suitable habitat will be increasingly confined to mountaintops in the center of the island. The extent to which ptarmigan will be able to persist in increasingly fragmented habitat is unclear. Much will depend on their ability to move throughout a more heterogeneous landscape, utilize smaller breeding areas, and survive increasingly variable climate extremes. Our results emphasize the importance of continued monitoring and protection for high elevation specialist species, and suggest that White-tailed Ptarmigan should be considered an indicator species for alpine ecosystems in the face of

  14. Habitat suitability modeling for the endangered Hawaiian petrel on Kauai and analysis of predicted habitat overlap with the Newell’s shearwater

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    Jeff R. Troy

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The endangered Hawaiian petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis is endemic to the main Hawaiian Islands and has undergone a breeding range contraction since the arrival of humans. Using abiotic and biotic environmental variables, we developed a terrestrial habitat suitability model for the species on the island of Kauai based on contemporary sites where the species is known (or strongly suspected to nest, as well as a habitat/threat-isolation index that combined predictions from this suitability model with spatial information on two anthropogenic threats to the species. After accounting for large-scale relative spatial positioning of sites in modeling procedures, the habitat suitability model suggests that the probability that a location on Kauai could be suitable for Hawaiian petrel nesting activity increases with increasing mean annual wind speed, and may also increase somewhat with increasing slope and native vegetation cover. The habitat suitability model (which does not incorporate spatial information on anthropogenic threats to the species predicts approximately 74 km2 of Kauai, mostly in the interior of the island, as being potentially suitable with predicted probability > 0.7 for Hawaiian petrel terrestrial activity, and about 35 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9. Encouragingly, almost 50 km2 of land with predicted probability > 0.7 and almost 24 km2 with predicted probability > 0.9 is currently protected, being located on either government or private reserve land. Based on the habitat/threat-isolation index, most land predicted to be both suitable (based on environmental variables and as isolated from threats as a large number of the known contemporary Hawaiian petrel sites, is found in government and private reserves. Some degree of predicted habitat overlap between the Hawaiian petrel and Newell’s shearwater (Puffinus newelli, another Hawaiian seabird of conservation concern, suggests that some of the same larger tracts of land

  15. North American Brant: Effects of changes in habitat and climate on population dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, David H.; Reed, Austin; Sedinger, James S.; Black, Jeffrey M.; Derksen, Dirk V.; Castelli, Paul M.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the importance of key habitats used by four nesting populations of nearctic brant (Branta bernicla) and discuss the potential relationship between changes in these habitats and population dynamics of brant. Nearctic brant, in contrast to most geese, rely on marine habitats and native intertidal plants during the non-breeding season, particularly the seagrass, Zostera, and the macroalgae, Ulva. Atlantic and Eastern High Arctic brant have experienced the greatest degradation of their winter habitats (northeastern United States and Ireland, respectively) and have also shown the most plasticity in feeding behavior. Black and Western High Arctic brant of the Pacific Flyway are the most dependent on Zostera, and are undergoing a shift in winter distribution that is likely related to climate change and its associated effects on Zostera dynamics. Variation in breeding propensity of Black Brant associated with winter location and climate strongly suggests that food abundance on the wintering grounds directly affects reproductive performance in these geese. In summer, salt marshes, especially those containing Carex and Puccinellia, are key habitats for raising young, while lake shorelines with fine freshwater grasses and sedges are important for molting birds. Availability and abundance of salt marshes has a direct effect on growth and recruitment of goslings and ultimately, plays an important role in regulating size of local brant populations. ?? 2005 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  16. An index of reservoir habitat impairment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miranda, L.E.; Hunt, K.M.

    2011-01-01

    Fish habitat impairment resulting from natural and anthropogenic watershed and in-lake processes has in many cases reduced the ability of reservoirs to sustain native fish assemblages and fisheries quality. Rehabilitation of impaired reservoirs is hindered by the lack of a method suitable for scoring impairment status. To address this limitation, an index of reservoir habitat impairment (IRHI) was developed by merging 14 metrics descriptive of common impairment sources, with each metric scored from 0 (no impairment) to 5 (high impairment) by fisheries scientists with local knowledge. With a plausible range of 5 to 25, distribution of the IRHI scores ranged from 5 to 23 over 482 randomly selected reservoirs dispersed throughout the USA. The IRHI reflected five impairment factors including siltation, structural habitat, eutrophication, water regime, and aquatic plants. The factors were weakly related to key reservoir characteristics including reservoir area, depth, age, and usetype, suggesting that common reservoir descriptors are poor predictors of fish habitat impairment. The IRHI is rapid and inexpensive to calculate, provides an easily understood measure of the overall habitat impairment, allows comparison of reservoirs and therefore prioritization of restoration activities, and may be used to track restoration progress. The major limitation of the IRHI is its reliance on unstandardized professional judgment rather than standardized empirical measurements. ?? 2010 US Government.

  17. Environmental and Anthropogenic Factors Influencing Salamanders in Riparian Forests: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hannah L. Clipp

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Salamanders and riparian forests are intimately interconnected. Salamanders are integral to ecosystem functions, contributing to vertebrate biomass and complex food webs in riparian forests. In turn, these forests are critical ecosystems that perform many environmental services, facilitate high biodiversity and species richness, and provide habitat to salamander populations. Due to the global decline of amphibians, it is important to understand, as thoroughly and holistically as possible, the roles of environmental parameters and the impact of human activities on salamander abundance and diversity in riparian forests. To determine the population responses of salamanders to a variety of environmental factors and anthropogenic activities, we conducted a review of published literature that compared salamander abundance and diversity, and then summarized and synthesized the data into general patterns. We identify stream quality, leaf litter and woody debris, riparian buffer width, and soil characteristics as major environmental factors influencing salamander populations in riparian forests, describe and explain salamander responses to those factors, and discuss the effects of anthropogenic activities such as timber harvest, prescribed fires, urbanization, road construction, and habitat fragmentation. This review can assist land and natural resource managers in anticipating the consequences of human activities and preparing strategic conservation plans.

  18. Hopes and challenges for giant panda conservation under climate change in the Qinling Mountains of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Minghao; Guan, Tianpei; Hou, Meng; Liu, Gang; Zhou, Tianyuan

    2017-01-01

    One way that climate change will impact animal distributions is by altering habitat suitability and habitat fragmentation. Understanding the impacts of climate change on currently threatened species is of immediate importance because complex conservation planning will be required. Here, we mapped changes to the distribution, suitability, and fragmentation of giant panda habitat under climate change and quantified the direction and elevation of habitat shift and fragmentation patterns. These data were used to develop a series of new conservation strategies for the giant panda. Qinling Mountains, Shaanxi, China. Data from the most recent giant panda census, habitat factors, anthropogenic disturbance, climate variables, and climate predictions for the year 2050 (averaged across four general circulation models) were used to project giant panda habitat in Maxent. Differences in habitat patches were compared between now and 2050. While climate change will cause a 9.1% increase in suitable habitat and 9% reduction in subsuitable habitat by 2050, no significant net variation in the proportion of suitable and subsuitable habitat was found. However, a distinct climate change-induced habitat shift of 11 km eastward by 2050 is predicted firstly. Climate change will reduce the fragmentation of suitable habitat at high elevations and exacerbate the fragmentation of subsuitable habitat below 1,900 m above sea level. Reduced fragmentation at higher elevations and worsening fragmentation at lower elevations have the potential to cause overcrowding of giant pandas at higher altitudes, further exacerbating habitat shortage in the central Qinling Mountains. The habitat shift to the east due to climate change may provide new areas for giant pandas but poses severe challenges for future conservation.

  19. Habitat associations drive species vulnerability to climate change in boreal forests

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mazziotta, Adriano; Triviño, María; Tikkanen, Olli-Pekka

    2016-01-01

    if species sensitivity, the species ability to tolerate climatic variations determined by traits, plays a key role in determining vulnerability. We analyse the role of species’ habitat associations, a proxy for sensitivity, in explaining vulnerability for two poorly-known but species-rich taxa in boreal...... forest, saproxylic beetles and fungi, using three IPCC emissions scenarios. Towards the end of the 21st century we projected an improvement in habitat quality associated with an increase of deadwood, an important resource for species, as a consequence of increased tree growth under high emissions...... scenarios. However, climate change will potentially reduce habitat suitability for ~9–43 % of the threatened deadwood-associated species. This loss is likely caused by future increase in timber extraction and decomposition rates causing higher deadwood turnover, which have a strong negative effect on boreal...

  20. Using body mass dynamics to examine long-term habitat shifts of arctic-molting geese: Evidence for ecological change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Tyler L.; Flint, Paul L.; Derksen, Dirk V.; Schmutz, Joel A.; Taylor, Eric J.; Bollinger, Karen S.

    2011-01-01

    From 1976 onward, molting brant geese (Branta bernicla) within the Teshekpuk Lake Special Area, Alaska, shifted from inland, freshwater lakes toward coastal wetlands. Two hypotheses explained this redistribution: (1) ecological change: redistribution of molting brant reflects improvements in coastal foraging habitats, which have undergone a succession toward salt-tolerant plants due to increased coastal erosion and saltwater intrusion as induced by climate change or (2) interspecific competition: greater white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons) populations increased 12-fold at inland lakes, limiting food availability and forcing brant into coastal habitats. Both hypotheses presume that brant redistributions were driven by food availability; thus, body mass dynamics may provide insight into the relevance of these hypotheses. We compared body mass dynamics of molting brant across decades (1978, 1987–1992, 2005–2007) and, during 2005–2007, across habitats (coastal vs. inland). Brant lost body mass during molt in all three decades. At inland habitats, rates of mass loss progressively decreased by decade despite the increased number of greater white-fronted geese. These results do not support an interspecific competition hypothesis, instead suggesting that ecological change enhanced foraging habitats for brant. During 2005–2007, rates of mass loss did not vary by habitat. Thus, while habitats have improved from earlier decades, our results cannot distinguish between ecological changes at inland versus coastal habitats. However, we speculate that coastal forage quality has improved beyond that of inland habitats and that the body mass benefits of these higher quality foods are offset by the disproportionate number of brant now molting coastally.

  1. Anthropogenic influences on macro-level mammal occupancy in the Appalachian Trail corridor.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter L Erb

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic effects on wildlife are typically assessed at the local level, but it is often difficult to extrapolate to larger spatial extents. Macro-level occupancy studies are one way to assess impacts of multiple disturbance factors that might vary over different geographic extents. Here we assess anthropogenic effects on occupancy and distribution for several mammal species within the Appalachian Trail (AT, a forest corridor that extends across a broad section of the eastern United States. Utilizing camera traps and a large volunteer network of citizen scientists, we were able to sample 447 sites along a 1024 km section of the AT to assess the effects of available habitat, hunting, recreation, and roads on eight mammal species. Occupancy modeling revealed the importance of available forest to all species except opossums (Didelphis virginiana and coyotes (Canis latrans. Hunting on adjoining lands was the second strongest predictor of occupancy for three mammal species, negatively influencing black bears (Ursus americanus and bobcats (Lynx rufus, while positively influencing raccoons (Procyon lotor. Modeling also indicated an avoidance of high trail use areas by bears and proclivity towards high use areas by red fox (Vulpes vulpes. Roads had the lowest predictive power on species occupancy within the corridor and were only significant for deer. The occupancy models stress the importance of compounding direct and indirect anthropogenic influences operating at the regional level. Scientists and managers should consider these human impacts and their potential combined influence on wildlife persistence when assessing optimal habitat or considering management actions.

  2. Agricultural Management and Climatic Change Are the Major Drivers of Biodiversity Change in the UK.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiona Burns

    Full Text Available Action to reduce anthropogenic impact on the environment and species within it will be most effective when targeted towards activities that have the greatest impact on biodiversity. To do this effectively we need to better understand the relative importance of different activities and how they drive changes in species' populations. Here, we present a novel, flexible framework that reviews evidence for the relative importance of these drivers of change and uses it to explain recent alterations in species' populations. We review drivers of change across four hundred species sampled from a broad range of taxonomic groups in the UK. We found that species' population change (~1970-2012 has been most strongly impacted by intensive management of agricultural land and by climatic change. The impact of the former was primarily deleterious, whereas the impact of climatic change to date has been more mixed. Findings were similar across the three major taxonomic groups assessed (insects, vascular plants and vertebrates. In general, the way a habitat was managed had a greater impact than changes in its extent, which accords with the relatively small changes in the areas occupied by different habitats during our study period, compared to substantial changes in habitat management. Of the drivers classified as conservation measures, low-intensity management of agricultural land and habitat creation had the greatest impact. Our framework could be used to assess the relative importance of drivers at a range of scales to better inform our policy and management decisions. Furthermore, by scoring the quality of evidence, this framework helps us identify research gaps and needs.

  3. Evaluating mood changes in response to anthropogenic noise with a response-slowing task in three species of zoo-housed primates

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine A. Cronin

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In the zoo environment, anthropogenic noise is common as sound levels fluctuate due to visitors, construction, habitat design, and special events. In this study, changes in the mood of three species of zoo-housed primates in response to a loud annual event were evaluated with the response-slowing paradigm. In this paradigm, animals experiencing anxiety slow responses on simple cognitive tasks when emotional content is displayed. Following a previously validated approach, we measured latencies to touch potentially threatening (conspecific faces with directed gaze and non-threatening (conspecific faces with averted gaze images overlaid on a grey square, relative to neutral control images (grey squares only on a touchscreen. In Experiment 1, four Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata were tested in two conditions: during a baseline (non-stressful period and opportunistically during three days during which loud jets frequently flew overhead. Results indicated a significant effect of condition, with an increase in latency to touch images of conspecific faces relative to control images during the days of the loud event. In Experiment 2, chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes, n = 4 and western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla, n = 2 were tested during the same loud event following a similar methodology. The results revealed subtle changes across conditions; however, this was likely driven by the apes increasing their response speed to face stimuli relative to control stimuli over time (habituation. These findings suggest that the macaques, but not the apes, underwent detectable affective changes during the loud event. With additional development, this relatively simple paradigm may be an effective and feasible way to evaluate real-time changes in the mood of zoo-housed animals.

  4. Applying network theory to prioritize multispecies habitat networks that are robust to climate and land-use change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albert, Cécile H; Rayfield, Bronwyn; Dumitru, Maria; Gonzalez, Andrew

    2017-12-01

    Designing connected landscapes is among the most widespread strategies for achieving biodiversity conservation targets. The challenge lies in simultaneously satisfying the connectivity needs of multiple species at multiple spatial scales under uncertain climate and land-use change. To evaluate the contribution of remnant habitat fragments to the connectivity of regional habitat networks, we developed a method to integrate uncertainty in climate and land-use change projections with the latest developments in network-connectivity research and spatial, multipurpose conservation prioritization. We used land-use change simulations to explore robustness of species' habitat networks to alternative development scenarios. We applied our method to 14 vertebrate focal species of periurban Montreal, Canada. Accounting for connectivity in spatial prioritization strongly modified conservation priorities and the modified priorities were robust to uncertain climate change. Setting conservation priorities based on habitat quality and connectivity maintained a large proportion of the region's connectivity, despite anticipated habitat loss due to climate and land-use change. The application of connectivity criteria alongside habitat-quality criteria for protected-area design was efficient with respect to the amount of area that needs protection and did not necessarily amplify trade-offs among conservation criteria. Our approach and results are being applied in and around Montreal and are well suited to the design of ecological networks and green infrastructure for the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in other regions, in particular regions around large cities, where connectivity is critically low. © 2017 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. Hungry Horse Dam Fisheries Mitigation : Fish Passage and Habitat Improvement in the Upper Flathead River Basin, 1991-1996 Progress Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knotek, W.Ladd; Deleray, Mark; Marotz, Brian L.

    1997-08-01

    In the past 50 years, dramatic changes have occurred in the Flathead Lake and River system. Degradation of fishery resources has been evident, in part due to deterioration of aquatic habitat and introduction of non-endemic fish and invertebrate species. Habitat loss has been attributed to many factors including the construction and operation of Hungry Horse Dam, unsound land use practices, urban development, and other anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Fish migration has also been limited by barriers such as dams and impassible culverts. Cumulatively, these factors have contributed to declines in the distribution and abundance of native fish populations. Recovery of fish populations requires that a watershed approach be developed that incorporates long-term aquatic habitat needs and promotes sound land use practices and cooperation among natural resource management agencies. In this document, the authors (1) describe completed and ongoing habitat improvement and fish passage activities under the Hungry Horse Fisheries Mitigation Program, (2) describe recently identified projects that are in the planning stage, and (3) develop a framework for identifying prioritizing, implementing, and evaluating future fish habitat improvement and passage projects.

  6. Deep-sea seabed habitats: Do they support distinct mega-epifaunal communities that have different vulnerabilities to anthropogenic disturbance?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowden, David A.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Leduc, Daniel; Beaumont, Jennifer; Clark, Malcolm R.

    2016-01-01

    Growing economic interest in seabed resources in the deep-sea highlights the need for information about the spatial distribution and vulnerability to disturbance of benthic habitats and fauna. Categorisation of seabed habitats for management is often based on topographic features such as canyons and seamounts that can be distinguished using regional bathymetry ('mega-habitats'). This is practical but because such habitats are contiguous with others, there is potential for overlap in the communities associated with them. Because concepts of habitat and community vulnerability are based on the traits of individual taxa, the nature and extent of differences between communities have implications for strategies to manage the environmental effects of resource use. Using towed video camera transects, we surveyed mega-epifaunal communities of three topographically-defined habitats (canyon, seamount or knoll, and continental slope) and two physico-chemically defined meso-scale habitats (cold seep and hydrothermal vent) in two regions off New Zealand to assess whether each supports a distinct type of community. Cold seep and hydrothermal vent communities were strongly distinct from those in other habitats. Across the other habitats, however, distinctions between communities were often weak and were not consistent between regions. Dissimilarities among communities across all habitats were stronger and the density of filter-feeding taxa was higher in the Bay of Plenty than on the Hikurangi Margin, whereas densities of predatory and scavenging taxa were higher on the Hikurangi Margin. Substratum diversity at small spatial scales (the general utility of topographically-defined mega-habitats in environmental management, (2) fine-scale survey of individual features is necessary to identify the locations, characteristics, and extents of ecologically important or vulnerable seabed communities, and (3) evaluation of habitat vulnerability to future events should be in the context of

  7. Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis, in the Mojave Desert, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inman, Richard D.; Esque, Todd C.; Nussear, Kenneth E.; Leitner, Philip; Matocq, Marjorie D.; Weisberg, Peter J.; Dilts, Thomas E.

    2016-01-01

    Predicting changes in species distributions under a changing climate is becoming widespread with the use of species distribution models (SDMs). The resulting predictions of future potential habitat can be cast in light of planned land use changes, such as urban expansion and energy development to identify areas with potential conflict. However, SDMs rarely incorporate an understanding of dispersal capacity, and therefore assume unlimited dispersal in potential range shifts under uncertain climate futures. We use SDMs to predict future distributions of the Mojave ground squirrel, Xerospermophilus mohavensis Merriam, and incorporate partial dispersal models informed by field data on juvenile dispersal to assess projected impact of climate change and energy development on future distributions of X. mohavensis. Our models predict loss of extant habitat, but also concurrent gains of new habitat under two scenarios of future climate change. Under the B1 emissions scenario- a storyline describing a convergent world with emphasis on curbing greenhouse gas emissions- our models predicted losses of up to 64% of extant habitat by 2080, while under the increased greenhouse gas emissions of the A2 scenario, we suggest losses of 56%. New potential habitat may become available to X. mohavensis, thereby offsetting as much as 6330 km2 (50%) of the current habitat lost. Habitat lost due to planned energy development was marginal compared to habitat lost from changing climates, but disproportionately affected current habitat. Future areas of overlap in potential habitat between the two climate change scenarios are identified and discussed in context of proposed energy development.

  8. Climate change and anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems and countermeasures in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nian-Zhi Jiao

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The ecosystems of China seas and coasts are undergoing rapid changes under the strong influences of both global climate change and anthropogenic activities. To understand the scope of these changes and the mechanisms behind them is of paramount importance for the sustainable development of China, and for the establishment of national policies on environment protection and climate change mitigation. Here we provide a brief review of the impacts of global climate change and human activities on the oceans in general, and on the ecosystems of China seas and coasts in particular. More importantly, we discuss the challenges we are facing and propose several research foci for China seas/coasts ecosystem studies, including long-term time series observations on multiple scales, facilities for simulation study, blue carbon, coastal ecological security, prediction of ecosystem evolution and ecosystem-based management. We also establish a link to the Future Earth program from the perspectives of two newly formed national alliances, the China Future Ocean Alliance and the Pan-China Ocean Carbon Alliance.

  9. Disentangling the effects of land-use change, climate and CO2 on projected future European habitat types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lehsten, V; Sykes, M.T.; Scott, A.V.; Tzanopoulis, A.; Kallimanis, A.; Verburg, P.H.; Schulp, C.J.E.; Potts, S.G.; Vogiatzakis, I.

    2015-01-01

    Aim: To project the potential European distribution of seven broad habitat categories (needle-leaved, broad-leaved, mixed and mediterranean forest, urban, grassland and cropland) in order to assess effects of land use, climate change and increase in CO2 on predicted habitat changes up to

  10. An artificial water body provides habitat for an endangered estuarine seahorse species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Claassens, Louw

    2016-10-01

    Anthropogenic development, especially the transformation of natural habitats to artificial, is a growing concern within estuaries and coastal areas worldwide. Thesen Islands marina, an artificial water body, added 25 ha of new estuarine habitat to the Knysna Estuary in South Africa, home to the Knysna seahorse. This study aimed to answer: (I) Can an artificial water body provide suitable habitat for an endangered seahorse species? And if so (II) what characteristics of this new habitat are important in terms of seahorse utilization? Four major habitat types were identified within the marina canals: (I) artificial reno mattress (wire baskets filled with rocks); (II) Codium tenue beds; (III) mixed vegetation on sediment; and (IV) barren canal floor. Seahorses were found throughout the marina system with significantly higher densities within the reno mattress habitat. The artificial water body, therefore, has provided suitable habitat for Hippocampus capensis, a noteworthy finding in the current environment of coastal development and the increasing shift from natural to artificial.

  11. Change of the Asian dust source region deduced from the composition of anthropogenic radionuclides in surface soil in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Igarashi

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Recent climate change, especially during the 2000s, may be the primary reason for the expansion of the Asian dust source region. The change in the dust source region was investigated by examining anthropogenic radionuclides contained in surface soil samples from Mongolia. Surface soil was globally labeled by radioactive fallout from nuclear testing during the late 1950s and early 1960s, but there are no current direct sources for anthropogenic radionuclides in the air (before the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in 2011. Radionuclides in the atmosphere are therefore carried mainly by wind-blown dust from surface soil, that is, aeolian dust. Asian dust carries traces of 90Sr, 137Cs, and other anthropogenic radionuclides; the heaviest deposition occurs in spring and has been recorded in Japan since the early 1990s. The composition of anthropogenic radionuclides in atmospheric depositions would be affected by a change in the dust source. Previous studies of atmospheric deposition at long-term monitoring sites (e.g. in Tsukuba, Japan have detected changes in the 137Cs/90Sr ratio and in the specific activity of the radionuclides. These changes in the composition of observed atmospheric depositions are supposed to reflect changes in the climatic conditions of the dust source region. To investigate this dust source change, we conducted a field survey of radionuclides (90Sr and 137Cs in surface soil samples in September 2007 in the eastern and southern regions of Mongolia, where dust storms have occurred more frequently since 2000. The specific activities of both radionuclides as well as the 137Cs/90Sr ratio in the surface soil were well correlated with annual average precipitation in the Mongolian desert-steppe zone. Higher specific activities and a higher 137Cs/90Sr ratio were found in grassland regions that experienced greater

  12. Separating natural acidity from anthropogenic acidification in the spring flood of northern Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laudon, Hjalmar

    2000-01-01

    Spring flood is an occasion for transient hydrochemical changes that profoundly effect the biodiversity of the aquatic ecosystem. Spring flood is also very susceptible to anthropogenic acidification. Belief that acid deposition is primarily responsible for pH decline during spring flood has been an important factor in the decision to spend close to one billion Swedish crowns to lime surface waters in northern Sweden during the last decade. The objective of this work is to present an operational tool, the Boreal Dilution Model (BDM), for separating and quantifying the anthropogenic and natural contributions to episodic acidification during spring flood episodes in northern Sweden. The limited data requirements of 10-15 stream water samples before and during spring flood make the BDM suitable for widespread use in environmental monitoring programs. This creates a possibility for distinguishing trends and spatial patterns in the human impact as well as natural pH decline. The results from applying the BDM, and a one point 'pBDM' version of the model, in northern Sweden demonstrate that the anthropogenic component associated with spring flood episodes is now generally limited. Instead it is the combination of natural organic acidity and dilution of the buffering capacity that is the major driving mechanism of episodic acidity during spring flood events in the region. While the anthropogenic component of episodic acidification generally contributes 0.1 to 0.3 pH units to the natural pH decline of up to 2.5 pH units, the current regional extent of areas that are severely affected by anthropogenically driven episodes is approximately 6%. Prior to the initiation of the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's 'Episode Project' the limited spring flood data together with lack of a systematic methodology for determining liming candidates forced the liming authorities to base the remediation strategy in northern Sweden on biological indications. But, since there are more

  13. Factors affecting seasonal habitat use, and predicted range of two tropical deer in Indonesian rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahman, Dede Aulia; Gonzalez, Georges; Haryono, Mohammad; Muhtarom, Aom; Firdaus, Asep Yayus; Aulagnier, Stéphane

    2017-07-01

    There is an urgent recognized need for conservation of tropical forest deer. In order to identify some environmental factors affecting conservation, we analyzed the seasonal habitat use of two Indonesian deer species, Axis kuhlii in Bawean Island and Muntiacus muntjak in south-western Java Island, in response to several physical, climatic, biological, and anthropogenic variables. Camera trapping was performed in different habitat types during both wet and dry season to record these elusive species. The highest number of photographs was recorded in secondary forest and during the dry season for both Bawean deer and red muntjac. In models, anthropogenic and climatic variables were the main predictors of habitat use. Distances to cultivated area and to settlement were the most important for A. kuhlii in the dry season. Distances to cultivated area and annual rainfall were significant for M. muntjak in both seasons. Then we modelled their predictive range using Maximum entropy modelling (Maxent). We concluded that forest landscape is the fundamental scale for deer management, and that secondary forests are potentially important landscape elements for deer conservation. Important areas for conservation were identified accounting of habitat transformation in both study areas.

  14. Features of anthropogenic changes in river hydrological parameters (for example Samara river.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dovganenko D.A.

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Conducted attempt to analyze the nature of the mechanism of action of anthropogenic factors (in this case, mine water discharge to replace the water regime g. Samara. With typical river hydrographs built for the periods from 1952 to 1962 and from 1963 to 1975, revealed the instability of the spring floods, increased average long-term water consumption and increase the share of underground runoff. Approximately set the starting point changes the water regime of the river and found an association between increasing water inflow of mine water and increase average water discharge of Samara.

  15. Predation and habitat modification synergistically interact to control bivalve recruitment on intertidal mudflats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heide, T.; Tielens, E.; van der Zee, E.M.; Weerman, E.J.; Holthuijsen, S.; Eriksson, B.K.; Piersma, T.; van de Koppel, J.; Olff, H.

    2014-01-01

    Bivalves are key components of coastal ecosystems because they link pelagic and benthic food webs, and shape the landscape through habitat modification. Nevertheless, many bivalve stocks have dramatically declined, and recruitment failure due to (anthropogenically-) increased predation by

  16. Predation and habitat modification synergistically interact to control bivalve recruitment on intertidal mudflats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Heide, Tjisse; Tielens, Elske; van der Zee, Els; Weerman, Ellen J.; Holthuijsen, Sander; Eriksson, Britas Klemens; Piersma, Theun; van de Koppel, Johan; Olff, Han

    Bivalves are key components of coastal ecosystems because they link pelagic and benthic food webs, and shape the landscape through habitat modification. Nevertheless, many bivalve stocks have dramatically declined, and recruitment failure due to (anthropogenically-) increased predation by

  17. A study of climate change and anthropogenic impacts in West Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wittig, Rüdiger; König, Konstantin; Schmidt, Marco; Szarzynski, Jörg

    2007-05-01

    During the last decades ecological conditions in West Africa have dramatically changed. Very evident is the climate change, which has resulted in a southward shift of the climate zones, e.g. a spread of the desert (Sahara) into the Sahelian zone. After the drought period of the early 1970s and 1980s, livestock density increased resulting in an intensification of grazing pressure. This anthropogenous phenomenon leads to similar landscape changes as those caused by the climate. Only very few investigations exist on vegetation dynamics, climate changes and land use changes for the Sudanian zone. The paper presents data on changes of precipitation, of land use, of the geographical range of species, and of the composition of the flora, which have to be regarded as proofs of the sahelisation of large areas of the Sudanian zone. Area of investigation: Burkina Faso. Precipitation data analysis: precipitation data from 67 stations; time series analysis and geo-statistical spatial interpolation. Analysis of land use change: Landsat satellite MSS and ETM+ data, acquired for two different dates between 1972 and 2001 analyzed by the software ERDAS/IMAGINE version 8.6 and ArcView 3.2 with the Spatial Analyst extension. Intensive ground truthing (160 training areas). Inventory of the flora: based on the data of the Herbarium Senckenbergianum (FR) in Frankfurt, Germany, and of the herbarium of the university of Ouagadougou (OUA), Burkina Faso, as well as on various investigations on the vegetation of Burkina Faso carried out in the years 1990 to 2005 by the team of the senior author. Life form analysis of the flora: based on the inventory of permanent plots. Precipitation: Remarkable latitudinal shift of isohyets towards the South translates to a general reduction of average rainfall in great parts of the country. The last decade (1990-1999) shows some improvement, however, the more humid conditions of the 1950's and 1960's are not yet established again. Landcover change: In the

  18. Can oceanic reanalyses be used to assess recent anthropogenic changes and low-frequency internal variability of upper ocean temperature?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Corre, L.; Terray, L.; Weaver, A. [Cerfacs-CNRS, Toulouse (France); Balmaseda, M. [E.C.M.W.F, Reading (United Kingdom); Ribes, A. [CNRM-GAME, Meteo France-CNRS, Toulouse (France)

    2012-03-15

    A multivariate analysis of the upper ocean thermal structure is used to examine the recent long-term changes and decadal variability in the upper ocean heat content as represented by model-based ocean reanalyses and a model-independent objective analysis. The three variables used are the mean temperature above the 14 C isotherm, its depth and a fixed depth mean temperature (250 m mean temperature). The mean temperature above the 14 C isotherm is a convenient, albeit simple, way to isolate thermodynamical changes by filtering out dynamical changes related to thermocline vertical displacements. The global upper ocean observations and reanalyses exhibit very similar warming trends (0.045 C per decade) over the period 1965-2005, superimposed with marked decadal variability in the 1970s and 1980s. The spatial patterns of the regression between indices (representative of anthropogenic changes and known modes of internal decadal variability), and the three variables associated with the ocean heat content are used as fingerprint to separate out the different contributions. The choice of variables provides information about the local heat absorption, vertical distribution and horizontal redistribution of heat, this latter being suggestive of changes in ocean circulation. The discrepancy between the objective analysis and the reanalyses, as well as the spread among the different reanalyses, are used as a simple estimate of ocean state uncertainties. Two robust findings result from this analysis: (1) the signature of anthropogenic changes is qualitatively different from those of the internal decadal variability associated to the Pacific Interdecadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Meridional Oscillation, and (2) the anthropogenic changes in ocean heat content do not only consist of local heat absorption, but are likely related with changes in the ocean circulation, with a clear shallowing of the tropical thermocline in the Pacific and Indian oceans. (orig.)

  19. Possible influence of anthropogenic aerosols on cirrus clouds and anthropogenic forcing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. E. Penner

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Cirrus clouds have a net warming effect on the atmosphere and cover about 30% of the Earth's area. Aerosol particles initiate ice formation in the upper troposphere through modes of action that include homogeneous freezing of solution droplets, heterogeneous nucleation on solid particles immersed in a solution, and deposition nucleation of vapor onto solid particles. Here, we examine the possible change in ice number concentration from anthropogenic soot originating from surface sources of fossil fuel and biomass burning, from anthropogenic sulfate aerosols, and from aircraft that deposit their aerosols directly in the upper troposphere. We use a version of the aerosol model that predicts sulfate number and mass concentrations in 3-modes and includes the formation of sulfate aerosol through homogeneous binary nucleation as well as a version that only predicts sulfate mass. The 3-mode version best represents the Aitken aerosol nuclei number concentrations in the upper troposphere which dominated ice crystal residues in the upper troposphere. Fossil fuel and biomass burning soot aerosols with this version exert a radiative forcing of −0.3 to −0.4 Wm−2 while anthropogenic sulfate aerosols and aircraft aerosols exert a forcing of −0.01 to 0.04 Wm−2 and −0.16 to −0.12 Wm−2, respectively, where the range represents the forcing from two parameterizations for ice nucleation. The sign of the forcing in the mass-only version of the model depends on which ice nucleation parameterization is used and can be either positive or negative. The magnitude of the forcing in cirrus clouds can be comparable to the forcing exerted by anthropogenic aerosols on warm clouds, but this forcing has not been included in past assessments of the total anthropogenic radiative forcing of climate.

  20. Food web complexity and stability across habitat connectivity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCraw, Robin M; Kratina, Pavel; Srivastava, Diane S

    2014-12-01

    The effects of habitat connectivity on food webs have been studied both empirically and theoretically, yet the question of whether empirical results support theoretical predictions for any food web metric other than species richness has received little attention. Our synthesis brings together theory and empirical evidence for how habitat connectivity affects both food web stability and complexity. Food web stability is often predicted to be greatest at intermediate levels of connectivity, representing a compromise between the stabilizing effects of dispersal via rescue effects and prey switching, and the destabilizing effects of dispersal via regional synchronization of population dynamics. Empirical studies of food web stability generally support both this pattern and underlying mechanisms. Food chain length has been predicted to have both increasing and unimodal relationships with connectivity as a result of predators being constrained by the patch occupancy of their prey. Although both patterns have been documented empirically, the underlying mechanisms may differ from those predicted by models. In terms of other measures of food web complexity, habitat connectivity has been empirically found to generally increase link density but either reduce or have no effect on connectance, whereas a unimodal relationship is expected. In general, there is growing concordance between empirical patterns and theoretical predictions for some effects of habitat connectivity on food webs, but many predictions remain to be tested over a full connectivity gradient, and empirical metrics of complexity are rarely modeled. Closing these gaps will allow a deeper understanding of how natural and anthropogenic changes in connectivity can affect real food webs.

  1. Differences in biological traits composition of benthic assemblages between unimpacted habitats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolam, S.G.; Garcia, C.; Eggleton, J.

    2017-01-01

    of unimpacted benthic assemblages vary between different sedimentary habitats. Assemblages in deep, muddy environments unaffected by anthropogenic disturbance show increased proportions of downward conveyors and surface deposit-feeders, while burrowing, diffusive mixing, scavenging and predation traits assume...... greater numerical proportions in shallower habitats. Deep, coarser sediments are numerically more dominated by sessile, upward conveyors and suspension feeders. In contrast, unimpacted assemblages of coarse sediments in shallower regions are proportionally dominated by the diffusive mixers, burrowers......, scavengers and predators. Finally, assemblages of gravelly sediments exhibit a relatively greater numerical dominance of non-bioturbators and asexual reproducers. These findings may be used to form the basis of ranking habitats along a functional sensitivity gradient...

  2. Habitat fragmentation in coastal southern California disrupts genetic connectivity in the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barr, Kelly R; Kus, Barbara E; Preston, Kristine L; Howell, Scarlett; Perkins, Emily; Vandergast, Amy G

    2015-05-01

    Achieving long-term persistence of species in urbanized landscapes requires characterizing population genetic structure to understand and manage the effects of anthropogenic disturbance on connectivity. Urbanization over the past century in coastal southern California has caused both precipitous loss of coastal sage scrub habitat and declines in populations of the cactus wren (Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus). Using 22 microsatellite loci, we found that remnant cactus wren aggregations in coastal southern California comprised 20 populations based on strict exact tests for population differentiation, and 12 genetic clusters with hierarchical Bayesian clustering analyses. Genetic structure patterns largely mirrored underlying habitat availability, with cluster and population boundaries coinciding with fragmentation caused primarily by urbanization. Using a habitat model we developed, we detected stronger associations between habitat-based distances and genetic distances than Euclidean geographic distance. Within populations, we detected a positive association between available local habitat and allelic richness and a negative association with relatedness. Isolation-by-distance patterns varied over the study area, which we attribute to temporal differences in anthropogenic landscape development. We also found that genetic bottleneck signals were associated with wildfire frequency. These results indicate that habitat fragmentation and alterations have reduced genetic connectivity and diversity of cactus wren populations in coastal southern California. Management efforts focused on improving connectivity among remaining populations may help to ensure population persistence. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  3. Recent changes in anthropogenic reactive nitrogen compounds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andronache, Constantin

    2014-05-01

    Significant anthropogenic perturbations of the nitrogen cycle are the result of rapid population growth, with mounting need for food and energy production. The increase of reactive nitrogen compounds (such as NOx, HNO3, NH3, and N2O) has a significant impact on human health, environment, and climate. NOx emissions contribute to O3 chemistry, aerosol formation and acidic precipitation. Ammonia is a notable atmospheric pollutant that may deteriorate ecosystems and contribute to respiratory problems. It reacts with acidic gases to form aerosols or is deposited back to ecosystems. The application of fertilizers accounts for most of the N2O production, adding to greenhouse gas emissions. We analyze the change of some reactive nitrogen compounds based on observations, in eastern United States. Results show that the control of NOx and SO2 emissions over the last decades caused a significant decrease of acidic deposition. The nitrate deposition is highest in eastern US, while the ammonium ion concentration is highest in central US regions. Overall, the inorganic nitrogen wet deposition from nitrate and ammonium is enhanced in central, and eastern US. Research shows that sensitive ecosystems in northeastern regions exhibit a slow recovery from the accumulated effects of acidic deposition. Given the growing demand for nitrogen in agriculture and industry, we discuss possible pathways to reduce the impact of excess reactive nitrogen on the environment.

  4. Anthropogenic shift of planktonic food web structure in a coastal lagoon by freshwater flow regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hemraj, Deevesh A.; Hossain, A.; Ye, Qifeng; Qin, Jian G.; Leterme, Sophie C.

    2017-03-01

    Anthropogenic modification of aquatic systems has diverse impacts on food web interactions and ecosystem states. To reverse the adverse effects of modified freshwater flow, adequate management of discharge is required, especially due to higher water requirements and abstractions for human use. Here, we look at the effects of anthropogenically controlled freshwater flow regimes on the planktonic food web of a Ramsar listed coastal lagoon that is under recovery from degradation. Our results show shifts in water quality and plankton community interactions associated to changes in water flow. These shifts in food web interactions represent modifications in habitat complexity and water quality. At high flow, phytoplankton-zooplankton interactions dominate the food web. Conversely, at low flow, bacteria, viruses and nano/picoplankton interactions are more dominant, with a substantial switch of the food web towards heterotrophy. This switch can be associated with excess organic matter loading, decomposition of dead organisms, and synergistic and antagonistic interactions. We suggest that a lower variability in flow amplitude could be beneficial for the long-term sustaining of water quality and food web interactions, while improving the ecosystem health of systems facing similar stresses as the Coorong.

  5. Coho Salmon Habitat in a Changing Environment-Green Valley Creek, Graton, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connor, M. D.; Kobor, J. S.; Sherwood, M. N.

    2013-12-01

    induced a cycle of channel incision in upper GVC, deepening and widening channels. The headward extent of incision is identified, and upstream remnant valley surfaces remain undissected. Remnant valleys preserve a substantial alluvial aquifer that may be another source of summer stream flow. Sedimentation has occurred downstream, caused or compounded by the dense growth of riparian vegetation on the lower floodplain which we believe has significantly altered the base level of the valley. The evidence of rapid ongoing environmental change is significant, and could affect coho salmon both positively and negatively. Our research using spatially-distributed, physically-based hydrologic and hydraulic models incorporating the interaction of surface water with ground water (MIKE FLOOD and MIKE SHE) seeks to identify controlling factors and predict the trajectory of environmental change. LiDAR topographic data have enabled modeling floodplain flows in two-dimensions and is used to evaluate over-winter habitat for coho in the floodplain. As we learn more about current and future habitat conditions we will be investigating whether on-going environmental change represents a reversion to prior conditions or a shift to new conditions that may or may not prove favorable to native fish populations in the long term.

  6. Habitat selection of black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) in Tibet: implications for species conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiang, Zuo-Fu; Huo, Sheng; Xiao, Wen

    2011-04-01

    As anthropogenic habitat changes are often considered a threat to natural ecosystems and wildlife, a sound understanding of the effects of habitat alteration on endangered species is crucial when designing management strategies or performing conservation activities. Black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are categorized as endangered on the IUCN Red List and are endemic to the trans-Himalayas in China. At present, there are only 15 groups and 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild, and they are facing intense habitat degradation with selective logging for house building and firewood. Habitat deterioration through wood extraction is occurring at Xiaochangdu, Tibet, where one stable group of R. bieti lives in a marginal habitat in the northernmost part of the species' distribution. To understand the species' response to selective logging in an extremely marginal habitat, data on habitat preference and diet composition of a group of R. bieti were collected at Xiaochangdu from 2003 to 2005. The monkeys used different habitats nonrandomly during the year. The selection index for secondary conifer forest (SC), where selective logging has occurred, was the highest of all habitat types (>1), suggesting that the groups strongly preferred SC. The monkeys fed more on buds/leaves, more on flowers/fruit/seeds, and less on lichen in SC than in primary conifer forest (PC). Dietary diversity was significantly higher in SC than in PC. These results indicate that over the short term, low-intensity disturbances may result in increased foliage diversity that enable groups of R. bieti to survive in this marginal habitat. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

  7. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chai, Shauna-Lee; Zhang, Jian; Nixon, Amy; Nielsen, Scott

    2016-01-01

    Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta's biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis), and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula). We characterise giant knotweed as 'extremely invasive', with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is 'extremely invasive' with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is 'highly invasive' with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

  8. Changes in habitat availability for outmigrating juvenile salmon (Oncorhychus spp.) following estuary restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellings, Christopher S.; Davis, Melanie; Grossman, Eric E.; Hodgson, Sayre; Turner, Kelley L.; Woo PR, Isa; Nakai, Glynnis; Takekawa, Jean E.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2016-01-01

    The restoration of the Nisqually River Delta (Washington, U.S.A.) represents one of the largest efforts toward reestablishing the ecosystem function and resilience of modified habitat in the Puget Sound, particularly for anadromous salmonid species. The opportunity for outmigrating salmon to access and benefit from the expansion of available tidal habitat can be quantified by several physical attributes, which are related to the ecological and physiological responses of juvenile salmon. We monitored a variety of physical parameters to measure changes in opportunity potential from historic, pre-restoration, and post-restoration habitat conditions at several sites across the delta. These parameters included channel morphology, water quality, tidal elevation, and landscape connectivity. We conducted fish catch surveys across the delta to determine if salmon was utilizing restored estuary habitat. Overall major channel area increased 42% and major channel length increased 131% from pre- to post-restoration conditions. Furthermore, the results of our tidal inundation model indicated that major channels were accessible up to 75% of the time, as opposed to 30% pre-restoration. Outmigrating salmon utilized this newly accessible habitat as quickly as 1 year post-restoration. The presence of salmon in restored tidal channels confirmed rapid post-restoration increases in opportunity potential on the delta despite habitat quality differences between restored and reference sites.

  9. Anthropogenic water sources and the effects on Sonoran Desert small mammal communities

    OpenAIRE

    Aaron B. Switalski; Heather L. Bateman

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic water sources (AWS) are developed water sources used as a management tool for desert wildlife species. Studies documenting the effects of AWS are often focused on game species; whereas, the effects on non-target wildlife are less understood. We used live trapping techniques to investigate rodent abundance, biomass, and diversity metrics near AWS and paired control sites; we sampled vegetation to determine rodent-habitat associations in the Sauceda Mountains of the Sonoran Desert...

  10. Recent diversification of a marine genus (Tursiops spp.) Tracks habitat preference and environmental change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Moura, Andre E.; Nielsen, Sandra Cathrine Abel; Mouatt, Julia Thidamarth Vilstrup

    2013-01-01

    in diversification was also seen for dates after the last glacial maximum. Together these data suggest the tracking of habitat preference during geographic expansions, followed by transition points reflecting habitat shifts, which were likely associated with periods of environmental change....

  11. Teaching Anthropogenic Climate Change through Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Helping Students Think Critically about Science and Ethics in Dialogue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Claire; O'Brien, Kevin J.

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is a complicated issue involving scientific data and analyses as well as political, economic, and ethical issues. In order to capture this complexity, we developed an interdisciplinary student and faculty collaboration by (1) offering introductory lectures on scientific and ethical methods to two classes, (2) assigning…

  12. Impacts of Columbia River discharge on salmonid habitat: 2. Changes in shallow-water habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kukulka, Tobias; Jay, David A.

    2003-09-01

    This is the second part of an investigation that analyzes human alteration of shallow-water habitat (SWH) available to juvenile salmonids in the tidal Lower Columbia River. Part 2 develops a one-dimensional, subtidal river stage model that explains ˜90% of the stage variance in the tidal river. This model and the tidal model developed in part 1 [, 2003] uncouple the nonlinear interaction of river tides and river stage by referring both to external forcing by river discharge, ocean tides, and atmospheric pressure. Applying the two models, daily high-water levels were predicted for a reach from rkm-50 to rkm-90 during 1974 to 1998, the period of contemporary management. Predicted water levels were related to the bathymetry and topography to determine the changes in shallow-water habitat area (SWHA) caused by flood control dikes and altered flow management. Model results suggest that diking and a >40% reduction of peak flows have reduced SWHA by ˜62% during the crucial spring freshet period during which juvenile salmon use of SWHA is maximal. Taken individually, diking and flow cycle alteration reduced spring freshet SWHA by 52% and 29%, respectively. SWHA has been both displaced to lower elevations and modified in its character because tidal range has increased. Our models of these processes are economical for the very long simulations (seasons to centuries) needed to understand historic changes and climate impacts on SWH. Through analysis of the nonlinear processes controlling surface elevation in a tidal river, we have identified some of the mechanisms that link freshwater discharge to SWH and salmonid survival.

  13. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton

    2012-09-04

    Tropical marine ecosystems are under mounting anthropogenic pressure from overfishing and habitat destruction, leading to declines in their structure and function on a global scale. Although maintaining connectivity among habitats within a seascape is necessary for preserving population resistance and resilience, quantifying movements of individuals within seascapes remains challenging. Traditional methods of identifying and valuing potential coral reef fish nursery habitats are indirect, often relying on visual surveys of abundance and correlations of size and biomass among habitats. We used compound-specific stable isotope analyses to determine movement patterns of commercially important fish populations within a coral reef seascape. This approach allowed us to quantify the relative contributions of individuals from inshore nurseries to reef populations and identify migration corridors among important habitats. Our results provided direct measurements of remarkable migrations by juvenile snapper of over 30 km, between nurseries and reefs. We also found significant plasticity in juvenile nursery residency. Although a majority of individuals on coastal reefs had used seagrass nurseries as juveniles, many adults on oceanic reefs had settled directly into reef habitats. Moreover, seascape con figuration played a critical but heretofore unrecognized role in determining connectivity among habitats. Finally, our approach provides key quantitative data necessary to estimate the value of distinctive habitats to ecosystem services provided by seascapes.

  14. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape

    KAUST Repository

    McMahon, Kelton; Berumen, Michael L.; Thorrold, Simon R.

    2012-01-01

    Tropical marine ecosystems are under mounting anthropogenic pressure from overfishing and habitat destruction, leading to declines in their structure and function on a global scale. Although maintaining connectivity among habitats within a seascape is necessary for preserving population resistance and resilience, quantifying movements of individuals within seascapes remains challenging. Traditional methods of identifying and valuing potential coral reef fish nursery habitats are indirect, often relying on visual surveys of abundance and correlations of size and biomass among habitats. We used compound-specific stable isotope analyses to determine movement patterns of commercially important fish populations within a coral reef seascape. This approach allowed us to quantify the relative contributions of individuals from inshore nurseries to reef populations and identify migration corridors among important habitats. Our results provided direct measurements of remarkable migrations by juvenile snapper of over 30 km, between nurseries and reefs. We also found significant plasticity in juvenile nursery residency. Although a majority of individuals on coastal reefs had used seagrass nurseries as juveniles, many adults on oceanic reefs had settled directly into reef habitats. Moreover, seascape con figuration played a critical but heretofore unrecognized role in determining connectivity among habitats. Finally, our approach provides key quantitative data necessary to estimate the value of distinctive habitats to ecosystem services provided by seascapes.

  15. Linking habitat mosaics and connectivity in a coral reef seascape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McMahon, Kelton W; Berumen, Michael L; Thorrold, Simon R

    2012-09-18

    Tropical marine ecosystems are under mounting anthropogenic pressure from overfishing and habitat destruction, leading to declines in their structure and function on a global scale. Although maintaining connectivity among habitats within a seascape is necessary for preserving population resistance and resilience, quantifying movements of individuals within seascapes remains challenging. Traditional methods of identifying and valuing potential coral reef fish nursery habitats are indirect, often relying on visual surveys of abundance and correlations of size and biomass among habitats. We used compound-specific stable isotope analyses to determine movement patterns of commercially important fish populations within a coral reef seascape. This approach allowed us to quantify the relative contributions of individuals from inshore nurseries to reef populations and identify migration corridors among important habitats. Our results provided direct measurements of remarkable migrations by juvenile snapper of over 30 km, between nurseries and reefs. We also found significant plasticity in juvenile nursery residency. Although a majority of individuals on coastal reefs had used seagrass nurseries as juveniles, many adults on oceanic reefs had settled directly into reef habitats. Moreover, seascape configuration played a critical but heretofore unrecognized role in determining connectivity among habitats. Finally, our approach provides key quantitative data necessary to estimate the value of distinctive habitats to ecosystem services provided by seascapes.

  16. Effects of climate-induced habitat changes on a key zooplankton species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Möller, Klas O.; Schmidt, Jörn O.; St. John, Michael

    2015-01-01

    Impacts of climate change on marine ecosystems have become increasingly apparent during the past decades. In consequence, it is necessary to study how these alterations can affect the habitat and population dynamics of key organisms. Here we used a video plankton recorder (VPR) to investigate the...

  17. Differential population responses of native and alien rodents to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and plant masting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fukasawa, Keita; Miyashita, Tadashi; Hashimoto, Takuma; Tatara, Masaya; Abe, Shintaro

    2013-12-22

    Invasive species and anthropogenic habitat alteration are major drivers of biodiversity loss. When multiple invasive species occupy different trophic levels, removing an invasive predator might cause unexpected outcomes owing to complex interactions among native and non-native prey. Moreover, external factors such as habitat alteration and resource availability can affect such dynamics. We hypothesized that native and non-native prey respond differently to an invasive predator, habitat alteration and bottom-up effects. To test the hypothesis, we used Bayesian state-space modelling to analyse 8-year data on the spatio-temporal patterns of two endemic rat species and the non-native black rat in response to the continual removal of the invasive small Indian mongoose on Amami Island, Japan. Despite low reproductive potentials, the endemic rats recovered better after mongoose removal than did the black rat. The endemic species appeared to be vulnerable to predation by mongooses, whose eradication increased the abundances of the endemic rats, but not of the black rat. Habitat alteration increased the black rat's carrying capacity, but decreased those of the endemic species. We propose that spatio-temporal monitoring data from eradication programmes will clarify the underlying ecological impacts of land-use change and invasive species, and will be useful for future habitat management.

  18. Wetlands in changed landscapes: the influence of habitat transformation on the physico-chemistry of temporary depression wetlands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, Matthew S; Day, Jenny A

    2014-01-01

    Temporary wetlands dominate the wet season landscape of temperate, semi-arid and arid regions, yet, other than their direct loss to development and agriculture, little information exists on how remaining wetlands have been altered by anthropogenic conversion of surrounding landscapes. This study investigates relationships between the extent and type of habitat transformation around temporary wetlands and their water column physico-chemical characteristics. A set of 90 isolated depression wetlands (seasonally inundated) occurring on coastal plains of the south-western Cape mediterranean-climate region of South Africa was sampled during the winter/spring wet season of 2007. Wetlands were sampled across habitat transformation gradients according to the areal cover of agriculture, urban development and alien invasive vegetation within 100 and 500 m radii of each wetland edge. We hypothesized that the principal drivers of physico-chemical conditions in these wetlands (e.g. soil properties, basin morphology) are altered by habitat transformation. Multivariate multiple regression analyses (distance-based Redundancy Analysis) indicated significant associations between wetland physico-chemistry and habitat transformation (overall transformation within 100 and 500 m, alien vegetation cover within 100 and 500 m, urban cover within 100 m); although for significant regressions the amount of variation explained was very low (range: ∼2 to ∼5.5%), relative to that explained by purely spatio-temporal factors (range: ∼35.5 to ∼43%). The nature of the relationships between each type of transformation in the landscape and individual physico-chemical variables in wetlands were further explored with univariate multiple regressions. Results suggest that conservation of relatively narrow (∼100 m) buffer strips around temporary wetlands is likely to be effective in the maintenance of natural conditions in terms of physico-chemical water quality.

  19. Wetlands in changed landscapes: the influence of habitat transformation on the physico-chemistry of temporary depression wetlands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew S Bird

    Full Text Available Temporary wetlands dominate the wet season landscape of temperate, semi-arid and arid regions, yet, other than their direct loss to development and agriculture, little information exists on how remaining wetlands have been altered by anthropogenic conversion of surrounding landscapes. This study investigates relationships between the extent and type of habitat transformation around temporary wetlands and their water column physico-chemical characteristics. A set of 90 isolated depression wetlands (seasonally inundated occurring on coastal plains of the south-western Cape mediterranean-climate region of South Africa was sampled during the winter/spring wet season of 2007. Wetlands were sampled across habitat transformation gradients according to the areal cover of agriculture, urban development and alien invasive vegetation within 100 and 500 m radii of each wetland edge. We hypothesized that the principal drivers of physico-chemical conditions in these wetlands (e.g. soil properties, basin morphology are altered by habitat transformation. Multivariate multiple regression analyses (distance-based Redundancy Analysis indicated significant associations between wetland physico-chemistry and habitat transformation (overall transformation within 100 and 500 m, alien vegetation cover within 100 and 500 m, urban cover within 100 m; although for significant regressions the amount of variation explained was very low (range: ∼2 to ∼5.5%, relative to that explained by purely spatio-temporal factors (range: ∼35.5 to ∼43%. The nature of the relationships between each type of transformation in the landscape and individual physico-chemical variables in wetlands were further explored with univariate multiple regressions. Results suggest that conservation of relatively narrow (∼100 m buffer strips around temporary wetlands is likely to be effective in the maintenance of natural conditions in terms of physico-chemical water quality.

  20. Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Charlson, R J; Schwartz, S E; Hales, J M; Cess, R D; Coakley, Jr, J A; Hansen, J E; Hofmann, D J [University of Washington, Seattle, WA (USA). Inst. for Environmental Studies, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences

    1992-01-24

    Although long considered to be of marginal importance to global climate change, tropospheric aerosol contributes substantially to radiative forcing, and anthropogenic sulfate aerosol in particular has imposed a major perturbation to this forcing. Both the direct scattering of short wavelength solar radiation and the modification of the shortwave reflective properties of clouds by sulfate aerosol particles increase planetary albedo, thereby exerting a cooling influence on the planet. Current climate forcing due to anthropogenic sulfate is estimated to be -1 to -2 watts per square metre, globally averaged. This perturbation is comparable in magnitude to current anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing but opposite in sign. Thus, the aerosol forcing has likely offset global greenhouse warming to a substantial degree. However, differences in geographical and seasonal distributions of these forcings preclude any simple compensation. Aerosol effects must be taken into account in evaluating anthropogenic influences on past, current, and projected future climate and in formulating policy regarding controls on emission of greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide. Resolution of such policy issues requires integrated research on the magnitude and geographical distribution of aerosol climate forcing and on the controlling chemical and physical processes. 73 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  1. Climate forcing by anthropogenic aerosols.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charlson, R J; Schwartz, S E; Hales, J M; Cess, R D; Coakley, J A; Hansen, J E; Hofmann, D J

    1992-01-24

    Although long considered to be of marginal importance to global climate change, tropospheric aerosol contributes substantially to radiative forcing, and anthropogenic sulfate aerosol in particular has imposed a major perturbation to this forcing. Both the direct scattering of shortwavelength solar radiation and the modification of the shortwave reflective properties of clouds by sulfate aerosol particles increase planetary albedo, thereby exerting a cooling influence on the planet. Current climate forcing due to anthropogenic sulfate is estimated to be -1 to -2 watts per square meter, globally averaged. This perturbation is comparable in magnitude to current anthropogenic greenhouse gas forcing but opposite in sign. Thus, the aerosol forcing has likely offset global greenhouse warming to a substantial degree. However, differences in geographical and seasonal distributions of these forcings preclude any simple compensation. Aerosol effects must be taken into account in evaluating anthropogenic influences on past, current, and projected future climate and in formulating policy regarding controls on emission of greenhouse gases and sulfur dioxide. Resolution of such policy issues requires integrated research on the magnitude and geographical distribution of aerosol climate forcing and on the controlling chemical and physical processes.

  2. Patterns and Determinants of Habitat Occupancy by the Asian Elephant in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Devcharan Jathanna

    Full Text Available Understanding species distribution patterns has direct ramifications for the conservation of endangered species, such as the Asian elephant Elephas maximus. However, reliable assessment of elephant distribution is handicapped by factors such as the large spatial scales of field studies, survey expertise required, the paucity of analytical approaches that explicitly account for confounding observation processes such as imperfect and variable detectability, unequal sampling probability and spatial dependence among animal detections. We addressed these problems by carrying out 'detection--non-detection' surveys of elephant signs across a c. 38,000-km(2 landscape in the Western Ghats of Karnataka, India. We analyzed the resulting sign encounter data using a recently developed modeling approach that explicitly addresses variable detectability across space and spatially dependent non-closure of occupancy, across sampling replicates. We estimated overall occupancy, a parameter useful to monitoring elephant populations, and examined key ecological and anthropogenic drivers of elephant presence. Our results showed elephants occupied 13,483 km(2 (SE = 847 km(2 corresponding to 64% of the available 21,167 km(2 of elephant habitat in the study landscape, a useful baseline to monitor future changes. Replicate-level detection probability ranged between 0.56 and 0.88, and ignoring it would have underestimated elephant distribution by 2116 km(2 or 16%. We found that anthropogenic factors predominated over natural habitat attributes in determining elephant occupancy, underscoring the conservation need to regulate them. Human disturbances affected elephant habitat occupancy as well as site-level detectability. Rainfall is not an important limiting factor in this relatively humid bioclimate. Finally, we discuss cost-effective monitoring of Asian elephant populations and the specific spatial scales at which different population parameters can be estimated. We

  3. CO2 sequestration in two mediterranean dune areas subjected to a different level of anthropogenic disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonito, Andrea; Ricotta, Carlo; Iberite, Mauro; Gratani, Loretta; Varone, Laura

    2017-09-01

    Coastal sand dunes are among the most threatened habitats, especially in the Mediterranean Basin, where the high levels of human pressure impair the presence of plant species, putting at risk the maintenance of the ecosystem services, such as CO2 sequestration provided by these habitats. The aim of this study was to analyze how disturbance-induced changes in plant species abundance patterns account for variations in annual CO2 sequestration flow (CS) of Mediterranean sand dune areas. Two sites characterized by a high (site HAD) and a lower (site LAD) anthropogenic disturbance level were selected. At both sites, plant species number, cover, height and CS based on net photosynthesis measurements were sampled. At the plant species level, our results highlighted that Ammophila arenaria and Pancratium maritimum, had a key role in CS. Moreover, the results revealed a patchy species assemblage in both sites. In particular, HAD was characterized by a higher extension of the anthropogenic aphytoic zone (64% of the total transect length) than LAD. In spite of the observed differences in plant species composition, there were not significant differences between HAD and LAD in structural and functional traits, such as plant height and net photosynthesis. As a consequence, HAD and LAD had a similar CS (443 and 421 Mg CO2 ha-1 y-1, respectively). From a monetary point of view, our estimates based on the social costs of carbon revealed that the flow of sequestered CO2 valued on an average 3181 ± 114 ha-1 year-1 (mean value for the two sites). However, considering also the value of the CO2 negative flow related to loss of vegetated area, the annual net benefit arising from CO2 sequestration amounted to 1641 and 1772 for HAD and LAD, respectively. Overall, the results highlighted the importance to maximize the efforts to preserve dune habitats by applying an effective management policy, which could allow maintaining also a regulatory ecosystem service such as CO2 sequestration.

  4. Fish thermal habitat current use and simulation of thermal habitat availability in lakes of the Argentine Patagonian Andes under climate change scenarios RCP 4.5 and RCP 8.5.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vigliano, Pablo H; Rechencq, Magalí M; Fernández, María V; Lippolt, Gustavo E; Macchi, Patricio J

    2018-09-15

    Habitat use in relation to the thermal habitat availability and food source as a forcing factor on habitat selection and use of Percichthys trucha (Creole perch), Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout), Salmo trutta (brown trout) and Salvelinus fontinalis (brook trout) were determined as well as future potential thermal habitat availability for these species under climate change scenarios Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and 8.5. This study was conducted in three interconnected lakes of Northern Patagonia (Moreno Lake system). Data on fish abundance was obtained through gill netting and hydroacoustics, and thermal profiles and fish thermal habitat suitability index curves were used to identify current species-specific thermal habitat use. Surface air temperatures from the (NEX GDDP) database for RCP scenarios 4.5 and 8.5 were used to model monthly average temperatures of the water column up to the year 2099 for all three lakes, and to determine potential future habitat availability. In addition, data on fish diet were used to determine whether food could act as a forcing factor in current habitat selection. The four species examined do not use all the thermally suitable habitats currently available to them in the three lakes, and higher fish densities are not necessarily constrained to their "fundamental thermal niches" sensu Magnuson et al. (1979), as extensive use is made of less suitable habitats. This is apparently brought about by food availability acting as a major forcing factor in habitat selection and use. Uncertainties related to the multidimensionality inherent to habitat selection and climate change imply that fish resource management in Patagonia will not be feasible through traditional incremental policies and strategic adjustments based on short-term predictions, but will have to become highly opportunistic and adaptive. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  5. Role of regression model selection and station distribution on the estimation of oceanic anthropogenic carbon change by eMLR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Plancherel

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying oceanic anthropogenic carbon uptake by monitoring interior dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC concentrations is complicated by the influence of natural variability. The "eMLR method" aims to address this issue by using empirical regression fits of the data instead of the data themselves, inferring the change in anthropogenic carbon in time by difference between predictions generated by the regressions at each time. The advantages of the method are that it provides in principle a means to filter out natural variability, which theoretically becomes the regression residuals, and a way to deal with sparsely and unevenly distributed data. The degree to which these advantages are realized in practice is unclear, however. The ability of the eMLR method to recover the anthropogenic carbon signal is tested here using a global circulation and biogeochemistry model in which the true signal is known. Results show that regression model selection is particularly important when the observational network changes in time. When the observational network is fixed, the likelihood that co-located systematic misfits between the empirical model and the underlying, yet unknown, true model cancel is greater, improving eMLR results. Changing the observational network modifies how the spatio-temporal variance pattern is captured by the respective datasets, resulting in empirical models that are dynamically or regionally inconsistent, leading to systematic errors. In consequence, the use of regression formulae that change in time to represent systematically best-fit models at all times does not guarantee the best estimates of anthropogenic carbon change if the spatial distributions of the stations emphasize hydrographic features differently in time. Other factors, such as a balanced and representative station coverage, vertical continuity of the regression formulae consistent with the hydrographic context and resiliency of the spatial distribution of the residual

  6. Will climate change affect biodiversity in pacific northwest forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henderson, S.; Rosenbaum, B.J.

    1992-01-01

    Global climate change could have significant consequences for biological diversity in Pacific Northwest (PNW) forested ecosystems, particularly in areas already threatened by anthropogenic activities and the resultant habitat modification and fragmentation. The forests of the Pacific Northwest have a high biological diversity, not only in terms of tree species, but also in terms of herbs, bryophytes and hepatophytes, algae, fungi, protist, bacteria, and many groups of vertebrates and invertebrates. Global circulation and vegetation model projections of global climate change effects on PNW forests include reductions in species diversity in low elevation forests as well as elevational and latitudinal shifts in species ranges. As species are most likely to be stressed at the edges of their ranges, plant and animal species with low mobility, or those that are prevented from migrating by lack of habitat corridors, may become regionally extinct. Endangered species with limited distribution may be especially vulnerable to shifts in habitat conditions

  7. Characterizing the anthropogenic signature in the LCLU dynamics in the Central Asia region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatarskii, V.; Sokolik, I. N.; de Beurs, K.; Shiklomanov, A. I.

    2017-12-01

    Humans have been changing the LCLU dynamics over time through the world. In the Central Asia region, these changes have been especially pronounced due to the political and economic transformation. We present a detailed analysis, focusing on identifying and quantifying the anthropogenic signature in the water and land use across the region. We have characterized the anthropogenic dust emission by combining the modeling and observations. The model is a fully coupled model called WRF-Chem-DuMo that takes explicitly into account the vegetation treatment in modeling the dust emission. We have reconstructed the anthropogenic dust sources in the region, such as the retreat of the Aral Sea, changes in agricultural fields, etc. In addition, we characterize the anthropogenic water use dynamics, including the changes in the water use for the agricultural production. Furthermore, we perform an analysis to identify the anthropogenic signature in the NDVI pattern. The NDVI were analyzed in conjunction with the meteorological fields that were simulated at the high special resolution using the WRF model. Meteorological fields of precipitation and temperature were used for the correlation analysis to separate the natural vs. anthropogenic changes. In this manner, we were able to identify the regions that have been affected by human activities. We will present the quantitative assessment of the anthropogenic changes. The diverse consequences for the economy of the region, as well as, the environment will be addressed.

  8. Sex- and habitat-specific responses of a high arctic willow, Salix arctica, to experimental climate change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, M.H.; Macdonald, S.E. [Univ. of Alberta, Dept. of Renewable Resources, Edmonton, AB (Canada); Henry, G.H.R. [Univ. of British Columbia, Dept. of Geography, Vancouver, BC (Canada)

    1999-10-01

    Dioecious plant species and those occupying diverse habitats may present special analytical problems to researchers examining effects of climate change. Here we report the results from two complementary studies designed to determine the importance of sex and habitat on gas exchange and growth of male and female individuals of a dioecious, circumpolar willow, Salix arctica, in the Canadian High Arctic. In field studies, male and female willows from dry and wet habitats were subjected to passively enhanced summer temperature ({approx} to 1.3 deg C) using small open-top chambers over three years. Peak season gas exchange varied significantly by willow sex and habitat. Overall net assimilation was higher in the dry habitat than in the wet, and higher in females than in males. In the dry habitat, net assimilation of females was enhanced by experimental warming, but decreased in males. In the wet habitat, net assimilation of females was substantially depressed by experimental warming, while males showed an inconsistent response. Development and growth of male and female catkins were enhanced by elevated temperature more than leaf fascicles, but leaf fascicle development and growth varied more between the two habitats, particularly in males. In a controlled environment study, male and female willows from these same wet and dry habitats were grown in a 2x2 factorial experiment including 1 x or 2 x ambient [CO{sub 2}] and 5 or 12 deg. C. The sexes responded very differently to the experimental treatments, but we found no effect of original habitat. Net assimilation in males was affected by the interaction of temperature and CO{sub 2}, but in females by CO{sub 2} only. Our results demonstrate (a) significant intraspecific and intersexual differences in arctic willow physiology and growth, (b) that these differences are affected by environmental conditions expected to accompany global climate change, and (c) that sex- and habitat-specific responses should be explicitly

  9. Long-term Increases in Flower Production by Growth Forms in Response to Anthropogenic Change in a Tropical Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pau, S.; Wright, S. J.

    2016-12-01

    There is mounting evidence that anthropogenic global change is altering the ecology of tropical forests. A limited number of studies have focused on long-term trends in tropical reproductive activity, yet differences in reproductive activity should have consequences for demography and ultimately forest carbon, water, and energy balance. Here we analyze a 28-year record of tropical flower production in response to anthropogenic climate change. We show that a multi-decadal increase in flower production is most strongly driven by rising atmospheric CO2, which had approximately 8x the effect of the Multivariate ENSO Index and approximately 13x the effect of rainfall or solar radiation. Interannual peaks in flower production were associated with greater solar radiation and low rainfall during El Niño years. Observed changes in solar radiation explained flower production better than rainfall (models including solar radiation accounted for 94% of cumulative AICc weight compared to 87% for rainfall). All growth forms (lianas, canopy trees, midstory trees, and shrubs) produced more flowers with increasing CO2 except for understory treelets. The increase in flower production was matched by a lengthening of flowering duration for canopy trees and midstory trees; duration was also longer for understory treelets. Given that anthropogenic CO2 emissions will continue to climb over the next century, the long-term increase in flower production may persist unless offset by increasing cloudiness in the tropics, or until rising CO2 and/or warming temperatures associated with the greenhouse effect pass critical thresholds for plant reproduction.

  10. Estimation of water storage changes in small endorheic lakes in Burabay National Nature Park (Northern Kazakhstan, Central Asia); the effect of climate change and anthropogenic influences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yapiyev, Vadim; Sagintayev, Zhanay; Verhoef, Anne; Samarkhanov, Kanat; Jumassultanova, Saltanat

    2017-04-01

    Both climate change and anthropogenic activities contribute to deterioration of terrestrial water resources and ecosystems worldwide. It has been observed in recent decades that water-limited steppe regions of Central Asia are among ecosystems found to exhibit enhanced responses to climate variability. In fact, the largest share of worldwide net loss of permanent water extent is geographically concentrated in the Central Asia and Middle East regions attributed to both climate variability/change and human activities impacts. We used a digital elevation model, digitized bathymetry maps and high resolution Landsat images to estimate the areal water cover extent and volumetric storage changes in small terminal lakes in Burabay National Nature Park (BNNP), located in Northern Central Asia, for the period 2000-2016. Based on the analysis of long-term climatic data from meteorological stations, hydrometeorological network observations as well as regional climate model projections we evaluate the impacts of past thirty years and future climatic conditions on the water balance of BNNP lake catchments. The anthropogenic water consumption was estimated based on data collected at a local water supply company and regulation authorities. One the one hand historical in-situ observations and future climate projections do not show a significant change in precipitation in BNNP. On the other hand both observations and the model demonstrate steadily rising air temperatures in the area. It is concluded that the long-term decline in water levels for most of these lakes can be largely attributed to climate change (but only via changes in air temperature, causing evaporation to exceed precipitation) and not to direct anthropogenic influences such as increased water withdrawals. In addition, the two largest lakes, showing the highest historical water level decline, do not have sufficient water drainage basin area to sustain water levels under increased evaporation rates.

  11. Scenario-Led Habitat Modelling of Land Use Change Impacts on Key Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Geary

    Full Text Available Accurate predictions of the impacts of future land use change on species of conservation concern can help to inform policy-makers and improve conservation measures. If predictions are spatially explicit, predicted consequences of likely land use changes could be accessible to land managers at a scale relevant to their working landscape. We introduce a method, based on open source software, which integrates habitat suitability modelling with scenario-building, and illustrate its use by investigating the effects of alternative land use change scenarios on landscape suitability for black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Expert opinion was used to construct five near-future (twenty years scenarios for the 800 km2 study site in upland Scotland. For each scenario, the cover of different land use types was altered by 5-30% from 20 random starting locations and changes in habitat suitability assessed by projecting a MaxEnt suitability model onto each simulated landscape. A scenario converting grazed land to moorland and open forestry was the most beneficial for black grouse, and 'increased grazing' (the opposite conversion the most detrimental. Positioning of new landscape blocks was shown to be important in some situations. Increasing the area of open-canopy forestry caused a proportional decrease in suitability, but suitability gains for the 'reduced grazing' scenario were nonlinear. 'Scenario-led' landscape simulation models can be applied in assessments of the impacts of land use change both on individual species and also on diversity and community measures, or ecosystem services. A next step would be to include landscape configuration more explicitly in the simulation models, both to make them more realistic, and to examine the effects of habitat placement more thoroughly. In this example, the recommended policy would be incentives on grazing reduction to benefit black grouse.

  12. Anthropogenic ecological change and impacts on mosquito breeding and control strategies in salt-marshes, Northern Territory, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacups, Susan; Warchot, Allan; Whelan, Peter

    2012-06-01

    Darwin, in the tropical north of Australia, is subject to high numbers of mosquitoes and several mosquito-borne diseases. Many of Darwin's residential areas were built in close proximity to tidally influenced swamps, where long-term storm-water run-off from nearby residences into these swamps has led to anthropogenic induced ecological change. When natural wet-dry cycles were disrupted, bare mud-flats and mangroves were transformed into perennial fresh to brackish-water reed swamps. Reed swamps provided year-round breeding habitat for many mosquito species, such that mosquito abundance was less predictable and seasonally dependent, but constant and often occurring in plague proportions. Drainage channels were constructed throughout the wetlands to reduce pooled water during dry-season months. This study assesses the impact of drainage interventions on vegetation and mosquito ecology in three salt-marshes in the Darwin area. Findings revealed a universal decline in dry-season mosquito abundance in each wetland system. However, some mosquito species increased in abundance during wet-season months. Due to the high expense and potentially detrimental environmental impacts of ecosystem and non-target species disturbance, large-scale modifications such as these are sparingly undertaken. However, our results indicate that some large scale environmental modification can assist the process of wetland restoration, as appears to be the case for these salt marsh systems. Drainage in all three systems has been restored to closer to their original salt-marsh ecosystems, while reducing mosquito abundances, thereby potentially lowering the risk of vector-borne disease transmission and mosquito pest biting problems.

  13. Using Risk Assessment and Habitat Suitability Models to Prioritise Invasive Species for Management in a Changing Climate.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shauna-Lee Chai

    Full Text Available Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expected to facilitate the poleward expansion of invasive species ranges. Of the 15 species assessed, the three terrestrial invasive plant species that could pose the greatest threat to Alberta's biodiversity are giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis, tamarisk (Tamarix chinensis, and alkali swainsonpea (Sphaerophysa salsula. We characterise giant knotweed as 'extremely invasive', with 21 times the suitable habitat between baseline and future projected climate. Tamarisk is 'extremely invasive' with a 64% increase in suitable habitat, and alkali swainsonpea is 'highly invasive' with a 21% increase in suitable habitat. Our methodology can be used to predict and prioritise potentially new invasive species for their impact on biodiversity in the context of climate change.

  14. Human-polar bear interactions in a changing Arctic: Existing and emerging concerns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atwood, Todd C.; Simac, Kristin; Breck, Stewart; York, Geoff; Wilder, James

    2017-01-01

    The behavior and sociality of polar bears (Ursus maritimus) have been shaped by evolved preferences for sea ice habitat and preying on marine mammals. However, human behavior is causing changes to the Arctic marine ecosystem through the influence of greenhouse gas emissions that drive long-term change in ecosystem processes and via the presence of in situ stressors associated with increasing human activities. These changes are making it more difficult for polar bears to reliably use their traditional habitats and maintain fitness. Here, we provide an overview of how human activities in the Arctic are likely to change a polar bear’s behavior and to influence their resilience to environmental change. Developing a more thorough understanding of polar bear behavior and their capacity for flexibility in response to anthropogenic disturbances and subsequent mitigations may lead to successful near-term management interventions.

  15. Projected 21st century climate change for wolverine habitats within the contiguous United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peacock, Synte, E-mail: synte@ucar.edu [National Center for Atmospheric Research, 1850 Table Mesa Drive, Boulder, CO 80305 (United States)

    2011-01-15

    Ensembles of 21st century climate projections made using a state of the art global climate model are analyzed to explore possible changes in spring snow cover and summer air temperature in present-day wolverine habitats in the contiguous United States (US). Projected changes in both snow cover and temperature are presented for a range of future emissions scenarios, and implications for the continued survival of the wolverine in the contiguous US are discussed. It is shown that under a high or medium-low emissions scenario there are likely to be dramatic reductions in spring snow cover in present-day wolverine habitats. Under these scenarios there is also likely to be a concomitant increase in summer-time temperatures, with projected maximum daily August temperatures far above those currently tolerated by the wolverine. It is likely that the wolverine, with its many adaptations for cold weather and deep snow pack, would have great difficulty adapting to such changes. The results of the simulations presented here suggest that the very low numbers of wolverines currently living in the contiguous US will likely further decline in response to the deterioration of their habitat in coming decades.

  16. Projected 21st century climate change for wolverine habitats within the contiguous United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peacock, Synte

    2011-01-01

    Ensembles of 21st century climate projections made using a state of the art global climate model are analyzed to explore possible changes in spring snow cover and summer air temperature in present-day wolverine habitats in the contiguous United States (US). Projected changes in both snow cover and temperature are presented for a range of future emissions scenarios, and implications for the continued survival of the wolverine in the contiguous US are discussed. It is shown that under a high or medium-low emissions scenario there are likely to be dramatic reductions in spring snow cover in present-day wolverine habitats. Under these scenarios there is also likely to be a concomitant increase in summer-time temperatures, with projected maximum daily August temperatures far above those currently tolerated by the wolverine. It is likely that the wolverine, with its many adaptations for cold weather and deep snow pack, would have great difficulty adapting to such changes. The results of the simulations presented here suggest that the very low numbers of wolverines currently living in the contiguous US will likely further decline in response to the deterioration of their habitat in coming decades.

  17. Reconstructing Colonization Dynamics of the Human Parasite Schistosoma mansoni following Anthropogenic Environmental Changes in Northwest Senegal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Broeck, Frederik; Maes, Gregory E.; Larmuseau, Maarten H. D.; Rollinson, David; Sy, Ibrahima; Faye, Djibril; Volckaert, Filip A. M.; Polman, Katja; Huyse, Tine

    2015-01-01

    Background Anthropogenic environmental changes may lead to ecosystem destabilization and the unintentional colonization of new habitats by parasite populations. A remarkable example is the outbreak of intestinal schistosomiasis in Northwest Senegal following the construction of two dams in the ‘80s. While many studies have investigated the epidemiological, immunological and geographical patterns of Schistosoma mansoni infections in this region, little is known about its colonization history. Methodology/Principal Findings Parasites were collected at several time points after the disease outbreak and genotyped using a 420 bp fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (cox1) and nine nuclear DNA microsatellite markers. Phylogeographic and population genetic analyses revealed the presence of (i) many genetically different haplotypes at the non-recombining mitochondrial marker and (ii) one homogenous S. mansoni genetic group at the recombining microsatellite markers. These results suggest that the S. mansoni population in Northwest Senegal was triggered by intraspecific hybridization (i.e. admixture) between parasites that were introduced from different regions. This would comply with the extensive immigration of infected seasonal agricultural workers from neighboring regions in Senegal, Mauritania and Mali. The spatial and temporal stability of the established S. mansoni population suggests a swift local adaptation of the parasite to the local intermediate snail host Biomphalaria pfeifferi at the onset of the epidemic. Conclusions/Significance Our results show that S. mansoni parasites are very successful in colonizing new areas without significant loss of genetic diversity. Maintaining high levels of diversity guarantees the adaptive potential of these parasites to cope with selective pressures such as drug treatment, which might complicate efforts to control the disease. PMID:26275049

  18. Methane hydrate stability and anthropogenic climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Archer

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Methane frozen into hydrate makes up a large reservoir of potentially volatile carbon below the sea floor and associated with permafrost soils. This reservoir intuitively seems precarious, because hydrate ice floats in water, and melts at Earth surface conditions. The hydrate reservoir is so large that if 10% of the methane were released to the atmosphere within a few years, it would have an impact on the Earth's radiation budget equivalent to a factor of 10 increase in atmospheric CO2.

    Hydrates are releasing methane to the atmosphere today in response to anthropogenic warming, for example along the Arctic coastline of Siberia. However most of the hydrates are located at depths in soils and ocean sediments where anthropogenic warming and any possible methane release will take place over time scales of millennia. Individual catastrophic releases like landslides and pockmark explosions are too small to reach a sizable fraction of the hydrates. The carbon isotopic excursion at the end of the Paleocene has been interpreted as the release of thousands of Gton C, possibly from hydrates, but the time scale of the release appears to have been thousands of years, chronic rather than catastrophic.

    The potential climate impact in the coming century from hydrate methane release is speculative but could be comparable to climate feedbacks from the terrestrial biosphere and from peat, significant but not catastrophic. On geologic timescales, it is conceivable that hydrates could release as much carbon to the atmosphere/ocean system as we do by fossil fuel combustion.

  19. Morphological changes of the lichens in anthropogenic modified habitats in Yuzhno‑Sakhalinsk City suburbs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alexander K. Ezhkin

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Main morphological changes and damage of epiphytic lichens (Phaeophyscia hirtuosa, Flavopunctelia soredica, Parmelia fertilis, Evernia mesomorpha, Lobaria quercizans and L. pulmonaria of different sensitivity groups are discussed.

  20. Habitat loss and gain: Influence on habitat attractiveness for estuarine fish communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, Eva; Ramos, Sandra; Elliott, Michael; Franco, Anita; Bordalo, Adriano A.

    2017-10-01

    Habitat structure and complexity influence the structuring and functioning of fish communities. Habitat changes are one of the main pressures affecting estuarine systems worldwide, yet the degree and rate of change and its impact on fish communities is still poorly understood. In order to quantify historical modifications in habitat structure, an ecohydrological classification system using physiotopes, i.e. units with homogenous abiotic characteristics, was developed for the lower Lima estuary (NW Portugal). Field data, aerial imagery, historical maps and interpolation methods were used to map input variables, including bathymetry, substratum (hard/soft), sediment composition, hydrodynamics (current velocity) and vegetation coverage. Physiotopes were then mapped for the years of 1933 and 2013 and the areas lost and gained over the 80 years were quantified. The implications of changes for the benthic and demersal fish communities using the lower estuary were estimated using the attractiveness to those communities of each physiotope, while considering the main estuarine habitat functions for fish, namely spawning, nursery, feeding and refuge areas and migratory routes. The lower estuary was highly affected due to urbanisation and development and, following a port/harbour expansion, its boundary moved seaward causing an increase in total area. Modifications led to the loss of most of its sandy and saltmarsh intertidal physiotopes, which were replaced by deeper subtidal physiotopes. The most attractive physiotopes for fish (defined as the way in which they supported the fish ecological features) decreased in area while less attractive ones increased, producing an overall lower attractiveness of the studied area in 2013 compared to 1933. The implications of habitat alterations for the fish using the estuary include potential changes in the nursery carrying capacity and the functioning of the fish community. The study also highlighted the poor knowledge of the impacts of

  1. Global albedo change and radiative cooling from anthropogenic land cover change, 1700 to 2005 based on MODIS, land use harmonization, radiative kernels, and reanalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghimire, Bardan; Williams, Christopher A.; Masek, Jeffrey; Gao, Feng; Wang, Zhuosen; Schaaf, Crystal; He, Tao

    2014-12-01

    Widespread anthropogenic land cover change over the last five centuries has influenced the global climate system through both biogeochemical and biophysical processes. Models indicate that warming from carbon emissions associated with land cover conversion has been partially offset by cooling from elevated albedo, but considerable uncertainty remains partly because of uncertainty in model treatments of albedo. This study incorporates a new spatially and temporally explicit, land cover specific albedo product derived from Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer with a historical land use data set (Land Use Harmonization product) to provide more precise, observationally derived estimates of albedo impacts from anthropogenic land cover change with a complete range of data set specific uncertainty. The mean annual global albedo increase due to land cover change during 1700-2005 was estimated as 0.00106 ± 0.00008 (mean ± standard deviation), mainly driven by snow exposure due to land cover transitions from natural vegetation to agriculture. This translates to a top-of-atmosphere radiative cooling of -0.15 ± 0.1 W m-2 (mean ± standard deviation). Our estimate was in the middle of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report range of -0.05 to -0.25 W m-2 and incorporates variability in albedo within land cover classes.

  2. Habitat Mapping and Change Assessment of Coastal Environments: An Examination of WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS Satellite Imagery and Airborne LiDAR for Mapping Barrier Island Habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew J. McCarthy

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Habitat mapping can be accomplished using many techniques and types of data. There are pros and cons for each technique and dataset, therefore, the goal of this project was to investigate the capabilities of new satellite sensor technology and to assess map accuracy for a variety of image classification techniques based on hundreds of field-work sites. The study area was Masonboro Island, an undeveloped area in coastal North Carolina, USA. Using the best map results, a habitat change assessment was conducted between 2002 and 2010. WorldView-2, QuickBird, and IKONOS satellite sensors were tested using unsupervised and supervised methods using a variety of spectral band combinations. Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR elevation and texture data pan-sharpening, and spatial filtering were also tested. In total, 200 maps were generated and results indicated that WorldView-2 was consistently more accurate than QuickBird and IKONOS. Supervised maps were more accurate than unsupervised in 80% of the maps. Pan-sharpening the images did not consistently improve map accuracy but using a majority filter generally increased map accuracy. During the relatively short eight-year period, 20% of the coastal study area changed with intertidal marsh experiencing the most change. Smaller habitat classes changed substantially as well. For example, 84% of upland scrub-shrub experienced change. These results document the dynamic nature of coastal habitats, validate the use of the relatively new Worldview-2 sensor, and may be used to guide future coastal habitat mapping.

  3. Shallow Water Habitat Mapping in Cape Cod National Seashore: A Post-Hurricane Sandy Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borrelli, M.; Smith, T.; Legare, B.; Mittermayr, A.

    2017-12-01

    Hurricane Sandy had a dramatic impact along coastal areas in proximity to landfall in late October 2012, and those impacts have been well-documented in terrestrial coastal settings. However, due to the lack of data on submerged marine habitats, similar subtidal impact studies have been limited. This study, one of four contemporaneous studies commissioned by the US National Park Service, developed maps of submerged shallow water marine habitats in and around Cape Cod National Seashore, Massachusetts. All four studies used similar methods of data collection, processing and analysis for the production of habitat maps. One of the motivations for the larger study conducted in the four coastal parks was to provide park managers with a baseline inventory of submerged marine habitats, against which to measure change after future storm events and other natural and anthropogenic phenomena. In this study data from a phase-measuring sidescan sonar, bottom grab samples, seismic reflection profiling, and sediment coring were all used to develop submerged marine habitat maps using the Coastal and Marine Ecological Classification Standard (CMECS). Vessel-based acoustic surveys (n = 76) were conducted in extreme shallow water across four embayments from 2014-2016. Sidescan sonar imagery covering 83.37 km2 was collected, and within that area, 49.53 km2 of co-located bathymetric data were collected with a mean depth of 4.00 m. Bottom grab samples (n = 476) to sample macroinvertebrates and sediments (along with other water column and habitat data) were collected, and these data were used along with the geophysical and coring data to develop final habitat maps using the CMECS framework.

  4. River Cetaceans and Habitat Change: Generalist Resilience or Specialist Vulnerability?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian D. Smith

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available River dolphins are among the world’s most threatened mammals, and indeed the baiji (Lipotes vexillifer, a species endemic to China's Yangtze River, is likely extinct. Exploitation for products such as meat, oil, and skins has been a lesser feature in the population histories of river dolphins compared to most large mammals. Habitat factors are therefore of particular interest and concern. In this paper we attempt to describe the population-level responses of river dolphins to habitat transformation. We find circumstantial but compelling evidence supporting the view that, at a local scale, river dolphins are opportunists (generalists capable of adapting to a wide range of habitat conditions while, at a river basin scale, they are more appropriately viewed as vulnerable specialists. The same evidence implies that the distributional responses of river dolphins to basinwide ecological change can be informative about their extinction risk, while their local behaviour patterns may provide important insights about critical ecological attributes. Empirical studies are needed on the ecology of river cetaceans, both to inform conservation efforts on behalf of these threatened animals and to help address broader concerns related to biodiversity conservation and the sustainability of human use in several of the world's largest river systems.

  5. Quantifying the importance of patch-specific changes in habitat to metapopulation viability of an endangered songbird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horne, Jon S; Strickler, Katherine M; Alldredge, Mathew

    2011-10-01

    A growing number of programs seek to facilitate species conservation using incentive-based mechanisms. Recently, a market-based incentive program for the federally endangered Golden-cheeked Warbler (Dendroica chrysoparia) was implemented on a trial basis at Fort Hood, an Army training post in Texas, USA. Under this program, recovery credits accumulated by Fort Hood through contracts with private landowners are used to offset unintentional loss of breeding habitat of Golden-cheeked Warblers within the installation. Critical to successful implementation of such programs is the ability to value, in terms of changes to overall species viability, both habitat loss and habitat restoration or protection. In this study, we sought to answer two fundamental questions: Given the same amount of change in breeding habitat, does the change in some patches have a greater effect on metapopulation persistence than others? And if so, can characteristics of a patch (e.g., size or spatial location) be used to predict how the metapopulation will respond to these changes? To answer these questions, we describe an approach for using sensitivity analysis of a metapopulation projection model to predict how changes to specific habitat patches would affect species viability. We used a stochastic, discrete-time projection model based on stage-specific estimates of survival and fecundity, as well as various assumptions about dispersal among populations. To assess a particular patch's leverage, we quantified how much metapopulation viability was expected to change in response to changing the size of that patch. We then related original patch size and distance from the largest patch to each patch's leverage to determine if general patch characteristics could be used to develop guidelines for valuing changes to patches within a metapopulation. We found that both the characteristic that best predicted patch leverage and the magnitude of the relationship changed under different model scenarios

  6. Changes in US background ozone due to global anthropogenic emissions from 1970 to 2020

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nopmongcol, Uarporn; Jung, Jaegun; Kumar, Naresh; Yarwood, Greg

    2016-09-01

    Estimates of North American and US Background (NAB and USB) ozone (O3) are critical in setting and implementing the US National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and therefore influence population exposure to O3 across the US. NAB is defined as the O3 concentration in the absence of anthropogenic O3 precursor emissions from North America whereas USB excludes anthropogenic emissions inside the US alone. NAB and USB vary geographically and with time of year. Analyses of O3 trends at rural locations near the west coast suggest that background O3 is rising in response to increasing non-US emissions. As the O3 NAAQS is lowered, rising background O3 would make attaining the NAAQS more difficult. Most studies of changing US background O3 have inferred trends from observations whereas air quality management decisions tend to rely on models. Thus, it is important that the models used to develop O3 management strategies are able to represent the changes in background O3 in order to increase confidence that air quality management strategies will succeed. We focus on how changing global emissions influence USB rather than the effects of inter-annual meteorological variation or long-term climate change. We use a regional model (CAMx) nested within a global model (GEOS-Chem) to refine our grid resolution over high terrain in the western US and near US borders where USB tends to be higher. We determine USB from CAMx simulations that exclude US anthropogenic emissions. Over five decades, from 1970 to 2020, estimated USB for the annual fourth highest maximum daily 8-h average O3 (H4MDA8) in the western US increased from mostly in the range of 40-55 ppb to 45-60 ppb, but remained below 45 ppb in the eastern US. USB increases in the southwestern US are consistent with rising emissions in Asia and Mexico. USB decreases in the northeast US after 1990 follow declining Canadian emissions. Our results show that the USB increases both for the top 30 MDA8 days and the H4MDA8 (the former

  7. Island biogeography and landscape structure: Integrating ecological concepts in a landscape perspective of anthropogenic impacts in temporary wetlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Angeler, David G.; Alvarez-Cobelas, Miguel

    2005-01-01

    Although our understanding of environmental risk assessment in temporary wetlands has been improved by the use of multi-species toxicity testing, we still know little of how landscape variables mediate the strength of, and recovery from, anthropogenic stress in such ecosystems. To bridge this research gap, we provide a theoretical framework of the response of temporary wetlands to anthropogenic disturbance along a habitat-isolation continuum based on island biogeography theory, landscape ecology and dispersal and colonization strategies of temporary wetland organisms. - Environmental risk assessment in temporary wetlands may benefit from consideration of island biogeography theory and landscape structure

  8. An approach of habitat degradation assessment for characterization on coastal habitat conservation tendency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xi-Yin; Lei, Kun; Meng, Wei

    2017-09-01

    Coastal zones are population and economy highly intensity regions all over the world, and coastal habitat supports the sustainable development of human society. The accurate assessment of coastal habitat degradation is the essential prerequisite for coastal zone protection. In this study, an integrated framework of coastal habitat degradation assessment including landuse classification, habitat classifying and zoning, evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation and coastal habitat degradation index has been established for better regional coastal habitat assessment. Through establishment of detailed three-class landuse classification, the fine landscape change is revealed, the evaluation criterion of coastal habitat degradation through internal comparison based on the results of habitat classifying and zoning could indicate the levels of habitat degradation and distinguish the intensity of human disturbances in different habitat subareas under the same habitat classification. Finally, the results of coastal habitat degradation assessment could be achieved through coastal habitat degradation index (CHI). A case study of the framework is carried out in the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, China, and the main results show the following: (1) The accuracy of all land use classes are above 90%, which indicates a satisfactory accuracy for the classification map. (2) The Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast is divided into 3 kinds of habitats and 5 subareas. (3) In the five subareas of the Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast, the levels of coastal habitat degradation own significant difference. The whole Circum-Bohai-Sea-Coast generally is in a worse state according to area weighting of each habitat subarea. This assessment framework of coastal habitat degradation would characterize the landuse change trend, realize better coastal habitat degradation assessment, reveal the habitat conservation tendency and distinguish intensity of human disturbances. Furthermore, it would support for accurate coastal

  9. Middle School Students' Understandings About Anthropogenic Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Golden, B. W.

    2013-12-01

    they discussed the validation of their beliefs. That is, we argue that the unit, and the emphases contained within the unit, resulted in the "epistemic scaffolding" of their ideas, to the extent that they shifted from arguing from anecdotes to arguing based on other types of data, especially from line graphs. Additionally, we found that students' understandings of climate change were tied to their ontological constructions of the subject matter, i.e., many perceived climate change as just another environmentally sensitive issue such as littering and pollution, and were therefore limited in their ability to understand anthropogenic climate change in the vast and robust sense meant by current scientific consensus. Given these known difficulties, it is critical to explore further research of this sort in order to better understand what students are actually thinking, and how that thinking is prone to change, modification, or not. Subsequently, K-12 strategies might be better designed, if that is indeed a priority of US/Western society.

  10. The comparative evidence for urban species sorting by anthropogenic noise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Gonçalo C; Hu, Yang; Francis, Clinton D

    2018-02-01

    Anthropogenic noise is more intense at lower sound frequencies, which could decrease urban tolerance of animals with low-frequency vocalizations. Four large comparative studies tested whether anthropogenic noise filters bird species according to the sound frequencies they use and produced discrepant results. We reanalysed data from these studies to explain their different results. Urban tolerance of bird species (defined here as often occurring and breeding in cities) is very weakly related to urban preference or relative abundance (defined based on changes in population density from urban to nearby rural environments). Data on urban preference/abundance are potentially accurate for individual cities but differ among cities for the same species, whereas existing data on urban tolerance are coarser but provide a more global synthesis. Cross-species comparisons find a positive association between the sound frequency of song and urban tolerance, but not urban preference/abundance. We found that showing an association between song frequency and urban tolerance requires controlling for additional species traits that influence urban living. On the contrary, controlling for other species traits is not required to show a positive association between song frequency and use of noisy relative to quiet areas within the same type of environment. Together, comparative evidence indicates that masking by urban noise is part of a larger set of factors influencing urban living: all else being equal, species with high-frequency sounds are more likely to tolerate cities than species with low-frequency sounds, but they are not more likely to prefer, or to be more abundant in, urban than non-urban habitats.

  11. Urban Cholera and Water Sustainability Challenges under Climatic and Anthropogenic Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akanda, A. S.; Jutla, A.; Huq, A.; Faruque, A. G.; Colwell, R. R.

    2013-12-01

    The last three decades of surveillance data shows a drastic increase of cholera prevalence in the largest cholera-endemic city of the world - Dhaka, Bangladesh. Emerging megacities in the developing world, especially those located in coastal regions of the tropics remain vulnerable to similar. However, there has not been any systematic study on linking the long-term disease trends with changes in related climatic, environmental, or societal variables. Here, we analyze the 30-year dynamics of urban cholera prevalence in Dhaka with changes in climatic or societal factors: regional hydrology, flooding, water usage, changes in distribution systems, population growth and density in urban settlements, as well as shifting climate patterns. An interesting change is observed in the seasonal trends of cholera incidence; while an endemic upward trend is seen in the dry season, the post-monsoon trend seem to be more epidemic in nature. Evidence points to growing urbanization and rising population in unplanned settlements that have negligible to poor water and sanitation systems compounded by increasing frequency of record flood events. Growing water scarcity in the dry season and lack of sustainable water and sanitation infrastructure for urban settlements have increased endemicity of spring outbreaks, while record flood events and prolonged post-monsoon inundation have contributed to increased epidemic outbreaks in fall. We analyze our findings with the World Health Organization recommended guidelines and investigate water sustainability challenges in the context of climatic and anthropogenic changes in the region.

  12. La dieta de la lechuza (Tyto alba (Aves: Strigiformes en hábitats naturales y antropogénicos de la región central de Cuba Diet of Barn Owl (Tyto alba (Aves: Strigiformes in natural and anthropogenic habitat in central Cuba

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abel Hernández-Muñoz

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Para determinar los hábitos tróficos de la lechuza, Tyto alba, se analizaron 1232 egagrópilas recolectadas entre 1994 y 2001 en 24 localidades de la región central de Cuba. Se encontraron 3943 presas; los roedores exóticos (Mus musculus y Rattus spp. fueron las presas dominantes y representaron 80% del total. Otros tipos de presas fueron de menor frecuencia; por ejemplo, insectos (6.1%, murciélagos (5%, anfibios (4.8%, aves (3.6% y reptiles (0.2%. Se agruparon las localidades de recolecta de egagrópilas en 2 categorías de hábitat: antropogénicos y naturales, para explorar el efecto de los disturbios antrópicos en la dieta de la lechuza. Contrario a lo esperado, no se encontró variación significativa en el índice de amplitud trófica de Levins (Bantropogénicos= 1.32 ± 0.3 vs Bnaturales = 1.38 ± 0.4. La composición de la dieta en ambos hábitats no difiere, al menos en la proporción de las diferentes clases, aunque existe la tendencia a depredar más aves en hábitats naturales que en sitios perturbados donde los insectos son más frecuentes. Los resultados sugieren que tanto en hábitats antropogénicos como naturales, las lechuzas se comportan como depredadores efectivos de las poblaciones de roedores múridos introducidos.To determine food habits of Barn Owl, Tyto alba, we analyzed 1232 pellets collected from 24 localities in central Cuba from 1994 to 2001. The pellets yielded 3943 prey items, with introduced rodents (Mus musculus and Rattus spp. being the primary prey, accounting for 80% of items in the diet. Other prey classes were of minor frequency; e.g., insects (6.1%, bats (5%, amphibians (4.8%, birds (3.6%, and reptiles (0.2%.We grouped pellet collection localities into 2 habitat categories: "anthropogenic" and "natural," to explore the effect of anthropogenic disturbance on the diet Barn Owl. Contrary to our expectation, we found no significant difference in the Levin's niche-breadth index (B, calculated for the

  13. Future habitat loss and extinctions driven by land-use change in biodiversity hotspots under four scenarios of climate-change mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jantz, Samuel M; Barker, Brian; Brooks, Thomas M; Chini, Louise P; Huang, Qiongyu; Moore, Rachel M; Noel, Jacob; Hurtt, George C

    2015-08-01

    Numerous species have been pushed into extinction as an increasing portion of Earth's land surface has been appropriated for human enterprise. In the future, global biodiversity will be affected by both climate change and land-use change, the latter of which is currently the primary driver of species extinctions. How societies address climate change will critically affect biodiversity because climate-change mitigation policies will reduce direct climate-change impacts; however, these policies will influence land-use decisions, which could have negative impacts on habitat for a substantial number of species. We assessed the potential impact future climate policy could have on the loss of habitable area in biodiversity hotspots due to associated land-use changes. We estimated past extinctions from historical land-use changes (1500-2005) based on the global gridded land-use data used for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fifth Assessment Report and habitat extent and species data for each hotspot. We then estimated potential extinctions due to future land-use changes under alternative climate-change scenarios (2005-2100). Future land-use changes are projected to reduce natural vegetative cover by 26-58% in the hotspots. As a consequence, the number of additional species extinctions, relative to those already incurred between 1500 and 2005, due to land-use change by 2100 across all hotspots ranged from about 220 to 21000 (0.2% to 16%), depending on the climate-change mitigation scenario and biological factors such as the slope of the species-area relationship and the contribution of wood harvest to extinctions. These estimates of potential future extinctions were driven by land-use change only and likely would have been higher if the direct effects of climate change had been considered. Future extinctions could potentially be reduced by incorporating habitat preservation into scenario development to reduce projected future land-use changes in hotspots or by

  14. Using Stable Isotopes to Infer the Impacts of Habitat Change on the Diets and Vertical Stratification of Frugivorous Bats in Madagascar.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kim E Reuter

    Full Text Available Human-modified habitats are expanding rapidly; many tropical countries have highly fragmented and degraded forests. Preserving biodiversity in these areas involves protecting species-like frugivorous bats-that are important to forest regeneration. Fruit bats provide critical ecosystem services including seed dispersal, but studies of how their diets are affected by habitat change have often been rather localized. This study used stable isotope analyses (δ15N and δ13C measurement to examine how two fruit bat species in Madagascar, Pteropus rufus (n = 138 and Eidolon dupreanum (n = 52 are impacted by habitat change across a large spatial scale. Limited data for Rousettus madagascariensis are also presented. Our results indicated that the three species had broadly overlapping diets. Differences in diet were nonetheless detectable between P. rufus and E. dupreanum, and these diets shifted when they co-occurred, suggesting resource partitioning across habitats and vertical strata within the canopy to avoid competition. Changes in diet were correlated with a decrease in forest cover, though at a larger spatial scale in P. rufus than in E. dupreanum. These results suggest fruit bat species exhibit differing responses to habitat change, highlight the threats fruit bats face from habitat change, and clarify the spatial scales at which conservation efforts could be implemented.

  15. Inferring the nature of anthropogenic threats from long-term abundance records.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shoemaker, Kevin T; Akçakaya, H Resit

    2015-02-01

    Diagnosing the processes that threaten species persistence is critical for recovery planning and risk forecasting. Dominant threats are typically inferred by experts on the basis of a patchwork of informal methods. Transparent, quantitative diagnostic tools would contribute much-needed consistency, objectivity, and rigor to the process of diagnosing anthropogenic threats. Long-term census records, available for an increasingly large and diverse set of taxa, may exhibit characteristic signatures of specific threatening processes and thereby provide information for threat diagnosis. We developed a flexible Bayesian framework for diagnosing threats on the basis of long-term census records and diverse ancillary sources of information. We tested this framework with simulated data from artificial populations subjected to varying degrees of exploitation and habitat loss and several real-world abundance time series for which threatening processes are relatively well understood: bluefin tuna (Thunnus maccoyii) and Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) (exploitation) and Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus scotica) and Eurasian Skylark (Alauda arvensis) (habitat loss). Our method correctly identified the process driving population decline for over 90% of time series simulated under moderate to severe threat scenarios. Successful identification of threats approached 100% for severe exploitation and habitat loss scenarios. Our method identified threats less successfully when threatening processes were weak and when populations were simultaneously affected by multiple threats. Our method selected the presumed true threat model for all real-world case studies, although results were somewhat ambiguous in the case of the Eurasian Skylark. In the latter case, incorporation of an ancillary source of information (records of land-use change) increased the weight assigned to the presumed true model from 70% to 92%, illustrating the value of the proposed framework in bringing diverse sources of

  16. Climate change drives expansion of Antarctic ice-free habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jasmine R.; Raymond, Ben; Bracegirdle, Thomas J.; Chadès, Iadine; Fuller, Richard A.; Shaw, Justine D.; Terauds, Aleks

    2017-07-01

    Antarctic terrestrial biodiversity occurs almost exclusively in ice-free areas that cover less than 1% of the continent. Climate change will alter the extent and configuration of ice-free areas, yet the distribution and severity of these effects remain unclear. Here we quantify the impact of twenty-first century climate change on ice-free areas under two Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) climate forcing scenarios using temperature-index melt modelling. Under the strongest forcing scenario, ice-free areas could expand by over 17,000 km2 by the end of the century, close to a 25% increase. Most of this expansion will occur in the Antarctic Peninsula, where a threefold increase in ice-free area could drastically change the availability and connectivity of biodiversity habitat. Isolated ice-free areas will coalesce, and while the effects on biodiversity are uncertain, we hypothesize that they could eventually lead to increasing regional-scale biotic homogenization, the extinction of less-competitive species and the spread of invasive species.

  17. Stream network geomorphology mediates predicted vulnerability of anadromous fish habitat to hydrologic change in southeast Alaska.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sloat, Matthew R; Reeves, Gordon H; Christiansen, Kelly R

    2017-02-01

    In rivers supporting Pacific salmon in southeast Alaska, USA, regional trends toward a warmer, wetter climate are predicted to increase mid- and late-21st-century mean annual flood size by 17% and 28%, respectively. Increased flood size could alter stream habitats used by Pacific salmon for reproduction, with negative consequences for the substantial economic, cultural, and ecosystem services these fish provide. We combined field measurements and model simulations to estimate the potential influence of future flood disturbance on geomorphic processes controlling the quality and extent of coho, chum, and pink salmon spawning habitat in over 800 southeast Alaska watersheds. Spawning habitat responses varied widely across watersheds and among salmon species. Little variation among watersheds in potential spawning habitat change was explained by predicted increases in mean annual flood size. Watershed response diversity was mediated primarily by topographic controls on stream channel confinement, reach-scale geomorphic associations with spawning habitat preferences, and complexity in the pace and mode of geomorphic channel responses to altered flood size. Potential spawning habitat loss was highest for coho salmon, which spawn over a wide range of geomorphic settings, including steeper, confined stream reaches that are more susceptible to streambed scour during high flows. We estimated that 9-10% and 13-16% of the spawning habitat for coho salmon could be lost by the 2040s and 2080s, respectively, with losses occurring primarily in confined, higher-gradient streams that provide only moderate-quality habitat. Estimated effects were lower for pink and chum salmon, which primarily spawn in unconfined floodplain streams. Our results illustrate the importance of accounting for valley and reach-scale geomorphic features in watershed assessments of climate vulnerability, especially in topographically complex regions. Failure to consider the geomorphic context of stream

  18. Celtic field agriculture and Early Anthropogenic Environmental change in the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region, NW Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van der Sanden, Germaine; Kluiving, Sjoerd; Roymans, Nico

    2016-04-01

    The field of Archaeology remains focused on historical issues while underexploring its potential contribution on currently existing societal problems, e.g. climate change. The aim of this paper is to show the relevance of archeological studies for the research of the 'human species as a significant moving agent' in terms of the changing natural environment during a much earlier time frame. This research is based on the study area of the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region in the Netherlands and Belgium and exhibits the period from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Roman period. This period is characterized by the widespread introduction and use of an agricultural system, often referred to as the Celtic Field system that served as one of the most modifying systems in terms of anthropogenic-environmental change during this period. Emphasis in this research is given to results generated by the use of the remote sensing technology, LiDAR. New information is reported considering a correlation between singular field size and the overall surface of the agricultural complexes and secondly, the presentation of newly identified Celtic field systems in the Meuse-Demer-Scheldt region are presented. The study of the dynamics of the Celtic Field agricultural system provides evidence for a significant anthropogenic footprint on the natural environment due to land cover dominance, soil degeneration, increased soil acidification and forest clearance. Soil exhaustion forced the inhabitants to re-establish their relationship with the landscape in terms of fundamental changes in the habitation pattern and the agrarian exploitations of the land.

  19. Effect of coupled anthropogenic perturbations on stratospheric ozone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wuebbles, D.J.; Luther, F.M.; Penner, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    Since 1976 the greatest concern about potential perturbations to stratospheric ozone has been in regard to the atmospheric release of chlorofluorocarbons. Consequently, atmospheric measurements of ozone have usually been compared with model calculations in which only chlorocarbon perturbations are considered. However, in order to compare theoretical calculations with recent measurements of ozone and to project expected changes to atmospheric ozone levels over the next few decades, one must consider the effect from other perturbations as well. In this paper, the authors consider the coupling between several possible anthropogenic atmospheric perturbations. Namely, they examine the effects of past and possible future increases of chlorocarbons, CO 2 , N 2 O, and NO x . The focus of these calculations is on the potential changes in ozone due to chlorocarbon emissions, how other anthropogenic perturbations may have influenced the actual change in ozone over the last decade, and how these perturbations may influence future changes in ozone. Although calculations including future chlorocarbon emissions alone result in significant reductions in ozone, there is very little change in total ozone over the coming decades when other anthropogenic sources are included. Increasing CO 2 concentrations have the largest offsetting effect on the change in total ozone due to chlorocarbons. Owing to the necessity of considering emissions from a number of trace gases simultaneously, determining expected global-scale chemical and climatic effects is more complex than was previously recognized

  20. [Tick borne encephalitis and enviromental changes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajkowska, Joanna; Malzahn, Elzbieta; Kondrusik, Maciej; Grygorczuk, Sambor; Pancewicz, Sławomir S; Kuśmierczyk, Justyna; Czupryna, Piotr; Hermanowska-Szpakowicz, Teresa

    2006-01-01

    Currently observed markedly increased incidence of various tick borne diseases in many parts of Europe is due to documented climatic changes as well anthropogenic influence on habitat structure. One of the analyzed factors is tendency to increase of the spring temperatures, especially in the third decade of the April. Such conditions (spring temperatures above 7-10 degrees C) let the nymphs and larvae of Ixodes ricinus to feed simultaneously on rodents. This increases the risk of infection of Ixodes ricinus with TBE virus, so dangerous for humans.

  1. Anthropogenic features and hillslope processes interaction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tarolli, Paolo; Sofia, Giulia

    2016-04-01

    Topography emerges as a result of natural driving forces, but some human activities (such as mining, agricultural practices and the construction of road networks) directly or indirectly move large quantities of soil, which leave clear topographic signatures embedded on the Earth's morphology. These signatures can cause drastic changes to the geomorphological organization of the landscape, with direct consequences on Earth surface processes (Tarolli and Sofia, 2016). To this point, the present research investigates few case studies highlighting the influences of anthropogenic topographic signatures on hillslope processes, and it shows the effectiveness of High-Resolution Topography (HRT) derived from the recent remote sensing technologies (e.g. lidar, satellite, structure from motion photogrammetry), to better understand this interaction. The first example is related to agricultural terraces. In recent times, terraced areas acquired a new relevance to modern concerns about erosion and land instability, being the agricultural land mostly threatened by abandonment or intensification and specialization of agriculture, resulting in more landslide-prone bench terraces, or heavy land levelling with increased erosion. The second case study discusses about the role of agricultural and forest roads on surface erosion and landslides. The third case study investigates geomorphic processes in an open pit mine. In all case studies, HRT served as the basis for the development of new methodologies able to recognize and analyze changes on Earth surface processes along hillslopes. The results show how anthropogenic elements have crucial effects on sediment production and sediment delivery, also influencing the landscape connectivity. The availability of HRT can improve our ability to actually model anthropogenic morphologies, quantify them, and analyse the links between anthropogenic elements and geomorphic processes. The results presented here, and the creation and dissemination of

  2. Using remote sensing and gis techniques for detecting land cover changes of mangrove habitats in Goa, India

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Nagi, H.M.; Rodrigues, R.S.; ManiMurali, R.; Jagtap, T.G.

    and near shore waters. During recent years, Goa has been undergoing tremendous changes in its land use patterns (Murali et al., 2006). The present investigations were aimed at understanding the changes in mangrove habitats of Goa during the past decade.... The data generated would be of importance in protecting and conserving mangrove habitats, which are limited in the state. METHODOLOGY Satellite imageries of January/ February months of the years 1997, 2001 and 2006 were selected for the study, based...

  3. Diverse habitat use during two life stages of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi: community structure, foraging, and social interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa R. Price

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Our ability to prevent extinction in declining populations often depends on effective management of habitats that are disturbed through wildfire, logging, agriculture, or development. In these disturbed landscapes, the juxtaposition of multiple habitat types can be especially important to fledglings and young birds, which may leave breeding grounds in human-altered habitat for different habitats nearby that provide increased foraging opportunities, reduced competition, and higher protection from predators. In this study, we evaluated the importance of three habitat types to two life stages of the critically endangered Bahama Oriole (Icterus northropi, a synanthropic songbird endemic to Andros, The Bahamas. First, we determined the avian species composition and relative abundance of I. northropi among three major vegetation types on Andros: Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea forest, coppice (broadleaf dry forest, and anthropogenic areas, dominated by nonnative vegetation (farmland and developed land. We then compared the foraging strategies and social interactions of two age classes of adult Bahama Orioles in relation to differential habitat use. Bird surveys late in the Bahama Oriole’s breeding season indicated the number of avian species and Bahama Oriole density were highest in coppice. Some bird species occurring in the coppice and pine forest were never observed in agricultural or residential areas, and may be at risk if human disturbance of pine forest and coppice increases, as is occurring at a rapid pace on Andros. During the breeding season, second-year (SY adult Bahama Orioles foraged in all vegetation types, whereas after-second-year (ASY adults were observed foraging only in anthropogenic areas, where the species nested largely in introduced coconut palms (Cocos nucifera. Additionally, SY adults foraging in anthropogenic areas were often observed with an ASY adult, suggesting divergent habitat use for younger, unpaired birds. Other

  4. Pollinators in peril? A multipark approach to evaluating bee communities in habitats vulnerable to effects from climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rykken, Jessica; Rodman, Ann; Droege, Sam; Grundel, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    In 2010, collaborators from the National Park Service (Ann Rodman, Yellowstone National Park), USGS (Sam Droege and Ralph Grundel), and Harvard University (Jessica Rykken) were awarded funding from the NPS Climate Change Response Program to launch just such an investigation in almost 50 units of the National Park System (fig. 1). The main objectives of this multiyear project were to: Compare bee communities in three “vulnerable” habitats (high elevation, inland arid, coastal) and paired “common” habitats, representative of the landscape matrix, in order to determine whether vulnerable habitats have a distinctive bee fauna that may be at higher risk under climate change scenarios. Inform natural resource managers at each park about the bee fauna at their paired sites, including the presence of rare and endemic species, and make suggestions for active management strategies to promote native bee habitat if warranted. Increase awareness among park natural resource staffs, interpreters, and visitors of native bee diversity and natural history, the essential role of bees in maintaining healthy ecosystems, and potential threats from climate change to pollinator-dependent ecosystems.

  5. [Developmental instability of the organism as a result of pessimization of environment under anthropogenic transformation of natural landscapes].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shadrina, E G; Vol'pert, Ia L

    2014-01-01

    The value of fluctuating asymmetry is considered to be an indicator of the developmental instability of the organism. The consequences of activities of the mining industry plants, which are characterized by alienation and transformation of large areas of natural landscapes, are analyzed as an anthropogenic factor. The objects of study were small mammals (northern red-backed (Clethrionomys rutilus) and gray red-backed (Clethrionomys rufocanus) voles, tundra vole (Microtus oeconomus), Laxmann's (Sorex caecutiens) and tundra (S. tundrensis) shrews) and trees (Japanese white birch (Betula platyphylla), Betula divaricate, Betula exilis, Duschekiafruticosa, and common osier (Salix viminalis)). In total, 3500 skulls and approximately 30000 leaves collected in the taiga zone of Yakutia were studied. The index offluctuating asymmetry, as well as population parameters and composition of small mammal communities, were analyzed. The data on the value of the fluctuating asymmetry in the studied species in natural habitats are given. It is shown that, in natural conditions, this parameter can rise with deterioration in living conditions, particularly at the ecological periphery of the range. Anthropogenic transformation of natural landscapes creates an "anthropogenic periphery" and causes changes similar to the adaptive responses at the northern limit of the distribution of species. It was found that, through pollution and disruption of ecosystems, the mining industry affects all levels of organization of the living matter, but the population and cenotic parameters give an unambiguous response only at macroanthropogenic transformations. Increase in the level of fluctuating asymmetry is the most sensitive indicator of anthropogenic impact and it should also be taken into account that disruptions in the developmental stability of an organism reflect the destructive processes occurring in the population and community.

  6. Eco-hydrologic model cascades: Simulating land use and climate change impacts on hydrology, hydraulics and habitats for fish and macroinvertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guse, Björn; Kail, Jochem; Radinger, Johannes; Schröder, Maria; Kiesel, Jens; Hering, Daniel; Wolter, Christian; Fohrer, Nicola

    2015-11-15

    Climate and land use changes affect the hydro- and biosphere at different spatial scales. These changes alter hydrological processes at the catchment scale, which impact hydrodynamics and habitat conditions for biota at the river reach scale. In order to investigate the impact of large-scale changes on biota, a cascade of models at different scales is required. Using scenario simulations, the impact of climate and land use change can be compared along the model cascade. Such a cascade of consecutively coupled models was applied in this study. Discharge and water quality are predicted with a hydrological model at the catchment scale. The hydraulic flow conditions are predicted by hydrodynamic models. The habitat suitability under these hydraulic and water quality conditions is assessed based on habitat models for fish and macroinvertebrates. This modelling cascade was applied to predict and compare the impacts of climate- and land use changes at different scales to finally assess their effects on fish and macroinvertebrates. Model simulations revealed that magnitude and direction of change differed along the modelling cascade. Whilst the hydrological model predicted a relevant decrease of discharge due to climate change, the hydraulic conditions changed less. Generally, the habitat suitability for fish decreased but this was strongly species-specific and suitability even increased for some species. In contrast to climate change, the effect of land use change on discharge was negligible. However, land use change had a stronger impact on the modelled nitrate concentrations affecting the abundances of macroinvertebrates. The scenario simulations for the two organism groups illustrated that direction and intensity of changes in habitat suitability are highly species-dependent. Thus, a joined model analysis of different organism groups combined with the results of hydrological and hydrodynamic models is recommended to assess the impact of climate and land use changes on

  7. HABITAT CONDITIONS OF CANADIAN GOLDENROD IN A SELECTED REGION OF EASTERN POLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aleksandra Bielecka

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The Canadian goldenrod Solidago canadensis (L is an invasive species in Poland. It occurs both in habitats only weakly impacted by anthropogenic factors as well as in habitats subjected to intensive transformations by humans. The aim of this study was to characterise the habitats of S. canadensis in Mińsk Mazowiecki and in out-of-town areas. It has been shown, based on an analysis of the principal soil properties, that the sites where S. canadensis was found had clayey-sandy soil and a C/N ratio indicative of medium and high soil degradation. Canadian goldenrod was found at sites with a diverse content of phosphorus, calcium and magnesium in soil, as well as a diverse soil pH, indicative of a strongly acidic, acidic and alkaline character of the soil.

  8. Challenges in Aquatic Physical Habitat Assessment: Improving Conservation and Restoration Decisions for Contemporary Watersheds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason A. Hubbart

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Attribution of in-stream biological impairment to anthropogenic activities and prioritization for restoration and/or conservation can be challenging in contemporary mixed-land-use watersheds. Critical information necessary to improve decision making can be costly and labor intensive, and thus unobtainable for many municipalities. A reduced cost, rapid stream physical habitat assessment (rPHA can yield information that, when paired with land use data may reveal causal patterns in aquatic physical habitat degradation, and thus assist targeting sites for restoration. However, a great deal of work is needed to reduce associated costs, and validate the potential of rPHA for documenting fine-scale incremental change in physical habitat conditions in complex contemporary watersheds. The following commentary serves to draw attention to rPHA challenges and research needs including (but not limited to field-based validation and optimization of new remote sensing technologies, evaluation of the accuracy and representativeness of rapid vegetation survey methods, refinement of analytical methods, and consideration of legacy land use impacts and hydrologic system evolution in rPHA results interpretation. Considering the value of rPHA-generated data for improvement of watershed resource management, such challenges constitute timely, high-impact research opportunities for investigators wishing to advance complex, contemporary aquatic ecosystem management.

  9. Anthropogenic host plant expansion leads a nettle-feeding butterfly out of the forest: consequences for larval survival and developmental plasticity in adult morphology

    OpenAIRE

    Merckx, Thomas; Serruys, Mélanie; Van Dyck, Hans

    2015-01-01

    Recent anthropogenic eutrophication has meant that host plants of nettle-feeding insects became quasi-omnipresent in fertile regions of Western Europe. However, host plant resource quality – in terms of microclimate and nutritional value – may vary considerably between the ‘original’ forest habitat and ‘recent’ agricul- tural habitat. Here, we compared development in both environmental settings using a split-brood design, so as to explore to what extent larval survival and adult morphology in...

  10. Comparative bacterial community analysis in relatively pristine and anthropogenically influenced mangrove ecosystems on the Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ullah, Riaz; Yasir, Muhammad; Khan, Imran; Bibi, Fehmida; Sohrab, Sayed Sartaj; Al-Ansari, Ahmed; Al-Abbasi, Fahad; Al-Sofyani, Abdulmohsin A; Daur, Ihsanullah; Lee, Seon-Woo; Azhar, Esam I

    2017-08-01

    Mangrove habitats are ecologically important ecosystems that are under severe pressure worldwide because of environmental changes and human activities. In this study, 16S rRNA gene amplicon deep-sequencing was used to compare bacterial communities in Red Sea mangrove ecosystems at anthropogenically influenced coastal sites with those at a relatively pristine island site. In total, 32 phyla were identified from the mangrove rhizospheres, with Proteobacteria predominating at each of the studied sites; however, the relative abundance was significantly decreased at the coastal sites (Mastorah, MG-MS; Ar-Rayis, MG-AR) compared with the pristine island site near Dhahban (MG-DBI). The phyla Actinobacteria, Firmicutes, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi, Spirochetes, and Planctomycetes were present at a relative abundance of >1% at the MG-MS and MG-AR sites, but their concentration was <1% at the MG-DBI site. A total of 1659 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were identified at the species level, and approximately 945 OTUs were shared across the different sampling sites. Multivariate principal coordinate data analysis separated the MG-DBI site from the MG-AR and MG-MS cluster. Specific bacterial taxa were enriched at each location, and in particular, the genera Pseudoalteromonas and Cobetia were predominantly identified in the MG-DBI site compared with the anthropogenically influenced coastal sites.

  11. Changes in growth, vitality, and habitat value of Acropora cervicornis in the US Caribbean

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The project was planned to document the habitat value of Acropora cervicornis, staghorn coral, colonies or stands/thickets as they changed in configuration through...

  12. Climate Change, Northern Birds of Conservation Concern and Matching the Hotspots of Habitat Suitability with the Reserve Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051–2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species’ probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares (“hotspots”) in the four bird species groups in the period 1971–2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051–2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered. PMID:23700420

  13. Climate and Anthropogenic Change in Aquatic Environments: A Cross Ecosystem Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    contrac- tions of species habitat ranges and alter physiological processes, both of which can translate to significant disrup- tions in the ecological ...threatened by rising tempera- tures and ocean acidification. Among the threatened organisms are the planktonic larvae of many ecologically and economically...habitats, from the rocky mid-ocean ridges, submarine canyons, trenches, and seamounts , to the island-like chemoautotrophic cold seeps, hydrothermal

  14. Changes to habitats over time in Narragansett Bay and setting management targets using BCG approaches

    Science.gov (United States)

    We compare changes in the distributions of seagrass, benthic, macroalgal, saltmarsh, and shellfish habitat in Narragansett Bay (U.S.A.) since the 1700s to changes in stressors and management decisions over the same time period, and describe a method that management programs can u...

  15. Adaptive breeding habitat selection: Is it for the birds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.

    2012-01-01

    The question of why animals choose particular habitats has important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of organisms in the wild and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. Habitats chosen by animals can influence fitness outcomes via the costs (e.g., predation risk) and benefits (e.g., food availability) of habitat use. Habitat preferences should therefore be under selection to favor those that confer fitness advantages (Clark and Shutler 1999). Indeed, prevailing theory suggests that the habitat preferences of animals should be adaptive, such that fitness is higher in preferred habitats (Hildén 1965, Southwood 1977, Martin 1998). However, studies have often identified apparent mismatches between observed habitat preferences and fitness outcomes across a wide variety of taxa (Valladares and Lawton 1991, Mayhew 1997, Kolbe and Janzen 2002, Arlt and Pärt 2007, Mägi et al. 2009). Certainly, one limitation of studies may be that assessment of “fitness” is typically constrained to fitness surrogates such as nest success rather than lifetime reproductive success or classic Fisherian fitness (Endler 1986). Nevertheless, important habitat choices such as nest sites influence the probability that temporarily sedentary, dependent young are discovered by enemies such as predators and parasites. We therefore expect, on average, to see congruence between evolved habitat preferences and relevant components of fitness (e.g., nest success). Here, we (1) review the prevalence of apparent mismatches between avian breeding-habitat preferences and fitness outcomes using nest-site selection as a focus; (2) describe several potential mechanisms for such mismatches, including anthropogenic, methodological, and ecological–evolutionary; and (3) suggest a framework for understanding the contexts in which habitat preferences represent adaptive decisions, with a primary focus on ecological information

  16. Understanding the genetic effects of recent habitat fragmentation in the context of evolutionary history: Phylogeography and landscape genetics of a southern California endemic Jerusalem cricket (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae: Stenopelmatus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandergast, A.G.; Bohonak, A.J.; Weissman, D.B.; Fisher, R.N.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation due to urbanization are the most pervasive threats to biodiversity in southern California. Loss of habitat and fragmentation can lower migration rates and genetic connectivity among remaining populations of native species, reducing genetic variability and increasing extinction risk. However, it may be difficult to separate the effects of recent anthropogenic fragmentation from the genetic signature of prehistoric fragmentation due to previous natural geological and climatic changes. To address these challenges, we examined the phylogenetic and population genetic structure of a flightless insect endemic to cismontane southern California, Stenopelmatus 'mahogani' (Orthoptera: Stenopelmatidae). Analyses of mitochondrial DNA sequence data suggest that diversification across southern California began during the Pleistocene, with most haplotypes currently restricted to a single population. Patterns of genetic divergence correlate with contemporary urbanization, even after correcting for (geographical information system) GIS-based reconstructions of fragmentation during the Pleistocene. Theoretical simulations confirm that contemporary patterns of genetic structure could be produced by recent urban fragmentation using biologically reasonable assumptions about model parameters. Diversity within populations was positively correlated with current fragment size, but not prehistoric fragment size, suggesting that the effects of increased drift following anthropogenic fragmentation are already being seen. Loss of genetic connectivity and diversity can hinder a population's ability to adapt to ecological perturbations commonly associated with urbanization, such as habitat degradation, climatic changes and introduced species. Consequently, our results underscore the importance of preserving and restoring landscape connectivity for long-term persistence of low vagility native species. Journal compilation ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  17. The Effects of Anthropogenic Structures on Habitat Connectivity and the Potential Spread of Non-Native Invertebrate Species in the Offshore Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Rachel D; Page, Henry M; Zaleski, Susan; Miller, Robert; Dugan, Jenifer E; Schroeder, Donna M; Doheny, Brandon

    2016-01-01

    Offshore structures provide habitat that could facilitate species range expansions and the introduction of non-native species into new geographic areas. Surveys of assemblages of seven offshore oil and gas platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel revealed a change in distribution of the non-native sessile invertebrate Watersipora subtorquata, a bryozoan with a planktonic larval duration (PLD) of 24 hours or less, from one platform in 2001 to four platforms in 2013. We use a three-dimensional biophysical model to assess whether larval dispersal via currents from harbors to platforms and among platforms is a plausible mechanism to explain the change in distribution of Watersipora and to predict potential spread to other platforms in the future. Hull fouling is another possible mechanism to explain the change in distribution of Watersipora. We find that larval dispersal via currents could account for the increase in distribution of Watersipora from one to four platforms and that Watersipora is unlikely to spread from these four platforms to additional platforms through larval dispersal. Our results also suggest that larvae with PLDs of 24 hours or less released from offshore platforms can attain much greater dispersal distances than larvae with PLDs of 24 hours or less released from nearshore habitat. We hypothesize that the enhanced dispersal distance of larvae released from offshore platforms is driven by a combination of the offshore hydrodynamic environment, larval behavior, and larval release above the seafloor.

  18. Western Pyrenees facing global change: comparison of the effects of climatic and anthropogenic change on water abstractions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terrasson, Isabelle; Chazot, Sebastien; Maton, Laure; Rinaudo, Jean-Daniel; Caballero, Yvan

    2014-01-01

    In the French Western Pyrenees, the trend to the decrease of low water flows that has been observed during the current years should be going on in the future. This may increase the hydric stress on aquatic ecosystems, and the competition among water uses and users for accessing water resources. The research project ANR-VULCAIN compared the impacts of climatic and socio-economic change on the hydro-systems of the French Western Pyrenees. Modeling and participative prospect analysis have been coupled to quantify the evolution of water abstractions under these two types of change. Socio-economic scenarios have been built together with local stakeholders during workshops (urbanism / land planning on the one hand and agriculture on the other hand). Their results have been quantified with the models developed so as to assess anthropogenic change impacts on domestic and agricultural abstractions. In parallel, the agricultural model has been fed with climatic scenarios so as to assess the impacts of climate change on agricultural water needs. In the created scenarios, the evolution of agricultural water needs under climate change have a bigger range than the evolution of abstractions for domestic water and agricultural needs under anthropic change, which are the same order of magnitude. To satisfy this evolution, there are some rooms to maneuver: make distribution modalities more efficient, optimize the management of storage capacity, or use substitution resources. This paper presents the approach that has been followed, and some of the main results. (authors)

  19. Climate change and human colonization triggered habitat loss and fragmentation in Madagascar

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Salmona, Jordi; Heller, Rasmus; Quéméré, Erwan

    2017-01-01

    The relative effect of past climate fluctuations and anthropogenic activities on current biome distribution is subject to increasing attention, notably in biodiversity hot spots. In Madagascar, where humans arrived in the last ~4 to 5,000 years, the exact causes of the demise of large vertebrates......-Holocene transition. While mid-Holocene climate change probably triggered major demographic changes in the two lemur species range and connectivity, human settlements that expanded over the last four millennia in northern Madagascar likely played a role in the loss and fragmentation of the forest cover.......—Propithecus tattersalli and Propithecus perrieri—using population genetic analyses. Our results highlight the necessity to consider population structure and changes in connectivity in demographic history inferences. We show that both species underwent demographic fluctuations which most likely occurred after the mid...

  20. Influence of the anthropogenic changes of gamma dose radiation connected connected with uranium mining upon selected plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solecki, A. T.; Wislocka, M.A.

    2000-01-01

    The situation of flora in the regions with expressive anthropogenic changes in the background of gamma radiation and concentration of the radon in atmospheric air was observed. The content of heavy metals in the depth of the anomaly terrain was analyzed. The analyses of the selected radionuclides in plant ash by method in thin layer were performed. The concentration of radionuclides and situation of flora was correlated. (authors)

  1. Anthropogenic changes in the surface all-sky UV-B radiation through 1850-2005 simulated by an Earth system model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watanabe, S.; Takemura, T.; Sudo, K.; Yokohata, T.; Kawase, H.

    2012-06-01

    The historical anthropogenic change in the surface all-sky UV-B (solar ultraviolet: 280-315 nm) radiation through 1850-2005 is evaluated using an Earth system model. Responses of UV-B dose to anthropogenic changes in ozone and aerosols are separately evaluated using a series of historical simulations including/excluding these changes. Increases in these air pollutants cause reductions in UV-B transmittance, which occur gradually/rapidly before/after 1950 in and downwind of industrial and deforestation regions. Furthermore, changes in ozone transport in the lower stratosphere, which is induced by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, increase ozone concentration in the extratropical upper troposphere and lower stratosphere. These transient changes work to decrease the amount of UV-B reaching the Earth's surface, counteracting the well-known effect increasing UV-B due to stratospheric ozone depletion, which developed rapidly after ca. 1980. As a consequence, the surface UV-B radiation change between 1850 and 2000 is negative in the tropics and NH extratropics and positive in the SH extratropics. Comparing the contributions of ozone and aerosol changes to the UV-B change, the transient change in ozone absorption of UV-B mainly determines the total change in the surface UV-B radiation at most locations. On the other hand, the aerosol direct and indirect effects on UV-B play an equally important role to that of ozone in the NH mid-latitudes and tropics. A typical example is East Asia (25° N-60° N and 120° E-150° E), where the effect of aerosols (ca. 70%) dominates the total UV-B change.

  2. Current distribution of Pilularia globulifera L. in Poland – changes of geographical range and habitat preferences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ewa Szczęśniak

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Pilularia globulifera is a subatlantic European fern threatened with extinction. In Poland, it reaches the eastern border of its continuous range. Up to the end of the 20th century, it was observed here in 21 stands; only 2 of them existed by the second half of the century, so the species was categorized as critically endangered. Five new locations have been found in western and northwestern Poland during the last 10 years. Abundant and permanent populations grow in 3 locations, while 2 stands were ephemeral. All the current stands are situated in anthropogenic habitats with spontaneous vegetation, in oligotrophic to eutrophic waters. One of the new localities is about 280 km distant from the eastern range of the limit known previously. Pilularia forms its own plant community Pilularietum globuliferae, enters plots of Ranunculo-Juncetum bulbosi and occurs in mesotrophic to eutrophic rushes of Eleocharis palustris, Phragmites australis, Typha angustifolia and Equisetum fluviatile. Specimens are vigorous and regularly produce sporocarps.

  3. Climate change and tree-line ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada: Habitat suitability modelling to inform high-elevation forest dynamics monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Peggy E.; Alvarez, Otto; McKinney, Shawn T.; Li, Wenkai; Brooks, Matthew L.; Guo, Qinghua

    2017-01-01

    Whitebark pine and foxtail pine serve foundational roles in the subalpine zone of the Sierra Nevada. They provide the dominant structure in tree-line forests and regulate key ecosystem processes and community dynamics. Climate change models suggest that there will be changes in temperature regimes and in the timing and magnitude of precipitation within the current distribution of these species, and these changes may alter the species’ distributional limits. Other stressors include the non-native pathogen white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle, which have played a role in the decline of whitebark pine throughout much of its range. The National Park Service is monitoring status and trends of these species. This report provides complementary information in the form of habitat suitability models to predict climate change impacts on the future distribution of these species within Sierra Nevada national parks.We used maximum entropy modeling to build habitat suitability models by relating species occurrence to environmental variables. Species occurrence was available from 328 locations for whitebark pine and 244 for foxtail pine across the species’ distributions within the parks. We constructed current climate surfaces for modeling by interpolating data from weather stations. Climate surfaces included mean, minimum, and maximum temperature and total precipitation for January, April, July, and October. We downscaled five general circulation models for the 2050s and the 2090s from ~125 km2 to 1 km2 under both an optimistic and an extreme climate scenario to bracket potential climatic change and its influence on projected suitable habitat. To describe anticipated changes in the distribution of suitable habitat, we compared, for each species, climate scenario, and time period, the current models with future models in terms of proportional change in habitat size, elevation distribution, model center points, and where habitat is predicted to expand or contract

  4. Adaptation to ephemeral habitat may overcome natural barriers and severe habitat fragmentation in a fire-dependent species, the Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cerame, Blain; Cox, James A; Brumfield, Robb T; Tucker, James W; Taylor, Sabrina S

    2014-01-01

    Bachman's Sparrow (Peucaea aestivalis) is a fire-dependent species that has undergone range-wide population declines in recent decades. We examined genetic diversity in Bachman's Sparrows to determine whether natural barriers have led to distinct population units and to assess the effect of anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation. Genetic diversity was examined across the geographic range by genotyping 226 individuals at 18 microsatellite loci and sequencing 48 individuals at mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Multiple analyses consistently demonstrated little genetic structure and high levels of genetic variation, suggesting that populations are panmictic. Based on these genetic data, separate management units/subspecies designations or translocations to promote gene flow among fragmented populations do not appear to be necessary. Panmixia in Bachman's Sparrow may be a consequence of an historical range expansion and retraction. Alternatively, high vagility in Bachman's Sparrow may be an adaptation to the ephemeral, fire-mediated habitat that this species prefers. In recent times, high vagility also appears to have offset inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity in highly fragmented habitat.

  5. An inquiry into the relationships among science, policy and the public: the case of anthropogenic climate change; Betrachtung des Verhaeltnisses zwischen Wissenschaft, Politik und Oeffentlichkeit am Beispiel der Diskussion um anthropogene Klimaaenderungen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rau, S [GKSS-Forschungszentrum Geesthacht GmbH (Germany). Inst. fuer Kuestenforschung

    2001-07-01

    This thesis present an analysis of qualitative interviews with experts in the field of climate research in which the relation among science, policy and public is discussed. To begin, an overview of the methods and results of climate science is presented. Following, elements of the discourse among science, policy and public are presented in a manner that demonstrates the different ways to look at the problem of anthropogenic climate change. Subsequently, approaches of the sociology of science are introduced in which science is examined as a social process. Here the question is raised up to what extent climate research has taken a problem oriented perspective in which social and political criteria in the treatment of actual risks of global change are taken into account. The results of the analysis indicate that uncertainties in science led to different perspectives regarding the risks of anthropogenic climate change. In this way scientific knowledge itself becomes problematic. Communication of scientific results to policy and public poses a process which is stamped by individual values and preferences. This suggests the possibility that recognition of theories is increasingly determined by extra scientific criteria like resonance in the media and possibility of connection for political measures. (orig.) [German] In dieser Arbeit wird eine Analyse qualitativer Interviews mit Klimaforschern vorgestellt, in denen das Verhaeltnis von Wissenschaft, Politik und Oeffentlichkeit diskutiert wird. In einem ersten Schritt wird ein Ueberblick gegeben ueber Methoden und Ergebnisse der gegenwaertigen Klimaforschung. Anschliessend werden Elemente des Diskurses zwischen Wissenschaft, Politik und Oeffentlichkeit dargestellt, die unterschiedliche Selektionsmuster der Problematik um anthropogene Klimaaenderungen verdeutlichen. Hiervon ausgehend werden Ansaetze der Wissenschaftssoziologie vorgestellt, mit denen Wissenschaft als sozialer Prozess analysiert wird. Hierbei wird die Frage

  6. Consequences of habitat change and resource selection specialization for population limitation in cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied.

  7. Fishers’ local knowledge on impact of climate change and anthropogenic interferences on Hilsa fishery in South Asia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jahan, Israt; Ahsan, Dewan; Farque, Md Hasan

    2017-01-01

    fishers’ perceptions on effect of climate change and anthropogenic impact on Hilsa fishery at lower Meghna. Fishers’ ecological knowledge indicates that the stock of Hilsa is declining due to several adverse climatic conditions such as increased water temperature, salinity intrusion and low freshwater....... The study also indicates that the major constraints to adopt with the change situation are low level of human capital and restricted access to the formal credit system. Therefore, incorporation of local knowledge in governmental policy formulation and public support to improve human skill are essential...

  8. Climate change sensitivity index for Pacific salmon habitat in southeast Alaska.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Colin S Shanley

    Full Text Available Global climate change may become one of the most pressing challenges to Pacific Salmon conservation and management for southeast Alaska in the 21st Century. Predicted hydrologic change associated with climate change will likely challenge the ability of specific stocks to adapt to new flow regimes and resulting shifts in spawning and rearing habitats. Current research suggests egg-to-fry survival may be one of the most important freshwater limiting factors in Pacific Salmon's northern range due to more frequent flooding events predicted to scour eggs from mobile spawning substrates. A watershed-scale hydroclimatic sensitivity index was developed to map this hypothesis with an historical stream gauge station dataset and monthly multiple regression-based discharge models. The relative change from present to future watershed conditions predicted for the spawning and incubation period (September to March was quantified using an ensemble global climate model average (ECHAM5, HadCM3, and CGCM3.1 and three global greenhouse gas emission scenarios (B1, A1B, and A2 projected to the year 2080. The models showed the region's diverse physiography and climatology resulted in a relatively predictable pattern of change: northern mainland and steeper, snow-fed mountainous watersheds exhibited the greatest increases in discharge, an earlier spring melt, and a transition into rain-fed hydrologic patterns. Predicted streamflow increases for all watersheds ranged from approximately 1-fold to 3-fold for the spawning and incubation period, with increased peak flows in the spring and fall. The hydroclimatic sensitivity index was then combined with an index of currently mapped salmon habitat and species diversity to develop a research and conservation priority matrix, highlighting potentially vulnerable to resilient high-value watersheds. The resulting matrix and observed trends are put forth as a framework to prioritize long-term monitoring plans, mitigation

  9. Assessment of the Threats to the Biodiversity and Habitats in "Stara Reka" Reserve (Bulgaria and Its Adjacent Subalpine and Alpine Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svetlana V. Yocheva

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The assessment of the threats in the “Stara Reka” reserve and its adjacent subalpine and alpine areas is important since it makes it possible the appropriate conservation measures to be taken in order to prevent or reduce the negative effects on the biodiversity and habitats. The assessment was based on systematic studies and visits in the “Stara Reka” Reserve, located within National Park “Central Balkan” (Bulgaria, during spring, summer and autumn seasons of 2010-2011. A number of threats were recorded, where those by anthropogenic origin were predominating. Tourists have negatively influenced the wild plants such as Allium ursinum, Inula helenium and Primula frondosa by picking them up. Damages were registered on the information system and signs. Waste disposal, fires, poaching and illegal fishing were also some of the recorded threats. Many natural succession changes quite dynamically vary the habitats in the reserve, but the most dangerous for the biodiversity and degradation of habitats remain fires, erosion and introduction of alien species.

  10. A hydrologic drying bias in water-resource impact analyses of anthropogenic climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milly, Paul; Dunne, Krista A.

    2017-01-01

    For water-resource planning, sensitivity of freshwater availability to anthropogenic climate change (ACC) often is analyzed with “offline” hydrologic models that use precipitation and potential evapotranspiration (Ep) as inputs. Because Ep is not a climate-model output, an intermediary model of Ep must be introduced to connect the climate model to the hydrologic model. Several Ep methods are used. The suitability of each can be assessed by noting a credible Ep method for offline analyses should be able to reproduce climate models’ ACC-driven changes in actual evapotranspiration in regions and seasons of negligible water stress (Ew). We quantified this ability for seven commonly used Ep methods and for a simple proportionality with available energy (“energy-only” method). With the exception of the energy-only method, all methods tend to overestimate substantially the increase in Ep associated with ACC. In an offline hydrologic model, the Ep-change biases produce excessive increases in actual evapotranspiration (E), whether the system experiences water stress or not, and thence strong negative biases in runoff change, as compared to hydrologic fluxes in the driving climate models. The runoff biases are comparable in magnitude to the ACC-induced runoff changes themselves. These results suggest future hydrologic drying (wetting) trends likely are being systematically and substantially overestimated (underestimated) in many water-resource impact analyses.

  11. beta-diversity and species accumulation in antarctic coastal benthos: influence of habitat, distance and productivity on ecological connectivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simon F Thrush

    Full Text Available High Antarctic coastal marine environments are comparatively pristine with strong environmental gradients, which make them important places to investigate biodiversity relationships. Defining how different environmental features contribute to shifts in beta-diversity is especially important as these shifts reflect both spatio-temporal variations in species richness and the degree of ecological separation between local and regional species pools. We used complementary techniques (species accumulation models, multivariate variance partitioning and generalized linear models to assess how the roles of productivity, bio-physical habitat heterogeneity and connectivity change with spatial scales from metres to 100's of km. Our results demonstrated that the relative importance of specific processes influencing species accumulation and beta-diversity changed with increasing spatial scale, and that patterns were never driven by only one factor. Bio-physical habitat heterogeneity had a strong influence on beta-diversity at scales 40 km. Our analysis supports the emphasis on the analysis of diversity relationships across multiple spatial scales and highlights the unequal connectivity of individual sites to the regional species pool. This has important implications for resilience to habitat loss and community homogenisation, especially for Antarctic benthic communities where rates of recovery from disturbance are slow, there is a high ratio of poor-dispersing and brooding species, and high biogenic habitat heterogeneity and spatio-temporal variability in primary production make the system vulnerable to disturbance. Consequently, large areas need to be included within marine protected areas for effective management and conservation of these special ecosystems in the face of increasing anthropogenic disturbance.

  12. beta-diversity and species accumulation in antarctic coastal benthos: influence of habitat, distance and productivity on ecological connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thrush, Simon F; Hewitt, Judi E; Cummings, Vonda J; Norkko, Alf; Chiantore, Mariachiara

    2010-07-30

    High Antarctic coastal marine environments are comparatively pristine with strong environmental gradients, which make them important places to investigate biodiversity relationships. Defining how different environmental features contribute to shifts in beta-diversity is especially important as these shifts reflect both spatio-temporal variations in species richness and the degree of ecological separation between local and regional species pools. We used complementary techniques (species accumulation models, multivariate variance partitioning and generalized linear models) to assess how the roles of productivity, bio-physical habitat heterogeneity and connectivity change with spatial scales from metres to 100's of km. Our results demonstrated that the relative importance of specific processes influencing species accumulation and beta-diversity changed with increasing spatial scale, and that patterns were never driven by only one factor. Bio-physical habitat heterogeneity had a strong influence on beta-diversity at scales 40 km. Our analysis supports the emphasis on the analysis of diversity relationships across multiple spatial scales and highlights the unequal connectivity of individual sites to the regional species pool. This has important implications for resilience to habitat loss and community homogenisation, especially for Antarctic benthic communities where rates of recovery from disturbance are slow, there is a high ratio of poor-dispersing and brooding species, and high biogenic habitat heterogeneity and spatio-temporal variability in primary production make the system vulnerable to disturbance. Consequently, large areas need to be included within marine protected areas for effective management and conservation of these special ecosystems in the face of increasing anthropogenic disturbance.

  13. Resource selection by the California condor (Gymnogyps californianus relative to terrestrial-based habitats and meteorological conditions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James W Rivers

    Full Text Available Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas. Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection and negative (avoidance effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development. Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize

  14. Potential climate change effects on the habitat of antarctic krill in the weddell quadrant of the southern ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Simeon L; Phillips, Tony; Atkinson, Angus

    2013-01-01

    Antarctic krill is a cold water species, an increasingly important fishery resource and a major prey item for many fish, birds and mammals in the Southern Ocean. The fishery and the summer foraging sites of many of these predators are concentrated between 0° and 90°W. Parts of this quadrant have experienced recent localised sea surface warming of up to 0.2°C per decade, and projections suggest that further widespread warming of 0.27° to 1.08°C will occur by the late 21(st) century. We assessed the potential influence of this projected warming on Antarctic krill habitat with a statistical model that links growth to temperature and chlorophyll concentration. The results divide the quadrant into two zones: a band around the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in which habitat quality is particularly vulnerable to warming, and a southern area which is relatively insensitive. Our analysis suggests that the direct effects of warming could reduce the area of growth habitat by up to 20%. The reduction in growth habitat within the range of predators, such as Antarctic fur seals, that forage from breeding sites on South Georgia could be up to 55%, and the habitat's ability to support Antarctic krill biomass production within this range could be reduced by up to 68%. Sensitivity analysis suggests that the effects of a 50% change in summer chlorophyll concentration could be more significant than the direct effects of warming. A reduction in primary production could lead to further habitat degradation but, even if chlorophyll increased by 50%, projected warming would still cause some degradation of the habitat accessible to predators. While there is considerable uncertainty in these projections, they suggest that future climate change could have a significant negative effect on Antarctic krill growth habitat and, consequently, on Southern Ocean biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  15. Blue whales respond to anthropogenic noise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana L Melcón

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic noise may significantly impact exposed marine mammals. This work studied the vocalization response of endangered blue whales to anthropogenic noise sources in the mid-frequency range using passive acoustic monitoring in the Southern California Bight. Blue whales were less likely to produce calls when mid-frequency active sonar was present. This reduction was more pronounced when the sonar source was closer to the animal, at higher sound levels. The animals were equally likely to stop calling at any time of day, showing no diel pattern in their sensitivity to sonar. Conversely, the likelihood of whales emitting calls increased when ship sounds were nearby. Whales did not show a differential response to ship noise as a function of the time of the day either. These results demonstrate that anthropogenic noise, even at frequencies well above the blue whales' sound production range, has a strong probability of eliciting changes in vocal behavior. The long-term implications of disruption in call production to blue whale foraging and other behaviors are currently not well understood.

  16. The ecological and evolutionary consequences of noise-induced acoustic habitat loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tennessen, Jennifer Beissinger

    Anthropogenic threats are facilitating rapid environmental change and exerting novel pressures on the integrity of ecological patterns and processes. Currently, habitat loss is the leading factor contributing to global biodiversity loss. Noise created by human activities is nearly ubiquitous in terrestrial and marine systems, and causes acoustic habitat loss by interfering with species' abilities to freely send and receive critical acoustic biological information. My dissertation investigates how novel sounds from human activities affect ecological and evolutionary processes in space and time in marine and terrestrial systems, and how species may cope with this emerging novel pressure. Using species from both marine and terrestrial systems, I present results from a theoretical investigation, and four acoustic playback experiments combining laboratory studies and field trials, that reveal a range of eco-evolutionary consequences of noiseinduced acoustic habitat loss. First, I use sound propagation modeling to assess how marine shipping noise reduces communication space between mother-calf pairs of North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis ), an important unit of an endangered species. I show that shipping noise poses significant challenges for mother-calf pairs, but that vocal compensation strategies can substantially improve communication space. Next, in a series of acoustic playback experiments I show that road traffic noise impairs breeding migration behavior and physiology of wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus ). This work reveals the first evidence that traffic noise elicits a physiological stress response and suppresses production of antimicrobial peptides (a component of the innate immune response) in anurans. Further, wood frogs from populations with a history of inhabiting noisy sites mounted reduced physiological stress responses to continuous traffic noise exposure. This research using wood frogs suggests that chronic traffic noise exposure has

  17. Wildlife habitat connectivity in the changing climate of New York's Hudson Valley.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Timothy G; Schlesinger, Matthew D

    2013-09-01

    Maintaining and restoring connectivity are key adaptation strategies for biodiversity conservation under climate change. We present a novel combination of species distribution and connectivity modeling using current and future climate regimes to prioritize connections among populations of 26 rare species in New York's Hudson Valley. We modeled patches for each species for each time period and modeled potential connections among habitat patches by finding the least-cost path for every patch-to-patch connection. Finally, we aggregated these patches and paths to the tax parcel, commonly the primary unit of conservation action. Under future climate regimes, suitable habitat was predicted to contract or appear upslope and farther north. On average, predicted patches were nine times smaller and paths were twice as long under future climate. Parcels within the Hudson Highlands, Shawangunk Ridge, Catskill Mountains, and Harlem Valley had high species overlap, with areas upslope and northward increasing in importance over time. We envision that land managers and conservation planners can use these results to help prioritize parcel-level conservation and management and thus support biodiversity adaptation to climate change. © 2013 New York Academy of Sciences.

  18. Invasion of a mined landscape: what habitat characteristics are influencing the occurrence of invasive plants?

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Lemke; I.A. Tazisong; Y. Wang; J.A. Brown

    2012-01-01

    Throughout the world, the invasion of alien plants is an increasing threat to native biodiversity. Invasion is especially prevalent in areas affected by land transformation and anthropogenic disturbance. Surface mines are a major disturbance, and thus may promote the establishment and expansion of invasive plant communities. Environmental and habitat factors that may...

  19. Polar bears and sea ice habitat change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Atwood, Todd C.; Butterworth, Andy

    2017-01-01

    The polar bear (Ursus maritimus) is an obligate apex predator of Arctic sea ice and as such can be affected by climate warming-induced changes in the extent and composition of pack ice and its impacts on their seal prey. Sea ice declines have negatively impacted some polar bear subpopulations through reduced energy input because of loss of hunting habitats, higher energy costs due to greater ice drift, ice fracturing and open water, and ultimately greater challenges to recruit young. Projections made from the output of global climate models suggest that polar bears in peripheral Arctic and sub-Arctic seas will be reduced in numbers or become extirpated by the end of the twenty-first century if the rate of climate warming continues on its present trajectory. The same projections also suggest that polar bears may persist in the high-latitude Arctic where heavy multiyear sea ice that has been typical in that region is being replaced by thinner annual ice. Underlying physical and biological oceanography provides clues as to why polar bear in some regions are negatively impacted, while bears in other regions have shown no apparent changes. However, continued declines in sea ice will eventually challenge the survival of polar bears and efforts to conserve them in all regions of the Arctic.

  20. Potential impacts of climate change on flow regime and fish habitat in mountain rivers of the south-western Balkans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadaki, Christina; Soulis, Konstantinos; Muñoz-Mas, Rafael; Martinez-Capel, Francisco; Zogaris, Stamatis; Ntoanidis, Lazaros; Dimitriou, Elias

    2016-01-01

    The climate change in the Mediterranean area is expected to have significant impacts on the aquatic ecosystems and particular in the mountain rivers and streams that often host important species such as the Salmo farioides, Karaman 1938. These impacts will most possibly affect the habitat availability for various aquatic species resulting to an essential alteration of the water requirements, either for dams or other water abstractions, in order to maintain the essential levels of ecological flow for the rivers. The main scope of this study was to assess potential climate change impacts on the hydrological patterns and typical biota for a south-western Balkan mountain river, the Acheloos. The altered flow regimes under different emission scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were estimated using a hydrological model and based on regional climate simulations over the study area. The Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) methodology was then used to assess the potential streamflow alterations in the studied river due to predicted climate change conditions. A fish habitat simulation method integrating univariate habitat suitability curves and hydraulic modeling techniques were used to assess the impacts on the relationships between the aquatic biota and hydrological status utilizing a sentinel species, the West Balkan trout. The most prominent effects of the climate change scenarios depict severe flow reductions that are likely to occur especially during the summer flows, changing the duration and depressing the magnitude of the natural low flow conditions. Weighted Usable Area-flow curves indicated the limitation of suitable habitat for the native trout. Finally, this preliminary application highlighted the potential of science-based hydrological and habitat simulation approaches that are relevant to both biological quality elements (fish) and current EU Water policy to serve as efficient tools for the estimation of possible climate

  1. Primates living outside protected habitats are more stressed: the case of black howler monkeys in the Yucatán Peninsula.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ariadna Rangel-Negrín

    Full Text Available The non-invasive monitoring of glucocorticoid hormones allows for the assessment of the physiological effects of anthropogenic disturbances on wildlife. Variation in glucocorticoid levels of the same species between protected and unprotect areas seldom has been measured, and the available evidence suggests that this relationship may depend on species-specific habitat requirements and biology. In the present study we focused on black howler monkeys (Alouatta pigra, a canopy-dwelling primate species, as a case study to evaluate the physiological consequences of living in unprotected areas, and relate them with intragroup competition and competition with extragroup individuals. From February 2006 to September 2007 we collected 371 fecal samples from 21 adults belonging to five groups (two from protected and three from unprotected areas in Campeche, Mexico. We recorded agonistic interactions within groups and encounters with other groups (1,200 h of behavioral observations, and determined fecal glucocorticoid metabolite (FGM concentrations with radioimmunoassays. We used linear mixed models and Akaike's information criterion to choose the best model explaining variation in FGM concentrations between protected and unprotected areas calculated from five categorical variables: habitat type (protected vs. unprotected, participation in agonistic interactions, intergroup encounters, sex and female reproductive state, and season. The best model included habitat type, the interaction between habitat type and agonism, and the interaction between habitat type and season. FGM concentrations were higher in unprotected habitats, particularly when individuals were involved in agonistic interactions; seasonal variation in FGM concentrations was only detected in protected habitats. High FGM concentrations in black howler monkeys living in unprotected habitats are associated with increased within-group food competition and probably associated with exposure to

  2. Conservation implications of anthropogenic impacts on visual communication and camouflage.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delhey, Kaspar; Peters, Anne

    2017-02-01

    Anthropogenic environmental impacts can disrupt the sensory environment of animals and affect important processes from mate choice to predator avoidance. Currently, these effects are best understood for auditory and chemosensory modalities, and recent reviews highlight their importance for conservation. We examined how anthropogenic changes to the visual environment (ambient light, transmission, and backgrounds) affect visual communication and camouflage and considered the implications of these effects for conservation. Human changes to the visual environment can increase predation risk by affecting camouflage effectiveness, lead to maladaptive patterns of mate choice, and disrupt mutualistic interactions between pollinators and plants. Implications for conservation are particularly evident for disrupted camouflage due to its tight links with survival. The conservation importance of impaired visual communication is less documented. The effects of anthropogenic changes on visual communication and camouflage may be severe when they affect critical processes such as pollination or species recognition. However, when impaired mate choice does not lead to hybridization, the conservation consequences are less clear. We suggest that the demographic effects of human impacts on visual communication and camouflage will be particularly strong when human-induced modifications to the visual environment are evolutionarily novel (i.e., very different from natural variation); affected species and populations have low levels of intraspecific (genotypic and phenotypic) variation and behavioral, sensory, or physiological plasticity; and the processes affected are directly related to survival (camouflage), species recognition, or number of offspring produced, rather than offspring quality or attractiveness. Our findings suggest that anthropogenic effects on the visual environment may be of similar importance relative to conservation as anthropogenic effects on other sensory modalities

  3. Wildlife habitat considerations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helen Y. Smith

    2000-01-01

    Fire, insects, disease, harvesting, and precommercial thinning all create mosaics on Northern Rocky Mountain landscapes. These mosaics are important for faunal habitat. Consequently, changes such as created openings or an increase in heavily stocked areas affect the water, cover, and food of forest habitats. The “no action” alternative in ecosystem management of low...

  4. Safeguarding Ecosystem Services: A Methodological Framework to Buffer the Joint Effect of Habitat Configuration and Climate Change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tereza C Giannini

    Full Text Available Ecosystem services provided by mobile agents are increasingly threatened by the loss and modification of natural habitats and by climate change, risking the maintenance of biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and human welfare. Research oriented towards a better understanding of the joint effects of land use and climate change over the provision of specific ecosystem services is therefore essential to safeguard such services. Here we propose a methodological framework, which integrates species distribution forecasts and graph theory to identify key conservation areas, which if protected or restored could improve habitat connectivity and safeguard ecosystem services. We applied the proposed framework to the provision of pollination services by a tropical stingless bee (Melipona quadrifasciata, a key pollinator of native flora from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and important agricultural crops. Based on the current distribution of this bee and that of the plant species used to feed and nest, we projected the joint distribution of bees and plants in the future, considering a moderate climate change scenario (following IPPC. We then used this information, the bee's flight range, and the current mapping of Atlantic Forest remnants to infer habitat suitability and quantify local and regional habitat connectivity for 2030, 2050 and 2080. Our results revealed north to south and coastal to inland shifts in the pollinator distribution during the next 70 years. Current and future connectivity maps unraveled the most important corridors, which if protected or restored, could facilitate the dispersal and establishment of bees during distribution shifts. Our results also suggest that coffee plantations from eastern São Paulo and southern Minas Gerais States could suffer a pollinator deficit in the future, whereas pollination services seem to be secured in southern Brazil. Landowners and governmental agencies could use this information to implement new land use

  5. Safeguarding Ecosystem Services: A Methodological Framework to Buffer the Joint Effect of Habitat Configuration and Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, Tereza C.; Tambosi, Leandro R.; Acosta, André L.; Jaffé, Rodolfo; Saraiva, Antonio M.; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L.; Metzger, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by mobile agents are increasingly threatened by the loss and modification of natural habitats and by climate change, risking the maintenance of biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and human welfare. Research oriented towards a better understanding of the joint effects of land use and climate change over the provision of specific ecosystem services is therefore essential to safeguard such services. Here we propose a methodological framework, which integrates species distribution forecasts and graph theory to identify key conservation areas, which if protected or restored could improve habitat connectivity and safeguard ecosystem services. We applied the proposed framework to the provision of pollination services by a tropical stingless bee (Melipona quadrifasciata), a key pollinator of native flora from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and important agricultural crops. Based on the current distribution of this bee and that of the plant species used to feed and nest, we projected the joint distribution of bees and plants in the future, considering a moderate climate change scenario (following IPPC). We then used this information, the bee’s flight range, and the current mapping of Atlantic Forest remnants to infer habitat suitability and quantify local and regional habitat connectivity for 2030, 2050 and 2080. Our results revealed north to south and coastal to inland shifts in the pollinator distribution during the next 70 years. Current and future connectivity maps unraveled the most important corridors, which if protected or restored, could facilitate the dispersal and establishment of bees during distribution shifts. Our results also suggest that coffee plantations from eastern São Paulo and southern Minas Gerais States could suffer a pollinator deficit in the future, whereas pollination services seem to be secured in southern Brazil. Landowners and governmental agencies could use this information to implement new land use schemes

  6. Safeguarding Ecosystem Services: A Methodological Framework to Buffer the Joint Effect of Habitat Configuration and Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giannini, Tereza C; Tambosi, Leandro R; Acosta, André L; Jaffé, Rodolfo; Saraiva, Antonio M; Imperatriz-Fonseca, Vera L; Metzger, Jean Paul

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services provided by mobile agents are increasingly threatened by the loss and modification of natural habitats and by climate change, risking the maintenance of biodiversity, ecosystem functions, and human welfare. Research oriented towards a better understanding of the joint effects of land use and climate change over the provision of specific ecosystem services is therefore essential to safeguard such services. Here we propose a methodological framework, which integrates species distribution forecasts and graph theory to identify key conservation areas, which if protected or restored could improve habitat connectivity and safeguard ecosystem services. We applied the proposed framework to the provision of pollination services by a tropical stingless bee (Melipona quadrifasciata), a key pollinator of native flora from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest and important agricultural crops. Based on the current distribution of this bee and that of the plant species used to feed and nest, we projected the joint distribution of bees and plants in the future, considering a moderate climate change scenario (following IPPC). We then used this information, the bee's flight range, and the current mapping of Atlantic Forest remnants to infer habitat suitability and quantify local and regional habitat connectivity for 2030, 2050 and 2080. Our results revealed north to south and coastal to inland shifts in the pollinator distribution during the next 70 years. Current and future connectivity maps unraveled the most important corridors, which if protected or restored, could facilitate the dispersal and establishment of bees during distribution shifts. Our results also suggest that coffee plantations from eastern São Paulo and southern Minas Gerais States could suffer a pollinator deficit in the future, whereas pollination services seem to be secured in southern Brazil. Landowners and governmental agencies could use this information to implement new land use schemes. Overall

  7. Development and assessment of indices to determine stream fish vulnerability to climate change and habitat alteration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sievert, Nicholas A.; Paukert, Craig P.; Tsang, Yin-Phan; Infante, Dana M.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the future impacts of climate and land use change are critical for long-term biodiversity conservation. We developed and compared two indices to assess the vulnerability of stream fish in Missouri, USA based on species environmental tolerances, rarity, range size, dispersal ability and on the average connectivity of the streams occupied by each species. These two indices differed in how environmental tolerance was classified (i.e., vulnerability to habitat alteration, changes in stream temperature, and changes to flow regimes). Environmental tolerance was classified based on measured species responses to habitat alteration, and extremes in stream temperatures and flow conditions for one index, while environmental tolerance for the second index was based on species’ traits. The indices were compared to determine if vulnerability scores differed by index or state listing status. We also evaluated the spatial distribution of species classified as vulnerable to habitat alteration, changes in stream temperature, and change in flow regimes. Vulnerability scores were calculated for all 133 species with the trait association index, while only 101 species were evaluated using the species response index, because 32 species lacked data to analyze for a response. Scores from the trait association index were greater than the species response index. This is likely due to the species response index's inability to evaluate many rare species, which generally had high vulnerability scores for the trait association index. The indices were consistent in classifying vulnerability to habitat alteration, but varied in their classification of vulnerability due to increases in stream temperature and alterations to flow regimes, likely because extremes in current climate may not fully capture future conditions and their influence on stream fish communities. Both indices showed higher mean vulnerability scores for listed species than unlisted species, which provided a coarse

  8. Reduced Ultrafine Particle Concentration in Urban Air: Changes in Nucleation and Anthropogenic Emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saha, Provat K; Robinson, Ellis S; Shah, Rishabh U; Zimmerman, Naomi; Apte, Joshua S; Robinson, Allen L; Presto, Albert A

    2018-06-19

    Nucleation is an important source of ambient ultrafine particles (UFP). We present observational evidence of the changes in the frequency and intensity of nucleation events in urban air by analyzing long-term particle size distribution measurements at an urban background site in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania during 2001-2002 and 2016-2017. We find that both frequency and intensity of nucleation events have been reduced by 40-50% over the past 15 years, resulting in a 70% reduction in UFP concentrations from nucleation. On average, the particle growth rates are 30% slower than 15 years ago. We attribute these changes to dramatic reductions in SO 2 (more than 90%) and other pollutant concentrations. Overall, UFP concentrations in Pittsburgh have been reduced by ∼48% in the past 15 years, with a ∼70% reduction in nucleation, ∼27% in weekday local sources (e.g., weekday traffic), and 49% in the regional background. Our results highlight that a reduction in anthropogenic emissions can considerably reduce nucleation events and UFP concentrations in a polluted urban environment.

  9. Soil Organic Matter Responses to Anthropogenic Forest Disturbance and Land Use Change in the Eastern Brazilian Amazon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariana Regina Durigan

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic forest disturbance and land use change (LUC in the Amazon region is the main source of greenhouse gas emissions to the atmosphere in Brazil, due to the carbon (C and nitrogen (N emitted from vegetation clearance. Land use conversion associated with management practices plays a key role in the distribution and origin of C in different soil organic matter (SOM fractions. Here, we show how changing land use systems have influenced soil C and N stocks, SOM physical fractions, and the origin of SOM in the Santarém region of the eastern Brazilian Amazon. Soil C and N stocks were calculated for the surface layer of 0–30 cm. Anthropogenic disturbances to the standing forest, such as selective logging and wildfires, led to significant declines in soil C and N stocks. However, in the long-term, the conversion of the Amazon forest to pasture did not have a noticeable effect on soil C and N stocks, presumably because of additional inputs from pasture grasses. However, the conversion to cropland did lead to reductions in soil C and N content. According to the physical fractionation of SOM, LUC altered SOM quality, but silt and clay remained the combined fraction that contributed the most to soil C storage. Our results emphasize the importance of implementing more sustainable forest management systems, whilst also calling further attention to the need for fire monitoring systems, helping to ensure the resilience of C and N stocks and sequestration in forest soils; thereby contributing towards urgently needed ongoing efforts to mitigate climate change.

  10. Assessment of the influence of anthropogenic factors on elements of the ecological network in Vojvodina (Serbia using the Leopold matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kicošev Vesna

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Salt steppes and marshes represent the most valuable ecosystems in the world, providing numerous ecosystem services that are extremely vulnerable to anthropogenic influences. These types of habitat in the territory of Serbia are most dominant in Banat and a significant portion of them is under protection or in the process of becoming protected. The section surrounding the protected areas of Slano Kopovo Special Nature Reserve, Rusanda Nature Park and Okanj Bara Special Nature Reserve with the non-building area of Novi Bečej, Kumane, Melenci, Elemir and Taraš cadastral municipalities, has been chosen for the analysis. The aim of this paper was to assess the influence of specific anthropogenic factors on the elements of an ecological network using the analytical method that can generate the required results in a manner suitable for presentation to various stakeholders. To achieve this aim, the Leopold matrix model, used for assessing anthropogenic influence on the environment, has been chosen. The specificity of this issue of protecting and preserving elements of an ecological network resulted in the need to isolate and evaluate the factors affecting the preservation of habitats and functionality of ecosystems, unlike the concept of Leopold matrix, which treats all factors as equally important in the process of evaluation. Evaluation results indicate significant effects of historical, perennial manner of using the area and other resources in the non-building area.

  11. Local and regional effects of reopening a tidal inlet on estuarine water quality, seagrass habitat, and fish assemblages

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milbrandt, Eric C.; Bartleson, Richard D.; Coen, Loren D.; Rybak, Olexandr; Thompson, Mark A.; DeAngelo, Jacquelyn A.; Stevens, Philip W.

    2012-06-01

    Blind Pass is an inlet that separates Sanibel and Captiva Islands in southwest Florida but has historically closed and opened by both anthropogenic and natural processes. In July 2010, a dredging project to open the small inlet between the two barrier islands was completed. The objective of this study was to use and supplement ongoing estuary-monitoring programs to examine the responses of water quality, seagrass habitat metrics, and fish assemblages both in the immediate vicinity of the inlet and at broader scales (up to 40 km2). As far as we are aware, there are no previous studies with this intensity of sampling, both before and after an inlet opening. Significant increases in salinity and turbidity were observed inside Blind Pass, with significant decreases in CDOM and chlorophyll a, however, the effects were not far-reaching and limited to less than 1.7 km from the inlet within Pine Island Sound. Seagrass habitat metrics were expected to respond rapidly after the inlet was opened given the reduced light attenuation. However, there were no changes in shoot densities, species composition, and epiphytic algae within the approximately one-year duration of the study. The reopening of the pass did not substantially change fish assemblage structure, except for those from deeper habitats. Although immediate increases in the abundances of estuarine-dependent species were predicted in shallow habitats post opening, this did not occur. In conclusion, the effects of reopening a relatively small ocean inlet on water quality were apparent in the immediate vicinity of the inlet (within 1.7 km), but far-reaching effects on water quality, seagrass metrics, and fish assemblages were not immediately apparent in this well-flushed estuary. If subtle changes in tidal exchange and circulation affect productivity of seagrasses or its fish assemblages at broad scales, it may take several years to reach a steady state.

  12. Seagrass and Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (VAS Habitats off the Coast of Brazil: state of knowledge, conservation and main threats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margareth S. Copertino

    Full Text Available Abstract Seagrass meadows are among the most threatened ecosystems on earth, raising concerns about the equilibrium of coastal ecosystems and the sustainability of local fisheries. The present review evaluated the current status of the research on seagrasses and submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV habitats off the coast of Brazil in terms of plant responses to environmental conditions, changes in distribution and abundance, and the possible role of climate change and variability. Despite an increase in the number of studies, the communication of the results is still relatively limited and is mainly addressed to a national or regional public; thus, South American seagrasses are rarely included or cited in global reviews and models. The scarcity of large-scale and long-term studies allowing the detection of changes in the structure, abundance and composition of seagrass habitats and associated species still hinders the investigation of such communities with respect to the potential effects of climate change. Seagrass meadows and SAV occur all along the Brazilian coast, with species distribution and abundance being strongly influenced by regional oceanography, coastal water masses, river runoff and coastal geomorphology. Based on these geomorphological, hydrological and ecological features, we characterised the distribution of seagrass habitats and abundances within the major coastal compartments. The current conservation status of Brazilian seagrasses and SAV is critical. The unsustainable exploitation and occupation of coastal areas and the multifold anthropogenic footprints left during the last 100 years led to the loss and degradation of shoreline habitats potentially suitable for seagrass occupation. Knowledge of the prevailing patterns and processes governing seagrass structure and functioning along the Brazilian coast is necessary for the global discussion on climate change. Our review is a first and much-needed step toward a more integrated

  13. Dynamic soil properties in response to anthropogenic disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanacker, Veerle; Ortega, Raúl

    2013-04-01

    Anthropogenic disturbance of natural vegetation can profoundly alter the physical, chemical and biological processes within soils. Rapid removal of topsoil during intense farming can result in an imbalance between soil production through chemical weathering and physical erosion, with direct implications on local biogeochemical cycling. However, the feedbacks between soil erosion, chemical weathering and biogeochemical cycling in response to anthropogenic forcing are not yet fully understood. Here, we study dynamic soil properties for a rapidly changing anthropogenic landscape, and focus on the coupling between physical erosion, soil production and soil chemical weathering. The archaeological site of Santa Maria de Melque (Toledo, Central Spain) was selected for its remarkably long occupation history dating back to the 7th century AD. As part of the agricultural complex, four retention reservoirs were built in the Early Middle Ages. The sedimentary archive was used to track the evolution in sedimentation rates and geochemical properties of the sediment. Catchment-wide soil erosion rates vary slightly between the various occupation phases (7th century-now), but are of the same magnitude as the cosmogenic nuclide-derived erosion rates. However, there exists large spatial variation in physical erosion rates that are coupled with chemical weathering intensities. The sedimentary records suggest that there are important changes in the spatial pattern of sediment source areas through time as a result of changing land use patterns

  14. Mining-caused changes to habitat structure affect amphibian and reptile population ecology more than metal pollution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Kiyoshi; Lesbarrères, David; Watson, Glen; Litzgus, Jacqueline

    2015-12-01

    Emissions from smelting not only contaminate water and soil with metals, but also induce extensive forest dieback and changes in resource availability and microclimate. The relative effects of such co-occurring stressors are often unknown, but this information is imperative in developing targeted restoration strategies. We assessed the role and relative effects of structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and metal pollution caused by century-long smelting operations on amphibian and reptile communities by collecting environmental and time- and area-standardized multivariate abundance data along three spatially replicated impact gradients. Overall, species richness, diversity, and abundance declined progressively with increasing levels of metals (As, Cu, and Ni) and soil temperature (T(s)) and decreasing canopy cover, amount of coarse woody debris (CWD), and relative humidity (RH). The composite habitat variable (which included canopy cover, CWD, T(s), and RH) was more strongly associated with most response metrics than the composite metal variable (As, Cu, and Ni), and canopy cover alone explained 19-74% of the variance. Moreover, species that use terrestrial habitat for specific behaviors (e.g., hibernation, dispersal), especially forest-dependent species, were more severely affected than largely aquatic species. These results suggest that structural alterations of terrestrial habitat and concomitant changes in the resource availability and microclimate have stronger effects than metal pollution per se. Furthermore, much of the variation in response metrics was explained by the joint action of several environmental variables, implying synergistic effects (e.g., exacerbation of metal toxicity by elevated temperatures in sites with reduced canopy cover). We thus argue that the restoration of terrestrial habitat conditions is a key to successful recovery of herpetofauna communities in smelting-altered landscapes.

  15. Causes and consequences of change rates in the habitat of the threatened tropical porcupine, Sphiggurus mexicanus (Rodentia: Erethizontidae) in Oaxaca, Mexico: implications for its conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Lorenzo, Consuelo; Sántiz, Eugenia C; Navarrete, Darío A; Bolaños, Jorge

    2014-01-01

    Land use changes by human activities have been the main causes of habitats and wildlife population degradation. In the Tehuantepec Isthmus in Oaxaca, the tropical habitat of the porcupine Sphiggurus mexicanus has been subject to vegetation and land use changes, causing its reduction and fragmentation. In this study, we estimated vegetation cover and land use (δn) change rates and assessed habitat availability and potential corridors for possible porcupine movements to avoid its isolation. In ...

  16. Pollen and gene flow in fragmented habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kwak, Manja M.; Velterop, Odilia; van Andel, Jelte

    . Habitat fragmentation affects both plants and pollinators. Habitat fragmentation leads to changes in species richness, population number and size, density, and shape, thus to changes in the spatial arrangement of flowers. These changes influence the amount of food for flower-visiting insects and

  17. Changing biodiversity scenario in the Himalayan ecosystem: Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India, as revealed by the study of blue butterflies (Lycaenidae

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.K. Sidhu

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Any change in the population of butterflies is an early warning of pollution or other kinds of habitat degradation. An area rich in butterfly diversity has its own significance in the ecosystem. The current status of butterflies in Mussoorie (Uttarakhand is reviewed. The degradation of the butterfly-rich spots of Mussoorie is discussed. A comparative chart of 66 species of Lycaenid butterflies compares species collected by earlier authors from Mussoorie with current observations. Some of the rare butterflies species have disappeared, probably due the loss of habitat to developmental activities, use of pesticides in farming, urbanization and other anthropogenic activities.

  18. Integrating climate change into habitat conservation plans under the U.S. endangered species act.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernazzani, Paola; Bradley, Bethany A; Opperman, Jeffrey J

    2012-06-01

    Habitat Conservation Plans (HCPs) under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) are an important mechanism for the acquisition of land and the management of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. HCPs have become a vital means of protecting endangered and threatened species and their habitats throughout the United States, particularly on private land. The scientific consensus that climate is changing and that these changes will impact the viability of species has not been incorporated into the conservation strategies of recent HCPs, rendering plans vulnerable biologically. In this paper we review the regulatory context for incorporating climate change into HCPs and analyze the extent to which climate change is linked to management actions in a subset of large HCPs. We conclude that most current plans do not incorporate climate change into conservation actions, and so we provide recommendations for integrating climate change into the process of HCP development and implementation. These recommendations are distilled from the published literature as well as the practice of conservation planning and are structured to the specific needs of HCP development and implementation. We offer nine recommendations for integrating climate change into the HCP process: (1) identify species at-risk from climate change, (2) explore new strategies for reserve design, (3) increase emphasis on corridors, linkages, and connectivity, (4) develop anticipatory adaptation measures, (5) manage for diversity, (6) consider assisted migration, (7) include climate change in scenarios of water management, (8) develop future-oriented management actions, and (9) increase linkages between the conservation strategy and adaptive management/monitoring programs.

  19. Climate change and mountain Grouse: recent evidences from alpine habitats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brugnoli A

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Current climate change, referring as well to the observed rain and temperature patterns as to the increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather conditions, has a deep influence on biotic communities and, in particular, on mountain Grouse. These species show great adaptation to coldness, are highly sedentary and have quite “strict” ecological requirements, when it deals with habitat selection. Moreover, their alpine ranges are dangerously marginal to the main distribution areas, which increases the risk of dramatic changes in occurrence, demography and ecology. However, not all the species will predictably be exposed in the same way to the menace of climate change over the next 50-100 years. This article gives a brief review of the main data acquired in the alpine environment in this matter. It also underlines the utmost need to proceed with research and monitoring activities, in order to effectively adapt and manage conservation strategies on mid-long terms.

  20. Assessing Impacts of Hydropower Regulation on Salmonid Habitat Connectivity to Guide River Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddendorf, Bas; Geris, Josie; Malcolm, Iain; Wilkinson, Mark; Soulsby, Chris

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic activity in riverine ecosystems has led to a substantial divergence from the natural state of many rivers globally. Many of Scotland's rivers have been regulated for hydropower with increasing intensity since the 1890s. At the same time they sustain substantial populations of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.), which have a range of requirements in terms of flow and access to habitat, depending on the different life-stages. River barriers for hydropower regulation can change the spatial and temporal connectivity within river networks, the impacts of which on salmon habitat are not fully understood. Insight into such changes in connectivity, and the link with the distribution and accessibility of suitable habitat and areas of high productivity, are essential to aid restoration and/or conservation efforts. This is because they indicate where such efforts might have a higher chance of being successful in terms of providing suitable habitat and increasing river productivity. In this study we applied a graph theory approach to assess historic (natural) and contemporary (regulated) in-stream habitat connectivity of the River Lyon, an important UK salmon river that is moderately regulated for hydropower. Historic maps and GIS techniques were used to construct the two contrasting river networks (i.e., natural vs. regulated). Subsequently, connectivity metrics were used to assess the impacts of hydropower infrastructure on upstream and downstream migration possibilities for adults and juveniles, respectively. A national juvenile salmon production model was used to weight the importance of reaches for juvenile salmon production. Results indicate that the impact of barriers in the Lyon on the connectivity indices depends on the type of barrier and its location within the network, but is generally low for both adults and juveniles, and that compared to the historic river network the reduction in the amount of suitable habitat and juvenile production is most marked

  1. Changes of Bulgarian Coastal Dune Landscape under Anthropogenic Impact

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palazov, A.; Young, R.; Stancheva, M.; Stanchev, H.

    2012-04-01

    At one time large sand dune formations were widely distributed along the Bulgarian coast. However, due to increased urbanization in the coastal zone, the areas of total dune landscape has been constantly reduced. Dunes presently comprise only 10% of the entire 412 km long coastline of Bulgaria: they embrace a total length of 38.57 km and a total area of 8.78 km2 Important tasks in dune protection are identification of landscape changes for a certain period of time and accurate delineation of sand dune areas. The present research traces sand dune changes along the Bulgarian Black Sea coast over a 27 year period (1983-2010). This period includes also the time of expanded tourist boom and overbuilding of the coastal zone, and respectively presents the largest dune changes and reductions. Based on the landscape change analyst in GIS environment the study also aims to explore the importance of different natural and human factors in driving the observed dune alterations and destruction. To detect and assess dune changes during the last 3 decades, we used data for sand dunes derived from several sources at different time periods in order to compare changes in shoreline positions, dune contours and areas: i) Topographic maps in 1:5,000 scale from 1983; ii) Modern Very High Resolution orthophotographs from 2006 and 2010; iii) QuickBird Very High Resolution satellite images from 2009; iv) Statistical information for population and tourist infrastructure is also used to consider the influence of human pressure and hotel developments on the dune dynamics. In addition, for more detailed description and visualization of main dune types, digital photos have been taken at many parts of the Bulgarian coast. The study was performed in GIS environment. Based on the results obtained the dunes along the Bulgarian coast were divided into three main groups with relation to the general factors responsible for their alterations: i) Dunes that have decreased in result of shoreline retreat

  2. Emergence of acute/subacute infant-juvenile paracoccidioidomycosis in Northeast Argentina: Effect of climatic and anthropogenic changes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giusiano, Gustavo; Aguirre, Clarisa; Vratnica, Claudia; Rojas, Florencia; Corallo, Teresa; Cattana, María Emilia; Fernández, Mariana; Mussin, Javier; de Los Angeles Sosa, María

    2018-01-13

    Argentina has two endemic areas of paracoccidioidomycosis (PCM). Bordering Paraguay and Brazil, Northeast Argentina (NEA) comprises the area with the highest incidence where the chronic adult clinical form has historically been reported. Juvenile form in children and adolescents is rare in this area since only one case was reported in the last 10 years. Despite this, between 2010 and 2012, several cases of acute/subacute clinical forms in children aged 10 to 16 (median 12) were detected. In the last decade, the NEA region has been exposed to ecological variations as consequences of certain climatic and anthropogenic changes, including El Niño-Southern Oscillation phenomenon during 2009, and deforestation. The region has also suffered from the significant ecological effects of the construction of one of the biggest hydroelectric dams of South America. This study aims to describe clinical and epidemiological aspects of acute/subacute PCM cases detected in children from NEA and to discuss climatic and anthropogenic changes as possible contributing factors in the emergence of this disease in children. This acute/subacute PCM cluster was characterized by severe disseminated and aggressive presentations to localized form, with a high spectrum of clinical manifestations uncommonly observed. Due to the lack of experience in acute/subacute PCM in children in the studied area and the atypical clinical manifestations observed, the diagnosis was delayed. In order to avoid misdiagnosis, a higher level of suspicion is now required in NEA and countries bordering the southern part of the endemic area, which are affected by the changes discussed in this article. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of The International Society for Human and Animal Mycology. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  3. Land Use Change and Agricultural Land Fragmentation due to Anthropogenic Activities in an Hot Spot Area: A Case Study for Thrace Region of Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altürk, Bahadır; Konukcu, Fatih

    2017-04-01

    Agricultural lands that supply food, energy and ecosystem services for human life have been lost due to anthropogenic activities such as construction of roads, urban and industry areas. The significant reasons for the increase of artificial surfaces were poorly planned economic decisions by the government and internal migration due to this poorly planning. Unplanned urban sprawl also give rise to land fragmentation. Fragmentation of agricultural land affects both the agricultural production capacity and rural sustainable employment. In this study: i) Land use changes between 1990-2014 period were assessed using remotely sensed data and ii) Spatial and temporal agricultural land fragmentation were investigated using landscape pattern indice (effective mesh size), Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA) and Entropy method for 25 years period. The selected"hot spot" study area is located on east Thrace region of Turkey, being the service and industrial development zone where agricultural activities, water resources and natural habitat have been damaged due to rapid urban and industrial development for about 25 years. The results showed that agricultural lands decreased 6.44%, urban areas increased 111.68% and industry areas increased 251.19% during this 25 years period. Additionally, fragmentation analyses demonstrated that core agricultural areas sharply decreased and relative fragmentation (effective mesh size) increased from 50.68% to 56.77% during 1990 and 2014.

  4. Anthropogenic flank attack on polar bears: Interacting consequences of climate warming and pollutant exposure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bjørn Munro Jenssen

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Polar bears (Ursus maritimus are subjected to several anthropogenic threats, climate warming and exposure to pollutants being two of these. For polar bears, one of the main effects of climate warming is limited access to prey, due to loss of their sea ice habitat. This will result in prolonged fasting periods and emaciation and condition related negative effects on survival and reproduction success. Prolonged fasting will result in increases of the tissue concentrations of persistent organic pollutants (POPs in polar bears, and thus increase the probability for POP levels to exceed threshold levels for effects on health, and thus on reproductive success and survival. There are clear potentials for interactions between impacts of climate warming and impacts of pollutant exposure on polar bears. It is likely that that fasting-induced increases of POPs will add to mortality rates and decrease reproductive success beyond effects caused by loss of habitat alone. However, there is a lack of studies that have addressed this. Thus, there is a need to focus on population effects of POP exposure in polar bears, and to consider such effects in relation to the effects of climate induced habitat loss.

  5. Multi-scale analysis to uncover habitat use of red-crowned cranes: Implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chunyue LIU, Hongxing JIANG, Shuqing ZHANG, Chunrong LI,Yunqiu HOU, Fawen QIAN

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available A multi-scale approach is essential to assess the factors that limit avian habitat use. Numerous studies have examined habitat use by the red-crowned crane, but integrated multi-scale habitat use information is lacking. We evaluated the effects of several habitat variables quantified across many spatial scales on crane use and abundance in two periods (2000 and 2009 at Yancheng National Nature Reserve, China. The natural wetlands decreased in area by 30,601 ha (-6.9% from 2000 to 2009, predominantly as a result of conversion to aquaculture ponds and farmland, and the remaining was under degradation due to expansion of the exotic smooth cordgrass. The cranes are focusing in on either larger patches or those that are in close proximity to each other in both years, but occupied patches had smaller size, less proximity and more regular boundaries in 2009. At landscape scales, the area percentage of common seepweed, reed ponds and paddy fields had a greater positive impact on crane presence than the area percentage of aquaculture ponds. The cranes were more abundant in patches that had a greater percent area of common seepweed and reed ponds, while the percent area of paddy fields was inversely related to crane abundance in 2009 due to changing agricultural practices. In 2009, cranes tended to use less fragmented plots in natural wetlands and more fragmented plots in anthropogenic paddy fields, which were largely associated with the huge loss and degradation of natural habitats between the two years. Management should focus on restoration of large patches of natural wetlands, and formation of a relatively stable area of large paddy field and reed pond to mitigate the loss of natural wetlands [Current Zoology 59 (5: 604–617, 2013].

  6. 3.10. Habitat restoration and creation

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    1.12.1 Terrestrial habitat Based on the collated evidence, what is the current assessment of the effectiveness of interventions for terrestrial habitat restoration and creation? Beneficial ● Replant vegetation Likely to be beneficial ● Clear vegetation● Create artificial hibernacula or aestivation sites● Create refuges● Restore habitat connectivity Unknown effectiveness (limited evidence) ● Change mowing regime No evidence found (no assessment) ● Create habitat connectivity Beneficial Repla...

  7. Habitat fragmentation in arid zones: a case study of Linaria nigricans under land use changes (SE Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peñas, Julio; Benito, Blas; Lorite, Juan; Ballesteros, Miguel; Cañadas, Eva María; Martinez-Ortega, Montserrat

    2011-07-01

    Habitat fragmentation due to human activities is one of the most important causes of biodiversity loss. In Mediterranean areas the species have co-evolved with traditional farming, which has recently been replaced for more severe and aggressive practices. We use a methodological approach that enables the evaluation of the impact that agriculture and land use changes have for the conservation of sensitive species. As model species, we selected Linaria nigricans, a critically endangered plant from arid and semiarid ecosystems in south-eastern Spain. A chronosequence of the evolution of the suitable habitat for the species over more than 50 years has been reconstructed and several geometrical fragmentation indices have been calculated. A new index called fragmentation cadence (FC) is proposed to quantify the historical evolution of habitat fragmentation regardless of the habitat size. The application of this index has provided objective forecasting of the changes of each remnant population of L. nigricans. The results indicate that greenhouses and construction activities (mainly for tourist purposes) exert a strong impact on the populations of this endangered species. The habitat depletion showed peaks that constitute the destruction of 85% of the initial area in only 20 years for some populations of L. nigricans. According to the forecast established by the model, a rapid extinction could take place and some populations may disappear as early as the year 2030. Fragmentation-cadence analysis can help identify population units of primary concern for its conservation, by means of the adoption of improved management and regulatory measures.

  8. Application of Satellite Remote Sensing to Identify Climatic and Anthropogenic Changes Related to Water and Health Conditions in Emerging Megacities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Akanda, A. S.; Serman, E. A.; Jutla, A.

    2014-12-01

    By 2050, more than 70% of the world's population is expected to be living in a city. In many of the urbanizing regions in Asia and Africa, most new development is taking place without adequate urban or regional planning, and a majority population is crowded into densely populated unplanned settlements, also known as slums. During the same period, precipitation and temperature patterns are likely to see significant changes in many of these regions while coastal megacities will have to accommodate sea-level rise in their ecosystems. The rapid increase in population is usually observed in fringes of the urban sprawl without adequate water or sanitation facilities or access to other municipal amenities (such as utilities, healthcare, and education). Collectively, these issues make the ever increasing slum dwellers in emerging megacities significantly vulnerable to a combination of climatic and anthropogenic threats. However, how the growth of unplanned urban and peri-urban sprawl and simultaneous change in climatic patterns have impacted public health in the emerging megacities remain largely unexplored due to lack of readily available and usable data. We employ a number of Remote Sensing products (GRACE, LANDSAT, MODIS) to bridge above knowledge gaps and to identify relevant hydrologic and anthropogenic changes in emerging megacities that are most vulnerable due to the climate-water-health nexus. We explore one of the largest and the fastest growing megacities in the world - Dhaka, Bangladesh - on identifying and investigating the changes in the water environment and growth of slum areas, and impact on water services and health outcomes. The hydroclimatology of South Asia is highly seasonal and the asymmetric availability of water affects vast areas of Bangladesh differently in space and time, exposing the population of Dhaka region to both droughts and floods and periodic spring-fall outbreaks of diarrheal diseases, such as cholera and rotavirus. This research

  9. Aquatic habitat modifications in La Plata River basin, Patagonia and associated marine areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mugetti, Ana Cristina; Calcagno, Alberto Tomás; Brieva, Carlos Alberto; Giangiobbe, María Silvia; Pagani, Andrea; Gonzalez, Silvia

    2004-02-01

    This paper describes the environmental characteristics and situation of aquatic habitats and communities in southern continental and maritime areas of southeastern South America (Patagonian Shelf GIWA Subregion), resulting from an overall assessment carried out within the framework of a GIWA project, mostly on the basis of publicly available data. The main focus of the analysis was on the current situation of transboundary water resources and anthropogenic impacts. In the inland waters, habitat and community modifications result, principally, from dams and reservoirs built in the main watercourses for hydroelectric power generation and other uses. The transformation of lotic environments into lentic ones have affected habitats and altered biotic communities. In the La Plata River basin, invasive exotic species have displaced native ones. Habitats in the ocean have been degraded, as their biodiversity becomes affected by overfishing and pollution. This article includes a discussion on the causal chain and the policy options elaborated for the Coastal Ecosystem of Buenos Aires province and the Argentinean-Uruguayan Common Fishing Zone, where fishing resources are shared by both countries.

  10. Remote-sensing based approach to forecast habitat quality under climate change scenarios.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan M Requena-Mullor

    Full Text Available As climate change is expected to have a significant impact on species distributions, there is an urgent challenge to provide reliable information to guide conservation biodiversity policies. In addressing this challenge, we propose a remote sensing-based approach to forecast the future habitat quality for European badger, a species not abundant and at risk of local extinction in the arid environments of southeastern Spain, by incorporating environmental variables related with the ecosystem functioning and correlated with climate and land use. Using ensemble prediction methods, we designed global spatial distribution models for the distribution range of badger using presence-only data and climate variables. Then, we constructed regional models for an arid region in the southeast Spain using EVI (Enhanced Vegetation Index derived variables and weighting the pseudo-absences with the global model projections applied to this region. Finally, we forecast the badger potential spatial distribution in the time period 2071-2099 based on IPCC scenarios incorporating the uncertainty derived from the predicted values of EVI-derived variables. By including remotely sensed descriptors of the temporal dynamics and spatial patterns of ecosystem functioning into spatial distribution models, results suggest that future forecast is less favorable for European badgers than not including them. In addition, change in spatial pattern of habitat suitability may become higher than when forecasts are based just on climate variables. Since the validity of future forecast only based on climate variables is currently questioned, conservation policies supported by such information could have a biased vision and overestimate or underestimate the potential changes in species distribution derived from climate change. The incorporation of ecosystem functional attributes derived from remote sensing in the modeling of future forecast may contribute to the improvement of the

  11. Quantifying anthropogenically driven morphologic changes on a barrier island: Fire Island National Seashore, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kratzmann, Meredith G.; Hapke, Cheryl J.

    2012-01-01

    Beach scraping, beach replenishment, and the presence of moderate development have altered the morphology of the dune–beach system at Fire Island National Seashore, located on a barrier island on the south coast of Long Island, New York. Seventeen communities are interspersed with sections of natural, nonmodified land within the park boundary. Beach width, dune elevation change, volume change, and shoreline change were calculated from light detection and ranging (LIDAR), real-time kinematic global positioning system (RTK GPS), and beach profile data sets at two ∼4 km long study sites. Each site contains both modified (developed, replenished, and/or scraped) and nonmodified (natural) areas. The analysis spans 9 years, from 1998 to 2007, which encompasses both scraping and replenishment events at Fire Island. The objectives of this study were to quantify and compare morphological changes in modified and nonmodified zones, and to identify erosional areas within the study sites.Areas of increased volume and shoreline accretion were observed at both sites and at the western site are consistent with sand replenishment activities. The results indicate that from 1998 to 2007 locations backed by development and that employed beach scraping and/or replenishment as erosion control measures experienced more loss of volume, width, and dune elevation as compared with adjacent nonmodified areas. A detailed analysis of one specific modification, beach scraping, shows distinct morphological differences in scraped areas relative to nonscraped areas of the beach. In general, scraped areas where there is development on the dunes showed decreases in all measured parameters and are more likely to experience overwash during storm events. Furthermore, the rapid mobilization of material from the anthropogenic (scraped) dune results in increased beach accretion downcoast.National park lands are immediately adjacent to developed areas on Fire Island, and even relatively small human

  12. Diverse coral communities in mangrove habitats suggest a novel refuge from climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Kimberly K.; Rogers, Caroline S.; Herlan, James J.; Brooks, Gregg R.; Smiley, Nathan A.; Larson, Rebekka A.

    2014-01-01

    Risk analyses indicate that more than 90% of the world's reefs will be threatened by climate change and local anthropogenic impacts by the year 2030 under "business-as-usual" climate scenarios. Increasing temperatures and solar radiation cause coral bleaching that has resulted in extensive coral mortality. Increasing carbon dioxide reduces seawater pH, slows coral growth, and may cause loss of reef structure. Management strategies include establishment of marine protected areas with environmental conditions that promote reef resiliency. However, few resilient reefs have been identified, and resiliency factors are poorly defined. 

  13. Driving forces for changes in geographical distribution of Ixodes ricinus ticks in Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Medlock Jolyon M

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Many factors are involved in determining the latitudinal and altitudinal spread of the important tick vector Ixodes ricinus (Acari: Ixodidae in Europe, as well as in changes in the distribution within its prior endemic zones. This paper builds on published literature and unpublished expert opinion from the VBORNET network with the aim of reviewing the evidence for these changes in Europe and discusses the many climatic, ecological, landscape and anthropogenic drivers. These can be divided into those directly related to climatic change, contributing to an expansion in the tick’s geographic range at extremes of altitude in central Europe, and at extremes of latitude in Scandinavia; those related to changes in the distribution of tick hosts, particularly roe deer and other cervids; other ecological changes such as habitat connectivity and changes in land management; and finally, anthropogenically induced changes. These factors are strongly interlinked and often not well quantified. Although a change in climate plays an important role in certain geographic regions, for much of Europe it is non-climatic factors that are becoming increasingly important. How we manage habitats on a landscape scale, and the changes in the distribution and abundance of tick hosts are important considerations during our assessment and management of the public health risks associated with ticks and tick-borne disease issues in 21st century Europe. Better understanding and mapping of the spread of I. ricinus (and changes in its abundance is, however, essential to assess the risk of the spread of infections transmitted by this vector species. Enhanced tick surveillance with harmonized approaches for comparison of data enabling the follow-up of trends at EU level will improve the messages on risk related to tick-borne diseases to policy makers, other stake holders and to the general public.

  14. Unsupervised Multi-Scale Change Detection from SAR Imagery for Monitoring Natural and Anthropogenic Disasters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ajadi, Olaniyi A.

    Radar remote sensing can play a critical role in operational monitoring of natural and anthropogenic disasters. Despite its all-weather capabilities, and its high performance in mapping, and monitoring of change, the application of radar remote sensing in operational monitoring activities has been limited. This has largely been due to: (1) the historically high costs associated with obtaining radar data; (2) slow data processing, and delivery procedures; and (3) the limited temporal sampling that was provided by spaceborne radar-based satellites. Recent advances in the capabilities of spaceborne Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) sensors have developed an environment that now allows for SAR to make significant contributions to disaster monitoring. New SAR processing strategies that can take full advantage of these new sensor capabilities are currently being developed. Hence, with this PhD dissertation, I aim to: (i) investigate unsupervised change detection techniques that can reliably extract signatures from time series of SAR images, and provide the necessary flexibility for application to a variety of natural, and anthropogenic hazard situations; (ii) investigate effective methods to reduce the effects of speckle and other noise on change detection performance; (iii) automate change detection algorithms using probabilistic Bayesian inferencing; and (iv) ensure that the developed technology is applicable to current, and future SAR sensors to maximize temporal sampling of a hazardous event. This is achieved by developing new algorithms that rely on image amplitude information only, the sole image parameter that is available for every single SAR acquisition.. The motivation and implementation of the change detection concept are described in detail in Chapter 3. In the same chapter, I demonstrated the technique's performance using synthetic data as well as a real-data application to map wildfire progression. I applied Radiometric Terrain Correction (RTC) to the data to

  15. Paleolimnological investigations of anthropogenic environmental change in Lake Tanganyika: I. An introduction to the project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cohen, A.S.; Palacios-Fest, M. R.; McGill, J.; Swarzenski, P.W.; Verschuren, D.; Sinyinza, R.; Songori, T.; Kakagozo, B.; Syampila, M.; O'Reilly, C. M.; Alin, S.R.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated paleolimnological records from a series of river deltas around the northeastern rim of Lake Tanganyika, East Africa (Tanzania and Burundi) in order to understand the history of anthropogenic activity in the lake's catchment over the last several centuries, and to determine the impact of these activities on the biodiversity of littoral and sublittoral lake communities. Sediment pollution caused by increased rates of soil erosion in deforested watersheds has caused significant changes in aquatic communities along much of the lake's shoreline. We analyzed the effects of sediment discharge on biodiversity around six deltas or delta complexes on the east coast of Lake Tanganyika: the Lubulungu River delta, Kabesi River delta, Nyasanga/Kahama River deltas, and Mwamgongo River delta in Tanzania; and the Nyamuseni River delta and Karonge/Kirasa River deltas in Burundi. Collectively, these deltas and their associated rivers were chosen to represent a spectrum of drainage-basin sizes and disturbance levels. By comparing deltas that are similar in watershed attributes (other than disturbance levels), our goal was to explore a series of historical "experiments" at the watershed scale, with which we could more clearly evaluate hypotheses of land use or other effects on nearshore ecosystems. Here we discuss these deltas, their geologic and physiographic characteristics, and the field procedures used for coring and sampling the deltas, and various indicators of anthropogenic impact. ?? Springer 2005.

  16. Ancient DNA reveals that bowhead whale lineages survived Late Pleistocene climate change and habitat shifts

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Foote, Andrew David; Kaschner, Kristin; Schultze, Sebastian E.

    2013-01-01

    that a true Arctic species, the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus), shifted its range and tracked its core suitable habitat northwards during the rapid climate change of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. Late Pleistocene lineages survived into the Holocene and effective female population size increased...

  17. Habitat correlates of the red panda in the temperate forests of Bhutan.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sangay Dorji

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic activities and associated global climate change are threatening the biodiversity in the Himalayas against a backdrop of poor knowledge of the region's threatened species. The red panda (Ailurus fulgens is a threatened mammal confined to the eastern Himalayas, and because of Bhutan's central location in the distributional range of red pandas, its forests are integral to the long-term viability of wild populations. Detailed habitat requirements of the red panda are largely speculative, and there is virtually no ecological information available on this species in Bhutan. Between 2007 and 2009, we established 615 presence/absence plots in a systematic sampling of resident habitat types within Jigme Dorji and Thrumshingla National Parks, Bhutan, to investigate broad and fine-scale red panda habitat associations. Additional locality records of red pandas were obtained from interviewing 664 park residents. Red pandas were generally confined to cool broadleaf and conifer forests from 2,110-4,389 m above sea level (asl, with the majority of records between 2,400-3,700 m asl on south and east-facing slopes. At a finer scale, multivariate analysis revealed that red pandas were strongly associated with old growth Bhutan Fir (Abies densa forest dominated by a dense cover of Yushania and Arundanaria bamboo with a high density of fallen logs and tree stumps at ground level; a high density of trees, dead snags, and rhododendron shrubs in the mid-storey; and locations that were close to water. Because Bhutan's temperate forests that encompass prime red panda habitat are also integral to human subsistence and socio-economic development, there exists an inadvertent conflict between the needs of people and red pandas. As such, careful sustainable management of Bhutan's temperate forests is necessary if a balance is to be met between the socioeconomic needs of people and the conservation goals for red pandas.

  18. Structural habitat predicts functional dispersal habitat of a large carnivore: how leopards change spots.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fattebert, Julien; Robinson, Hugh S; Balme, Guy; Slotow, Rob; Hunter, Luke

    2015-10-01

    Natal dispersal promotes inter-population linkage, and is key to spatial distribution of populations. Degradation of suitable landscape structures beyond the specific threshold of an individual's ability to disperse can therefore lead to disruption of functional landscape connectivity and impact metapopulation function. Because it ignores behavioral responses of individuals, structural connectivity is easier to assess than functional connectivity and is often used as a surrogate for landscape connectivity modeling. However using structural resource selection models as surrogate for modeling functional connectivity through dispersal could be erroneous. We tested how well a second-order resource selection function (RSF) models (structural connectivity), based on GPS telemetry data from resident adult leopard (Panthera pardus L.), could predict subadult habitat use during dispersal (functional connectivity). We created eight non-exclusive subsets of the subadult data based on differing definitions of dispersal to assess the predictive ability of our adult-based RSF model extrapolated over a broader landscape. Dispersing leopards used habitats in accordance with adult selection patterns, regardless of the definition of dispersal considered. We demonstrate that, for a wide-ranging apex carnivore, functional connectivity through natal dispersal corresponds to structural connectivity as modeled by a second-order RSF. Mapping of the adult-based habitat classes provides direct visualization of the potential linkages between populations, without the need to model paths between a priori starting and destination points. The use of such landscape scale RSFs may provide insight into predicting suitable dispersal habitat peninsulas in human-dominated landscapes where mitigation of human-wildlife conflict should be focused. We recommend the use of second-order RSFs for landscape conservation planning and propose a similar approach to the conservation of other wide-ranging large

  19. Some clouds have a silver lining: paradoxes of anthropogenic perturbations from study cases on long-lived social birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oro, Daniel; Jiménez, Juan; Curcó, Antoni

    2012-01-01

    In recent centuries and above all over the last few decades, human activities have generated perturbations (from mild to very severe or catastrophes) that, when added to those of natural origin, constitute a global threat to biodiversity. Predicting the effects of anthropogenic perturbations on species and communities is a great scientific challenge given the complexity of ecosystems and the need for detailed population data from both before and after the perturbations. Here we present three cases of well-documented anthropogenic severe perturbations (different forms of habitat loss and deterioration influencing fertility and survival) that have affected three species of birds (a raptor, a scavenger and a waterbird) for which we possess long-term population time series. We tested whether the perturbations caused serious population decline or whether the study species were resilient, that is, its population dynamics were relatively unaffected. Two of the species did decline, although to a relatively small extent with no shift to a state of lower population numbers. Subsequently, these populations recovered rapidly and numbers reached similar levels to before the perturbations. Strikingly, in the third species a strong breakpoint took place towards greater population sizes, probably due to the colonization of new areas by recruits that were queuing at the destroyed habitat. Even though it is difficult to draw patterns of resilience from only three cases, the study species were all long-lived, social species with excellent dispersal and colonization abilities, capable of skipping reproduction and undergoing a phase of significant long-term population increase. The search for such patterns is crucial for optimizing the limited resources allocated to conservation and for predicting the future impact of planned anthropogenic activities on ecosystems.

  20. Gamebird responses to anthropogenic forest fragmentation and degradation in a southern Amazonian landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernanda Michalski

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Although large-bodied tropical forest birds are impacted by both habitat loss and fragmentation, their patterns of habitat occupancy will also depend on the degree of forest habitat disturbance, which may interact synergistically or additively with fragmentation effects. Here, we examine the effects of forest patch and landscape metrics, and levels of forest disturbance on the patterns of persistence of six gamebird taxa in the southern Brazilian Amazon. We use both interview data conducted with long-term residents and/or landowners from 129 remnant forest patches and 15 continuous forest sites and line-transect census data from a subset of 21 forest patches and two continuous forests. Forest patch area was the strongest predictor of species persistence, explaining as much as 46% of the overall variation in gamebird species richness. Logistic regression models showed that anthropogenic disturbance—including surface wildfires, selective logging and hunting pressure—had a variety of effects on species persistence. Most large-bodied gamebird species were sensitive to forest fragmentation, occupying primarily large, high-quality forest patches in higher abundances, and were typically absent from patches 10,000 ha, relatively undisturbed forest patches to both maximize persistence and maintain baseline abundances of large neotropical forest birds.

  1. Integration of LIDAR, optical remotely sensed, and ancillary data for forest monitoring and Grizzly bear habitat characterization / Integração de LIDAR, sensores remotos óticos e dados auxiliares para o monitoramento fl orestal e caracterização do habitat dos ursos Grizzly

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael A. Wulder

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Forest management and reporting information needs are becomingincreasingly complex in Canada. Inclusion of timber and non-timber considerations for both management and reporting has resulted inopportunities for integration of data from differing sources to provide the desired information. Canada’s forested land-base is over 400million hectares in size and fulfi lls important ecological and economic functions. In this communication we describe how remotely senseddata and other available spatial data layers capture different forestcharacteristics and conditions, and how these varying data sources may be combined to provide otherwise unavailable information. For instance, light detection and ranging (LIDAR confers information regardingvertical forest structure; high spatial resolution imagery captures (indetail the horizontal distribution and arrangement of vegetation andvegetation conditions; and, moderate spatial resolution imagery providesconsistent wide-area depictions of forest conditions. Furthermore, coarsespatial resolution imagery, with a high temporal density, can be blended with data of a higher spatial resolution to generate moderate spatialresolution data with a high temporal density. These remotely sensed datasources, when combined with existing spatial data layers such as forest inventory and digital terrain models, provide useful information thatmay be used to address, through modelling, questions regarding forest condition, structure, and change. In this communication, we discuss the importance of data integration and ultimately, information generation, inthe context of Grizzly bear habitat characterization. Grizzly bear habitat in western Canada is currently undergoing pressure from a combination of anthropogenic activities and a widespread outbreak of mountain pine beetle, resulting in a variety of information needs, including: detailed depictions of horizontal and vertical vegetation structure over large areasto support bark

  2. Dam operations may improve aquatic habitat and offset negative effects of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjankar, Rohan; Tonina, Daniele; McKean, James A; Sohrabi, Mohammad M; Chen, Quiwen; Vidergar, Dmitri

    2018-05-01

    Dam operation impacts on stream hydraulics and ecological processes are well documented, but their effect depends on geographical regions and varies spatially and temporally. Many studies have quantified their effects on aquatic ecosystem based mostly on flow hydraulics overlooking stream water temperature and climatic conditions. Here, we used an integrated modeling framework, an ecohydraulics virtual watershed, that links catchment hydrology, hydraulics, stream water temperature and aquatic habitat models to test the hypothesis that reservoir management may help to mitigate some impacts caused by climate change on downstream flows and temperature. To address this hypothesis we applied the model to analyze the impact of reservoir operation (regulated flows) on Bull Trout, a cold water obligate salmonid, habitat, against unregulated flows for dry, average, and wet climatic conditions in the South Fork Boise River (SFBR), Idaho, USA. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Distribution, habitat and adaptability of the genus Tapirus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García, Manolo J; Medici, Emília Patrícia; Naranjo, Eduardo J; Novarino, Wilson; Leonardo, Raquel S

    2012-12-01

    In this manuscript, as a starting point, the ancient and current distribution of the genus Tapirus are summarized, from its origins, apparently in Europe, to current ranges. Subsequently, original and current tapir habitats are described, as well as changes in ancient habitats. As the manuscript goes on, we examine the ways in which tapir species interact with their habitats and the main aspects of habitat use, spatial ecology and adaptability. Having reviewed the historic and current distribution of tapirs, as well as their use and selection of habitats, we introduce the concept of adaptability, considering that some of the tapir physiological characteristics and behavioral strategies can reduce the negative impact of habitat alteration and climate change. Finally, we provide recommendations for future research priorities. The conservation community is still missing important pieces of information for the effective conservation of tapirs and their remaining habitats in Central and South America and Southeast Asia. Reconstructing how tapir species reached their current distribution ranges, interpreting how they interact with their habitats and gathering information regarding the strategies they use to cope with habitat changes will increase our understanding about these animals and contribute to the development of conservation strategies. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  4. Genetic diversity and structure related to expansion history and habitat isolation: stone marten populating rural-urban habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wereszczuk, Anna; Leblois, Raphaël; Zalewski, Andrzej

    2017-12-22

    Population genetic diversity and structure are determined by past and current evolutionary processes, among which spatially limited dispersal, genetic drift, and shifts in species distribution boundaries have major effects. In most wildlife species, environmental modifications by humans often lead to contraction of species' ranges and/or limit their dispersal by acting as environmental barriers. However, in species well adapted to anthropogenic habitat or open landscapes, human induced environmental changes may facilitate dispersal and range expansions. In this study, we analysed whether isolation by distance and deforestation, among other environmental features, promotes or restricts dispersal and expansion in stone marten (Martes foina) populations. We genotyped 298 martens from eight sites at twenty-two microsatellite loci to characterize the genetic variability, population structure and demographic history of stone martens in Poland. At the landscape scale, limited genetic differentiation between sites in a mosaic of urban, rural and forest habitats was mostly influenced by isolation by distance. Statistical clustering and multivariate analyses showed weak genetic structuring with two to four clusters and a high rate of gene flow between them. Stronger genetic differentiation was detected for one stone marten population (NE1) located inside a large forest complex. Genetic differentiation between this site and all others was 20% higher than between other sites separated by similar distances. The genetic uniqueness index of NE1 was also twofold higher than in other sites. Past demographic history analyses showed recent expansion of this species in north-eastern Poland. A decrease in genetic diversity from south to north, and MIGRAINE analyses indicated the direction of expansion of stone marten. Our results showed that two processes, changes in species distribution boundaries and limited dispersal associated with landscape barriers, affect genetic diversity and

  5. Changes in potential habitat of 147 North American breeding bird species in response to redistribution of trees and climate following predicted climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephen N. Matthews; Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Matthew P. Peters

    2011-01-01

    Mounting evidence shows that organisms have already begun to respond to global climate change. Advances in our knowledge of how climate shapes species distributional patterns has helped us better understand the response of birds to climate change. However, the distribution of birds across the landscape is also driven by biotic and abiotic components, including habitat...

  6. Anthropogenic sea level rise and adaptation in the Yangtze estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cheng, H.; Chen, J.; Chen, Z.; Ruan, R.; Xu, G.; Zeng, G.; Zhu, J.; Dai, Z.; Gu, S.; Zhang, X.; Wang, H.

    2016-02-01

    Sea level rise is a major projected threat of climate change. There are regional variations in sea level changes, depending on both naturally the tectonic subsidence, geomorphology, naturally changing river inputs and anthropogenic driven forces as artificial reservoir water impoundment within the watershed and urban land subsidence driven by ground water depletion in the river delta. Little is known on regional sea level fall in response to the channel erosion due to the sediment discharge decline by reservoir interception in the upstream watershed, and water level rise driven by anthropogenic measures as the land reclamation, deep waterway regulation and fresh water reservoir construction to the sea level change in estuaries. Changing coastal cities are situated in the delta regions expected to be threatened in various degrees. Shanghai belongs to those cities. Here we show that the anthropogenic driven sea level rise in the Yangtze estuary from the point of view of the continuous hydrodynamic system consisted of river catchment, estuary and coastal sea. Land subsidence is cited as 4 mm/a (2011-2030). Scour depth of the estuarine channel by upstream engineering as Three Gauge Dam is estimated at 2-10 cm (2011-2030). The rise of water level by deep waterway and land reclamation is estimated at 8-10 cm (2011-2030). The relative sea level rise will be speculated about 10 -16 cm (2011-2030), which these anthropogenic sea level changes will be imposed into the absolute sea level rise 2 mm/a and tectonic subsidence 1 mm/a measured in 1990s. The action guideline to the sea level rise strategy in the Shanghai city have been proposed to the Shanghai government as (1) recent actions (2012-2015) to upgrade the city water supply and drainage engineering and protective engineering; (2) interim actions (2016-2020) to improve sea level monitoring and early warning system, and then the special, city, regional planning considering sea level rise; (3) long term actions (2021

  7. HABITAT: A longitudinal multilevel study of physical activity change in mid-aged adults

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brown Wendy J

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Little is known about the patterns and influences of physical activity change in mid-aged adults. This study describes the design, sampling, data collection, and analytical plan of HABITAT, an innovative study of (i physical activity change over five years (2007–2011 in adults aged 40–65 years at baseline, and (ii the relative contribution of psychological variables, social support, neighborhood perceptions, area-level factors, and sociodemographic characteristics to physical activity change. Methods/Design HABITAT is a longitudinal multi-level study. 1625 Census Collection Districts (CCDs in Brisbane, Australia were ranked by their index of relative socioeconomic disadvantage score, categorized into deciles, and 20 CCDs from each decile were selected to provide 200 local areas for study inclusion. From each of the 200 CCDs, dwellings with individuals aged between 40–65 years (in 2007 were identified using electoral roll data, and approximately 85 people per CCD were selected to participate (N = 17,000. A comprehensive Geographic Information System (GIS database has been compiled with area-level information on public transport networks, footpaths, topography, traffic volume, street lights, tree coverage, parks, public services, and recreational facilities Participants are mailed a questionnaire every two years (2007, 2009, 2011, with items assessing physical activity (general walking, moderate activity, vigorous activity, walking for transport, cycling for transport, recreational activities, sitting time, perceptions of neighborhood characteristics (traffic, pleasant surroundings, streets, footpaths, crime and safety, distance to recreational and business facilities, social support, social cohesion, activity-related cognitions (attitudes, efficacy, barriers, motivation, health, and sociodemographic characteristics. Analyses will use binary and multinomial logit regression models, as well as generalized linear latent

  8. The Teaching of Anthropogenic Climate Change and Earth Science via Technology-Enabled Inquiry Education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Drew; Sieber, Renee; Seiler, Gale; Chandler, Mark

    2016-01-01

    A gap has existed between the tools and processes of scientists working on anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) and the technologies and curricula available to educators teaching the subject through student inquiry. Designing realistic scientific inquiry into AGCC poses a challenge because research on it relies on complex computer models, globally distributed data sets, and complex laboratory and data collection procedures. Here we examine efforts by the scientific community and educational researchers to design new curricula and technology that close this gap and impart robust AGCC and Earth Science understanding. We find technology-based teaching shows promise in promoting robust AGCC understandings if associated curricula address mitigating factors such as time constraints in incorporating technology and the need to support teachers implementing AGCC and Earth Science inquiry. We recommend the scientific community continue to collaborate with educational researchers to focus on developing those inquiry technologies and curricula that use realistic scientific processes from AGCC research and/or the methods for determining how human society should respond to global change.

  9. Simulated anthropogenic CO2 storage and acidification of the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Palmiéri

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Constraints on the Mediterranean Sea's storage of anthropogenic CO2 are limited, coming only from data-based approaches that disagree by more than a factor of two. Here we simulate this marginal sea's anthropogenic carbon storage by applying a perturbation approach in a high-resolution regional model. Our model simulates that, between 1800 and 2001, basin-wide CO2 storage by the Mediterranean Sea has increased by 1.0 Pg C, a lower limit based on the model's weak deep-water ventilation, as revealed by evaluation with CFC-12. Furthermore, by testing a data-based approach (transit time distribution in our model, comparing simulated anthropogenic CO2 to values computed from simulated CFC-12 and physical variables, we conclude that the associated basin-wide storage of 1.7 Pg, published previously, must be an upper bound. Out of the total simulated storage of 1.0 Pg C, 75% comes from the air–sea flux into the Mediterranean Sea and 25% comes from net transport from the Atlantic across the Strait of Gibraltar. Sensitivity tests indicate that the Mediterranean Sea's higher total alkalinity, relative to the global-ocean mean, enhances the Mediterranean's total inventory of anthropogenic carbon by 10%. Yet the corresponding average anthropogenic change in surface pH does not differ significantly from the global-ocean average, despite higher total alkalinity. In Mediterranean deep waters, the pH change is estimated to be between −0.005 and −0.06 pH units.

  10. Responses of Surface Ozone Air Quality to Anthropogenic Nitrogen Deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L.; Zhao, Y.; Tai, A. P. K.; Chen, Y.; Pan, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Human activities have substantially increased atmospheric deposition of reactive nitrogen to the Earth's surface, inducing unintentional effects on ecosystems with complex environmental and climate consequences. One consequence remaining unexplored is how surface air quality might respond to the enhanced nitrogen deposition through surface-atmosphere exchange. We combine a chemical transport model (GEOS-Chem) and a global land model (Community Land Model) to address this issue with a focus on ozone pollution in the Northern Hemisphere. We consider three processes that are important for surface ozone and can be perturbed by addition of atmospheric deposited nitrogen: emissions of biogenic volatile organic compounds (VOCs), ozone dry deposition, and soil nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. We find that present-day anthropogenic nitrogen deposition (65 Tg N a-1 to the land), through enhancing plant growth (represented as increases in vegetation leaf area index (LAI) in the model), could increase surface ozone from increased biogenic VOC emissions, but could also decrease ozone due to higher ozone dry deposition velocities. Meanwhile, deposited anthropogenic nitrogen to soil enhances soil NOx emissions. The overall effect on summer mean surface ozone concentrations show general increases over the globe (up to 1.5-2.3 ppbv over the western US and South Asia), except for some regions with high anthropogenic NOx emissions (0.5-1.0 ppbv decreases over the eastern US, Western Europe, and North China). We compare the surface ozone changes with those driven by the past 20-year climate and historical land use changes. We find that the impacts from anthropogenic nitrogen deposition can be comparable to the climate and land use driven surface ozone changes at regional scales, and partly offset the surface ozone reductions due to land use changes reported in previous studies. Our study emphasizes the complexity of biosphere-atmosphere interactions, which can have important

  11. Baseline for Climate Change: Modeling Watershed Aquatic Biodiversity Relative to Environmental and Anthropogenic Factors

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Maurakis, Eugene G

    2010-10-01

    Objectives of the two-year study were to (1) establish baselines for fish and macroinvertebrate community structures in two mid-Atlantic lower Piedmont watersheds (Quantico Creek, a pristine forest watershed; and Cameron Run, an urban watershed, Virginia) that can be used to monitor changes relative to the impacts related to climate change in the future; (2) create mathematical expressions to model fish species richness and diversity, and macroinvertebrate taxa and macroinvertebrate functional feeding group taxa richness and diversity that can serve as a baseline for future comparisons in these and other watersheds in the mid-Atlantic region; and (3) heighten people’s awareness, knowledge and understanding of climate change and impacts on watersheds in a laboratory experience and interactive exhibits, through internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students, a week-long teacher workshop, and a website about climate change and watersheds. Mathematical expressions modeled fish and macroinvertebrate richness and diversity accurately well during most of the six thermal seasons where sample sizes were robust. Additionally, hydrologic models provide the basis for estimating flows under varying meteorological conditions and landscape changes. Continuations of long-term studies are requisite for accurately teasing local human influences (e.g. urbanization and watershed alteration) from global anthropogenic impacts (e.g. climate change) on watersheds. Effective and skillful translations (e.g. annual potential exposure of 750,000 people to our inquiry-based laboratory activities and interactive exhibits in Virginia) of results of scientific investigations are valuable ways of communicating information to the general public to enhance their understanding of climate change and its effects in watersheds.

  12. Anthropogenic forcing dominates sea level rise since 1850

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jevrejeva, Svetlana; Grinsted, Aslak; Moore, John

    2009-01-01

    The rate of sea level rise and its causes are topics of active debate. Here we use a delayed response statistical model to attribute the past 1000 years of sea level variability to various natural (volcanic and solar radiative) and anthropogenic (greenhouse gases and aerosols) forcings. We show...... that until 1800 the main drivers of sea level change are volcanic and solar radiative forcings. For the past 200 years sea level rise is mostly associated with anthropogenic factors. Only 4 ± 1.5 cm (25% of total sea level rise) during the 20th century is attributed to natural forcings, the remaining 14 ± 1...

  13. Modeling the Effect of Geomorphic Change Triggered by Large Wood Addition on Salmon Habitat in a Forested Coastal Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bair, R.; Segura, C.; Lorion, C.

    2015-12-01

    Large wood (LW) additions are often part of fish habitat restorations in the PNW where historic forest clear-cutting limited natural wood recruitment. These efforts' relative successes are rarely reported in terms of ecological significance to different life stages of fish. Understanding the effectiveness of LW additions will contribute to successfully managing forest land. In this study we quantify the geomorphic change of a restoration project involving LW additions to three alluvial reaches in Mill Creek, OR. The reaches are 110-130m in plane-bed morphology and drain 2-16km2. We quantify the change in available habitat to different life stages of coho salmon in terms of velocity (v), shear stress (t), flow depth, and grain size distributions (GSD) considering existing thresholds in the literature for acceptable habitat. Flow conditions before and after LW additions are assessed using a 2D hydrodynamic model (FaSTMECH). Model inputs include detailed channel topography, discharge, and surface GSD. The spatial-temporal variability of sediment transport was also quantified based the modeled t distributions and the GSD to document changes in the overall geomorphic regime. Initial modeling results for pre wood conditions show mean t and v values ranging between 0 and 26N/m2 and between 0 and 2.4m/s, respectively for up to bankfull flow (Qbf). The distributions of both t and v become progressively wider and peak at higher values as flow increases with the notable exception at Qbf for which the area of low velocity increases noticeably. The spatial distributions of velocity results indicates that the extent of suitable habitat for adult coho decreased by 18% between flows 30 and 55% of BF. However the area of suitable habitat increased by 15% between 0.55Qbf and Qbf as the flow spreads from the channel into the floodplain. We expect the LW will enhance floodplain connectivity and thus available habitat by creating additional areas of low v during winter flows.

  14. Anthropogenic climate change and allergen exposure: The role of plant biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ziska, Lewis H; Beggs, Paul J

    2012-01-01

    Accumulation of anthropogenic gases, particularly CO(2), is likely to have 2 fundamental effects on plant biology. The first is an indirect effect through Earth's increasing average surface temperatures, with subsequent effects on other aspects of climate, such as rainfall and extreme weather events. The second is a direct effect caused by CO(2)-induced stimulation of photosynthesis and plant growth. Both effects are likely to alter a number of fundamental aspects of plant biology and human health, including aerobiology and allergic diseases, respectively. This review highlights the current and projected effect of increasing CO(2) and climate change in the context of plants and allergen exposure, emphasizing direct effects on plant physiologic parameters (eg, pollen production) and indirect effects (eg, fungal sporulation) related to diverse biotic and abiotic interactions. Overall, the review assumes that future global mitigation efforts will be limited and suggests a number of key research areas that will assist in adapting to the ongoing challenges to public health associated with increased allergen exposure. Published by Mosby, Inc.

  15. University-Level Teaching of Anthropogenic Global Climate Change (AGCC) via Student Inquiry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bush, Drew; Sieber, Renee; Seiler, Gale; Chandler, Mark

    2017-01-01

    This paper reviews university-level efforts to improve understanding of anthropogenic global climate change (AGCC) through curricula that enable student scientific inquiry. We examined 152 refereed publications and proceedings from academic conferences and selected 26 cases of inquiry learning that overcome specific challenges to AGCC teaching. This review identifies both the strengths and weaknesses of each of these case studies. It is the first to go beyond examining the impact of specific inquiry instructional approaches to offer a synthesis of cases. We find that inquiry teaching can succeed by concretising scientific processes, providing access to global data and evidence, imparting critical and higher order thinking about AGCC science policy and contextualising learning with places and scientific facts. We recommend educational researchers and scientists collaborate to create and refine curricula that utilise geospatial technologies, climate models and communication technologies to bring students into contact with scientists, climate data and authentic AGCC research processes. Many available science education technologies and curricula also require further research to maximise trade-offs between implementation and training costs and their educational value.

  16. Present and future potential habitat distribution of Carcharhinus falciformis and Canthidermis maculata by-catch species in the tropical tuna purse-seine fishery under climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nerea eLezama Ochoa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available By-catch species from tropical tuna purse seine fishery have been affected by fishery pressures since the last century; however, the habitat distribution and the climate change impacts on these species are poorly known. With the objective of predicting the potential suitable habitat for a shark (Carcharhinus falciformis and a teleost (Canthidermis maculata in the Indian, Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, a MaxEnt species distribution model (SDM was developed using data collected by observers in tuna purse seiners. The relative percentage of contribution of some environmental variables (depth, sea surface temperature, salinity and primary production and the potential impact of climate change on species habitat by the end of the century under the A2 scenario (scenario with average concentrations of carbon dioxide of 856 ppm by 2100 were also evaluated. Results showed that by-catch species can be correctly modelled using observed occurrence records and few environmental variables with SDM. Results from projected maps showed that the equatorial band and some coastal upwelling regions were the most suitable areas for both by-catch species in the three oceans in concordance with the main fishing grounds. Sea surface temperature was the most important environmental variable which contributed to explain the habitat distribution of the two species in the three oceans in general. Under climate change scenarios, the largest change in present habitat suitability is observed in the Atlantic Ocean (around 16% of the present habitat suitability area of Carcharhinus falciformis and Canthidermis maculata, respectively whereas the change is less in the Pacific (around 10% and 8% and Indian Oceans (around 3% and 2 %. In some regions such as Somalia, the Atlantic equatorial band or Peru’s coastal upwelling areas, these species could lose potential habitat whereas in the south of the equator in the Indian Ocean, the Benguela System and in the Pacific coast of

  17. Habitat assessment of non-wadeable rivers in Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Jennifer G O; Allan, J David; Wessell, Kelly J; Merritt, Richard W; Cummins, Kenneth W

    2005-10-01

    Habitat evaluation of wadeable streams based on accepted protocols provides a rapid and widely used adjunct to biological assessment. However, little effort has been devoted to habitat evaluation in non-wadeable rivers, where it is likely that protocols will differ and field logistics will be more challenging. We developed and tested a non-wadeable habitat index (NWHI) for rivers of Michigan, where non-wadeable rivers were defined as those of order >or=5, drainage area >or=1600 km2, mainstem lengths >or=100 km, and mean annual discharge >or=15 m3/s. This identified 22 candidate rivers that ranged in length from 103 to 825 km and in drainage area from 1620 to 16,860 km2. We measured 171 individual habitat variables over 2-km reaches at 35 locations on 14 rivers during 2000-2002, where mean wetted width was found to range from 32 to 185 m and mean thalweg depth from 0.8 to 8.3 m. We used correlation and principal components analysis to reduce the number of variables, and examined the spatial pattern of retained variables to exclude any that appeared to reflect spatial location rather than reach condition, resulting in 12 variables to be considered in the habitat index. The proposed NWHI included seven variables: riparian width, large woody debris, aquatic vegetation, bottom deposition, bank stability, thalweg substrate, and off-channel habitat. These variables were included because of their statistical association with independently derived measures of human disturbance in the riparian zone and the catchment, and because they are considered important in other habitat protocols or to the ecology of large rivers. Five variables were excluded because they were primarily related to river size rather than anthropogenic disturbance. This index correlated strongly with indices of disturbance based on the riparian (adjusted R2 = 0.62) and the catchment (adjusted R2 = 0.50), and distinguished the 35 river reaches into the categories of poor (2), fair (19), good (13), and

  18. Forecasting effects of climate change on Great Lakes fisheries: models that link habitat supply to population dynamics can help

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Michael L.; Shuter, Brian J.; Zhao, Yingming; Stockwell, Jason D.

    2006-01-01

    Future changes to climate in the Great Lakes may have important consequences for fisheries. Evidence suggests that Great Lakes air and water temperatures have risen and the duration of ice cover has lessened during the past century. Global circulation models (GCMs) suggest future warming and increases in precipitation in the region. We present new evidence that water temperatures have risen in Lake Erie, particularly during summer and winter in the period 1965–2000. GCM forecasts coupled with physical models suggest lower annual runoff, less ice cover, and lower lake levels in the future, but the certainty of these forecasts is low. Assessment of the likely effects of climate change on fish stocks will require an integrative approach that considers several components of habitat rather than water temperature alone. We recommend using mechanistic models that couple habitat conditions to population demographics to explore integrated effects of climate-caused habitat change and illustrate this approach with a model for Lake Erie walleye (Sander vitreum). We show that the combined effect on walleye populations of plausible changes in temperature, river hydrology, lake levels, and light penetration can be quite different from that which would be expected based on consideration of only a single factor.

  19. Quantifying Anthropogenic Stress on Groundwater Resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashraf, Batool; AghaKouchak, Amir; Alizadeh, Amin; Mousavi Baygi, Mohammad; R Moftakhari, Hamed; Mirchi, Ali; Anjileli, Hassan; Madani, Kaveh

    2017-10-10

    This study explores a general framework for quantifying anthropogenic influences on groundwater budget based on normalized human outflow (h out ) and inflow (h in ). The framework is useful for sustainability assessment of groundwater systems and allows investigating the effects of different human water abstraction scenarios on the overall aquifer regime (e.g., depleted, natural flow-dominated, and human flow-dominated). We apply this approach to selected regions in the USA, Germany and Iran to evaluate the current aquifer regime. We subsequently present two scenarios of changes in human water withdrawals and return flow to the system (individually and combined). Results show that approximately one-third of the selected aquifers in the USA, and half of the selected aquifers in Iran are dominated by human activities, while the selected aquifers in Germany are natural flow-dominated. The scenario analysis results also show that reduced human withdrawals could help with regime change in some aquifers. For instance, in two of the selected USA aquifers, a decrease in anthropogenic influences by ~20% may change the condition of depleted regime to natural flow-dominated regime. We specifically highlight a trending threat to the sustainability of groundwater in northwest Iran and California, and the need for more careful assessment and monitoring practices as well as strict regulations to mitigate the negative impacts of groundwater overexploitation.

  20. Impacts of Evolutionary History on Endangerment in a Changing Climate: Miocene upwelling, Holocene Pluvial Cycles and Endemics at the Mouth of the Colorado River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobs, D. K.

    2006-12-01

    The environmental conditions communities experienced during their diversification and recent geologic history informs us as to which environmental changes are most likely to impact species in those communities. Three examples follow: 1) Recent compilation of molecular and paleontological data document that higher aspects of the trophic chain in the Pacific Northwest, including the salmon genus Onchoyrhynchus, alcid birds (Auks & Puffins) and crabs of the genus Cancer speciated dramatically in response to enhanced upwelling of the mid Miocene (Jacobs et al. 2004). Consistent with this evolutionary origin, population dynamics and endangerment of these taxa are associated with the changing productivity regime of the Pacific as well as more direct human impacts. 2) Pluvials in the Eurasian and African continent respond to the precession cycle, as a result wetland habitats were much more expansive in the early and middle Holocene. Late Holocene wetland habitat contraction combines with increasing anthropogenic manipulation of these cyclically limited hydrologic resources to yield a suite of endangered taxa across these continents as is statistically documented by analysis of Redbook data. 3) Our recent work documents the evolution of endemic fish and Molluscan taxa in association with the Colorado River Delta. These endemic taxa are then vulnerable to the to impacts on the Colorado Delta where anthropogenic use of water resources combine with the threat of climate provide combined threats to this ecosystem. The Environmental/Evolutionary history of lineages clearly has strong implications for how anthropogenic changes impacts and endangers those lineages. Jacobs D.K. et al. Annu. Rev. Earth Planet. Sci. 2004. 32:601 52

  1. Temporal patterns in habitat use by small cetaceans at an oceanographically dynamic marine renewable energy test site in the Celtic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, S. L.; Witt, M. J.; Embling, C. B.; Godley, B. J.; Hosegood, P. J.; Miller, P. I.; Votier, S. C.; Ingram, S. N.

    2017-07-01

    Shelf-seas are highly dynamic and oceanographically complex environments, which likely influences the spatio-temporal distributions of marine megafauna such as marine mammals. As such, understanding natural patterns in habitat use by these animals is essential when attempting to ascertain and assess the impacts of anthropogenically induced disturbances, such as those associated with marine renewable energy installations (MREIs). This study uses a five year (2009-2013) passive acoustics (C-POD) dataset to examine the use of an oceanographically dynamic marine renewable energy test site by small cetaceans, dolphins (unspecified delphinids) and harbour porpoises Phocoena phocoena, in the southern Celtic Sea. To examine how temporal patterns in habitat use across the site related to oceanographic changes occurring over broad seasonal scales as well as those driven by fine scale (bi-weekly) localised processes (that may be masked by seasonal trends), separate analyses were conducted using (1) all daily animal detection rates spanning the entire five year dataset and (2) daily animal detection rates taken only during the summer months (defined as mid-June to mid-October) of 2010 (when continuous monitoring was carried out at multiple discrete locations across the site). In both instances, generalised additive mixed effects models (GAMMs) were used to link detection rates to a suite of environmental variables representative of the oceanography of the region. We show that increased harbour porpoise detection rates in the late winter/early spring (January-March) are associated with low sea surface temperatures (SST), whilst peaks in dolphin detection rates in the summer (July-September) coincide with increased SSTs and the presence of a tidal-mixing front. Moreover, across the summer months of 2010, dolphin detection rates were found to respond to small scale changes in SST and position in the spring-neap cycle, possibly reflective of a preference for the stratified waters

  2. Simulations of the global carbon cycle and anthropogenic CO2 transient

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarmiento, J.L.

    1994-01-01

    This research focuses on improving the understanding of the anthropogenic carbon dioxide transient using observations and models of the past and present. In addition, an attempt is made to develop an ability to predict the future of the carbon cycle in response to continued anthropogenic perturbations and climate change. Three aspects of the anthropogenic carbon budget were investigated: (1) the globally integrated budget at the present time; (2) the time history of the carbon budget; and (3) the spatial distribution of carbon fluxes. One of the major activities of this study was the participation in the model comparison study of Enting, et al. [1994] carried out in preparation for the IPCC 1994 report

  3. Influence of Anthropogenic Climate Change on Planetary Wave Resonance and Extreme Weather Events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mann, Michael E; Rahmstorf, Stefan; Kornhuber, Kai; Steinman, Byron A; Miller, Sonya K; Coumou, Dim

    2017-03-27

    Persistent episodes of extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere summer have been shown to be associated with the presence of high-amplitude quasi-stationary atmospheric Rossby waves within a particular wavelength range (zonal wavenumber 6-8). The underlying mechanistic relationship involves the phenomenon of quasi-resonant amplification (QRA) of synoptic-scale waves with that wavenumber range becoming trapped within an effective mid-latitude atmospheric waveguide. Recent work suggests an increase in recent decades in the occurrence of QRA-favorable conditions and associated extreme weather, possibly linked to amplified Arctic warming and thus a climate change influence. Here, we isolate a specific fingerprint in the zonal mean surface temperature profile that is associated with QRA-favorable conditions. State-of-the-art ("CMIP5") historical climate model simulations subject to anthropogenic forcing display an increase in the projection of this fingerprint that is mirrored in multiple observational surface temperature datasets. Both the models and observations suggest this signal has only recently emerged from the background noise of natural variability.

  4. Some clouds have a silver lining: paradoxes of anthropogenic perturbations from study cases on long-lived social birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Oro

    Full Text Available In recent centuries and above all over the last few decades, human activities have generated perturbations (from mild to very severe or catastrophes that, when added to those of natural origin, constitute a global threat to biodiversity. Predicting the effects of anthropogenic perturbations on species and communities is a great scientific challenge given the complexity of ecosystems and the need for detailed population data from both before and after the perturbations. Here we present three cases of well-documented anthropogenic severe perturbations (different forms of habitat loss and deterioration influencing fertility and survival that have affected three species of birds (a raptor, a scavenger and a waterbird for which we possess long-term population time series. We tested whether the perturbations caused serious population decline or whether the study species were resilient, that is, its population dynamics were relatively unaffected. Two of the species did decline, although to a relatively small extent with no shift to a state of lower population numbers. Subsequently, these populations recovered rapidly and numbers reached similar levels to before the perturbations. Strikingly, in the third species a strong breakpoint took place towards greater population sizes, probably due to the colonization of new areas by recruits that were queuing at the destroyed habitat. Even though it is difficult to draw patterns of resilience from only three cases, the study species were all long-lived, social species with excellent dispersal and colonization abilities, capable of skipping reproduction and undergoing a phase of significant long-term population increase. The search for such patterns is crucial for optimizing the limited resources allocated to conservation and for predicting the future impact of planned anthropogenic activities on ecosystems.

  5. Comparing population patterns to processes: abundance and survival of a forest salamander following habitat degradation.

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    Clint R V Otto

    Full Text Available Habitat degradation resulting from anthropogenic activities poses immediate and prolonged threats to biodiversity, particularly among declining amphibians. Many studies infer amphibian response to habitat degradation by correlating patterns in species occupancy or abundance with environmental effects, often without regard to the demographic processes underlying these patterns. We evaluated how retention of vertical green trees (CANOPY and coarse woody debris (CWD influenced terrestrial salamander abundance and apparent survival in recently clearcut forests. Estimated abundance of unmarked salamanders was positively related to CANOPY (β Canopy  = 0.21 (0.02-1.19; 95% CI, but not CWD (β CWD  = 0.11 (-0.13-0.35 within 3,600 m2 sites, whereas estimated abundance of unmarked salamanders was not related to CANOPY (β Canopy  = -0.01 (-0.21-0.18 or CWD (β CWD  = -0.02 (-0.23-0.19 for 9 m2 enclosures. In contrast, apparent survival of marked salamanders within our enclosures over 1 month was positively influenced by both CANOPY and CWD retention (β Canopy  = 0.73 (0.27-1.19; 95% CI and β CWD  = 1.01 (0.53-1.50. Our results indicate that environmental correlates to abundance are scale dependent reflecting habitat selection processes and organism movements after a habitat disturbance event. Our study also provides a cautionary example of how scientific inference is conditional on the response variable(s, and scale(s of measure chosen by the investigator, which can have important implications for species conservation and management. Our research highlights the need for joint evaluation of population state variables, such as abundance, and population-level process, such as survival, when assessing anthropogenic impacts on forest biodiversity.

  6. Natural and anthropogenic change in the morphology and connectivity of tidal channels of southwest Bangladesh

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    Wilson, C.; Goodbred, S. L., Jr.; Wallace Auerbach, L.; Ahmed, K. R.; Small, C.; Sams, S. E.

    2014-12-01

    Over the last century, land use changes in the Ganges-Brahmaputra tidal delta have transformed >5000 km2 of intertidal mangrove forest to densely inhabited, agricultural islands that have been embanked to protect against tides and storm surges (i.e., polders). More recently, the conversion of rice paddies to profitable shrimp aquaculture has become increasingly widespread. Recent field studies documented that poldering in southwest Bangladesh has resulted in an elevation deficit relative to that of the natural mangrove forests and mean high water (MHW). The offset is a function of lost sedimentation, enhanced compaction, and an effective rise in MHW from tidal amplification. The morphologic adjustment of the tidal channel network to these perturbations, however, has gone largely undocumented. One effect has been the shoaling of many channels due to decreases in fluvial discharge and tidal prism. We document a previously unrecognized anthropogenic component: the widespread closure of large conduit tidal channels for land reclamation and shrimp farming. GIS analysis of historical Landsat and Google Earth imagery within six 1000 km2 study areas reveals that the tidal network in the natural Sundarbans mangrove forest has remained relatively constant since the 1970s, while significant changes are observed in human-modified areas. Construction of the original embankments removed >1000 km of primary tidal creeks, and >80 km2 of land has been reclaimed outside of polders through the closure of formerly active tidal channels (decrease in mean channel width from 256±91 m to 25±10 m). Tidal restriction by large sluice gates is prevalent, favoring local channel siltation. Furthermore, severing the intertidal platform and large conduit channels from the tidal network has had serious repercussions, such as increased lateral migration and straightening of the remaining channels. Where banklines have eroded, the adjacent embankments appear to be more vulnerable to failure, as

  7. Attribution of Anthropogenic Influence on Atmospheric Patterns Conducive to Recent Most Severe Haze Over Eastern China

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    Li, Ke; Liao, Hong; Cai, Wenju; Yang, Yang

    2018-02-01

    Severe haze pollution in eastern China has caused substantial health impacts and economic loss. Conducive atmospheric conditions are important to affect occurrence of severe haze events, and circulation changes induced by future global climate warming are projected to increase the frequency of such events. However, a potential contribution of an anthropogenic influence to recent most severe haze (December 2015 and January 2013) over eastern China remains unclear. Here we show that the anthropogenic influence, which is estimated by using large ensemble runs with a climate model forced with and without anthropogenic forcings, has already increased the probability of the atmospheric patterns conducive to severe haze by at least 45% in January 2013 and 27% in December 2015, respectively. We further confirm that simulated atmospheric circulation pattern changes induced by anthropogenic influence are driven mainly by increased greenhouse gas emissions. Our results suggest that more strict reductions in pollutant emissions are needed under future anthropogenic warming.

  8. Structure and Composition of Mangrove Associations in Tubli Bay of Bahrain as Affected by Municipal Wastewater Discharge and Anthropogenic Sedimentation

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    Kholoud Abou Seedo

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of municipal wastewater discharge and anthropogenic sedimentation on the structure and composition of gray mangrove (Avicennia marina (Forsk. Vierh. communities along Tubli Bay coastlines in Bahrain were investigated. Growth and regeneration of mangrove were measured, and its community was characterized. S