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Sample records for glossina-morsitans habitat model

  1. Odorant and gustatory receptors in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans.

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    George F O Obiero

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Tsetse flies use olfactory and gustatory responses, through odorant and gustatory receptors (ORs and GRs, to interact with their environment. Glossina morsitans morsitans genome ORs and GRs were annotated using homologs of these genes in Drosophila melanogaster and an ab initio approach based on OR and GR specific motifs in G. m. morsitans gene models coupled to gene ontology (GO. Phylogenetic relationships among the ORs or GRs and the homologs were determined using Maximum Likelihood estimates. Relative expression levels among the G. m. morsitans ORs or GRs were established using RNA-seq data derived from adult female fly. Overall, 46 and 14 putative G. m. morsitans ORs and GRs respectively were recovered. These were reduced by 12 and 59 ORs and GRs respectively compared to D. melanogaster. Six of the ORs were homologous to a single D. melanogaster OR (DmOr67d associated with mating deterrence in females. Sweet taste GRs, present in all the other Diptera, were not recovered in G. m. morsitans. The GRs associated with detection of CO2 were conserved in G. m. morsitans relative to D. melanogaster. RNA-sequence data analysis revealed expression of GmmOR15 locus represented over 90% of expression profiles for the ORs. The G. m. morsitans ORs or GRs were phylogenetically closer to those in D. melanogaster than to other insects assessed. We found the chemoreceptor repertoire in G. m. morsitans smaller than other Diptera, and we postulate that this may be related to the restricted diet of blood-meal for both sexes of tsetse flies. However, the clade of some specific receptors has been expanded, indicative of their potential importance in chemoreception in the tsetse.

  2. Genome sequence of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans ): Vector of African trypanosomiasis

    KAUST Repository

    Watanabe, Junichi

    2014-04-24

    Tsetse flies are the sole vectors of human African trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Both sexes of adult tsetse feed exclusively on blood and contribute to disease transmission. Notable differences between tsetse and other disease vectors include obligate microbial symbioses, viviparous reproduction, and lactation. Here, we describe the sequence and annotation of the 366-megabase Glossina morsitans morsitans genome. Analysis of the genome and the 12,308 predicted protein-encoding genes led to multiple discoveries, including chromosomal integrations of bacterial (Wolbachia) genome sequences, a family of lactation-specific proteins, reduced complement of host pathogen recognition proteins, and reduced olfaction/chemosensory associated genes. These genome data provide a foundation for research into trypanosomiasis prevention and yield important insights with broad implications for multiple aspects of tsetse biology.

  3. Genome sequence of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans ): Vector of African trypanosomiasis

    KAUST Repository

    Watanabe, Junichi; Hattori, Masahira; Berriman, Matthew; Lehane, Michael J.; Hall, Neil; Solano, Philippe; Aksoy, Serap; Hide, Winston; Touré , Yé ya Tié moko; Attardo, Geoffrey M.; Darby, Alistair Charles; Toyoda, Atsushi; Hertz-Fowler, Christiane; Larkin, Denis M.; Cotton, James A.; Sanders, Mandy J.; Swain, Martin T.; Quail, Michael A.; Inoue, Noboru; Ravel, Sophie; Taylor, Todd Duane; Srivastava, Tulika P.; Sharma, Vineet Kumar; Warren, Wesley C.; Wilson, Richard K.; Suzuki, Yutaka; Lawson, Daniel; Hughes, Daniel Seth Toney; Megy, Karyn; Masiga, Daniel K.; Mireji, Paul Odhiambo; Hansen, Immo Alex; Van Den Abbeele, Jan; Benoit, Joshua B.; Bourtzis, Kostas; Obiero, George F O; Robertson, Hugh M.; Jones, Jeffery W.; Zhou, Jingjiang; Field, Linda M.; Friedrich, Markus; Nyanjom, Steven R G; Telleria, Erich Loza; Caljon, Guy; Ribeiro, José M. C.; Acosta-Serrano, Alvaro; Ooi, Cherpheng; Rose, Clair; Price, David P.; Haines, Lee Rafuse; Christoffels, Alan G.; Sim, Cheolho; Pham, Daphne Q D; Denlinger, David L.; Geiser, Dawn L.; Omedo, Irene A.; Winzerling, Joy J.; Peyton, Justin T.; Marucha, Kevin K.; Jonas, Mario; Meuti, Megan E.; Rawlings, Neil David; Zhang, Qirui; Macharia, Rosaline Wanjiru; Michalkova, Veronika; Dashti, Zahra Jalali Sefid; Baumann, Aaron A.; Gä de, Gerd; Marco, Heather G.; Caers, Jelle; Schoofs, Liliane; Riehle, Michael A.; Hu, Wanqi; Tu, Zhijian; Tarone, Aaron M.; Malacrida, Anna Rodolfa; Kibet, Caleb K.; Scolari, Francesca; Koekemoer, J. J. O.; Willis, Judith H.; Gomulski, Ludvik M.; Falchetto, Marco; Scott, Maxwell J.; Fu, Shuhua; Sze, Singhoi; Luiz, Thiago; Weiss, Brian L.; Walshe, Deirdre P.; Wang, Jingwen; Wamalwa, Mark; Mwangi, Sarah; Ramphul, Urvashi N.; Snyder, Anna K.; Brelsfoard, Corey L.; Thomas, Gavin H.; Tsiamis, George; Arensburger, Peter; Rio, Rita V M; Macdonald, Sandy J.; Panji, Sumir; Kruger, Adele F.; Benkahla, Alia; Balyeidhusa, Apollo Simon Peter; Msangi, Atway R.; Okoro, Chinyere K.; Stephens, Dawn; Stanley, Eleanor J.; Mpondo, Feziwe; Wamwiri, Florence N.; Mramba, Furaha; Siwo, Geoffrey H.; Githinji, George; Harkins, Gordon William; Murilla, Grace Adira; Lehvä slaiho, Heikki; Malele, Imna I.; Auma, Joanna Eseri; Kinyua, Johnson K.; Ouma, Johnson O.; Okedi, Loyce M A; Manga, Lucien; Aslett, Martin A.; Koffi, Mathurin; Gaunt, Michael W.; Makgamathe, Mmule; Mulder, Nicola Jane; Manangwa, Oliver; Abila, Patrick P.; Wincker, Patrick; Gregory, Richard I.; Bateta, Rosemary; Sakate, Ryuichi; Ommeh, Sheila; Lehane, Stella M.; Imanishi, Tadashi; Osamor, Victor Chukwudi; Kawahara, Yoshihiro

    2014-01-01

    Tsetse flies are the sole vectors of human African trypanosomiasis throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Both sexes of adult tsetse feed exclusively on blood and contribute to disease transmission. Notable differences between tsetse and other disease vectors include obligate microbial symbioses, viviparous reproduction, and lactation. Here, we describe the sequence and annotation of the 366-megabase Glossina morsitans morsitans genome. Analysis of the genome and the 12,308 predicted protein-encoding genes led to multiple discoveries, including chromosomal integrations of bacterial (Wolbachia) genome sequences, a family of lactation-specific proteins, reduced complement of host pathogen recognition proteins, and reduced olfaction/chemosensory associated genes. These genome data provide a foundation for research into trypanosomiasis prevention and yield important insights with broad implications for multiple aspects of tsetse biology.

  4. Variations in the Peritrophic Matrix Composition of Heparan Sulphate from the Tsetse Fly, Glossina morsitans morsitans

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    Evelyn Rogerson

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Tsetse flies are the principal insect vectors of African trypanosomes—sleeping sickness in humans and Nagana in cattle. One of the tsetse fly species, Glossina morsitans morsitans, is host to the parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, a major cause of African trypanosomiasis. Precise details of the life cycle have yet to be established, but the parasite life cycle involves crossing the insect peritrophic matrix (PM. The PM consists of the polysaccharide chitin, several hundred proteins, and both glycosamino- and galactosaminoglycan (GAG polysaccharides. Owing to the technical challenges of detecting small amounts of GAG polysaccharides, their conclusive identification and composition have not been possible until now. Following removal of PMs from the insects and the application of heparinases (bacterial lyase enzymes that are specific for heparan sulphate (HS GAG polysaccharides, dot blots with a HS-specific antibody showed heparan sulphate proteoglycans (HSPGs to be present, consistent with Glossina morsitans morsitans genome analysis, as well as the likely expression of the HSPGs syndecan and perlecan. Exhaustive HS digestion with heparinases, fluorescent labeling of the resulting disaccharides with BODIPY fluorophore, and separation by strong anion exchange chromatography then demonstrated the presence of HS for the first time and provided the disaccharide composition. There were no significant differences in the type of disaccharide species present between genders or between ages (24 vs. 48 h post emergence, although the HS from female flies was more heavily sulphated overall. Significant differences, which may relate to differences in infection between genders or ages, were evident, however, in overall levels of 2-O-sulphation between sexes and, for females, between 24 and 48 h post-emergence, implying a change in expression or activity for the 2-O-sulphotransferase enzyme. The presence of significant quantities of disaccharides containing the

  5. Presence of extensive Wolbachia symbiont insertions discovered in the genome of its host Glossina morsitans morsitans.

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    Corey Brelsfoard

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Tsetse flies (Glossina spp. are the cyclical vectors of Trypanosoma spp., which are unicellular parasites responsible for multiple diseases, including nagana in livestock and sleeping sickness in humans in Africa. Glossina species, including Glossina morsitans morsitans (Gmm, for which the Whole Genome Sequence (WGS is now available, have established symbiotic associations with three endosymbionts: Wigglesworthia glossinidia, Sodalis glossinidius and Wolbachia pipientis (Wolbachia. The presence of Wolbachia in both natural and laboratory populations of Glossina species, including the presence of horizontal gene transfer (HGT events in a laboratory colony of Gmm, has already been shown. We herein report on the draft genome sequence of the cytoplasmic Wolbachia endosymbiont (cytWol associated with Gmm. By in silico and molecular and cytogenetic analysis, we discovered and validated the presence of multiple insertions of Wolbachia (chrWol in the host Gmm genome. We identified at least two large insertions of chrWol, 527,507 and 484,123 bp in size, from Gmm WGS data. Southern hybridizations confirmed the presence of Wolbachia insertions in Gmm genome, and FISH revealed multiple insertions located on the two sex chromosomes (X and Y, as well as on the supernumerary B-chromosomes. We compare the chrWol insertions to the cytWol draft genome in an attempt to clarify the evolutionary history of the HGT events. We discuss our findings in light of the evolution of Wolbachia infections in the tsetse fly and their potential impacts on the control of tsetse populations and trypanosomiasis.

  6. Transcriptome analysis of reproductive tissue and intrauterine developmental stages of the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans morsitans

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    Wu Yineng

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tsetse flies, vectors of African trypanosomes, undergo viviparous reproduction (the deposition of live offspring. This reproductive strategy results in a large maternal investment and the deposition of a small number of progeny during a female's lifespan. The reproductive biology of tsetse has been studied on a physiological level; however the molecular analysis of tsetse reproduction requires deeper investigation. To build a foundation from which to base molecular studies of tsetse reproduction, a cDNA library was generated from female tsetse (Glossina morsitans morsitans reproductive tissues and the intrauterine developmental stages. 3438 expressed sequence tags were sequenced and analyzed. Results Analysis of a nonredundant catalogue of 1391 contigs resulted in 520 predicted proteins. 475 of these proteins were full length. We predict that 412 of these represent cytoplasmic proteins while 57 are secreted. Comparison of these proteins with other tissue specific tsetse cDNA libraries (salivary gland, fat body/milk gland, and midgut identified 51 that are unique to the reproductive/immature cDNA library. 11 unique proteins were homologus to uncharacterized putative proteins within the NR database suggesting the identification of novel genes associated with reproductive functions in other insects (hypothetical conserved. The analysis also yielded seven putative proteins without significant homology to sequences present in the public database (unknown genes. These proteins may represent unique functions associated with tsetse's viviparous reproductive cycle. RT-PCR analysis of hypothetical conserved and unknown contigs was performed to determine basic tissue and stage specificity of the expression of these genes. Conclusion This paper identifies 51 putative proteins specific to a tsetse reproductive/immature EST library. 11 of these proteins correspond to hypothetical conserved genes and 7 proteins are tsetse specific.

  7. Hsp70/J-protein machinery from Glossina morsitans morsitans, vector of African trypanosomiasis.

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    Stephen J Bentley

    Full Text Available Tsetse flies (Glossina spp. are the sole vectors of the protozoan parasites of the genus Trypanosoma, the causative agents of African Trypanosomiasis. Species of Glossina differ in vector competence and Glossina morsitans morsitans is associated with transmission of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense, which causes an acute and often fatal form of African Trypanosomiasis. Heat shock proteins are evolutionarily conserved proteins that play critical roles in proteostasis. The activity of heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70 is regulated by interactions with its J-protein (Hsp40 co-chaperones. Inhibition of these interactions are emerging as potential therapeutic targets. The assembly and annotation of the G. m. morsitans genome provided a platform to identify and characterize the Hsp70s and J-proteins, and carry out an evolutionary comparison to its well-studied eukaryotic counterparts, Drosophila melanogaster and Homo sapiens, as well as Stomoxys calcitrans, a comparator species. In our study, we identified 9 putative Hsp70 proteins and 37 putative J-proteins in G. m. morsitans. Phylogenetic analyses revealed three evolutionarily distinct groups of Hsp70s, with a closer relationship to orthologues from its blood-feeding dipteran relative Stomoxys calcitrans. G. m. morsitans also lacked the high number of heat inducible Hsp70s found in D. melanogaster. The potential localisations, functions, domain organisations and Hsp70/J-protein partnerships were also identified. A greater understanding of the heat shock 70 (Hsp70 and J-protein (Hsp40 families in G. m. morsitans could enhance our understanding of the cell biology of the tsetse fly.

  8. Properties Of A Midgut Trypanolysin From The Tsetse Fly Glossina Morsitans Morsitans

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    Mahamat H.Abakar

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The properties of a bloodmeal-induced trypanolysin from the midgut of the tsetse G. m. morsitans was studied in vitro. The semi-purified trypanolysin from twice-fed tsetse had the highest trypanolysin activity against bloodstream trypanosomes followed by those once-fed and the unfed flies. Serum found to display trypanolysin activity. The trypanolysin had no trypsin activity nor even affected by the enzyme. In addition trypanolysin was not affected by protease inhibitors such as soy bean trypsin inhibitor STI N-a-p-Tosyl-L-lysine chromethyl ketone TLCK phenylmethyl sulphonyl fluoride PMSF diisopropyl fluoro-phosphate DFP and tosylamide-2-phenylethyl chloromethyl ketone TPCK. However the activity was completely inhibited by diethyl pyrocarbonate DEPC and partially by aprotinin. The induction of trypanolysin activity by bloodmeal increased gradually reaching a peak at 72-120 h after the bloodmeal and then decreased rapidly with only 25 of the peak activity remaining after 192 h. The trypanolysin was inactivated during storage at 27amp8451 and 4amp8451 after 15 and 32 days respectively. Similarly heating the midguts trypanolysin to 60 - 80amp8451 led to loss of activity. On the other hand 50amp8451 was found to be the optimum temperature for trypanolysin activity. The activity was also unstable by freeze-thaw at 80amp8451 -70amp8451 -20amp8451 and 0amp8451 after 33 41 55 and 63 days respectively. Trypanolysin caused lyses of bloodstream-form T. b. brucei while the procyclic trypanosomes were unaffected. The highest trypanolysin activity in different tsetse species was found with Glossina longipennis followed by Glossina pallidipes Glossina morsitans centralis Glossina fuscipes fuscipes and G. m. morsitans. When the midgut homogenate was separated by anion-exchange chromatography the trypanolysin activity was recovered in the bound fraction. These results suggest that the midgut trypanolysin plays an important role in the establishment of

  9. Wolbachia symbiont infections induce strong cytoplasmic incompatibility in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans.

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    Uzma Alam

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Tsetse flies are vectors of the protozoan parasite African trypanosomes, which cause sleeping sickness disease in humans and nagana in livestock. Although there are no effective vaccines and efficacious drugs against this parasite, vector reduction methods have been successful in curbing the disease, especially for nagana. Potential vector control methods that do not involve use of chemicals is a genetic modification approach where flies engineered to be parasite resistant are allowed to replace their susceptible natural counterparts, and Sterile Insect technique (SIT where males sterilized by chemical means are released to suppress female fecundity. The success of genetic modification approaches requires identification of strong drive systems to spread the desirable traits and the efficacy of SIT can be enhanced by identification of natural mating incompatibility. One such drive mechanism results from the cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI phenomenon induced by the symbiont Wolbachia. CI can also be used to induce natural mating incompatibility between release males and natural populations. Although Wolbachia infections have been reported in tsetse, it has been a challenge to understand their functional biology as attempts to cure tsetse of Wolbachia infections by antibiotic treatment damages the obligate mutualistic symbiont (Wigglesworthia, without which the flies are sterile. Here, we developed aposymbiotic (symbiont-free and fertile tsetse lines by dietary provisioning of tetracycline supplemented blood meals with yeast extract, which rescues Wigglesworthia-induced sterility. Our results reveal that Wolbachia infections confer strong CI during embryogenesis in Wolbachia-free (Gmm(Apo females when mated with Wolbachia-infected (Gmm(Wt males. These results are the first demonstration of the biological significance of Wolbachia infections in tsetse. Furthermore, when incorporated into a mathematical model, our results confirm that Wolbachia can

  10. Identification of Glossina morsitans morsitans odorant binding ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tsetse flies are vectors of trypanosome parasites, causative agents of Trypanosomiasis in humans and animals. Odorant Binding Proteins (OBPs) are critical in insect olfaction as they bind volatile odours from the environment and transport them to receptors within olfactory receptor neurons for processing providing critical ...

  11. Transcriptome Profiling of Trypanosoma brucei Development in the Tsetse Fly Vector Glossina morsitans.

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    Amy F Savage

    Full Text Available African trypanosomes, the causative agents of sleeping sickness in humans and nagana in animals, have a complex digenetic life cycle between a mammalian host and an insect vector, the blood-feeding tsetse fly. Although the importance of the insect vector to transmit the disease was first realized over a century ago, many aspects of trypanosome development in tsetse have not progressed beyond a morphological analysis, mainly due to considerable challenges to obtain sufficient material for molecular studies. Here, we used high-throughput RNA-Sequencing (RNA-Seq to profile Trypanosoma brucei transcript levels in three distinct tissues of the tsetse fly, namely the midgut, proventriculus and salivary glands. Consistent with current knowledge and providing a proof of principle, transcripts coding for procyclin isoforms and several components of the cytochrome oxidase complex were highly up-regulated in the midgut transcriptome, whereas transcripts encoding metacyclic VSGs (mVSGs and the surface coat protein brucei alanine rich protein or BARP were extremely up-regulated in the salivary gland transcriptome. Gene ontology analysis also supported the up-regulation of biological processes such as DNA metabolism and DNA replication in the proventriculus transcriptome and major changes in signal transduction and cyclic nucleotide metabolism in the salivary gland transcriptome. Our data highlight a small repertoire of expressed mVSGs and potential signaling pathways involving receptor-type adenylate cyclases and members of a surface carboxylate transporter family, called PADs (Proteins Associated with Differentiation, to cope with the changing environment, as well as RNA-binding proteins as a possible global regulators of gene expression.

  12. Peptidomics of Neuropeptidergic Tissues of the Tsetse Fly Glossina morsitans morsitans

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    Caers, Jelle; Boonen, Kurt; Van Den Abbeele, Jan; Van Rompay, Liesbeth; Schoofs, Liliane; Van Hiel, Matthias B.

    2015-12-01

    Neuropeptides and peptide hormones are essential signaling molecules that regulate nearly all physiological processes. The recent release of the tsetse fly genome allowed the construction of a detailed in silico neuropeptide database (International Glossina Genome Consortium, Science 344, 380-386 (2014)), as well as an in-depth mass spectrometric analysis of the most important neuropeptidergic tissues of this medically and economically important insect species. Mass spectrometric confirmation of predicted peptides is a vital step in the functional characterization of neuropeptides, as in vivo peptides can be modified, cleaved, or even mispredicted. Using a nanoscale reversed phase liquid chromatography coupled to a Q Exactive Orbitrap mass spectrometer, we detected 51 putative bioactive neuropeptides encoded by 19 precursors: adipokinetic hormone (AKH) I and II, allatostatin A and B, capability/pyrokinin (capa/PK), corazonin, calcitonin-like diuretic hormone (CT/DH), FMRFamide, hugin, leucokinin, myosuppressin, natalisin, neuropeptide-like precursor (NPLP) 1, orcokinin, pigment dispersing factor (PDF), RYamide, SIFamide, short neuropeptide F (sNPF) and tachykinin. In addition, propeptides, truncated and spacer peptides derived from seven additional precursors were found, and include the precursors of allatostatin C, crustacean cardioactive peptide, corticotropin releasing factor-like diuretic hormone (CRF/DH), ecdysis triggering hormone (ETH), ion transport peptide (ITP), neuropeptide F, and proctolin, respectively. The majority of the identified neuropeptides are present in the central nervous system, with only a limited number of peptides in the corpora cardiaca-corpora allata and midgut. Owing to the large number of identified peptides, this study can be used as a reference for comparative studies in other insects.

  13. Midgut absorption of proteins by tsetse flies, Glossina morsitans morsitans Westwood (Diptera: Glossinidae)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nogge, G.; Giannetti, M.

    1980-01-01

    Experiments have been conducted to determine how far tsetse flies are able to absorb undigested proteins from the midgut and to transport into the haemolymph. Comparison of the protein pattern of blood serum and haemolymph as revealed by electrophoresis shows no congruency except for the albumin fraction, which is about 10% of the total protein contents. The peritrophic membrane of tsetse flies allows the passage of FITC-conjugated dextrans up to but not greater than a molecular weight of approximately 45,000. It can be concluded therefore that complete serum globulins cannot pass through the peritrophic membrane, but fragments of globulins and albumin might do so. The presence of serum proteins in the haemolymph of tsetse flies after oral administration was investigated by immunological techniques. With the help of immunoelectrophoresis as well as Ouchter-Lony tests, albumin, Fab-, and Fc-fragments were found to be present in the haemolymph. Tsetse flies usually fed on bovine blood replace bovine albumin present in their haemolymph by human albumin when fed on human blood. Quantitative determinations with the aid of rocket immunoelectrophoresis after Laurell revealed the occurrence of human albumin in relation to the size and number of blood meals. When fed continuously on human blood, the amount of human albumin rises following eight to ten blood meals after which the achieved level is maintained. Human albumin disappears from the haemolymph and is replaced by bovine albumin when the flies are fed again with bovine blood. On the basis of these results the amount of albumin absorbed from a single blood meal lies in the range of 0.01 to 0.035% of its albumin contents. (author)

  14. Role of adult fat body and milk gland in larval nourishment of Glossina morsitans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langley, P.A.; Bursell, E.

    1980-01-01

    The Glossina larva is nourished entirely in utero by 'milk' composed of equal parts lipid and protein or protein-derivatives, produced by the adult female accessory gland or milk gland. A series of experiments in which activities of the female fat body and milk gland were studied separately, showed that during early pregnancy fat body synthesized and stored triglyceride and, to a lesser extent, protein, utilizing either 14 C leucine or 14 C palmitate in the process. Late in the pregnancy cycle, synthetic activity of the fat body was reduced whereas that of the milk gland increased, both lipid and protein synthesis being conspicuous at this time. There was apparently a switch in mid-pregnancy at which time the milk gland became the dominant organ for synthesis of nutrient substances. Results support the hypothesis that the adult fat body provides the major store, derived from blood meals ingested during early pregnancy, from which the milk gland obtains the lipid component of the milk. The gland itself synthesizes the bulk of the protein components from digested blood meals ingested during the latter half of pregnancy. Control of the processes identified, and their cyclical nature, suggests a neuroendocrine involvement. Identification of this involvement, and the underlying control mechanisms for hormone synthesis and degradation, may well lead to more specific methods of vector control acting through disruption of larval nutrition. (author)

  15. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

    Habitat models address only 1 component of biodiversity but can be useful in addressing and managing single or multiple species and ecosystem functions, for projecting disturbance regimes, and in supporting decisions. I review categories and examples of habitat models, their utility for biodiversity conservation, and their roles in making conservation decisions. I...

  16. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    The introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is providing member state water resource managers with significant challenges in relation to meeting the deadline for 'Good Ecological Status' by 2015. Overall, instream physical habitat modelling approaches have advantages and disadvanta......The introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is providing member state water resource managers with significant challenges in relation to meeting the deadline for 'Good Ecological Status' by 2015. Overall, instream physical habitat modelling approaches have advantages...... suit their situations. This paper analyses the potential of different methods available for water managers to assess hydrological and geomorphological impacts on the habitats of stream biota, as requested by the WFD. The review considers both conventional and new advanced research-based instream...... physical habitat models. In parametric and non-parametric regression models, model assumptions are often not satisfied and the models are difficult to transfer to other regions. Research-based methods such as the artificial neural networks and individual-based modelling have promising potential as water...

  17. Patterns of genetic diversity and differentiation in the tsetse fly Glossina morsitans morsitans Westwood populations in East and southern Africa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ouma, J.O.; Marquez, J.G.; Krafsur, E.S

    2007-01-01

    Genetic diversity and differentiation within and among nine G. morsitans morsitans populations from East and southern Africa was assessed by examining variation at seven microsatellite loci and a mitochondrial locus, cytochrome oxidase (COI). Mean COI diversity within populations was 0.63 ± 0.33 and 0.81 taken over all populations. Diversities averaged over microsatellite loci were high (mean number of alleles/locus ≥7.4; mean HE ≥ 65%) in all populations. Diversities averaged across populations were greater in East Africa (mean number of alleles = 22 ± 2.6; mean he = 0.773 ± 0.033) than in southern Africa (mean number of alleles = 18.7 ± 4.0; mean he = 0.713 ± 0.072). Differentiation among all populations was highly significant (RST = 0.25, FST = 0.132). Nei’s Gij statistics were 0.09 and 0.19 within regions for microsatellites and mitochondria, respectively; between regions, Gij was 0.14 for microsatellites and 0.23 for mitochondria. GST among populations was 0.23 for microsatellite loci and 0.40 for mitochondria. The F, G and R statistics indicate highly restricted gene flow among G. m. morsitans populations separated over geographic scales of 12–917 km. (author)

  18. The homeodomain protein ladybird late regulates synthesis of milk proteins during pregnancy in the tsetse fly (Glossina morsitans.

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    Geoffrey M Attardo

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Regulation of tissue and development specific gene expression patterns underlies the functional specialization of organs in multi-cellular organisms. In the viviparous tsetse fly (Glossina, the female accessory gland is specialized to generate nutrients in the form of a milk-like secretion to support growth of intrauterine larva. Multiple milk protein genes are expressed specifically in the female accessory gland and are tightly linked with larval development. Disruption of milk protein synthesis deprives developing larvae of nutrients and results in extended larval development and/or in abortion. The ability to cause such a disruption could be utilized as a tsetse control strategy. Here we identify and delineate the regulatory sequence of a major milk protein gene (milk gland protein 1:mgp1 by utilizing a combination of molecular techniques in tsetse, Drosophila transgenics, transcriptomics and in silico sequence analyses. The function of this promoter is conserved between tsetse and Drosophila. In transgenic Drosophila the mgp1 promoter directs reporter gene expression in a tissue and stage specific manner orthologous to that of Glossina. Analysis of the minimal required regulatory region of mgp1, and the regulatory regions of other Glossina milk proteins identified putative homeodomain protein binding sites as the sole common feature. Annotation and expression analysis of Glossina homeodomain proteins identified ladybird late (lbl as being accessory gland/fat body specific and differentially expressed between lactating/non-lactating flies. Knockdown of lbl in tsetse resulted in a significant reduction in transcript abundance of multiple milk protein genes and in a significant loss of fecundity. The role of Lbl in adult reproductive physiology is previously unknown. These results suggest that Lbl is part of a conserved reproductive regulatory system that could have implications beyond tsetse to other vector insects such as mosquitoes. This system is critical for tsetse fecundity and provides a potential target for development of a reproductive inhibitor.

  19. Habitat classification modelling with incomplete data: Pushing the habitat envelope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phoebe L. Zarnetske; Thomas C. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen

    2007-01-01

    Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical...

  20. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Fish habitat models typically attempt to quantify the amount of available river habitat for a given fish species for various flow and hydraulic conditions. To achieve this, information on the preferred range of values of key physical habitat variables (e.g. water level, velocity, substrate diameter) for the targeted fishs pecies need to be modelled. In this context, we developed several habitat suitability indices sets for three Atlantic salmon life stages (young-of-the-year (YOY), parr, spawning adults) with the help of fuzzy logic modeling. Using the knowledge of twenty-seven experts, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, we defined fuzzy sets of four variables (depth, substrate size, velocity and Habitat Suitability Index, or HSI) and associated fuzzy rules. When applied to the Romaine River (Canada), median curves of standardized Weighted Usable Area (WUA) were calculated and a confidence interval was obtained by bootstrap resampling. Despite the large range of WUA covered by the expert WUA curves, confidence intervals were relatively narrow: an average width of 0.095 (on a scale of 0 to 1) for spawning habitat, 0.155 for parr rearing habitat and 0.160 for YOY rearing habitat. When considering an environmental flow value corresponding to 90% of the maximum reached by WUA curve, results seem acceptable for the Romaine River. Generally, this proposed fuzzy logic method seems suitable to model habitat availability for the three life stages, while also providing an estimate of uncertainty in salmon preferences.

  1. Modelling Fish Habitat Suitability in the Eastern English Channel. Application to community habitat level

    OpenAIRE

    Vaz, Sandrine; Carpentier, Andre; Loots, Christophe; Koubbi, Philippe

    2004-01-01

    Valuable marine habitats and living resources can be found in the Eastern English Channel and in 2003, a Franco-British Interreg IIIA project, ‘Eastern Channel Habitat Atlas for Marine Resource Management’ (CHARM), was initiated to support decision-making for management of essential fish habitats. Fish habitat corresponds to geographic areas within which ranges of environmental factors define the presence of a particular species. Habitat Suitability index (HSI) modelling was used to relate fi...

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red-winged blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus L.). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  3. Salmon Habitat Modeling Using VELMA

    Science.gov (United States)

    An EPA Western Ecology Division (WED) watershed modeling team has developed a watershed simulation model, VELMA, that state and federal agencies are interested in using for salmon recovery planning in the Pacific Northwest. Team member Bob McKane has been invited to serve on an e...

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Yellow-headed blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1982-01-01

    Habitat preferences of the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) are described in this publication. It is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models and was developed through an analysis of available infomration on the species-habitat requirements of the species. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of an HSI model, designed for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.

  5. Two-dimensional physical habitat modeling of effects of habitat structures on urban stream restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongkyun Im

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available River corridors, even if highly modified or degraded, still provide important habitats for numerous biological species, and carry high aesthetic and economic values. One of the keys to urban stream restoration is recovery and maintenance of ecological flows sufficient to sustain aquatic ecosystems. In this study, the Hongje Stream in the Seoul metropolitan area of Korea was selected for evaluating a physically-based habitat with and without habitat structures. The potential value of the aquatic habitat was evaluated by a weighted usable area (WUA using River2D, a two-dimensional hydraulic model. The habitat suitability for Zacco platypus in the Hongje Stream was simulated with and without habitat structures. The computed WUA values for the boulder, spur dike, and riffle increased by about 2%, 7%, and 131%, respectively, after their construction. Also, the three habitat structures, especially the riffle, can contribute to increasing hydraulic heterogeneity and enhancing habitat diversity.

  6. Evaluating the habitat capability model for Merriam's turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1995-01-01

    Habitat capability (HABCAP) models for wildlife assist land managers in predicting the consequences of their management decisions. Models must be tested and refined prior to using them in management planning. We tested the predicted patterns of habitat selection of the R2 HABCAP model using observed patterns of habitats selected by radio-marked Merriam’s turkey (

  7. Habitat connectivity and ecosystem productivity: implications from a simple model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloern, James E

    2007-01-01

    The import of resources (food, nutrients) sustains biological production and food webs in resource-limited habitats. Resource export from donor habitats subsidizes production in recipient habitats, but the ecosystem-scale consequences of resource translocation are generally unknown. Here, I use a nutrient-phytoplankton-zooplankton model to show how dispersive connectivity between a shallow autotrophic habitat and a deep heterotrophic pelagic habitat can amplify overall system production in metazoan food webs. This result derives from the finite capacity of suspension feeders to capture and assimilate food particles: excess primary production in closed autotrophic habitats cannot be assimilated by consumers; however, if excess phytoplankton production is exported to food-limited heterotrophic habitats, it can be assimilated by zooplankton to support additional secondary production. Transport of regenerated nutrients from heterotrophic to autotrophic habitats sustains higher system primary production. These simulation results imply that the ecosystem-scale efficiency of nutrient transformation into metazoan biomass can be constrained by the rate of resource exchange across habitats and that it is optimized when the transport rate matches the growth rate of primary producers. Slower transport (i.e., reduced connectivity) leads to nutrient limitation of primary production in autotrophic habitats and food limitation of secondary production in heterotrophic habitats. Habitat fragmentation can therefore impose energetic constraints on the carrying capacity of aquatic ecosystems. The outcomes of ecosystem restoration through habitat creation will be determined by both functions provided by newly created aquatic habitats and the rates of hydraulic connectivity between them.

  8. Habitat hydraulic models - a tool for Danish stream quality assessment?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    and hydromorphological and chemical characteristics has to be enlightened (EUROPA, 2005). This study links catchment hydrology, stream discharge and physical habitat in a small Danish stream, the stream Ledreborg, and discusses the utility of habitat hydraulic models in relation to the present criteria and methods used......).  Hydromorphological conditions in the stream are measured through field study, using a habitat mapping approach and modelled using a habitat hydraulic model (RHYHABSIM). Using RHYHABSIM and both "site-specific" and general HSI's, Weighted Usable Area (WUA) for the trout population at different discharges is assessed...... and differences between simulated WUA using "site-specific" and general habitat preferences are discussed. In RHYHABSIM it is possible to use two different approaches to investigate the hydromorphological conditions in a river, the habitat mapping approach used in this project and the representative reach...

  9. 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.

  10. Habitat features and predictive habitat modeling for the Colorado chipmunk in southern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivieccio, M.; Thompson, B.C.; Gould, W.R.; Boykin, K.G.

    2003-01-01

    Two subspecies of Colorado chipmunk (state threatened and federal species of concern) occur in southern New Mexico: Tamias quadrivittatus australis in the Organ Mountains and T. q. oscuraensis in the Oscura Mountains. We developed a GIS model of potentially suitable habitat based on vegetation and elevation features, evaluated site classifications of the GIS model, and determined vegetation and terrain features associated with chipmunk occurrence. We compared GIS model classifications with actual vegetation and elevation features measured at 37 sites. At 60 sites we measured 18 habitat variables regarding slope, aspect, tree species, shrub species, and ground cover. We used logistic regression to analyze habitat variables associated with chipmunk presence/absence. All (100%) 37 sample sites (28 predicted suitable, 9 predicted unsuitable) were classified correctly by the GIS model regarding elevation and vegetation. For 28 sites predicted suitable by the GIS model, 18 sites (64%) appeared visually suitable based on habitat variables selected from logistic regression analyses, of which 10 sites (36%) were specifically predicted as suitable habitat via logistic regression. We detected chipmunks at 70% of sites deemed suitable via the logistic regression models. Shrub cover, tree density, plant proximity, presence of logs, and presence of rock outcrop were retained in the logistic model for the Oscura Mountains; litter, shrub cover, and grass cover were retained in the logistic model for the Organ Mountains. Evaluation of predictive models illustrates the need for multi-stage analyses to best judge performance. Microhabitat analyses indicate prospective needs for different management strategies between the subspecies. Sensitivities of each population of the Colorado chipmunk to natural and prescribed fire suggest that partial burnings of areas inhabited by Colorado chipmunks in southern New Mexico may be beneficial. These partial burnings may later help avoid a fire

  11. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd

    2014-01-01

    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat to sustain bird and other wildlife populations. The primary goal of this study was to integrate wildlife suitability indices to an existing national urban forest assessment tool, i-Tree. We quantified available habitat characteristics of urban forests for ten northeastern U.S. cities, and summarized bird habitat relationships from the literature in terms of variables that were represented in the i-Tree datasets. With these data, we generated habitat suitability equations for nine bird species representing a range of life history traits and conservation status that predicts the habitat suitability based on i-Tree data. We applied these equations to the urban forest datasets to calculate the overall habitat suitability for each city and the habitat suitability for different types of land-use (e.g., residential, commercial, parkland) for each bird species. The proposed habitat models will help guide wildlife managers, urban planners, and landscape designers who require specific information such as desirable habitat conditions within an urban management project to help improve the suitability of urban forests for birds.

  12. A Review of Bioeconomic Modelling of Habitat-Fisheries Interactions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naomi S. Foley

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the bioeconomic literature on habitat-fisheries connections. Many such connections have been explored in the bioeconomic literature; however, missing from the literature is an analysis merging the potential influences of habitat on both fish stocks and fisheries into one general, overarching theoretical model. We attempt to clarify the nature of linkages between the function of habitats and the economic activities they support. More specifically, we identify theoretically the ways that habitat may enter the standard Gordon-Schaefer model, and nest these interactions in the general model. Habitat influences are defined as either biophysical or bioeconomic. Biophysical effects relate to the functional role of habitat in the growth of the fish stock and may be either essential or facultative to the species. Bioeconomic interactions relate to the effect of habitat on fisheries and can be shown through either the harvest function or the profit function. We review how habitat loss can affect stock, effort, and harvest under open access and maximum economic yield managed fisheries.

  13. A test of the habitat suitability model for Merriam's wild turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1996-01-01

    An important research area regarding the wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) is development of sound habitat models. Habitat models provide standardized methods to quantify wild turkey habitat and stimulate new research hypotheses. Habitat suitability index (HSI) models show species-habitat relationships on a scale of O-l, with 1 being optimum. A...

  14. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  15. 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

  16. Seasonal variation in coastal marine habitat use by the European shag: Insights from fine scale habitat selection modeling and diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michelot, Candice; Pinaud, David; Fortin, Matthieu; Maes, Philippe; Callard, Benjamin; Leicher, Marine; Barbraud, Christophe

    2017-07-01

    Studies of habitat selection by higher trophic level species are necessary for using top predator species as indicators of ecosystem functioning. However, contrary to terrestrial ecosystems, few habitat selection studies have been conducted at a fine scale for coastal marine top predator species, and fewer have coupled diet data with habitat selection modeling to highlight a link between prey selection and habitat use. The aim of this study was to characterize spatially and oceanographically, at a fine scale, the habitats used by the European Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis in the Special Protection Area (SPA) of Houat-Hœdic in the Mor Braz Bay during its foraging activity. Habitat selection models were built using in situ observation data of foraging shags (transect sampling) and spatially explicit environmental data to characterize marine benthic habitats. Observations were first adjusted for detectability biases and shag abundance was subsequently spatialized. The influence of habitat variables on shag abundance was tested using Generalized Linear Models (GLMs). Diet data were finally confronted to habitat selection models. Results showed that European shags breeding in the Mor Braz Bay changed foraging habitats according to the season and to the different environmental and energetic constraints. The proportion of the main preys also varied seasonally. Rocky and coarse sand habitats were clearly preferred compared to fine or muddy sand habitats. Shags appeared to be more selective in their foraging habitats during the breeding period and the rearing of chicks, using essentially rocky areas close to the colony and consuming preferentially fish from the Labridae family and three other fish families in lower proportions. During the post-breeding period shags used a broader range of habitats and mainly consumed Gadidae. Thus, European shags seem to adjust their feeding strategy to minimize energetic costs, to avoid intra-specific competition and to maximize access

  17. Shopping Centers as Panther Habitat: Inferring Animal Locations from Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David S. Maehr

    2004-12-01

    Full Text Available A recent model of Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi habitat erred in arbitrarily creating buffers around radio locations collected during daylight hours on the assumption that study animals were only at rest during these times. The buffers generated by this method likely cause an overestimation of the amounts and kinds of habitats that are used by the panther. This, and other errors, could lead to the impression that unfragmented forest cover is unimportant to panther conservation, and could encourage inaccurate characterizations of panther habitat. Previous 24-hour monitoring of activity and activity readings made during routine telemetry flights indicate that high levels of activity occur in the early morning hours. Literature on the behavior of the species does not support the creation of large buffers around telemetry locations to compensate for the lack of nighttime telemetry data. A thorough examination of ongoing studies that use global positioning systems may help calibrate future Florida panther habitat models.

  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. Sensitivity of wildlife habitat models to uncertainties in GIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoms, David M.; Davis, Frank W.; Cogan, Christopher B.

    1992-01-01

    Decision makers need to know the reliability of output products from GIS analysis. For many GIS applications, it is not possible to compare these products to an independent measure of 'truth'. Sensitivity analysis offers an alternative means of estimating reliability. In this paper, we present a CIS-based statistical procedure for estimating the sensitivity of wildlife habitat models to uncertainties in input data and model assumptions. The approach is demonstrated in an analysis of habitat associations derived from a GIS database for the endangered California condor. Alternative data sets were generated to compare results over a reasonable range of assumptions about several sources of uncertainty. Sensitivity analysis indicated that condor habitat associations are relatively robust, and the results have increased our confidence in our initial findings. Uncertainties and methods described in the paper have general relevance for many GIS applications.

  20. Evaluation of habitat suitability models for forest passerines using demographic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Frank R., III Thompson; William D. Dijak; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Richard L. Clawson

    2010-01-01

    Habitat suitability is often used as a surrogate for demographic responses (i.e., abundance, survival, fecundity, or population viability) in the application of habitat suitability index (HSI) models. Whether habitat suitability actually relates to demographics, however, has rarely been evaluated. We validated HSI models of breeding habitat suitability for wood thrush...

  1. Proceedings of a workshop on fish habitat suitability index models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrell, James W.

    1984-01-01

    One of the habitat-based methodologies for impact assessment currently in use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980). HEP is based on the assumption that the quality of an area as wildlife habitat at a specified target year can be described by a single number, called a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI). An HSI of 1.0 represents optimum habitat: an HSI of 0.0 represents unsuitable habitat. The verbal or mathematical rules by which an HSI is assigned to an area are called an HSI model. A series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models, described by Schamberger et al. (1982), have been published to assist users in applying HEP. HSI model building approaches are described in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1981). One type of HSI model described in detail requires the development of Suitability Index (SI) graphs for habitat variables believed to be important for the growth, survival, standing crop, or other measure of well-being for a species. Suitability indices range from 0 to 1.0, with 1.0 representing optimum conditions for the variable. When HSI models based on suitability indices are used, habitat variable values are measured, or estimated, and converted to SI's through the use of a Suitability Index graph for each variable. Individual SI's are aggregated into an HSI. Standard methods for testing this type of HSI model did not exist at the time the studies reported in this document were performed. A workshop was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, February 14-15, 1983, that brought together biologists experienced in the use, development, and testing of aquatic HSI models, in an effort to address the following objectives: (1) review the needs of HSI model users; (2) discuss and document the results of aquatic HSI model tests; and (3) provide recommendations for the future development, testing, modification, and use of HSI models. Individual presentations, group discussions, and group

  2. New tools for aquatic habitat modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. Tonina; J. A. McKean; C. Tang; P. Goodwin

    2011-01-01

    Modeling of aquatic microhabitat in streams has been typically done over short channel reaches using one-dimensional simulations, partly because of a lack of high resolution. subaqueous topographic data to better define model boundary conditions. The Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) is an airborne aquatic-terrestrial sensor that allows simultaneous...

  3. Computational Model for Spacecraft/Habitat Volume

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Please note that funding to Dr. Simon Hsiang, a critical co-investigator for the development of the Spacecraft Optimization Layout and Volume (SOLV) model, was...

  4. Modeling mountain pine beetle habitat suitability within Sequoia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Andrew

    Understanding significant changes in climate and their effects on timber resources can help forest managers make better decisions regarding the preservation of natural resources and land management. These changes may to alter natural ecosystems dependent on historical and current climate conditions. Increasing mountain pine beetle (MBP) outbreaks within the southern Sierra Nevada are the result of these alterations. This study better understands MPB behavior within Sequoia National Park (SNP) and model its current and future habitat distribution. Variables contributing to MPB spread are vegetation stress, soil moisture, temperature, precipitation, disturbance, and presence of Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa) and Lodgepole (Pinus contorta) pine trees. These variables were obtained using various modeled, insitu, and remotely sensed sources. The generalized additive model (GAM) was used to calculate the statistical significance of each variable contributing to MPB spread and also created maps identifying habitat suitability. Results indicate vegetation stress and forest disturbance to be variables most indicative of MPB spread. Additionally, the model was able to detect habitat suitability of MPB with a 45% accuracy concluding that a geospatial driven modeling approach can be used to delineate potential MPB spread within SNP.

  5. 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.

  6. Combining catchment and instream modelling to assess physical habitat quality

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    Study objectives After the implementation of EU's Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Denmark ecological impacts from groundwater exploitation on surface waters has to receive additional consideration. Small streams in particular are susceptible to changes in run-off but have only recieved little...... attention in past studies of run-off impact on the quality of stream physical habitats. This study combined catchment and instream models with instream habitat observations to assess the ecological impacts from groundwater exploitation on a small stream. The main objectives of this study was; • to assess...... which factors are controlling the run-off conditions in stream Ledreborg and to what degree • to assess the run-off reference condition of stream Ledreborg where intensive groundwater abstraction has taken place in 67 years using a simple rainfall-run-off-model • to assess how stream run-off affect...

  7. Fish habitat simulation models and integrated assessment tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harby, A.; Alfredsen, K.

    1999-01-01

    Because of human development water use increases in importance, and this worldwide trend is leading to an increasing number of user conflicts with a strong need for assessment tools to measure the impacts both on the ecosystem and the different users and user groups. The quantitative tools must allow a comparison of alternatives, different user groups, etc., and the tools must be integrated while impact assessments includes different disciplines. Fish species, especially young ones, are indicators of the environmental state of a riverine system and monitoring them is a way to follow environmental changes. The direct and indirect impacts on the ecosystem itself are measured, and impacts on user groups is not included. Fish habitat simulation models are concentrated on, and methods and examples are considered from Norway. Some ideas on integrated modelling tools for impact assessment studies are included. One dimensional hydraulic models are rapidly calibrated and do not require any expert knowledge in hydraulics. Two and three dimensional models require a bit more skilled users, especially if the topography is very heterogeneous. The advantages of using two and three dimensional models include: they do not need any calibration, just validation; they are predictive; and they can be more cost effective than traditional habitat hydraulic models when combined with modern data acquisition systems and tailored in a multi-disciplinary study. Suitable modelling model choice should be based on available data and possible data acquisition, available manpower, computer, and software resources, and needed output and accuracy in the output. 58 refs

  8. 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...

  9. Using habitat suitability models to target invasive plant species surveys.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crall, Alycia W; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P guiding invasive species monitoring, and we support the use of an iterative sampling design for

  10. A geospatial modelling approach to predict seagrass habitat recovery under multiple stressor regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restoration of estuarine seagrass habitats requires a clear understanding of the modes of action of multiple interacting stressors including nutrients, climate change, coastal land-use change, and habitat modification. We have developed and demonstrated a geospatial modeling a...

  11. Modeling to Support the Development of Habitat Targets for Piping Plovers on the Missouri River

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buenau, Kate E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-05-05

    Report on modeling and analyses done in support of developing quantative sandbar habitat targets for piping plovers, including assessment of reference, historical, dams present but not operated, and habitat construction calibrated to meet population viability targets.

  12. Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in southwest Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, Collin G.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Coan, Michael J.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2009-01-01

    Sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in North America have experienced dramatic elimination and degradation since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, would improve the ability to maintain existing sagebrush habitats. However, current data only identify resource availability locally, with rigorous spatial tools and models that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats over large areas still unavailable. Here we report on an effort to produce a rigorous large-area sagebrush-habitat classification and inventory with statistically validated products and estimates of precision in the State of Wyoming. This research employs a combination of significant new tools, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent continuous field components that can be combined and customized by any user at multiple spatial scales; (2) collecting ground-measured plot data on 2.4-meter imagery in the same season the satellite imagery is acquired; (3) effective modeling of ground-measured data on 2.4-meter imagery to maximize subsequent extrapolation; (4) acquiring multiple seasons (spring, summer, and fall) of an additional two spatial scales of imagery (30 meter and 56 meter) for optimal large-area modeling; (5) using regression tree classification technology that optimizes data mining of multiple image dates, ratios, and bands with ancillary data to extrapolate ground training data to coarser resolution sensors; and (6) employing rigorous accuracy assessment of model predictions to enable users to understand the inherent uncertainties. First-phase results modeled eight rangeland components (four primary targets and four secondary targets) as continuous field predictions. The primary targets included percent bare ground, percent herbaceousness, percent shrub, and percent litter. The

  13. Predictive Modeling of Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) Resting Habitat in the Main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Lesley H.; Johnston, David W.; Urban, Dean L.; Tyne, Julian; Bejder, Lars; Baird, Robin W.; Yin, Suzanne; Rickards, Susan H.; Deakos, Mark H.; Mobley, Joseph R.; Pack, Adam A.; Chapla Hill, Marie

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood. PMID:22937022

  14. Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; environmental consequences fact sheet 15: The Wildlife Habitat Response Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Pilliod

    2005-01-01

    The Wildlife Habitat Response Model (WHRM) is a Web-based computer tool for evaluating the potential effects of fuel-reduction projects on terrestrial wildlife habitats. It uses species-habitat associations in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), dry-type Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), lodgepole pine (Pinus...

  15. Habitat capacity for Sacramento delta - Life Cycle Modeling of Life History Diversity and Habitat Relationships

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The goals of this project are to examine 1) the relative importance of multiple aquatic habitats (streams, estuaries, and nearshore areas, for example) used by...

  16. Accounting for microbial habitats in modeling soil organic matter dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chenu, Claire; Garnier, Patricia; Nunan, Naoise; Pot, Valérie; Raynaud, Xavier; Vieublé, Laure; Otten, Wilfred; Falconer, Ruth; Monga, Olivier

    2017-04-01

    The extreme heterogeneity of soils constituents, architecture and inhabitants at the microscopic scale is increasingly recognized. Microbial communities exist and are active in a complex 3-D physical framework of mineral and organic particles defining pores of various sizes, more or less inter-connected. This results in a frequent spatial disconnection between soil carbon, energy sources and the decomposer organisms and a variety of microhabitats that are more or less suitable for microbial growth and activity. However, current biogeochemical models account for C dynamics at the macroscale (cm, m) and consider time- and spatially averaged relationships between microbial activity and soil characteristics. Different modelling approaches have intended to account for this microscale heterogeneity, based either on considering aggregates as surrogates for microbial habitats, or pores. Innovative modelling approaches are based on an explicit representation of soil structure at the fine scale, i.e. at µm to mm scales: pore architecture and their saturation with water, localization of organic resources and of microorganisms. Three recent models are presented here, that describe the heterotrophic activity of either bacteria or fungi and are based upon different strategies to represent the complex soil pore system (Mosaic, LBios and µFun). These models allow to hierarchize factors of microbial activity in soil's heterogeneous architecture. Present limits of these approaches and challenges are presented, regarding the extensive information required on soils at the microscale and to up-scale microbial functioning from the pore to the core scale.

  17. Linking population viability, habitat suitability, and landscape simulation models for conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael A. Larson; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; William D. Dijak; Stephen R. Shifley

    2004-01-01

    Methods for habitat modeling based on landscape simulations and population viability modeling based on habitat quality are well developed, but no published study of which we are aware has effectively joined them in a single, comprehensive analysis. We demonstrate the application of a population viability model for ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapillus)...

  18. The Application of FIA-based Data to Wildlife Habitat Modeling: A Comparative Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas C., Jr. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen; Tracey S. Frescino; Randall J. Schultz

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated the capability of two types of models, one based on spatially explicit variables derived from FIA data and one using so-called traditional habitat evaluation methods, for predicting the presence of cavity-nesting bird habitat in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. Both models performed equally well, in measures of predictive accuracy, with the FIA-based model...

  19. Using expert opinion to evaluate a habitat effectiveness model for elk in western Oregon and Washington.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard S. Holthausen; Michael J. Wisdom; John Pierce; Daniel K. Edwards; Mary M. Rowland

    1994-01-01

    We used expert opinion to evaluate the predictive reliability of a habitat effectiveness model for elk in western Oregon and Washington. Twenty-five experts in elk ecology were asked to rate habitat quality for 16 example landscapes. Rankings and ratings of 21 experts were significantly correlated with model output. Expert opinion and model predictions differed for 4...

  20. Modeling habitat split: landscape and life history traits determine amphibian extinction thresholds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Roberto Fonseca

    Full Text Available Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance - the distance between the two required habitats - affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations.

  1. Modeling habitat split: landscape and life history traits determine amphibian extinction thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Coutinho, Renato M; Azevedo, Franciane; Berbert, Juliana M; Corso, Gilberto; Kraenkel, Roberto A

    2013-01-01

    Habitat split is a major force behind the worldwide decline of amphibian populations, causing community change in richness and species composition. In fragmented landscapes, natural remnants, the terrestrial habitat of the adults, are frequently separated from streams, the aquatic habitat of the larvae. An important question is how this landscape configuration affects population levels and if it can drive species to extinction locally. Here, we put forward the first theoretical model on habitat split which is particularly concerned on how split distance - the distance between the two required habitats - affects population size and persistence in isolated fragments. Our diffusive model shows that habitat split alone is able to generate extinction thresholds. Fragments occurring between the aquatic habitat and a given critical split distance are expected to hold viable populations, while fragments located farther away are expected to be unoccupied. Species with higher reproductive success and higher diffusion rate of post-metamorphic youngs are expected to have farther critical split distances. Furthermore, the model indicates that negative effects of habitat split are poorly compensated by positive effects of fragment size. The habitat split model improves our understanding about spatially structured populations and has relevant implications for landscape design for conservation. It puts on a firm theoretical basis the relation between habitat split and the decline of amphibian populations.

  2. 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.

  3. Creating a Ruggedness Layer for Use in Habitat Suitability Modeling for Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanette Bragin

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Spatially-explicit wildlife habitat models are increasingly used to study optimal habitat for species of conservation focus. A ruggedness layer, that summarizes aspect and slope, provides a useful tool for analyses conducted in a Geographic Information System (GIS, such as developing a habitat suitability index model to measure species habitat use. Ruggedness layers prove especially useful in areas where topography represents a key habitat component. We created a ruggedness layer for the Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and surrounding areas in northern Dornogobi Aimag (province, Mongolia. Using a 90 m Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM digital elevation model (DEM and ArcGIS 10 spatial analyst, we created 9 categories for ruggedness. When combined with other thematic layers such as vegetation, the ruggedness layer becomes a powerful tool for analyzing habitat use by individual animals. The results of such analyses may inform decision makers in protected area planning and conservation of endangered species.

  4. Modelling the negative effects of landscape fragmentation on habitat selection

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    2015-01-01

    Landscape fragmentation constrains movement of animals between habitat patches. Fragmentation may, therefore, limit the possibilities to explore and select the best habitat patches, and some animals may have to cope with low-quality patches due to these movement constraints. If so, these individuals

  5. On Spatial Resolution in Habitat Models: Can Small-scale Forest Structure Explain Capercaillie Numbers?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilse Storch

    2002-06-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores the effects of spatial resolution on the performance and applicability of habitat models in wildlife management and conservation. A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI model for the Capercaillie (Tetrao urogallus in the Bavarian Alps, Germany, is presented. The model was exclusively built on non-spatial, small-scale variables of forest structure and without any consideration of landscape patterns. The main goal was to assess whether a HSI model developed from small-scale habitat preferences can explain differences in population abundance at larger scales. To validate the model, habitat variables and indirect sign of Capercaillie use (such as feathers or feces were mapped in six study areas based on a total of 2901 20 m radius (for habitat variables and 5 m radius sample plots (for Capercaillie sign. First, the model's representation of Capercaillie habitat preferences was assessed. Habitat selection, as expressed by Ivlev's electivity index, was closely related to HSI scores, increased from poor to excellent habitat suitability, and was consistent across all study areas. Then, habitat use was related to HSI scores at different spatial scales. Capercaillie use was best predicted from HSI scores at the small scale. Lowering the spatial resolution of the model stepwise to 36-ha, 100-ha, 400-ha, and 2000-ha areas and relating Capercaillie use to aggregated HSI scores resulted in a deterioration of fit at larger scales. Most importantly, there were pronounced differences in Capercaillie abundance at the scale of study areas, which could not be explained by the HSI model. The results illustrate that even if a habitat model correctly reflects a species' smaller scale habitat preferences, its potential to predict population abundance at larger scales may remain limited.

  6. Chapter 5: Application of state-and-transition models to evaluate wildlife habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anita T. Morzillo; Pamela Comeleo; Blair Csuti; Stephanie Lee

    2014-01-01

    Wildlife habitat analysis often is a central focus of natural resources management and policy. State-and-transition models (STMs) allow for simulation of landscape level ecological processes, and for managers to test “what if” scenarios of how those processes may affect wildlife habitat. This chapter describes the methods used to link STM output to wildlife habitat to...

  7. A Modelling Framework to Assess the Effect of Pressures on River Abiotic Habitat Conditions and Biota.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochem Kail

    Full Text Available River biota are affected by global reach-scale pressures, but most approaches for predicting biota of rivers focus on river reach or segment scale processes and habitats. Moreover, these approaches do not consider long-term morphological changes that affect habitat conditions. In this study, a modelling framework was further developed and tested to assess the effect of pressures at different spatial scales on reach-scale habitat conditions and biota. Ecohydrological and 1D hydrodynamic models were used to predict discharge and water quality at the catchment scale and the resulting water level at the downstream end of a study reach. Long-term reach morphology was modelled using empirical regime equations, meander migration and 2D morphodynamic models. The respective flow and substrate conditions in the study reach were predicted using a 2D hydrodynamic model, and the suitability of these habitats was assessed with novel habitat models. In addition, dispersal models for fish and macroinvertebrates were developed to assess the re-colonization potential and to finally compare habitat suitability and the availability/ability of species to colonize these habitats. Applicability was tested and model performance was assessed by comparing observed and predicted conditions in the lowland Treene River in northern Germany. Technically, it was possible to link the different models, but future applications would benefit from the development of open source software for all modelling steps to enable fully automated model runs. Future research needs concern the physical modelling of long-term morphodynamics, feedback of biota (e.g., macrophytes on abiotic habitat conditions, species interactions, and empirical data on the hydraulic habitat suitability and dispersal abilities of macroinvertebrates. The modelling framework is flexible and allows for including additional models and investigating different research and management questions, e.g., in climate impact

  8. Predicting the effects of proposed Mississippi River diversions on oyster habitat quality; application of an oyster habitat suitability index model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soniat, Thomas M.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Byrd, Jason D.; Roszell, Dustin P.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.; Suir, Kevin J.; Colley, Susan B.

    2013-01-01

    In an attempt to decelerate the rate of coastal erosion and wetland loss, and protect human communities, the state of Louisiana developed its Comprehensive Master Plan for a Sustainable Coast. The master plan proposes a combination of restoration efforts including shoreline protection, marsh creation, sediment diversions, and ridge, barrier island, and hydrological restoration. Coastal restoration projects, particularly the large-scale diversions of fresh water from the Mississippi River, needed to supply sediment to an eroding coast potentially impact oyster populations and oyster habitat. An oyster habitat suitability index model is presented that evaluates the effects of a proposed sediment and freshwater diversion into Lower Breton Sound. Voluminous freshwater, needed to suspend and broadly distribute river sediment, will push optimal salinities for oysters seaward and beyond many of the existing reefs. Implementation and operation of the Lower Breton Sound diversion structure as proposed would render about 6,173 ha of hard bottom immediately east of the Mississippi River unsuitable for the sustained cultivation of oysters. If historical harvests are to be maintained in this region, a massive and unprecedented effort to relocate private leases and restore oyster bottoms would be required. Habitat suitability index model results indicate that the appropriate location for such efforts are to the east and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

  9. Effect of Feeding Blood Treated with Isometamidium Chloride to Glossina Morsitans Morsitans on the Flies' Subsequent Vectorial Capacity, and Evaluation of an In Vitro Feeding System for the Maintenance of Infected Tsetse Flies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van den Bossche, P; Van Den Abbeele, J; De Deken, R [Veterinary and Parasitology Departments, Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nationalestraat 155, 2000 Antwerp (Belgium)

    2012-07-15

    A repercussion of the release of large numbers of sterile male tsetse flies is the sudden increase in the number of disease vectors. To avoid the potential creation of a trypanosomosis epidemic, studies were conducted aimed at reducing the vectorial capacity of male tsetse flies by offering them a single bloodmeal containing the prophylactic trypanocidal drug isometamidium chloride. Experiments using the pair G. m. morsitans and T. congolense or T. b. brucei showed that a single treatment with isometamidium chloride protected flies from infection with susceptible and resistant trypanosomes for up to 5 days post-treatment. Starvation of isometamidium-treated flies increased their susceptibility to infection with T. congolense. Studies evaluating in vitro feeding of infected flies on citrated bovine blood showed that this feeding regime adversely affected the capacity of trypanosomes to develop in the fly. (author)

  10. A Bayesian spawning habitat suitability model for American shad in southeastern United States rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hightower, Joseph E.; Harris, Julianne E.; Raabe, Joshua K.; Brownell, Prescott; Drew, C. Ashton

    2012-01-01

    Habitat suitability index models for American shad Alosa sapidissima were developed by Stier and Crance in 1985. These models, which were based on a combination of published information and expert opinion, are often used to make decisions about hydropower dam operations and fish passage. The purpose of this study was to develop updated habitat suitability index models for spawning American shad in the southeastern United States, building on the many field and laboratory studies completed since 1985. We surveyed biologists who had knowledge about American shad spawning grounds, assembled a panel of experts to discuss important habitat variables, and used raw data from published and unpublished studies to develop new habitat suitability curves. The updated curves are based on resource selection functions, which can model habitat selectivity based on use and availability of particular habitats. Using field data collected in eight rivers from Virginia to Florida (Mattaponi, Pamunkey, Roanoke, Tar, Neuse, Cape Fear, Pee Dee, St. Johns), we obtained new curves for temperature, current velocity, and depth that were generally similar to the original models. Our new suitability function for substrate was also similar to the original pattern, except that sand (optimal in the original model) has a very low estimated suitability. The Bayesian approach that we used to develop habitat suitability curves provides an objective framework for updating the model as new studies are completed and for testing the model's applicability in other parts of the species' range.

  11. Using occupancy and population models to assess habitat conservation opportunities for an isolated carnivore population

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne Spencer; Heather Rustigian-Romsos; James Strittholt; Robert Scheller; William Zielinski; Richard Truex

    2011-01-01

    An isolated population of the fisher (Martes pennanti) in the southern Sierra Nevada, California, is threatened by small size and habitat alteration from wildfires, fuels management, and other factors. We assessed the population’s status and conservation options for its habitat using a spatially explicit population model coupled with a...

  12. A habitat suitability model for Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) in the Oosterschelde

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schellekens, T.; Wijsman, J.W.M.; Brink, van den A.M.

    2012-01-01

    The modelled habitat suitability maps show a reasonable estimation of the suitability for oysters throughout the Delta and can be used to broadly indicate the consequences of the effect of climate change and infrastructural changes on the habitat suitability for oysters. The largest effect on the

  13. A spatial model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, J.R.; Parsley, M.J.

    2009-01-01

    Concerns over the potential effects of in-water placement of dredged materials prompted us to develop a GIS-based model that characterizes in a spatially explicit manner white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA. The spatial model was developed using water depth, riverbed slope and roughness, fish positions collected in 2002, and Mahalanobis distance (D2). We created a habitat suitability map by identifying a Mahalanobis distance under which >50% of white sturgeon locations occurred in 2002 (i.e., high-probability habitat). White sturgeon preferred relatively moderate to high water depths, and low to moderate riverbed slope and roughness values. The eigenvectors indicated that riverbed slope and roughness were slightly more important than water depth, but all three variables were important. We estimated the impacts that fill might have on sturgeon habitat by simulating the addition of fill to the thalweg, in 3-m increments, and recomputing Mahalanobis distances. Channel filling simulations revealed that up to 9 m of fill would have little impact on high-probability habitat, but 12 and 15 m of fill resulted in habitat declines of ???12% and ???45%, respectively. This is the first spatially explicit predictive model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, and the first to quantitatively predict the impacts of dredging operations on sturgeon habitat. Future research should consider whether water velocity improves the accuracy and specificity of the model, and to assess its applicability to other areas in the Columbia River.

  14. Multi-scale habitat selection modeling: A review and outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin McGarigal; Ho Yi Wan; Kathy A. Zeller; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman

    2016-01-01

    Scale is the lens that focuses ecological relationships. Organisms select habitat at multiple hierarchical levels and at different spatial and/or temporal scales within each level. Failure to properly address scale dependence can result in incorrect inferences in multi-scale habitat selection modeling studies.

  15. Contrast of degraded and restored stream habitat using an individual-based salmon model

    Science.gov (United States)

    S. F. Railsback; M. Gard; Bret Harvey; Jason White; J.K.H. Zimmerman

    2013-01-01

    Stream habitat restoration projects are popular, but can be expensive and difficult to evaluate. We describe inSALMO, an individual-based model designed to predict habitat effects on freshwater life stages (spawning through juvenile out-migration) of salmon. We applied inSALMO to Clear Creek, California, simulating the production of total and large (>5 cm FL)...

  16. Models for mapping potential habitat at landscape scales: an example using northern spotted owls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. McComb; Michael T. McGrath; Thomas A. Spies; David. Vesely

    2002-01-01

    We are assessing the potential for current and alternative policies in the Oregon Coast Range to affect habitat capability for a suite of forest resources. We provide an example of a spatially explicit habitat capability model for northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina)to illustrate the approach we are taking to assess potential changes...

  17. Ensemble modeling to predict habitat suitability for a large-scale disturbance specialist

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley; Jeff P. Hollenbeck

    2013-01-01

    To conserve habitat for disturbance specialist species, ecologists must identify where individuals will likely settle in newly disturbed areas. Habitat suitability models can predict which sites at new disturbances will most likely attract specialists. Without validation data from newly disturbed areas, however, the best approach for maximizing predictive accuracy can...

  18. A pilot study to delimit tsetse target populations in Zimbabwe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerald Chikowore

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Tsetse (Glossina sensu stricto are cyclical vectors of human and animal trypanosomoses, that are presently targeted by the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC coordinated by the African Union. In order to achieve effective control of tsetse, there is need to produce elaborate plans to guide intervention programmes. A model intended to aid in the planning of intervention programmes and assist a fuller understanding of tsetse distribution was applied, in a pilot study in the Masoka area, Mid-Zambezi valley in Zimbabwe, and targeting two savannah species, Glossina morsitans morsitans and Glossina pallidipes.The field study was conducted between March and December 2015 in 105 sites following a standardized grid sampling frame. Presence data were used to study habitat suitability of both species based on climatic and environmental data derived from MODIS and SPOT 5 satellite images. Factors influencing distribution were studied using an Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA whilst habitat suitability was predicted using a Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt model at a spatial resolution of 250 m. Area Under the Curve (AUC, an indicator of model performance, was 0.89 for G. m. morsitans and 0.96 for G. pallidipes. We then used the predicted suitable areas to calculate the probability that flies were really absent from the grid cells where they were not captured during the study based on a probability model using a risk threshold of 0.05. Apart from grid cells where G. m. morsitans and G. pallidipes were captured, there was a high probability of presence in an additional 128 km2 and 144 km2 respectively.The modelling process promised to be useful in optimizing the outputs of presence/absence surveys, allowing the definition of tsetse infested areas with improved accuracy. The methodology proposed here can be extended to all the tsetse infested parts of Zimbabwe and may also be useful for other PATTEC national initiatives in other

  19. Habitat modeling and genetic signatures of postglacial recolonization for tidal estuaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dolby, G. A.; Jacobs, D. K.

    2014-12-01

    Pleistocene glacial cycles are a foremost influence on the genetic diversity and species distribution patterns observed today. Though much work has centered on biotic response to such climatic forcing, little of it has regarded estuarine or other aquatic coastal taxa whose habitat formation is a function of sea level, hydrography, and coastal geomorphology. These physical parameters required for habitat formation suggest that glacial cycles impart a significant effect on such taxa through glacially driven eustatic changes. Additionally, the steepened coastline and rainfall-limited Mediterranean climate suggest limited glacial habitat for estuarine species in southern and Baja California. Here we present GIS modeled habitat for tidal estuaries for three co-distributed estuarine fishes (Gillichthys mirabilis, Quietula y-cauda, Fundulus parvipinnis) since the last glacial maximum. Parameterization of sea level and slope enables biologically relevant temporal resolution of near-millennial scale. At lowstand our approach reveals two refuges along the coast at 1000km distance from each other, with habitat rapidly increasing 15 - 12 ka during meltwater pulse 1A. Habitat area peaked in the early Holocene and began decreasing with the current stillstand roughly 7 ka, probably as a result of coastal maturation towards less tidal systems. To target the postglacial recolonization process we applied discriminant function analysis to highly polymorphic microsatellite data to partition out the alleles associated with refuges identified a priori by habitat modeling. The frequencies of these alleles were calculated for all individuals at intervening populations and regressed against geographic distance. This analysis revealed nonlinear mixing curves, suggesting uneven allelic mixing efficiency along the coastline, perhaps as a result of differential habitat origination times as indicated by the habitat models. These results highlight the dynamism of estuarine habitat in recent

  20. Models of Marine Fish Biodiversity: Assessing Predictors from Three Habitat Classification Schemes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Katherine L; Mellin, Camille; Caley, M Julian; Radford, Ben T; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2016-01-01

    Prioritising biodiversity conservation requires knowledge of where biodiversity occurs. Such knowledge, however, is often lacking. New technologies for collecting biological and physical data coupled with advances in modelling techniques could help address these gaps and facilitate improved management outcomes. Here we examined the utility of environmental data, obtained using different methods, for developing models of both uni- and multivariate biodiversity metrics. We tested which biodiversity metrics could be predicted best and evaluated the performance of predictor variables generated from three types of habitat data: acoustic multibeam sonar imagery, predicted habitat classification, and direct observer habitat classification. We used boosted regression trees (BRT) to model metrics of fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and multivariate regression trees (MRT) to model biomass and abundance of fish functional groups. We compared model performance using different sets of predictors and estimated the relative influence of individual predictors. Models of total species richness and total abundance performed best; those developed for endemic species performed worst. Abundance models performed substantially better than corresponding biomass models. In general, BRT and MRTs developed using predicted habitat classifications performed less well than those using multibeam data. The most influential individual predictor was the abiotic categorical variable from direct observer habitat classification and models that incorporated predictors from direct observer habitat classification consistently outperformed those that did not. Our results show that while remotely sensed data can offer considerable utility for predictive modelling, the addition of direct observer habitat classification data can substantially improve model performance. Thus it appears that there are aspects of marine habitats that are important for modelling metrics of fish biodiversity that are

  1. Habitat modelling limitations - Puck Bay, Baltic Sea - a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Marcin Węsławski

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The Natura 2000 sites and the Coastal Landscape Park in a shallow marine bay in the southern Baltic have been studied in detail for the distribution of benthic macroorganisms, species assemblages and seabed habitats. The relatively small Inner Puck Bay (104.8 km2 is one of the most thoroughly investigated marine areas in the Baltic: research has been carried out there continuously for over 50 years. Six physical parameters regarded as critically important for the marine benthos (depth, minimal temperature, maximum salinity, light, wave intensity and sediment type were summarized on a GIS map showing unified patches of seabed and the near-bottom water conditions. The occurrence of uniform seabed forms is weakly correlated with the distributions of individual species or multi-species assemblages. This is partly explained by the characteristics of the local macrofauna, which is dominated by highly tolerant, eurytopic species with opportunistic strategies. The history and timing of the assemblage formation also explains this weak correlation. The distribution of assemblages formed by long-living, structural species (Zostera marina and other higher plants shows the history of recovery following earlier disturbances. In the study area, these communities are still in the stage of recovery and recolonization, and their present distribution does not as yet match the distribution of the physical environmental conditions favourable to them. Our results show up the limitations of distribution modelling in coastal waters, where the history of anthropogenic disturbances can distort the picture of the present-day environmental control of biota distributions.

  2. Relevance of multiple spatial scales in habitat models: A case study with amphibians and grasshoppers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmoos, Michael; Henle, Klaus

    2010-11-01

    Habitat models for animal species are important tools in conservation planning. We assessed the need to consider several scales in a case study for three amphibian and two grasshopper species in the post-mining landscapes near Leipzig (Germany). The two species groups were selected because habitat analyses for grasshoppers are usually conducted on one scale only whereas amphibians are thought to depend on more than one spatial scale. First, we analysed how the preference to single habitat variables changed across nested scales. Most environmental variables were only significant for a habitat model on one or two scales, with the smallest scale being particularly important. On larger scales, other variables became significant, which cannot be recognized on lower scales. Similar preferences across scales occurred in only 13 out of 79 cases and in 3 out of 79 cases the preference and avoidance for the same variable were even reversed among scales. Second, we developed habitat models by using a logistic regression on every scale and for all combinations of scales and analysed how the quality of habitat models changed with the scales considered. To achieve a sufficient accuracy of the habitat models with a minimum number of variables, at least two scales were required for all species except for Bufo viridis, for which a single scale, the microscale, was sufficient. Only for the European tree frog ( Hyla arborea), at least three scales were required. The results indicate that the quality of habitat models increases with the number of surveyed variables and with the number of scales, but costs increase too. Searching for simplifications in multi-scaled habitat models, we suggest that 2 or 3 scales should be a suitable trade-off, when attempting to define a suitable microscale.

  3. Using urban forest assessment tools to model bird habitat potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Susannah B. Lerman; Keith H. Nislow; David J. Nowak; Stephen DeStefano; David I. King; D. Todd. Jones-Farrand

    2014-01-01

    The alteration of forest cover and the replacement of native vegetation with buildings, roads, exotic vegetation, and other urban features pose one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. As more land becomes slated for urban development, identifying effective urban forest wildlife management tools becomes paramount to ensure the urban forest provides habitat...

  4. Models of Coupled Settlement and Habitat Networks for Biodiversity Conservation: Conceptual Framework, Implementation and Potential Applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maarten J. van Strien

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Worldwide, the expansion of settlement and transport infrastructure is one of the most important proximate as well as ultimate causes of biodiversity loss. As much as every modern human society depends on a network of settlements that is well-connected by transport infrastructure (i.e., settlement network, animal and plant species depend on networks of habitats between which they can move (i.e., habitat networks. However, changes to a settlement network in a region often threaten the integrity of the region's habitat networks. Determining plans and policy to prevent these threats is made difficult by the numerous interactions and feedbacks that exist between and within the settlement and habitat networks. Mathematical models of coupled settlement and habitat networks can help us understand the dynamics of this social-ecological system. Yet, few attempts have been made to develop such mathematical models. In this paper, we promote the development of models of coupled settlement and habitat networks for biodiversity conservation. First, we present a conceptual framework of key variables that are ideally considered when operationalizing the coupling of settlement and habitat networks. In this framework, we first describe important network-internal interactions by differentiating between the structural (i.e., relating to purely physical conditions determining the suitability of a location for living or movement and functional (i.e., relating to the actual presence, abundance or movement of people or other organisms properties of either network. We then describe the main one-way influences that a settlement network can exert on the habitat networks and vice versa. Second, we give several recommendations for the mathematical modeling of coupled settlement and habitat networks and present several existing modeling approaches (e.g., habitat network models and land-use transport interaction models that could be used for this purpose. Lastly, we elaborate

  5. Predicting habitat suitability for rare plants at local spatial scales using a species distribution model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogol-Prokurat, Melanie

    2011-01-01

    If species distribution models (SDMs) can rank habitat suitability at a local scale, they may be a valuable conservation planning tool for rare, patchily distributed species. This study assessed the ability of Maxent, an SDM reported to be appropriate for modeling rare species, to rank habitat suitability at a local scale for four edaphic endemic rare plants of gabbroic soils in El Dorado County, California, and examined the effects of grain size, spatial extent, and fine-grain environmental predictors on local-scale model accuracy. Models were developed using species occurrence data mapped on public lands and were evaluated using an independent data set of presence and absence locations on surrounding lands, mimicking a typical conservation-planning scenario that prioritizes potential habitat on unsurveyed lands surrounding known occurrences. Maxent produced models that were successful at discriminating between suitable and unsuitable habitat at the local scale for all four species, and predicted habitat suitability values were proportional to likelihood of occurrence or population abundance for three of four species. Unfortunately, models with the best discrimination (i.e., AUC) were not always the most useful for ranking habitat suitability. The use of independent test data showed metrics that were valuable for evaluating which variables and model choices (e.g., grain, extent) to use in guiding habitat prioritization for conservation of these species. A goodness-of-fit test was used to determine whether habitat suitability values ranked habitat suitability on a continuous scale. If they did not, a minimum acceptable error predicted area criterion was used to determine the threshold for classifying habitat as suitable or unsuitable. I found a trade-off between model extent and the use of fine-grain environmental variables: goodness of fit was improved at larger extents, and fine-grain environmental variables improved local-scale accuracy, but fine-grain variables

  6. Alaska Northern Fur Seal Foraging Habitat Model Stable Isotope Data, 2006-2008

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data sets were used by Zeppelin et al. (2015) to model northern fur seal foraging habitats based on stable isotope values measured in plasma and red blood...

  7. Alaska Steller Sea Lion Habitat Model Satellite Telemetry and Environmental Data, 2000-2012

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The at-sea habitat use of Steller sea lions was modeled from location and dive behavior data obtained from the deployment of satellite-linked telemetry tags on sea...

  8. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

    The terrestrial permafrost is the only rich depository of viable ancient microorganisms on Earth, and can be used as a bridge to possible Martian life forms and shallow subsurface habitats where the probability of finding life is highest. Since there is a place for water, the requisite condition for life, the analogous models are more or less realistic. If life ever existed on Mars, traces might have been preserved and could be found at depth within permafrost. The age of the terrestrial isolates corresponds to the longevity of the frozen state of the embedding strata, with the oldest known dating back to the late Pliocene in Arctic and late Miocene in Antarctica. Permafrost on Earth and Mars vary in age, from a few million years on Earth to a few billion years on Mars. Such a difference in time scale would have a significant impact on the possibility of preserving life on Mars, which is why the longevity of life forms preserved within terrestrial permafrost can only be an approximate model for Mars. 1. A number of studies indicate that the Antarctic cryosphere began to develop on the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, after the isolation of the continent. Permafrost degradation is only possible if mean annual ground temperature, -28°C now, rise above freezing, i.e., a significant warming to above 25°C is required. There is no evidence of such sharp temperature increase, which indicates that the climate and geological history was favorable to persistence of pre-Pliocene permafrost. These oldest relics (~30Myr) are possibly to be found at high hypsometric levels of ice-free areas (Dry Valleys and nearby mountains). It is desirable to test the layers for the presence of viable cells. The limiting age, if one exists, within this ancient permafrost, where the viable organisms were no longer present, could be established as the limit for life preservation below 0oC. Positive results will extend the known temporal limits of life in permafrost. 2. Even in this case, the age of

  9. Temporal habitat suitability modeling of Caspian shad (Alosa spp. in the southern Caspian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Haghi Vayghan

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available To comprehensively manage an ecosystem such as that of the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, detailed knowledge of the habitat traits of the living organisms in the ecosystem is essential. The present study examined environmental variables and used the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI model to determine the most preferred seasonal habitat and optimal environmental range of Caspian shad (Alosa spp. The fish preferred deep waters with low levels of total organic matter and sea level anomaly in winter and productive areas with a high concentration of chlorophyll-a (Chla and relatively high benthos biomass in spring. The number per unit area (NPUA-based HSI model determined that the geometric mean model (GMM was the optimal model for defining a suitable habitat in winter. For spring, the arithmetic mean model (or GMM in the NPUA-based HSI model most accurately predicted preferred habitat for Caspian shad. The average NPUA in both seasons increased with the HSI; areas with an HSI of between 0.4 and 0.6 in spring and between 0.6 and 0.8 in winter had a high percentage of total catch. Areas with an HSI of more than 0.5 had over 91% and 63% of the total catch in spring and winter, respectively, demonstrating the reliability of the NPUA-based HSI model in predicting Caspian shad habitat. The present study shows that remotely sensed data plus depth are the most critical environmental variables in Caspian shad habitats and that Chla and SLA are the most critical remotely sensed parameters for near real-time prediction of Caspian shad habitat.

  10. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Poor

    Full Text Available Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process. We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.

  11. Comparing habitat suitability and connectivity modeling methods for conserving pronghorn migrations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poor, Erin E; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent) and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process). We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM) and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements.

  12. Use of Occupancy Models to Evaluate Expert Knowledge-based Species-Habitat Relationships

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monica N. Iglecia

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Expert knowledge-based species-habitat relationships are used extensively to guide conservation planning, particularly when data are scarce. Purported relationships describe the initial state of knowledge, but are rarely tested. We assessed support in the data for suitability rankings of vegetation types based on expert knowledge for three terrestrial avian species in the South Atlantic Coastal Plain of the United States. Experts used published studies, natural history, survey data, and field experience to rank vegetation types as optimal, suitable, and marginal. We used single-season occupancy models, coupled with land cover and Breeding Bird Survey data, to examine the hypothesis that patterns of occupancy conformed to species-habitat suitability rankings purported by experts. Purported habitat suitability was validated for two of three species. As predicted for the Eastern Wood-Pewee (Contopus virens and Brown-headed Nuthatch (Sitta pusilla, occupancy was strongly influenced by vegetation types classified as "optimal habitat" by the species suitability rankings for nuthatches and wood-pewees. Contrary to predictions, Red-headed Woodpecker (Melanerpes erythrocephalus models that included vegetation types as covariates received similar support by the data as models without vegetation types. For all three species, occupancy was also related to sampling latitude. Our results suggest that covariates representing other habitat requirements might be necessary to model occurrence of generalist species like the woodpecker. The modeling approach described herein provides a means to test expert knowledge-based species-habitat relationships, and hence, help guide conservation planning.

  13. HABSEED: a Simple Spatially Explicit Meta-Populations Model Using Remote Sensing Derived Habitat Quality Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heumann, B. W.; Guichard, F.; Seaquist, J. W.

    2005-05-01

    The HABSEED model uses remote sensing derived NPP as a surrogate for habitat quality as the driving mechanism for population growth and local seed dispersal. The model has been applied to the Sahel region of Africa. Results show that the functional response of plants to habitat quality alters population distribution. Plants more tolerant of medium quality habitat have greater distributions to the North while plants requiring only the best habitat are limited to the South. For all functional response types, increased seed production results in diminishing returns. Functional response types have been related to life history tradeoffs and r-K strategies based on the results. Results are compared to remote sensing derived vegetation land cover.

  14. Predicting 21st-century polar bear habitat distribution from global climate models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Douglas, David C.; Nielson, R.M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; McDonald, T.L.; Stirling, I.; Mauritzen, Mette; Born, E.W.; Wiig, O.; Deweaver, E.; Serreze, Mark C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Holland, M.M.; Maslanik, J.; Aars, Jon; Bailey, D.A.; Derocher, A.E.

    2009-01-01

    Projections of polar bear (Ursus maritimus) sea ice habitat distribution in the polar basin during the 21st century were developed to understand the consequences of anticipated sea ice reductions on polar bear populations. We used location data from satellitecollared polar bears and environmental data (e.g., bathymetry, distance to coastlines, and sea ice) collected from 1985 to 1995 to build resource selection functions (RSFs). RSFs described habitats that polar bears preferred in summer, autumn, winter, and spring. When applied to independent data from 1996 to 2006, the RSFs consistently identified habitats most frequently used by polar bears. We applied the RSFs to monthly maps of 21st-century sea ice concentration projected by 10 general circulation models (GCMs) used in the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, under the A1B greenhouse gas forcing scenario. Despite variation in their projections, all GCMs indicated habitat losses in the polar basin during the 21st century. Losses in the highest-valued RSF habitat (optimal habitat) were greatest in the southern seas of the polar basin, especially the Chukchi and Barents seas, and least along the Arctic Ocean shores of Banks Island to northern Greenland. Mean loss of optimal polar bear habitat was greatest during summer; from an observed 1.0 million km2 in 1985-1995 (baseline) to a projected multi-model mean of 0.32 million km2 in 2090-2099 (-68% change). Projected winter losses of polar bear habitat were less: from 1.7 million km2 in 1985-1995 to 1.4 million km2 in 2090-2099 (-17% change). Habitat losses based on GCM multi-model means may be conservative; simulated rates of habitat loss during 1985-2006 from many GCMs were less than the actual observed rates of loss. Although a reduction in the total amount of optimal habitat will likely reduce polar bear populations, exact relationships between habitat losses and population demographics remain unknown. Density and energetic

  15. VisTrails SAHM: visualization and workflow management for species habitat modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morisette, Jeffrey T.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Talbert, Colin B.; Ignizio, Drew A.; Talbert, Marian; Silva, Claudio; Koop, David; Swanson, Alan; Young, Nicholas E.

    2013-01-01

    The Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM) has been created to both expedite habitat modeling and help maintain a record of the various input data, pre- and post-processing steps and modeling options incorporated in the construction of a species distribution model through the established workflow management and visualization VisTrails software. This paper provides an overview of the VisTrails:SAHM software including a link to the open source code, a table detailing the current SAHM modules, and a simple example modeling an invasive weed species in Rocky Mountain National Park, USA.

  16. An Adaptive Modeling Technique for Instream Fish Habitat Preference of Japanese Medaka (Oryzias Latipes)

    OpenAIRE

    Fukuda, Shinji; Hiramatsu, Kazuaki; Mori, Makito; Shikasyo, Shiomi

    2005-01-01

    It is widely known that habitat selections of riverine fish differ within and between rivers. In our past study, the preference intensity of Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes) to three environmental factors of water depth, current velocity and cover ratio was quantified on laboratory open-channel experiments for developing a general habitat preference model. A simplified fuzzy reasoning method was introduced in consideration of essential vagueness of fish behaviors. The fuzzy preference inten...

  17. An Expert-Based Assessment Model for Evaluating Habitat Suitability of Pond-Breeding Amphibians

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ruoh Juang

    2017-02-01

    reliability of the habitat suitability assessment model. In brief, the proposed method can be applied, not only to assess the sustainability of frog habitats and degradation risks, but also to determine which locations may require future attention regarding conservation implementation. Furthermore, findings in this study provide useful background knowledge to all associated stakeholders when designing and implementing plans of wildlife habitat management and restoration at farm ponds.

  18. A habitat selection model for Javan deer (Rusa timorensis in Wanagama I Forest, Yogyakarta

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    DANANG WAHYU PURNOMO

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Purnomo DW. 2010. A Habitat selection model for Javan deer (Rusa timorensis in Wanagama I Forest, Yogyakarta. Nusantara Bioscience 2: 84-89. Wanagama I Forest is the natural breeding habitat of Javan deer (Rusa timorensis de Blainville, 1822. Habitat changes had affected Timor’s resource selection and caused the deer to move from undisturbed areas to developed areas with agriculture and human settlements. We suspected that this shift was caused by the degradation of natural habitat. The research aimed to identify factors that might influence future habitat selection. Habitat selection was analyzed by comparing proportions of sites actually used to sites that we considered available to use. The results of a logistic regression of site categories showed there are three habitat variables that influence resource selection: sum of tree species (expß=1.305, slope (expß=1.061, and distance to a water source (expß=1.002. The three variables influence the deer existing in a certain site of Wanagama Forest and arrange resource selection probability function (RSPF.

  19. Modeling of Iranian Cheetah Habitat using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (Case Study: Dare Anjir Wildlife Refuge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Evaluation of habitat sustainability indexes is essential in wildlife management and conservation of rare species. Suitable habitats are required in wildlife managements and conservation also, they increase reproduction and survival rate of species. In this study in order to mapping habitat sustainability and recognizing habitat requirements of Iranian Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, field data from Dare Anjir  wildlife refuge were collected since autumn 2009 until summer 2011. Ecological Niche Factor Analysis approach has been used to develop habitat suitability model. In this method primary maps of  habitat variables including elevation, slope, aspect, vegetation cover, distance from water sources and environmental monitoring stations have been produced by Idrisi and Biomapper software and imported in Biomapper. The output scores obtained from the analysis showed that Iranian cheetah tends to mountain areas where has more topographical features for camouflage in order to hunting, and northern aspects which have more humidity, denser vegetation cover and more preys . Our result showed that the Iranian cheetah has medium niche width and prefer marginal habitats.

  20. Physical habitat classification and instream flow modeling to determine habitat availability during low-flow periods, North Fork Shenandoah River, Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Hayes, Donald C.; Ruhl, Peter M.

    2006-01-01

    Increasing development and increasing water withdrawals for public, industrial, and agricultural water supply threaten to reduce streamflows in the Shenandoah River basin in Virginia. Water managers need more information to balance human water-supply needs with the daily streamflows necessary for maintaining the aquatic ecosystems. To meet the need for comprehensive information on hydrology, water supply, and instream-flow requirements of the Shenandoah River basin, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission conducted a cooperative investigation of habitat availability during low-flow periods on the North Fork Shenandoah River. Historic streamflow data and empirical data on physical habitat, river hydraulics, fish community structure, and recreation were used to develop a physical habitat simulation model. Hydraulic measurements were made during low, medium, and high flows in six reaches at a total of 36 transects that included riffles, runs, and pools, and that had a variety of substrates and cover types. Habitat suitability criteria for fish were developed from detailed fish-community sampling and microhabitat observations. Fish were grouped into four guilds of species and life stages with similar habitat requirements. Simulated habitat was considered in the context of seasonal flow regimes to show the availability of flows that sustain suitable habitat during months when precipitation and streamflow are scarce. The North Fork Shenandoah River basin was divided into three management sections for analysis purposes: the upper section, middle section, and lower section. The months of July, August, and September were chosen to represent a low-flow period in the basin with low mean monthly flows, low precipitation, high temperatures, and high water withdrawals. Exceedance flows calculated from the combined data from these three months describe low-flow periods on the North Fork Shenandoah River. Long-term records from three

  1. Habitat models to assist plant protection efforts in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Manen, F.T.; Young, J.A.; Thatcher, C.A.; Cass, W.B.; Ulrey, C.

    2005-01-01

    During 2002, the National Park Service initiated a demonstration project to develop science-based law enforcement strategies for the protection of at-risk natural resources, including American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius L.), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis L.), and black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa (L.) Nutt. [syn. Actaea racemosa L.]). Harvest pressure on these species is increasing because of the growing herbal remedy market. We developed habitat models for Shenandoah National Park and the northern portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway to determine the distribution of favorable habitats of these three plant species and to demonstrate the use of that information to support plant protection activities. We compiled locations for the three plant species to delineate favorable habitats with a geographic information system (GIS). We mapped potential habitat quality for each species by calculating a multivariate statistic, Mahalanobis distance, based on GIS layers that characterized the topography, land cover, and geology of the plant locations (10-m resolution). We tested model performance with an independent dataset of plant locations, which indicated a significant relationship between Mahalanobis distance values and species occurrence. We also generated null models by examining the distribution of the Mahalanobis distance values had plants been distributed randomly. For all species, the habitat models performed markedly better than their respective null models. We used our models to direct field searches to the most favorable habitats, resulting in a sizeable number of new plant locations (82 ginseng, 73 bloodroot, and 139 black cohosh locations). The odds of finding new plant locations based on the habitat models were 4.5 (black cohosh) to 12.3 (American ginseng) times greater than random searches; thus, the habitat models can be used to improve the efficiency of plant protection efforts, (e.g., marking of plants, law enforcement activities). The field searches also

  2. A habitat suitability model for Chinese sturgeon determined using the generalized additive method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Yujun; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Shanghong

    2016-03-01

    The Chinese sturgeon is a type of large anadromous fish that migrates between the ocean and rivers. Because of the construction of dams, this sturgeon's migration path has been cut off, and this species currently is on the verge of extinction. Simulating suitable environmental conditions for spawning followed by repairing or rebuilding its spawning grounds are effective ways to protect this species. Various habitat suitability models based on expert knowledge have been used to evaluate the suitability of spawning habitat. In this study, a two-dimensional hydraulic simulation is used to inform a habitat suitability model based on the generalized additive method (GAM). The GAM is based on real data. The values of water depth and velocity are calculated first via the hydrodynamic model and later applied in the GAM. The final habitat suitability model is validated using the catch per unit effort (CPUEd) data of 1999 and 2003. The model results show that a velocity of 1.06-1.56 m/s and a depth of 13.33-20.33 m are highly suitable ranges for the Chinese sturgeon to spawn. The hydraulic habitat suitability indexes (HHSI) for seven discharges (4000; 9000; 12,000; 16,000; 20,000; 30,000; and 40,000 m3/s) are calculated to evaluate integrated habitat suitability. The results show that the integrated habitat suitability reaches its highest value at a discharge of 16,000 m3/s. This study is the first to apply a GAM to evaluate the suitability of spawning grounds for the Chinese sturgeon. The study provides a reference for the identification of potential spawning grounds in the entire basin.

  3. A model to predict evaporation rates in habitats used by container-dwelling mosquitoes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett-Healy, Kristen; Healy, Sean P; Hamilton, George C

    2011-05-01

    Container-dwelling mosquitoes use a wide variety of container habitats. The bottle cap is often cited as the smallest container habitat used by container species. When containers are small, the habitat conditions can greatly affect evaporation rates that in turn can affect the species dynamics within the container. An evaporation rate model was adapted to predict evaporation rates in mosquito container habitats. In both the laboratory and field, our model was able to predict actual evaporation rates. Examples of how the model may be applied are provided by examining the likelihood of Aedes albopictus (Skuse), Aedes aegypti (L.), and Culex pipiens pipiens (L.) completing their development within small-volume containers under typical environmental conditions and a range of temperatures. Our model suggests that under minimal direct sunlight exposure, both Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus could develop within a bottle cap before complete evaporation. Our model shows that under the environmental conditions when a plastic field container was sampled, neither Ae. albopictus or Cx. p. pipiens could complete development in that particular container before the water evaporated. Although rainfall could replenish the habitat, the effects of evaporation would increase larval density, which could in turn further decrease developmental rates.

  4. The importance of distance to resources in the spatial modelling of bat foraging habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rainho

    Full Text Available Many bats are threatened by habitat loss, but opportunities to manage their habitats are now increasing. Success of management depends greatly on the capacity to determine where and how interventions should take place, so models predicting how animals use landscapes are important to plan them. Bats are quite distinctive in the way they use space for foraging because (i most are colonial central-place foragers and (ii exploit scattered and distant resources, although this increases flying costs. To evaluate how important distances to resources are in modelling foraging bat habitat suitability, we radio-tracked two cave-dwelling species of conservation concern (Rhinolophus mehelyi and Miniopterus schreibersii in a Mediterranean landscape. Habitat and distance variables were evaluated using logistic regression modelling. Distance variables greatly increased the performance of models, and distance to roost and to drinking water could alone explain 86 and 73% of the use of space by M. schreibersii and R. mehelyi, respectively. Land-cover and soil productivity also provided a significant contribution to the final models. Habitat suitability maps generated by models with and without distance variables differed substantially, confirming the shortcomings of maps generated without distance variables. Indeed, areas shown as highly suitable in maps generated without distance variables proved poorly suitable when distance variables were also considered. We concluded that distances to resources are determinant in the way bats forage across the landscape, and that using distance variables substantially improves the accuracy of suitability maps generated with spatially explicit models. Consequently, modelling with these variables is important to guide habitat management in bats and similarly mobile animals, particularly if they are central-place foragers or depend on spatially scarce resources.

  5. Deep-sea benthic habitats modeling and mapping in a NE Atlantic seamount (Galicia Bank)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serrano, A.; González-Irusta, J. M.; Punzón, A.; García-Alegre, A.; Lourido, A.; Ríos, P.; Blanco, M.; Gómez-Ballesteros, M.; Druet, M.; Cristobo, J.; Cartes, J. E.

    2017-08-01

    This study presents the results of seafloor habitat identification and mapping of a NE Atlantic deep seamount. An ;assemble first, predict later; approach has been followed to identify and map the benthic habitats of the Galicia Bank (NW Iberian). Biotic patterns inferred from the survey data have been used to drive the definition of benthic assemblages using multivariate tools. Eight assemblages, four hard substrates and four sedimentary ones, have been described from a matrix of structural species. Distribution of these assemblages was correlated with environmental factors (multibeam and backscatter data) using binomial GAMs. Finally, the distribution model of each assemblage was applied to produce continuous maps and pooled in a final map with the distribution of the main benthic habitats. Depth and substrate type are key factors when determining soft bottom communities, whereas rocky habitat distribution is mainly explained by rock slope and orientation. Enrichment by northern water masses (LSW) arriving to GB and possible zooplankton biomass increase at vertical-steep walls by ;bottom trapping; can explain the higher diversity of habitat providing filter-feeders at slope rocky breaks. These results concerning vulnerable species and habitats, such as Lophelia and Madrepora communities and black and bamboo coral aggregations were the basis of the Spanish proposal of inclusion within the Natura 2000 network. The aim of the present study was to establish the scientific criteria needed for managing and protecting those environmental values.

  6. Modeling the effectiveness of tree planting to mitigate habitat loss in blue oak woodlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard B. Standiford; Douglas McCreary; William Frost

    2002-01-01

    Many local conservation policies have attempted to mitigate the loss of oak woodland habitat resulting from conversion to urban or intensive agricultural land uses through tree planting. This paper models the development of blue oak (Quercus douglasii) stand structure attributes over 50 years after planting. The model uses a single tree, distance...

  7. Identification of landscape features influencing gene flow: How useful are habitat selection models?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gretchen H. Roffler; Michael K. Schwartz; Kristine Pilgrim; Sandra L. Talbot; George K. Sage; Layne G. Adams; Gordon Luikart

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how dispersal patterns are influenced by landscape heterogeneity is critical for modeling species connectivity. Resource selection function (RSF) models are increasingly used in landscape genetics approaches. However, because the ecological factors that drive habitat selection may be different from those influencing dispersal and gene flow, it is...

  8. Shellsim: A Generic Model of Growth and Environmental Effects Validated Across Contrasting Habitats in Bivalve Shellfish

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hawkins, A.; Pascoe, P.L.; Parry, H.; Brinsley, M.; Black, K.; McGonigle, C.; Smaal, A.C.

    2013-01-01

    Previous shellfish models have, in general, been calibrated for 1 location, unable to simulate growth across habitats that contrast in seston abundance and composition, as may vary between turbid, eutrophic and oligotrophic waters. Here, we describe the generic shellfish model ShellSIM,

  9. Field Testing Of An Expert Model: Can The Model Predict Habitat Potential For Saltmarsh Birds?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salt marshes are valuable resources, which provide numerous ecosystem services, including flood protection, fish nursery habitat, and nesting habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species. At the present time, due primarily to coastal development and sea level rise,...

  10. Modelling population effects of juvenile offshore fish displacement towards adult habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    van de Wolfshaar, K.E.; Tulp, I.; Wennhage, H.

    2015-01-01

    consequences on population dynamics through changes in resource use and competition. To explore this, a conceptual stage-structured model was developed with 3 stages and 2 resources and allowing a move of large juveniles from the shallow to the deep habitat. Large juveniles compete with small juveniles...... in shallow waters and with adults in deeper waters. Alternative stable states occur, with one state dominated by small juvenile biomass and the other dominated by adult biomass. The model results show for both states that while large juvenile biomass responds to a change in time spent in the deep habitat...

  11. Wintering habitat model for the North Atlantic Right Whale (Eubalaena glacialis) in the southeastern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

    The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS) are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST), water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales) were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment.

  12. Modeling demographic performance of northern spotted owls relative to forest habitat in Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, Gail S.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Anthony, Robert G.; Forsman, Eric D.; Reid, Janice A.; Loschl, Peter J.; Ripple, William J.

    2004-01-01

    Northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) are known to be associated with late-successional forests in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but the effects of habitat on their demographic performance are relatively unknown. We developed statistical models relating owl survival and productivity to forest cover types within the Roseburg Study Area in the Oregon Coast Range of Oregon, USA. We further combined these demographic parameters using a Leslie-type matrix to obtain an estimate of habitat fitness potential for each owl territory (n = 94). We used mark–recapture methods to develop models for survival and linear mixed models for productivity. We measured forest composition and landscape patterns at 3 landscape scales centered on nest and activity sites within owl territories using an aerial photo-based map and a Geographic Information System (GIS). We also considered additional covariates such as age, sex, and presence of barred owls (Strix varia), and seasonal climate variables (temperature and precipitation) in our models. We used Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) to rank and compare models. Survival had a quadratic relationship with the amount of late- and mid-seral forests within 1,500 m of nesting centers. Survival also was influenced by the amount of precipitation during the nesting season. Only 16% of the variability in survival was accounted for by our best model, but 85% of this was due to the habitat variable. Reproductive rates fluctuated biennially and were positively related to the amount of edge between late- and mid-seral forests and other habitat classes. Reproductive rates also were influenced by parent age, amount of precipitation during nesting season, and presence of barred owls. Our best model accounted for 84% of the variability in productivity, but only 3% of that was due to the habitat variable. Estimates of habitat fitness potential (which may range from 0 to infinity) for the 94 territories ranged from 0.74 to 1

  13. Comparing GIS-based habitat models for applications in EIA and SEA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, Mikael; Moertberg, Ulla; Balfors, Berit

    2010-01-01

    Land use changes, urbanisation and infrastructure developments in particular, cause fragmentation of natural habitats and threaten biodiversity. Tools and measures must be adapted to assess and remedy the potential effects on biodiversity caused by human activities and developments. Within physical planning, environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) play important roles in the prediction and assessment of biodiversity-related impacts from planned developments. However, adapted prediction tools to forecast and quantify potential impacts on biodiversity components are lacking. This study tested and compared four different GIS-based habitat models and assessed their relevance for applications in environmental assessment. The models were implemented in the Stockholm region in central Sweden and applied to data on the crested tit (Parus cristatus), a sedentary bird species of coniferous forest. All four models performed well and allowed the distribution of suitable habitats for the crested tit in the Stockholm region to be predicted. The models were also used to predict and quantify habitat loss for two regional development scenarios. The study highlighted the importance of model selection in impact prediction. Criteria that are relevant for the choice of model for predicting impacts on biodiversity were identified and discussed. Finally, the importance of environmental assessment for the preservation of biodiversity within the general frame of biodiversity conservation is emphasised.

  14. Habitat Modeling of Alien Plant Species at Varying Levels of Occupancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A. Brown

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available Distribution models of invasive plants are very useful tools for conservation management. There are challenges in modeling expanding populations, especially in a dynamic environment, and when data are limited. In this paper, predictive habitat models were assessed for three invasive plant species, at differing levels of occurrence, using two different habitat modeling techniques: logistic regression and maximum entropy. The influence of disturbance, spatial and temporal heterogeneity, and other landscape characteristics is assessed by creating regional level models based on occurrence records from the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis database. Logistic regression and maximum entropy models were assessed independently. Ensemble models were developed to combine the predictions of the two analysis approaches to obtain a more robust prediction estimate. All species had strong models with Area Under the receiver operator Curve (AUC of >0.75. The species with the highest occurrence, Ligustrum spp., had the greatest agreement between the models (93%. Lolium arundinaceum had the most disagreement between models at 33% and the lowest AUC values. Overall, the strength of integrative modeling in assessing and understanding habitat modeling was demonstrated.

  15. Modelling seasonal habitat suitability for wide-ranging species: Invasive wild pigs in northern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens G Froese

    Full Text Available Invasive wildlife often causes serious damage to the economy and agriculture as well as environmental, human and animal health. Habitat models can fill knowledge gaps about species distributions and assist planning to mitigate impacts. Yet, model accuracy and utility may be compromised by small study areas and limited integration of species ecology or temporal variability. Here we modelled seasonal habitat suitability for wild pigs, a widespread and harmful invader, in northern Australia. We developed a resource-based, spatially-explicit and regional-scale approach using Bayesian networks and spatial pattern suitability analysis. We integrated important ecological factors such as variability in environmental conditions, breeding requirements and home range movements. The habitat model was parameterized during a structured, iterative expert elicitation process and applied to a wet season and a dry season scenario. Model performance and uncertainty was evaluated against independent distributional data sets. Validation results showed that an expert-averaged model accurately predicted empirical wild pig presences in northern Australia for both seasonal scenarios. Model uncertainty was largely associated with different expert assumptions about wild pigs' resource-seeking home range movements. Habitat suitability varied considerably between seasons, retracting to resource-abundant rainforest, wetland and agricultural refuge areas during the dry season and expanding widely into surrounding grassland floodplains, savanna woodlands and coastal shrubs during the wet season. Overall, our model suggested that suitable wild pig habitat is less widely available in northern Australia than previously thought. Mapped results may be used to quantify impacts, assess risks, justify management investments and target control activities. Our methods are applicable to other wide-ranging species, especially in data-poor situations.

  16. A method for assigning species into groups based on generalized Mahalanobis distance between habitat model coefficients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, C.J.; Heglund, P.J.

    2009-01-01

    Habitat association models are commonly developed for individual animal species using generalized linear modeling methods such as logistic regression. We considered the issue of grouping species based on their habitat use so that management decisions can be based on sets of species rather than individual species. This research was motivated by a study of western landbirds in northern Idaho forests. The method we examined was to separately fit models to each species and to use a generalized Mahalanobis distance between coefficient vectors to create a distance matrix among species. Clustering methods were used to group species from the distance matrix, and multidimensional scaling methods were used to visualize the relations among species groups. Methods were also discussed for evaluating the sensitivity of the conclusions because of outliers or influential data points. We illustrate these methods with data from the landbird study conducted in northern Idaho. Simulation results are presented to compare the success of this method to alternative methods using Euclidean distance between coefficient vectors and to methods that do not use habitat association models. These simulations demonstrate that our Mahalanobis-distance- based method was nearly always better than Euclidean-distance-based methods or methods not based on habitat association models. The methods used to develop candidate species groups are easily explained to other scientists and resource managers since they mainly rely on classical multivariate statistical methods. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  17. Seasonal Habitat Patterns of Japanese Common Squid (Todarodes Pacificus Inferred from Satellite-Based Species Distribution Models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene D. Alabia

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The understanding of the spatio-temporal distributions of the species habitat in the marine environment is central to effectual resource management and conservation. Here, we examined the potential habitat distributions of Japanese common squid (Todarodes pacificus in the Sea of Japan during a four-year period. The seasonal patterns of preferential habitat were inferred from species distribution models, built using squid occurrences detected from night-time visible images and remotely-sensed environmental factors. The predicted squid habitat (i.e., areas with high habitat suitability revealed strong seasonal variability, characterized by a reduction of potential habitat, confined off of the southern part of the basin during the winter–spring period (December–May. Apparent expansion of preferential habitat occurred during summer–autumn months (June–November, concurrent with the formation of highly suitable habitat patches in certain regions of the Sea of Japan. These habitat distribution patterns were in response to changes in oceanographic conditions and synchronous with seasonal migration of squid. Moreover, the most important variables regulating the spatio-temporal patterns of suitable habitat were sea surface temperature, depth, sea surface height anomaly, and eddy kinetic energy. These variables could affect the habitat distributions through their impacts on growth and survival of squid, local nutrient transport, and the availability of favorable spawning and feeding grounds.

  18. Multi-criteria Decision Analysis to Model Ixodes ricinus Habitat Suitability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Raphaël; McGrath, Guy; McMahon, Barry J; Vanwambeke, Sophie O

    2017-09-01

    Tick-borne diseases present a major threat to both human and livestock health throughout Europe. The risk of infection is directly related to the presence of its vector. Thereby it is important to know their distribution, which is strongly associated with environmental factors: the presence and availability of a suitable habitat, of a suitable climate and of hosts. The present study models the habitat suitability for Ixodes ricinus in Ireland, where data on tick distribution are scarce. Tick habitat suitability was estimated at a coarse scale (10 km) with a multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) method according to four different scenarios (depending on the variables used and on the weights granted to each of them). The western part of Ireland and the Wicklow mountains in the East were estimated to be the most suitable areas for I. ricinus in the island. There was a good level of agreement between results from the MCDA and recorded tick presence. The different scenarios did not affect the spatial outputs substantially. The current study suggests that tick habitat suitability can be mapped accurately at a coarse scale in a data-scarce context using knowledge-based methods. It can serve as a guideline for future countrywide sampling that would help to determine local risk of tick presence and refining knowledge on tick habitat suitability in Ireland.

  19. Using maximum entropy modeling to identify and prioritize red spruce forest habitat in West Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathan R. Beane; James S. Rentch; Thomas M. Schuler

    2013-01-01

    Red spruce forests in West Virginia are found in island-like distributions at high elevations and provide essential habitat for the endangered Cheat Mountain salamander and the recently delisted Virginia northern flying squirrel. Therefore, it is important to identify restoration priorities of red spruce forests. Maximum entropy modeling was used to identify areas of...

  20. Habitat suitability models for cavity-nesting birds in a postfire landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2007-01-01

    Models of habitat suitability in postfire landscapes are needed by land managers to make timely decisions regarding postfire timber harvest and other management activities. Many species of cavity-nesting birds are dependent on postfire landscapes for breeding and other aspects of their life history and are responsive to postfire management activities (e.g., timber...

  1. Models to predict suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout in Washington state

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler

    2001-01-01

    This report describes results of research conducted in 2000 to develop models of suitable habitat for juvenile bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) in Washington State. The research is associated with a cooperative agreement (Agreement #134100H001) between U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research...

  2. Using satellite and airborne LiDAR to model woodpecker habitat occupancy at the landscape scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee A. Vierling; Kerri T. Vierling; Patrick Adam; Andrew T. Hudak

    2013-01-01

    Incorporating vertical vegetation structure into models of animal distributions can improve understanding of the patterns and processes governing habitat selection. LiDAR can provide such structural information, but these data are typically collected via aircraft and thus are limited in spatial extent. Our objective was to explore the utility of satellite-based LiDAR...

  3. Hydrological Modelling of Small Scale Processes in a Wetland Habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Johansen, Ole; Jensen, Jacob Birk; Pedersen, Morten Lauge

    2009-01-01

    Numerical modelling of the hydrology in a Danish rich fen area has been conducted. By collecting various data in the field the model has been successfully calibrated and the flow paths as well as the groundwater discharge distribution have been simulated in details. The results of this work have...... shown that distributed numerical models can be applied to local scale problems and that natural springs, ditches, the geological conditions as well as the local topographic variations have a significant influence on the flow paths in the examined rich fen area....

  4. Using a data-constrained model of home range establishment to predict abundance in spatially heterogeneous habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Vanderwel

    Full Text Available Mechanistic modelling approaches that explicitly translate from individual-scale resource selection to the distribution and abundance of a larger population may be better suited to predicting responses to spatially heterogeneous habitat alteration than commonly-used regression models. We developed an individual-based model of home range establishment that, given a mapped distribution of local habitat values, estimates species abundance by simulating the number and position of viable home ranges that can be maintained across a spatially heterogeneous area. We estimated parameters for this model from data on red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi abundances in 31 boreal forest sites in Ontario, Canada. The home range model had considerably more support from these data than both non-spatial regression models based on the same original habitat variables and a mean-abundance null model. It had nearly equivalent support to a non-spatial regression model that, like the home range model, scaled an aggregate measure of habitat value from local associations with habitat resources. The home range and habitat-value regression models gave similar predictions for vole abundance under simulations of light- and moderate-intensity partial forest harvesting, but the home range model predicted lower abundances than the regression model under high-intensity disturbance. Empirical regression-based approaches for predicting species abundance may overlook processes that affect habitat use by individuals, and often extrapolate poorly to novel habitat conditions. Mechanistic home range models that can be parameterized against abundance data from different habitats permit appropriate scaling from individual- to population-level habitat relationships, and can potentially provide better insights into responses to disturbance.

  5. Modeling habitat for Marbled Murrelets on the Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon, using lidar data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan C.; Aragon, Ramiro; Haggerty, Patricia; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.

    2018-03-28

    Habitat models using lidar-derived variables that quantify fine-scale variation in vegetation structure can improve the accuracy of occupancy estimates for canopy-dwelling species over models that use variables derived from other remote sensing techniques. However, the ability of models developed at such a fine spatial scale to maintain accuracy at regional or larger spatial scales has not been tested. We tested the transferability of a lidar-based habitat model for the threatened Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) between two management districts within a larger regional conservation zone in coastal western Oregon. We compared the performance of the transferred model against models developed with data from the application location. The transferred model had good discrimination (AUC = 0.73) at the application location, and model performance was further improved by fitting the original model with coefficients from the application location dataset (AUC = 0.79). However, the model selection procedure indicated that neither of these transferred models were considered competitive with a model trained on local data. The new model trained on data from the application location resulted in the selection of a slightly different set of lidar metrics from the original model, but both transferred and locally trained models consistently indicated positive relationships between the probability of occupancy and lidar measures of canopy structural complexity. We conclude that while the locally trained model had superior performance for local application, the transferred model could reasonably be applied to the entire conservation zone.

  6. Using dynamic Brownian bridge movement modelling to measure temporal patterns of habitat selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrne, Michael E; Clint McCoy, J; Hinton, Joseph W; Chamberlain, Michael J; Collier, Bret A

    2014-09-01

    Accurately describing animal space use is vital to understanding how wildlife use habitat. Improvements in GPS technology continue to facilitate collection of telemetry data at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Application of the recently introduced dynamic Brownian bridge movement model (dBBMM) to such data is promising as the method explicitly incorporates the behavioural heterogeneity of a movement path into the estimated utilization distribution (UD). Utilization distributions defining space use are normally estimated for time-scales ranging from weeks to months, obscuring much of the fine-scale information available from high-volume GPS data sets. By accounting for movement heterogeneity, the dBBMM provides a rigorous, behaviourally based estimate of space use between each set of relocations. Focusing on UDs generated between individual sets of locations allows us to quantify fine-scale circadian variation in habitat use. We used the dBBMM to estimate UDs bounding individual time steps for three terrestrial species with different life histories to illustrate how the method can be used to identify fine-scale variations in habitat use. We also demonstrate how dBBMMs can be used to characterize circadian patterns of habitat selection and link fine-scale patterns of habitat use to behaviour. We observed circadian patterns of habitat use that varied seasonally for a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and coyote (Canis latrans). We found seasonal patterns in selection by the white-tailed deer and were able to link use of conifer forests and agricultural fields to behavioural state of the coyote. Additionally, we were able to quantify the date in which a Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) initiated laying as well as when during the day, she was most likely to visit the nest site to deposit eggs. The ability to quantify circadian patterns of habitat use may have important implications for research and management of wildlife

  7. Modeling population dynamics of solitary bees in relation to habitat quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Ulbrich

    2001-09-01

    Full Text Available To understand associations between habitat, individual behaviour, and population development of solitary bees we developed an individual-based model. This model is based on field observations of Osmia rufa (L (Apoideae: Megachilidae and describes population dynamics of solitary bees. Model rules are focused on maternal investment, in particular on the female’s individual decisions about sex and size of progeny. In the present paper, we address the effect of habitat quality on population size and sex ratio. We examine how food availability and the risk of parasitism influence long-term population development. It can be shown how population properties result from individual maternal investment which is described as a functional response to fluctuations of environmental conditions. We found that habitat quality can be expressed in terms of cell construction time. This interface factor influences the rate of open cell parasitism as the risk for a brood cell to be parasitized is positively correlated with the time of its construction. Under conditions of scarce food and under resulting long provision times even low parasitism rates lead to a high extinction risk of the population, whereas in rich habitats probabilities of extinction are low even for high rates of parasitism. For a given level of food and parasitism there is an optimum time for cell construction which minimizes the extinction risk of the population. Model results demonstrate that under fluctuating environmental conditions, decreasing habitat quality leads to a decrease in population size but also to rapid shifts in sex ratio.

  8. High Resolution Habitat Suitability Modelling For Restricted-Range Hawaiian Alpine Arthropod Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

    Mapping potentially suitable habitat is critical for effective species conservation and management but can be challenging in areas exhibiting complex heterogeneity. An approach that combines non-intrusive spatial data collection techniques and field data can lead to a better understanding of landscapes and species distributions. Nysius wekiuicola, commonly known as the wēkiu bug, is the most studied arthropod species endemic to the Maunakea summit in Hawai`i, yet details about its geographic distribution and habitat use remain poorly understood. To predict the geographic distribution of N. wekiuicola, MaxEnt habitat suitability models were generated from a diverse set of input variables, including fifteen years of species occurrence data, high resolution digital elevation models, surface mineralogy maps derived from hyperspectral remote sensing, and climate data. Model results indicate that elevation (78.2 percent), and the presence of nanocrystalline hematite surface minerals (13.7 percent) had the highest influence, with lesser contributions from aspect, slope, and other surface mineral classes. Climatic variables were not included in the final analysis due to auto-correlation and coarse spatial resolution. Biotic factors relating to predation and competition also likely dictate wēkiu bug capture patterns and influence our results. The wēkiu bug range and habitat suitability models generated as a result of this study will be directly incorporated into management and restoration goals for the summit region and can also be adapted for other arthropod species present, leading to a more holistic understanding of metacommunity dynamics. Key words: Microhabitat, Structure from Motion, Lidar, MaxEnt, Habitat Suitability

  9. Using small unmanned aerial vehicle for instream habitat evaluation and modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astegiano, Luca; Vezza, Paolo; Comoglio, Claudio; Lingua, Andrea; Spairani, Michele

    2015-04-01

    Recent advances in digital image collection and processing have led to the increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for river research and management. In this paper, we assess the capabilities of a small UAV to characterize physical habitat for fish in three river stretches of North-Western Italy. The main aim of the study was identifying the advantages and challenges of this technology for environmental river management, in the context of the increasing river exploitation for hydropower production. The UAV used to acquire overlapping images was a small quadcopter with a two different high-resolution (non-metric) cameras (Nikon J1™ and Go-Pro Hero 3 Black Edition™). The quadcopter was preprogrammed to fly set waypoints using a small tablet PC. With the acquired imagery, we constructed a 5-cm resolution orthomosaic image and a digital surface model (DSM). The two products were used to map the distribution of aquatic and riparian habitat features, i.e., wetted area, morphological unit distributions, bathymetry, water surface gradient, substrates and grain sizes, shelters and cover for fish. The study assessed the quality of collected data and used such information to identify key reach-scale metrics and important aspects of fluvial morphology and aquatic habitat. The potential and limitations of using UAV for physical habitat survey were evaluated and the collected data were used to initialize and run common habitat simulation tools (MesoHABSIM). Several advantages of using UAV-based imagery were found, including low cost procedures, high resolution and efficiency in data collection. However, some challenges were identified for bathymetry extraction (vegetation obstructions, white waters, turbidity) and grain size assessment (preprocessing of data and automatic object detection). The application domain and possible limitation for instream habitat mapping were defined and will be used as a reference for future studies. Ongoing activities include the

  10. Identifying western yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat with a dual modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Matthew J.; Hatten, James R.; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Shafroth, Patrick B.

    2017-01-01

    The western population of the yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus) was recently listed as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. Yellow-billed cuckoo conservation efforts require the identification of features and area requirements associated with high quality, riparian forest habitat at spatial scales that range from nest microhabitat to landscape, as well as lower-suitability areas that can be enhanced or restored. Spatially explicit models inform conservation efforts by increasing ecological understanding of a target species, especially at landscape scales. Previous yellow-billed cuckoo modelling efforts derived plant-community maps from aerial photography, an expensive and oftentimes inconsistent approach. Satellite models can remotely map vegetation features (e.g., vegetation density, heterogeneity in vegetation density or structure) across large areas with near perfect repeatability, but they usually cannot identify plant communities. We used aerial photos and satellite imagery, and a hierarchical spatial scale approach, to identify yellow-billed cuckoo breeding habitat along the Lower Colorado River and its tributaries. Aerial-photo and satellite models identified several key features associated with yellow-billed cuckoo breeding locations: (1) a 4.5 ha core area of dense cottonwood-willow vegetation, (2) a large native, heterogeneously dense forest (72 ha) around the core area, and (3) moderately rough topography. The odds of yellow-billed cuckoo occurrence decreased rapidly as the amount of tamarisk cover increased or when cottonwood-willow vegetation was limited. We achieved model accuracies of 75–80% in the project area the following year after updating the imagery and location data. The two model types had very similar probability maps, largely predicting the same areas as high quality habitat. While each model provided unique information, a dual-modelling approach provided a more complete picture of yellow-billed cuckoo habitat

  11. A GIS model of habitat suitability for Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) in St. John, US Virgin Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palumbo, Matthew D.; Fleming, Jonathan P.; Monsegur, Omar A.; Vilella, Francisco

    2016-01-01

    Solanum conocarpum (Solanaceae) (Marron Bacora) is a rare, dry-forest shrub endemic to the island of St. John, US Virgin Islands, considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Given its status as a species of conservation concern, we incorporated environmental characteristics of 3 observed populations and 5 additional known locations into a geographic information system (GIS) analysis to create a habitat-suitability model for the species on the island of St. John. Our model identified 1929.87 ha of highly suitable and moderately suitable habitat. Of these, 1161.20 ha (60.2%) occurred within the boundaries of Virgin Islands National Park. Our model provides spatial information on potential locations for future surveys and restoration sites for this endemic species of the US Virgin Islands.

  12. Scaling local species-habitat relations to the larger landscape with a hierarchical spatial count model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, W.E.; Knutson, M.G.

    2007-01-01

    Much of what is known about avian species-habitat relations has been derived from studies of birds at local scales. It is entirely unclear whether the relations observed at these scales translate to the larger landscape in a predictable linear fashion. We derived habitat models and mapped predicted abundances for three forest bird species of eastern North America using bird counts, environmental variables, and hierarchical models applied at three spatial scales. Our purpose was to understand habitat associations at multiple spatial scales and create predictive abundance maps for purposes of conservation planning at a landscape scale given the constraint that the variables used in this exercise were derived from local-level studies. Our models indicated a substantial influence of landscape context for all species, many of which were counter to reported associations at finer spatial extents. We found land cover composition provided the greatest contribution to the relative explained variance in counts for all three species; spatial structure was second in importance. No single spatial scale dominated any model, indicating that these species are responding to factors at multiple spatial scales. For purposes of conservation planning, areas of predicted high abundance should be investigated to evaluate the conservation potential of the landscape in their general vicinity. In addition, the models and spatial patterns of abundance among species suggest locations where conservation actions may benefit more than one species. ?? 2006 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  13. Application of Logistic Regression Tree Model in Determining Habitat Distribution of Astragalus verus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Saki

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between plant species and environmental factors has always been a central issue in plant ecology. With rising power of statistical techniques, geo-statistics and geographic information systems (GIS, the development of predictive habitat distribution models of organisms has rapidly increased in ecology. This study aimed to evaluate the ability of Logistic Regression Tree model to create potential habitat map of Astragalus verus. This species produces Tragacanth and has economic value. A stratified- random sampling was applied to 100 sites (50 presence- 50 absence of given species, and produced environmental and edaphic factors maps by using Kriging and Inverse Distance Weighting methods in the ArcGIS software for the whole study area. Relationships between species occurrence and environmental factors were determined by Logistic Regression Tree model and extended to the whole study area. The results indicated species occurrence has strong correlation with environmental factors such as mean daily temperature and clay, EC and organic carbon content of the soil. Species occurrence showed direct relationship with mean daily temperature and clay and organic carbon, and inverse relationship with EC. Model accuracy was evaluated both by Cohen’s kappa statistics (κ and by area under Receiver Operating Characteristics curve based on independent test data set. Their values (kappa=0.9, Auc of ROC=0.96 indicated the high power of LRT to create potential habitat map on local scales. This model, therefore, can be applied to recognize potential sites for rangeland reclamation projects.

  14. Hydrologic characteristics of freshwater mussel habitat: novel insights from modeled flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drew, C. Ashton; Eddy, Michele; Kwak, Thomas J.; Cope, W. Gregory; Augspurger, Tom

    2018-01-01

    The ability to model freshwater stream habitat and species distributions is limited by the spatially sparse flow data available from long-term gauging stations. Flow data beyond the immediate vicinity of gauging stations would enhance our ability to explore and characterize hydrologic habitat suitability. The southeastern USA supports high aquatic biodiversity, but threats, such as landuse alteration, climate change, conflicting water-resource demands, and pollution, have led to the imperilment and legal protection of many species. The ability to distinguish suitable from unsuitable habitat conditions, including hydrologic suitability, is a key criterion for successful conservation and restoration of aquatic species. We used the example of the critically endangered Tar River Spinymussel (Parvaspina steinstansana) and associated species to demonstrate the value of modeled flow data (WaterFALL™) to generate novel insights into population structure and testable hypotheses regarding hydrologic suitability. With ordination models, we: 1) identified all catchments with potentially suitable hydrology, 2) identified 2 distinct hydrologic environments occupied by the Tar River Spinymussel, and 3) estimated greater hydrological habitat niche breadth of assumed surrogate species associates at the catchment scale. Our findings provide the first demonstrated application of complete, continuous, regional modeled hydrologic data to freshwater mussel distribution and management. This research highlights the utility of modeling and data-mining methods to facilitate further exploration and application of such modeled environmental conditions to inform aquatic species management. We conclude that such an approach can support landscape-scale management decisions that require spatial information at fine resolution (e.g., enhanced National Hydrology Dataset catchments) and broad extent (e.g., multiple river basins).

  15. Towards a resource-based habitat approach for spatial modelling of vector-borne disease risks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartemink, Nienke; Vanwambeke, Sophie O; Purse, Bethan V; Gilbert, Marius; Van Dyck, Hans

    2015-11-01

    Given the veterinary and public health impact of vector-borne diseases, there is a clear need to assess the suitability of landscapes for the emergence and spread of these diseases. Current approaches for predicting disease risks neglect key features of the landscape as components of the functional habitat of vectors or hosts, and hence of the pathogen. Empirical-statistical methods do not explicitly incorporate biological mechanisms, whereas current mechanistic models are rarely spatially explicit; both methods ignore the way animals use the landscape (i.e. movement ecology). We argue that applying a functional concept for habitat, i.e. the resource-based habitat concept (RBHC), can solve these issues. The RBHC offers a framework to identify systematically the different ecological resources that are necessary for the completion of the transmission cycle and to relate these resources to (combinations of) landscape features and other environmental factors. The potential of the RBHC as a framework for identifying suitable habitats for vector-borne pathogens is explored and illustrated with the case of bluetongue virus, a midge-transmitted virus affecting ruminants. The concept facilitates the study of functional habitats of the interacting species (vectors as well as hosts) and provides new insight into spatial and temporal variation in transmission opportunities and exposure that ultimately determine disease risks. It may help to identify knowledge gaps and control options arising from changes in the spatial configuration of key resources across the landscape. The RBHC framework may act as a bridge between existing mechanistic and statistical modelling approaches. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  16. Development and field validation of a regional, management-scale habitat model: A koala Phascolarctos cinereus case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Law, Bradley; Caccamo, Gabriele; Roe, Paul; Truskinger, Anthony; Brassil, Traecey; Gonsalves, Leroy; McConville, Anna; Stanton, Matthew

    2017-09-01

    Species distribution models have great potential to efficiently guide management for threatened species, especially for those that are rare or cryptic. We used MaxEnt to develop a regional-scale model for the koala Phascolarctos cinereus at a resolution (250 m) that could be used to guide management. To ensure the model was fit for purpose, we placed emphasis on validating the model using independently-collected field data. We reduced substantial spatial clustering of records in coastal urban areas using a 2-km spatial filter and by modeling separately two subregions separated by the 500-m elevational contour. A bias file was prepared that accounted for variable survey effort. Frequency of wildfire, soil type, floristics and elevation had the highest relative contribution to the model, while a number of other variables made minor contributions. The model was effective in discriminating different habitat suitability classes when compared with koala records not used in modeling. We validated the MaxEnt model at 65 ground-truth sites using independent data on koala occupancy (acoustic sampling) and habitat quality (browse tree availability). Koala bellows ( n  = 276) were analyzed in an occupancy modeling framework, while site habitat quality was indexed based on browse trees. Field validation demonstrated a linear increase in koala occupancy with higher modeled habitat suitability at ground-truth sites. Similarly, a site habitat quality index at ground-truth sites was correlated positively with modeled habitat suitability. The MaxEnt model provided a better fit to estimated koala occupancy than the site-based habitat quality index, probably because many variables were considered simultaneously by the model rather than just browse species. The positive relationship of the model with both site occupancy and habitat quality indicates that the model is fit for application at relevant management scales. Field-validated models of similar resolution would assist in

  17. A comparative framework to infer landscape effects on population genetic structure: Are habitat suitability models effective in explaining gene flow?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria C. Mateo-Sanchez; Niko Balkenhol; Samuel Cushman; Trinidad Perez; Ana Dominguez; Santiago Saura

    2015-01-01

    Most current methods to assess connectivity begin with landscape resistance maps. The prevailing resistance models are commonly based on expert opinion and, more recently, on a direct transformation of habitat suitability. However, habitat associations are not necessarily accurate indicators of dispersal, and thus may fail as a surrogate of resistance to...

  18. Development and Validation of Spatially Explicit Habitat Models for Cavity-nesting Birds in Fishlake National Forest, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall A., Jr. Schultz; Thomas C., Jr. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen; Tracey S. Frescino

    2005-01-01

    The ability of USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) generated spatial products to increase the predictive accuracy of spatially explicit, macroscale habitat models was examined for nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. One FIA-derived variable (percent basal area of aspen trees) was significant in the habitat...

  19. A model of loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta habitat and movement in the oceanic North Pacific.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Abecassis

    Full Text Available Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s(-1, smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s (-1 than bigger ones (0.5 bl s(-1. Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies.

  20. Habitat selection models for Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostrand, William D.; Gotthardt, Tracey A.; Howlin, Shay; Robards, Martin D.

    2005-01-01

    We modeled habitat selection by Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) by examining their distribution in relation to water depth, distance to shore, bottom slope, bottom type, distance from sand bottom, and shoreline type. Through both logistic regression and classification tree models, we compared the characteristics of 29 known sand lance locations to 58 randomly selected sites. The best models indicated a strong selection of shallow water by sand lance, with weaker association between sand lance distribution and beach shorelines, sand bottoms, distance to shore, bottom slope, and distance to the nearest sand bottom. We applied an information-theoretic approach to the interpretation of the logistic regression analysis and determined importance values of 0.99, 0.54, 0.52, 0.44, 0.39, and 0.25 for depth, beach shorelines, sand bottom, distance to shore, gradual bottom slope, and distance to the nearest sand bottom, respectively. The classification tree model indicated that sand lance selected shallow-water habitats and remained near sand bottoms when located in habitats with depths between 40 and 60 m. All sand lance locations were at depths lance and the independent variables are discussed.

  1. N-mix for fish: estimating riverine salmonid habitat selection via N-mixture models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Nicholas A.; Perry, Russell W.; Jones, Edward C.; De Juilio, Kyle; Petros, Paul; Pinnix, William D.; Rupert, Derek L.

    2018-01-01

    Models that formulate mathematical linkages between fish use and habitat characteristics are applied for many purposes. For riverine fish, these linkages are often cast as resource selection functions with variables including depth and velocity of water and distance to nearest cover. Ecologists are now recognizing the role that detection plays in observing organisms, and failure to account for imperfect detection can lead to spurious inference. Herein, we present a flexible N-mixture model to associate habitat characteristics with the abundance of riverine salmonids that simultaneously estimates detection probability. Our formulation has the added benefits of accounting for demographics variation and can generate probabilistic statements regarding intensity of habitat use. In addition to the conceptual benefits, model application to data from the Trinity River, California, yields interesting results. Detection was estimated to vary among surveyors, but there was little spatial or temporal variation. Additionally, a weaker effect of water depth on resource selection is estimated than that reported by previous studies not accounting for detection probability. N-mixture models show great promise for applications to riverine resource selection.

  2. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika Braunisch

    Full Text Available In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species' habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L. in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1 identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2 modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3 simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2 and (3 to 4 locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix, Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9. Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29% would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2% and Alnus viridis (4.8%. The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the

  3. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species' habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L.) in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1) identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2) modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3) simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2) and (3) to 4) locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix), Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland) were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9). Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29%) would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2%) and Alnus viridis (4.8%). The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the spatial

  4. A resource-based modelling framework to assess habitat suitability for steppe birds in semiarid Mediterranean agricultural systems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cardador

    Full Text Available European agriculture is undergoing widespread changes that are likely to have profound impacts on farmland biodiversity. The development of tools that allow an assessment of the potential biodiversity effects of different land-use alternatives before changes occur is fundamental to guiding management decisions. In this study, we develop a resource-based model framework to estimate habitat suitability for target species, according to simple information on species' key resource requirements (diet, foraging habitat and nesting site, and examine whether it can be used to link land-use and local species' distribution. We take as a study case four steppe bird species in a lowland area of the north-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We also compare the performance of our resource-based approach to that obtained through habitat-based models relating species' occurrence and land-cover variables. Further, we use our resource-based approach to predict the effects that change in farming systems can have on farmland bird habitat suitability and compare these predictions with those obtained using the habitat-based models. Habitat suitability estimates generated by our resource-based models performed similarly (and better for one study species than habitat based-models when predicting current species distribution. Moderate prediction success was achieved for three out of four species considered by resource-based models and for two of four by habitat-based models. Although, there is potential for improving the performance of resource-based models, they provide a structure for using available knowledge of the functional links between agricultural practices, provision of key resources and the response of organisms to predict potential effects of changing land-uses in a variety of context or the impacts of changes such as altered management practices that are not easily incorporated into habitat-based models.

  5. Habitat fragmentation, vole population fluctuations, and the ROMPA hypothesis: An experimental test using model landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batzli, George O

    2016-11-01

    Increased habitat fragmentation leads to smaller size of habitat patches and to greater distance between patches. The ROMPA hypothesis (ratio of optimal to marginal patch area) uniquely links vole population fluctuations to the composition of the landscape. It states that as ROMPA decreases (fragmentation increases), vole population fluctuations will increase (including the tendency to display multi-annual cycles in abundance) because decreased proportions of optimal habitat result in greater population declines and longer recovery time after a harsh season. To date, only comparative observations in the field have supported the hypothesis. This paper reports the results of the first experimental test. I used prairie voles, Microtus ochrogaster, and mowed grassland to create model landscapes with 3 levels of ROMPA (high with 25% mowed, medium with 50% mowed and low with 75% mowed). As ROMPA decreased, distances between patches of favorable habitat (high cover) increased owing to a greater proportion of unfavorable (mowed) habitat. Results from the first year with intensive live trapping indicated that the preconditions for operation of the hypothesis existed (inversely density dependent emigration and, as ROMPA decreased, increased per capita mortality and decreased per capita movement between optimal patches). Nevertheless, contrary to the prediction of the hypothesis that populations in landscapes with high ROMPA should have the lowest variability, 5 years of trapping indicated that variability was lowest with medium ROMPA. The design of field experiments may never be perfect, but these results indicate that the ROMPA hypothesis needs further rigorous testing. © 2016 International Society of Zoological Sciences, Institute of Zoology/Chinese Academy of Sciences and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.

  6. Habitat suitability models of mountain ungulates: identifying potential areas for conservation

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Paudel, Prakash K.; Hais, M.; Kindlmann, Pavel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 54, apr (2015), s. 37 ISSN 1021-5506 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415; GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR GB14-36098G Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : capricornis thar * habitat model * Midhills * Muntiacus muntjak * Naemorhedus goral * Nepal Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.885, year: 2015

  7. Fishing on cold water coral reefs : A bioeconomic model of habitat-fishery connections

    OpenAIRE

    Kahui, Viktoria; Armstrong, Claire W.

    2008-01-01

    This paper applies a bioeconomic model in order to study different interactions between a harvested renewable resource and a non-renewable resource without commercial value that is negatively affected by the harvesting activity. This enables the analysis of for instance cold water coral habitats and their importance to commercial fish species. The fish is harvested either in a manner that does not damage coral, such as stationary gear, or in a destructive fashion, such as botto...

  8. Transferability of species distribution models: a functional habitat approach for two regionally threatened butterflies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vanreusel, Wouter; Maes, Dirk; Van Dyck, Hans

    2007-02-01

    Numerous models for predicting species distribution have been developed for conservation purposes. Most of them make use of environmental data (e.g., climate, topography, land use) at a coarse grid resolution (often kilometres). Such approaches are useful for conservation policy issues including reserve-network selection. The efficiency of predictive models for species distribution is usually tested on the area for which they were developed. Although highly interesting from the point of view of conservation efficiency, transferability of such models to independent areas is still under debate. We tested the transferability of habitat-based predictive distribution models for two regionally threatened butterflies, the green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) and the grayling (Hipparchia semele), within and among three nature reserves in northeastern Belgium. We built predictive models based on spatially detailed maps of area-wide distribution and density of ecological resources. We used resources directly related to ecological functions (host plants, nectar sources, shelter, microclimate) rather than environmental surrogate variables. We obtained models that performed well with few resource variables. All models were transferable--although to different degrees--among the independent areas within the same broad geographical region. We argue that habitat models based on essential functional resources could transfer better in space than models that use indirect environmental variables. Because functional variables can easily be interpreted and even be directly affected by terrain managers, these models can be useful tools to guide species-adapted reserve management.

  9. Mapping and modelling the habitat of giant pandas in Foping Nature Reserve, China

    OpenAIRE

    Liu, X.

    2001-01-01

    The fact that only about 1000 giant pandas and 29500 km2 of panda habitat are left in the west part of China makes it an urgent issue to save this endangered animal species and protect its habitat. For effective conservation of the giant panda and its habitat, a thorough evaluation of panda habitat and panda-habitat relationship based on each individual panda nature reserve is necessary and important. Mapping has been an effective approach for wildlife habitat evaluation and monitoring. There...

  10. Habitat modeling for cetacean management: Spatial distribution in the southern Pelagos Sanctuary (Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pennino, Maria Grazia; Mérigot, Bastien; Fonseca, Vinícius Prado; Monni, Virginia; Rotta, Andrea

    2017-07-01

    Effective management and conservation of wild populations requires knowledge of their habitats, especially by mean of quantitative analyses of their spatial distributions. The Pelagos Sanctuary is a dedicated marine protected area for Mediterranean marine mammals covering an area of 90,000 km2 in the north-western Mediterranean Sea between Italy, France and the Principate of Monaco. In the south of the Sanctuary, i.e. along the Sardinian coast, a range of diverse human activities (cities, industry, fishery, tourism) exerts several current ad potential threats to cetacean populations. In addition, marine mammals are recognized by the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive as essential components of sustainable ecosystems. Yet, knowledge on the spatial distribution and ecology of cetaceans in this area is quite scarce. Here we modeled occurrence of the three most abundant species known in the Sanctuary, i.e. the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba), the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus), using sighting data from scientific surveys collected from 2012 to 2014 during summer time. Bayesian site-occupancy models were used to model their spatial distribution in relation to habitat taking into account oceanographic (sea surface temperature, primary production, photosynthetically active radiation, chlorophyll-a concentration) and topographic (depth, slope, distance of the land) variables. Cetaceans responded differently to the habitat features, with higher occurrence predicted in the more productive areas on submarine canyons. These results provide ecological information useful to enhance management plans and establish baseline for future population trend studies.

  11. Hierarchical modelling of temperature and habitat size effects on population dynamics of North Atlantic cod

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mantzouni, Irene; Sørensen, Helle; O'Hara, Robert B.

    2010-01-01

    and Beverton and Holt stock–recruitment (SR) models were extended by applying hierarchical methods, mixed-effects models, and Bayesian inference to incorporate the influence of these ecosystem factors on model parameters representing cod maximum reproductive rate and carrying capacity. We identified......Understanding how temperature affects cod (Gadus morhua) ecology is important for forecasting how populations will develop as climate changes in future. The effects of spawning-season temperature and habitat size on cod recruitment dynamics have been investigated across the North Atlantic. Ricker...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  13. Oil sands terrestrial habitat and risk modeling for disturbance and reclamation - Phase I report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Welham, C. [FORRx Consulting Inc., Belcarra, BC (Canada)

    2010-11-15

    The main purpose of this study is to build a framework that includes risk management and strategic decision-making to assess the impact of natural and industrial disturbance on ecosystem products and services and on the existence of habitat for terrestrial species in Alberta's Lower Athabasca planning region. This will include an evaluation of the impact of disturbance, conservation and reclamation activities associated with oil sands development both at the lease and regional levels. The basecase scenario, established in Phase I, includes a dendrochronology study of the link between climate and tree growth in the sub boreal region that comprises oil sands mining, an analysis of habitat availability for 10 wildlife species compared with reclamation activities on the Kearl Lake mine, and an examination of the potential for development of high levels of water stress in recent reclamation plantations at the Kearl Lake mine. Four tree species of the subboreal forests of Alberta and Saskatchewan were considered for the dendrochronology study: the white spruce or Picea glauca, the black spruce or Picea mariana, the jack pine or Pinus banksiana, and the trembling aspen or Populus tremuloides. This study shows that the water stress observed during the year has restricted the radial growth of white spruce and a link has been established between radial growth and increasing season precipitation and summer temperatures. The purposes of the habitat suitability analysis were to list habitats suitability models that could be applied to Alberta boreal forests, distinguish the parameters used in those models that can be simulated with an ecosystem simulation model, simulate the reclamation prescriptions detailed in the Kearl Lake EIA documents with the ecosystem simulation model and generate output suitable for populating each habitat suitability model. The establishment of ecologically viable reclamation plans in the oil sands region can be hard to manage regarding the

  14. Modeling habitat connectivity to inform reintroductions: a case study with the Chiricahua Leopard Frog

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarchow, Christopher J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    Managing species with intensive tools such as reintroduction may focus on single sites or entire landscapes. For vagile species, long-term persistence will require colonization and establishment in neighboring habitats. Therefore, both suitable colonization sites and suitable dispersal corridors between sites are required. Assessment of landscapes for both requirements can contribute to ranking and selection of reintroduction areas, thereby improving management success. Following eradication of invasive American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) from most of Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR; Arizona, United States), larval Chiricahua Leopard Frogs (Lithobates chiricahuensis) from a private pond were reintroduced into three stock ponds. Populations became established at all three reintroduction sites followed by colonization of neighboring ponds in subsequent years. Our aim was to better understand colonization patterns by the federally threatened L. chiricahuensis which could help inform other reintroduction efforts. We assessed the influence of four landscape features on colonization. Using surveys from 2007 and information about the landscape, we developed a habitat connectivity model, based on electrical circuit theory, that identified potential dispersal corridors after explicitly accounting for imperfect detection of frogs. Landscape features provided little insight into why some sites were colonized and others were not, results that are likely because of the uniformity of the BANWR landscape. While corridor modeling may be effective in more-complex landscapes, our results suggest focusing on local habitat will be more useful at BANWR. We also illustrate that existing data, even when limited in spatial or temporal resolution, can provide information useful in formulating management actions.

  15. Modeling the choice to switch from fuelwood to electricity. Implications for giant panda habitat conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    An, Li; Liu, Jianguo; Linderman, Marc A. [Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 13 Natural Resources Building, 48824 East Lansing, MI (United States); Lupi, Frank [Departments of Agricultural Economics and Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 213F Agriculture Hall, 48824 East Lansing, MI (United States); Huang, Jinyan [Wolong Nature Reserve Administration, Wenchuan County, 623002 Sichuan Province (China)

    2002-09-01

    Despite its status as a nature reserve, Wolong Nature Reserve (China) has experienced continued loss of giant panda habitat due to human activities such as fuelwood collection. Electricity, though available throughout Wolong, has not replaced fuelwood as an energy source. We used stated preference data obtained from in-person interviews to estimate a random utility model of the choice of adopting electricity for cooking and heating. Willingness to switch to electricity was explained by demographic and electricity factors (price, voltage, and outage frequency). In addition to price, non-price factors such as voltage and outage frequency significantly affect the demand. Thus, lowering electricity prices and increasing electricity quality would encourage local residents to switch from fuelwood to electricity and should be considered in the mix of policies to promote conservation of panda habitat.

  16. Modeling the choice to switch from fuelwood to electricity. Implications for giant panda habitat conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An, Li; Liu, Jianguo; Linderman, Marc A.; Lupi, Frank; Huang, Jinyan

    2002-01-01

    Despite its status as a nature reserve, Wolong Nature Reserve (China) has experienced continued loss of giant panda habitat due to human activities such as fuelwood collection. Electricity, though available throughout Wolong, has not replaced fuelwood as an energy source. We used stated preference data obtained from in-person interviews to estimate a random utility model of the choice of adopting electricity for cooking and heating. Willingness to switch to electricity was explained by demographic and electricity factors (price, voltage, and outage frequency). In addition to price, non-price factors such as voltage and outage frequency significantly affect the demand. Thus, lowering electricity prices and increasing electricity quality would encourage local residents to switch from fuelwood to electricity and should be considered in the mix of policies to promote conservation of panda habitat

  17. Proximal Soil Sensing - A Contribution for Species Habitat Distribution Modelling of Earthworms in Agricultural Soils?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirrmann, Michael; Joschko, Monika; Gebbers, Robin; Kramer, Eckart; Zörner, Mirjam; Barkusky, Dietmar; Timmer, Jens

    2016-01-01

    Earthworms are important for maintaining soil ecosystem functioning and serve as indicators of soil fertility. However, detection of earthworms is time-consuming, which hinders the assessment of earthworm abundances with high sampling density over entire fields. Recent developments of mobile terrestrial sensor platforms for proximal soil sensing (PSS) provided new tools for collecting dense spatial information of soils using various sensing principles. Yet, the potential of PSS for assessing earthworm habitats is largely unexplored. This study investigates whether PSS data contribute to the spatial prediction of earthworm abundances in species distribution models of agricultural soils. Proximal soil sensing data, e.g., soil electrical conductivity (EC), pH, and near infrared absorbance (NIR), were collected in real-time in a field with two management strategies (reduced tillage / conventional tillage) and sandy to loam soils. PSS was related to observations from a long-term (11 years) earthworm observation study conducted at 42 plots. Earthworms were sampled from 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.2 m³ soil blocks and identified to species level. Sensor data were highly correlated with earthworm abundances observed in reduced tillage but less correlated with earthworm abundances observed in conventional tillage. This may indicate that management influences the sensor-earthworm relationship. Generalized additive models and state-space models showed that modelling based on data fusion from EC, pH, and NIR sensors produced better results than modelling without sensor data or data from just a single sensor. Regarding the individual earthworm species, particular sensor combinations were more appropriate than others due to the different habitat requirements of the earthworms. Earthworm species with soil-specific habitat preferences were spatially predicted with higher accuracy by PSS than more ubiquitous species. Our findings suggest that PSS contributes to the spatial modelling of

  18. Assessing three fish species ecological status in Colorado River, Grand Canyon based on physical habitat and population models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Weiwei; Chen, Yuansheng

    2018-04-01

    Colorado River is a unique ecosystem and provides important ecological services such as habitat for fish species as well as water power energy supplies. River management for this ecosystem requires assessment and decision support tools for fish which involves protecting, restoring as well as forecasting of future conditions. In this paper, a habitat and population model was developed and used to determine the levels of fish habitat suitability and population density in Colorado River between Lees Ferry and Lake Mead. The short term target fish populations are also predicted based on native fish recovery strategy. This model has been developed by combining hydrodynamics, heat transfer and sediment transport models with a habitat suitability index model and then coupling with habitat model into life stage population model. The fish were divided into four life stages according to the fish length. Three most abundant and typical native and non-native fish were selected as target species, which are rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss), brown trout (Salmo trutta) and flannelmouth sucker (Catostomus latipinnis). Flow velocity, water depth, water temperature and substrates were used as the suitability indicators in habitat model and overall suitability index (OSI) as well as weight usable area (WUA) was used as an indicator in population model. A comparison was made between simulated fish population alteration and surveyed fish number fluctuation during 2000 to 2009. The application of this habitat and population model indicates that this model can be accurate present habitat situation and targets fish population dynamics of in the study areas. The analysis also indicates the flannelmouth sucker population will steadily increase while the rainbow trout will decrease based on the native fish recovery scheme. Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier Inc.

  19. Distribution and habitat suitability index model for the Andean catfish Astroblepus ubidiai (Pisces: Siluriformes in Ecuador

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A Vélez-Espino

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available In conservation biology there is a basic need to determine habitat suitability and availability. Astroblepus ubidiai (Siluriforms, the only native fish in the highlands of Imbabura province in the Ecuadorian Andes, was abundant in the past in the Imbakucha watershed and adjacent drainages, but currently it is restricted to a few isolated refuges. Conservation actions are needed if this unique fish is to persist. A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI for the species has been developed in order to aid management decisions. In this HIS model biomass density (B was selected as a better indicator of habitat quality than either abundance or density. A population well-being index (PI was constructed with the combination of B and an indicator of fish health (proportion of fish in the population with parasites and deformities. Based in other models of benthic fish the habitat variables current velocity, flow, depth, width, cover, invertebrate composition, vegetation type, terrestrial vegetation, land use, substrate, temperature, pH, TDS, oxygen, altitude, and slope were included in the analysis. An anthropogenic perturbation index (H and a fragment isolation index (FII were developed and included as habitat variables as well. The HSI model was applied to refuges and a sample of 15 aquatic bodies without fish populations within the study region. From the sampled sites without A. ubidiai 26.6% presented low quality, and the remaining 73.3% had medium quality according to the HSI estimated. Good quality habitat for dispersal, escape or translocations is rare in the region. The low HSIs estimated in some of the refuges suggests that current populations are not settled in the most favorable habitat but in the habitat least favorable to the agents of decline. Rev. Biol. Trop. 54(2: 623-638. Epub 2006 Jun 01.Astroblepus ubidiai (Siluriformes, el único pez nativo de las alturas de Imbabura, en los Andes Ecuatorianos, era un recurso abundante en el pasado

  20. Virtual Habitat -a dynamic simulation of closed life support systems -human model status

    Science.gov (United States)

    Markus Czupalla, M. Sc.; Zhukov, Anton; Hwang, Su-Au; Schnaitmann, Jonas

    In order to optimize Life Support Systems on a system level, stability questions must be in-vestigated. To do so the exploration group of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is developing the "Virtual Habitat" (V-HAB) dynamic LSS simulation software. V-HAB shall provide the possibility to conduct dynamic simulations of entire mission scenarios for any given LSS configuration. The Virtual Habitat simulation tool consists of four main modules: • Closed Environment Module (CEM) -monitoring of compounds in a closed environment • Crew Module (CM) -dynamic human simulation • P/C Systems Module (PCSM) -dynamic P/C subsystems • Plant Module (PM) -dynamic plant simulation The core module of the simulation is the dynamic and environment sensitive human module. Introduced in its basic version in 2008, the human module has been significantly updated since, increasing its capabilities and maturity significantly. In this paper three newly added human model subsystems (thermal regulation, digestion and schedule controller) are introduced touching also on the human stress subsystem which is cur-rently under development. Upon the introduction of these new subsystems, the integration of these into the overall V-HAB human model is discussed, highlighting the impact on the most important I/F. The overall human model capabilities shall further be summarized and presented based on meaningful test cases. In addition to the presentation of the results, the correlation strategy for the Virtual Habitat human model shall be introduced assessing the models current confidence level and giving an outlook on the future correlation strategy. Last but not least, the remaining V-HAB mod-ules shall be introduced shortly showing how the human model is integrated into the overall simulation.

  1. A spatial model to assess the effects of hydropower operations on Columbia River fall Chinook Salmon spawning habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, James R.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Anglin, Donald R.; Haeseker, Steven L.; Skalicky, Joseph J.; Schaller, Howard

    2009-01-01

    Priest Rapids Dam on the Columbia River produces large daily and hourly streamflow fluctuations throughout the Hanford Reach during the period when fall Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha are selecting spawning habitat, constructing redds, and actively engaged in spawning. Concern over the detrimental effects of these fluctuations prompted us to quantify the effects of variable flows on the amount and persistence of fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Hanford Reach. Specifically, our goal was to develop a management tool capable of quantifying the effects of current and alternative hydrographs on predicted spawning habitat in a spatially explicit manner. Toward this goal, we modeled the water velocities and depths that fall Chinook salmon experienced during the 2004 spawning season, plus what they would probably have experienced under several alternative (i.e., synthetic) hydrographs, using both one- and two-dimensional hydrodynamic models. To estimate spawning habitat under existing or alternative hydrographs, we used cell-based modeling and logistic regression to construct and compare numerous spatial habitat models. We found that fall Chinook salmon were more likely to spawn at locations where velocities were persistently greater than 1 m/s and in areas where fluctuating water velocities were reduced. Simulations of alternative dam operations indicate that the quantity of spawning habitat is expected to increase as streamflow fluctuations are reduced during the spawning season. The spatial habitat models that we developed provide management agencies with a quantitative tool for predicting, in a spatially explicit manner, the effects of different flow regimes on fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Hanford Reach. In addition to characterizing temporally varying habitat conditions, our research describes an analytical approach that could be applied in other highly variable aquatic systems.

  2. Mapping and modelling the habitat of giant pandas in Foping Nature Reserve, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.

    2001-01-01

    The fact that only about 1000 giant pandas and 29500 km2 of panda habitat are left in the west part of China makes it an urgent issue to save this endangered animal species and protect its habitat. For effective conservation of the giant panda and its habitat, a thorough evaluation of panda habitat

  3. Multiscale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models were developed to assess habitat quality for 40 priority bird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain/Ouachitas Bird Conservation Regions. The models incorporated both site and landscape environmental variables from one of six nationally consistent datasets. Potential habitat was first defined from unique...

  4. Flow Management to Control Excessive Growth of Macrophytes - An Assessment Based on Habitat Suitability Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes - notably alien species - due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes - the first time it has been applied in this context - in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum , Sparganium erectum , and Potamogeton crispus ) in regard to the physical parameters 'flow velocity,' 'water depth,' and 'substrate size'. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show that the growth

  5. Flow Management to Control Excessive Growth of Macrophytes – An Assessment Based on Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P.; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory

    2018-01-01

    Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes – notably alien species – due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes – the first time it has been applied in this context – in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum, Sparganium erectum, and Potamogeton crispus) in regard to the physical parameters ‘flow velocity,’ ‘water depth,’ and ‘substrate size’. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show

  6. Modeling marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) habitat using LiDAR-derived canopy data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan C.; Eskelson, Bianca N.I.; Haggerty, Patricia K.; Nelson, S. Kim; Vesely, David G.

    2014-01-01

    LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) is an emerging remote-sensing tool that can provide fine-scale data describing vertical complexity of vegetation relevant to species that are responsive to forest structure. We used LiDAR data to estimate occupancy probability for the federally threatened marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in the Oregon Coast Range of the United States. Our goal was to address the need identified in the Recovery Plan for a more accurate estimate of the availability of nesting habitat by developing occupancy maps based on refined measures of nest-strand structure. We used murrelet occupancy data collected by the Bureau of Land Management Coos Bay District, and canopy metrics calculated from discrete return airborne LiDAR data, to fit a logistic regression model predicting the probability of occupancy. Our final model for stand-level occupancy included distance to coast, and 5 LiDAR-derived variables describing canopy structure. With an area under the curve value (AUC) of 0.74, this model had acceptable discrimination and fair agreement (Cohen's κ = 0.24), especially considering that all sites in our sample were regarded by managers as potential habitat. The LiDAR model provided better discrimination between occupied and unoccupied sites than did a model using variables derived from Gradient Nearest Neighbor maps that were previously reported as important predictors of murrelet occupancy (AUC = 0.64, κ = 0.12). We also evaluated LiDAR metrics at 11 known murrelet nest sites. Two LiDAR-derived variables accurately discriminated nest sites from random sites (average AUC = 0.91). LiDAR provided a means of quantifying 3-dimensional canopy structure with variables that are ecologically relevant to murrelet nesting habitat, and have not been as accurately quantified by other mensuration methods.

  7. Quantifying Multiscale Habitat Structural Complexity: A Cost-Effective Framework for Underwater 3D Modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Ferrari

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Coral reef habitat structural complexity influences key ecological processes, ecosystem biodiversity, and resilience. Measuring structural complexity underwater is not trivial and researchers have been searching for accurate and cost-effective methods that can be applied across spatial extents for over 50 years. This study integrated a set of existing multi-view, image-processing algorithms, to accurately compute metrics of structural complexity (e.g., ratio of surface to planar area underwater solely from images. This framework resulted in accurate, high-speed 3D habitat reconstructions at scales ranging from small corals to reef-scapes (10s km2. Structural complexity was accurately quantified from both contemporary and historical image datasets across three spatial scales: (i branching coral colony (Acropora spp.; (ii reef area (400 m2; and (iii reef transect (2 km. At small scales, our method delivered models with <1 mm error over 90% of the surface area, while the accuracy at transect scale was 85.3% ± 6% (CI. Advantages are: no need for an a priori requirement for image size or resolution, no invasive techniques, cost-effectiveness, and utilization of existing imagery taken from off-the-shelf cameras (both monocular or stereo. This remote sensing method can be integrated to reef monitoring and improve our knowledge of key aspects of coral reef dynamics, from reef accretion to habitat provisioning and productivity, by measuring and up-scaling estimates of structural complexity.

  8. Predicting spatial and temporal distribution of Indo-Pacific lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay through habitat suitability modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernal, Nicholas A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Sullivan Sealey, Kathleen

    2014-01-01

    Invasive species may exhibit higher levels of growth and reproduction when environmental conditions are most suitable, and thus their effects on native fauna may be intensified. Understanding potential impacts of these species, especially in the nascent stages of a biological invasion, requires critical information concerning spatial and temporal distributions of habitat suitability. Using empirically supported environmental variables (e.g., temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen, rugosity, and benthic substrate), our models predicted habitat suitability for the invasive lionfish (Pterois volitans) in Biscayne Bay, Florida. The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a platform for the modeling process allowed us to quantify correlations between temporal (seasonal) fluctuations in the above variables and the spatial distribution of five discrete habitat quality classes, whose ranges are supported by statistical deviations from the apparent best conditions described in prior studies. Analysis of the resulting models revealed little fluctuation in spatial extent of the five habitat classes on a monthly basis. Class 5, which represented the area with environmental variables closest to the best conditions for lionfish, occupied approximately one-third of Biscayne Bay, with subsequent habitats declining in area. A key finding from this study was that habitat suitability increased eastward from the coastline, where higher quality habitats were adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean and displayed marine levels of ambient water quality. Corroboration of the models with sightings from the USGS-NAS database appeared to support our findings by nesting 79 % of values within habitat class 5; however, field testing (i.e., lionfish surveys) is necessary to confirm the relationship between habitat classes and lionfish distribution.

  9. Using seabird habitat modeling to inform marine spatial planning in central California's National Marine Sanctuaries.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer McGowan

    Full Text Available Understanding seabird habitat preferences is critical to future wildlife conservation and threat mitigation in California. The objective of this study was to investigate drivers of seabird habitat selection within the Gulf of the Farallones and Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuaries to identify areas for targeted conservation planning. We used seabird abundance data collected by the Applied California Current Ecosystem Studies Program (ACCESS from 2004-2011. We used zero-inflated negative binomial regression to model species abundance and distribution as a function of near surface ocean water properties, distances to geographic features and oceanographic climate indices to identify patterns in foraging habitat selection. We evaluated seasonal, inter-annual and species-specific variability of at-sea distributions for the five most abundant seabirds nesting on the Farallon Islands: western gull (Larus occidentalis, common murre (Uria aalge, Cassin's auklet (Ptychorampus aleuticus, rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata and Brandt's cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus. The waters in the vicinity of Cordell Bank and the continental shelf east of the Farallon Islands emerged as persistent and highly selected foraging areas across all species. Further, we conducted a spatial prioritization exercise to optimize seabird conservation areas with and without considering impacts of current human activities. We explored three conservation scenarios where 10, 30 and 50 percent of highly selected, species-specific foraging areas would be conserved. We compared and contrasted results in relation to existing marine protected areas (MPAs and the future alternative energy footprint identified by the California Ocean Uses Atlas. Our results show that the majority of highly selected seabird habitat lies outside of state MPAs where threats from shipping, oil spills, and offshore energy development remain. This analysis accentuates the need for innovative marine

  10. Habitat suitability index model of the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka): A case study of Shandong Peninsula, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhipeng; Zhou, Jian; Song, Jingjing; Wang, Qixiang; Liu, Hongjun; Tang, Xuexi

    2017-09-15

    A habitat suitability index (HSI) model for the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) was established in the present study. Based on geographic information systems, the HSI model was used to identify potential sites around the Shandong Peninsula suitable for restoration of immature (25g) A. japonicus. Six habitat factors were used as input variables for the HSI model: sediment classification, water temperature, salinity, water depth, pH and dissolved oxygen. The weighting of each habitat factor was defined through the Delphi method. Sediment classification was the most important condition affecting the HSI of A. japonicus in the different study areas, while water temperature was the most important condition in different seasons. The HSI of Western Laizhou Bay was relatively low, meaning the site was not suitable for aquaculture-based restoration of A. japonicus. In contrast, Xiaoheishan Island, Rongcheng Bay and Qingdao were preferable sites, suitable as habitats for restoration efforts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Modeling intrinsic potential for beaver (Castor canadensis) habitat to inform restoration and climate change adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittbrenner, Benjamin J.; Pollack, Michael M.; Schilling, Jason W.; Olden, Julian D.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Torgersen, Christian E.

    2018-01-01

    Through their dam-building activities and subsequent water storage, beaver have the potential to restore riparian ecosystems and offset some of the predicted effects of climate change by modulating streamflow. Thus, it is not surprising that reintroducing beaver to watersheds from which they have been extirpated is an often-used restoration and climate-adaptation strategy. Identifying sites for reintroduction, however, requires detailed information about habitat factors—information that is not often available at broad spatial scales. Here we explore the potential for beaver relocation throughout the Snohomish River Basin in Washington, USA with a model that identifies some of the basic building blocks of beaver habitat suitability and does so by relying solely on remotely sensed data. More specifically, we developed a generalized intrinsic potential model that draws on remotely sensed measures of stream gradient, stream width, and valley width to identify where beaver could become established if suitable vegetation were to be present. Thus, the model serves as a preliminary screening tool that can be applied over relatively large extents. We applied the model to 5,019 stream km and assessed the ability of the model to correctly predict beaver habitat by surveying for beavers in 352 stream reaches. To further assess the potential for relocation, we assessed land ownership, use, and land cover in the landscape surrounding stream reaches with varying levels of intrinsic potential. Model results showed that 33% of streams had moderate or high intrinsic potential for beaver habitat. We found that no site that was classified as having low intrinsic potential had any sign of beavers and that beaver were absent from nearly three quarters of potentially suitable sites, indicating that there are factors preventing the local population from occupying these areas. Of the riparian areas around streams with high intrinsic potential for beaver, 38% are on public lands and 17

  12. Modeling intrinsic potential for beaver (Castor canadensis) habitat to inform restoration and climate change adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittbrenner, Benjamin J; Pollock, Michael M; Schilling, Jason W; Olden, Julian D; Lawler, Joshua J; Torgersen, Christian E

    2018-01-01

    Through their dam-building activities and subsequent water storage, beaver have the potential to restore riparian ecosystems and offset some of the predicted effects of climate change by modulating streamflow. Thus, it is not surprising that reintroducing beaver to watersheds from which they have been extirpated is an often-used restoration and climate-adaptation strategy. Identifying sites for reintroduction, however, requires detailed information about habitat factors-information that is not often available at broad spatial scales. Here we explore the potential for beaver relocation throughout the Snohomish River Basin in Washington, USA with a model that identifies some of the basic building blocks of beaver habitat suitability and does so by relying solely on remotely sensed data. More specifically, we developed a generalized intrinsic potential model that draws on remotely sensed measures of stream gradient, stream width, and valley width to identify where beaver could become established if suitable vegetation were to be present. Thus, the model serves as a preliminary screening tool that can be applied over relatively large extents. We applied the model to 5,019 stream km and assessed the ability of the model to correctly predict beaver habitat by surveying for beavers in 352 stream reaches. To further assess the potential for relocation, we assessed land ownership, use, and land cover in the landscape surrounding stream reaches with varying levels of intrinsic potential. Model results showed that 33% of streams had moderate or high intrinsic potential for beaver habitat. We found that no site that was classified as having low intrinsic potential had any sign of beavers and that beaver were absent from nearly three quarters of potentially suitable sites, indicating that there are factors preventing the local population from occupying these areas. Of the riparian areas around streams with high intrinsic potential for beaver, 38% are on public lands and 17% are

  13. Modeling habitat distributions of bats using GIS: wind energy and Indiana bats

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Jason; Jansen, Erik; Friedel, Robert

    2011-07-01

    Full text: Post-construction monitoring indicates that commercial wind energy facilities are a source of bat mortality resulting from collisions or other negative interactions with operational turbines. An understanding of the potential distribution and movement of bats on the landscape is essential to minimizing these impacts. Using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems software, we present a modelling approach that evaluates the distribution of bat roosting and foraging habitat and potential flight paths at a landscape scale which may be used to assess the risk to bats from the development of a wind energy facility. Accurate assessment of these risks can minimize schedule delays and unexpected costs. Applied to the behaviour and ecology of the United States federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) at two hypothetical wind farms, this method predicts the areas where the species is likely to travel while foraging, thereby highlighting the riskiest areas within a project area. The results of our modelling indicate that risk to bats is not directly proportional to habitat availability or suitability, in part because risk is associated with areas where bats are travelling. This modelling approach will assist wind energy developers in making both large-scale (e.g., choosing between different development locations) and small-scale decisions (e.g., choosing where to locate turbines) aimed at minimizing impacts to bats. Using habitat models can provide a cost-effective method for evaluating bat risk, satisfying requirements of regulatory agencies, and limiting the more intensive survey methods to projects that absolutely require them. (Author)

  14. 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.

  15. The Spatial Suitable Habitat Model of Acacia decurrens in Mount Merbabu National Park

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    Yoko Untoro

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Green wattle (Acacia decurrens is an invasive alien species (IAS found in the Mount Merbabu National Park (TNGMb. This study aim to obtain spatially studies on habitat suitability models of A. decurrens in TNGMb region. In fact, this species became as a high invasive and dominance in the TNGMb and contributes the negative impact to the ecosystem. In addition, the result of this study should be useful for controling activities of A. decurrens. Predictor variables in this research were (altitude, slope, rainfall, air temperature, distance from river, NDVI, NDMI, distance from hiking trail, and distance from burnt area. The survey was conducted with random sampling of presence or absence of A. decurrens by marking the coordinate point of location using GPS. Data analysis in this research was used binary logistic regression enter method. Binary logistic regression involves the data acquisition of the presence and absence of A. decurrens as the y variable, while the predictor variable map as the variable x. The type of spatial distribution of A. decurrens in the TNGMb was identified as clumped. The Nagelkerke R2 values obtained in the model was 39,2%, while 60,8% was explained by other variables were not used in the model. The results of the logistic regression model showed a high percentage of suitability of 64,29%, a medium suitability of 28,57%, and a low suitability of 7.14% then the Implications for controlling activities of A. decurrens in TNGMb could be prioritized in high suitability habitat. Keywords: Acacia decurrens, green wattle, invasive, spatial suitable habitat 

  16. Habitat-Based Density Models for Three Cetacean Species off Southern California Illustrate Pronounced Seasonal Differences

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Becker

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Managing marine species effectively requires spatially and temporally explicit knowledge of their density and distribution. Habitat-based density models, a type of species distribution model (SDM that uses habitat covariates to estimate species density and distribution patterns, are increasingly used for marine management and conservation because they provide a tool for assessing potential impacts (e.g., from fishery bycatch, ship strikes, anthropogenic sound over a variety of spatial and temporal scales. The abundance and distribution of many pelagic species exhibit substantial seasonal variability, highlighting the importance of predicting density specific to the season of interest. This is particularly true in dynamic regions like the California Current, where significant seasonal shifts in cetacean distribution have been documented at coarse scales. Finer scale (10 km habitat-based density models were previously developed for many cetacean species occurring in this region, but most models were limited to summer/fall. The objectives of our study were two-fold: (1 develop spatially-explicit density estimates for winter/spring to support management applications, and (2 compare model-predicted density and distribution patterns to previously developed summer/fall model results in the context of species ecology. We used a well-established Generalized Additive Modeling framework to develop cetacean SDMs based on 20 California Cooperative Oceanic Fisheries Investigations (CalCOFI shipboard surveys conducted during winter and spring between 2005 and 2015. Models were fit for short-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis delphis, Dall's porpoise (Phocoenoides dalli, and humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae. Model performance was evaluated based on a variety of established metrics, including the percentage of explained deviance, ratios of observed to predicted density, and visual inspection of predicted and observed distributions. Final models were

  17. Assessing Thermally Stressful Events in a Rhode Island Coldwater Fish Habitat Using the SWAT Model

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    Britta Chambers

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available It has become increasingly important to recognize historical water quality trends so that the future impacts of climate change may be better understood. Climate studies have suggested that inland stream temperatures and average streamflow will increase over the next century in New England, thereby putting aquatic species sustained by coldwater habitats at risk. In this study we evaluated two different approaches for modeling historical streamflow and stream temperature in a Rhode Island, USA, watershed with the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT, using (i original SWAT and (ii SWAT plus a hydroclimatological model component that considers both hydrological inputs and air temperature. Based on daily calibration results with six years of measured streamflow and four years of stream temperature data, we examined occurrences of stressful conditions for brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis using the hydroclimatological model. SWAT with the hydroclimatological component improved modestly during calibration (NSE of 0.93, R2 of 0.95 compared to the original SWAT (NSE of 0.83, R2 of 0.93. Between 1980–2009, the number of stressful events, a moment in time where high or low flows occur simultaneously with stream temperatures exceeding 21 °C, increased by 55% and average streamflow increased by 60%. This study supports using the hydroclimatological SWAT component and provides an example method for assessing stressful conditions in southern New England’s coldwater habitats.

  18. Shaken but not stirred: Multiscale habitat suitability modeling of sympatric marten species (Martes martes and Martes foina) in the northern Iberian Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maria Vergara; Samuel A. Cushman; Fermin Urra; Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez

    2016-01-01

    Multispecies and multiscale habitat suitability models (HSM) are important to identify the environmental variables and scales influencing habitat selection and facilitate the comparison of closely related species with different ecological requirements. Objectives This study explores the multiscale relationships of habitat suitability for the pine (Martes...

  19. Proximal Soil Sensing - A Contribution for Species Habitat Distribution Modelling of Earthworms in Agricultural Soils?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Schirrmann

    Full Text Available Earthworms are important for maintaining soil ecosystem functioning and serve as indicators of soil fertility. However, detection of earthworms is time-consuming, which hinders the assessment of earthworm abundances with high sampling density over entire fields. Recent developments of mobile terrestrial sensor platforms for proximal soil sensing (PSS provided new tools for collecting dense spatial information of soils using various sensing principles. Yet, the potential of PSS for assessing earthworm habitats is largely unexplored. This study investigates whether PSS data contribute to the spatial prediction of earthworm abundances in species distribution models of agricultural soils.Proximal soil sensing data, e.g., soil electrical conductivity (EC, pH, and near infrared absorbance (NIR, were collected in real-time in a field with two management strategies (reduced tillage / conventional tillage and sandy to loam soils. PSS was related to observations from a long-term (11 years earthworm observation study conducted at 42 plots. Earthworms were sampled from 0.5 x 0.5 x 0.2 m³ soil blocks and identified to species level. Sensor data were highly correlated with earthworm abundances observed in reduced tillage but less correlated with earthworm abundances observed in conventional tillage. This may indicate that management influences the sensor-earthworm relationship. Generalized additive models and state-space models showed that modelling based on data fusion from EC, pH, and NIR sensors produced better results than modelling without sensor data or data from just a single sensor. Regarding the individual earthworm species, particular sensor combinations were more appropriate than others due to the different habitat requirements of the earthworms. Earthworm species with soil-specific habitat preferences were spatially predicted with higher accuracy by PSS than more ubiquitous species.Our findings suggest that PSS contributes to the spatial

  20. Combining a dispersal model with network theory to assess habitat connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lookingbill, Todd R; Gardner, Robert H; Ferrari, Joseph R; Keller, Cherry E

    2010-03-01

    Assessing the potential for threatened species to persist and spread within fragmented landscapes requires the identification of core areas that can sustain resident populations and dispersal corridors that can link these core areas with isolated patches of remnant habitat. We developed a set of GIS tools, simulation methods, and network analysis procedures to assess potential landscape connectivity for the Delmarva fox squirrel (DFS; Sciurus niger cinereus), an endangered species inhabiting forested areas on the Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Information on the DFS's life history and dispersal characteristics, together with data on the composition and configuration of land cover on the peninsula, were used as input data for an individual-based model to simulate dispersal patterns of millions of squirrels. Simulation results were then assessed using methods from graph theory, which quantifies habitat attributes associated with local and global connectivity. Several bottlenecks to dispersal were identified that were not apparent from simple distance-based metrics, highlighting specific locations for landscape conservation, restoration, and/or squirrel translocations. Our approach links simulation models, network analysis, and available field data in an efficient and general manner, making these methods useful and appropriate for assessing the movement dynamics of threatened species within landscapes being altered by human and natural disturbances.

  1. Potential Habitat Modelling of Ferula ovina Using Artificial Neural Network in Fereydunshahr Region, Isfahan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Rahmati

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Species distribution maps have been widely developed based on ecological niche theory together with statistical and geographical information system in plant ecology. The current study aimed to evaluate Artificial Neural Network (ANN in mapping potential habitat of Ferula ovina Boiss in Ferydunshar rangelands, Isfahan. This is known as valuable forage and medicinal species. Environmental data (independent variables and species occurrence data (dependent variable were required to determine potential habitat of a given species. Some physical and chemical soil properties, climate and physiographic variables were mapped for the entire studied area using krigging and inverse distance weighting methods. F. ovina occurrence data were collected from 278 sites including 137 presence and 141 absence sites. The relationships between the studied environmental variables and F. ovina occurrence data were explored using ANN method. According to the sensitivity analysis, occurrence of F. ovina mostly correlated with silt and sand percentage, elevation slope, and organic matter. Model evaluation based on Kappa coefficient (0.66 and Receiver operating characteristic (ROC=0.9 showed good model fitness in relation to reality on local scales. The ANN technique enables managers to identify appropriate areas for rehabilitation practices such as direct seeding and planting.                       

  2. A diffusion model of protected population on bilocal habitat with generalized resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilyev, Maxim D.; Trofimtsev, Yuri I.; Vasilyeva, Natalya V.

    2017-11-01

    A model of population distribution in a two-dimensional area divided by an ecological barrier, i.e. the boundaries of natural reserve, is considered. Distribution of the population is defined by diffusion, directed migrations and areal resource. The exchange of specimens occurs between two parts of the habitat. The mathematical model is presented in the form of a boundary value problem for a system of non-linear parabolic equations with variable parameters of diffusion and growth function. The splitting space variables, sweep method and simple iteration methods were used for the numerical solution of a system. A set of programs was coded in Python. Numerical simulation results for the two-dimensional unsteady non-linear problem are analyzed in detail. The influence of migration flow coefficients and functions of natural birth/death ratio on the distributions of population densities is investigated. The results of the research would allow to describe the conditions of the stable and sustainable existence of populations in bilocal habitat containing the protected and non-protected zones.

  3. Spatial Heterogeneity of Habitat Suitability for Rift Valley Fever Occurrence in Tanzania: An Ecological Niche Modelling Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sindato, Calvin; Stevens, Kim B.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Paweska, Janusz T.; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.

    2016-01-01

    Background Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with

  4. Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in the Gunnison Basin of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, Collin G.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Schell, Spencer J.

    2013-01-01

    North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habitats; however, products that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats in detail over the Gunnison Basin in Colorado are still unavailable. The goal of this project is to provide a rigorous large-area sagebrush habitat classification and inventory with statistically validated products and estimates of precision across the Gunnison Basin. This research employs a combination of methods, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent objective components that can be combined and customized by any user at multiple spatial scales; (2) collecting ground measured plot data on 2.4-meter QuickBird satellite imagery in the same season the imagery is acquired; (3) modeling of ground measured data on 2.4-meter imagery to maximize subsequent extrapolation; (4) acquiring multiple seasons (spring, summer, and fall) of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery (30-meter) for optimal modeling; (5) using regression tree classification technology that optimizes data mining of multiple image dates, ratios, and bands with ancillary data to extrapolate ground training data to coarser resolution Landsat Thematic Mapper; and 6) employing accuracy assessment of model predictions to enable users to understand their dependencies. Results include the prediction of four primary components including percent bare ground, percent herbaceous, percent shrub, and percent litter, and four secondary components including percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), percent big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), percent Wyoming sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis), and shrub height (centimeters

  5. Engineering sustainable ecosystems: using GIS-based habitat modeling for oil sands mine reclamation and closure planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seel, K.

    1997-01-01

    A GIS model was built to predict the climax vegetation habitat types on reclaimed mine surfaces in the Fort McMurray region of the Mid-Boreal Mixedwood Ecoregion of northwestern Alberta. Regional vegetation habitat types were classified by digital remote sensing using Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite data. Terrain data was derived from a high-resolution digital elevation model. The validated model was applied to the GIS database of Syncrude Canada's Mildred Lake Mine to predict future vegetation patterns based on the final closure mine surface. The results were compared to revegetation and closure plans created by experts to analyze performance and sustainability of reclamation efforts

  6. Assessing the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout (Salmo trutta forma fario) in a lowland river: A modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boets, Pieter; Gobeyn, Sacha; Dillen, Alain; Poelman, Eddy; Goethals, Peter L M

    2018-05-01

    Huge efforts have been made during the past decades to improve the water quality and to restore the physical habitat of rivers and streams in western Europe. This has led to an improvement in biological water quality and an increase in fish stocks in many countries. However, several rheophilic fish species such as brown trout are still categorized as vulnerable in lowland streams in Flanders (Belgium). In order to support cost-efficient restoration programs, habitat suitability modeling can be used. In this study, we developed an ensemble of habitat suitability models using metaheuristic algorithms to explore the importance of a large number of environmental variables, including chemical, physical, and hydromorphological characteristics to determine the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout in the Zwalm River basin (Flanders, Belgium), which is included in the Habitats Directive. Mean stream velocity, water temperature, hiding opportunities, and presence of pools or riffles were identified as the most important variables determining the habitat suitability. Brown trout mainly preferred streams with a relatively high mean reach stream velocity (0.2-1 m/s), a low water temperature (7-15°C), and the presence of pools. The ensemble of models indicated that most of the tributaries and headwaters were suitable for the species. Synthesis and applications . Our results indicate that this modeling approach can be used to support river management, not only for brown trout but also for other species in similar geographical regions. Specifically for the Zwalm River basin, future restoration of the physical habitat, removal of the remaining migration barriers and the development of suitable spawning grounds could promote the successful restoration of brown trout.

  7. Selecting a Conservation Surrogate Species for Small Fragmented Habitats Using Ecological Niche Modelling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Anne-Isola Nekaris

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Flagship species are traditionally large, charismatic animals used to rally conservation efforts. Accepted flagship definitions suggest they need only fulfil a strategic role, unlike umbrella species that are used to shelter cohabitant taxa. The criteria used to select both flagship and umbrella species may not stand up in the face of dramatic forest loss, where remaining fragments may only contain species that do not suit either set of criteria. The Cinderella species concept covers aesthetically pleasing and overlooked species that fulfil the criteria of flagships or umbrellas. Such species are also more likely to occur in fragmented habitats. We tested Cinderella criteria on mammals in the fragmented forests of the Sri Lankan Wet Zone. We selected taxa that fulfilled both strategic and ecological roles. We created a shortlist of ten species, and from a survey of local perceptions highlighted two finalists. We tested these for umbrella characteristics against the original shortlist, utilizing Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt modelling, and analysed distribution overlap using ArcGIS. The criteria highlighted Loris tardigradus tardigradus and Prionailurus viverrinus as finalists, with the former having highest flagship potential. We suggest Cinderella species can be effective conservation surrogates especially in habitats where traditional flagship species have been extirpated.

  8. Physiology-based modelling approaches to characterize fish habitat suitability: Their usefulness and limitations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teal, Lorna R.; Marras, Stefano; Peck, Myron A.; Domenici, Paolo

    2018-02-01

    Models are useful tools for predicting the impact of global change on species distribution and abundance. As ectotherms, fish are being challenged to adapt or track changes in their environment, either in time through a phenological shift or in space by a biogeographic shift. Past modelling efforts have largely been based on correlative Species Distribution Models, which use known occurrences of species across landscapes of interest to define sets of conditions under which species are likely to maintain populations. The practical advantages of this correlative approach are its simplicity and the flexibility in terms of data requirements. However, effective conservation management requires models that make projections beyond the range of available data. One way to deal with such an extrapolation is to use a mechanistic approach based on physiological processes underlying climate change effects on organisms. Here we illustrate two approaches for developing physiology-based models to characterize fish habitat suitability. (i) Aerobic Scope Models (ASM) are based on the relationship between environmental factors and aerobic scope (defined as the difference between maximum and standard (basal) metabolism). This approach is based on experimental data collected by using a number of treatments that allow a function to be derived to predict aerobic metabolic scope from the stressor/environmental factor(s). This function is then integrated with environmental (oceanographic) data of current and future scenarios. For any given species, this approach allows habitat suitability maps to be generated at various spatiotemporal scales. The strength of the ASM approach relies on the estimate of relative performance when comparing, for example, different locations or different species. (ii) Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models are based on first principles including the idea that metabolism is organised in the same way within all animals. The (standard) DEB model aims to describe

  9. Modeling the Habitat of the Red-Crowned Crane (Grus japonensis Wintering in Cheorwon-Gun to Support Decision Making

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Gul Kim

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Cheorwon-gun is an important wintering area for the red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis. Although eco-tourism has been recently proposed as a means to stimulate the local economy, it may have adverse effects on the crane. We believe a science-based conservation plan is needed to mitigate these negative effects. To this end, our study had three objectives: (1 to analyze the red-crowned crane habitat and its suitability in Cheorwon-gun, using field surveys and habitat modeling; (2 to check the feasibility of alternative habitat patches across demilitarized zones (DMZs; and (3 to propose a conceptual diagram that minimizes habitat loss during development activities. We aim to quantify habitat suitability, the farmland area needed to support existing crane populations in wintertime, disturbance caused by human activities, and vehicular spatial patterns. These data could be used in spatial planning. The framework of this study and the process of making a conceptual diagram could be applied to other areas where there is a conflict between development and habitat conservation.

  10. Mapping polar bear maternal denning habitat in the National Petroleum Reserve -- Alaska with an IfSAR digital terrain model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2013-01-01

    The National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska (NPR-A) in northeastern Alaska provides winter maternal denning habitat for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and also has high potential for recoverable hydrocarbons. Denning polar bears exposed to human activities may abandon their dens before their young are able to survive the severity of Arctic winter weather. To ensure that wintertime petroleum activities do not threaten polar bears, managers need to know the distribution of landscape features in which maternal dens are likely to occur. Here, we present a map of potential denning habitat within the NPR-A. We used a fine-grain digital elevation model derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) to generate a map of putative denning habitat. We then tested the map’s ability to identify polar bear denning habitat on the landscape. Our final map correctly identified 82% of denning habitat estimated to be within the NPR-A. Mapped denning habitat comprised 19.7 km2 (0.1% of the study area) and was widely dispersed. Though mapping denning habitat with IfSAR data was as effective as mapping with the photogrammetric methods used for other regions of the Alaskan Arctic coastal plain, the use of GIS to analyze IfSAR data allowed greater objectivity and flexibility with less manual labor. Analytical advantages and performance equivalent to that of manual cartographic methods suggest that the use of IfSAR data to identify polar bear maternal denning habitat is a better management tool in the NPR-A and wherever such data may be available.

  11. A novel approach to assessing environmental disturbance based on habitat selection by zebra fish as a model organism.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araújo, Cristiano V M; Griffith, Daniel M; Vera-Vera, Victoria; Jentzsch, Paul Vargas; Cervera, Laura; Nieto-Ariza, Beatriz; Salvatierra, David; Erazo, Santiago; Jaramillo, Rusbel; Ramos, Luis A; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui

    2018-04-01

    Aquatic ecotoxicity assays used to assess ecological risk assume that organisms living in a contaminated habitat are forcedly exposed to the contamination. This assumption neglects the ability of organisms to detect and avoid contamination by moving towards less disturbed habitats, as long as connectivity exists. In fluvial systems, many environmental parameters vary spatially and thus condition organisms' habitat selection. We assessed the preference of zebra fish (Danio rerio) when exposed to water samples from two western Ecuadorian rivers with apparently distinct disturbance levels: Pescadillo River (highly disturbed) and Oro River (moderately disturbed). Using a non-forced exposure system in which water samples from each river were arranged according to their spatial sequence in the field and connected to allow individuals to move freely among samples, we assayed habitat selection by D. rerio to assess environmental disturbance in the two rivers. Fish exposed to Pescadillo River samples preferred downstream samples near the confluence zone with the Oro River. Fish exposed to Oro River samples preferred upstream waters. When exposed to samples from both rivers simultaneously, fish exhibited the same pattern of habitat selection by preferring the Oro River samples. Given that the rivers are connected, preference for the Oro River enabled us to predict a depression in fish populations in the Pescadillo River. Although these findings indicate higher disturbance levels in the Pescadillo River, none of the physical-chemical variables measured was significantly correlated with the preference pattern towards the Oro River. Non-linear spatial patterns of habitat preference suggest that other environmental parameters like urban or agricultural contaminants play an important role in the model organism's habitat selection in these rivers. The non-forced exposure system represents a habitat selection-based approach that can serve as a valuable tool to unravel the factors

  12. A three-dimensional model for analyzing the effects of salmon redds on hyporheic exchange and egg pocket habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniele Tonina; John M. Buffington

    2009-01-01

    A three-dimensional fluid dynamics model is developed to capture the spatial complexity of the effects of salmon redds on channel hydraulics, hyporheic exchange, and egg pocket habitat. We use the model to partition the relative influences of redd topography versus altered hydraulic conductivity (winnowing of fines during spawning) on egg pocket conditions for a...

  13. Predicting Species Distributions Using Record Centre Data: Multi-Scale Modelling of Habitat Suitability for Bat Roosts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John

    2015-01-01

    Conservation increasingly operates at the landscape scale. For this to be effective, we need landscape scale information on species distributions and the environmental factors that underpin them. Species records are becoming increasingly available via data centres and online portals, but they are often patchy and biased. We demonstrate how such data can yield useful habitat suitability models, using bat roost records as an example. We analysed the effects of environmental variables at eight spatial scales (500 m - 6 km) on roost selection by eight bat species (Pipistrellus pipistrellus, P. pygmaeus, Nyctalus noctula, Myotis mystacinus, M. brandtii, M. nattereri, M. daubentonii, and Plecotus auritus) using the presence-only modelling software MaxEnt. Modelling was carried out on a selection of 418 data centre roost records from the Lake District National Park, UK. Target group pseudoabsences were selected to reduce the impact of sampling bias. Multi-scale models, combining variables measured at their best performing spatial scales, were used to predict roosting habitat suitability, yielding models with useful predictive abilities. Small areas of deciduous woodland consistently increased roosting habitat suitability, but other habitat associations varied between species and scales. Pipistrellus were positively related to built environments at small scales, and depended on large-scale woodland availability. The other, more specialist, species were highly sensitive to human-altered landscapes, avoiding even small rural towns. The strength of many relationships at large scales suggests that bats are sensitive to habitat modifications far from the roost itself. The fine resolution, large extent maps will aid targeted decision-making by conservationists and planners. We have made available an ArcGIS toolbox that automates the production of multi-scale variables, to facilitate the application of our methods to other taxa and locations. Habitat suitability modelling has the

  14. Applying a two-dimensional morphodynamic model to assess impacts to Chinook salmon spawning habitat from dam removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, A. A.; Crosato, A.; Omer, A. Y. A.; Bregoli, F.

    2017-12-01

    The need for accurate and robust predictive methods of assessing fluvial ecosystems is highlighted by the accelerating practice of dam removal. Dam removal can be a restorative measure, but the sudden release of impounded sediment and change in flow regime may negatively impact aquatic biota and their habitat. This study assesses the performance of a quasi-three-dimensional morphodynamic numerical model, coupled with habitat suitability indices, to predict short-term impacts to Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat from dam removal. The 2007 removal of Marmot Dam on the Sandy River (Oregon, U.S.A.) is used as a case study. Delft3D-FLOW is employed to simulate changes in river channel topography, sediment composition and hydrodynamic conditions for a 20-kilometer reach of the Sandy River. The transport of non-uniform sediment and three-dimensional flow effects are included in the model. Output parameters such as flow depth, velocity and substrate are processed to evaluate habitat quality in the year following the Marmot Dam removal. Impacts are evaluated across four life-stages of Chinook salmon. As a hindcast analysis, the morphodynamic model sufficiently reproduces the evolution of river morphology at the reach-scale while requiring only a low level of calibration. The model performs well in predicting impacts to fish passage, but carries more uncertainty for developing life stages. By coupling flow-sediment-biota interactions, this method shows strong potential for habitat assessment in unsteady and non-uniform environments. Computation time is a primary constraint, as it limits grid-cell resolution, modelling of suspended sediment and capacity to characterize the sediment grain size distribution. Research on the effects of suspended sediment on habitat quality is ongoing, and further research is recommended for modelling reservoir erosion processes numerically.

  15. Deep-sea benthic megafaunal habitat suitability modelling: A global-scale maximum entropy model for xenophyophores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashford, Oliver S.; Davies, Andrew J.; Jones, Daniel O. B.

    2014-12-01

    Xenophyophores are a group of exclusively deep-sea agglutinating rhizarian protozoans, at least some of which are foraminifera. They are an important constituent of the deep-sea megafauna that are sometimes found in sufficient abundance to act as a significant source of habitat structure for meiofaunal and macrofaunal organisms. This study utilised maximum entropy modelling (Maxent) and a high-resolution environmental database to explore the environmental factors controlling the presence of Xenophyophorea and two frequently sampled xenophyophore species that are taxonomically stable: Syringammina fragilissima and Stannophyllum zonarium. These factors were also used to predict the global distribution of each taxon. Areas of high habitat suitability for xenophyophores were highlighted throughout the world's oceans, including in a large number of areas yet to be suitably sampled, but the Northeast and Southeast Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea and deep-water regions of the Malay Archipelago represented particular hotspots. The two species investigated showed more specific habitat requirements when compared to the model encompassing all xenophyophore records, perhaps in part due to the smaller number and relatively more clustered nature of the presence records available for modelling at present. The environmental variables depth, oxygen parameters, nitrate concentration, carbon-chemistry parameters and temperature were of greatest importance in determining xenophyophore distributions, but, somewhat surprisingly, hydrodynamic parameters were consistently shown to have low importance, possibly due to the paucity of well-resolved global hydrodynamic datasets. The results of this study (and others of a similar type) have the potential to guide further sample collection, environmental policy, and spatial planning of marine protected areas and industrial activities that impact the seafloor, particularly those that overlap with aggregations of

  16. Importance of the habitat choice behavior assumed when modeling the effects of food and temperature on fish populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildhaber, Mark L.; Lamberson, Peter J.

    2004-01-01

    Various mechanisms of habitat choice in fishes based on food and/or temperature have been proposed: optimal foraging for food alone; behavioral thermoregulation for temperature alone; and behavioral energetics and discounted matching for food and temperature combined. Along with development of habitat choice mechanisms, there has been a major push to develop and apply to fish populations individual-based models that incorporate various forms of these mechanisms. However, it is not known how the wide variation in observed and hypothesized mechanisms of fish habitat choice could alter fish population predictions (e.g. growth, size distributions, etc.). We used spatially explicit, individual-based modeling to compare predicted fish populations using different submodels of patch choice behavior under various food and temperature distributions. We compared predicted growth, temperature experience, food consumption, and final spatial distribution using the different models. Our results demonstrated that the habitat choice mechanism assumed in fish population modeling simulations was critical to predictions of fish distribution and growth rates. Hence, resource managers who use modeling results to predict fish population trends should be very aware of and understand the underlying patch choice mechanisms used in their models to assure that those mechanisms correctly represent the fish populations being modeled.

  17. Modeling freshwater snail habitat suitability and areas of potential snail-borne disease transmission in Uganda

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Jørgensen, Aslak; Kabatereine, N B

    2006-01-01

    -borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from......Geographic information system (GIS-based modeling of an intermediate host snail species environmental requirements using known occurrence records can provide estimates of its spatial distribution. When other data are lacking, this can be used as a rough spatial prediction of potential snail...... Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail...

  18. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-01-01

    Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results

  19. Using Satellite and Airborne LiDAR to Model Woodpecker Habitat Occupancy at the Landscape Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vierling, Lee A.; Vierling, Kerri T.; Adam, Patrick; Hudak, Andrew T.

    2013-01-01

    Incorporating vertical vegetation structure into models of animal distributions can improve understanding of the patterns and processes governing habitat selection. LiDAR can provide such structural information, but these data are typically collected via aircraft and thus are limited in spatial extent. Our objective was to explore the utility of satellite-based LiDAR data from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) relative to airborne-based LiDAR to model the north Idaho breeding distribution of a forest-dependent ecosystem engineer, the Red-naped sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis). GLAS data occurred within ca. 64 m diameter ellipses spaced a minimum of 172 m apart, and all occupancy analyses were confined to this grain scale. Using a hierarchical approach, we modeled Red-naped sapsucker occupancy as a function of LiDAR metrics derived from both platforms. Occupancy models based on satellite data were weak, possibly because the data within the GLAS ellipse did not fully represent habitat characteristics important for this species. The most important structural variables influencing Red-naped Sapsucker breeding site selection based on airborne LiDAR data included foliage height diversity, the distance between major strata in the canopy vertical profile, and the vegetation density near the ground. These characteristics are consistent with the diversity of foraging activities exhibited by this species. To our knowledge, this study represents the first to examine the utility of satellite-based LiDAR to model animal distributions. The large area of each GLAS ellipse and the non-contiguous nature of GLAS data may pose significant challenges for wildlife distribution modeling; nevertheless these data can provide useful information on ecosystem vertical structure, particularly in areas of gentle terrain. Additional work is thus warranted to utilize LiDAR datasets collected from both airborne and past and future satellite platforms (e.g. GLAS, and the planned IceSAT2

  20. Modeling habitat suitability of the invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a Neotropical shallow lagoon, southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. L. Silveira

    Full Text Available Abstract This study aimed to model the habitat suitability for an invasive clam Corbicula fluminea in a coastal shallow lagoon in the southern Neotropical region (–30.22, –50.55. The lagoon (19km2, maximum deep 2.5m was sampled with an Ekman dredge in an orthogonal matrix comprising 84 points. At each sampling point, were obtained environmental descriptors as depth, organic matter content (OMC, average granulometry (Avgran, and the percentage of sand (Pcsand. Prediction performance of Generalized Linear Models (GLM, Generalized Additive Models (GAM and Boosted Regression Tree (BRT were compared. Also, niche overlapping with other native clam species (Castalia martensi, Neocorbicula limosa and Anodontites trapesialis was examined. A BRT model with 1400 trees was selected as the best model, with cross-validated correlation of 0.82. The relative contributions of predictors were Pcsand-42.6%, OMC-35.8%, Avgran-10.9% and Depth-10.8%. Were identified that C. fluminea occur mainly in sandy sediments with few organic matter, in shallow areas nor by the shore. The PCA showed a wide niche overlap with the native clam species C. martensi, N. limosa and A. trapesialis.

  1. Conflation and aggregation of spatial data improve predictive models for species with limited habitats: a case of the threatened yellow-billed cuckoo in Arizona, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel L.; van Riper, Charles; Petrakis, Roy E.

    2013-01-01

    Riparian vegetation provides important wildlife habitat in the Southwestern United States, but limited distributions and spatial complexity often leads to inaccurate representation in maps used to guide conservation. We test the use of data conflation and aggregation on multiple vegetation/land-cover maps to improve the accuracy of habitat models for the threatened western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis). We used species observations (n = 479) from a state-wide survey to develop habitat models from 1) three vegetation/land-cover maps produced at different geographic scales ranging from state to national, and 2) new aggregate maps defined by the spatial agreement of cover types, which were defined as high (agreement = all data sets), moderate (agreement ≥ 2), and low (no agreement required). Model accuracies, predicted habitat locations, and total area of predicted habitat varied considerably, illustrating the effects of input data quality on habitat predictions and resulting potential impacts on conservation planning. Habitat models based on aggregated and conflated data were more accurate and had higher model sensitivity than original vegetation/land-cover, but this accuracy came at the cost of reduced geographic extent of predicted habitat. Using the highest performing models, we assessed cuckoo habitat preference and distribution in Arizona and found that major watersheds containing high-probably habitat are fragmented by a wide swath of low-probability habitat. Focus on riparian restoration in these areas could provide more breeding habitat for the threatened cuckoo, offset potential future habitat losses in adjacent watershed, and increase regional connectivity for other threatened vertebrates that also use riparian corridors.

  2. Spatial Scaling of Environmental Variables Improves Species-Habitat Models of Fishes in a Small, Sand-Bed Lowland River.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Radinger

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability and the distinct mobility of species depict fundamental keys for explaining and understanding the distribution of river fishes. In recent years, comprehensive data on river hydromorphology has been mapped at spatial scales down to 100 m, potentially serving high resolution species-habitat models, e.g., for fish. However, the relative importance of specific hydromorphological and in-stream habitat variables and their spatial scales of influence is poorly understood. Applying boosted regression trees, we developed species-habitat models for 13 fish species in a sand-bed lowland river based on river morphological and in-stream habitat data. First, we calculated mean values for the predictor variables in five distance classes (from the sampling site up to 4000 m up- and downstream to identify the spatial scale that best predicts the presence of fish species. Second, we compared the suitability of measured variables and assessment scores related to natural reference conditions. Third, we identified variables which best explained the presence of fish species. The mean model quality (AUC = 0.78, area under the receiver operating characteristic curve significantly increased when information on the habitat conditions up- and downstream of a sampling site (maximum AUC at 2500 m distance class, +0.049 and topological variables (e.g., stream order were included (AUC = +0.014. Both measured and assessed variables were similarly well suited to predict species' presence. Stream order variables and measured cross section features (e.g., width, depth, velocity were best-suited predictors. In addition, measured channel-bed characteristics (e.g., substrate types and assessed longitudinal channel features (e.g., naturalness of river planform were also good predictors. These findings demonstrate (i the applicability of high resolution river morphological and instream-habitat data (measured and assessed variables to predict fish presence, (ii the

  3. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson's and Peale's Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellabianca, Natalia A; Pierce, Graham J; Raya Rey, Andrea; Scioscia, Gabriela; Miller, David L; Torres, Mónica A; Paso Viola, M Natalia; Goodall, R Natalie P; Schiavini, Adrián C M

    2016-01-01

    Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii) and Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals) of Commerson's dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals) of Peale's dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson's dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale's dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson's dolphins and 20,000 Peale's dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale's dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson's dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures.

  4. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson's and Peale's Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia A Dellabianca

    Full Text Available Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii and Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals of Commerson's dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals of Peale's dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson's dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale's dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson's dolphins and 20,000 Peale's dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale's dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson's dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures.

  5. Using a remote sensing/GIS model to predict southwestern Willow Flycatcher breeding habitat along the Rio Grande, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, James R.; Sogge, Mark K.

    2007-01-01

    middle Rio Grande). The SWFL Recovery Plan (USFWS 2002) recognizes the importance of developing new approaches to habitat identification, and recommends the development of drainage-scale, quantitative habitat models. In particular, the plan suggests using models based on remote sensing and Geographic Information System (GIS) technology that can capture the relatively dynamic habitat changes that occur in southwestern riparian systems. In 1999, Arizona Game and Fish Department (AGFD) developed a GIS-based model (Hatten and Paradzick 2003) to identify SWFL breeding habitat from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery and 30-m resolution digital elevation models (DEMs). The model was developed with presence/absence survey data acquired along the San Pedro and Gila rivers, and from the Salt River and Tonto Creek inlets to Roosevelt Lake in southern Arizona (collectively called the project area). The GIS-based model used a logistic regression equation to divide riparian vegetation into 5 probability classes based upon characteristics of riparian vegetation and floodplain size. This model was tested by predicting SWFL breeding habitat at Alamo Lake, Arizona, located 200 km from the project area (Hatten and Paradzick 2003). The GIS-based model performed as expected by identifying riparian areas with the highest SWFL nest densities, located in the higher probability classes. In 2002, AGFD applied the GIS-based model throughout Arizona, for riparian areas below 1,524 m (5,000 ft) elevation and within 1.6 km of perennial or intermittent waters (Dockens et al. 2004). Overall model accuracy (using probability classes 1-5, with class 5 having the greatest probability of nesting activity) for predicting the location of 2001 nest sites was 96.5 percent; accuracy decreased when fewer probability classes were defined as suitable. Map accuracy, determined from errors of commission, increased in higher probability classes in a fashion similar to errors of omission. Map accuracy, li

  6. Pataha Creek Model Watershed : January 2000-December 2002 Habitat Conservation Projects.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartels, Duane G.

    2003-04-01

    The projects outlined in detail on the attached project reports were implemented from calendar year 2000 through 2002 in the Pataha Creek Watershed. The Pataha Creek Watershed was selected in 1993, along with the Tucannon and Asotin Creeks, as model watersheds by NPPC. In previous years, demonstration sites using riparian fencing, off site watering facilities, tree and shrub plantings and upland conservation practices were used for information and education and were the main focus of the implementation phase of the watershed plan. These practices were the main focus of the watershed plan to reduce the majority of the sediment entering the stream. Prior to 2000, several bank stabilization projects were installed but the installation costs became prohibitive and these types of projects were reduced in numbers over the following years. The years 2000 through 2002 were years where a focused effort was made to work on the upland conservation practices to reduce the sedimentation into Pataha Creek. Over 95% of the sediment entering the stream can be tied directly to the upland and riparian areas of the watershed. The Pataha Creek has steelhead in the upper reaches and native and planted rainbow trout in the mid to upper portion. Suckers, pikeminow and shiners inhabit the lower portion because of the higher water temperatures and lack of vegetation. The improvement of riparian habitat will improve habitat for the desired fish species. The lower portion of the Pataha Creek could eventually develop into spawning and rearing habitat for chinook salmon if some migration barriers are removed and habitat is restored. The upland projects completed during 2000 through 2002 were practices that reduce erosion from the cropland. Three-year continuous no-till projects were finishing up and the monitoring of this particular practice is ongoing. Its direct impact on soil erosion along with the economical aspects is being studied. Other practices such as terrace, waterway, sediment

  7. Modeling suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in North and South America’s coastal waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evangelista, Paul H.; Young, Nicholas E.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.

    2016-01-01

    We used two common correlative species-distribution models to predict suitable habitat of invasive red lionfish Pterois volitans (Linnaeus, 1758) in the western Atlantic and eastern Pacific Oceans. The Generalized Linear Model (GLM) and the Maximum Entropy (Maxent) model were applied using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling. We compared models developed using native occurrences, using non-native occurrences, and using both native and non-native occurrences. Models were trained using occurrence data collected before 2010 and evaluated with occurrence data collected from the invaded range during or after 2010. We considered a total of 22 marine environmental variables. Models built with non-native only or both native and non-native occurrence data outperformed those that used only native occurrences. Evaluation metrics based on the independent test data were highest for models that used both native and non-native occurrences. Bathymetry was the strongest environmental predictor for all models and showed increasing suitability as ocean floor depth decreased, with salinity ranking the second strongest predictor for models that used native and both native and non-native occurrences, indicating low habitat suitability for salinities lionfish could continue to invade southern latitudes in the western Atlantic Ocean and may establish localized populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We reiterate the importance in the choice of the training data source (native, non-native, or native/non-native) used to develop correlative species distribution models for invasive species.

  8. Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: implications for sage-grouse in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arkle, Robert S.; Pilliod, David S.; Hanser, Steven E.; Brooks, Matthew L.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Grace, James B.; Knutson, Kevin C.; Pyke, David A.; Welty, Justin L.

    2014-01-01

    A recurrent challenge in the conservation of wide-ranging, imperiled species is understanding which habitats to protect and whether we are capable of restoring degraded landscapes. For Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species of conservation concern in the western United States, we approached this problem by developing multi-scale empirical models of occupancy in 211 randomly located plots within a 40 million ha portion of the species' range. We then used these models to predict sage-grouse habitat quality at 826 plots associated with 101 post-wildfire seeding projects implemented from 1990 to 2003. We also compared conditions at restoration sites to published habitat guidelines. Sage-grouse occupancy was positively related to plot- and landscape-level dwarf sagebrush (Artemisia arbuscula, A. nova, A. tripartita) and big sagebrush steppe prevalence, and negatively associated with non-native plants and human development. The predicted probability of sage-grouse occupancy at treated plots was low on average (0.09) and not substantially different from burned areas that had not been treated. Restoration sites with quality habitat tended to occur at higher elevation locations with low annual temperatures, high spring precipitation, and high plant diversity. Of 313 plots seeded after fire, none met all sagebrush guidelines for breeding habitats, but approximately 50% met understory guidelines, particularly for perennial grasses. This pattern was similar for summer habitat. Less than 2% of treated plots met winter habitat guidelines. Restoration actions did not increase the probability of burned areas meeting most guideline criteria. The probability of meeting guidelines was influenced by a latitudinal gradient, climate, and topography. Our results suggest that sage-grouse are relatively unlikely to use many burned areas within 20 years of fire, regardless of treatment. Understory habitat conditions are more likely to be adequate than overstory

  9. Modeling Heat-Transfer in Animal Habitats in the Shuttle Orbiter Middeck

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eodice, Michael T.; Sun, Sid (Technical Monitor)

    2000-01-01

    A mathematical model has been developed to evaluate the heat transfer characteristics of an Animal Enclosure Module (AEM) in the microgravity environment. The AEM is a spaceflight habitat that provides life support for up to six rodents in the Space Shuttle Middeck. Currently, temperatures within the AEM are recorded in real time using a solid state data recorder; however, the data are only available for analysis post-flight. This temperature information is useful for characterizing the thermal environment of the AEM for researchers, but is unavailable during flight operations. Because animal health in microgravity is directly linked to the thermal environment, the ability to predict internal AEM temperatures is extremely useful to life science researchers. NASA flight crews typically carry hand-held temperature measurement devices which allow them to provide ground researchers with near real time readings of AEM inlet temperature; however, higher priority operations limit the frequency at which these measurements can be made and subsequently downlinked. The mathematical model developed allows users to predict internal cage volume temperatures based on knowledge of the ambient air temperature entering the AEM air intake ports. Additionally, an average convective heat transfer coefficient for the AEM has been determined to provide engineers with the requisite information to facilitate future design improvements and product upgrades. The model has been validated using empirical data from a series of three Space Shuttle missions.

  10. Prospects for population expansion of the exotic aoudad (Ammotragus lervia; Bovidae) in the Iberian Peninsula: clues from habitat suitability modelling

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

    We studied the geographical distribution and habitat suitability of an introduced ungulate, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), that is currently expanding its range in south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the niche of the species using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) on (1......) environmental variables (climate and habitat type), and (2) potential aoudad landscape avoidance and human disturbance variables. We compared both niche descriptions to study the impact of human interference on niche selection of the species. ENFA models were calibrated using data on the population expanded...

  11. Integration of Long-Term Research into a GIS Based Landscape Habitat Model for the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franzreb, K.; Lloyd, F.T.

    2000-10-01

    The red cockaded woodpecker has been intensively studied since 1985 when the population was on the verge of extinction. The population decline is primarily the result of timber harvesting prior to 1950 and restricted burning. Construction of artificial cavities, translocations, competitor control, and removal of hardwood mid-story has provided suitable habitat. Since 1985, the population has increased from 4 to 99 birds. A GIS model is being developed to simulate the development of habitat at SRS in relation to management and existing vegetation.

  12. Analysis of habitat characteristics of small pelagic fish based on generalized additive models in Kepulauan Seribu Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivai, A. A.; Siregar, V. P.; Agus, S. B.; Yasuma, H.

    2018-03-01

    One of the required information for sustainable fisheries management is about the habitat characteristics of a fish species. This information can be used to map the distribution of fish and map the potential fishing ground. This study aimed to analyze the habitat characteristics of small pelagic fishes (anchovy, squid, sardine and scads) which were mainly caught by lift net in Kepulauan Seribu waters. Research on habitat characteristics had been widely done, but the use of total suspended solid (TSS) parameters in this analysis is still lacking. TSS parameter which was extracted from Landsat 8 along with five other oceanographic parameters, CPUE data and location of fishing ground data from lift net fisheries in Kepulauan Seribu were included in this analysis. This analysis used Generalized Additive Models (GAMs) to evaluate the relationship between CPUE and oceanographic parameters. The results of the analysis showed that each fish species had different habitat characteristics. TSS and sea surface height had a great influence on the value of CPUE from each species. All the oceanographic parameters affected the CPUE of each species. This study demonstrated the effective use of GAMs to identify the essential habitat of a fish species.

  13. Chapter 13 Application of landscape and habitat suitability models to conservation: the Hoosier National Forest land-management plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Stephen R. Shifley; William D. Dijak; Zhaofei Fan; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Judith A. Perez; Cynthia M. Sandeno

    2011-01-01

    We demonstrate an approach to integrated land-management planning and quantify differences in vegetation and avian habitat conditions among 5 management alternatives as part of the Hoosier National Forest planning process. The alternatives differed in terms of the type, extent, magnitude, frequency, and location of management activities. We modeled ecological processes...

  14. Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: Implications for sage-grouse in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert S. Arkle; David S. Pilliod; Steven E. Hanser; Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; James B. Grace; Kevin C. Knutson; David A. Pyke; Justin L. Welty; Troy A. Wirth

    2014-01-01

    A recurrent challenge in the conservation of wide-ranging, imperiled species is understanding which habitats to protect and whether we are capable of restoring degraded landscapes. For Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a species of conservation concern in the western United States, we approached this problem by developing multi-scale empirical models of...

  15. Predictive habitat modelling as a tool to assess the change in distribution and extent of an OSPAR priority habitat under an increased ocean temperature scenario: consequences for marine protected area networks and management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gormley, Kate S G; Porter, Joanne S; Bell, Michael C; Hull, Angela D; Sanderson, William G

    2013-01-01

    The aims of this study were to determine the extent and distribution of an OSPAR priority habitat under current baseline ocean temperatures; to illustrate the prospect for habitat loss under a changing ocean temperature scenario; and to demonstrate the potential application of predictive habitat mapping in "future-proofing" conservation and biodiversity management. Maxent modelling and GIS environmental envelope analysis of the biogenic bed forming species, Modiolus modiolus was carried out. The Maxent model was tested and validated using 75%/25% training/test occurrence records and validated against two sampling biases (the whole study area and a 20km buffer). The model was compared to the envelope analysis and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (Area Under the curve; AUC) was evaluated. The performance of the Maxent model was rated as 'good' to 'excellent' on all replicated runs and low variation in the runs was recorded from the AUC values. The extent of "most suitable", "less suitable" and "unsuitable" habitat was calculated for the baseline year (2009) and the projected increased ocean temperature scenarios (2030, 2050, 2080 and 2100). A loss of 100% of "most suitable" habitat was reported by 2080. Maintaining a suitable level of protection of marine habitats/species of conservation importance may require management of the decline and migration rather than maintenance of present extent. Methods applied in this study provide the initial application of a plausible "conservation management tool".

  16. Predictive habitat modelling as a tool to assess the change in distribution and extent of an OSPAR priority habitat under an increased ocean temperature scenario: consequences for marine protected area networks and management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate S G Gormley

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to determine the extent and distribution of an OSPAR priority habitat under current baseline ocean temperatures; to illustrate the prospect for habitat loss under a changing ocean temperature scenario; and to demonstrate the potential application of predictive habitat mapping in "future-proofing" conservation and biodiversity management. Maxent modelling and GIS environmental envelope analysis of the biogenic bed forming species, Modiolus modiolus was carried out. The Maxent model was tested and validated using 75%/25% training/test occurrence records and validated against two sampling biases (the whole study area and a 20km buffer. The model was compared to the envelope analysis and the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (Area Under the curve; AUC was evaluated. The performance of the Maxent model was rated as 'good' to 'excellent' on all replicated runs and low variation in the runs was recorded from the AUC values. The extent of "most suitable", "less suitable" and "unsuitable" habitat was calculated for the baseline year (2009 and the projected increased ocean temperature scenarios (2030, 2050, 2080 and 2100. A loss of 100% of "most suitable" habitat was reported by 2080. Maintaining a suitable level of protection of marine habitats/species of conservation importance may require management of the decline and migration rather than maintenance of present extent. Methods applied in this study provide the initial application of a plausible "conservation management tool".

  17. Are Calanus spp. shifting poleward in the North Atlantic? A habitat modelling approach

    KAUST Repository

    Chust, Guillem

    2013-09-16

    In the last decade, the analysis based on Continuous Plankton Recorder survey in the eastern North Atlantic Ocean detected one of the most striking examples of marine poleward migration related to sea warming. The main objective of this study is to verify the poleward shift of zooplankton species (Calanus finmarchicus, C. glacialis, C. helgolandicus, C. hyperboreus) for which distributional changes have been recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean and to assess how much of this shift was triggered by sea warming, using Generalized Additive Models. To this end, the population gravity centre of observed data was compared with that of a series of simulation experiments: (i) a model using only climate factors (i.e. niche-based model) to simulate species habitat suitability, (ii) a model using only temporal and spatial terms to reconstruct the population distribution, and (iii) a model using both factors combined, using a subset of observations as independent dataset for validation. Our findings show that only C. finmarchicus had a consistent poleward shift, triggered by sea warming, estimated in 8.1 km per decade in the North Atlantic (16.5 per decade for the northeast), which is substantially lower than previous works at the assemblage level and restricted to the Northeast Atlantic. On the contrary, C. helgolandicus is expanding in all directions, although its northern distribution limit in the North Sea has shifted northward. Calanus glacialis and C. hyperboreus, which have the geographic centres of populations mainly in the NW Atlantic, showed a slight southward shift, probably responding to cool water penetrating southward in the Labrador Current. Our approach, supported by high model accuracy, shows its power in detecting species latitudinal shifts and identifying its causes, since the trend of occurrence observed data is influenced by the sampling frequency, which has progressively concentrated to lower latitudes with time. © 2013 © 2013 International Council for

  18. Modeling amphibian energetics, habitat suitability, and movements of western toads, Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas, across present and future landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartelt, Paul E.; Klaver, Robert W.; Porter, Warren P.

    2010-01-01

    Effective conservation of amphibian populations requires the prediction of how amphibians use and move through a landscape. Amphibians are closely coupled to their physical environment. Thus an approach that uses the physiological attributes of amphibians, together with knowledge of their natural history, should be helpful. We used Niche Mapper™ to model the known movements and habitat use patterns of a population of Western toads (Anaxyrus (=Bufo) boreas) occupying forested habitats in southeastern Idaho. Niche Mapper uses first principles of environmental biophysics to combine features of topography, climate, land cover, and animal features to model microclimates and animal physiology and behavior across landscapes. Niche Mapper reproduced core body temperatures (Tc) and evaporation rates of live toads with average errors of 1.6 ± 0.4 °C and 0.8 ± 0.2 g/h, respectively. For four different habitat types, it reproduced similar mid-summer daily temperature patterns as those measured in the field and calculated evaporation rates (g/h) with an average error rate of 7.2 ± 5.5%. Sensitivity analyses indicate these errors do not significantly affect estimates of food consumption or activity. Using Niche Mapper we predicted the daily habitats used by free-ranging toads; our accuracy for female toads was greater than for male toads (74.2 ± 6.8% and 53.6 ± 15.8%, respectively), reflecting the stronger patterns of habitat selection among females. Using these changing to construct a cost surface, we also reconstructed movement paths that were consistent with field observations. The effect of climate warming on toads depends on the interaction of temperature and atmospheric moisture. If climate change occurs as predicted, results from Niche Mapper suggests that climate warming will increase the physiological cost of landscapes thereby limiting the activity for toads in different habitats.

  19. Application of Bayesian methods to habitat selection modeling of the northern spotted owl in California: new statistical methods for wildlife research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard B. Stauffer; Cynthia J. Zabel; Jeffrey R. Dunk

    2005-01-01

    We compared a set of competing logistic regression habitat selection models for Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in California. The habitat selection models were estimated, compared, evaluated, and tested using multiple sample datasets collected on federal forestlands in northern California. We used Bayesian methods in interpreting...

  20. Modelling the impacts of sea level rise on tidal basin ecomorphodynamics and mangrove habitat evolution

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Maanen, Barend; Coco, Giovanni; Bryan, Karin

    2016-04-01

    The evolution of tidal basins and estuaries in tropical and subtropical regions is often influenced by the presence of mangrove forests. These forests are amongst the most productive environments in the world and provide important ecosystem services. However, these intertidal habitats are also extremely vulnerable and are threatened by climate change impacts such as sea level rise. It is therefore of key importance to improve our understanding of how tidal systems occupied by mangrove vegetation respond to rising water levels. An ecomorphodynamic model was developed that simulates morphological change and mangrove forest evolution as a result of mutual feedbacks between physical and biological processes. The model accounts for the effects of mangrove trees on tidal flow patterns and sediment dynamics. Mangrove growth is in turn controlled by hydrodynamic conditions. Under stable water levels, model results indicate that mangrove trees enhance the initiation and branching of tidal channels, partly because the extra flow resistance in mangrove forests favours flow concentration, and thus sediment erosion in between vegetated areas. The landward expansion of the channels, on the other hand, is reduced. Model simulations including sea level rise suggest that mangroves can potentially enhance the ability of the soil surface to maintain an elevation within the upper portion of the intertidal zone. While the sea level is rising, mangroves are migrating landward and the channel network tends to expand landward too. The presence of mangrove trees, however, was found to hinder both the branching and headward erosion of the landward expanding channels. Simulations are performed according to different sea level rise scenarios and with different tidal range conditions to assess which tidal environments are most vulnerable. Changes in the properties of the tidal channel networks are being examined as well. Overall, model results highlight the role of mangroves in driving the

  1. Modeling Habitat Suitability of Migratory Birds from Remote Sensing Images Using Convolutional Neural Networks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping

    2018-04-26

    With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results indicated that our proposed method outperforms the existing baseline methods and was able to achieve good performance in habitat suitability prediction.

  2. Effects of shipping on marine acoustic habitats in Canadian Arctic estimated via probabilistic modeling and mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aulanier, Florian; Simard, Yvan; Roy, Nathalie; Gervaise, Cédric; Bandet, Marion

    2017-12-15

    Canadian Arctic and Subarctic regions experience a rapid decrease of sea ice accompanied with increasing shipping traffic. The resulting time-space changes in shipping noise are studied for four key regions of this pristine environment, for 2013 traffic conditions and a hypothetical tenfold traffic increase. A probabilistic modeling and mapping framework, called Ramdam, which integrates the intrinsic variability and uncertainties of shipping noise and its effects on marine habitats, is developed and applied. A substantial transformation of soundscapes is observed in areas where shipping noise changes from present occasional-transient contributor to a dominant noise source. Examination of impacts on low-frequency mammals within ecologically and biologically significant areas reveals that shipping noise has the potential to trigger behavioral responses and masking in the future, although no risk of temporary or permanent hearing threshold shifts is noted. Such probabilistic modeling and mapping is strategic in marine spatial planning of this emerging noise issues. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Remote sensing and spatial statistical techniques for modelling Ommatissus lybicus (Hemiptera: Tropiduchidae) habitat and population densities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Kindi, Khalifa M; Kwan, Paul; R Andrew, Nigel; Welch, Mitchell

    2017-01-01

    In order to understand the distribution and prevalence of Ommatissus lybicus (Hemiptera: Tropiduchidae) as well as analyse their current biographical patterns and predict their future spread, comprehensive and detailed information on the environmental, climatic, and agricultural practices are essential. The spatial analytical techniques such as Remote Sensing and Spatial Statistics Tools, can help detect and model spatial links and correlations between the presence, absence and density of O. lybicus in response to climatic, environmental, and human factors. The main objective of this paper is to review remote sensing and relevant analytical techniques that can be applied in mapping and modelling the habitat and population density of O. lybicus . An exhaustive search of related literature revealed that there are very limited studies linking location-based infestation levels of pests like the O. lybicus with climatic, environmental, and human practice related variables. This review also highlights the accumulated knowledge and addresses the gaps in this area of research. Furthermore, it makes recommendations for future studies, and gives suggestions on monitoring and surveillance methods in designing both local and regional level integrated pest management strategies of palm tree and other affected cultivated crops.

  4. Remote sensing and spatial statistical techniques for modelling Ommatissus lybicus (Hemiptera: Tropiduchidae habitat and population densities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalifa M. Al-Kindi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to understand the distribution and prevalence of Ommatissus lybicus (Hemiptera: Tropiduchidae as well as analyse their current biographical patterns and predict their future spread, comprehensive and detailed information on the environmental, climatic, and agricultural practices are essential. The spatial analytical techniques such as Remote Sensing and Spatial Statistics Tools, can help detect and model spatial links and correlations between the presence, absence and density of O. lybicus in response to climatic, environmental, and human factors. The main objective of this paper is to review remote sensing and relevant analytical techniques that can be applied in mapping and modelling the habitat and population density of O. lybicus. An exhaustive search of related literature revealed that there are very limited studies linking location-based infestation levels of pests like the O. lybicus with climatic, environmental, and human practice related variables. This review also highlights the accumulated knowledge and addresses the gaps in this area of research. Furthermore, it makes recommendations for future studies, and gives suggestions on monitoring and surveillance methods in designing both local and regional level integrated pest management strategies of palm tree and other affected cultivated crops.

  5. Forecasting tidal marsh elevation and habitat change through fusion of Earth observations and a process model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, Kristin B.; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Leeuw, Thomas; Downing, Bryan D.; Morris, James T.; Ferner, Matthew C.

    2016-01-01

    , temporal frequency, and cost. Integration of remote sensing data with MEM should advance regional projections of marsh vegetation change by better parameterizing MEM inputs spatially. Improving information for coastal modeling will support planning for ecosystem services, including habitat, carbon storage, and flood protection.

  6. Coupled Downscaled Climate Models and Ecophysiological Metrics Forecast Habitat Compression for an Endangered Estuarine Fish.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry R Brown

    Full Text Available Climate change is driving rapid changes in environmental conditions and affecting population and species' persistence across spatial and temporal scales. Integrating climate change assessments into biological resource management, such as conserving endangered species, is a substantial challenge, partly due to a mismatch between global climate forecasts and local or regional conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate how outputs of global climate change models can be downscaled to the watershed scale, and then coupled with ecophysiological metrics to assess climate change effects on organisms of conservation concern. We employed models to estimate future water temperatures (2010-2099 under several climate change scenarios within the large heterogeneous San Francisco Estuary. We then assessed the warming effects on the endangered, endemic Delta Smelt, Hypomesus transpacificus, by integrating localized projected water temperatures with thermal sensitivity metrics (tolerance, spawning and maturation windows, and sublethal stress thresholds across life stages. Lethal temperatures occurred under several scenarios, but sublethal effects resulting from chronic stressful temperatures were more common across the estuary (median >60 days above threshold for >50% locations by the end of the century. Behavioral avoidance of such stressful temperatures would make a large portion of the potential range of Delta Smelt unavailable during the summer and fall. Since Delta Smelt are not likely to migrate to other estuaries, these changes are likely to result in substantial habitat compression. Additionally, the Delta Smelt maturation window was shortened by 18-85 days, revealing cumulative effects of stressful summer and fall temperatures with early initiation of spring spawning that may negatively impact fitness. Our findings highlight the value of integrating sublethal thresholds, life history, and in situ thermal heterogeneity into global change impact

  7. Application of Wind Fetch and Wave Models for Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohweder, Jason J.; Rogala, James T.; Johnson, Barry L.; Anderson, Dennis; Clark, Steve; Chamberlin, Ferris

    2012-01-01

    Models based upon coastal engineering equations have been developed to quantify wind fetch length and several physical wave characteristics including significant height, length, peak period, maximum orbital velocity, and shear stress. These models were used to quantify differences in proposed island construction designs for three Habitat Rehabilitation and Enhancement Projects (HREPs) in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers St. Paul District (Capoli Slough and Harpers Slough) and St. Louis District (Swan Lake). Weighted wind fetch was calculated using land cover data supplied by the Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) for each island design scenario for all three HREPs. Figures and graphs were created to depict the results of this analysis. The difference in weighted wind fetch from existing conditions to each potential future island design was calculated for Capoli and Harpers Slough HREPs. A simplistic method for calculating sediment suspension probability was also applied to the HREPs in the St. Paul District. This analysis involved determining the percentage of days that maximum orbital wave velocity calculated over the growing seasons of 2002–2007 exceeded a threshold value taken from the literature where fine unconsolidated sediments may become suspended. This analysis also evaluated the difference in sediment suspension probability from existing conditions to the potential island designs. Bathymetric data used in the analysis were collected from the LTRMP and wind direction and magnitude data were collected from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Climatic Data Center. These models are scheduled to be updated to operate using the most current Environmental Systems Research Institute ArcGIS Geographic Information System platform, and have several improvements implemented to wave calculations, data processing, and functions of the toolbox.

  8. Coupled downscaled climate models and ecophysiological metrics forecast habitat compression for an endangered estuarine fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Larry R.; Komoroske, Lisa M; Wagner, R Wayne; Morgan-King, Tara; May, Jason T.; Connon, Richard E; Fangue, Nann A.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is driving rapid changes in environmental conditions and affecting population and species’ persistence across spatial and temporal scales. Integrating climate change assessments into biological resource management, such as conserving endangered species, is a substantial challenge, partly due to a mismatch between global climate forecasts and local or regional conservation planning. Here, we demonstrate how outputs of global climate change models can be downscaled to the watershed scale, and then coupled with ecophysiological metrics to assess climate change effects on organisms of conservation concern. We employed models to estimate future water temperatures (2010–2099) under several climate change scenarios within the large heterogeneous San Francisco Estuary. We then assessed the warming effects on the endangered, endemic Delta Smelt, Hypomesus transpacificus, by integrating localized projected water temperatures with thermal sensitivity metrics (tolerance, spawning and maturation windows, and sublethal stress thresholds) across life stages. Lethal temperatures occurred under several scenarios, but sublethal effects resulting from chronic stressful temperatures were more common across the estuary (median >60 days above threshold for >50% locations by the end of the century). Behavioral avoidance of such stressful temperatures would make a large portion of the potential range of Delta Smelt unavailable during the summer and fall. Since Delta Smelt are not likely to migrate to other estuaries, these changes are likely to result in substantial habitat compression. Additionally, the Delta Smelt maturation window was shortened by 18–85 days, revealing cumulative effects of stressful summer and fall temperatures with early initiation of spring spawning that may negatively impact fitness. Our findings highlight the value of integrating sublethal thresholds, life history, and in situ thermal heterogeneity into global change impact assessments. As

  9. Modeling the effects of integrating larval habitat source reduction and insecticide treated nets for malaria control.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laith Yakob

    Full Text Available Integrated vector management for malaria control has received a lot of recent interest. Attacking multiple points in the transmission cycle is hoped to act synergistically and improve upon current single-tool interventions based on the use of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs. In the present study, we theoretically examined the application of larval habitat source reduction with ITNs in reducing malaria transmission. We selected this type of environmental management to complement ITNs because of a potential secondary mode of action that both control strategies share. In addition to increasing vector mortality, ITNs reduce the rate at which female mosquitoes locate human hosts for blood feeding, thereby extending their gonotrophic cycle. Similarly, while reducing adult vector emergence and abundance, source reduction of larval habitats may prolong the cycle duration by extending delays in locating oviposition sites. We found, however, that source reduction of larval habitats only operates through this secondary mode of action when habitat density is below a critical threshold. Hence, we illustrate how this strategy becomes increasingly effective when larval habitats are limited. We also demonstrate that habitat source reduction is better suited to human populations of higher density and in the presence of insecticide resistance or when the insecticidal properties of ITNs are depleted.

  10. Development of tiger habitat suitability model using geospatial tools-a case study in Achankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS), Chhattisgarh India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, R; Joshi, P K; Kumar, M; Dash, P P; Joshi, B D

    2009-08-01

    Geospatial tools supported by ancillary geo-database and extensive fieldwork regarding the distribution of tiger and its prey in Anchankmar Wildlife Sanctuary (AMWLS) were used to build a tiger habitat suitability model. This consists of a quantitative geographical information system (GIS) based approach using field parameters and spatial thematic information. The estimates of tiger sightings, its prey sighting and predicted distribution with the assistance of contextual environmental data including terrain, road network, settlement and drainage surfaces were used to develop the model. Eight variables in the dataset viz., forest cover type, forest cover density, slope, aspect, altitude, and distance from road, settlement and drainage were seen as suitable proxies and were used as independent variables in the analysis. Principal component analysis and binomial multiple logistic regression were used for statistical treatments of collected habitat parameters from field and independent variables respectively. The assessment showed a strong expert agreement between the predicted and observed suitable areas. A combination of the generated information and published literature was also used while building a habitat suitability map for the tiger. The modeling approach has taken the habitat preference parameters of the tiger and potential distribution of prey species into account. For assessing the potential distribution of prey species, independent suitability models were developed and validated with the ground truth. It is envisaged that inclusion of the prey distribution probability strengthens the model when a key species is under question. The results of the analysis indicate that tiger occur throughout the sanctuary. The results have been found to be an important input as baseline information for population modeling and natural resource management in the wildlife sanctuary. The development and application of similar models can help in better management of the protected

  11. Integrating Remote Sensing with Species Distribution Models; Mapping Tamarisk Invasions Using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM).

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Amanda M; Evangelista, Paul H; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Young, Nicholas E; Stohlgren, Thomas J; Talbert, Colin; Talbert, Marian; Morisette, Jeffrey; Anderson, Ryan

    2016-10-11

    Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) along the Arkansas River in Southeastern Colorado. The models tested included boosted regression trees (BRT), Random Forest (RF), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), generalized linear model (GLM), and Maxent. These analyses were conducted using a newly developed software package called the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM). All models were trained with 499 presence points, 10,000 pseudo-absence points, and predictor variables acquired from the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor over an eight-month period to distinguish tamarisk from native riparian vegetation using detection of phenological differences. From the Landsat scenes, we used individual bands and calculated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), and tasseled capped transformations. All five models identified current tamarisk distribution on the landscape successfully based on threshold independent and threshold dependent evaluation metrics with independent location data. To account for model specific differences, we produced an ensemble of all five models with map output highlighting areas of agreement and areas of uncertainty. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of species distribution models in analyzing remotely sensed data and the utility of ensemble mapping, and showcase the capability of SAHM in pre-processing and executing multiple complex models.

  12. Integrating remote sensing with species distribution models; Mapping tamarisk invasions using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    West, Amanda M.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Young, Nicholas E.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Talbert, Colin; Talbert, Marian; Morisette, Jeffrey; Anderson, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) along the Arkansas River in Southeastern Colorado. The models tested included boosted regression trees (BRT), Random Forest (RF), multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS), generalized linear model (GLM), and Maxent. These analyses were conducted using a newly developed software package called the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM). All models were trained with 499 presence points, 10,000 pseudo-absence points, and predictor variables acquired from the Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM) sensor over an eight-month period to distinguish tamarisk from native riparian vegetation using detection of phenological differences. From the Landsat scenes, we used individual bands and calculated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), and tasseled capped transformations. All five models identified current tamarisk distribution on the landscape successfully based on threshold independent and threshold dependent evaluation metrics with independent location data. To account for model specific differences, we produced an ensemble of all five models with map output highlighting areas of agreement and areas of uncertainty. Our results demonstrate the usefulness of species distribution models in analyzing remotely sensed data and the utility of ensemble mapping, and showcase the capability of SAHM in pre-processing and executing multiple complex models.

  13. Using Field Data and GIS-Derived Variables to Model Occurrence of Williamson's Sapsucker Nesting Habitat at Multiple Spatial Scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Drever

    Full Text Available Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus is a migratory woodpecker that breeds in mixed coniferous forests in western North America. In Canada, the range of this woodpecker is restricted to three small populations in southern British Columbia, precipitating a national listing as 'Endangered' in 2005, and the need to characterize critical habitat for its survival and recovery. We compared habitat attributes between Williamson's sapsucker nest territories and random points without nests or detections of this sapsucker as part of a resource selection analysis to identify the habitat features that best explain the probability of nest occurrence in two separate geographic regions in British Columbia. We compared the relative explanatory power of generalized linear models based on field-derived and Geographic Information System (GIS data within both a 225 m and 800 m radius of a nest or random point. The model based on field-derived variables explained the most variation in nest occurrence in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, whereas nest occurrence was best explained by GIS information at the 800 m scale in the Western Region. Probability of nest occurrence was strongly tied to densities of potential nest trees, which included open forests with very large (diameter at breast height, DBH, ≥57.5 cm western larch (Larix occidentalis trees in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, and very large ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa and large (DBH 17.5-57.5 cm trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides trees in the Western Region. Our results have the potential to guide identification and protection of critical habitat as required by the Species at Risk Act in Canada, and to better manage Williamson's sapsucker habitat overall in North America. In particular, management should focus on the maintenance and recruitment of very large western larch and ponderosa pine trees.

  14. Using Field Data and GIS-Derived Variables to Model Occurrence of Williamson's Sapsucker Nesting Habitat at Multiple Spatial Scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drever, Mark C; Gyug, Les W; Nielsen, Jennifer; Stuart-Smith, A Kari; Ohanjanian, I Penny; Martin, Kathy

    2015-01-01

    Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) is a migratory woodpecker that breeds in mixed coniferous forests in western North America. In Canada, the range of this woodpecker is restricted to three small populations in southern British Columbia, precipitating a national listing as 'Endangered' in 2005, and the need to characterize critical habitat for its survival and recovery. We compared habitat attributes between Williamson's sapsucker nest territories and random points without nests or detections of this sapsucker as part of a resource selection analysis to identify the habitat features that best explain the probability of nest occurrence in two separate geographic regions in British Columbia. We compared the relative explanatory power of generalized linear models based on field-derived and Geographic Information System (GIS) data within both a 225 m and 800 m radius of a nest or random point. The model based on field-derived variables explained the most variation in nest occurrence in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, whereas nest occurrence was best explained by GIS information at the 800 m scale in the Western Region. Probability of nest occurrence was strongly tied to densities of potential nest trees, which included open forests with very large (diameter at breast height, DBH, ≥57.5 cm) western larch (Larix occidentalis) trees in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, and very large ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and large (DBH 17.5-57.5 cm) trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees in the Western Region. Our results have the potential to guide identification and protection of critical habitat as required by the Species at Risk Act in Canada, and to better manage Williamson's sapsucker habitat overall in North America. In particular, management should focus on the maintenance and recruitment of very large western larch and ponderosa pine trees.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Abundance and Distribution Patterns of Thunnus albacares in Isla del Coco National Park through Predictive Habitat Suitability Models.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Gonzáles-Andrés

    Full Text Available Information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically and commercially important species is essential for their management and protection. This is especially important as climate change, pollution, and overfishing change the structure and functioning of pelagic ecosystems. In this study, we used Bayesian hierarchical spatial-temporal models to map the Essential Fish Habitats of the Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares in the waters around Isla del Coco National Park, Pacific Costa Rica, based on independent underwater observations from 1993 to 2013. We assessed if observed changes in the distribution and abundance of this species are related with habitat characteristics, fishing intensity or more extreme climatic events, including the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and changes on the average sea surface temperature. Yellowfin tuna showed a decreasing abundance trend in the sampled period, whereas higher abundances were found in shallow and warmer waters, with high concentration of chlorophyll-a, and in surrounding seamounts. In addition, El Niño Southern Oscillation events did not seem to affect Yellowfin tuna distribution and abundance. Understanding the habitat preferences of this species, using approaches as the one developed here, may help design integrated programs for more efficient management of vulnerable species.

  18. Models of regional habitat quality and connectivity for pumas (Puma concolor) in the southwestern United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickson, Brett G; Roemer, Gary W; McRae, Brad H; Rundall, Jill M

    2013-01-01

    The impact of landscape changes on the quality and connectivity of habitats for multiple wildlife species is of global conservation concern. In the southwestern United States, pumas (Puma concolor) are a well distributed and wide-ranging large carnivore that are sensitive to loss of habitat and to the disruption of pathways that connect their populations. We used an expert-based approach to define and derive variables hypothesized to influence the quality, location, and permeability of habitat for pumas within an area encompassing the entire states of Arizona and New Mexico. Survey results indicated that the presence of woodland and forest cover types, rugged terrain, and canyon bottom and ridgeline topography were expected to be important predictors of both high quality habitat and heightened permeability. As road density, distance to water, or human population density increased, the quality and permeability of habitats were predicted to decline. Using these results, we identified 67 high quality patches across the study area, and applied concepts from electronic circuit theory to estimate regional patterns of connectivity among these patches. Maps of current flow among individual pairs of patches highlighted possible pinch points along two major interstate highways. Current flow summed across all pairs of patches highlighted areas important for keeping the entire network connected, regardless of patch size. Cumulative current flow was highest in Arizona north of the Colorado River and around Grand Canyon National Park, and in the Sky Islands region owing to the many small habitat patches present. Our outputs present a first approximation of habitat quality and connectivity for dispersing pumas in the southwestern United States. Map results can be used to help target finer-scaled analyses in support of planning efforts concerned with the maintenance of puma metapopulation structure, as well as the protection of landscape features that facilitate the dispersal

  19. Models of regional habitat quality and connectivity for pumas (Puma concolor in the southwestern United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett G Dickson

    Full Text Available The impact of landscape changes on the quality and connectivity of habitats for multiple wildlife species is of global conservation concern. In the southwestern United States, pumas (Puma concolor are a well distributed and wide-ranging large carnivore that are sensitive to loss of habitat and to the disruption of pathways that connect their populations. We used an expert-based approach to define and derive variables hypothesized to influence the quality, location, and permeability of habitat for pumas within an area encompassing the entire states of Arizona and New Mexico. Survey results indicated that the presence of woodland and forest cover types, rugged terrain, and canyon bottom and ridgeline topography were expected to be important predictors of both high quality habitat and heightened permeability. As road density, distance to water, or human population density increased, the quality and permeability of habitats were predicted to decline. Using these results, we identified 67 high quality patches across the study area, and applied concepts from electronic circuit theory to estimate regional patterns of connectivity among these patches. Maps of current flow among individual pairs of patches highlighted possible pinch points along two major interstate highways. Current flow summed across all pairs of patches highlighted areas important for keeping the entire network connected, regardless of patch size. Cumulative current flow was highest in Arizona north of the Colorado River and around Grand Canyon National Park, and in the Sky Islands region owing to the many small habitat patches present. Our outputs present a first approximation of habitat quality and connectivity for dispersing pumas in the southwestern United States. Map results can be used to help target finer-scaled analyses in support of planning efforts concerned with the maintenance of puma metapopulation structure, as well as the protection of landscape features that facilitate

  20. Re-establishing the pecking order: Niche models reliably predict suitable habitats for the reintroduction of red-billed oxpeckers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalle, Riddhika; Combrink, Leigh; Ramesh, Tharmalingam; Downs, Colleen T

    2017-03-01

    Distributions of avian mutualists are affected by changes in biotic interactions and environmental conditions driven directly/indirectly by human actions. The range contraction of red-billed oxpeckers ( Buphagus erythrorhynchus ) in South Africa is partly a result of the widespread use of acaracides (i.e., mainly cattle dips), toxic to both ticks and oxpeckers. We predicted the habitat suitability of red-billed oxpeckers in South Africa using ensemble models to assist the ongoing reintroduction efforts and to identify new reintroduction sites for population recovery. The distribution of red-billed oxpeckers was influenced by moderate to high tree cover, woodland habitats, and starling density (a proxy for cavity-nesting birds) with regard to nest-site characteristics. Consumable resources (host and tick density), bioclimate, surface water body density, and proximity to protected areas were other influential predictors. Our models estimated 42,576.88-98,506.98 km 2 of highly suitable habitat (0.5-1) covering the majority of Limpopo, Mpumalanga, North West, a substantial portion of northern KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and the Gauteng Province. Niche models reliably predicted suitable habitat in 40%-61% of the reintroduction sites where breeding is currently successful. Ensemble, boosted regression trees and generalized additive models predicted few suitable areas in the Eastern Cape and south of KZN that are part of the historic range. A few southern areas in the Northern Cape, outside the historic range, also had suitable sites predicted. Our models are a promising decision support tool for guiding reintroduction programs at macroscales. Apart from active reintroductions, conservation programs should encourage farmers and/or landowners to use oxpecker-compatible agrochemicals and set up adequate nest boxes to facilitate the population recovery of the red-billed oxpecker, particularly in human-modified landscapes. To ensure long-term conservation success, we suggest that

  1. Developing landscape habitat models for rare amphibians with small geographic ranges: a case study of Siskiyou Mountains salamanders in the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nobuya Suzuki; Deanna H. Olson; Edward C. Reilly

    2007-01-01

    To advance the development of conservation planning for rare species with small geographic ranges, we determined habitat associations of Siskiyou Mountains salamanders (Plethodon stormi) and developed habitat suitability models at fine (10 ha), medium (40 ha), and broad (202 ha) spatial scales using available geographic information systems data and...

  2. Multi-scale Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) nest/roost habitat selection in Arizona and a comparison with single-scale modeling results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brad C. Timm; Kevin McGarigal; Samuel A. Cushman; Joseph L. Ganey

    2016-01-01

    Efficacy of future habitat selection studies will benefit by taking a multi-scale approach. In addition to potentially providing increased explanatory power and predictive capacity, multi-scale habitat models enhance our understanding of the scales at which species respond to their environment, which is critical knowledge required to implement effective...

  3. Delta smelt habitat in the San Francisco Estuary: A reply to Manly, Fullerton, Hendrix, and Burnham’s “Comments on Feyrer et al. Modeling the effects of future outflow on the abiotic habitat of an imperiled estuarine fish"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feyrer, Frederick V.; Newman, Ken B.; Nobriga, Matthew; Sommer, Ted

    2016-01-01

    Manly et al. (2015) commented on the approach we (Feyrer et al. 2011) used to calculate an index of the abiotic habitat of delta smelt Hypomesus transpacificus. The delta smelt is an annual fish species endemic to the San Francisco Estuary (SFE) in California, USA. Conserving the delta smelt population while providing reliability to California’s water supply with water diverted from the SFE ecosystem is a major management and policy issue. Feyrer et al. (2011) evaluated historic and projected future abiotic habitat conditions for delta smelt. Manly et al. (2015) specifically commented regarding the following: (1) use of an independent abundance estimate, (2) spatial bias in the habitat index, and (3) application of the habitat index to future climate change projections. Here, we provide our reply to these three topics. While we agree that some of the concepts raised by Manly et al. (2015) have the potential to improve habitat assessments and their application to climate change scenarios as knowledge is gained, we note that the Feyrer et al. (2011) delta smelt habitat index is essentially identical to one reconstructed using Manly et al.’s (2015) preferred approach (their model 8), as shown here in Fig. 1.

  4. 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.

  5. Comparing the performance of flat and hierarchical Habitat/Land-Cover classification models in a NATURA 2000 site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavish, Yoni; O'Connell, Jerome; Marsh, Charles J.; Tarantino, Cristina; Blonda, Palma; Tomaselli, Valeria; Kunin, William E.

    2018-02-01

    The increasing need for high quality Habitat/Land-Cover (H/LC) maps has triggered considerable research into novel machine-learning based classification models. In many cases, H/LC classes follow pre-defined hierarchical classification schemes (e.g., CORINE), in which fine H/LC categories are thematically nested within more general categories. However, none of the existing machine-learning algorithms account for this pre-defined hierarchical structure. Here we introduce a novel Random Forest (RF) based application of hierarchical classification, which fits a separate local classification model in every branching point of the thematic tree, and then integrates all the different local models to a single global prediction. We applied the hierarchal RF approach in a NATURA 2000 site in Italy, using two land-cover (CORINE, FAO-LCCS) and one habitat classification scheme (EUNIS) that differ from one another in the shape of the class hierarchy. For all 3 classification schemes, both the hierarchical model and a flat model alternative provided accurate predictions, with kappa values mostly above 0.9 (despite using only 2.2-3.2% of the study area as training cells). The flat approach slightly outperformed the hierarchical models when the hierarchy was relatively simple, while the hierarchical model worked better under more complex thematic hierarchies. Most misclassifications came from habitat pairs that are thematically distant yet spectrally similar. In 2 out of 3 classification schemes, the additional constraints of the hierarchical model resulted with fewer such serious misclassifications relative to the flat model. The hierarchical model also provided valuable information on variable importance which can shed light into "black-box" based machine learning algorithms like RF. We suggest various ways by which hierarchical classification models can increase the accuracy and interpretability of H/LC classification maps.

  6. 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.

  7. Hydraulic modelling of the spatial and temporal variability in Atlantic salmon parr habitat availability in an upland stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabris, Luca; Malcolm, Iain Archibald; Buddendorf, Willem Bastiaan; Millidine, Karen Jane; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Soulsby, Chris

    2017-12-01

    We show how spatial variability in channel bed morphology affects the hydraulic characteristics of river reaches available to Atlantic salmon parr (Salmo salar) under different flow conditions in an upland stream. The study stream, the Girnock Burn, is a long-term monitoring site in the Scottish Highlands. Six site characterised by different bed geometry and morphology were investigated. Detailed site bathymetries were collected and combined with discharge time series in a 2D hydraulic model to obtain spatially distributed depth-averaged velocities under different flow conditions. Available habitat (AH) was estimated for each site. Stream discharge was used according to the critical displacement velocity (CDV) approach. CDV defines a velocity threshold above which salmon parr are not able to hold station and effective feeding opportunities or habitat utilization are reduced, depending on fish size and water temperature. An average value of the relative available habitat () for the most significant period for parr growth - April to May - was used for inter-site comparison and to analyse temporal variations over 40years. Results show that some sites are more able than others to maintain zones where salmon parr can forage unimpeded by high flow velocities under both wet and dry conditions. With lower flow velocities, dry years offer higher values of than wet years. Even though can change considerably across the sites as stream flow changes, the directions of change are consistent. Relative available habitat (RAH) shows a strong relationship with discharge per unit width, whilst channel slope and bed roughness either do not have relevant impact or compensate each other. The results show that significant parr habitat was available at all sites across all flows during this critical growth period, suggesting that hydrological variability is not a factor limiting growth in the Girnock. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  8. Predictive modelling of habitat use by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L.; Punt, André E..; VanBlaricom, Glenn R.; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the ecological processes that underpin species distribution patterns is a fundamental goal in spatial ecology. However, developing predictive models of habitat use is challenging for species that forage in marine environments, as both predators and prey are often highly mobile and difficult to monitor. Consequently, few studies have developed resource selection functions for marine predators based directly on the abundance and distribution of their prey.

  9. City of Austin: Green habitat learning project. A green builder model home project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-01

    The purpose of the Year 14 UCETF project was to design and construct a residential structure that could serve as a demonstration facility, training site, and testing and monitoring laboratory for issues related to the implementation of sustainable building practices and materials. The Model Home Project builds on the previous and existing efforts, partially funded by the UCETF, of the City of Austin Green Builder Program to incorporate sustainable building practices into mainstream building activities. The Green Builder Program uses the term {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} as a synonym for sustainability. In the research and analysis that was completed for our earlier reports in Years 12 and 13, we characterized specific elements that we associate with sustainability and, thus, green building. In general, we refer to a modified life cycle assessment to ascertain if {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} building options reflect similar positive cyclical patterns found in nature (i.e. recyclability, recycled content, renewable resources, etc.). We additionally consider economic, human health and synergistic ecological impacts associated with our building choices and characterize the best choices as {open_quotes}green.{close_quotes} Our ultimate goal is to identify and use those {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} materials and processes that provide well for us now and do not compromise similar benefits for future generations. The original partnership developed for this project shifted during the year from a project stressing advanced (many prototypical) {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} building materials and techniques in a research and demonstration context, to off-the-shelf but underutilized {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} materials in the practical social context of using {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} technologies for low income housing. That project, discussed in this report, is called the Green Habitat Learning Project.

  10. Wyoming greater sage-grouse habitat prioritization: A collection of multi-scale seasonal models and geographic information systems land management tools

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Donnell, Michael S.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Fedy, Bradley C.

    2015-01-01

    With rapidly changing landscape conditions within Wyoming and the potential effects of landscape changes on sage-grouse habitat, land managers and conservation planners, among others, need procedures to assess the location and juxtaposition of important habitats, land-cover, and land-use patterns to balance wildlife requirements with multiple human land uses. Biologists frequently develop habitat-selection studies to identify prioritization efforts for species of conservation concern to increase understanding and help guide habitat-conservation efforts. Recently, the authors undertook a large-scale collaborative effort that developed habitat-selection models for Greater Sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) across large landscapes in Wyoming, USA and for multiple life-stages (nesting, late brood-rearing, and winter). We developed these habitat models using resource selection functions, based upon sage-grouse telemetry data collected for localized studies and within each life-stage. The models allowed us to characterize and spatially predict seasonal sage-grouse habitat use in Wyoming. Due to the quantity of models, the diversity of model predictors (in the form of geographic information system data) produced by analyses, and the variety of potential applications for these data, we present here a resource that complements our published modeling effort, which will further support land managers.

  11. Machine Learning Model Analysis of Breeding Habitats for the Black-necked Crane in Central Asian Uplands under Anthropogenic Pressures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xuesong; Guo, Yumin; Mi, Chunrong; Huettmann, Falk; Wen, Lijia

    2017-07-21

    The black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) is the only alpine crane species and is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. The breeding habitats of this species are poorly understood, which greatly hampers practical research and conservation work. Using machine learning methods and the best-available data from our 7,000-kilometer mega-transect survey and open access data, we built the first species distribution model (SDM) to analyze the black-necked crane's breeding habitats. Our model showed that current conservation gaps account for 26.7% of its predicted breeding habitats. Specifically, the northern parts of the Hengduan Mountains and the southeastern Tibet Valley, the northern side of the middle Kunlun Mountains, parts of the Pamir Plateau, the northern Pakistan Highlands and the western Hindu Kush should be considered as its main potential breeding areas. Additionally, our model suggested that the crane prefers to breed in alpine meadows at an elevation over 2,800 m, a maximum temperature of the warmest month below 20.5 °C, and a temperature seasonality above 7,800 units. The identified conservation gaps and potential breeding areas can aid in clearly prioritizing future conservation and research, but more attention and study should be directed to the unassessed Western Development of China to secure this endangered crane lineage and other wildlife on the Tibetan Plateau.

  12. Predictive habitat models derived from nest-box occupancy for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel in the southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W. Mark; Evans, A.M.; Odom, Richard H.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Kelly, C.A.; Abaid, Nicole; Diggins, Corinne A.; Newcomb, Doug

    2016-01-01

    In the southern Appalachians, artificial nest-boxes are used to survey for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel (CNFS; Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus), a disjunct subspecies associated with high elevation (>1385 m) forests. Using environmental parameters diagnostic of squirrel habitat, we created 35 a priori occupancy models in the program PRESENCE for boxes surveyed in western North Carolina, 1996-2011. Our best approximating model showed CNFS denning associated with sheltered landforms and montane conifers, primarily red spruce Picea rubens. As sheltering decreased, decreasing distance to conifers was important. Area with a high probability (>0.5) of occupancy was distributed over 18662 ha of habitat, mostly across 10 mountain ranges. Because nest-box surveys underrepresented areas >1750 m and CNFS forage in conifers, we combined areas of high occupancy with conifer GIS coverages to create an additional distribution model of likely habitat. Regionally, above 1385 m, we determined that 31795 ha could be occupied by CNFS. Known occupied patches ranged from

  13. Poor transferability of species distribution models for a pelagic predator, the grey petrel, indicates contrasting habitat preferences across ocean basins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh G Torres

    Full Text Available Species distribution models (SDMs are increasingly applied in conservation management to predict suitable habitat for poorly known populations. High predictive performance of SDMs is evident in validations performed within the model calibration area (interpolation, but few studies have assessed SDM transferability to novel areas (extrapolation, particularly across large spatial scales or pelagic ecosystems. We performed rigorous SDM validation tests on distribution data from three populations of a long-ranging marine predator, the grey petrel Procellaria cinerea, to assess model transferability across the Southern Hemisphere (25-65°S. Oceanographic data were combined with tracks of grey petrels from two remote sub-Antarctic islands (Antipodes and Kerguelen using boosted regression trees to generate three SDMs: one for each island population, and a combined model. The predictive performance of these models was assessed using withheld tracking data from within the model calibration areas (interpolation, and from a third population, Marion Island (extrapolation. Predictive performance was assessed using k-fold cross validation and point biserial correlation. The two population-specific SDMs included the same predictor variables and suggested birds responded to the same broad-scale oceanographic influences. However, all model validation tests, including of the combined model, determined strong interpolation but weak extrapolation capabilities. These results indicate that habitat use reflects both its availability and bird preferences, such that the realized distribution patterns differ for each population. The spatial predictions by the three SDMs were compared with tracking data and fishing effort to demonstrate the conservation pitfalls of extrapolating SDMs outside calibration regions. This exercise revealed that SDM predictions would have led to an underestimate of overlap with fishing effort and potentially misinformed bycatch mitigation

  14. Where should buffers go? modeling riparian habitat connectivity in northeast Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gary Bentrup; Todd Kellerman

    2004-01-01

    Through many funding programs, riparian buffers are being created on agricultural lands to address significant water quality problems. Society and landowners are demanding many other environmental and social services (e.g., wildlife habitat and income diversification) from this practice. Resource planners therefore need to design riparian buffer systems in the right...

  15. Modeling Louisiana pine snake (Pituophis ruthveni) habitat use in relation to soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert O. Wagner; Josh B. Pierce; D. Craig Rudolph; Richard R. Schaefer; Dwayne A. Hightower

    2014-01-01

    Ongoing surveys suggest that Pituophis ruthveni (Louisiana Pine Snake) has declined range-wide and that known extant populations have continued to decline. Seven known populations remain and occupy small, isolated blocks of habitat. Population sizes are unknown, but all of them are believed to be critically small. Management for the species’ recovery requires an...

  16. Modeling Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) habitat and climate change effects in the northwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky K. Kerns; Bridgett J. Naylor; Michelle Buonopane; Catherine G. Parks; Brendan. Rogers

    2009-01-01

    Tamarisk species are shrubs or small trees considered by some to be among the most aggressively invasive and potentially detrimental exotic plants in the United States. Although extensively studied in the southern and interior west, northwestern (Oregon, Washington, and Idaho) distribution and habitat information for tamarisk is either limited or lacking. We obtained...

  17. Evaluating avian-habitat relationships models in mixed-conifer forests of the Sierra Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Sallie J. Hejl; Terry A. Larson

    1992-01-01

    Using data from two studies in the southern and central Sierra Nevada, we compared the presence and abundance of bird species breeding in mixedconifer forests during 1978-79 and 1983-85 to predictions &om the California Wildlife Habitat Relationships (WHR) System. Twelve percent of the species observed in either study were not predicted by the WHR database to occur...

  18. Ecosystem Services of Coastal Habitats and Fisheries: Multi-Scale Ecological and Economic Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Critical habitats for fish and wildlife often are small patches in landscapes, e.g., aquatic vegetation beds, reefs, isolated ponds and wetlands, remnant old growth forests, etc, yet the same animal populations that depend on these patches for reproduction or survival can be exte...

  19. Modeling and measuring sound propagation of hooded crow calls in open field habitats

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Kenneth Kragh; Larsen, Ole Næsbye; Attenborough, Keith

    representative of crow territorial communication and taking into account ground effect and air turbulence, we predict an optimal transmission frequency range between 0,5-1.6 kHz. In a natural open field crow habitat we measure, with sender and receiver heights of 2.8 m and transmission distances up to 320 m...

  20. Spatial transferability of habitat suitability models of Nephrops norvegicus among fished areas in the Northeast Atlantic: sufficiently stable for marine resource conservation?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Lauria

    Full Text Available Knowledge of the spatial distribution and habitat associations of species in relation to the environment is essential for their management and conservation. Habitat suitability models are useful in quantifying species-environment relationships and predicting species distribution patterns. Little is known, however, about the stability and performance of habitat suitability models when projected into new areas (spatial transferability and how this can inform resource management. The aims of this study were to model habitat suitability of Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus in five fished areas of the Northeast Atlantic (Aran ground, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Scotland Inshore and Fladen ground, and to test for spatial transferability of habitat models among multiple regions. Nephrops burrow density was modelled using generalised additive models (GAMs with predictors selected from four environmental variables (depth, slope, sediment and rugosity. Models were evaluated and tested for spatial transferability among areas. The optimum models (lowest AICc for different areas always included depth and sediment as predictors. Burrow densities were generally greater at depth and in finer sediments, but relationships for individual areas were sometimes more complex. Aside from an inclusion of depth and sediment, the optimum models differed between fished areas. When it came to tests of spatial transferability, however, most of the models were able to predict Nephrops density in other areas. Furthermore, transferability was not dependent on use of the optimum models since competing models were also able to achieve a similar level of transferability to new areas. A degree of decoupling between model 'fitting' performance and spatial transferability supports the use of simpler models when extrapolating habitat suitability maps to different areas. Differences in the form and performance of models from different areas may supply further information on the processes

  1. Large-scale determinants of diversity across Spanish forest habitats: accounting for model uncertainty in compositional and structural indicators

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin-Quller, E.; Torras, O.; Alberdi, I.; Solana, J.; Saura, S.

    2011-07-01

    An integral understanding of forest biodiversity requires the exploration of the many aspects it comprises and of the numerous potential determinants of their distribution. The landscape ecological approach provides a necessary complement to conventional local studies that focus on individual plots or forest ownerships. However, most previous landscape studies used equally-sized cells as units of analysis to identify the factors affecting forest biodiversity distribution. Stratification of the analysis by habitats with a relatively homogeneous forest composition might be more adequate to capture the underlying patterns associated to the formation and development of a particular ensemble of interacting forest species. Here we used a landscape perspective in order to improve our understanding on the influence of large-scale explanatory factors on forest biodiversity indicators in Spanish habitats, covering a wide latitudinal and attitudinal range. We considered six forest biodiversity indicators estimated from more than 30,000 field plots in the Spanish national forest inventory, distributed in 213 forest habitats over 16 Spanish provinces. We explored biodiversity response to various environmental (climate and topography) and landscape configuration (fragmentation and shape complexity) variables through multiple linear regression models (built and assessed through the Akaike Information Criterion). In particular, we took into account the inherent model uncertainty when dealing with a complex and large set of variables, and considered different plausible models and their probability of being the best candidate for the observed data. Our results showed that compositional indicators (species richness and diversity) were mostly explained by environmental factors. Models for structural indicators (standing deadwood and stand complexity) had the worst fits and selection uncertainties, but did show significant associations with some configuration metrics. In general

  2. Model output for deep-sea coral habitat suitability in the U.S. North and Mid-Atlantic from 2013 (NCEI Accession 0145923)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset was created for potential use as an environmental predictor in spatial predictive models of deep-sea coral habitat suitability. Deep-sea corals are of...

  3. Modelling Water Level Influence on Habitat Choice and Food Availability for Zostera Feeding Brent Geese Branta bernicla in Non-Tidal Areas

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, P.

    2000-01-01

    of water level fluctuations on the habitat use. A second model was developed to estimate the impact of water level on Zostera availability. The first model was successful in demonstrating that fluctuations in water levels had considerable influence on habitat use by the brent geese, i.e. they fed...... on Zostera at low water levels and on saltmarshes during high water levels, particularly so in early spring, and that the switch between habitats occurred within a narrow water level span of ca 30 cm. The second model demonstrated that the switch between habitats could be explained by lowered availability...... of Zostera as water levels increased. By combining the output from the two models, differences between years could partly be explained by differences in Zostera availability in the early spring period (21 March - 25 April), whereas a more complicated situation was detected later in spring (26 April - 31 May...

  4. Spatially explicit modeling of greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat in Nevada and northeastern California: a decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Overton, Cory T.; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Kroger, Travis; Mauch, Kimberly; Niell, Lara; Howe, Kristy; Gardner, Scott; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2014-01-01

    Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations are declining throughout the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem, including millions of acres of potential habitat across the West. Habitat maps derived from empirical data are needed given impending listing decisions that will affect both sage-grouse population dynamics and human land-use restrictions. This report presents the process for developing spatially explicit maps describing relative habitat suitability for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California. Maps depicting habitat suitability indices (HSI) values were generated based on model-averaged resource selection functions informed by more than 31,000 independent telemetry locations from more than 1,500 radio-marked sage-grouse across 12 project areas in Nevada and northeastern California collected during a 15-year period (1998–2013). Modeled habitat covariates included land cover composition, water resources, habitat configuration, elevation, and topography, each at multiple spatial scales that were relevant to empirically observed sage-grouse movement patterns. We then present an example of how the HSI can be delineated into categories. Specifically, we demonstrate that the deviation from the mean can be used to classify habitat suitability into three categories of habitat quality (high, moderate, and low) and one non-habitat category. The classification resulted in an agreement of 93–97 percent for habitat versus non-habitat across a suite of independent validation datasets. Lastly, we provide an example of how space use models can be integrated with habitat models to help inform conservation planning. In this example, we combined probabilistic breeding density with a non-linear probability of occurrence relative to distance to nearest lek (traditional breeding ground) using count data to calculate a composite space use index (SUI). The SUI was then classified into two categories of use

  5. Used-habitat calibration plots: A new procedure for validating species distribution, resource selection, and step-selection models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fieberg, John R.; Forester, James D.; Street, Garrett M.; Johnson, Douglas H.; ArchMiller, Althea A.; Matthiopoulos, Jason

    2018-01-01

    “Species distribution modeling” was recently ranked as one of the top five “research fronts” in ecology and the environmental sciences by ISI's Essential Science Indicators (Renner and Warton 2013), reflecting the importance of predicting how species distributions will respond to anthropogenic change. Unfortunately, species distribution models (SDMs) often perform poorly when applied to novel environments. Compounding on this problem is the shortage of methods for evaluating SDMs (hence, we may be getting our predictions wrong and not even know it). Traditional methods for validating SDMs quantify a model's ability to classify locations as used or unused. Instead, we propose to focus on how well SDMs can predict the characteristics of used locations. This subtle shift in viewpoint leads to a more natural and informative evaluation and validation of models across the entire spectrum of SDMs. Through a series of examples, we show how simple graphical methods can help with three fundamental challenges of habitat modeling: identifying missing covariates, non-linearity, and multicollinearity. Identifying habitat characteristics that are not well-predicted by the model can provide insights into variables affecting the distribution of species, suggest appropriate model modifications, and ultimately improve the reliability and generality of conservation and management recommendations.

  6. Integrating environmental variables and geospatial technologies in landscape scale habitat modelling of edible stink bugs in Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masocha, Mhosisi; Dube, Timothy; Maziva, Tendai

    2018-06-01

    Encosternum delegorguei spinola (edible stink bugs) is renowned for its high protein and contribution to the local economies of the people in Africa. Although many studies have evaluated the economic and nutritional importance of E. delegorguei, little is known about its geographic distribution and habitat yet the insects are an important source of protein and money for many people in Southern Africa. In this study maximum entropy model was used to predict the probability of presence of E. delegorguei in southern Zimbabwe. The environmental factors governing its geographic distribution in Zimbabwe were also evaluated. Presence/absence data were selected along thirty-five randomly selected transects. The climatic and topographic variables used to predict the distribution of E. delegorguei were: maximum temperature of the warmest month; minimum temperature of the coldest month; the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI); altitude; slope; and aspect. It was found that E. delegorguei is most likely to occur on steep slopes with high NDVI located at an altitude ranging of 856 and 1450 m above sea level. These suitable habitats are characterised by mild temperatures ranging from 17 °C to 28 °C. These results are in agreement with previous studies indicating that E. delegorguei is sensitive to temperature, as well as tree cover and may contribute towards conserving its habitat, which is being fragmented by anthropogenic disturbance.

  7. Hydraulic modeling of mussel habitat at a bridge-replacement site, Allegheny River, Pennsylvania, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulton, John W.; Wagner, Chad R.; Rogers, Megan E.; Zimmerman, Gregory F.

    2010-01-01

    The Allegheny River in Pennsylvania supports a large and diverse freshwater-mussel community, including two federally listed endangered species, Pleurobema clava(Clubshell) and Epioblasma torulosa rangiana (Northern Riffleshell). It is recognized that river hydraulics and morphology play important roles in mussel distribution. To assess the hydraulic influences of bridge replacement on mussel habitat, metrics such as depth, velocity, and their derivatives (shear stress, Froude number) were collected or computed.

  8. The potential role of habitat-forming seaweeds in modeling benthic ecosystem properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, María; Tajadura, Javier; Díez, Isabel; Saiz-Salinas, José Ignacio

    2017-12-01

    Canopy-forming seaweeds provide specific habitats with key ecological properties and are facing severe declines worldwide with unforeseeable consequences for ecosystem processes. Investigating the loss of such natural habitats in order to develop management strategies for conservation is a major challenge in marine ecological research. This study investigated the shallow rocky bottoms of the southern Bay of Biscay at two sampling times with a view to identifying the effect of canopy seaweed availability on the taxonomic and functional properties of invertebrate multivariate structure, abundance, density, diversity and evenness. The multivariate taxonomic and functional structure of assemblages changed significantly according to canopy availability in terms of taxa and functional groups abundance, but no substantial change was observed in composition. Biogenic habitat simplification resulted in a decrease in total invertebrate abundance and in taxonomic and functional density and diversity, whilst no effects were observed in taxonomic and functional evenness. Loss of canopy involved an impoverishment of the whole community particularly for epiphytic colonial sessile suspension-feeders, but it also extended to non-epiphytic forms. Our results emphasize the importance of canopy decline as a major driver of changes in benthic ecosystem properties and highlight that biogenic space provided by canopy is a limiting resource for the development of rocky subtidal invertebrates.

  9. A novel method to develop an otolith microchemistry model to determine striped bass habitat use in the San Francisco Estuary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillis, C C; Ostrach, D J; Gras, M; Yin, Q; Ingram, B L; Zinkl, J G; Weber, P K

    2006-06-14

    Otolith Sr/Ca has become a popular tool for hind casting habitat utilization and migration histories of euryhaline fish. It can readily identify habitat shifts of diadromous fish in most systems. Inferring movements of fish within estuarine habitat, however, requires a model of that accounts of the local water chemistry and the response of individual species to that water chemistry, which is poorly understood. Modeling is further complicated by the fact that high marine Sr and Ca concentrations results in a rapid, nonlinear increase in water Sr/Ca and {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr between fresh and marine waters. Here we demonstrate a novel method for developing a salinity-otolith Sr/Ca model for the purpose of reconstructing striped bass (Morone saxatilis) habitat use in the San Francisco Bay estuary. We used correlated Sr/Ca and {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios measurements from adult otoliths from striped bass that experienced a range of salinities to infer striped bass otolith Sr/Ca response to changes in salinity and water Sr/Ca ratio. Otolith {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr can be assumed to accurately record water {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr because there is no biological fractionation of Sr isotopes. Water {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr can in turn be used to estimate water salinity based on the mixing of fresh and marine water with known {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr ratios. The relationship between adjacent analyses on otoliths of Sr/Ca and {sup 87}Sr/{sup 86}Sr by LA-ICP-MS and MC-ICP-MS (r{sup 2} = 0.65, n = 66) is used to predict water salinity from a measured Sr/Ca ratio. The nature of this non-linear model lends itself well to identifying residence in the Delta and to a lesser extent Suisun Bay, but does not do well locating residence within the more saline bays west of Carquinez Strait. An increase in the number of analyses would improve model confidence, but ultimately the precision of the model is limited by the variability in the response of individual fish to water Sr/Ca.

  10. Use of linear and areal habitat models to establish and distribute beaver Castor fiber harvest quotas in Norway

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Howard Parker

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available In Norway the Eurasian beaver Castor fiber harvest is quota-regulated. Once the annual quota for each municipality has been determined it is distributed to landowner-organized beaver management units. Municipal wildlife managers can choose between two distributional models: the traditional “areal model” whereby each management unit receives its portion of the municipal quota based on the relative area of beaver habitat within the township that it contains, or the more recently developed “linear model” based on the relative length of beaver-utilized shoreline it contains. The linear model was developed in an attempt to increase the precision of the quota distribution process and is based on the fact that beaver occupy landscapes in a linear fashion along strips of shoreline rather than exploiting extensive areas. The assumption was that the linear model would provide a more precise and just method of distributing the municipal quota among landowners. Here we test the hypothesis that the length of beaverutilized shoreline is a better predictor of beaver colony density than the area of beaver habitat on 13 beaver management units of typical size (794 – 2200 hectares in Bø Township, Norway, during 2 years. As hypothesized, the number of beaver occupied sites on management units correlated significantly (p≤ 0.001 with the length of beaver-utilized shoreline, but not with the area of beaver habitat. Therefore municipalities should employ the linear model when a precise distribution of quotas is necessary. The density of Eurasian beaver colonies at the landscape scale (>100 km2 in south-central Scandinavia averages approximately 1 occupied site per 4 km2. This figure can be employed by municipal wildlife managers to estimate the colony density in their townships, and to calculate municipal quotas, when more precise census information is lacking.

  11. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris population in central India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mriganka Shekhar Sarkar

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris, which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory

  12. Assessment of fine-scale resource selection and spatially explicit habitat suitability modelling for a re-introduced tiger (Panthera tigris) population in central India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh; Johnson, Jeyaraj A; Sen, Subharanjan; Saha, Goutam Kumar

    2017-01-01

    Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals' ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger ( Panthera tigris ), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly's selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D 2 method and the Boyce index. There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods. Based on threshold limits

  13. Wildlife Habitats Suitability Modelling using Fuzzy Inference System: A Case Study of Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor in Shimbar Protected Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Several modelling techniques have been developed for habitat suitability modelling. In the meantime, the Fuzzy Inference System (FIS with ability to model uncertainty of input variables is an effective method to model wildlife species habitat suitability. So, Persian Leopard habitat suitability was predicted in Shimbar Protected Area using FIS. Therefore, the effective environmental variables were determined. We also defined and determined the linguistic variables, linguistic values, and range of them. Then, we designed the membership functions of the fuzzy sets of the input and output variables. Also, the definition of the fuzzy rules in the system was performed. Finally, the defuzzification of output was carried out. The accuracy of the predictive model was tested using AUC. Also, 11 FISs were developed to determine sensitivity of the models and important variables in modelling. The results showed that the predictive model was more efficient than the random model (AUC=0.960. In addition, the ‘distance to capra’ was the most important predictor. According to the success of FIS in Persian Leopard habitat suitability modelling, we suggest this method to improve and complete the existing spatial information of wildlife habitats in Iran, especially about regions and species that have been less studied.

  14. Spatially explicit habitat models for 28 fishes from the Upper Mississippi River System (AHAG 2.0)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ickes, Brian S.; Sauer, J.S.; Richards, N.; Bowler, M.; Schlifer, B.

    2014-01-01

    Environmental management actions in the Upper Mississippi River System (UMRS) typically require pre-project assessments of predicted benefits under a range of project scenarios. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) now requires certified and peer-reviewed models to conduct these assessments. Previously, habitat benefits were estimated for fish communities in the UMRS using the Aquatic Habitat Appraisal Guide (AHAG v.1.0; AHAG from hereon). This spreadsheet-based model used a habitat suitability index (HSI) approach that drew heavily upon Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 1980) by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). The HSI approach requires developing species response curves for different environmental variables that seek to broadly represent habitat. The AHAG model uses species-specific response curves assembled from literature values, data from other ecosystems, or best professional judgment. A recent scientific review of the AHAG indicated that the model’s effectiveness is reduced by its dated approach to large river ecosystems, uncertainty regarding its data inputs and rationale for habitat-species response relationships, and lack of field validation (Abt Associates Inc., 2011). The reviewers made two major recommendations: (1) incorporate empirical data from the UMRS into defining the empirical response curves, and (2) conduct post-project biological evaluations to test pre-project benefits estimated by AHAG. Our objective was to address the first recommendation and generate updated response curves for AHAG using data from the Upper Mississippi River Restoration-Environmental Management Program (UMRR-EMP) Long Term Resource Monitoring Program (LTRMP) element. Fish community data have been collected by LTRMP (Gutreuter and others, 1995; Ratcliff and others, in press) for 20 years from 6 study reaches representing 1,930 kilometers of river and >140 species of fish. We modeled a subset of these data (28 different

  15. An analysis of the North Rainier Elk Herd area, Washington: Change detection and habitat modeling with remote sensing and GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benton, Joshua J.

    The North Rainier Elk Herd (NREH) is one of ten designated herds in Washington State, all managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). To aid in the management of the herd, the WDFW has decided to implement a spatial ecosystem analysis. This thesis partially undertakes this analysis through the use of a suite of software tools, the Westside Elk Nutrition and Habitat Use Models (WENHUM). This model analyzes four covariates that have a strong correlation to elk habitat selection: dietary digestible energy (DDE); distance to roads open to the public; mean slope; and distance to cover-forage edge and returns areas of likely elk habitation or use. This thesis includes an update of the base vegetation layer from 2006 data to 2011, a series of clear cuts were identified as areas of change and fed into the WENHUM models. The addition of these clear cuts created improvements in the higher quality DDE levels and when the updated data is compared to the original, predictions of elk use are higher. The presence of open or closed roads was simulated by creating an area of possible closures, selecting candidate roads within that area and then modeling them as either "all open" or "all closed". The simulation of the road closures produced increases in the higher levels of predicted use.

  16. Field Validation of Habitat Suitability Models for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems in the South Pacific Ocean: Implications for the use of Broad-scale Models in Fisheries Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, O. F.; Guinotte, J. M.; Clark, M. R.; Rowden, A. A.; Mormede, S.; Davies, A. J.; Bowden, D.

    2016-02-01

    Spatial management of vulnerable marine ecosystems requires accurate knowledge of their distribution. Predictive habitat suitability modelling, using species presence data and a suite of environmental predictor variables, has emerged as a useful tool for inferring distributions outside of known areas. However, validation of model predictions is typically performed with non-independent data. In this study, we describe the results of habitat suitability models constructed for four deep-sea reef-forming coral species across a large region of the South Pacific Ocean using MaxEnt and Boosted Regression Tree modelling approaches. In order to validate model predictions we conducted a photographic survey on a set of seamounts in an un-sampled area east of New Zealand. The likelihood of habitat suitable for reef forming corals on these seamounts was predicted to be variable, but very high in some regions, particularly where levels of aragonite saturation, dissolved oxygen, and particulate organic carbon were optimal. However, the observed frequency of coral occurrence in analyses of survey photographic data was much lower than expected, and patterns of observed versus predicted coral distribution were not highly correlated. The poor performance of these broad-scale models is attributed to lack of recorded species absences to inform the models, low precision of global bathymetry models, and lack of data on the geomorphology and substrate of the seamounts at scales appropriate to the modelled taxa. This demonstrates the need to use caution when interpreting and applying broad-scale, presence-only model results for fisheries management and conservation planning in data poor areas of the deep sea. Future improvements in the predictive performance of broad-scale models will rely on the continued advancement in modelling of environmental predictor variables, refinements in modelling approaches to deal with missing or biased inputs, and incorporation of true absence data.

  17. Assessing the Habitat Suitability of Dam Reservoirs: A Quantitative Model and Case Study of the Hantan River Dam, South Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hyeongsik Kang

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to investigate ecologically healthy regions near a dam reservoir. This study developed a model for assessing habitat suitability as a proxy for the ecological value of reservoirs. Three main factors comprising nine assessment variables were selected and classified as having a habitat suitability (HS between 0 and 1: (1 geomorphic factors of altitude, slope steepness, and slope aspect; (2 vegetation factors of forest physiognomy, vegetation type, and tree age; and (3 ecological factors of land cover, ecological quality index, and environmental conservation value assessment. The spatial distribution of the nine HS indices was determined using geographic information systems and combined into one HS index value to determine ecologically healthy regions. The assessment model was applied to areas surrounding the Hantan River Dam, South Korea. To verify the model, wildlife location data from the national ecosystem survey of the Ministry of Environment were used. Areas with an HS index between 0.73 and 1 were found to contain 72% of observed wildlife locations. Ecologically healthy areas were identified by adding the indices of each variable. The methods shown here will be useful for establishing ecological restoration plans for dam reservoirs in South Korea.

  18. A modeling framework for integrated harvest and habitat management of North American waterfowl: Case-study of northern pintail metapopulation dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mattsson, Brady J.; Runge, M.C.; Devries, J.H.; Boomer, G.S.; Eadie, J.M.; Haukos, D.A.; Fleskes, J.P.; Koons, D.N.; Thogmartin, W.E.; Clark, R.G.

    2012-01-01

    We developed and evaluated the performance of a metapopulation model enabling managers to examine, for the first time, the consequences of alternative management strategies involving habitat conditions and hunting on both harvest opportunity and carrying capacity (i.e., equilibrium population size in the absence of harvest) for migratory waterfowl at a continental scale. Our focus is on the northern pintail (Anas acuta; hereafter, pintail), which serves as a useful model species to examine the potential for integrating waterfowl harvest and habitat management in North America. We developed submodel structure capturing important processes for pintail populations during breeding, fall migration, winter, and spring migration while encompassing spatial structure representing three core breeding areas and two core nonbreeding areas. A number of continental-scale predictions from our baseline parameterization (e.g., carrying capacity of 5.5 million, equilibrium population size of 2.9 million and harvest rate of 12% at maximum sustained yield [MSY]) were within 10% of those from the pintail harvest strategy under current use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. To begin investigating the interaction of harvest and habitat management, we examined equilibrium population conditions for pintail at the continental scale across a range of harvest rates while perturbing model parameters to represent: (1) a 10% increase in breeding habitat quality in the Prairie Pothole population (PR); and (2) a 10% increase in nonbreeding habitat quantity along in the Gulf Coast (GC). Based on our model and analysis, a greater increase in carrying capacity and sustainable harvest was seen when increasing a proxy for habitat quality in the Prairie Pothole population. This finding and underlying assumptions must be critically evaluated, however, before specific management recommendations can be made. To make such recommendations, we require (1) extended, refined submodels with additional

  19. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire D Stevenson-Holt

    Full Text Available Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  20. Defining landscape resistance values in least-cost connectivity models for the invasive grey squirrel: a comparison of approaches using expert-opinion and habitat suitability modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stevenson-Holt, Claire D; Watts, Kevin; Bellamy, Chloe C; Nevin, Owen T; Ramsey, Andrew D

    2014-01-01

    Least-cost models are widely used to study the functional connectivity of habitat within a varied landscape matrix. A critical step in the process is identifying resistance values for each land cover based upon the facilitating or impeding impact on species movement. Ideally resistance values would be parameterised with empirical data, but due to a shortage of such information, expert-opinion is often used. However, the use of expert-opinion is seen as subjective, human-centric and unreliable. This study derived resistance values from grey squirrel habitat suitability models (HSM) in order to compare the utility and validity of this approach with more traditional, expert-led methods. Models were built and tested with MaxEnt, using squirrel presence records and a categorical land cover map for Cumbria, UK. Predictions on the likelihood of squirrel occurrence within each land cover type were inverted, providing resistance values which were used to parameterise a least-cost model. The resulting habitat networks were measured and compared to those derived from a least-cost model built with previously collated information from experts. The expert-derived and HSM-inferred least-cost networks differ in precision. The HSM-informed networks were smaller and more fragmented because of the higher resistance values attributed to most habitats. These results are discussed in relation to the applicability of both approaches for conservation and management objectives, providing guidance to researchers and practitioners attempting to apply and interpret a least-cost approach to mapping ecological networks.

  1. Silvicolous on a small scale: possibilities and limitations of habitat suitability models for small, elusive mammals in conservation management and landscape planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Nina I; Encarnação, Jorge A

    2015-01-01

    Species distribution and endangerment can be assessed by habitat-suitability modelling. This study addresses methodical aspects of habitat suitability modelling and includes an application example in actual species conservation and landscape planning. Models using species presence-absence data are preferable to presence-only models. In contrast to species presence data, absences are rarely recorded. Therefore, many studies generate pseudo-absence data for modelling. However, in this study model quality was higher with null samples collected in the field. Next to species data the choice of landscape data is crucial for suitability modelling. Landscape data with high resolution and ecological relevance for the study species improve model reliability and quality for small elusive mammals like Muscardinus avellanarius. For large scale assessment of species distribution, models with low-detailed data are sufficient. For regional site-specific conservation issues like a conflict-free site for new wind turbines, high-detailed regional models are needed. Even though the overlap with optimally suitable habitat for M. avellanarius was low, the installation of wind plants can pose a threat due to habitat loss and fragmentation. To conclude, modellers should clearly state the purpose of their models and choose the according level of detail for species and environmental data.

  2. A multistage decision support framework to guide tree species management under climate change via habitat suitability and colonization models, and a knowledge-based scoring system

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Context. No single model can capture the complex species range dynamics under changing climates--hence the need for a combination approach that addresses management concerns. Objective. A multistage approach is illustrated to manage forested landscapes under climate change. We combine a tree species habitat model--DISTRIB II, a species colonization model--SHIFT, and...

  3. The scientific basis for modeling Northern Spotted Owl habitat: A response to Loehle, Irwin, Manly, and Merrill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffrey R. Dunk; Brian Woodbridge; Elizabeth M. Glenn; Raymond J. Davis; Katherine Fitzgerald; Paul Henson; David W. LaPlante; Bruce G. Marcot; Barry R. Noon; Martin G. Raphael; Nathan H. Schumaker; Brendan. White

    2015-01-01

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently revised the recovery plan (USFWS, 2011) and designated Critical Habitat (USFWS, 2012a) for the Northern Spotted Owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). The Critical Habitat designation was based in part on a map of relative habitat suitability that was developed by USFWS (2011, 2012b) for this purpose. Loehle...

  4. Construction of a GeogDetector-based model system to indicate the potential occurrence of grasshoppers in Inner Mongolia steppe habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, J; Zhang, N; Gexigeduren; He, B; Liu, C-Y; Li, Y; Zhang, H-Y; Chen, X-Y; Lin, H

    2015-06-01

    Grasshopper plagues have seriously disturbed grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, China. The accurate prediction of grasshopper infestations and control of grasshopper plagues have become urgent needs. We sampled 234, 342, 335, and 369 plots in Xianghuangqi County of Xilingol League in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively, and measured the density of the most dominant grasshopper species, Oedaleus decorus asiaticus, and the latitude, longitude, and associated relatively stable habitat factors at each plot. We used Excel-GeogDetector software to explore the effects of individual habitat factors and the two-factor interactions on grasshopper density. We estimated the membership of each grasshopper density rank and determined the weights of each habitat category. These results were used to construct a model system evaluating grasshopper habitat suitability. The results showed that our evaluation system was reliable and the fuzzy evaluation scores of grasshopper habitat suitability were good indicators of potential occurrence of grasshoppers. The effects of the two-factor interactions on grasshopper density were greater than the effects of any individual factors. O. d. asiaticus was most likely to be found at elevations of 1300-1400 m, flat terrain or slopes of 4-6°, typical chestnut soil with 70-80% sand content in the top 5 cm of soil, and medium-coverage grassland. The species preferred temperate bunchgrass steppe dominated by Stipa krylovii and Cleistogenes squarrosa. These findings may be used to improve models to predict grasshopper occurrence and to develop management guidelines to control grasshopper plagues by changing habitats.

  5. A Contemporary Analysis of the O'Neill-Glaser Model for Space-Based Solar Power and Habitat Construction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curreri, Peter A.; Detweiler, Michael K.

    2011-01-01

    In 1975 Gerard O Neill published in the journal Science a model for the construction of solar power satellites. He found that the solar power satellites suggested by Peter Glaser would be too massive to launch economically from Earth, but could be financially viable if the workforce was permanently located in free space habitats and if lunar and asteroid materials were used for construction. All new worldwide electrical generating capacity could be then achieved by solar power satellites. The project would financially break even in about 20 years after which it would generate substantial income selling power below fossil fuel prices. Two NASA / Stanford University led studies at Ames Research center during the summers of 1974 and 1976 found the concept technically sound and developed a detailed financial parametric model. Although the project was not undertaken when suggested in the 1970s, several contemporary issues make pursuing the O Neill -- Glaser concept more compelling today. First, our analysis suggests that if in the first ten years of construction that small habitats (compared to the large vista habitats envisioned by O Neill) supporting approximately 300 people were utilized, development costs of the program and the time for financial break even could be substantially improved. Second, the contemporary consensus is developing that carbon free energy is required to mitigate global climate change. It is estimated that 300 GW of new carbon free energy would be necessary per year to stabilize global atmospheric carbon. This is about 4 times greater energy demand than was considered by the O Neill Glaser model. Our analysis suggests that after the initial investments in lunar mining and space manufacturing and transportation, that the profit margin for producing space solar power is very high (even when selling power below fossil fuel prices). We have investigated the financial scaling of ground launched versus space derived space solar power satellites. We

  6. Habitat suitability criteria via parametric distributions: estimation, model selection and uncertainty

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Nicholas A.; Goodman, Damon H.; Perry, Russell W.; Hardy, Thomas B.

    2016-01-01

    Previous methods for constructing univariate habitat suitability criteria (HSC) curves have ranged from professional judgement to kernel-smoothed density functions or combinations thereof. We present a new method of generating HSC curves that applies probability density functions as the mathematical representation of the curves. Compared with previous approaches, benefits of our method include (1) estimation of probability density function parameters directly from raw data, (2) quantitative methods for selecting among several candidate probability density functions, and (3) concise methods for expressing estimation uncertainty in the HSC curves. We demonstrate our method with a thorough example using data collected on the depth of water used by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) in the Klamath River of northern California and southern Oregon. All R code needed to implement our example is provided in the appendix. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  7. Teaching habitat and animal classification to fourth graders using an engineering-design model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marulcu, Ismail

    2014-05-01

    Background: The motivation for this work is built upon the premise that there is a need for research-based materials for design-based science instruction. In this paper, a small portion of our work investigating the impact of a LEGOTM engineering unit on fourth grade students' preconceptions and understanding of animals is presented. Purpose: The driving questions for our work are: (1) What is the impact of an engineering-design-based curricular module on students' understanding of habitat and animal classification? (2) What are students' misconceptions regarding animal classification and habitat? Sample: The study was conducted in an inner-city K-8 school in the northeastern region of the United States. There were two fourth grade classrooms in the school. The first classroom included seven girls and nine boys, whereas the other classroom included eight girls and eight boys. All fourth grade students participated in the study. Design and methods: In answering the research questions mixed-method approaches are used. Data collection methods included pre- and post-tests, pre- and post-interviews, student journals, and classroom observations. Identical pre- and post-tests were administered to measure students' understanding of animals. They included four multiple-choice and six open-ended questions. Identical pre- and post-interviews were administered to explore students' in-depth understanding of animals. Results: Our results show that students significantly increased their performance after instruction on both the multiple-choice questions (t = -3.586, p = .001) and the open-ended questions (t = -5.04, p = .000). They performed better on the post interviews as well. Also, it is found that design-based instruction helped students comprehend core concepts of a life science subject, animals. Conclusions: Based on these results, the main argument of the study is that engineering design is a useful framework for teaching not only physical science-related subjects, but

  8. Predicting Effects of Climate Change on Habitat Suitability of Red Spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of the USA: Understanding Complex Systems Mechanisms through Modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Ah Koo

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Alpine, subalpine and boreal tree species, of low genetic diversity and adapted to low optimal temperatures, are vulnerable to the warming effects of global climate change. The accurate prediction of these species’ distributions in response to climate change is critical for effective planning and management. The goal of this research is to predict climate change effects on the distribution of red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg. in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP, eastern USA. Climate change is, however, conflated with other environmental factors, making its assessment a complex systems problem in which indirect effects are significant in causality. Predictions were made by linking a tree growth simulation model, red spruce growth model (ARIM.SIM, to a GIS spatial model, red spruce habitat model (ARIM.HAB. ARIM.SIM quantifies direct and indirect interactions between red spruce and its growth factors, revealing the latter to be dominant. ARIM.HAB spatially distributes the ARIM.SIM simulations under the assumption that greater growth reflects higher probabilities of presence. ARIM.HAB predicts the future habitat suitability of red spruce based on growth predictions of ARIM.SIM under climate change and three air pollution scenarios: 10% increase, no change and 10% decrease. Results show that suitable habitats shrink most when air pollution increases. Higher temperatures cause losses of most low-elevation habitats. Increased precipitation and air pollution produce acid rain, which causes loss of both low- and high-elevation habitats. The general prediction is that climate change will cause contraction of red spruce habitats at both lower and higher elevations in GSMNP, and the effects will be exacerbated by increased air pollution. These predictions provide valuable information for understanding potential impacts of global climate change on the spatiotemporal distribution of red spruce habitats in GSMNP.

  9. The Hyper-Envelope Modeling Interface (HEMI): A Novel Approach Illustrated Through Predicting Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) Habitat in the Western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jim; Young, Nick; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Newman, Greg; Evangelista, Paul; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2013-01-01

    Habitat suitability maps are commonly created by modeling a species’ environmental niche from occurrences and environmental characteristics. Here, we introduce the hyper-envelope modeling interface (HEMI), providing a new method for creating habitat suitability models using Bezier surfaces to model a species niche in environmental space. HEMI allows modeled surfaces to be visualized and edited in environmental space based on expert knowledge and does not require absence points for model development. The modeled surfaces require relatively few parameters compared to similar modeling approaches and may produce models that better match ecological niche theory. As a case study, we modeled the invasive species tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) in the western USA. We compare results from HEMI with those from existing similar modeling approaches (including BioClim, BioMapper, and Maxent). We used synthetic surfaces to create visualizations of the various models in environmental space and used modified area under the curve (AUC) statistic and akaike information criterion (AIC) as measures of model performance. We show that HEMI produced slightly better AUC values, except for Maxent and better AIC values overall. HEMI created a model with only ten parameters while Maxent produced a model with over 100 and BioClim used only eight. Additionally, HEMI allowed visualization and editing of the model in environmental space to develop alternative potential habitat scenarios. The use of Bezier surfaces can provide simple models that match our expectations of biological niche models and, at least in some cases, out-perform more complex approaches.

  10. The Hyper-Envelope Modeling Interface (HEMI): A Novel Approach Illustrated Through Predicting Tamarisk ( Tamarix spp.) Habitat in the Western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graham, Jim; Young, Nick; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Newman, Greg; Evangelista, Paul; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2013-10-01

    Habitat suitability maps are commonly created by modeling a species' environmental niche from occurrences and environmental characteristics. Here, we introduce the hyper-envelope modeling interface (HEMI), providing a new method for creating habitat suitability models using Bezier surfaces to model a species niche in environmental space. HEMI allows modeled surfaces to be visualized and edited in environmental space based on expert knowledge and does not require absence points for model development. The modeled surfaces require relatively few parameters compared to similar modeling approaches and may produce models that better match ecological niche theory. As a case study, we modeled the invasive species tamarisk ( Tamarix spp.) in the western USA. We compare results from HEMI with those from existing similar modeling approaches (including BioClim, BioMapper, and Maxent). We used synthetic surfaces to create visualizations of the various models in environmental space and used modified area under the curve (AUC) statistic and akaike information criterion (AIC) as measures of model performance. We show that HEMI produced slightly better AUC values, except for Maxent and better AIC values overall. HEMI created a model with only ten parameters while Maxent produced a model with over 100 and BioClim used only eight. Additionally, HEMI allowed visualization and editing of the model in environmental space to develop alternative potential habitat scenarios. The use of Bezier surfaces can provide simple models that match our expectations of biological niche models and, at least in some cases, out-perform more complex approaches.

  11. Demographic population model for American shad: will access to additional habitat upstream of dams increase population sizes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Julianne E.; Hightower, Joseph E.

    2012-01-01

    American shad Alosa sapidissima are in decline in their native range, and modeling possible management scenarios could help guide their restoration. We developed a density-dependent, deterministic, stage-based matrix model to predict the population-level results of transporting American shad to suitable spawning habitat upstream of dams on the Roanoke River, North Carolina and Virginia. We used data on sonic-tagged adult American shad and oxytetracycline-marked American shad fry both above and below dams on the Roanoke River with information from other systems to estimate a starting population size and vital rates. We modeled the adult female population over 30 years under plausible scenarios of adult transport, effective fecundity (egg production), and survival of adults (i.e., to return to spawn the next year) and juveniles (from spawned egg to age 1). We also evaluated the potential effects of increased survival for adults and juveniles. The adult female population size in the Roanoke River was estimated to be 5,224. With no transport, the model predicted a slow population increase over the next 30 years. Predicted population increases were highest when survival was improved during the first year of life. Transport was predicted to benefit the population only if high rates of effective fecundity and juvenile survival could be achieved. Currently, transported adults and young are less likely to successfully out-migrate than individuals below the dams, and the estimated adult population size is much smaller than either of two assumed values of carrying capacity for the lower river; therefore, transport is not predicted to help restore the stock under present conditions. Research on survival rates, density-dependent processes, and the impacts of structures to increase out-migration success would improve evaluation of the potential benefits of access to additional spawning habitat for American shad.

  12. Estimating the per-capita contribution of habitats and pathways in a migratory network: A modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiederholt, Ruscena; Mattsson, Brady J.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Runge, Michael C.; Diffendorfer, Jay E.; Erickson, Richard A.; Federico, Paula; Lopez-Hoffman, Laura; Fryxell, John; Norris, D. Ryan; Sample, Christine

    2018-01-01

    Every year, migratory species undertake seasonal movements along different pathways between discrete regions and habitats. The ability to assess the relative demographic contributions of these different habitats and pathways to the species’ overall population dynamics is critical for understanding the ecology of migratory species, and also has practical applications for management and conservation. Metrics for assessing habitat contributions have been well-developed for metapopulations, but an equivalent metric is not currently available for migratory populations. Here, we develop a framework for estimating the demographic contributions of the discrete habitats and pathways used by migratory species throughout the annual cycle by estimating the per capita contribution of cohorts using these locations. Our framework accounts for seasonal movements between multiple breeding and non-breeding habitats and for both resident and migratory cohorts. We illustrate our framework using a hypothetical migratory network of four habitats, which allows us to better understand how variations in habitat quality affect per capita contributions. Results indicate that per capita contributions for any habitat or pathway are dependent on habitat-specific survival probabilities in all other areas used as part of the migratory circuit, and that contribution metrics are spatially linked (e.g. reduced survival in one habitat also decreases the contribution metric for other habitats). Our framework expands existing theory on the dynamics of spatiotemporally structured populations by developing a generalized approach to estimate the habitat- and pathway-specific contributions of species migrating between multiple breeding and multiple non-breeding habitats for a range of life histories or migratory strategies. Most importantly, it provides a means of prioritizing conservation efforts towards those migratory pathways and habitats that are most critical for the population viability of

  13. Considering direct and indirect habitat influences on stream biota in eco-geomorphology research to better understand, model, and manage riverine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cienciala, P.; Nelson, A. D.

    2017-12-01

    The field of fluvial eco-geomorphology strives to improve the understanding of interactions between physical and biological processes in running waters. This body of research has greatly contributed to the advancement of integrated river science and management. Arguably, the most popular research themes in eco-geomorphology include hydrogemorphic controls of habitat quality and effects of disturbances such as floods, sediment transport events or sediment accumulation. However, in contrast to the related field of ecology, the distinction between direct and indirect mechanisms which may affect habitat quality and biotic response to disturbance has been poorly explored in eco-geomorphic research. This knowledge gap poses an important challenge for interpretations of field observations and model development. In this research, using the examples of benthic invertebrates and fish, we examine the importance of direct and indirect influences that geomorphic and hydraulic processes may exert on stream biota. We also investigate their implications for modeling of organism-habitat relationships. To achieve our goal, we integrate field and remote sensing data from montane streams in the Pacific Northwest region with habitat models. Preliminary results indicate that indirect hydrogeomorphic influences of stream organisms, such as those mediated by altered availability of food resources, can be as important as direct influences (e.g. physical disturbance). We suggest that these findings may also have important implications for modeling of riverine habitat.

  14. A Habitat-based Wind-Wildlife Collision Model with Application to the Upper Great Plains Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forcey, Greg, M.

    2012-08-28

    Most previous studies on collision impacts at wind facilities have taken place at the site-specific level and have only examined small-scale influences on mortality. In this study, we examine landscape-level influences using a hierarchical spatial model combined with existing datasets and life history knowledge for: Horned Lark, Red-eyed Vireo, Mallard, American Avocet, Golden Eagle, Whooping Crane, red bat, silver-haired bat, and hoary bat. These species were modeled in the central United States within Bird Conservation Regions 11, 17, 18, and 19. For the bird species, we modeled bird abundance from existing datasets as a function of habitat variables known to be preferred by each species to develop a relative abundance prediction for each species. For bats, there are no existing abundance datasets so we identified preferred habitat in the landscape for each species and assumed that greater amounts of preferred habitat would equate to greater abundance of bats. The abundance predictions for bird and bats were modeled with additional exposure factors known to influence collisions such as visibility, wind, temperature, precipitation, topography, and behavior to form a final mapped output of predicted collision risk within the study region. We reviewed published mortality studies from wind farms in our study region and collected data on reported mortality of our focal species to compare to our modeled predictions. We performed a sensitivity analysis evaluating model performance of 6 different scenarios where habitat and exposure factors were weighted differently. We compared the model performance in each scenario by evaluating observed data vs. our model predictions using spearmans rank correlations. Horned Lark collision risk was predicted to be highest in the northwestern and west-central portions of the study region with lower risk predicted elsewhere. Red-eyed Vireo collision risk was predicted to be the highest in the eastern portions of the study region and in

  15. 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

  16. Assessment of Brown Bear\\'s (Ursus arctos syriacus Winter Habitat Using Geographically Weighted Regression and Generalized Linear Model in South of Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Zarei

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Winter dens are one of the important components of brown bear's (Ursus arctos syriacus habitat, affecting their reproduction and survival. Therefore identification of factors affecting the habitat selection and suitable denning areas in the conservation of our largest carnivore is necessary. We used Geographically Weighted Logistic Regression (GWLR and Generalized Linear Model (GLM for modeling suitability of denning habitat in Kouhkhom region in Fars province. In the present research, 20 dens (presence locations and 20 caves where signs of bear were not found (absence locations were used as dependent variables and six environmental factors were used for each location as independent variables. The results of GLM showed that variables of distance to settlements, altitude, and distance to water were the most important parameters affecting suitability of the brown bear's denning habitat. The results of GWLR showed the significant local variations in the relationship between occurrence of brown bear dens and the variable of distance to settlements. Based on the results of both models, suitable habitats for denning of the species are impassable areas in the mountains and inaccessible for humans.

  17. Perch-height specific predation on tropical lizard clay models: implications for habitat selection in mainland neotropical lizards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John E Steffen

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here i use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground, but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats. Rev. Biol. Trop. 57 (3: 859-864. Epub 2009 September 30.Existe la hipótesis de que la depredación es una fuerte fuerza selectiva que estructura las comunidades de lagartijas tropicales. Las comparaciones de las frecuencias de altura de la percha y de depredación con base en el tamaño pueden proveer una ventana única en el entendimiento de cómo la depredación podría moldear la selección del hábitat y los patrones morfológicos en las lagartijas, especialmente anoles. En este estudio uso modelos de plasticina, ubicados en troncos de árboles y suspendidos en el dosel para mostrar que la frecuencia de depredación en los modelos de plasticina difiere primariamente según el hábitat (dosel vs. tronco-suelo pero no según el tamaño. Estos datos se discuten a la luz de las abundancias de lagartijas observadas en los bosques de bajura de Costa Rica, y se presentan como una explicación parcial a porqué menos lagartijas se encuentran en los doseles, y más lagartijas se encuentran en los hábitats suelo-tronco.

  18. Benthic Habitat Mapping by Combining Lyzenga’s Optical Model and Relative Water Depth Model in Lintea Island, Southeast Sulawesi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hafizt, M.; Manessa, M. D. M.; Adi, N. S.; Prayudha, B.

    2017-12-01

    Benthic habitat mapping using satellite data is one challenging task for practitioners and academician as benthic objects are covered by light-attenuating water column obscuring object discrimination. One common method to reduce this water-column effect is by using depth-invariant index (DII) image. However, the application of the correction in shallow coastal areas is challenging as a dark object such as seagrass could have a very low pixel value, preventing its reliable identification and classification. This limitation can be solved by specifically applying a classification process to areas with different water depth levels. The water depth level can be extracted from satellite imagery using Relative Water Depth Index (RWDI). This study proposed a new approach to improve the mapping accuracy, particularly for benthic dark objects by combining the DII of Lyzenga’s water column correction method and the RWDI of Stumpt’s method. This research was conducted in Lintea Island which has a high variation of benthic cover using Sentinel-2A imagery. To assess the effectiveness of the proposed new approach for benthic habitat mapping two different classification procedures are implemented. The first procedure is the commonly applied method in benthic habitat mapping where DII image is used as input data to all coastal area for image classification process regardless of depth variation. The second procedure is the proposed new approach where its initial step begins with the separation of the study area into shallow and deep waters using the RWDI image. Shallow area was then classified using the sunglint-corrected image as input data and the deep area was classified using DII image as input data. The final classification maps of those two areas were merged as a single benthic habitat map. A confusion matrix was then applied to evaluate the mapping accuracy of the final map. The result shows that the new proposed mapping approach can be used to map all benthic objects in

  19. Modeling the flocking propensity of passerine birds in two Neotropical habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pomara, Lars Y; Cooper, Robert J; Petit, Lisa J

    2007-08-01

    We examined the importance of mixed-species flock abundance, individual bird home range size, foraging height, and foraging patch characteristics in predicting the propensity for five Neotropical passerine bird species (Slaty Antwren, Myrmotherula schisticolor; Golden-crowned Warbler, Basileuterus culicivorus; Slate-throated Redstart, Myioborus miniatus; Wilson's Warbler, Wilsonia pusilla; and Black-and-white Warbler, Mniotilta varia) to forage within flocks, rather than solitarily. We used study plots in primary mid-elevation forest and in shade coffee fields in western Panama. We expected that all species would spend as much time as possible flocking, but that the social and environmental factors listed above would limit compatibility between flock movements and individual bird movements, explaining variability in flocking propensity both within and among species. Flocking propensity was well predicted by home range size and flock abundance together, for four of the five species. While flock abundance was uniform across plots, home range sizes varied among species and plots, so that home range size appeared to be the principle factor limiting flocking propensity. Estimates of flock abundance were still required, however, for calculating flocking propensity values. Foraging height and patch characteristics slightly improved predictive ability for the remaining species, M. miniatus. In general, individual birds tended to join flocks whenever one was available inside their home range, regardless of a flock's specific location within the home range. Flocking propensities of individual species were lower in shade coffee fields than in forests, and probably vary across landscapes with variations in habitat. This variability affects the stability and species composition of flocks, and may affect survival rates of individual species.

  20. LANDSCAPE MODELING OF CHARACTERISTIC HABITAT SCALES, DISPERSAL, AND CONNECTIVITY FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE ORGANISM

    Science.gov (United States)

    A modeling framework was developed to investigate the interactive effects of life history characteristics and landscape heterogeneity on dispersal success. An individual-based model was used to examine how dispersal between resource patches is affected by four landscape characte...

  1. A Conceptual Approach to Recreation Habitat Analysis

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Hamilton, H. R

    1996-01-01

    .... The Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) is a commonly used technique for assessing human impacts on the vigor of wildlife species, and serves as the model for the Recreation Habitat Analysis Method (RHAM...

  2. Beaked Whale Habitat Characterization and Prediction

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ward, Jessica A; Mitchell, Glenn H; Farak, Amy M; Keane, Ellen P

    2005-01-01

    The objective of this study was to characterize known beaked whale habitat and create a predictive beaked whale habitat model of the Gulf of Mexico and east coast of the United States using available...

  3. Toward a predictive model for water and carbon fluxes of non-native trees in urban habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCarthy, H. R.; Jenerette, G. D.; Pataki, D. E.

    2008-12-01

    had lower photosynthesis and conductance. However, WUE generally followed the expected trends, with species predicted to have low conductance showing higher WUE. This implies that WUE is strongly genetically controlled and may be predictable with knowledge of imported species' native habitat. Other traits, such as leaf nitrogen and isotopes, are also being investigated as proxies for detailed gas exchange measurements in this ecosystem. Further refinement of predictive factors will facilitate conceptual and quantitative models that can be used for robust scaling of water and carbon fluxes from trees to urban regions.

  4. 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

  5. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson’s and Peale’s Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellabianca, Natalia A.; Pierce, Graham J.; Raya Rey, Andrea; Scioscia, Gabriela; Miller, David L.; Torres, Mónica A.; Paso Viola, M. Natalia; Schiavini, Adrián C. M.

    2016-01-01

    Commerson’s dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii) and Peale’s dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals) of Commerson’s dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals) of Peale’s dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson’s dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale’s dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson’s dolphins and 20,000 Peale’s dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale’s dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson’s dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures. PMID:27783627

  6. Coupled stream and population dynamics: Modeling the role beaver (Castor canadensis) play in generating juvenile steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, C.; Bouwes, N.; Wheaton, J. M.; Pollock, M.

    2013-12-01

    Over the past several centuries, the population of North American Beaver has been dramatically reduced through fur trapping. As a result, the geomorphic impacts long-term beaver occupancy and activity can have on fluvial systems have been lost, both from the landscape and from our collective memory such that physical and biological models of floodplain system function neither consider nor have the capacity to incorporate the role beaver can play in structuring the dynamics of streams. Concomitant with the decline in beaver populations was an increasing pressure on streams and floodplains through human activity, placing numerous species of stream rearing fishes in peril, most notably the ESA listing of trout and salmon populations across the entirety of the Western US. The rehabilitation of stream systems is seen as one of the primary means by which population and ecosystem recovery can be achieved, yet the methods of stream rehabilitation are applied almost exclusively with the expected outcome of a static idealized stream planform, occasionally with an acknowledgement of restoring processes rather than form and only rarely with the goal of a beaver dominated riverscape. We have constructed an individual based model of trout and beaver populations that allows the exploration of fish population dynamics as a function of stream habitat quality and quantity. We based the simulation tool on Bridge Creek (John Day River basin, Oregon) where we have implemented a large-scale restoration experiment using wooden posts to provide beavers with stable platforms for dam building and to simulate the dams themselves. Extensive monitoring captured geomorphic and riparian changes, as well as fish and beaver population responses; information we use to parameterize the model as to the geomorphic and fish response to dam building beavers. In the simulation environment, stream habitat quality and quantity can be manipulated directly through rehabilitation actions and indirectly

  7. The copper spoil heap Knappenberg, Austria, as a model for metal habitats – Vegetation, substrate and contamination

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adlassnig, Wolfram; Weiss, Yasmin S. [University of Vienna, Core Facility Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research, Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Sassmann, Stefan [University of Vienna, Core Facility Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research, Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); University of Exeter, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Biosciences, Stocker Road, Exeter EX4 4QD (United Kingdom); Steinhauser, Georg [Leibniz University Hannover, Institute of Radioecology and Radiation Protection, Herrenhäuser Straße 2, D30419 Hannover (Germany); Hofhansl, Florian [University of Vienna, Department of Microbiology and Ecosystem Science, Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Instituto Nacional de Pesquisas da Amazônia, Coordenação de Dinâmica Ambiental, Manaus (Brazil); Baumann, Nils [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Division of Biogeochemistry, Bautzner Landstraße 400, D-01328 Dresden (Germany); Lichtscheidl, Irene K. [University of Vienna, Core Facility Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research, Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria); Lang, Ingeborg, E-mail: ingeborg.lang@univie.ac.at [University of Vienna, Core Facility Cell Imaging and Ultrastructure Research, Althanstraße 14, A-1090 Vienna (Austria)

    2016-09-01

    Historic mining in the Eastern Alps has left us with a legacy of numerous spoil heaps hosting specific, metal tolerant vegetation. Such habitats are characterized by elevated concentrations of toxic elements but also by high irradiation, a poorly developed substrate or extreme pH of the soil. This study investigates the distribution of vascular plants, mosses and lichens on a copper spoil heap on the ore bearing Knappenberg formed by Prebichl Layers and Werfener Schist in Lower Austria. It serves as a model for discriminating between various ecological traits and their effects on vegetation. Five distinct clusters were distinguished: (1) The bare, metal rich Central Spoil Heap was only colonised by highly resistant specialists. (2) The Northern and (3) Southern Peripheries contained less copper; the contrasting vegetation was best explained by the different microclimate. (4) A forest over acidic bedrock hosted a vegetation overlapping with the periphery of the spoil heap. (5) A forest over calcareous bedrock was similar to the spoil heap with regard to pH and humus content but hosted a vegetation differing strongly to all other habitats. Among the multiple toxic elements at the spoil heap, only Cu seems to exert a crucial influence on the vegetation pattern. Besides metal concentrations, irradiation, humidity, humus, pH and grain size distribution are important for the establishment of a metal tolerant vegetation. The difference between the species poor Northern and the diverse Southern Periphery can be explained by the microclimate rather than by the substrate. All plant species penetrating from the forest into the periphery of the spoil heap originate from the acidic but not from the calcareous bedrock. - Highlights: • Strong impact on plant diversity by isolation and extreme abiotic conditions • Both, microclimate and substrate explain species distribution. • Increased cellular metal tolerance of plants from the Central Spoil Heap • Among toxic elements

  8. High-resolution assessment of land use impacts on biodiversity in life cycle assessment using species habitat suitability models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Baan, Laura; Curran, Michael; Rondinini, Carlo; Visconti, Piero; Hellweg, Stefanie; Koellner, Thomas

    2015-02-17

    Agricultural land use is a main driver of global biodiversity loss. The assessment of land use impacts in decision-support tools such as life cycle assessment (LCA) requires spatially explicit models, but existing approaches are either not spatially differentiated or modeled at very coarse scales (e.g., biomes or ecoregions). In this paper, we develop a high-resolution (900 m) assessment method for land use impacts on biodiversity based on habitat suitability models (HSM) of mammal species. This method considers potential land use effects on individual species, and impacts are weighted by the species' conservation status and global rarity. We illustrate the method using a case study of crop production in East Africa, but the underlying HSMs developed by the Global Mammals Assessment are available globally. We calculate impacts of three major export crops and compare the results to two previously developed methods (focusing on local and regional impacts, respectively) to assess the relevance of the methodological innovations proposed in this paper. The results highlight hotspots of product-related biodiversity impacts that help characterize the links among agricultural production, consumption, and biodiversity loss.

  9. Abolition of set-aside schemes, associated impacts on habitat structure and modelling of potential effects of cross-farm regulation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levin, G.; Jepsen, Martin Rudbeck

    2010-01-01

    proportion of set-aside land was re-cultivated. With Denmark as case we apply an indicator to measure the effect of set-aside land on spatial structure of semi-natural habitats in term of habitat size and connectivity. Furthermore, we model effects of a hypothetical spatial regulation, where set-aside land...... reduces impacts. Effects increase with increasing size of farm agglomerations. However, marginal benefits become negligible at agglomeration sizes over 36 km(2). (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved...

  10. Using a Geospatial Model to Relate Fluvial Geomorphology to Macroinvertebrate Habitat in a Prairie River—Part 2: Matching Family-Level Indices to Geomorphological Response Units (GRUs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Grace Nostbakken Meissner

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Many rivers are intensely managed due to anthropogenic influences such as dams, channelization, and water provision for municipalities, agriculture, and industry. With this growing pressure on fluvial systems comes a greater need to evaluate the state of their ecosystems. The purpose of this research is to use a geospatial model of the Qu’Appelle River in Saskatchewan to distinguish instream macroinvertebrate habitats at the family level. River geomorphology was assessed through the use of ArcGIS and digital elevation models; with these tools, the sinuosity, slope, fractal dimension, and stream width of the river were processed. Subsequently, Principal Component Analysis, a clustering technique, revealed areas with similar sets of geomorphological characteristics. These similar typology sequences were then grouped into geomorphological response units (GRUs, designated a color, and mapped into a geospatial model. Macroinvertebrate data was then incorporated to reveal several relationships to the model. For instance, certain GRUs contained more highly sensitive species and healthier diversity levels than others. Future possibilities for expanding on this project include incorporating stable isotope data to evaluate the food-web structure within the river basin. Although GRUs have been very successful in identifying fish habitats in other studies, the macroinvertebrates may be too sessile and their habitat too localized to be identified by such large river units. Units may need to be much shorter (250 m to better identify macroinvertebrate habitat.

  11. Development of a Hydrodynamic and Transport model of Bellingham Bay in Support of Nearshore Habitat Restoration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Taiping; Yang, Zhaoqing; Khangaonkar, Tarang

    2010-04-22

    In this study, a hydrodynamic model based on the unstructured-grid finite volume coastal ocean model (FVCOM) was developed for Bellingham Bay, Washington. The model simulates water surface elevation, velocity, temperature, and salinity in a three-dimensional domain that covers the entire Bellingham Bay and adjacent water bodies, including Lummi Bay, Samish Bay, Padilla Bay, and Rosario Strait. The model was developed using Pacific Northwest National Laboratory’s high-resolution Puget Sound and Northwest Straits circulation and transport model. A sub-model grid for Bellingham Bay and adjacent coastal waters was extracted from the Puget Sound model and refined in Bellingham Bay using bathymetric light detection and ranging (LIDAR) and river channel cross-section data. The model uses tides, river inflows, and meteorological inputs to predict water surface elevations, currents, salinity, and temperature. A tidal open boundary condition was specified using standard National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predictions. Temperature and salinity open boundary conditions were specified based on observed data. Meteorological forcing (wind, solar radiation, and net surface heat flux) was obtained from NOAA real observations and National Center for Environmental Prediction North American Regional Analysis outputs. The model was run in parallel with 48 cores using a time step of 2.5 seconds. It took 18 hours of cpu time to complete 26 days of simulation. The model was calibrated with oceanographic field data for the period of 6/1/2009 to 6/26/2009. These data were collected specifically for the purpose of model development and calibration. They include time series of water-surface elevation, currents, temperature, and salinity as well as temperature and salinity profiles during instrument deployment and retrieval. Comparisons between model predictions and field observations show an overall reasonable agreement in both temporal and spatial scales. Comparisons of

  12. The addition of hydrodynamic variables to predictive cold water coral habitat modeling: The Bari Canyon case-study, southwestern Adriatic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foglini, Federica; Bargain, Annaëlle; Angeletti, Lorenzo; Bonaldo, Davide; Carniel, Sandro; Taviani, Marco

    2017-04-01

    Predictive habitat modeling is gaining momentum because of its usefulness to recognize potential distributional patterns of ecosystems thus facilitating their proper governance when required, as it is for instance the case of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). This holds particularly true for the deep-sea in front of its overwhelming areal extent on a global scale and intrinsic technological difficulties (with related costs) for its direct exploration. Cold Water Corals (CWC) is one emblematic, virtually cosmopolitan, ecosystem in the deep, that is under international attention because of its multifaceted ecological importance. CWC is currently represented in the Mediterranean basin by habitats engineered by the arborescent scleractinians Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa associated with a number of other benthic invertebrates. One major CWC hotspot located on the southwestern Adriatic margin, the Bari Canyon cold water coral province, has been targeted for producing habitat suitability maps. Initially the evaluation of the theoretical distribution of CWC in this area has been based upon visual observations, mainly extracted from geo-referenced underwater ROV imagery, coupled with the eco-geographic information derived from bathymetry. This approach relies upon the compilation and comparison of presence-only models (MaxEnt and ENFA), but also presence-absence model (GLMs). However, the pivotal role played by oceanographic factors has been soon added in order to achieve more robust predictive models. In fact, the Bari Canyon CWC province is situated on the main path of the North Adriatic Dense Water cascading, and hypothesized to be sensitive to hydrological factors. Accordingly, the statistical models to assess potential habitat extent have been implemented using hydrodynamic fields provided by ROMS for ocean currents, coupled with SWAN within the COAWST modelling system to account for wave-current interactions. The integration of results is

  13. Habitat modeling for brown trout population in alpine region of Slovenia with focus on determination of preference functions, fuzzy rules and fuzzy sets

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santl, Saso; Carf, Masa; Preseren, Tanja; Jenic, Aljaz

    2013-04-01

    Water withdrawals and consequently reduction of discharges in river streams for different water uses (hydro power, irrigation, etc.) usually impoverish habitat suitability for naturally present river fish fauna. In Slovenia reduction of suitable habitats resulting from water abstractions frequently impacts local brown trout (Salmo truta) populations. This is the reason for establishment of habitat modeling which can qualitatively and quantitatively support decision making for determination of the environmental flow and other mitigation measures. Paper introduces applied methodology for habitat modeling where input data preparation and elaboration with required accuracy has to be considered. For model development four (4) representative and heterogeneous sampling sites were chosen. Two (2) sampling sections were located within the sections with small hydropower plants and were considered as sections affected by water abstractions. The other two (2) sampling sections were chosen where there are no existing water abstractions. Precise bathymetric mapping for chosen river sections has been performed. Topographic data and series of discharge and water level measurements enabled establishment of calibrated hydraulic models, which provide data on water velocities and depths for analyzed discharges. Brief field measurements were also performed to gather required data on dominant and subdominant substrate size and cover type. Since the accuracy of fish distribution on small scale is very important for habitat modeling, a fish sampling method had to be selected and modified for existing river microhabitats. The brown trout specimen's locations were collected with two (2) different sampling methods. A method of riverbank observation which is suitable for adult fish in pools and a method of electro fishing for locating small fish and fish in riffles or hiding in cover. Ecological and habitat requirements for fish species vary regarding different fish populations as well as eco

  14. Water-quality models to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota, 2014

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Erik A.; Kiesling, Richard L.; Ziegeweid, Jeffrey R.

    2017-07-20

    Fish habitat can degrade in many lakes due to summer blue-green algal blooms. Predictive models are needed to better manage and mitigate loss of fish habitat due to these changes. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, developed predictive water-quality models for two agricultural land-use dominated lakes in Minnesota—Madison Lake and Pearl Lake, which are part of Minnesota’s sentinel lakes monitoring program—to assess algal community dynamics, water quality, and fish habitat suitability of these two lakes under recent (2014) meteorological conditions. The interaction of basin processes to these two lakes, through the delivery of nutrient loads, were simulated using CE-QUAL-W2, a carbon-based, laterally averaged, two-dimensional water-quality model that predicts distribution of temperature and oxygen from interactions between nutrient cycling, primary production, and trophic dynamics.The CE-QUAL-W2 models successfully predicted water temperature and dissolved oxygen on the basis of the two metrics of mean absolute error and root mean square error. For Madison Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.53 and 0.68 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons; for Pearl Lake, the mean absolute error and root mean square error were 0.71 and 0.95 degree Celsius, respectively, for the vertical temperature profile comparisons. Temperature and dissolved oxygen were key metrics for calibration targets. These calibrated lake models also simulated algal community dynamics and water quality. The model simulations presented potential explanations for persistently large total phosphorus concentrations in Madison Lake, key differences in nutrient concentrations between these lakes, and summer blue-green algal bloom persistence.Fish habitat suitability simulations for cool-water and warm-water fish indicated that, in general, both lakes contained a large

  15. Assessment of Fluctuating Reservoir Elevations Using Hydraulic Models and Impacts to Larval Pacific Lamprey Rearing Habitat in the Bonneville Pool

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mueller, Robert P. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Rakowski, Cynthia L. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Perkins, William A. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States); Richmond, Marshall C. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)

    2015-02-24

    This report presents the results of a modeling assessment of likely lamprey larval habitat that may be impacted by dewatering of the major tributary delta regions in the Bonneville Pool of the Columbia River. This assessment was conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Portland District (CENWP). The goal of the study was to provide baseline data about how the regions of interest would potentially be impacted at three river flows (10, 50, and 90 percent exceedance flow) for four different forebay elevations at Bonneville Dam. Impacts of unsteady flows at The Dalles Dam and changing forebay elevation at Bonneville Dam for a 2-week period were also assessed. The area of dewatered regions was calculated by importing modeled data outputs into a GIS and then calculating the change in inundated area near tributary deltas for the four Bonneville forebay surface elevations. From the modeled output we determined that the overall change in area is less sensitive to elevations changes during higher river discharges. Changing the forebay elevation at Bonneville and the resulting impact to total dewatered regions was greater at the lowest modeled river flow (97 kcfs) and showed the greatest variation at the White Salmon/Hood River delta regions followed by the Wind, Klickitat and the Little White Salmon rivers. To understand how inundation might change on a daily and hourly basis. Unsteady flow models were run for a 2-week period in 2002 and compared to 2014. The water surface elevation in the upstream pool closely follows that of the Bonneville Dam forebay with rapid changes of 1 to 2-ft possible. The data shows that 2.5-ft variation in water surface elevation occurred during this period in 2002 and a 3.7-ft change occurred in 2014. The duration of these changes were highly variable and generally did not stay constant for more than a 5-hr period.

  16. Deriving habitat models for northern long-eared bats from historical detection data: A case study using the Fernow Experimental Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W. Mark; Silvis, Alexander; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Kniowski, Andrew B.; Johnson, Joshua B.

    2016-01-01

    The listing of the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act following severe population declines from white-nose syndrome presents considerable challenges to natural resource managers. Because the northern long-eared bat is a forest habitat generalist, development of effective conservation measures will depend on appropriate understanding of its habitat relationships at individual locations. However, severely reduced population sizes make gathering data for such models difficult. As a result, historical data may be essential in development of habitat models. To date, there has been little evaluation of how effective historical bat presence data, such as data derived from mist-net captures, acoustic detection, and day-roost locations, may be in developing habitat models, nor is it clear how models created using different data sources may differ. We explored this issue by creating presence probability models for the northern long-eared bat on the Fernow Experimental Forest in the central Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia using a historical, presence-only data set. Each presence data type produced outputs that were dissimilar but that still corresponded with known traits of the northern long-eared bat or are easily explained in the context of the particular data collection protocol. However, our results also highlight potential limitations of individual data types. For example, models from mist-net capture data only showed high probability of presence along the dendritic network of riparian areas, an obvious artifact of sampling methodology. Development of ecological niche and presence models for northern long-eared bat populations could be highly valuable for resource managers going forward with this species. We caution, however, that efforts to create such models should consider the substantial limitations of models derived from historical data, and address model assumptions.

  17. A functional response model of a predator population foraging in a patchy habitat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nachman, Gösta

    2006-01-01

    persimis and Tetranychus urticae inhabiting greenhouse cucumbers. 6. The model fits empirical data quite well and much better than if prey and predators were assumed to be evenly distributed among patches, or if the predators were distributed independently of the prey. 7. The analyses show...

  18. Analysis of habitat-selection rules using an individual-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steven F. Railsback; Bret C. Harvey

    2002-01-01

    Abstract - Despite their promise for simulating natural complexity,individual-based models (IBMs) are rarely used for ecological research or resource management. Few IBMs have been shown to reproduce realistic patterns of behavior by individual organisms.To test our IBM of stream salmonids and draw conclusions about foraging theory,we analyzed the IBM ’s ability to...

  19. Habitat allocation to maximize biodiversity: a technical description of the HAMBO model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groeneveld, R.A.; Rudrum, D.P.

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate the cost-effectiveness of spatial allocations of nature conservation, it is necessary that a benchmark allocation can be known that achieves the maximum ecological value at given costs. This calls for an optimisation model that takes into consideration the main ecological considerations,

  20. Modelling the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats of schistosomiasis intermediate host snails using Maxent in Ndumo area, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanda Manyangadze

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Schistosomiasis is a snail-borne disease endemic in sub-Saharan Africa transmitted by freshwater snails. The distribution of schistosomiasis coincides with that of the intermediate hosts as determined by climatic and environmental factors. The aim of this paper was to model the spatial and seasonal distribution of suitable habitats for Bulinus globosus and Biomphalaria pfeifferi snail species (intermediate hosts for Schistosoma haematobium and Schistosoma mansoni, respectively in the Ndumo area of uMkhanyakude district, South Africa. Methods Maximum Entropy (Maxent modelling technique was used to predict the distribution of suitable habitats for B. globosus and B. pfeifferi using presence-only datasets with ≥ 5 and ≤ 12 sampling points in different seasons. Precipitation, maximum and minimum temperatures, Normalised Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, Normalised Difference Water Index (NDWI, pH, slope and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI were the background variables in the Maxent models. The models were validated using the area under the curve (AUC and omission rate. Results The predicted suitable habitats for intermediate snail hosts varied with seasons. The AUC for models in all seasons ranged from 0.71 to 1 and the prediction rates were between 0.8 and 0.9. Although B. globosus was found at more localities in the Ndumo area, there was also evidence of cohabiting with B. pfiefferi at some of the locations. NDWI had significant contribution to the models in all seasons. Conclusion The Maxent model is robust in snail habitat suitability modelling even with small dataset of presence-only sampling sites. Application of the methods and design used in this study may be useful in developing a control and management programme for schistosomiasis in the Ndumo area.

  1. Modelling habitat preference and estimating the spatial distribution of Australian Sea Lions (Neophoca cinerea); "A first exploration "

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aarts, G.M.; Brasseur, S.M.J.M.

    2008-01-01

    Managing the Australian sea lion (Neophoca cinerea) population and mitigating its interactions with commercial fisheries, requires an understanding of their spatial distribution and habitat preference at sea. Numerous wildlife telemetry devices have been attached to individual seals from different

  2. Modeling the Influence of Forest Structure on Microsite Habitat Use by Snowshoe Hares

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angela K. Fuller

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus is an important prey species for many Carnivora and has strong influences on community structure and function in northern forests. An understanding of within-stand (microsite forest structural characteristics that promote high use by hares is important to provide forest management guidelines. We measured forest structural characteristics at the microsite-scale in north-central Maine and used an information-theoretic modeling approach to infer which characteristics were most strongly associated with use by hares during winter. We measured overwinter hare pellet density to model relationships among microsite-scale vegetation structure and hare use. Overwinter pellet density was positively associated with live stem cover (3 × coniferous saplings + deciduous saplings and negatively associated with overstory canopy closure; the two variables explained 71% of the variation in microsite use by hares. The highest pellet densities were in grids with canopy closure 22,000 stems/ha. Silvicultural practices that create dense areas of conifer and deciduous saplings should receive high within-stand use by hares in winter. These conditions can be achieved by promoting the release of advanced regeneration and reducing overstory cover to encourage establishment of shade-intolerant species; clearcutting is one such silvicultural prescription to achieve these conditions.

  3. Using environmental niche modeling to find suitable habitats for the Hard-ground Barasingha in Madhya Pradesh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Singh

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The subspecies of Swamp Deer, the Hard-ground Barasingha (Rucervus duvaucelii branderi Pocock, is presently found only in Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR in Madhya Pradesh, India. This subspecies is highly vulnerable to extinction, and reintroduction in suitable sites is the need of the hour.  Environmental niche models (GARP, SVM, ED, CSM aimed at providing a detailed prediction of species distribution by relating presence of species to 19 bioclimatic indices were developed, using swamp deer occurrence records in KTR. The predictions were appropriately weighted with the prevailing LU/LC classes to identify suitable habitats in Madhya Pradesh, India. The result shows that the southern region of Madhya Pradesh is suitable for the sustenance of Barasingha with varying degrees of habitability. Vicarious validation shows that most of these forest areas were the same as that of historical records dating back to 50 years. However, land use maps can help identify areas where this subspecies can be reintroduced. 

  4. Testing a bioenergetics-based habitat choice model: bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus) responses to food availability and temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Using an automated shuttlebox system, we conducted patch choice experiments with 32, 8–12 g bluegill sunfish (Lepomis macrochirus) to test a behavioral energetics hypothesis of habitat choice. When patch temperature and food levels were held constant within patches but different between patches, we expected bluegill to choose patches that maximized growth based on the bioenergetic integration of food and temperature as predicted by a bioenergetics model. Alternative hypotheses were that bluegill may choose patches based only on food (optimal foraging) or temperature (behavioral thermoregulation). The behavioral energetics hypothesis was not a good predictor of short-term (from minutes to weeks) patch choice by bluegill; the behavioral thermoregulation hypothesis was the best predictor. In the short-term, food and temperature appeared to affect patch choice hierarchically; temperature was more important, although food can alter temperature preference during feeding periods. Over a 19-d experiment, mean temperatures occupied by fish offered low rations did decline as predicted by the behavioral energetics hypothesis, but the decline was less than 1.0 °C as opposed to a possible 5 °C decline. A short-term, bioenergetic response to food and temperature may be precluded by physiological costs of acclimation not considered explicitly in the behavioral energetics hypothesis.

  5. NASA and USGS invest in invasive species modeling to evaluate habitat for Africanized Honey Bees

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-01-01

    Invasive non-native species, such as plants, animals, and pathogens, have long been an interest to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and NASA. Invasive species cause harm to our economy (around $120 B/year), the environment (e.g., replacing native biodiversity, forest pathogens negatively affecting carbon storage), and human health (e.g., plague, West Nile virus). Five years ago, the USGS and NASA formed a partnership to improve ecological forecasting capabilities for the early detection and containment of the highest priority invasive species. Scientists from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) and the Fort Collins Science Center developed a longterm strategy to integrate remote sensing capabilities, high-performance computing capabilities and new spatial modeling techniques to advance the science of ecological invasions [Schnase et al., 2002].

  6. Landscape resistance and habitat combine to provide an optimal model of genetic structure and connectivity at the range margin of a small mammal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrotte, R R; Gonzalez, A; Millien, V

    2014-08-01

    We evaluated the effect of habitat and landscape characteristics on the population genetic structure of the white-footed mouse. We develop a new approach that uses numerical optimization to define a model that combines site differences and landscape resistance to explain the genetic differentiation between mouse populations inhabiting forest patches in southern Québec. We used ecological distance computed from resistance surfaces with Circuitscape to infer the effect of the landscape matrix on gene flow. We calculated site differences using a site index of habitat characteristics. A model that combined site differences and resistance distances explained a high proportion of the variance in genetic differentiation and outperformed models that used geographical distance alone. Urban and agriculture-related land uses were, respectively, the most and the least resistant landscape features influencing gene flow. Our method detected the effect of rivers and highways as highly resistant linear barriers. The density of grass and shrubs on the ground best explained the variation in the site index of habitat characteristics. Our model indicates that movement of white-footed mouse in this region is constrained along routes of low resistance. Our approach can generate models that may improve predictions of future northward range expansion of this small mammal. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  7. Two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling to quantify effects of peak-flow management on channel morphology and salmon-spawning habitat in the Cedar River, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Czuba, Christiana; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Gendaszek, Andrew S.; Magirl, Christopher S.

    2010-01-01

    The Cedar River in Washington State originates on the western slope of the Cascade Range and provides the City of Seattle with most of its drinking water, while also supporting a productive salmon habitat. Water-resource managers require detailed information on how best to manage high-flow releases from Chester Morse Lake, a large reservoir on the Cedar River, during periods of heavy precipitation to minimize flooding, while mitigating negative effects on fish populations. Instream flow-management practices include provisions for adaptive management to promote and maintain healthy aquatic habitat in the river system. The current study is designed to understand the linkages between peak flow characteristics, geomorphic processes, riverine habitat, and biological responses. Specifically, two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling is used to simulate and quantify the effects of the peak-flow magnitude, duration, and frequency on the channel morphology and salmon-spawning habitat. Two study reaches, representative of the typical geomorphic and ecologic characteristics of the Cedar River, were selected for the modeling. Detailed bathymetric data, collected with a real-time kinematic global positioning system and an acoustic Doppler current profiler, were combined with a LiDAR-derived digital elevation model in the overbank area to develop a computational mesh. The model is used to simulate water velocity, benthic shear stress, flood inundation, and morphologic changes in the gravel-bedded river under the current and alternative flood-release strategies. Simulations of morphologic change and salmon-redd scour by floods of differing magnitude and duration enable water-resource managers to incorporate model simulation results into adaptive management of peak flows in the Cedar River. PDF version of a presentation on hydrodynamic modelling in the Cedar River in Washington state. Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2010.

  8. A simple model that identifies potential effects of sea-level rise on estuarine and estuary-ecotone habitat locations for salmonids in Oregon, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flitcroft, Rebecca; Burnett, Kelly; Christiansen, Kelly

    2013-07-01

    Diadromous aquatic species that cross a diverse range of habitats (including marine, estuarine, and freshwater) face different effects of climate change in each environment. One such group of species is the anadromous Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). Studies of the potential effects of climate change on salmonids have focused on both marine and freshwater environments. Access to a variety of estuarine habitat has been shown to enhance juvenile life-history diversity, thereby contributing to the resilience of many salmonid species. Our study is focused on the effect of sea-level rise on the availability, complexity, and distribution of estuarine, and low-freshwater habitat for Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), steelhead (anadromous O. mykiss), and coho salmon (O. kisutch) along the Oregon Coast under future climate change scenarios. Using LiDAR, we modeled the geomorphologies of five Oregon estuaries and estimated a contour associated with the current mean high tide. Contour intervals at 1- and 2-m increments above the current mean high tide were generated, and changes in the estuary morphology were assessed. 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 the changes in estuary shape. For each salmonid species, changes in the amount and complexity of estuarine edge habitats varied by estuary. 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 salmonid habitat under future climatic conditions.

  9. Integrated conceptual ecological model and habitat indices for the southwest Florida coastal wetlands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wingard, G. Lynn; Lorenz, J. L.

    2014-01-01

    The coastal wetlands of southwest Florida that extend from Charlotte Harbor south to Cape Sable, contain more than 60,000 ha of mangroves and 22,177 ha of salt marsh. These coastal wetlands form a transition zone between the freshwater and marine environments of the South Florida Coastal Marine Ecosystem (SFCME). The coastal wetlands provide diverse ecosystem services that are valued by society and thus are important to the economy of the state. Species from throughout the region spend part of their life cycle in the coastal wetlands, including many marine and coastal-dependent species, making this zone critical to the ecosystem health of the Everglades and the SFCME. However, the coastal wetlands are increasingly vulnerable due to rising sea level, changes in storm intensity and frequency, land use, and water management practices. They are at the boundary of the region covered by the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), and thus are impacted by both CERP and marine resource management decisions. An integrated conceptual ecological model (ICEM) for the southwest coastal wetlands of Florida was developed that illustrates the linkages between drivers, pressures, ecological process, and ecosystem services. Five ecological indicators are presented: (1) mangrove community structure and spatial extent; (2) waterbirds; (3) prey-base fish and macroinvertebrates; (4) crocodilians; and (5) periphyton. Most of these indicators are already used in other areas of south Florida and the SFCME, and therefore will allow metrics from the coastal wetlands to be used in system-wide assessments that incorporate the entire Greater Everglades Ecosystem.

  10. Modeling the Habitat Range of Phototrophic Microorganisms in Yellowstone National Park: Toward the Development of a Comprehensive Fitness Landscape

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric eBoyd

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The extent to which geochemical variation constrains the distribution of phototrophic metabolisms was modeled based on 439 observations in geothermal springs in Yellowstone National Park (YNP, Wyoming. Generalized additive models (GAMs were developed to predict the distribution of photosynthesis as a function of spring temperature, pH, and total sulfide. GAMs comprised of temperature explained 42.7% of the variation in the distribution of phototrophic metabolisms whereas GAMs comprised of sulfide and pH explained 20.7% and 11.7% of the variation, respectively. These results suggest that of the measured variables, temperature is the primary constraint on the distribution of phototrophic metabolism in YNP. GAMs comprised of multiple variables explained a larger percentage of the variation in the distribution of phototrophic metabolism, indicating additive interactions among variables. A GAM that combined temperature and sulfide explained the greatest variation in the dataset (54.8% while minimizing the introduction of degrees of freedom. In an effort to verify the extent to which phototroph distribution reflects constraints on activity, we examined the influence of sulfide and temperature on dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC uptake rates under both light and dark conditions. Light-driven DIC uptake decreased systematically with increasing concentrations of sulfide in acidic, algal-dominated systems, but was unaffected in alkaline, bacterial-dominated systems. In both alkaline and acidic systems, light-driven DIC uptake was suppressed in cultures incubated at temperatures 10°C greater than their in situ temperature. Collectively, these results suggest that the habitat range of phototrophs in YNP springs, specifically that of cyanobacteria and algae, largely results from constraints imposed by temperature and sulfide on the activity and fitness of these populations, a finding that is consistent with the predictions from GAMs.

  11. The Habitat Connection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naturescope, 1987

    1987-01-01

    Consists of activities which address the causes of habitat destruction and the effects of habitat loss on animals and plants. Identifies habitat loss as the major reason for the endangerment and extinction of plant and animal species. (ML)

  12. Bridging gaps: On the performance of airborne LiDAR to model wood mouse-habitat structure relationships in pine forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaime-González, Carlos; Acebes, Pablo; Mateos, Ana; Mezquida, Eduardo T

    2017-01-01

    LiDAR technology has firmly contributed to strengthen the knowledge of habitat structure-wildlife relationships, though there is an evident bias towards flying vertebrates. To bridge this gap, we investigated and compared the performance of LiDAR and field data to model habitat preferences of wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) in a Mediterranean high mountain pine forest (Pinus sylvestris). We recorded nine field and 13 LiDAR variables that were summarized by means of Principal Component Analyses (PCA). We then analyzed wood mouse's habitat preferences using three different models based on: (i) field PCs predictors, (ii) LiDAR PCs predictors; and (iii) both set of predictors in a combined model, including a variance partitioning analysis. Elevation was also included as a predictor in the three models. Our results indicate that LiDAR derived variables were better predictors than field-based variables. The model combining both data sets slightly improved the predictive power of the model. Field derived variables indicated that wood mouse was positively influenced by the gradient of increasing shrub cover and negatively affected by elevation. Regarding LiDAR data, two LiDAR PCs, i.e. gradients in canopy openness and complexity in forest vertical structure positively influenced wood mouse, although elevation interacted negatively with the complexity in vertical structure, indicating wood mouse's preferences for plots with lower elevations but with complex forest vertical structure. The combined model was similar to the LiDAR-based model and included the gradient of shrub cover measured in the field. Variance partitioning showed that LiDAR-based variables, together with elevation, were the most important predictors and that part of the variation explained by shrub cover was shared. LiDAR derived variables were good surrogates of environmental characteristics explaining habitat preferences by the wood mouse. Our LiDAR metrics represented structural features of the forest

  13. Using existing growth models to predict RCW habitat development following site preparation: pitfalls of the process and potential growth response

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benjamin O. Knapp; Joan L. Walker

    2013-01-01

    Land managers throughout the Southeast are interested in restoring the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.) ecosystem, due in part to its value as habitat for the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis). In 2003, we established a study at Camp Lejeune, NC, to determine the effects of common site preparation...

  14. Model evaluation of the function of prey in non-crop habitats for biological control by ladybeetles in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bianchi, F.J.J.A.; Werf, van der W.

    2004-01-01

    The availability of alternative prey is considered to be an important factor for the conservation of predators in agro-ecosystems. However, only a limited number of studies have investigated the effect of prey availability in non-crop habitats on predator impact. We studied the potential of the

  15. Predictive habitat models derived from nest-box occupancy for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel in the southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. Mark Ford; Andrew M. Evans; Richard H. Odom; Jane L. Rodrigue; Christine A. Kelly; Nicole Abaid; Corinne A. Diggins; Douglas Newcomb

    2015-01-01

    In the southern Appalachians, artificial nest-boxes are used to survey for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel (CNFS; Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus), a disjunct subspecies associated with high elevation (>1385 m) forests. Using environmental parameters diagnostic of squirrel habitat, we created 35 a priori occupancy...

  16. Spatial modelling of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l. (Antunes & Coutinho, 1939 (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae habitat suitability in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Zeilhofer

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l.is the main vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in state of Mato Grosso, but little is known about environmental determinants of its spatial distribution on a regional scale. Entomologic surveys of this sand fly species, conducted between 1996 and 2001 in 41 state municipalities, were used to investigate the relationships between environmental factors and the presence of the species, and to develop a spatial model of habitat suitability. The relationship between averaged CDC light trap indexes and 15 environmental and socio-economic factors were tested by logistic regression (LR analysis. Spatial layers of deforestation tax and the Brazilian index of gross net production (IGNP were identified as significant explanatory variables for vector presence in the LR model, and these were then overlaid with habitat maps. The highest habitat suitability in 2001 was obtained for the heavily deforested areas in the Central-North, South, East, and Southwest of Mato Grosso, particularly in municipalities with lower IGNP values.

  17. Integrating Remote Sensing with Species Distribution Models; Mapping Tamarisk Invasions Using the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM)

    OpenAIRE

    West, Amanda M.; Evangelista, Paul H.; Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Young, Nicholas E.; Stohlgren, Thomas J.; Talbert, Colin; Talbert, Marian; Morisette, Jeffrey; Anderson, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Early detection of invasive plant species is vital for the management of natural resources and protection of ecosystem processes. The use of satellite remote sensing for mapping the distribution of invasive plants is becoming more common, however conventional imaging software and classification methods have been shown to be unreliable. In this study, we test and evaluate the use of five species distribution model techniques fit with satellite remote sensing data to map invasive tamarisk (Tama...

  18. Investigating the Trade-Off Between Power Generation and Environmental Impact of Tidal-Turbine Arrays Using Array Layout Optimisation and Habitat Sustainability Modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Feu, R. J.; Funke, S. W.; Kramer, S. C.; Hill, J.; Piggott, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    The installation of tidal turbines into the ocean will inevitably affect the environment around them. However, due to the relative infancy of this sector the extent and severity of such effects is unknown. The layout of an array of turbines is an important factor in determining not only the array's final yield but also how it will influence regional hydrodynamics. This in turn could affect, for example, sediment transportation or habitat suitability. The two potentially competing objectives of extracting energy from the tidal current, and of limiting any environmental impact consequent to influencing that current, are investigated here. This relationship is posed as a multi-objective optimisation problem. OpenTidalFarm, an array layout optimisation tool, and MaxEnt, habitat sustainability modelling software, are used to evaluate scenarios off the coast of the UK. MaxEnt is used to estimate the likelihood of finding a species in a given location based upon environmental input data and presence data of the species. Environmental features which are known to impact habitat, specifically those affected by the presence of an array, such as bed shear stress, are chosen as inputs. MaxEnt then uses a maximum-entropy modelling approach to estimate population distribution across the modelled area. OpenTidalFarm is used to maximise the power generated by an array, or multiple arrays, through adjusting the position and number of turbines within them. It uses a 2D shallow water model with turbine arrays represented as adjustable friction fields. It has the capability to also optimise for user created functionals that can be expressed mathematically. This work uses two functionals; power extracted by the array, and the suitability of habitat as predicted by MaxEnt. A gradient-based local optimisation is used to adjust the array layout at each iteration. This work presents arrays that are optimised for both yield and the viability of habitat for chosen species. In each scenario

  19. Effect of spatial and temporal scales on habitat suitability modeling: A case study of Ommastrephes bartramii in the northwest pacific ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Caixia; Chen, Xinjun; Gao, Feng; Tian, Siquan

    2014-12-01

    Temporal and spatial scales play important roles in fishery ecology, and an inappropriate spatio-temporal scale may result in large errors in modeling fish distribution. The objective of this study is to evaluate the roles of spatio-temporal scales in habitat suitability modeling, with the western stock of winter-spring cohort of neon flying squid ( Ommastrephes bartramii) in the northwest Pacific Ocean as an example. In this study, the fishery-dependent data from the Chinese Mainland Squid Jigging Technical Group and sea surface temperature (SST) from remote sensing during August to October of 2003-2008 were used. We evaluated the differences in a habitat suitability index model resulting from aggregating data with 36 different spatial scales with a combination of three latitude scales (0.5°, 1° and 2°), four longitude scales (0.5°, 1°, 2° and 4°), and three temporal scales (week, fortnight, and month). The coefficients of variation (CV) of the weekly, biweekly and monthly suitability index (SI) were compared to determine which temporal and spatial scales of SI model are more precise. This study shows that the optimal temporal and spatial scales with the lowest CV are month, and 0.5° latitude and 0.5° longitude for O. bartramii in the northwest Pacific Ocean. This suitability index model developed with an optimal scale can be cost-effective in improving forecasting fishing ground and requires no excessive sampling efforts. We suggest that the uncertainty associated with spatial and temporal scales used in data aggregations needs to be considered in habitat suitability modeling.

  20. Fragmentation of nest and foraging habitat affects time budgets of solitary bees, their fitness and pollination services, depending on traits: Results from an individual-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Settele, Josef; Dormann, Carsten F.

    2018-01-01

    Solitary bees are important but declining wild pollinators. During daily foraging in agricultural landscapes, they encounter a mosaic of patches with nest and foraging habitat and unsuitable matrix. It is insufficiently clear how spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources and foraging traits of bees affect their daily foraging performance. We investigated potential brood cell construction (as proxy of fitness), number of visited flowers, foraging habitat visitation and foraging distance (pollination proxies) with the model SOLBEE (simulating pollen transport by solitary bees, tested and validated in an earlier study), for landscapes varying in landscape fragmentation and spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources. Simulated bees varied in body size and nesting preference. We aimed to understand effects of landscape fragmentation and bee traits on bee fitness and the pollination services bees provide, as well as interactions between them, and the general consequences it has to our understanding of the system. This broad scope gives multiple key results. 1) Body size determines fitness more than landscape fragmentation, with large bees building fewer brood cells. High pollen requirements for large bees and the related high time budgets for visiting many flowers may not compensate for faster flight speeds and short handling times on flowers, giving them overall a disadvantage compared to small bees. 2) Nest preference does affect distribution of bees over the landscape, with cavity-nesting bees being restricted to nesting along field edges, which inevitably leads to performance reductions. Fragmentation mitigates this for cavity-nesting bees through increased edge habitat. 3) Landscape fragmentation alone had a relatively small effect on all responses. Instead, the local ratio of nest to foraging habitat affected bee fitness positively through reduced local competition. The spatial coverage of pollination increases steeply in response to this ratio

  1. Fragmentation of nest and foraging habitat affects time budgets of solitary bees, their fitness and pollination services, depending on traits: Results from an individual-based model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everaars, Jeroen; Settele, Josef; Dormann, Carsten F

    2018-01-01

    Solitary bees are important but declining wild pollinators. During daily foraging in agricultural landscapes, they encounter a mosaic of patches with nest and foraging habitat and unsuitable matrix. It is insufficiently clear how spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources and foraging traits of bees affect their daily foraging performance. We investigated potential brood cell construction (as proxy of fitness), number of visited flowers, foraging habitat visitation and foraging distance (pollination proxies) with the model SOLBEE (simulating pollen transport by solitary bees, tested and validated in an earlier study), for landscapes varying in landscape fragmentation and spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources. Simulated bees varied in body size and nesting preference. We aimed to understand effects of landscape fragmentation and bee traits on bee fitness and the pollination services bees provide, as well as interactions between them, and the general consequences it has to our understanding of the system. This broad scope gives multiple key results. 1) Body size determines fitness more than landscape fragmentation, with large bees building fewer brood cells. High pollen requirements for large bees and the related high time budgets for visiting many flowers may not compensate for faster flight speeds and short handling times on flowers, giving them overall a disadvantage compared to small bees. 2) Nest preference does affect distribution of bees over the landscape, with cavity-nesting bees being restricted to nesting along field edges, which inevitably leads to performance reductions. Fragmentation mitigates this for cavity-nesting bees through increased edge habitat. 3) Landscape fragmentation alone had a relatively small effect on all responses. Instead, the local ratio of nest to foraging habitat affected bee fitness positively through reduced local competition. The spatial coverage of pollination increases steeply in response to this ratio

  2. Fragmentation of nest and foraging habitat affects time budgets of solitary bees, their fitness and pollination services, depending on traits: Results from an individual-based model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeroen Everaars

    Full Text Available Solitary bees are important but declining wild pollinators. During daily foraging in agricultural landscapes, they encounter a mosaic of patches with nest and foraging habitat and unsuitable matrix. It is insufficiently clear how spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources and foraging traits of bees affect their daily foraging performance. We investigated potential brood cell construction (as proxy of fitness, number of visited flowers, foraging habitat visitation and foraging distance (pollination proxies with the model SOLBEE (simulating pollen transport by solitary bees, tested and validated in an earlier study, for landscapes varying in landscape fragmentation and spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources. Simulated bees varied in body size and nesting preference. We aimed to understand effects of landscape fragmentation and bee traits on bee fitness and the pollination services bees provide, as well as interactions between them, and the general consequences it has to our understanding of the system. This broad scope gives multiple key results. 1 Body size determines fitness more than landscape fragmentation, with large bees building fewer brood cells. High pollen requirements for large bees and the related high time budgets for visiting many flowers may not compensate for faster flight speeds and short handling times on flowers, giving them overall a disadvantage compared to small bees. 2 Nest preference does affect distribution of bees over the landscape, with cavity-nesting bees being restricted to nesting along field edges, which inevitably leads to performance reductions. Fragmentation mitigates this for cavity-nesting bees through increased edge habitat. 3 Landscape fragmentation alone had a relatively small effect on all responses. Instead, the local ratio of nest to foraging habitat affected bee fitness positively through reduced local competition. The spatial coverage of pollination increases steeply in response

  3. Predictive modelling of habitat selection by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L; Punt, André E; VanBlaricom, Glenn R; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-11-01

    Understanding the ecological processes that underpin species distribution patterns is a fundamental goal in spatial ecology. However, developing predictive models of habitat use is challenging for species that forage in marine environments, as both predators and prey are often highly mobile and difficult to monitor. Consequently, few studies have developed resource selection functions for marine predators based directly on the abundance and distribution of their prey. We analysed contemporaneous data on the diving locations of two seabird species, the shallow-diving Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) and deeper diving Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvilliorum), and the abundance and depth distribution of their main prey, Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens). Based on this unique data set, we developed resource selection functions to test the hypothesis that the probability of seabird diving behaviour at a given location is a function of the relative abundance of prey in the upper water column. For both species, we show that the probability of diving behaviour is mostly explained by the distribution of prey at shallow depths. While the probability of diving behaviour increases sharply with prey abundance at relatively low levels of abundance, support for including abundance in addition to the depth distribution of prey is weak, suggesting that prey abundance was not a major factor determining the location of diving behaviour during the study period. The study thus highlights the importance of the depth distribution of prey for two species of seabird with different diving capabilities. The results complement previous research that points towards the importance of oceanographic processes that enhance the accessibility of prey to seabirds. The implications are that locations where prey is predictably found at accessible depths may be more important for surface foragers, such as seabirds, than locations where prey is predictably abundant. Analysis of the relative

  4. Spatial patterns and GIS habitat modelling of Solea solea, Pleuronectes flesus and Limanda limanda fish larvae in the eastern English Channel during the spring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philippe Koubbi

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available The spring distribution of larval fish stages of flatfishes in the Dover Strait (eastern English Channel was studied in 1995 and 1999. Fish larvae were identified and sorted according to developmental stages in order to study their ontogenic distribution. The French coastal waters are characterised by an unstable tide-dependent front, which influences larval dispersion. In spring, the French coastal waters have a high phytoplanktonic production. They have higher temperatures, lower salinities and differences in current intensity compared with the central English Channel waters. Generalised Additive Models (GAM combined with Geographic Information Systems (GIS were used to model the potential habitats of life stages considering data from three major surveys in this area. The models were developed by coupling presence-absence models with non-null abundance models. The potential habitat of larval stages was then mapped using a geostatistical method (kriging. This revealed different species strategies in which young stages were abundant in central waters and older ones were distributed mainly along the French and Belgian coasts. It is concluded that the central English waters are important for young stages after hatching and that coastal waters are essential nurseries for future juveniles. The models of three flatfish species having similar life cycle strategies are presented here: Limanda limanda, Platichthys flesus and Solea solea.

  5. Modeling the Effects of Land Use on the Quality of Water, Air, Noise, and Habitat for a Five-County Region in Georgia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Virginia H. Dale

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available A computer simulation model, the Regional Simulator (RSim, was constructed to project how land-use changes affect the quality of water, air, noise, and habitat of species of special concern. RSim was designed to simulate these environmental impacts for five counties in Georgia that surround and include Fort Benning. The model combines existing data and modeling approaches to simulate the effects of land-cover changes on: nutrient export by hydrological unit; peak 8-h average ozone concentrations; noise caused by small arms and blasts; and habitat changes for the rare Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis and gopher tortoise (Gopherus polyphemus. The model also includes submodules for urban growth, new urbanization influenced by existing roads, nonurban land cover transitions, and a new military training area under development at Fort Benning. The model was run under scenarios of business as usual (BAU and greatly increased urban growth for the region. The projections show that the effects of high urban growth will likely differ from those of BAU for noise and nitrogen and phosphorus loadings to surface water, but not for peak airborne ozone concentrations, at least in the absence of associated increases in industry and transportation use or technology changes. In both scenarios, no effects of urban growth are anticipated for existing populations of the federally endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker. In contrast, habitat for gopher tortoise in the five-county region is projected to decline by 5 and 40% in the BAU and high urban growth scenarios, respectively. RSim is designed to assess the relative environmental impacts of planned activities both inside and outside military installations and to address concerns related to encroachment and transboundary influences.

  6. Using NASA Earth Observing Satellites and Statistical Model Analysis to Monitor Vegetation and Habitat Rehabilitation in Southwest Virginia's Reclaimed Mine Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tate, Z.; Dusenge, D.; Elliot, T. S.; Hafashimana, P.; Medley, S.; Porter, R. P.; Rajappan, R.; Rodriguez, P.; Spangler, J.; Swaminathan, R. S.; VanGundy, R. D.

    2014-12-01

    The majority of the population in southwest Virginia depends economically on coal mining. In 2011, coal mining generated $2,000,000 in tax revenue to Wise County alone. However, surface mining completely removes land cover and leaves the land exposed to erosion. The destruction of the forest cover directly impacts local species, as some are displaced and others perish in the mining process. Even though surface mining has a negative impact on the environment, land reclamation efforts are in place to either restore mined areas to their natural vegetated state or to transform these areas for economic purposes. This project aimed to monitor the progress of land reclamation and the effect on the return of local species. By incorporating NASA Earth observations, such as Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager (OLI) and Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper (TM), re-vegetation process in reclamation sites was estimated through a Time series analysis using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). A continuous source of cloud free images was accomplished by utilizing the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STAR-FM). This model developed synthetic Landsat imagery by integrating the high-frequency temporal information from Terra/Aqua Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) and high-resolution spatial information from Landsat sensors In addition, the Maximum Entropy Modeling (MaxENT), an eco-niche model was used to estimate the adaptation of animal species to the newly formed habitats. By combining factors such as land type, precipitation from Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM), and slope from Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER), the MaxENT model produced a statistical analysis on the probability of species habitat. Altogether, the project compiled the ecological information which can be used to identify suitable habitats for local species in reclaimed mined areas.

  7. A presence-only model of suitable roosting habitat for the endangered Indiana bat in the southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.R. Hammond; J.M. O’Keefe; S.P. Aldrich; Susan Loeb

    2016-01-01

    We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA...

  8. Growth potential and habitat requirements of endangered age-0 pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) in the Missouri River, USA, determined using a individual-based model framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deslauriers, David; Heironimus, Laura B.; Rapp, Tobias; Graeb, Brian D. S.; Klumb, Robert A.; Chipps, Steven R.

    2018-01-01

    An individual-based model framework was used to evaluate growth potential of the federally endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) in the Missouri River. The model, developed for age-0 sturgeon, combines information on functional feeding response, bioenergetics and swimming ability to regulate consumption and growth within a virtual foraging arena. Empirical data on water temperature, water velocity and prey density were obtained from three sites in the Missouri River and used as inputs in the model to evaluate hypotheses concerning factors affecting pallid sturgeon growth. The model was also used to evaluate the impacts of environmental heterogeneity and water velocity on individual growth variability, foraging success and dispersal ability. Growth was simulated for a period of 100 days using 100 individuals (first feeding; 19 mm and 0.035 g) per scenario. Higher growth was shown to occur at sites where high densities of Ephemeroptera and Chironomidae larvae occurred throughout the growing season. Highly heterogeneous habitats (i.e., wide range of environmental conditions) and moderate water velocities (0.3 m/s) were also found to positively affect growth rates. The model developed here provides an important management and conservation tool for evaluating growth hypotheses and(or) identifying habitats in the Missouri River that are favourable to age-0 pallid sturgeon growth.

  9. A model for assessing habitat fragmentation caused by new infrastructures in extensive territories - evaluation of the impact of the Spanish strategic infrastructure and transport plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mancebo Quintana, S; Martín Ramos, B; Casermeiro Martínez, M A; Otero Pastor, I

    2010-05-01

    The aim of the present work is to design a model for evaluating the impact of planned infrastructures on species survival at the territorial scale by calculating a connectivity index. The method developed involves determining the effective distance of displacement between patches of the same habitat, simplifying earlier models so that there is no dependence on specific variables for each species. A case study is presented in which the model was used to assess the impact of the forthcoming roads and railways included in the Spanish Strategic Infrastructure and Transport Plan (PEIT, in its Spanish initials). This study took into account the habitats of peninsular Spain, which occupies an area of some 500,000 km(2). In this territory, the areas deemed to provide natural habitats are defined by Directive 92/43/EEC. The impact of new infrastructures on connectivity was assessed by comparing two scenarios, with and without the plan, for the major new road and railway networks. The calculation of the connectivity index (CI) requires the use of a raster methodology based on the Arc/Info geographical information system (GIS). The actual calculation was performed using a program written in Arc/Info Macro Language (AML); this program is available in FragtULs (Mancebo Quintana, 2007), a set of tools for calculating indicators of fragmentation caused by transport infrastructure (http://topografia.montes.upm.es/fragtuls.html). The indicator of connectivity proposed allows the estimation of the connectivity between all the patches of a territory, with no artificial (non-ecologically based) boundaries imposed. The model proposed appears to be a useful tool for the analysis of fragmentation caused by plans for large territories. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Island Species Richness Increases with Habitat Diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hortal, J.; Triantis, K.A.; Meiri, S.; Thebault, E.M.C.; Sfenthourakis, S.

    2009-01-01

    Species richness is commonly thought to increase with habitat diversity. However, a recent theoretical model aiming to unify niche and island biogeography theories predicted a hump-shaped relationship between richness and habitat diversity. Given the contradiction between model results and previous

  11. Coastal Critical Habitat Designations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Federal government to designate critical habitat, areas of habitat essential to the species' conservation, for ESA...

  12. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...

  13. Indicators: Physical Habitat Complexity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Physical habitat complexity measures the amount and variety of all types of cove at the water’s edge in lakes. In general, dense and varied shoreline habitat is able to support more diverse communities of aquatic life.

  14. Modeling tidal marsh distribution with sea-level rise: evaluating the role of vegetation, sediment, and upland habitat in marsh resiliency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, Lisa M; Callaway, John C; Morris, James T; Stralberg, Diana; Parker, V Thomas; Kelly, Maggi

    2014-01-01

    Tidal marshes maintain elevation relative to sea level through accumulation of mineral and organic matter, yet this dynamic accumulation feedback mechanism has not been modeled widely in the context of accelerated sea-level rise. Uncertainties exist about tidal marsh resiliency to accelerated sea-level rise, reduced sediment supply, reduced plant productivity under increased inundation, and limited upland habitat for marsh migration. We examined marsh resiliency under these uncertainties using the Marsh Equilibrium Model, a mechanistic, elevation-based soil cohort model, using a rich data set of plant productivity and physical properties from sites across the estuarine salinity gradient. Four tidal marshes were chosen along this gradient: two islands and two with adjacent uplands. Varying century sea-level rise (52, 100, 165, 180 cm) and suspended sediment concentrations (100%, 50%, and 25% of current concentrations), we simulated marsh accretion across vegetated elevations for 100 years, applying the results to high spatial resolution digital elevation models to quantify potential changes in marsh distributions. At low rates of sea-level rise and mid-high sediment concentrations, all marshes maintained vegetated elevations indicative of mid/high marsh habitat. With century sea-level rise at 100 and 165 cm, marshes shifted to low marsh elevations; mid/high marsh elevations were found only in former uplands. At the highest century sea-level rise and lowest sediment concentrations, the island marshes became dominated by mudflat elevations. Under the same sediment concentrations, low salinity brackish marshes containing highly productive vegetation had slower elevation loss compared to more saline sites with lower productivity. A similar trend was documented when comparing against a marsh accretion model that did not model vegetation feedbacks. Elevation predictions using the Marsh Equilibrium Model highlight the importance of including vegetation responses to sea

  15. Development of computational fluid dynamics--habitat suitability (CFD-HSI) models to identify potential passage--Challenge zones for migratory fishes in the Penobscot River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Dudley, Robert W.; Chelminski, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability (CFD–HSI) model was developed to identify potential zones of shallow depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five anadromous fish species in the Penobscot River, Maine, upstream from two existing dams and as a result of the proposed future removal of the dams. Potential depth-challenge zones were predicted for larger species at the lowest flow modeled in the dam-removal scenario. Increasing flows under both scenarios increased the number and size of potential velocity-challenge zones, especially for smaller species. This application of the two-dimensional CFD–HSI model demonstrated its capabilities to estimate the potential effects of flow and hydraulic alteration on the passage of migratory fish.

  16. Modelling spatial concordance between Rocky Mountain spotted fever disease incidence and habitat probability of its vector Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atkinson, Samuel F; Sarkar, Sahotra; Aviña, Aldo; Schuermann, Jim A; Williamson, Phillip

    2012-11-01

    The spatial distribution of Dermacentor variabilis, the most commonly identified vector of the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii which causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF) in humans, and the spatial distribution of RMSF, have not been previously studied in the south central United States of America, particularly in Texas. From an epidemiological perspective, one would tend to hypothesise that there would be a high degree of spatial concordance between the habitat suitability for the tick and the incidence of the disease. Both maximum-entropy modelling of the tick's habitat suitability and spatially adaptive filters modelling of the human incidence of RMSF disease provide reliable portrayals of the spatial distributions of these phenomenons. Even though rates of human cases of RMSF in Texas and rates of Dermacentor ticks infected with Rickettsia bacteria are both relatively low in Texas, the best data currently available allows a preliminary indication that the assumption of high levels of spatial concordance would not be correct in Texas (Kappa coefficient of agreement = 0.17). It will take substantially more data to provide conclusive findings, and to understand the results reported here, but this study provides an approach to begin understanding the discrepancy.

  17. Modelling spatial concordance between Rocky Mountain spotted fever disease incidence and habitat probability of its vector Dermacentor variabilis (American dog tick

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel F. Atkinson

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The spatial distribution of Dermacentor variabilis, the most commonly identified vector of the bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii which causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF in humans, and the spatial distribution of RMSF, have not been previously studied in the south central United States of America, particularly in Texas. From an epidemiological perspective, one would tend to hypothesise that there would be a high degree of spatial concordance between the habitat suitability for the tick and the incidence of the disease. Both maximum-entropy modelling of the tick’s habitat suitability and spatially adaptive filters modelling of the human incidence of RMSF disease provide reliable portrayals of the spatial distributions of these phenomenons. Even though rates of human cases of RMSF in Texas and rates of Dermacentor ticks infected with Rickettsia bacteria are both relatively low in Texas, the best data currently available allows a preliminary indication that the assumption of high levels of spatial concordance would not be correct in Texas (Kappa coefficient of agreement = 0.17. It will take substantially more data to provide conclusive findings, and to understand the results reported here, but this study provides an approach to begin understanding the discrepancy.

  18. Life in the Mosaic: Predicting changes in estuarine nursery production for juvenile fishes in response to sea-level rise with a landscape-based habitat production model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Identification of critical habitat in estuarine fish nursery areas is an important conservation and management objective, yet response to changes in critical habitat is both equally important and harder to predict. Habitat can be viewed as a mosaic of both temporally variable en...

  19. Modelling Deep Water Habitats to Develop a Spatially Explicit, Fine Scale Understanding of the Distribution of the Western Rock Lobster, Panulirus cygnus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovey, Renae K.; Van Niel, Kimberly P.; Bellchambers, Lynda M.; Pember, Matthew B.

    2012-01-01

    Background The western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus, is endemic to Western Australia and supports substantial commercial and recreational fisheries. Due to and its wide distribution and the commercial and recreational importance of the species a key component of managing western rock lobster is understanding the ecological processes and interactions that may influence lobster abundance and distribution. Using terrain analyses and distribution models of substrate and benthic biota, we assess the physical drivers that influence the distribution of lobsters at a key fishery site. Methods and Findings Using data collected from hydroacoustic and towed video surveys, 20 variables (including geophysical, substrate and biota variables) were developed to predict the distributions of substrate type (three classes of reef, rhodoliths and sand) and dominant biota (kelp, sessile invertebrates and macroalgae) within a 40 km2 area about 30 km off the west Australian coast. Lobster presence/absence data were collected within this area using georeferenced pots. These datasets were used to develop a classification tree model for predicting the distribution of the western rock lobster. Interestingly, kelp and reef were not selected as predictors. Instead, the model selected geophysical and geomorphic scalar variables, which emphasise a mix of terrain within limited distances. The model of lobster presence had an adjusted D2 of 64 and an 80% correct classification. Conclusions Species distribution models indicate that juxtaposition in fine scale terrain is most important to the western rock lobster. While key features like kelp and reef may be important to lobster distribution at a broad scale, it is the fine scale features in terrain that are likely to define its ecological niche. Determining the most appropriate landscape configuration and scale will be essential to refining niche habitats and will aid in selecting appropriate sites for protecting critical lobster habitats. PMID

  20. Modelling deep water habitats to develop a spatially explicit, fine scale understanding of the distribution of the western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renae K Hovey

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: The western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus, is endemic to Western Australia and supports substantial commercial and recreational fisheries. Due to and its wide distribution and the commercial and recreational importance of the species a key component of managing western rock lobster is understanding the ecological processes and interactions that may influence lobster abundance and distribution. Using terrain analyses and distribution models of substrate and benthic biota, we assess the physical drivers that influence the distribution of lobsters at a key fishery site. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Using data collected from hydroacoustic and towed video surveys, 20 variables (including geophysical, substrate and biota variables were developed to predict the distributions of substrate type (three classes of reef, rhodoliths and sand and dominant biota (kelp, sessile invertebrates and macroalgae within a 40 km(2 area about 30 km off the west Australian coast. Lobster presence/absence data were collected within this area using georeferenced pots. These datasets were used to develop a classification tree model for predicting the distribution of the western rock lobster. Interestingly, kelp and reef were not selected as predictors. Instead, the model selected geophysical and geomorphic scalar variables, which emphasise a mix of terrain within limited distances. The model of lobster presence had an adjusted D(2 of 64 and an 80% correct classification. CONCLUSIONS: Species distribution models indicate that juxtaposition in fine scale terrain is most important to the western rock lobster. While key features like kelp and reef may be important to lobster distribution at a broad scale, it is the fine scale features in terrain that are likely to define its ecological niche. Determining the most appropriate landscape configuration and scale will be essential to refining niche habitats and will aid in selecting appropriate sites for protecting critical

  1. The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS): An iRODS-Based, Cloud-Enabled Decision Support System for Invasive Species Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Roger; Schnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) is an online decision support system that allows users to load point occurrence field sample data for a plant species of interest and quickly generate habitat suitability maps for geographic regions of interest, such as a national park, monument, forest, or refuge. Target customers for ISFS are natural resource managers and decision makers who have a need for scientifically valid, model- based predictions of the habitat suitability of plant species of management concern. In a joint project involving NASA and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ISFS has been used to model the potential distribution of Wavyleaf Basketgrass in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Maximum entropy techniques are used to generate predictive maps using predictor datasets derived from remotely sensed data and climate simulation outputs. The workflow to run a model is implemented in an iRODS microservice using a custom ISFS file driver that clips and re-projects data to geographic regions of interest, then shells out to perform MaxEnt processing on the input data. When the model completes, all output files and maps from the model run are registered in iRODS and made accessible to the user. The ISFS user interface is a web browser that uses the iRODS PHP client to interact with the ISFS/iRODS- server. ISFS is designed to reside in a VMware virtual machine running SLES 11 and iRODS 3.0. The ISFS virtual machine is hosted in a VMware vSphere private cloud infrastructure to deliver the online service.

  2. Modelling deep water habitats to develop a spatially explicit, fine scale understanding of the distribution of the western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hovey, Renae K; Van Niel, Kimberly P; Bellchambers, Lynda M; Pember, Matthew B

    2012-01-01

    The western rock lobster, Panulirus cygnus, is endemic to Western Australia and supports substantial commercial and recreational fisheries. Due to and its wide distribution and the commercial and recreational importance of the species a key component of managing western rock lobster is understanding the ecological processes and interactions that may influence lobster abundance and distribution. Using terrain analyses and distribution models of substrate and benthic biota, we assess the physical drivers that influence the distribution of lobsters at a key fishery site. Using data collected from hydroacoustic and towed video surveys, 20 variables (including geophysical, substrate and biota variables) were developed to predict the distributions of substrate type (three classes of reef, rhodoliths and sand) and dominant biota (kelp, sessile invertebrates and macroalgae) within a 40 km(2) area about 30 km off the west Australian coast. Lobster presence/absence data were collected within this area using georeferenced pots. These datasets were used to develop a classification tree model for predicting the distribution of the western rock lobster. Interestingly, kelp and reef were not selected as predictors. Instead, the model selected geophysical and geomorphic scalar variables, which emphasise a mix of terrain within limited distances. The model of lobster presence had an adjusted D(2) of 64 and an 80% correct classification. Species distribution models indicate that juxtaposition in fine scale terrain is most important to the western rock lobster. While key features like kelp and reef may be important to lobster distribution at a broad scale, it is the fine scale features in terrain that are likely to define its ecological niche. Determining the most appropriate landscape configuration and scale will be essential to refining niche habitats and will aid in selecting appropriate sites for protecting critical lobster habitats.

  3. 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

  4. Interaction between hydrocarbon seepage, chemosynthetic communities, and bottom water redox at cold seeps of the Makran accretionary prism: insights from habitat-specific pore water sampling and modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Fischer

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The interaction between fluid seepage, bottom water redox, and chemosynthetic communities was studied at cold seeps across one of the world's largest oxygen minimum zones (OMZ located at the Makran convergent continental margin. Push cores were obtained from seeps within and below the core-OMZ with a remotely operated vehicle. Extracted sediment pore water was analyzed for sulfide and sulfate concentrations. Depending on oxygen availability in the bottom water, seeps were either colonized by microbial mats or by mats and macrofauna. The latter, including ampharetid polychaetes and vesicomyid clams, occurred in distinct benthic habitats, which were arranged in a concentric fashion around gas orifices. At most sites colonized by microbial mats, hydrogen sulfide was exported into the bottom water. Where macrofauna was widely abundant, hydrogen sulfide was retained within the sediment.

    Numerical modeling of pore water profiles was performed in order to assess rates of fluid advection and bioirrigation. While the magnitude of upward fluid flow decreased from 11 cm yr−1 to <1 cm yr−1 and the sulfate/methane transition (SMT deepened with increasing distance from the central gas orifice, the fluxes of sulfate into the SMT did not significantly differ (6.6–9.3 mol m−2 yr−1. Depth-integrated rates of bioirrigation increased from 120 cm yr−1 in the central habitat, characterized by microbial mats and sparse macrofauna, to 297 cm yr−1 in the habitat of large and few small vesicomyid clams. These results reveal that chemosynthetic macrofauna inhabiting the outer seep habitats below the core-OMZ efficiently bioirrigate and thus transport sulfate down into the upper 10 to 15 cm of the sediment. In this way the animals deal with the lower upward flux of methane in outer habitats by stimulating rates of anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM with sulfate high enough to provide

  5. The Baselines Project: Establishing Reference Environmental Conditions for Marine Habitats in the Gulf of Mexico using Forecast Models and Satellite Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jolliff, J. K.; Gould, R. W.; deRada, S.; Teague, W. J.; Wijesekera, H. W.

    2012-12-01

    We provide an overview of the NASA-funded project, "High-Resolution Subsurface Physical and Optical Property Fields in the Gulf of Mexico: Establishing Baselines and Assessment Tools for Resource Managers." Data assimilative models, analysis fields, and multiple satellite data streams were used to construct temperature and photon flux climatologies for the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary (FGBNMS) and similar habitats in the northwestern Gulf of Mexico where geologic features provide a platform for unique coral reef ecosystems. Comparison metrics of the products to in situ data collected during complimentary projects are also examined. Similarly, high-resolution satellite-data streams and advanced processing techniques were used to establish baseline suspended sediment load and turbidity conditions in selected northern Gulf of Mexico estuaries. The results demonstrate the feasibility of blending models and data into accessible web-based analysis products for resource managers, policy makers, and the public.

  6. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo

    2016-01-01

    Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking. PMID:27627805

  7. Habitat Use and Selection by Giant Pandas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vanessa Hull

    Full Text Available Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca. We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.

  8. Original Research Polymerase chain reaction identification of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Molecular identification of T. b. rhodesiense in tsetse flies 11 ... Glossina bravepalpis, and Glossina fuscipes fuscipes5-7) are mainly confined ..... that the feeding habits of these flies are similar to one ... well established that Glossina morsitans morsitans are efficient ... some people.26,27 Notably, the high infection rates that.

  9. Arsenophonus and Sodalis Symbionts in Louse Flies: an Analogy to the Wigglesworthia and Sodalis System in Tsetse Flies

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nováková, Eva; Husník, Filip; Sochová, E.; Hypša, Václav

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 81, č. 18 (2015), s. 6189-6199 ISSN 0099-2240 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA13-01878S Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : bat flies * phylogenetic analysis * Glossina morsitans Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.823, year: 2015

  10. Stratification of habitats for identifying habitat selection by Merriam's turkeys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1992-01-01

    Habitat selection patterns of Merriam’s Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...

  11. Long-Term Field Data and Climate-Habitat Models Show That Orangutan Persistence Depends on Effective Forest Management and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregory, Stephen D.; Brook, Barry W.; Goossens, Benoît; Ancrenaz, Marc; Alfred, Raymond; Ambu, Laurentius N.; Fordham, Damien A.

    2012-01-01

    Background Southeast Asian deforestation rates are among the world’s highest and threaten to drive many forest-dependent species to extinction. Climate change is expected to interact with deforestation to amplify this risk. Here we examine whether regional incentives for sustainable forest management will be effective in improving threatened mammal conservation, in isolation and when combined with global climate change mitigation. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a long time-series of orangutan nest counts for Sabah (2000–10), Malaysian Borneo, we evaluated the effect of sustainable forest management and climate change scenarios, and their interaction, on orangutan spatial abundance patterns. By linking dynamic land-cover and downscaled global climate model projections, we determine the relative influence of these factors on orangutan spatial abundance and use the resulting statistical models to identify habitat crucial for their long-term conservation. We show that land-cover change the degradation of primary forest had the greatest influence on orangutan population size. Anticipated climate change was predicted to cause reductions in abundance in currently occupied populations due to decreased habitat suitability, but also to promote population growth in western Sabah by increasing the suitability of presently unoccupied regions. Conclusions/Significance We find strong quantitative support for the Sabah government’s proposal to implement sustainable forest management in all its forest reserves during the current decade; failure to do so could result in a 40 to 80 per cent regional decline in orangutan abundance by 2100. The Sabah orangutan is just one (albeit iconic) example of a forest-dependent species that stands to benefit from sustainable forest management, which promotes conservation of existing forests. PMID:22970145

  12. Reconstructing historical habitat data with predictive models Read More: http://www.esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/13-0327.1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zweig, Christa L.; Kitchens, Wiley M.

    2014-01-01

    Historical vegetation data are important to ecological studies, as many structuring processes operate at long time scales, from decades to centuries. Capturing the pattern of variability within a system (enough to declare a significant change from past to present) relies on correct assumptions about the temporal scale of the processes involved. Sufficient long-term data are often lacking, and current techniques have their weaknesses. To address this concern, we constructed multistate and artificial neural network models (ANN) to provide fore- and hindcast vegetation communities considered critical foraging habitat for an endangered bird, the Florida Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis). Multistate models were not able to hindcast due to our data not satisfying a detailed balance requirement for time reversibility in Markovian dynamics. Multistate models were useful for forecasting and providing environmental variables for the ANN. Results from our ANN hindcast closely mirrored the population collapse of the Snail Kite population using only environmental data to inform the model. The parallel between the two gives us confidence in the hindcasting results and their use in future demographic models.

  13. Using a Geospatial Model to Relate Fluvial Geomorphology to Macroinvertebrate Habitat in a Prairie River—Part 1: Genus-Level Relationships with Geomorphic Typologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna G. N. Meissner

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Modern river ecosystems undergo constant stress from disturbances such as bank stabilization, channelization, dams, and municipal, agricultural, and industrial water use. As these anthropogenic water requirements persist, more efficient methods of characterizing river reaches are essential. Benthic macroinvertebrates are helpful when evaluating fluvial health, because they are often the first group to react to contaminants that can then be transferred through them to other trophic levels. Hence, the purpose of this research is to use a geospatial model to differentiate instream macroinvertebrate habitats, and determine if the model is a viable method for stream evaluation. Through the use of ArcGIS and digital elevation models, the fluvial geomorphology of the Qu’Appelle River in Saskatchewan (SK was assessed. Four geomorphological characteristics of the river were isolated (sinuosity, slope, fractal dimension, and stream width and clustered through Principle Component Analysis (PCA, yielding sets of river reaches with similar geomorphological characteristics, called typologies. These typologies were mapped to form a geospatial model of the river. Macroinvertebrate data were aligned to the locations of the typologies, revealing several relationships with the fluvial geomorphology. A Kruskal-Wallis analysis and post hoc pairwise multiple comparisons were completed with the macroinvertebrate data to pinpoint significant genera, as related to the geospatial model.

  14. Surface Habitat Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kennedy, Kriss J.

    2009-01-01

    The Surface Habitat Systems (SHS) Focused Investment Group (FIG) is part of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center (JSC) effort to provide a focused direction and funding to the various projects that are working on human surface habitat designs and technologies for the planetary exploration missions. The overall SHS-FIG effort focuses on directing and guiding those projects that: 1) develop and demonstrate new surface habitat system concepts, innovations, and technologies to support human exploration missions, 2) improve environmental systems that interact with human habitats, 3) handle and emplace human surface habitats, and 4) focus on supporting humans living and working in habitats on planetary surfaces. The activity areas of the SHS FIG described herein are focused on the surface habitat project near-term objectives as described in this document. The SHS-FIG effort focuses on mitigating surface habitat risks (as identified by the Lunar Surface Systems Project Office (LSSPO) Surface Habitat Element Team; and concentrates on developing surface habitat technologies as identified in the FY08 gap analysis. The surface habitat gap assessment will be updated annually as the surface architecture and surface habitat definition continues to mature. These technologies are mapped to the SHS-FIG Strategic Development Roadmap. The Roadmap will bring to light the areas where additional innovative efforts are needed to support the development of habitat concepts and designs and the development of new technologies to support of the LSSPO Habitation Element development plan. Three specific areas of development that address Lunar Architecture Team (LAT)-2 and Constellation Architecture Team (CxAT) Lunar habitat design issues or risks will be focused on by the SHS-FIG. The SHS-FIG will establish four areas of development that will help the projects prepare in their planning for surface habitat systems development. Those development areas are

  15. Scale dependency of American marten (Martes americana) habitat relations [Chapter 12

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew J. Shirk; Tzeidle N. Wasserman; Samuel A. Cushman; Martin G. Raphael

    2012-01-01

    Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales; therefore, explicit attention to scale-dependency when modeling habitat relations is critical to understanding how organisms select habitat in complex landscapes. Models that evaluate habitat variables calculated at a single spatial scale (e.g., patch, home range) fail to account for the effects of...

  16. Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Handbook.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neilson, Edward L., Jr.; Benson, Delwin E.

    The National 4-H Wildlife Invitational is a competitive event to teach youth about the fundamentals of wildlife management. Youth learn that management for wildlife means management of wildlife habitat and providing for the needs of wildlife. This handbook provides information about wildlife habitat management concepts in both urban and rural…

  17. 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...

  18. Critical Habitat :: NOAA Fisheries

    Science.gov (United States)

    occupied by the species at the time of listing, if they contain physical or biological features essential essential for conservation. Critical Habitat Maps NOTE: The critical habitat maps provided here are for Data Leatherback Turtle (U.S. West Coast) » Biological Report » Economic Report 2012 77 FR 4170 Go to

  19. A Regional Model for Malaria Vector Developmental Habitats Evaluated Using Explicit, Pond-Resolving Surface Hydrology Simulations.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ernest Ohene Asare

    Full Text Available Dynamical malaria models can relate precipitation to the availability of vector breeding sites using simple models of surface hydrology. Here, a revised scheme is developed for the VECTRI malaria model, which is evaluated alongside the default scheme using a two year simulation by HYDREMATS, a 10 metre resolution, village-scale model that explicitly simulates individual ponds. Despite the simplicity of the two VECTRI surface hydrology parametrization schemes, they can reproduce the sub-seasonal evolution of fractional water coverage. Calibration of the model parameters is required to simulate the mean pond fraction correctly. The default VECTRI model tended to overestimate water fraction in periods subject to light rainfall events and underestimate it during periods of intense rainfall. This systematic error was improved in the revised scheme by including the a parametrization for surface run-off, such that light rainfall below the initial abstraction threshold does not contribute to ponds. After calibration of the pond model, the VECTRI model was able to simulate vector densities that compared well to the detailed agent based model contained in HYDREMATS without further parameter adjustment. Substituting local rain-gauge data with satellite-retrieved precipitation gave a reasonable approximation, raising the prospects for regional malaria simulations even in data sparse regions. However, further improvements could be made if a method can be derived to calibrate the key hydrology parameters of the pond model in each grid cell location, possibly also incorporating slope and soil texture.

  20. A Regional Model for Malaria Vector Developmental Habitats Evaluated Using Explicit, Pond-Resolving Surface Hydrology Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asare, Ernest Ohene; Tompkins, Adrian Mark; Bomblies, Arne

    2016-01-01

    Dynamical malaria models can relate precipitation to the availability of vector breeding sites using simple models of surface hydrology. Here, a revised scheme is developed for the VECTRI malaria model, which is evaluated alongside the default scheme using a two year simulation by HYDREMATS, a 10 metre resolution, village-scale model that explicitly simulates individual ponds. Despite the simplicity of the two VECTRI surface hydrology parametrization schemes, they can reproduce the sub-seasonal evolution of fractional water coverage. Calibration of the model parameters is required to simulate the mean pond fraction correctly. The default VECTRI model tended to overestimate water fraction in periods subject to light rainfall events and underestimate it during periods of intense rainfall. This systematic error was improved in the revised scheme by including the a parametrization for surface run-off, such that light rainfall below the initial abstraction threshold does not contribute to ponds. After calibration of the pond model, the VECTRI model was able to simulate vector densities that compared well to the detailed agent based model contained in HYDREMATS without further parameter adjustment. Substituting local rain-gauge data with satellite-retrieved precipitation gave a reasonable approximation, raising the prospects for regional malaria simulations even in data sparse regions. However, further improvements could be made if a method can be derived to calibrate the key hydrology parameters of the pond model in each grid cell location, possibly also incorporating slope and soil texture.

  1. An ecological model of the habitat mosaic in estuarine nursery areas: Part II – Projecting effects of sea level rise on fish production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding the response of fish populations to habitat change mediated by sea level rise (SLR) is a key component of ecosystem-based management. Yet, no direct link has been established between habitat change due to SLR and fish population production. Here we take a coupled ...

  2. Habitat Blocks and Wildlife Corridors

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — Habitat blocks are areas of contiguous forest and other natural habitats that are unfragmented by roads, development, or agriculture. Vermonts habitat blocks are...

  3. Dispersal and habitat connectivity in complex heterogeneous landscapes: an analysis with a GIS based random walk model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Verboom, J.; Knaapen, J.P.; Apeldoorn, van R.

    1996-01-01

    A grid-based random walk model has been developed to simulate animal dispersal, taking landscape heterogeneity and linear barriers such as roads and rivers into account. The model can be used to estimate connectivity and has been parameterized for thebadger in the central part of the Netherlands.

  4. Where to deliver baits for deworming urban red foxes for Echinococcus multilocularis control: new protocol for micro-habitat modeling of fox denning requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikeda, Takako; Yoshimura, Masashi; Onoyama, Keiichi; Oku, Yuzaburo; Nonaka, Nariaki; Katakura, Ken

    2014-08-06

    Deworming wild foxes by baiting with the anthelmintic praziquantel is being established as a preventive technique against environmental contamination with Echinococcus multilocularis eggs. Improvement of the cost-benefit performance of baiting treatment is required urgently to raise and maintain the efficacy of deworming. We established a spatial model of den site selection by urban red foxes, the definitive host, to specify the optimal micro-habitats for delivering baits in a new modeling approach modified for urban fox populations. The model was established for two cities (Obihiro and Sapporo) in Hokkaido, Japan, in which a sylvatic cycle of E. multilocularis is maintained. The two cities have different degrees of urbanization. The modeling process was designed to detect the best combination of key environmental factors and spatial scale that foxes pay attention to most (here named 'heeding range') when they select den sites. All possible models were generated using logistic regression analysis, with "presence" or "absence" of fox den as the objective variable, and nine landscape categories customized for urban environments as predictor variables to detect the best subset of predictors. This procedure was conducted for each of ten sizes of concentric circles from dens and control points to detect the best circle size. Out of all models generated, the most parsimonious model was selected using Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) inspection. Our models suggest that fox dens in Obihiro are located at the center of a circle with 500 m radius including low percentages of wide roads, narrow roads, and occupied buildings, but high percentages of green covered areas; the dens in Sapporo within 300 m radius with low percentages of wide roads, occupied buildings, but high percentages of riverbeds and green covered areas. The variation of the models suggests the necessity of accumulating models for various types of cities in order to reveal the patterns of the model. Our

  5. Computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) modelling as an exploratory tool for assessing passability of riverine migratory challenge zones for fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Chelminski, Michael; Dudley, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    We developed two-dimensional computational fluid hydraulics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) models to identify and qualitatively assess potential zones of shallow water depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five major anadromous fish species in a 2.63-km reach of the main stem Penobscot River, Maine, as a result of a dam removal downstream of the reach. Suitability parameters were based on distribution of fish lengths and body depths and transformed to cruising, maximum sustained and sprint swimming speeds. Zones of potential depth and velocity challenges were calculated based on the hydraulic models; ability of fish to pass a challenge zone was based on the percent of river channel that the contiguous zone spanned and its maximum along-current length. Three river flows (low: 99.1 m3 sec-1; normal: 344.9 m3 sec-1; and high: 792.9 m3 sec-1) were modelled to simulate existing hydraulic conditions and hydraulic conditions simulating removal of a dam at the downstream boundary of the reach. Potential depth challenge zones were nonexistent for all low-flow simulations of existing conditions for deeper-bodied fishes. Increasing flows for existing conditions and removal of the dam under all flow conditions increased the number and size of potential velocity challenge zones, with the effects of zones being more pronounced for smaller species. The two-dimensional CFD-HSI model has utility in demonstrating gross effects of flow and hydraulic alteration, but may not be as precise a predictive tool as a three-dimensional model. Passability of the potential challenge zones cannot be precisely quantified for two-dimensional or three-dimensional models due to untested assumptions and incomplete data on fish swimming performance and behaviours.

  6. Stream classification of the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River System to support modeling of aquatic habitat response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elliott, Caroline M.; Jacobson, Robert B.; Freeman, Mary C.

    2014-01-01

    A stream classification and associated datasets were developed for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin to support biological modeling of species response to climate change in the southeastern United States. The U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior’s National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center established the Southeast Regional Assessment Project (SERAP) which used downscaled general circulation models to develop landscape-scale assessments of climate change and subsequent effects on land cover, ecosystems, and priority species in the southeastern United States. The SERAP aquatic and hydrologic dynamics modeling efforts involve multiscale watershed hydrology, stream-temperature, and fish-occupancy models, which all are based on the same stream network. Models were developed for the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River Basin and subbasins in Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, and for the Upper Roanoke River Basin in Virginia. The stream network was used as the spatial scheme through which information was shared across the various models within SERAP. Because these models operate at different scales, coordinated pair versions of the network were delineated, characterized, and parameterized for coarse- and fine-scale hydrologic and biologic modeling. The stream network used for the SERAP aquatic models was extracted from a 30-meter (m) scale digital elevation model (DEM) using standard topographic analysis of flow accumulation. At the finer scale, reaches were delineated to represent lengths of stream channel with fairly homogenous physical characteristics (mean reach length = 350 m). Every reach in the network is designated with geomorphic attributes including upstream drainage basin area, channel gradient, channel width, valley width, Strahler and Shreve stream order, stream power, and measures of stream confinement. The reach network was aggregated from tributary junction to tributary junction to define segments for the

  7. A bio-economic analysis of a shell fishery: The effects of recruitment and habitat in a meta population model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Imeson, R.J.; van den Bergh, J.C.J.M.

    2004-01-01

    This paper presents a bioeconomic model where fishing effort exerted has multiple impacts on the recruitment process of a sedentary shellfish population. Recognizing that sedentary populations generally possess metapopulation characteristics at the recruitment stage, we show that fishing effort

  8. Integrative modelling of animal movement: incorporating in situ habitat and behavioural information for a migratory marine predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bestley, Sophie; Jonsen, Ian D; Hindell, Mark A; Guinet, Christophe; Charrassin, Jean-Benoît

    2013-01-07

    A fundamental goal in animal ecology is to quantify how environmental (and other) factors influence individual movement, as this is key to understanding responsiveness of populations to future change. However, quantitative interpretation of individual-based telemetry data is hampered by the complexity of, and error within, these multi-dimensional data. Here, we present an integrative hierarchical Bayesian state-space modelling approach where, for the first time, the mechanistic process model for the movement state of animals directly incorporates both environmental and other behavioural information, and observation and process model parameters are estimated within a single model. When applied to a migratory marine predator, the southern elephant seal (Mirounga leonina), we find the switch from directed to resident movement state was associated with colder water temperatures, relatively short dive bottom time and rapid descent rates. The approach presented here can have widespread utility for quantifying movement-behaviour (diving or other)-environment relationships across species and systems.

  9. Spatially explicit modeling of annual and seasonal habitat for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Nevada and Northeastern California—An updated decision-support tool for management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Brussee, Brianne E.; Ricca, Mark A.; Gustafson, K. Benjamin; Sanchez-Chopitea, Erika; Mauch, Kimberly; Niell, Lara; Gardner, Scott; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.

    2016-05-20

    Successful adaptive management hinges largely upon integrating new and improved sources of information as they become available. As a timely example of this tenet, we updated a management decision support tool that was previously developed for greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus, hereinafter referred to as “sage-grouse”) populations in Nevada and California. Specifically, recently developed spatially explicit habitat maps derived from empirical data played a key role in the conservation of this species facing listing under the Endangered Species Act. This report provides an updated process for mapping relative habitat suitability and management categories for sage-grouse in Nevada and northeastern California (Coates and others, 2014, 2016). These updates include: (1) adding radio and GPS telemetry locations from sage-grouse monitored at multiple sites during 2014 to the original location dataset beginning in 1998; (2) integrating output from high resolution maps (1–2 m2) of sagebrush and pinyon-juniper cover as covariates in resource selection models; (3) modifying the spatial extent of the analyses to match newly available vegetation layers; (4) explicit modeling of relative habitat suitability during three seasons (spring, summer, winter) that corresponded to critical life history periods for sage-grouse (breeding, brood-rearing, over-wintering); (5) accounting for differences in habitat availability between more mesic sagebrush steppe communities in the northern part of the study area and drier Great Basin sagebrush in more southerly regions by categorizing continuous region-wide surfaces of habitat suitability index (HSI) with independent locations falling within two hydrological zones; (6) integrating the three seasonal maps into a composite map of annual relative habitat suitability; (7) deriving updated land management categories based on previously determined cut-points for intersections of habitat suitability and an updated index of sage

  10. Mapping forest functional type in a forest-shrubland ecotone using SPOT imagery and predictive habitat distribution modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Assal, Timothy J.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Sibold, Jason

    2015-01-01

    The availability of land cover data at local scales is an important component in forest management and monitoring efforts. Regional land cover data seldom provide detailed information needed to support local management needs. Here we present a transferable framework to model forest cover by major plant functional type using aerial photos, multi-date Système Pour l’Observation de la Terre (SPOT) imagery, and topographic variables. We developed probability of occurrence models for deciduous broad-leaved forest and needle-leaved evergreen forest using logistic regression in the southern portion of the Wyoming Basin Ecoregion. The model outputs were combined into a synthesis map depicting deciduous and coniferous forest cover type. We evaluated the models and synthesis map using a field-validated, independent data source. Results showed strong relationships between forest cover and model variables, and the synthesis map was accurate with an overall correct classification rate of 0.87 and Cohen’s kappa value of 0.81. The results suggest our method adequately captures the functional type, size, and distribution pattern of forest cover in a spatially heterogeneous landscape.

  11. Combining inferences from models of capture efficiency, detectability, and suitable habitat to classify landscapes for conservation of threatened bull trout

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, J.; Dunham, J.B.

    2003-01-01

    Effective conservation efforts for at-risk species require knowledge of the locations of existing populations. Species presence can be estimated directly by conducting field-sampling surveys or alternatively by developing predictive models. Direct surveys can be expensive and inefficient, particularly for rare and difficult-to-sample species, and models of species presence may produce biased predictions. We present a Bayesian approach that combines sampling and model-based inferences for estimating species presence. The accuracy and cost-effectiveness of this approach were compared to those of sampling surveys and predictive models for estimating the presence of the threatened bull trout ( Salvelinus confluentus ) via simulation with existing models and empirical sampling data. Simulations indicated that a sampling-only approach would be the most effective and would result in the lowest presence and absence misclassification error rates for three thresholds of detection probability. When sampling effort was considered, however, the combined approach resulted in the lowest error rates per unit of sampling effort. Hence, lower probability-of-detection thresholds can be specified with the combined approach, resulting in lower misclassification error rates and improved cost-effectiveness.

  12. Scale issues in the assessment of ecological impacts using a GIS-based habitat model - A case study for the Stockholm region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, Mikael

    2007-01-01

    Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) provide two interlinked platforms for the assessment of impacts on biodiversity caused by human developments. Although it might be too early to draw conclusions on the efficiency of SEA to assess such impacts, a number of persistent problems have been identified in the case of EIA. Some of these shortcomings concern the lack of proper prediction and impact quantification, and the inadequate/insufficient assessment of cumulative effects. A number of problems are related to the scale(s) at which the assessment is performed. SEA may provide a more adequate framework than EIA to discuss scale-related issues (i.e. cumulative impacts) but it also requires the use of adapted tools. This paper presents a case study where a GIS-based habitat model for the lesser spotted woodpecker is tested, validated and applied to a planning scenario in the Stockholm region in Sweden. The results show that the method adopted offers great prospects to contribute to a better assessment of biodiversity-related impacts. Even though some limitations remain in the form of data requirement and interpretation of the results, the model produced continuous, quantified predictions over the study area and provided a relevant basis for the assessment of cumulative effects. Furthermore, this paper discusses potential conflicts between different scales involved in the assessment - related to administrative boundaries, ecological processes, data availability, the method adopted to perform the assessment and temporal aspects

  13. Does learning or instinct shape habitat selection?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott E Nielsen

    Full Text Available Habitat selection is an important behavioural process widely studied for its population-level effects. Models of habitat selection are, however, often fit without a mechanistic consideration. Here, we investigated whether patterns in habitat selection result from instinct or learning for a population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in Alberta, Canada. We found that habitat selection and relatedness were positively correlated in female bears during the fall season, with a trend in the spring, but not during any season for males. This suggests that habitat selection is a learned behaviour because males do not participate in parental care: a genetically predetermined behaviour (instinct would have resulted in habitat selection and relatedness correlations for both sexes. Geographic distance and home range overlap among animals did not alter correlations indicating that dispersal and spatial autocorrelation had little effect on the observed trends. These results suggest that habitat selection in grizzly bears are partly learned from their mothers, which could have implications for the translocation of wildlife to novel environments.

  14. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for fisher (Martes pennanti) in forests of interior northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.J. Zielinski; J. R. Dunk; J. S. Yaeger; D. W. LaPlante

    2010-01-01

    The fisher is warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the western United States and, as such, it is especially important that conservation and management actions are based on sound scientific information. We developed a landscape-scale suitability model for interior northern California to predict the probability of detecting fishers and to identify...

  15. Designated Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Kansas Data Access and Support Center — Critical habitats include those areas documented as currently supporting self-sustaining populations of any threatened or endangered species of wildlife as well as...

  16. VT Wildlife Linkage Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) The Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis uses landscape scale data to identify or predict the location of potentially significant wildlife linkage...

  17. Deep Space Habitat Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Deep Space Habitat was closed out at the end of Fiscal Year 2013 (September 30, 2013). Results and select content have been incorporated into the new Exploration...

  18. Smalltooth Sawfish Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinatat) as designated by 74 FR 45353, September 2, 2009, Rules and Regulations.

  19. Right Whale Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Right Whale as designated by Federal Register Vol. 59, No. 28805, May 19, 1993, Rules and Regulations.

  20. Johnsons Seagrass Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for Johnson's Seagrass as designated by Federal Register Vol. 65, No. 66, Wednesday, April 5, 2000, Rules and Regulations.

  1. Green Turtle Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — These data represent the critical habitat for green turtle as designated by Federal Register Vol. 63, No. 46701, September 2, 1998, Rules and Regulations.

  2. Habitat Mapping Camera (HABCAM)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset entails imagery collected using the HabCam towed underwater vehicle and annotated data on objects or habitats in the images and notes on image...

  3. Performance of maximum likelihood mixture models to estimate nursery habitat contributions to fish stocks: a case study on sea bream Sparus aurata

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edwin J. Niklitschek

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Background Mixture models (MM can be used to describe mixed stocks considering three sets of parameters: the total number of contributing sources, their chemical baseline signatures and their mixing proportions. When all nursery sources have been previously identified and sampled for juvenile fish to produce baseline nursery-signatures, mixing proportions are the only unknown set of parameters to be estimated from the mixed-stock data. Otherwise, the number of sources, as well as some/all nursery-signatures may need to be also estimated from the mixed-stock data. Our goal was to assess bias and uncertainty in these MM parameters when estimated using unconditional maximum likelihood approaches (ML-MM, under several incomplete sampling and nursery-signature separation scenarios. Methods We used a comprehensive dataset containing otolith elemental signatures of 301 juvenile Sparus aurata, sampled in three contrasting years (2008, 2010, 2011, from four distinct nursery habitats. (Mediterranean lagoons Artificial nursery-source and mixed-stock datasets were produced considering: five different sampling scenarios where 0–4 lagoons were excluded from the nursery-source dataset and six nursery-signature separation scenarios that simulated data separated 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 5.5 standard deviations among nursery-signature centroids. Bias (BI and uncertainty (SE were computed to assess reliability for each of the three sets of MM parameters. Results Both bias and uncertainty in mixing proportion estimates were low (BI ≤ 0.14, SE ≤ 0.06 when all nursery-sources were sampled but exhibited large variability among cohorts and increased with the number of non-sampled sources up to BI = 0.24 and SE = 0.11. Bias and variability in baseline signature estimates also increased with the number of non-sampled sources, but tended to be less biased, and more uncertain than mixing proportion ones, across all sampling scenarios (BI < 0.13, SE < 0

  4. Performance of maximum likelihood mixture models to estimate nursery habitat contributions to fish stocks: a case study on sea bream Sparus aurata

    Science.gov (United States)

    Darnaude, Audrey M.

    2016-01-01

    Background Mixture models (MM) can be used to describe mixed stocks considering three sets of parameters: the total number of contributing sources, their chemical baseline signatures and their mixing proportions. When all nursery sources have been previously identified and sampled for juvenile fish to produce baseline nursery-signatures, mixing proportions are the only unknown set of parameters to be estimated from the mixed-stock data. Otherwise, the number of sources, as well as some/all nursery-signatures may need to be also estimated from the mixed-stock data. Our goal was to assess bias and uncertainty in these MM parameters when estimated using unconditional maximum likelihood approaches (ML-MM), under several incomplete sampling and nursery-signature separation scenarios. Methods We used a comprehensive dataset containing otolith elemental signatures of 301 juvenile Sparus aurata, sampled in three contrasting years (2008, 2010, 2011), from four distinct nursery habitats. (Mediterranean lagoons) Artificial nursery-source and mixed-stock datasets were produced considering: five different sampling scenarios where 0–4 lagoons were excluded from the nursery-source dataset and six nursery-signature separation scenarios that simulated data separated 0.5, 1.5, 2.5, 3.5, 4.5 and 5.5 standard deviations among nursery-signature centroids. Bias (BI) and uncertainty (SE) were computed to assess reliability for each of the three sets of MM parameters. Results Both bias and uncertainty in mixing proportion estimates were low (BI ≤ 0.14, SE ≤ 0.06) when all nursery-sources were sampled but exhibited large variability among cohorts and increased with the number of non-sampled sources up to BI = 0.24 and SE = 0.11. Bias and variability in baseline signature estimates also increased with the number of non-sampled sources, but tended to be less biased, and more uncertain than mixing proportion ones, across all sampling scenarios (BI nursery signatures improved reliability

  5. Microcomputer software for calculating an elk habitat effectiveness index on Blue Mountain winter ranges.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark Hitchcock; Alan. Ager

    1992-01-01

    National Forests in the Pacific Northwest Region have incorporated elk habitat standards into Forest plans to ensure that elk habitat objectives are met on multiple use land allocations. Many Forests have employed versions of the habitat effectiveness index (HEI) as a standard method to evaluate habitat. Field application of the HEI model unfortunately is a formidable...

  6. Understanding interaction effects of climate change and fire management on bird distributions through combined process and habitat models

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Joseph D.; Gutzwiller, Kevin J.; Barrow, Wylie C.; Johnson-Randall, Lori; Zygo, Lisa; Swint, Pamela

    2011-01-01

    Avian conservation efforts must account for changes in vegetation composition and structure associated with climate change. We modeled vegetation change and the probability of occurrence of birds to project changes in winter bird distributions associated with climate change and fire management in the northern Chihuahuan Desert (southwestern U.S.A.). We simulated vegetation change in a process-based model (Landscape and Fire Simulator) in which anticipated climate change was associated with doubling of current atmospheric carbon dioxide over the next 50 years. We estimated the relative probability of bird occurrence on the basis of statistical models derived from field observations of birds and data on vegetation type, topography, and roads. We selected 3 focal species, Scaled Quail (Callipepla squamata), Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus), and Rock Wren (Salpinctes obsoletus), that had a range of probabilities of occurrence for our study area. Our simulations projected increases in relative probability of bird occurrence in shrubland and decreases in grassland and Yucca spp. and ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens) vegetation. Generally, the relative probability of occurrence of all 3 species was highest in shrubland because leaf-area index values were lower in shrubland. This high probability of occurrence likely is related to the species' use of open vegetation for foraging. Fire suppression had little effect on projected vegetation composition because as climate changed there was less fuel and burned area. Our results show that if future water limits on plant type are considered, models that incorporate spatial data may suggest how and where different species of birds may respond to vegetation changes.

  7. A Synthetic Ecology Perspective: How Well Does Behavior of Model Organisms in the Laboratory Predict Microbial Activities in Natural Habitats?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, Zheng; Krause, Sascha M B; Beck, David A C; Chistoserdova, Ludmila

    2016-01-01

    In this perspective article, we question how well model organisms, the ones that are easy to cultivate in the laboratory and that show robust growth and biomass accumulation, reflect the dynamics and interactions of microbial communities observed in nature. Today's -omics toolbox allows assessing the genomic potential of microbes in natural environments in a high-throughput fashion and at a strain-level resolution. However, understanding of the details of microbial activities and of the mechanistic bases of community function still requires experimental validation in simplified and fully controlled systems such as synthetic communities. We have studied methane utilization in Lake Washington sediment for a few decades and have identified a number of species genetically equipped for this activity. We have also identified co-occurring satellite species that appear to form functional communities together with the methanotrophs. Here, we compare experimental findings from manipulation of natural communities involved in metabolism of methane in this niche with findings from manipulation of synthetic communities assembled in the laboratory of species originating from the same study site, from very simple (two-species) to rather complex (50-species) synthetic communities. We observe some common trends in community dynamics between the two types of communities, toward representation of specific functional guilds. However, we also identify strong discrepancies between the dominant methane oxidizers in synthetic communities compared to natural communities, under similar incubation conditions. These findings highlight the challenges that exist in using the synthetic community approach to modeling dynamics and species interactions in natural communities.

  8. Data Collection and Simulation of Ecological Habitat and Recreational Habitat in the Shenandoah River, Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krstolic, Jennifer L.

    2015-01-01

    This report presents updates to methods, describes additional data collected, documents modeling results, and discusses implications from an updated habitat-flow model that can be used to predict ecological habitat for fish and recreational habitat for canoeing on the main stem Shenandoah River in Virginia. Given a 76-percent increase in population predictions for 2040 over 1995 records, increased water-withdrawal scenarios were evaluated to determine the effects on habitat and recreation in the Shenandoah River. Projected water demands for 2040 vary by watershed: the North Fork Shenandoah River shows a 55.9-percent increase, the South Fork Shenandoah River shows a 46.5-percent increase, and the main stem Shenandoah River shows a 52-percent increase; most localities are projected to approach the total permitted surface-water and groundwater withdrawals values by 2040, and a few localities are projected to exceed these values.

  9. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Crooks, Kevin R.; Burdett, Christopher L.; Theobald, David M.; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges...

  10. Saproxylic Hemiptera Habitat Associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael D. Ulyshen; James L. Hanula; Robert L. Blinn; Gene. Kritsky

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the habitat requirements of organisms associated with dead wood is important in order to conserve them in managed forests. Unfortunately, many of the less diverse saproxylic taxa, including Hemiptera, remain largely unstudied. An effort to rear insects from dead wood taken from two forest types (an upland pine-dominated and a bottomland mixed hardwood),...

  11. Global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity of mammalian carnivore habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crooks, Kevin R; Burdett, Christopher L; Theobald, David M; Rondinini, Carlo; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-09-27

    Although mammalian carnivores are vulnerable to habitat fragmentation and require landscape connectivity, their global patterns of fragmentation and connectivity have not been examined. We use recently developed high-resolution habitat suitability models to conduct comparative analyses and to identify global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity for the world's terrestrial carnivores. Species with less fragmentation (i.e. more interior high-quality habitat) had larger geographical ranges, a greater proportion of habitat within their range, greater habitat connectivity and a lower risk of extinction. Species with higher connectivity (i.e. less habitat isolation) also had a greater proportion of high-quality habitat, but had smaller, not larger, ranges, probably reflecting shorter distances between habitat patches for species with restricted distributions; such species were also more threatened, as would be expected given the negative relationship between range size and extinction risk. Fragmentation and connectivity did not differ among Carnivora families, and body mass was associated with connectivity but not fragmentation. On average, only 54.3 per cent of a species' geographical range comprised high-quality habitat, and more troubling, only 5.2 per cent of the range comprised such habitat within protected areas. Identification of global hotspots of fragmentation and connectivity will help guide strategic priorities for carnivore conservation.

  12. NEPR Benthic Habitat Map 2015

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This benthic habitat map was created from a semi-automated habitat mapping process, using a combination of bathymetry, satellite imagery, aerial imagery and...

  13. NORTHWOODS Wildlife Habitat Data Base

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark D. Nelson; Janine M. Benyus; Richard R. Buech

    1992-01-01

    Wildlife habitat data from seven Great Lakes National Forests were combined into a wildlife-habitat matrix named NORTHWOODS. Several electronic file formats of NORTHWOODS data base and documentation are available on floppy disks for microcomputers.

  14. The energetic consequences of habitat structure for forest stream salmonids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naman, Sean M; Rosenfeld, Jordan S; Kiffney, Peter M; Richardson, John S

    2018-05-08

    1.Increasing habitat availability (i.e. habitat suitable for occupancy) is often assumed to elevate the abundance or production of mobile consumers; however, this relationship is often nonlinear (threshold or unimodal). Identifying the mechanisms underlying these nonlinearities is essential for predicting the ecological impacts of habitat change, yet the functional forms and ultimate causation of consumer-habitat relationships are often poorly understood. 2.Nonlinear effects of habitat on animal abundance may manifest through physical constraints on foraging that restrict consumers from accessing their resources. Subsequent spatial incongruence between consumers and resources should lead to unimodal or saturating effects of habitat availability on consumer production if increasing the area of habitat suitable for consumer occupancy comes at the expense of habitats that generate resources. However, the shape of this relationship could be sensitive to cross-ecosystem prey subsidies, which may be unrelated to recipient habitat structure and result in more linear habitat effects on consumer production. 3.We investigated habitat-productivity relationships for juveniles of stream-rearing Pacific salmon and trout (Oncorhynchus spp.), which typically forage in low-velocity pool habitats, while their prey (drifting benthic invertebrates) are produced upstream in high-velocity riffles. However, juvenile salmonids also consume subsidies of terrestrial invertebrates that may be independent of pool-riffle structure. 4.We measured salmonid biomass production in 13 experimental enclosures each containing a downstream pool and upstream riffle, spanning a gradient of relative pool area (14-80% pool). Increasing pool relative to riffle habitat area decreased prey abundance, leading to a nonlinear saturating effect on fish production. We then used bioenergetics model simulations to examine how the relationship between pool area and salmonid biomass is affected by varying levels of

  15. Sound solutions for habitat monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mary M. Rowland; Lowell H. Suring; Christina D. Vojta

    2015-01-01

    For agencies and organizations to effectively manage wildlife, knowledge about the status and trend of wildlife habitat is critical. Traditional wildlife monitoring, however, has focused on populations rather than habitat, because ultimately population status drives long-term species viability. Still, habitat loss has contributed to the decline of nearly all at-risk...

  16. Testing projected wild bee distributions in agricultural habitats: predictive power depends on species traits and habitat type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Leon; Carvalheiro, Luísa G; Aguirre-Gutiérrez, Jesús; Bos, Merijn; de Groot, G Arjen; Kleijn, David; Potts, Simon G; Reemer, Menno; Roberts, Stuart; Scheper, Jeroen; Biesmeijer, Jacobus C

    2015-10-01

    Species distribution models (SDM) are increasingly used to understand the factors that regulate variation in biodiversity patterns and to help plan conservation strategies. However, these models are rarely validated with independently collected data and it is unclear whether SDM performance is maintained across distinct habitats and for species with different functional traits. Highly mobile species, such as bees, can be particularly challenging to model. Here, we use independent sets of occurrence data collected systematically in several agricultural habitats to test how the predictive performance of SDMs for wild bee species depends on species traits, habitat type, and sampling technique. We used a species distribution modeling approach parametrized for the Netherlands, with presence records from 1990 to 2010 for 193 Dutch wild bees. For each species, we built a Maxent model based on 13 climate and landscape variables. We tested the predictive performance of the SDMs with independent datasets collected from orchards and arable fields across the Netherlands from 2010 to 2013, using transect surveys or pan traps. Model predictive performance depended on species traits and habitat type. Occurrence of bee species specialized in habitat and diet was better predicted than generalist bees. Predictions of habitat suitability were also more precise for habitats that are temporally more stable (orchards) than for habitats that suffer regular alterations (arable), particularly for small, solitary bees. As a conservation tool, SDMs are best suited to modeling rarer, specialist species than more generalist and will work best in long-term stable habitats. The variability of complex, short-term habitats is difficult to capture in such models and historical land use generally has low thematic resolution. To improve SDMs' usefulness, models require explanatory variables and collection data that include detailed landscape characteristics, for example, variability of crops and

  17. Restricted cross-scale habitat selection by American beavers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francis, Robert A; Taylor, Jimmy D; Dibble, Eric; Strickland, Bronson; Petro, Vanessa M; Easterwood, Christine; Wang, Guiming

    2017-12-01

    Animal habitat selection, among other ecological phenomena, is spatially scale dependent. Habitat selection by American beavers Castor canadensis (hereafter, beaver) has been studied at singular spatial scales, but to date no research addresses multi-scale selection. Our objectives were to determine if beaver habitat selection was specialized to semiaquatic habitats and if variables explaining habitat selection are consistent between landscape and fine spatial scales. We built maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to relate landscape-scale presence-only data to landscape variables, and used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate fine spatial scale habitat selection using global positioning system (GPS) relocation data. Explanatory variables between the landscape and fine spatial scale were compared for consistency. Our findings suggested that beaver habitat selection at coarse (study area) and fine (within home range) scales was congruent, and was influenced by increasing amounts of woody wetland edge density and shrub edge density, and decreasing amounts of open water edge density. Habitat suitability at the landscape scale also increased with decreasing amounts of grass frequency. As territorial, central-place foragers, beavers likely trade-off open water edge density (i.e., smaller non-forested wetlands or lodges closer to banks) for defense and shorter distances to forage and obtain construction material. Woody plants along edges and expanses of open water for predator avoidance may limit beaver fitness and subsequently determine beaver habitat selection.

  18. Habitat Use Database - Groundfish Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) Habitat Use Database (HUD)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Habitat Use Database (HUD) was specifically designed to address the need for habitat-use analyses in support of groundfish EFH, HAPCs, and fishing and nonfishing...

  19. Understanding Existing Salmonid Habitat Availability and Connectivity to Improve River Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffin, J.; Yager, E.; Tonina, D.; Benjankar, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    In the Pacific Northwest river restoration is common for salmon conservation. Mangers need methods to help target restoration to problem areas in rivers to create habitat that meets a species' needs. Hydraulic models and habitat suitability curves provide basic information on habitat availability and overall quality, but these analyses need to be expanded to address habitat quality based on the accessibility of habitats required for multiple life stages. Scientists are starting to use connectivity measurements to understand the longitudinal proximity of habitat patches, which can be used to address the habitat variability of a reach. By evaluating the availability and quality of habitat and calculating the connectivity between complementary habitats, such as spawning and rearing habitats, we aim to identify areas that should be targeted for restoration. To meet these goals, we assessed Chinook salmon habitat on the Lemhi River in Idaho. The depth and velocity outputs from a 2D hydraulic model are used in conjunction with locally created habitat suitability curves to evaluate the availability and quality of habitat for multiple Chinook salmon life stages. To assess the variability of the habitat, connectivity between habitat patches necessary for different life stages is calculated with a proximity index. A spatial representation of existing habitat quality and connectivity between complimentary habitats can be linked to river morphology by the evaluation of local geomorphic characteristics, including sinuosity and channel units. The understanding of the current habitat availability for multiple life stage needs, the connectivity between these habitat patches, and their relationship with channel morphology can help managers better identify restoration needs and direct their limited resources.

  20. Targeting incentives to reduce habitat fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Lewis; Andrew Plantinga; Junjie Wu

    2009-01-01

    This article develops a theoretical model to analyze the spatial targeting of incentives for the restoration of forested landscapes when wildlife habitat can be enhanced by reducing fragmentation. The key theoretical result is that the marginal net benefits of increasing forest can be convex, in which case corner solutions--converting either none or all of the...

  1. Modeling the dispersion of atelines (primates, atelinae) through scenarios of climate change and habitat fragmentation in Colombia. Conservation implications for the persistence of species into the future

    OpenAIRE

    Burbano- Girón, Jaime

    2013-01-01

    Abstract. Prioritizing landscape connectivity is a primary objective in the conservation planning of biodiversity, since it is assumed that there will be scenarios where the dispersal of species would be necessary due to habitat fragmentation and climate change. Atelines (Primates, Atelinae) include species of Spider Monkeys (Ateles spp.) and Woolly monkeys (Lagothrix spp.); primates with great importance for the tropical forest ecosystems where they inhabit because of their role as seed disp...

  2. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report; Beaver Lake, Technical Report 2005.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-05-01

    On August 14, 2003, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the Beaver Lake property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in November 2002. Evaluation species and appropriate models include bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, Canada goose, mallard, muskrat, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The Beaver Lake Project provides a total of 232.26 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Conifer forest habitat provides 136.58 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Forested wetland habitat provides 20.02 HUs for bald eagle, black-caped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Scrub-shrub wetland habitat provides 7.67 HUs for mallard, yellow warbler, and white-tailed deer. Grassland meadow provides 22.69 HUs for Canada goose and mallard. Emergent wetlands provide 35.04 HUs for Canada goose, mallard, and muskrat. Open water provided 10.26 HUs for Canada goose, mallard, and muskrat. The objective of using HEP at the Beaver Lake Project and other protected properties is to document the quality and quantity of available habitat for selected wildlife species. In this way, HEP provides information on the relative value of the same area at future points in time so that the effect of management activities on wildlife habitat can be quantified. When combined with other tools, the baseline HEP will be used to determine the most effective on-site management, restoration, and enhancement actions to increase habitat suitability for targeted species. The same process will be replicated every five years to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in improving and maintaining habitat conditions while providing additional crediting to BPA for enhanced habitat values.

  3. Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) Report; Gamblin Lake, Technical Report 2005.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Entz, Ray

    2005-05-01

    On August 12, 2003, the Habitat Evaluation Procedure (HEP) was used to determine baseline habitat suitability on the Gamblin Lake property, an acquisition completed by the Kalispel Tribe of Indians in December 2002. Evaluation species and appropriate models include bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, muskrat, and white-tailed deer. Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) values were visually estimated and agreed upon by all HEP team members. The Gamblin Lake Project provides a total of 273.28 Habitat Units (HUs) for the species evaluated. Conifer forest habitat provides 127.92 HUs for bald eagle, black-capped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Forested wetland habitat provides 21.06 HUs for bald eagle, black-caped chickadee, mallard, and white-tailed deer. Wet meadow provides 78.05 HUs for Canada goose and mallard. Emergent wetland habitat provides 46.25 HUs for mallard, muskrat, and Canada goose. The objective of using HEP at the Gamblin Lake Project and other protected properties is to document the quality and quantity of available habitat for selected wildlife species. In this way, HEP provides information on the relative value of the same area at future points in time so that the effect of management activities on wildlife habitat can be quantified. When combined with other tools, the baseline HEP will be used to determine the most effective on-site management, restoration, and enhancement actions to increase habitat suitability for targeted species. The same process will be replicated every five years to quantitatively evaluate the effectiveness of management strategies in improving and maintaining habitat conditions while providing additional crediting to BPA for enhanced habitat values.

  4. Managing harvest and habitat as integrated components

    Science.gov (United States)

    Osnas, Erik; Runge, Michael C.; Mattsson, Brady J.; Austin, Jane E.; Boomer, G. S.; Clark, R. G.; Devers, P.; Eadie, J. M.; Lonsdorf, E. V.; Tavernia, Brian G.

    2014-01-01

    In 2007, several important initiatives in the North American waterfowl management community called for an integrated approach to habitat and harvest management. The essence of the call for integration is that harvest and habitat management affect the same resources, yet exist as separate endeavours with very different regulatory contexts. A common modelling framework could help these management streams to better understand their mutual effects. Particularly, how does successful habitat management increase harvest potential? Also, how do regional habitat programmes and large-scale harvest strategies affect continental population sizes (a metric used to express habitat goals)? In the ensuing five years, several projects took on different aspects of these challenges. While all of these projects are still on-going, and are not yet sufficiently developed to produce guidance for management decisions, they have been influential in expanding the dialogue and producing some important emerging lessons. The first lesson has been that one of the more difficult aspects of integration is not the integration across decision contexts, but the integration across spatial and temporal scales. Habitat management occurs at local and regional scales. Harvest management decisions are made at a continental scale. How do these actions, taken at different scales, combine to influence waterfowl population dynamics at all scales? The second lesson has been that consideration of the interface of habitat and harvest management can generate important insights into the objectives underlying the decision context. Often the objectives are very complex and trade-off against one another. The third lesson follows from the second – if an understanding of the fundamental objectives is paramount, there is no escaping the need for a better understanding of human dimensions, specifically the desires of hunters and nonhunters and the role they play in conservation. In the end, the compelling question is

  5. The global distribution of deep-water Antipatharia habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yesson, Chris; Bedford, Faye; Rogers, Alex D.; Taylor, Michelle L.

    2017-11-01

    Antipatharia are a diverse group of corals with many species found in deep water. Many Antipatharia are habitat for associates, have extreme longevity and some species can occur beyond 8500 m depth. As they are major constituents of'coral gardens', which are Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs), knowledge of their distribution and environmental requirements is an important pre-requisite for informed conservation planning particularly where the expense and difficulty of deep-sea sampling prohibits comprehensive surveys. This study uses a global database of Antipatharia distribution data to perform habitat suitability modelling using the Maxent methodology to estimate the global extent of black coral habitat suitability. The model of habitat suitability is driven by temperature but there is notable influence from other variables of topography, surface productivity and oxygen levels. This model can be used to predict areas of suitable habitat, which can be useful for conservation planning. The global distribution of Antipatharia habitat suitability shows a marked contrast with the distribution of specimen observations, indicating that many potentially suitable areas have not been sampled, and that sampling effort has been disproportionate to shallow, accessible areas inside marine protected areas (MPAs). Although 25% of Antipatharia observations are located in MPAs, only 7-8% of predicted suitable habitat is protected, which is short of the Convention on Biological Diversity target to protect 10% of ocean habitats by 2020.

  6. The micro-habitat methodology. Application protocols

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sabaton, C; Valentin, S; Souchon, Y

    1995-06-01

    A strong need has been felt for guidelines to help various entities in applying the micro-habitat methodology, particularly in impact studies on hydroelectric installations. CEMAGREF and Electricite de France have developed separately two protocols with five major steps: reconnaissance of the river, selection of representative units to be studied in greater depth, morpho-dynamic measurements at one or more rates of discharge and hydraulic modeling, coupling of hydraulic and biological models, calculation of habitat-quality scores for fish, analysis of results. The two approaches give very comparable results and are essentially differentiated by the hydraulic model used. CEMAGREF uses a one-dimensional model requiring measurements at only one discharge rate. Electricite de France uses a simplified model based on measurements at several rates of discharge. This approach is possible when discharge can be controlled in the study area during data acquisition, as is generally the case downstream of hydroelectric installations. The micro-habitat methodology is now a fully operational tool with which to study changes in fish habitat quality in relation to varying discharge. It provides an element of assessment pertinent to the choice of instreaming flow to be maintained downstream of a hydroelectric installation; this information is essential when the flow characteristics (velocity, depth) and the nature of the river bed are the preponderant factors governing habitat suitability for trout or salmon. The ultimate decision must nonetheless take into account any other potentially limiting factors for the biocenoses on the one hand, and the target water use objectives on the other. In many cases, compromises must be found among different uses, different species and different stages in the fish development cycle. (Abstract Truncated)

  7. Scale-dependent seasonal pool habitat use by sympatric Wild Brook Trout and Brown Trout populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Lori A.; Wagner, Tyler

    2016-01-01

    Sympatric populations of native Brook Trout Salvelinus fontinalis and naturalized Brown Trout Salmo truttaexist throughout the eastern USA. An understanding of habitat use by sympatric populations is of importance for fisheries management agencies because of the close association between habitat and population dynamics. Moreover, habitat use by stream-dwelling salmonids may be further complicated by several factors, including the potential for fish to display scale-dependent habitat use. Discrete-choice models were used to (1) evaluate fall and early winter daytime habitat use by sympatric Brook Trout and Brown Trout populations based on available residual pool habitat within a stream network and (2) assess the sensitivity of inferred habitat use to changes in the spatial scale of the assumed available habitat. Trout exhibited an overall preference for pool habitats over nonpool habitats; however, the use of pools was nonlinear over time. Brook Trout displayed a greater preference for deep residual pool habitats than for shallow pool and nonpool habitats, whereas Brown Trout selected for all pool habitat categories similarly. Habitat use by both species was found to be scale dependent. At the smallest spatial scale (50 m), habitat use was primarily related to the time of year and fish weight. However, at larger spatial scales (250 and 450 m), habitat use varied over time according to the study stream in which a fish was located. Scale-dependent relationships in seasonal habitat use by Brook Trout and Brown Trout highlight the importance of considering scale when attempting to make inferences about habitat use; fisheries managers may want to consider identifying the appropriate spatial scale when devising actions to restore and protect Brook Trout populations and their habitats.

  8. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gustaf Samelius

    Full Text Available Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1 before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2 in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection. Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.

  9. Habitat selection and risk of predation: re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof

    2013-01-01

    Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.

  10. 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

  11. Grande Ronde Model Watershed Program Administration and Habitat Projects, Annual Progress Report, Project Period: Program Administration: January 1, 1997 - December 31, 1997 Habitat Projects: January 1, 1997 - March 31, 1998.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Noyes, Cecilia; Kuchenbecker, Lyle; Perry, Patty

    1998-10-28

    This agreement provided funding for operation and administration of the Grande Ronde Model Watershed Program including staffing of an Executive Director, Program Planner, and clerical personnel. The contract covers maintaining program services, project planning, subwatershed plans (CRMP's), public involvement and education, interagency coordination/clearing house, monitoring, and technical support activities that have taken place in the Grande Ronde basin. Cost-share has been received from the Bureau of Reclamation and the Governor's Watershed Enhancement Board.

  12. Enhancements of the "eHabitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santoro, M.; Dubois, G.; Schulz, M.; Skøien, J. O.; Nativi, S.; Peedell, S.; Boldrini, E.

    2012-04-01

    The number of interoperable research infrastructures has increased significantly with the growing awareness of the efforts made by the Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). One of the Social Benefit Areas (SBA) that is benefiting most from GEOSS is biodiversity, given the costs of monitoring the environment and managing complex information, from space observations to species records including their genetic characteristics. But GEOSS goes beyond the simple sharing of the data as it encourages the connectivity of models (the GEOSS Model Web), an approach easing the handling of often complex multi-disciplinary questions such as understanding the impact of environmental and climatological factors on ecosystems and habitats. In the context of GEOSS Architecture Implementation Pilot - Phase 3 (AIP-3), the EC-funded EuroGEOSS and GENESIS projects have developed and successfully demonstrated the "eHabitat" use scenario dealing with Climate Change and Biodiversity domains. Based on the EuroGEOSS multidisciplinary brokering infrastructure and on the DOPA (Digital Observatory for Protected Areas, see http://dopa.jrc.ec.europa.eu/), this scenario demonstrated how a GEOSS-based interoperability infrastructure can aid decision makers to assess and possibly forecast the irreplaceability of a given protected area, an essential indicator for assessing the criticality of threats this protected area is exposed to. The "eHabitat" use scenario was advanced in the GEOSS Sprint to Plenary activity; the advanced scenario will include the "EuroGEOSS Data Access Broker" and a new version of the eHabitat model in order to support the use of uncertain data. The multidisciplinary interoperability infrastructure which is used to demonstrate the "eHabitat" use scenario is composed of the following main components: a) A Discovery Broker: this component is able to discover resources from a plethora of different and heterogeneous geospatial services, presenting them on a single and

  13. Plant Habitat (PH)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Onate, Bryan

    2016-01-01

    The International Space Station (ISS) will soon have a platform for conducting fundamental research of Large Plants. Plant Habitat (PH) is designed to be a fully controllable environment for high-quality plant physiological research. PH will control light quality, level, and timing, temperature, CO2, relative humidity, and irrigation, while scrubbing ethylene. Additional capabilities include leaf temperature and root zone moisture and oxygen sensing. The light cap will have red (630 nm), blue (450 nm), green (525 nm), far red (730 nm) and broad spectrum white LEDs. There will be several internal cameras (visible and IR) to monitor and record plant growth and operations.

  14. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jose Luis Passos Cordeiro

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The development of species distribution models (SDMs can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19% of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.

  15. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, Jose Luis Passos; Fragoso, José M V; Crawshaw, Danielle; Oliveira, Luiz Flamarion B

    2016-01-01

    The development of species distribution models (SDMs) can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative different Habitat Suitability Maps for the lowland tapir. While MAXENT was efficient at identifying areas as suitable or unsuitable, it was less efficient (when compared to the results by ENFA) at identifying the gradient of habitat suitability. MAXENT is a more multifaceted technique that establishes more complex relationships between dependent and independent variables. Our results demonstrate that for at least one species, the lowland tapir, the use of a simple consensual approach (average of ENFA and MAXENT models outputs) better reflected its current distribution patterns. The Brazilian ecoregions have the highest habitat loss for the tapir. Cerrado and Atlantic Forest account for nearly half (48.19%) of the total area lost. The Amazon region contains the largest area under protection, and the most extensive remaining habitat for the tapir, but also showed high levels of habitat loss outside protected areas, which increases the importance of support for proper management.

  16. Vacant habitats in the Universe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cockell, Charles S

    2011-02-01

    The search for life on other planets usually makes the assumption that where there is a habitat, it will contain life. On the present-day Earth, uninhabited habitats (or vacant habitats) are rare, but might occur, for example, in subsurface oils or impact craters that have been thermally sterilized in the past. Beyond Earth, vacant habitats might similarly exist on inhabited planets or on uninhabited planets, for example on a habitable planet where life never originated. The hypothesis that vacant habitats are abundant in the Universe is testable by studying other planets. In this review, I discuss how the study of vacant habitats might ultimately inform an understanding of how life has influenced geochemical conditions on Earth. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Habitat segregation in fish assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Ibbotson, A.T.

    1990-01-01

    The segregation of habitats of fish assemblages found in the chalk streams and rivers within the Wessex, South West and Southern Water Authority boundaries in southern England have been examined. Habitat segregation is the most frequent type of resource partitioning in natural communities. The habitat of individual fish species will be defined in order to determine the following: (1) the requirements of each species in terms of depth, current velocity, substrate, cover etc.; (2) identify the ...

  18. Incorporating in situ habitat patchiness in site selection models reveals that site fidelity is not always a consequence of animal choice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martinez, Aline S; Queiroz, Eduardo V; Bryson, Mitch; Byrne, Maria; Coleman, Ross A

    2017-07-01

    Understanding site fidelity is important in animal ecology, but evidence is lacking that this behaviour is due to an animal choosing a specific location. To discern site selection behaviour, it is necessary to consider the spatial distribution of habitats that animals can occupy within a landscape. Tracking animals and defining clear habitat boundaries, however, is often difficult. We use in situ habitat distribution data and animal movement simulations to investigate behavioural choice in site fidelity patterns. We resolved the difficulty of gathering data by working with intertidal rock pool systems, which are of manageable size and where boundaries are easy to define. Movements of the intertidal starfish Parvulastra exigua were quantified to test the hypotheses that (1) this species displays fidelity to a particular rock pool and that (2) rock pool fidelity is due to site selection behaviour. Observed patterns of individuals (n = 10 starfish) returning to a previously occupied rock pool (n = 5 pools per location) were tested against an expected null distribution generated through simulations of random movements within their natural patchy environment. Starfish exhibited site selection behaviour at only one location even though site fidelity was high (av. 7·4 starfish out of 10 found in test pools) in two of the three locations. The random chance of a starfish returning to a pool increased 67% for each metre further a rock pool was from the original pool, and 120% for each square metre increase in surface area of an original pool. The decision of returning to an original rock pool was influenced by food availability. When microalgal cover was >60%, there was a c. 50% chance of animals staying faithful to that pool. Our results show the importance to consider spatial distribution of habitats in understanding patterns of animal movement associated with animal choices and site fidelity. Returning to a particular place does not necessarily mean that an animal

  19. 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...

  20. Using a down-scaled bioclimate envelope model to determine long-term temporal connectivity of Garry oak (Quercus garryana) habitat in western North America: implications for protected area planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pellatt, Marlow G; Goring, Simon J; Bodtker, Karin M; Cannon, Alex J

    2012-04-01

    Under the Canadian Species at Risk Act (SARA), Garry oak (Quercus garryana) ecosystems are listed as "at-risk" and act as an umbrella for over one hundred species that are endangered to some degree. Understanding Garry oak responses to future climate scenarios at scales relevant to protected area managers is essential to effectively manage existing protected area networks and to guide the selection of temporally connected migration corridors, additional protected areas, and to maintain Garry oak populations over the next century. We present Garry oak distribution scenarios using two random forest models calibrated with down-scaled bioclimatic data for British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon based on 1961-1990 climate normals. The suitability models are calibrated using either both precipitation and temperature variables or using only temperature variables. We compare suitability predictions from four General Circulation Models (GCMs) and present CGCM2 model results under two emissions scenarios. For each GCM and emissions scenario we apply the two Garry oak suitability models and use the suitability models to determine the extent and temporal connectivity of climatically suitable Garry oak habitat within protected areas from 2010 to 2099. The suitability models indicate that while 164 km(2) of the total protected area network in the region (47,990 km(2)) contains recorded Garry oak presence, 1635 and 1680 km(2) of climatically suitable Garry oak habitat is currently under some form of protection. Of this suitable protected area, only between 6.6 and 7.3% will be "temporally connected" between 2010 and 2099 based on the CGCM2 model. These results highlight the need for public and private protected area organizations to work cooperatively in the development of corridors to maintain temporal connectivity in climatically suitable areas for the future of Garry oak ecosystems.

  1. 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.

  2. Habitat-specific population growth of a farmland bird.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Debora Arlt

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: To assess population persistence of species living in heterogeneous landscapes, the effects of habitat on reproduction and survival have to be investigated. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We used a matrix population model to estimate habitat-specific population growth rates for a population of northern wheatears Oenanthe oenanthe breeding in farmland consisting of a mosaic of distinct habitat (land use types. Based on extensive long-term data on reproduction and survival, habitats characterised by tall field layers (spring- and autumn-sown crop fields, ungrazed grasslands displayed negative stochastic population growth rates (log lambda(s: -0.332, -0.429, -0.168, respectively, that were markedly lower than growth rates of habitats characterised by permanently short field layers (pastures grazed by cattle or horses, and farmyards, log lambda(s: -0.056, +0.081, -0.059. Although habitats differed with respect to reproductive performance, differences in habitat-specific population growth were largely due to differences in adult and first-year survival rates, as shown by a life table response experiment (LTRE. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that estimation of survival rates is important for realistic assessments of habitat quality. Results also indicate that grazed grasslands and farmyards may act as source habitats, whereas crop fields and ungrazed grasslands with tall field layers may act as sink habitats. We suggest that the strong decline of northern wheatears in Swedish farmland may be linked to the corresponding observed loss of high quality breeding habitat, i.e. grazed semi-natural grasslands.

  3. Behavioural cues surpass habitat factors in explaining prebreeding resource selection by a migratory diving duck

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Cutting, Kyle A.; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.

    2014-01-01

    Prebreeding habitat selection in birds can often be explained in part by habitat characteristics. However, females may also select habitats on the basis of fidelity to areas of previous reproductive success or use by conspecifics. The relative influences of sociobehavioural attributes versus habitat characteristics in habitat selection has been primarily investigated in songbirds, while less is known about how these factors affect habitat selection processes in migratory waterfowl. Animal resource selection models often exhibit much unexplained variation; spatial patterns driven by social and behavioural characteristics may account for some of this. We radiomarked female lesser scaup, Aythya affinis, in the southwestern extent of their breeding range to explore hypotheses regarding relative roles of habitat quality, site fidelity and conspecific density in prebreeding habitat selection. We used linear mixed-effects models to relate intensity of use within female home ranges to habitat features, distance to areas of reproductive success during the previous breeding season and conspecific density. Home range habitats included shallow water (≤118 cm), moderate to high densities of flooded emergent vegetation/open water edge and open water areas with submerged aquatic vegetation. Compared with habitat features, conspecific female density and proximity to successful nesting habitats from the previous breeding season had greater influences on habitat use within home ranges. Fidelity and conspecific attraction are behavioural characteristics in some waterfowl species that may exert a greater influence than habitat features in influencing prebreeding space use and habitat selection within home ranges, particularly where quality habitat is abundant. These processes may be of critical importance to a better understanding of habitat selection in breeding birds.

  4. Assessing juvenile salmon rearing habitat and associated predation risk in a lower Snake River reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Hatten, James R.; Trachtenbarg, David A

    2015-01-01

    Subyearling fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Columbia River basin exhibit a transient rearing strategy and depend on connected shoreline habitats during freshwater rearing. Impoundment has greatly reduced the amount of shallow-water rearing habitat that is exacerbated by the steep topography of reservoirs. Periodic dredging creates opportunities to strategically place spoils to increase the amount of shallow-water habitat for subyearlings while at the same time reducing the amount of unsuitable area that is often preferred by predators. We assessed the amount and spatial arrangement of subyearling rearing habitat in Lower Granite Reservoir on the Snake River to guide future habitat improvement efforts. A spatially explicit habitat assessment was conducted using physical habitat data, two-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling and a statistical habitat model in a geographic information system framework. We used field collections of subyearlings and a common predator [smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)] to draw inferences about predation risk within specific habitat types. Most of the high-probability rearing habitat was located in the upper half of the reservoir where gently sloping landforms created low lateral bed slopes and shallow-water habitats. Only 29% of shorelines were predicted to be suitable (probability >0.5) for subyearlings, and the occurrence of these shorelines decreased in a downstream direction. The remaining, less suitable areas were composed of low-probability habitats in unmodified (25%) and riprapped shorelines (46%). As expected, most subyearlings were found in high-probability habitat, while most smallmouth bass were found in low-probability locations. However, some subyearlings were found in low-probability habitats, such as riprap, where predation risk could be high. Given their transient rearing strategy and dependence on shoreline habitats, subyearlings could benefit from habitat creation efforts in the lower

  5. European red list of habitats. Part 1: Marine habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gubbay, S.; Sanders, N.; Haynes, T.; Janssen, J.A.M.; Rodwell, J.R.; Nieto, A.; Garcia Criado, M.; Beal, S.; Borg, J.

    2016-01-01

    The European Red List of Habitats provides an overview of the risk
    of collapse (degree of endangerment) of marine, terrestrial and
    freshwater habitats in the European Union (EU28) and adjacent
    regions (EU28+), based on a consistent set of categories and
    criteria, and detailed data

  6. Microhabitat features influencing habitat use by Florida black bears

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dana L. Karelus

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding fine-scale habitat needs of species and the factors influencing heterogeneous use of habitat within home range would help identify limiting resources and inform habitat management practices. This information is especially important for large mammals living in fragmented habitats where resources may be scarcer and more patchily distributed than in contiguous habitats. Using bihourly Global Position System (GPS location data collected from 10 individuals during 2011–2014, we investigated microhabitat features of areas within home ranges that received high vs. low intensity of use by Florida black bears (Ursus americanus floridanus in north-central, Florida. We identified areas receiving high and low levels of use by bears based on their utilization distributions estimated with the dynamic Brownian bridge movement model, and performed vegetation sampling at bear locations within high- and low-use areas. Using univariate analyses and generalized linear mixed models, we found that (1 canopy cover, visual obstruction, and hardwood density were important in defining high-use sites; (2 the probability of high use was positively associated with principal components that represented habitat closer to creeks and with high canopy and shrub cover and higher hardwood densities, likely characteristic of forested wetlands; and (3 the probability of high use was, to a lesser extent, associated with principal components that represented habitat with high canopy cover, high pine density, and low visual obstruction and hardwood density; likely representing sand pine and pine plantations. Our results indicate that the high bear-use sites were in forested wetlands, where cover and food resources for bears are likely to occur in higher abundance. Habitat management plans whereby bears are a focal species should aim to increase the availability and quality of forested wetlands. Keywords: Habitat selection, Heterogeneous habitat use, Forest management

  7. Our cosmic habitat

    CERN Document Server

    Rees, Martin

    2001-01-01

    Our universe seems strangely 'biophilic,' or hospitable to life. Is this providence or coincidence? According to Martin Rees, the answer depends on the answer to another question, the one posed by Einstein's famous remark: 'What interests me most is whether God could have made the world differently.' This highly engaging book centres on the fascinating consequences of the answer being 'yes'. Rees explores the notion that our universe is just part of a vast 'multiverse,' or ensemble of universes, in which most of the other universes are lifeless. What we call the laws of nature would then be local by laws, imposed in the aftermath of our own Big Bang. In this scenario, our cosmic habitat would be a special, possibly unique universe where the prevailing laws of physics allowed life to emerge.

  8. Chinook salmon use of spawning patches: relative roles of habitat quality, size, and connectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaak, Daniel J; Thurow, Russell F; Rieman, Bruce E; Dunham, Jason B

    2007-03-01

    Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically

  9. Chinook salmon use of spawning patches: Relative roles of habitat quality, size, and connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isaak, D.J.; Thurow, R.F.; Rieman, B.E.; Dunham, J.B.

    2007-01-01

    Declines in many native fish populations have led to reassessments of management goals and shifted priorities from consumptive uses to species preservation. As management has shifted, relevant environmental characteristics have evolved from traditional metrics that described local habitat quality to characterizations of habitat size and connectivity. Despite the implications this shift has for how habitats may be prioritized for conservation, it has been rare to assess the relative importance of these habitat components. We used an information-theoretic approach to select the best models from sets of logistic regressions that linked habitat quality, size, and connectivity to the occurrence of chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) nests. Spawning distributions were censused annually from 1995 to 2004, and data were complemented with field measurements that described habitat quality in 43 suitable spawning patches across a stream network that drained 1150 km 2 in central Idaho. Results indicated that the most plausible models were dominated by measures of habitat size and connectivity, whereas habitat quality was of minor importance. Connectivity was the strongest predictor of nest occurrence, but connectivity interacted with habitat size, which became relatively more important when populations were reduced. Comparison of observed nest distributions to null model predictions confirmed that the habitat size association was driven by a biological mechanism when populations were small, but this association may have been an area-related sampling artifact at higher abundances. The implications for habitat management are that the size and connectivity of existing habitat networks should be maintained whenever possible. In situations where habitat restoration is occurring, expansion of existing areas or creation of new habitats in key areas that increase connectivity may be beneficial. Information about habitat size and connectivity also could be used to strategically

  10. Global habitat preferences of commercially valuable tuna

    KAUST Repository

    Arrizabalaga, Haritz; Dufour, Florence; Kell, Laurence T.; Merino, Gorka; Ibaibarriaga, Leire; Chust, Guillem; Irigoien, Xabier; Santiago, Josu; Murua, Hilario; Fraile, Igaratza; Chifflet, Marina; Goikoetxea, Nerea; Sagarminaga, Yolanda; Aumont, Olivier; Bopp, Laurent; Herrera, Miguel Angel; Marc Fromentin, Jean; Bonhomeau, Sylvain

    2015-01-01

    In spite of its pivotal role in future implementations of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, current knowledge about tuna habitat preferences remains fragmented and heterogeneous, because it relies mainly on regional or local studies that have used a variety of approaches making them difficult to combine. Therefore in this study we analyse data from six tuna species in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans in order to provide a global, comparative perspective of habitat preferences. These data are longline catch per unit effort from 1958 to 2007 for albacore, Atlantic bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tunas. Both quotient analysis and Generalised Additive Models were used to determine habitat preference with respect to eight biotic and abiotic variables. Results confirmed that, compared to temperate tunas, tropical tunas prefer warm, anoxic, stratified waters. Atlantic and southern bluefin tuna prefer higher concentrations of chlorophyll than the rest. The two species also tolerate most extreme sea surface height anomalies and highest mixed layer depths. In general, Atlantic bluefin tuna tolerates the widest range of environmental conditions. An assessment of the most important variables determining fish habitat is also provided. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Global habitat preferences of commercially valuable tuna

    KAUST Repository

    Arrizabalaga, Haritz

    2015-03-01

    In spite of its pivotal role in future implementations of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management, current knowledge about tuna habitat preferences remains fragmented and heterogeneous, because it relies mainly on regional or local studies that have used a variety of approaches making them difficult to combine. Therefore in this study we analyse data from six tuna species in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans in order to provide a global, comparative perspective of habitat preferences. These data are longline catch per unit effort from 1958 to 2007 for albacore, Atlantic bluefin, southern bluefin, bigeye, yellowfin and skipjack tunas. Both quotient analysis and Generalised Additive Models were used to determine habitat preference with respect to eight biotic and abiotic variables. Results confirmed that, compared to temperate tunas, tropical tunas prefer warm, anoxic, stratified waters. Atlantic and southern bluefin tuna prefer higher concentrations of chlorophyll than the rest. The two species also tolerate most extreme sea surface height anomalies and highest mixed layer depths. In general, Atlantic bluefin tuna tolerates the widest range of environmental conditions. An assessment of the most important variables determining fish habitat is also provided. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

  12. A habitat overlap analysis derived from maxent for tamarisk and the south-western willow flycatcher

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Patricia; Evangelista, Paul; Kumar, Sunil; Graham, James; Flather, Curtis; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-06-01

    Biologic control of the introduced and invasive, woody plant tamarisk ( Tamarix spp, saltcedar) in south-western states is controversial because it affects habitat of the federally endangered South-western Willow Flycatcher ( Empidonax traillii extimus). These songbirds sometimes nest in tamarisk where floodplain-level invasion replaces native habitats. Biologic control, with the saltcedar leaf beetle ( Diorhabda elongate), began along the Virgin River, Utah, in 2006, enhancing the need for comprehensive understanding of the tamarisk-flycatcher relationship. We used maximum entropy (Maxent) modeling to separately quantify the current extent of dense tamarisk habitat (>50% cover) and the potential extent of habitat available for E. traillii extimus within the studied watersheds. We used transformations of 2008 Landsat Thematic Mapper images and a digital elevation model as environmental input variables. Maxent models performed well for the flycatcher and tamarisk with Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC) values of 0.960 and 0.982, respectively. Classification of thresholds and comparison of the two Maxent outputs indicated moderate spatial overlap between predicted suitable habitat for E. traillii extimus and predicted locations with dense tamarisk stands, where flycatcher habitat will potentially change flycatcher habitats. Dense tamarisk habitat comprised 500 km2 within the study area, of which 11.4% was also modeled as potential habitat for E. traillii extimus. Potential habitat modeled for the flycatcher constituted 190 km2, of which 30.7% also contained dense tamarisk habitat. Results showed that both native vegetation and dense tamarisk habitats exist in the study area and that most tamarisk infestations do not contain characteristics that satisfy the habitat requirements of E. traillii extimus. Based on this study, effective biologic control of Tamarix spp. may, in the short term, reduce suitable habitat available to E. traillii extimus, but also has the potential

  13. 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 l