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Sample records for grassland bird communities

  1. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

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    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  2. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil.

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    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

    Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

  3. Off-road sampling reveals a different grassland bird community than roadside sampling: implications for survey design and estimates to guide conservation

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    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grassland bird species continue to decline steeply across North America. Road-based surveys such as the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS are often used to estimate trends and population sizes and to build species distribution models for grassland birds, although roadside survey counts may introduce bias in estimates because of differences in habitats along roadsides and in off-road surveys. We tested for differences in land cover composition and in the avian community on 21 roadside-based survey routes and in an equal number of adjacent off-road walking routes in the grasslands of southern Alberta, Canada. Off-road routes (n = 225 point counts had more native grassland and short shrubs and less fallow land and road area than the roadside routes (n = 225 point counts. Consequently, 17 of the 39 bird species differed between the two route types in frequency of occurrence and relative abundance, measured using an indicator species analysis. Six species, including five obligate grassland species, were more prevalent at off-road sites; they included four species listed under the Canadian federal Species At Risk Act or listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada: Sprague's Pipit (Anthus spragueii, Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii, the Chestnut-collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus, and McCown's Longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii. The six species were as much as four times more abundant on off-road sites. Species more prevalent along roadside routes included common species and those typical of farmland and other human-modified habitats, e.g., the European Starling (Sturnus vulgaris, the Black-billed Magpie (Pica hudsonia, and the House Sparrow (Passer domesticus. Differences in avian community composition between roadside and off-road surveys suggest that the use of BBS data when generating population estimates or distribution models may overestimate certain common species and underestimate others of conservation

  4. Using the North American Breeding Bird Survey to assess broad-scale response of the continent's most imperiled avian community, grassland birds, to weather variability

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    Gorzo, Jessica; Pidgeon, Anna M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Allstadt, Andrew J.; Radeloff, Volker C.; Heglund, Patricia J.; Vavrus, Stephen J.

    2016-01-01

    Avian populations can respond dramatically to extreme weather such as droughts and heat waves, yet patterns of response to weather at broad scales remain largely unknown. Our goal was to evaluate annual variation in abundance of 14 grassland bird species breeding in the northern mixed-grass prairie in relation to annual variation in precipitation and temperature. We modeled avian abundance during the breeding season using North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data for the U.S. Badlands and Prairies Bird Conservation Region (BCR 17) from 1980 to 2012. We used hierarchical Bayesian methods to fit models and estimate the candidate weather parameters standardized precipitation index (SPI) and standardized temperature index (STI) for the same year and the previous year. Upland Sandpiper (Bartramia longicauda) responded positively to within-year STI (β = 0.101), and Baird's Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) responded negatively to within-year STI (β = −0.161) and positively to within-year SPI (β = 0.195). The parameter estimates were superficially similar (STI β = −0.075, SPI β = 0.11) for Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), but the best-selected model included an interaction between SPI and STI. The best model for both Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus) and Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus) included the additive effects of within-year SPI (β = −0.032 and β = −0.054, respectively) and the previous-year's SPI (β = −0.057 and −0.02, respectively), although for Vesper Sparrow the lag effect was insignificant. With projected warmer, drier weather during summer in the Badlands and Prairies BCR, Baird's and Grasshopper sparrows may be especially threatened by future climate change.

  5. Role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in Enriching the Depauperate Bird Community in “Cogon” Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel Dominated Grassland in Swidden Vegetation Matrix

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    Alejandro A. Bernardo Jr.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to understand the role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in enhancing the avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel dominated grassland patches and to realize the influence of adjacent vegetations on the assemblage of birds that feed on the fruit of this tree. An avifaunal survey was conducted on “Cogon” dominated grassland patches adjacent to selected vegetations such as primary forest, secondary forest and upland agricultural area. A total of 250 birds belonging to 19 species representing ten families were found feeding on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla. The site adjacent to secondary forest has the highest species richness, abundance and diversity index values. This accentuates the combined influence of the open and forest dwelling bird species thriving in the secondary forest. The sites adjacent to the primary forest and to the agricultural area have the same species richness but differ in species composition as reflected by the low similarity index. More forest dwelling bird species were recorded near the forest while more open dwelling bird species were recorded near the agricultural area. This highlights the spillover effect of the adjacent vegetations on the feeding bird assemblage. The presence of several endemic and conservation priority bird species that feed on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla unfolds its important role in avifaunal conservation. Finally, the wide collection of fruit eating bird species attracted to it emphasized its importance in improving the overall avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica dominated grassland patches within the swidden vegetation matrix.

  6. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

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    Ellison, Kevin S; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W; Fawcett, Megan J; Dadisman, John D

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems.

  7. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow's sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus] at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2-4 times for bobolink and Henslow's sparrow and nesting densities increased (all 3 species in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow's sparrows nested within ≤50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor] at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]. Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116 and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow's sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland

  8. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

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    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  9. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

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    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that is available to agricultural producers to help protect environmentally sensitive or highly erodible land. Management disturbances of CRP grasslands generally are not allowed unless authorized to provide relief to livestock producers during severe drought or a similar natural disaster (i.e., emergency haying and grazing) or to improve the quality and performance of the CRP cover (i.e., managed haying and grazing). Although CRP grasslands may not be hayed or grazed during the primary bird-nesting season, these disturbances may have short-term (1 yr after disturbance) and long-term (≥2 yr after disturbance) effects on grassland bird populations. We assessed the effects of haying on 20 grassland bird species in 483 CRP grasslands in 9 counties of 4 states in the northern Great Plains, USA between 1993 and 2008. We compared breeding bird densities (as determined by total-area counts) in idle and hayed fields to evaluate changes 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after haying. Haying of CRP grasslands had either positive or negative effects on grassland birds, depending on the species, the county, and the number of years after the initial disturbance. Some species (e.g., horned lark [Eremophila alpestris], bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) responded positively after haying, and others (e.g., song sparrow [Melospiza melodia]) responded negatively. The responses of some species changed direction as the fields recovered from haying. For example, densities for common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis), and clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) declined the first year after haying but increased in the subsequent 3 years. Ten species showed treatment × county interactions, indicating that the effects of haying varied geographically. This long-term evaluation on the effects of haying on breeding birds provides important information on the strength and direction of changes in

  10. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

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    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  11. Direct effects of cattle on grassland birds in Canada.

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    Bleho, Barbara I; Koper, Nicola; Machtans, Craig S

    2014-06-01

    Effects of grazing on grassland birds are generally thought to be indirect, through alteration of vegetation structure; however, livestock can also affect nest survival directly through trampling and other disturbances (e.g., livestock-induced abandonment). We extracted data on nest fates from 18 grazing studies conducted in Canada. We used these data to assess rates of nest destruction by cattle among 9 ecoregions and between seasonal and rotational grazing systems. Overall, few nests were destroyed by cattle (average 1.5% of 9132 nests). Nest destruction was positively correlated with grazing pressure (i.e., stocking rate or grazing intensity), but nest survival was higher in more heavily grazed areas for some species. Because rates of destruction of grassland bird nests by cattle are low in Canada, management efforts to reduce such destruction may not be of ecological or economic value in Canada. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

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    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  13. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size.

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    Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Ribic, Christine A; McCauley, Lisa A

    2018-02-06

    Grassland birds are declining faster than any other bird guild across North America. Shrinking ranges and population declines are attributed to widespread habitat loss and increasingly fragmented landscapes of agriculture and other land uses that are misaligned with grassland bird conservation. Concurrent with habitat loss and degradation, temperate grasslands have been disproportionally affected by climate change relative to most other terrestrial biomes. Distributions of grassland birds often correlate with gradients in climate, but few researchers have explored the consequences of weather on the demography of grassland birds inhabiting a range of grassland fragments. To do so, we modeled the effects of temperature and precipitation on nesting success rates of 12 grassland bird species inhabiting a range of grassland patches across North America (21,000 nests from 81 individual studies). Higher amounts of precipitation in the preceding year were associated with higher nesting success, but wetter conditions during the active breeding season reduced nesting success. Extremely cold or hot conditions during the early breeding season were associated with lower rates of nesting success. The direct and indirect influence of temperature and precipitation on nesting success was moderated by grassland patch size. The positive effects of precipitation in the preceding year on nesting success were strongest in relatively small grassland patches and had little effect in large patches. Conversely, warm temperatures reduced nesting success in small grassland patches but increased nesting success in large patches. Mechanisms underlying these differences may be patch-size-induced variation in microclimates and predator activity. Although the exact cause is unclear, large grassland patches, the most common metric of grassland conservation, appears to moderate the effects of weather on grassland-bird demography and could be an effective component of climate-change adaptation.

  14. Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program grasslands

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    Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Grassland passerines were surveyed during summer 1995 on the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area in southwestern Minnesota to determine the relative influence of wind turbines on overall densities of upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands. Birds were surveyed along 40 m fixed width transects that were placed along wind turbine strings within three CRP fields and in three CRP fields without turbines. Conservation Reserve Program grasslands without turbines and areas located 180 m from turbines supported higher densities (261.0-312.5 males/100 ha) of grassland birds than areas within 80 m of turbines (58.2-128.0 males/100 ha). Human disturbance, turbine noise, and physical movements of turbines during operation may have disturbed nesting birds. We recommend that wind turbines be placed within cropland habitats that support lower densities of grassland passerines than those found in CRP grasslands.

  15. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

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    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates

  16. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

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    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited.This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003–2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station–Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station–Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas.To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December–February) during the winters of 2003–2008 in transects (100 meter × 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured

  17. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

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    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  18. Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions

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    Shaffer, Jill A.; Buhl, Deb

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003–2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2–5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios.

  19. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

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    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

  20. Density and success of bird nests relative to grazing on western Montana grasslands

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    Fondell, Thomas F.; Ball, I.J.

    2004-01-01

    Grassland birds are declining at a faster rate than any other group of North American bird species. Livestock grazing is the primary economic use of grasslands in the western United States, but the effects of this use on distribution and productivity of grassland birds are unclear. We examined nest density and success of ground-nesting birds on grazed and ungrazed grasslands in western Montana. In comparison to grazed plots, ungrazed plots had reduced forb cover, increased litter cover, increased litter depth, and increased visual obstruction readings (VOR) of vegetation. Nest density among 10 of 11 common bird species was most strongly correlated with VOR of plots, and greatest nest density for each species occurred where mean VOR of the plot was similar to mean VOR at nests. Additionally, all bird species were relatively consistent in their choice of VOR at nests despite substantial differences in VOR among plots. We suggest that birds selected plots based in part on availability of suitable nest sites and that variation in nest density relative to grazing reflected the effect of grazing on availability of nest sites. Nest success was similar between grazed plots and ungrazed plots for two species but was lower for nests on grazed plots than on ungrazed plots for two other species because of increased rates of predation, trampling, or parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Other species nested almost exclusively on ungrazed plots (six species) or grazed plots (one species), precluding evaluation of the effects of grazing on nest success. We demonstrate that each species in a diverse suite of ground-nesting birds preferentially used certain habitats for nesting and that grazing altered availability of preferred nesting habitats through changes in vegetation structure and plant species composition. We also show that grazing directly or indirectly predisposed some bird species to increased nesting mortality. Management alternatives that avoid

  1. Agricultural Set-aside Programs and Grassland Birds: Insights from Broad-scale Population Trends

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Riffell

    2008-10-01

    Full Text Available The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes to cover-specific CRP variables (previous research grouped all CRP practices. Changes in national trends after the initiation of the CRP were inconclusive, but we observed signficant bird-CRP relations at the state level. Most bird-CRP relations were positive, except for some species associated with habitats that CRP replaced. Practice- and configuration-specific CRP variables were related to grassland bird trends, rather than a generic measure of all CRP types combined. Considering all CRP land as a single, distinct habitat type may obscure actual relations between birds and set-aside characteristics. Understanding and predictingthe effects of set-aside programs (like CRP or agri-environment schemes on grassland birds is complex and difficult. Because available broad-scale datasets are less than adequate, studies should be conducted at a variety of spatial and temporal scales.

  2. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric V.; Grant, Edward C.; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, D.C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David W.

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  3. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan G Drum

    Full Text Available Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds.

  4. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus; Marcia Suelí Bohn; Maria Virginia Petry

    2012-01-01

    Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland e...

  5. Breeding Biology of Grassland Birds in Western New York: Conservation and Management Implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J. Norment

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Declining grassland breeding bird populations have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality may be breeding success. Between 1994 and 2003 we gathered data on the nest fates of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorous, and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis in a series of fallow fields and pastures/hayfields in western New York State. We calculated daily survival probabilities using the Mayfield method, and used the logistic-exposure method to model effects of predictor variables on nest success. Nest survival probabilities were 0.464 for Eastern Meadowlarks (n = 26, 0.483 for Bobolinks (n = 91, and 0.585 for Savannah Sparrows (n = 152. Fledge dates for first clutches ranged between 14 June and 23 July. Only one obligate grassland bird nest was parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater, for an overall brood parasitism rate of 0.004. Logistic-exposure models indicated that daily nest survival probabilities were higher in pastures/hayfields than in fallow fields. Our results, and those from other studies in the Northeast, suggest that properly managed cool season grassland habitats in the region may not act as ecological traps, and that obligate grassland birds in the region may have greater nest survival probabilities, and lower rates of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, than in many parts of the Midwest.

  6. Edge effects at an induced forest-grassland boundary: forest birds in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Bird species diversity and guild composition between the edge (5-10 m from the margin) of primary forest abutting grassland and the deep interior (> 500 m from the margin) in the Dngoye Forest Reserve were compared. Edge and interior sites were chosen that were homogeneous with respect to habitat physiognomy i.e. ...

  7. The Bird Community Resilience Index: a novel remote sensing-based biodiversity variable for quantifying ecological integrity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, N. L.; Wilsey, C.; Burkhalter, C.; Trusty, B.; Langham, G.

    2017-12-01

    Scalable indicators of biodiversity change are critical to reporting overall progress towards national and global targets for biodiversity conservation (e.g. Aichi Targets) and sustainable development (SDGs). These essential biodiversity variables capitalize on new remote sensing technologies and growth of community science participation. Here we present a novel biodiversity metric quantifying resilience of bird communities and, by extension, of their associated ecological communities. This metric adds breadth to the community composition class of essential biodiversity variables that track trends in condition and vulnerability of ecological communities. We developed this index for use with North American grassland birds, a guild that has experienced stronger population declines than any other avian guild, in order to evaluate gains from the implementation of best management practices on private lands. The Bird Community Resilience Index was designed to incorporate the full suite of species-specific responses to management actions, and be flexible enough to work across broad climatic, land cover, and bird community gradients (i.e., grasslands from northern Mexico through Canada). The Bird Community Resilience Index consists of four components: density estimates of grassland and arid land birds; weighting based on conservation need; a functional diversity metric to incorporate resiliency of bird communities and their ecosystems; and a standardized scoring system to control for interannual variation caused by extrinsic factors (e.g., climate). We present an analysis of bird community resilience across ranches in the Northern Great Plains region of the United States. As predicted, Bird Community Resilience was higher in lands implementing best management practices than elsewhere. While developed for grassland birds, this metric holds great potential for use as an Essential Biodiversity Variable for community composition in a variety of habitat.

  8. Conservation reserve program: benefit for grassland birds in the northern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reynolds, R.E.; Shaffer, T.L.; Sauer, J.R.; Peterjohn, B.G.

    1994-01-01

    During the past few decades numbers of some species of upland-nesting birds in North America have declined. Duck species such as mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), northern pintail (A. acuta) and blue-winged teal (A. discors) have declined since the early 1970s and have remained low since 1985 (Caithamer et al. 1993). Some grassland-dependent nonwaterfowl species also have declined since 1966, as indicated by the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) (Robbins et al. 1986). For prairie-nesting ducks, population declines can be attributed mostly to low recruitment, partially as a result of low nest success. Klett et al. (1988) concluded that nest success (probability of ≥1 egg of clutch hatches) in much of the U.S. Prairie Pothole Region was inadequate to maintain populations of the five most common upland-nesting duck species studied, and that predators were the most important cause of nest failure. Over the years, as grassland areas have been converted to cropland, ducks have concentrated their nesting in the remaining areas of available habitat, where predators such as red fox (Vulpes vulpes), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis) and badger (Taxidea taxus) forage (Cowardin et al. 1983). The reasons for declining populations of grassland nonwaterfowl birds are not clear but the loss of suitable grassland-nesting habitat probably is an important factor. Currently, approximately 95 percent of the land in North Dakota is used for agricultural purposes, of which over 60 percent is used for annual crop production (Haugse 1990). Of the grassland that remains, 95 percent is used for livestock production. This probably had a severe impact on grassland bird species that seek idle grass cover for nesting. The 1985 and 1990 U.S. Farm Bills include provisions under the Food Security Act to fund a cropland-idling program called the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). Over 36 million acres have been enrolled nationwide in the CRP since 1985 (Osborn 1993), and up to 25 percent of

  9. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  10. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Carolyn M.; Ribic, Christine; Sample, David W.; Dadisman, John D.; Guttery, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Surrogate grasslands established through federal set-aside programs, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide important habitat for grassland birds. Warm season grass CRP fields as a group have the potential for providing a continuum of habitat structure for breeding birds, depending on how the fields are managed and their floristic composition. We studied the nesting activity of four obligate grassland bird species, Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), in relation to vegetative composition and fire management in warm season CRP fields in southwest Wisconsin during 2009–2011. Intraspecific variation in apparent nest density was related to the number of years since the field was burned. Apparent Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest in the breeding season immediately following spring burns, apparent Henslow's Sparrow nest density was highest 1 y post burn, and apparent Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark nest densities were higher in post fire years one to three. Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest on sites with more diverse vegetation, specifically prairie forbs, and on sites with shorter less dense vegetation. Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Henslow's Sparrow apparent nest densities were higher on sites with deeper litter; litter was the vegetative component that was most affected by spring burns. Overall nest success was 0.487 for Bobolink (22 d nesting period), 0.478 for Eastern Meadowlark (25 d nesting period), 0.507 for Grasshopper Sparrow (22 d nesting period), and 0.151 for Henslow's Sparrow (21 d nesting period). The major nest predators were grassland-associated species: thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), American badger (Taxidea taxus), and western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina). Overall

  12. Effect of urbanization on bird community in riparian environments in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Brummelhaus, Jaqueline; Bohn, Márcia Sueli; Petry, Maria Virginia

    2012-01-01

    http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2012v25n2p81 Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which respond differently to impacts. We compare richness, abundance and composition of birds in riparian environments with different urbanization gradients in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul. We conducted observations in woodland, grassland and urban environments, between September/2007 and August/2008. We recorded 130 bird species, 29...

  13. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  14. Bird community structure in riparian environments in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments, causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which present different responses to the impacts. We compare species richness, abundance, and composition of birds in riparian environments with different characteristics in Cai River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. We carried out observations in woodland, grassland, and urban environments, between September 2007 and August 2008. We listed 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland environment, and an endangeredspecies: Triclaria malachitacea. Bird abundance differed from woodland (n = 426 individuals to urban environments (n = 939 individuals (F2,6 = 7.315; P = 0.025. Species composition and feeding guilds differed significantly in the bird community structures among these three riparian environments. In the grassland and urban environments there were more generalist insectivorous species, while in the woodland environments we find more leaf and trunk insectivorous species and frugivorous species, sensitive to human impacts. Bird species can be biological quality indicators and they contribute to ecosystems performing relevant functions. With the knowledge on bird community structure and their needs, it is possible to implement management practices for restoration of degraded riparian environments.

  15. Semi-arid grassland bird responses to patch-burn grazing and drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Augustine, David J.; Derner, Justin D.

    2018-01-01

    As grassland birds of central North America experience steep population declines with changes in land use, management of remaining tracts becomes increasingly important for population viability. The integrated use of fire and grazing may enhance vegetation heterogeneity and diversity in breeding birds, but the subsequent effects on reproduction are unknown. We examined the influence of patch-burn grazing management in shortgrass steppe in eastern Colorado on habitat use and reproductive success of 3 grassland bird species, horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), and McCown’s longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), at several spatial scales during 2011 and 2012. Although no simple direct relationship to patch-burn grazing treatment existed, habitat selection depended on precipitation- and management-induced vegetation conditions and spatial scale. All species selected taller-than-expected vegetation at the nest site, whereas at the territory scale, horned larks and McCown’s longspurs selected areas with low vegetation height and sparse cover of tall plants (taller than the dominant shortgrasses). Buntings nested primarily in unburned grassland under average rainfall. Larks and longspurs shifted activity from patch burns during average precipitation (2011) to unburned pastures during drought (2012). Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests varied with time in season, species, weather, and vegetation structure. Daily survival rate of McCown’s longspur nests did not vary with foliar cover of relatively tall vegetation at the nest under average precipitation but declined with increasing cover during drought. At the 200-m scale, increasing cover of shortgrasses, rather than taller plant species, improved DSR of larks and longspurs. These birds experience tradeoffs in the selection of habitat at different spatial scales: tall structure at nests may reduce visual detection by predators and provide protection from sun, wind, and rain, yet

  16. Soil communities promote temporal stability and species asynchrony in experimental grassland communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pellkofer, Sarah; Van Der Heijden, Marcel G A; Schmid, Bernhard; Wagg, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Background Over the past two decades many studies have demonstrated that plant species diversity promotes primary productivity and stability in grassland ecosystems. Additionally, soil community characteristics have also been shown to influence the productivity and composition of plant communities,

  17. Effect of urbanization on bird community in riparian environments in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available http://dx.doi.org/10.5007/2175-7925.2012v25n2p81 Urbanization produces changes in riparian environments causing effects in the structure of bird communities, which respond differently to impacts. We compare richness, abundance and composition of birds in riparian environments with different urbanization gradients in Caí River, Rio Grande do Sul. We conducted observations in woodland, grassland and urban environments, between September/2007 and August/2008. We recorded 130 bird species, 29 species unique to woodland environments, including an endangered species: Triclaria malachitacea. Bird abundance differed between woodland and urban environments (426 individuals in woodland, 721 in grassland and 939 in urban. Species composition and feeding guilds contributed significantly to differentiation of bird community structures in these three riparian environments. In open environments (grassland and urban we recorded more generalist feeding guilds and bird species, while in riparian woodland environments, we find guilds and species more sensitive to human impacts. Bird species may be biological quality indicators and contribute to natural economy. With the knowledge of bird community structure and their needs, it is possible to establish management practices for riparian restoration of degraded environments in the region.

  18. Evaluation of a reproductive index for estimating productivity of grassland breeding birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morgan, M.R.; Norment, C.; Runge, M.C.

    2010-01-01

    Declining populations of grassland breeding birds have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality is breeding success, which is challenging to determine for many cryptic-nesting grassland birds. This difficulty led Vickery et al. (1992) to propose a reproductive index based on behavioral observations rather than nest fate. We rigorously evaluated the index for 2 years using a Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis) population in western New York and found a weak correlation in classification of the breeding stages of monitored territories among multiple observers (r = 0.398). We also discovered a large difference between overall territory and nest success rates independently estimated with the index (9.8% over the entire breeding cycle) and with nest searching and monitoring (41.7% of nests successfully fledged young). Most importantly, we made territory-level comparisons of index estimates with actual nest fate and found that the index correctly predicted fates for only 43% of the monitored nests. A Mayfield logistic regression analysis demonstrated that only index rank 4 (eggs hatched, but young failed to fledge) showed a strong positive correlation with nest success. Although the reproductive index may function as a coarse indicator of habitat suitability (e.g., documenting production in potential ecological traps), in our study the index exhibited neither internal consistency nor the ability to predict nest fate at the plot or territory level and functioned poorly as a substitute for nest searching and monitoring. ?? 2010 The American Ornithologists' Union.

  19. The future demographic niche of a declining grassland bird fails to shift poleward in response to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCauley, Lisa A.; Ribic, Christine; Pomara, Lars Y.; Zuckerberg, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    ContextTemperate grasslands and their dependent species are exposed to high variability in weather and climate due to the lack of natural buffers such as forests. Grassland birds are particularly vulnerable to this variability, yet have failed to shift poleward in response to recent climate change like other bird species in North America. However, there have been few studies examining the effect of weather on grassland bird demography and consequent influence of climate change on population persistence and distributional shifts.ObjectivesThe goal of this study was to estimate the vulnerability of Henslow’s Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii), an obligate grassland bird that has been declining throughout much of its range, to past and future climatic variability.MethodsWe conducted a demographic meta-analysis from published studies and quantified the relationship between nest success rates and variability in breeding season climate. We projected the climate-demography relationships spatially, throughout the breeding range, and temporally, from 1981 to 2050. These projections were used to evaluate population dynamics by implementing a spatially explicit population model.ResultsWe uncovered a climate-demography linkage for Henslow’s Sparrow with summer precipitation, and to a lesser degree, temperature positively affecting nest success. We found that future climatic conditions—primarily changes in precipitation—will likely contribute to reduced population persistence and a southwestward range contraction.ConclusionsFuture distributional shifts in response to climate change may not always be poleward and assessing projected changes in precipitation is critical for grassland bird conservation and climate change adaptation.

  20. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomecek, John M; Pierce, Brian L; Reyna, Kelly S; Peterson, Markus J

    2017-01-01

    Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ; hereafter bobwhite) as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures) during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations ( n = 126) using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE) compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE); at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE) than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE). Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE) and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE) compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE) and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE). Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites and

  1. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations (n = 126 using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE; at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE. Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE. Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites

  2. Pesticide acute toxicity is a better correlate of U.S. grassland bird declines than agricultural intensification.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pierre Mineau

    Full Text Available Common agricultural birds are in decline, both in Europe and in North America. Evidence from Europe suggests that agricultural intensification and, for some species, the indirect effects of pesticides mediated through a loss of insect food resource is in part responsible. On a state-by-state basis for the conterminous Unites States (U.S., we looked at several agronomic variables to predict the number of grassland species increasing or declining according to breeding bird surveys conducted between 1980 and 2003. Best predictors of species declines were the lethal risk from insecticide use modeled from pesticide impact studies, followed by the loss of cropped pasture. Loss of permanent pasture or simple measures of agricultural intensification such as the proportion of land under crop or the proportion of farmland treated with herbicides did not explain bird declines as well. Because the proportion of farmland treated with insecticides, and more particularly the lethal risk to birds from the use of current insecticides feature so prominently in the best models, this suggests that, in the U.S. at least, pesticide toxicity to birds should be considered as an important factor in grassland bird declines.

  3. Influence of olfactory and visual cover on nest site selection and nest success for grassland-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fogarty, Dillon T; Elmore, R Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D; Loss, Scott R

    2017-08-01

    Habitat selection by animals is influenced by and mitigates the effects of predation and environmental extremes. For birds, nest site selection is crucial to offspring production because nests are exposed to extreme weather and predation pressure. Predators that forage using olfaction often dominate nest predator communities; therefore, factors that influence olfactory detection (e.g., airflow and weather variables, including turbulence and moisture) should influence nest site selection and survival. However, few studies have assessed the importance of olfactory cover for habitat selection and survival. We assessed whether ground-nesting birds select nest sites based on visual and/or olfactory cover. Additionally, we assessed the importance of visual cover and airflow and weather variables associated with olfactory cover in influencing nest survival. In managed grasslands in Oklahoma, USA, we monitored nests of Northern Bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ), Eastern Meadowlark ( Sturnella magna ), and Grasshopper Sparrow ( Ammodramus savannarum ) during 2015 and 2016. To assess nest site selection, we compared cover variables between nests and random points. To assess factors influencing nest survival, we used visual cover and olfactory-related measurements (i.e., airflow and weather variables) to model daily nest survival. For nest site selection, nest sites had greater overhead visual cover than random points, but no other significant differences were found. Weather variables hypothesized to influence olfactory detection, specifically precipitation and relative humidity, were the best predictors of and were positively related to daily nest survival. Selection for overhead cover likely contributed to mitigation of thermal extremes and possibly reduced detectability of nests. For daily nest survival, we hypothesize that major nest predators focused on prey other than the monitored species' nests during high moisture conditions, thus increasing nest survival on these

  4. Hemiptera community and species responses to grassland sward islets

    OpenAIRE

    Helden, Alvin J.; Dittrich, Alex D. K.

    2016-01-01

    Sward islet is a term that has been used to describe a patch of longer vegetation in a pasture produced by a reduction in cattle grazing around their dung. They are known to affect the abundance and distribution of grassland arthropods. Hemiptera, like other groups, are found in higher densities within islets than the surrounding sward. Does this modify the community composition or is there just a density effect? Evidence from a paired (islets, non-islets) study at an Irish cattle-grazed site...

  5. Neotropical Migratory Bird Communities in a Developing Pine Plantation

    Science.gov (United States)

    James G. Dickson; Richard N. Conner; J. Howard Williamson

    1993-01-01

    Birds were censused annually from 4 250-x80-in transects in a young pine plantation from age to 2 to 17 to assess changes in the bird community.Bird abundance was low and the bird communitry was the least diverse when the pine plantation was sparsely vegetated at age 2. As the plantation developed rapidly into the shrub stage, the bird communitry became more abundant...

  6. Effects of wind-energy facilities on breeding grassland bird distributions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shaffer, Jill A; Buhl, Deborah A

    2016-02-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003-2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2-5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

  7. Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gossner, Martin M; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Kahl, Tiemo; Grassein, Fabrice; Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Birkhofer, Klaus; Renner, Swen C; Sikorski, Johannes; Wubet, Tesfaye; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Jorge, Leonardo Ré; Jung, Kirsten; Keyel, Alexander C; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Penone, Caterina; Perović, David J; Purschke, Oliver; Schall, Peter; Socher, Stephanie A; Sonnemann, Ilja; Tschapka, Marco; Tscharntke, Teja; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul Christiaan; Weiner, Christiane N; Werner, Michael; Wolters, Volkmar; Wurst, Susanne; Westphal, Catrin; Fischer, Markus; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Allan, Eric

    2016-12-08

    Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification homogenizes communities at different trophic levels, above- and belowground. Here we show that even moderate increases in local land-use intensity (LUI) cause biotic homogenization across microbial, plant and animal groups, both above- and belowground, and that this is largely independent of changes in α-diversity. We analysed a unique grassland biodiversity dataset, with abundances of more than 4,000 species belonging to 12 trophic groups. LUI, and, in particular, high mowing intensity, had consistent effects on β-diversity across groups, causing a homogenization of soil microbial, fungal pathogen, plant and arthropod communities. These effects were nonlinear and the strongest declines in β-diversity occurred in the transition from extensively managed to intermediate intensity grassland. LUI tended to reduce local α-diversity in aboveground groups, whereas the α-diversity increased in belowground groups. Correlations between the β-diversity of different groups, particularly between plants and their consumers, became weaker at high LUI. This suggests a loss of specialist species and is further evidence for biotic homogenization. The consistently negative effects of LUI on landscape-scale biodiversity underscore the high value of extensively managed grasslands for conserving multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Indeed, biotic homogenization rather than local diversity

  8. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  9. The influence of boundary features on grassland-edge communities of Alta Murgia

    OpenAIRE

    Cassano, Stefania; Alignier, Audrey; Forte, Luigi; Labadessa, Rocco; Mairota, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest the importance of boundary features on plant community dynamics. Our aim was to investigate the influence of boundary features on edge plant assemblages in semi-natural dry grasslands. For this purpose we selected 16 grassland edges in the central portion of the Natura 2000 site Murgia Alta, in southeastern Italy. These sites were selected according to a combination of boundary features, i.e. the adjoining land use type (road or cereal crop), slope (grassland tilted towar...

  10. Temporal dynamics of soil nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Sohlenius, B.; Bostrom, S.; Palmborg, C.; Bengtsson, J.; Berg, M.P.; Kuss-Danell, K.

    2011-01-01

    We report here on an 8-year study examining links between plant and nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment, located in the north of Sweden on previous agricultural soil. The examined plots contained 1, 4 and 12 common grassland plant species from three functional groups;

  11. Conserving the grassland Important Bird Areas (IBAs) of southern South America: Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adrian S. Di Giacomo; Santiago Krapovickas

    2005-01-01

    In the southern part of South America, knowledge about bird species distribution is still not used as a tool for land use planning and conservation priority-setting. BirdLife International’s Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is an appropriate vehicle for analyzing existing information about birds, and to generate new data where necessary. IBA inventories...

  12. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly (p = 0.019 increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha−1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha−1 biofertilizer. This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha−1 increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella. Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella. According to our structural equation modeling (SEM, Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  13. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fengge; Huo, Yunqian; Cobb, Adam B; Luo, Gongwen; Zhou, Jiqiong; Yang, Gaowen; Wilson, Gail W T; Zhang, Yingjun

    2018-01-01

    In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly ( p = 0.019) increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha -1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum) compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha -1 biofertilizer). This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha -1 ) increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella . Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella . According to our structural equation modeling (SEM), Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  14. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deguines, Nicolas; Brashares, Justin S; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is transforming precipitation regimes world-wide. Changes in precipitation regimes are known to have powerful effects on plant productivity, but the consequences of these shifts for the dynamics of ecological communities are poorly understood. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Precipitation may affect fauna through direct effects on physiology, behaviour or demography, through plant-mediated indirect effects, or by modifying interactions among species. In this paper, we examined the response of a semi-arid ecological community to a fivefold change in precipitation over 7 years. We examined the effects of precipitation on the dynamics of a grassland ecosystem in central California from 2007 to 2013. We conducted vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping of invertebrates, visual surveys of lizards and capture-mark-recapture surveys of rodents on 30 plots each year. We used structural equation modelling to evaluate the direct, indirect and modifying effects of precipitation on plants, ants, beetles, orthopterans, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and lizards. We found pervasive effects of precipitation on the ecological community. Although precipitation increased plant biomass, direct effects on fauna were often stronger than plant-mediated effects. In addition, precipitation altered the sign or strength of consumer-resource and facilitative interactions among the faunal community such that negative or neutral interactions became positive or vice versa with increasing precipitation. These findings indicate that precipitation influences ecological communities in multiple ways beyond its recognized effects on primary productivity. Stochastic variation in precipitation may weaken the average strength of biotic interactions over time, thereby increasing ecosystem stability and resilience to climate change. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological

  15. [Community structure and diversity of soil arthropods in naturally restored sandy grasslands after grazing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ren-tao; Zhao, Ha-lin; Zhao, Xue-yong

    2010-11-01

    Taking the Naiman Desertification Research Station under Chinese Academy of Sciences as a base, an investigation was conducted on the community structure of soil arthropods in the naturally restored sandy grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance, with the effects of vegetation and soil on this community structure approached. In the non-grazing grassland, soil arthropods were rich in species and more in individuals, and had the highest diversity. In the restored grassland after light grazing, soil arthropods had the lowest evenness and diversity. In the restored grassland after moderate grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were lesser but the major groups were more, and the evenness and diversity were higher. In the restored grassland after heavy grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were more but the major groups were lesser, and the diversity was higher. Plant individuals' number, vegetation height and coverage, and soil alkalinity were the main factors affecting the soil arthropod community in naturally restored grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance. It was implied that after 12-year exclosure of grassland, soil arthropod community could be recovered to some degree, while grazing disturbance had long-term negative effects on the arthropod community.

  16. Effect of soil properties and hydrology on Archaeal community composition in three temperate grasslands on peat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Görres, Carolyn-Monika; Conrad, Ralf; Petersen, Søren O

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands established on drained peat soils are regarded as negligible methane (CH4) sources; however, they can still exhibit considerable soil CH4 dynamics. We investigated archaeal community composition in two different fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark........ Overall, there seemed to be a significant coupling between peat type and archaeal community composition, with local hydrology modifying the strength of this coupling....

  17. Patch size and edge proximity are useful predictors of brood parasitism but not nest survival of grassland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benson, Thomas J; Chiavacci, Scott J; Ward, Michael P

    2013-06-01

    Declines of migratory birds have led to increased focus on causative factors for these declines, including the potential adverse effects of habitat fragmentation on reproductive success. Although numerous studies have addressed how proximity to a habitat edge, patch size, or landscape context influence nest survival or brood parasitism, many have failed to find the purported effects. Furthermore, many have sought to generalize patterns across large geographic areas and habitats. Here, we examined evidence for effects of edge proximity, patch size, and landscape context on nest survival and brood parasitism of grassland birds, a group of conservation concern. The only consistent effect was a positive association between edge proximity and brood parasitism. We examined effects of patch size on nest survival (37 studies) and brood parasitism (30 studies) representing 170 and 97 different estimates, respectively, with a total sample size of > 14000 nests spanning eastern North America. Nest survival weakly increased with patch size in the Great Plains, but not in the Midwestern or Eastern United States, and brood parasitism was inversely related to patch size and consistently greater in the Great Plains. The consistency in brood parasitism relative to nest survival patterns is likely due to parasitism being caused by one species, while nest survival is driven by a diverse and variable suite of nest predators. Often, studies assume that predators responsible for nest predation, the main driver of nest success, either are the same or exhibit the same behaviors across large geographic areas. These results suggest that a better mechanistic understanding of nest predation is needed to provide meaningful conservation recommendations for improving grassland bird productivity, and that the use of general recommendations across large geographic areas should only be undertaken when sufficient data are available from all regions.

  18. Bird communities in two oceanic island forests fragmented by roads ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Although most studies on road effects on birds have been conducted on continental grounds, road fragmentation on oceanic islands is often heavier. We assessed variation in bird communities near (≤ 25 m) and far (>100 m) from forest roads dividing laurel and pine forests on Tenerife, Canary Islands. Line transects were ...

  19. Responses of soil fungal community to the sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shao-Kun; Zuo, Xiao-An; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Qiang; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Luo, Yong-Qing; Yun, Jian-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Sandy grassland restoration is a vital process including re-structure of soils, restoration of vegetation, and soil functioning in arid and semi-arid regions. Soil fungal community is a complex and critical component of soil functioning and ecological balance due to its roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling following sandy grassland restoration. In this study, soil fungal community and its relationship with environmental factors were examined along a habitat gradient of sandy grassland restoration: mobile dunes (MD), semi-fixed dunes (SFD), fixed dunes (FD), and grassland (G). It was found that species abundance, richness, and diversity of fungal community increased along with the sandy grassland restoration. The sequences analysis suggested that most of the fungal species (68.4 %) belonged to the phylum of Ascomycota. The three predominant fungal species were Pleospora herbarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Deconica Montana, accounting for more than one fourth of all the 38 species. Geranomyces variabilis was the subdominant species in MD, Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Mortierella alpine were the subdominant species in SFD, and P. destructans and Fungi incertae sedis were the dominant species in FD and G. The result from redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise regression analysis indicated that the vegetation characteristics and soil properties explain a significant proportion of the variation in the fungal community, and aboveground biomass and C:N ratio are the key factors to determine soil fungal community composition during sandy grassland restoration. It was suggested that the restoration of sandy grassland combined with vegetation and soil properties improved the soil fungal diversity. Also, the dominant species was found to be alternative following the restoration of sandy grassland ecosystems.

  20. Striking a balance: socioeconomic development and conservation in grassland through community-based zoning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Leisher

    Full Text Available The goal of preserving nature is often in conflict with economic development and the aspirations of the rural poor. Nowhere is this more striking than in native grasslands, which have been extensively converted until a mere fraction of their original extent remains. This is not surprising; grasslands flourish in places coveted by humans, primed for agriculture, plantations, and settlements that nearly always trump conservation efforts. The Umgano grassland conservation and poverty reduction project in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa uses community-based spatial planning to balance the conversion of its lower-conservation value grasslands to a timber plantation, while conserving higher-value grasslands for heritage purposes and managed livestock grazing. Ten years after project launch, we measured the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the project using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index remote sensing data and over 500 household interviews, as compared with similar non-conserved areas. Zoned management of the Umgano area had resulted in between 9% and 17% greater average peak production in the grassland areas compared to control sites. There was also a 21% gain in incomes for the roughly one hundred people employed by the forestry efforts, when compared to others in their village. Community-based spatial zoning is an overlooked tool for balancing conservation and development but may require, as we found in Umgano, certain critical factors including strong local leadership, an accountable financial management mechanism to distribute income, outside technical expertise for the zoning design, and community support.

  1. Shift in soil microbial communities with shrub encroachment in Inner Mongolia grasslands, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, H.; Li, H.; Zhang, J.; Hu, H.; Chen, L.; Zhu, Y.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The ongoing expansion of shrub encroachment into grasslands represents a unique form of land cover change. How this process affects soil microbial communities is poorly understood. In this study, we aim to assess the effects of shrub encroachment on soil microbial biomass, abundance and composition by comparing data between shrub patches and neighboring herb patches in shrub-encroached grasslands (SEGs) in Inner Mongolia, China. Fourteen SEG sites from two ecosystem types (typical and desert grasslands) were investigated. The phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method was used to analyze the composition and biomass of the soil microbial community. Our results showed that the top-soil microbial biomass and abundances of gram-negative bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and actinomycetes were significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in both typical and desert grasslands (P fungi to bacteria ratio was significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in desert grassland (P soil microbial communities, which makes the microbial communities toward a fresh organic carbon-based structure. This study highlights the importance of edaphic and climate factors in microbial community shifts in SEGs.

  2. Passerine bird communities of Iberian dehesas: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tellería, J. L.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available The Iberian dehesas are a man-made habitat composed of scattered oaks (Quercus spp. and extensive grass cover occupying three million ha in south-western Iberia. This paper compares the structure of the passerine bird communities in this region with other bird assemblages of Iberian woodlands. Although forest bird numbers in the southern half of the Iberian peninsula are decreasing, the dehesas show the highest richness in breeding birds, seemingly as the result of the increased presence of border and open-habitat birds. A low intra-habitat turnover of species was observed in the dehesas, with birds recorded at a sampling point accounting for a high percentage of the total richness of the community. This can be related to the low spatial patchiness of this habitat. In winter, the dehesas continued to maintain many bird species, but showed bird densities similar to other woodlands. This pattern, as well as the scarcity of some common forest passerines during the breeding period, could result from the removal of the shrub layer typical of Mediterranean woodlands.

  3. Temporal changes in randomness of bird communities across Central Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renner, Swen C; Gossner, Martin M; Kahl, Tiemo; Kalko, Elisabeth K V; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have examined whether communities are structured by random or deterministic processes, and both are likely to play a role, but relatively few studies have attempted to quantify the degree of randomness in species composition. We quantified, for the first time, the degree of randomness in forest bird communities based on an analysis of spatial autocorrelation in three regions of Germany. The compositional dissimilarity between pairs of forest patches was regressed against the distance between them. We then calculated the y-intercept of the curve, i.e. the 'nugget', which represents the compositional dissimilarity at zero spatial distance. We therefore assume, following similar work on plant communities, that this represents the degree of randomness in species composition. We then analysed how the degree of randomness in community composition varied over time and with forest management intensity, which we expected to reduce the importance of random processes by increasing the strength of environmental drivers. We found that a high portion of the bird community composition could be explained by chance (overall mean of 0.63), implying that most of the variation in local bird community composition is driven by stochastic processes. Forest management intensity did not consistently affect the mean degree of randomness in community composition, perhaps because the bird communities were relatively insensitive to management intensity. We found a high temporal variation in the degree of randomness, which may indicate temporal variation in assembly processes and in the importance of key environmental drivers. We conclude that the degree of randomness in community composition should be considered in bird community studies, and the high values we find may indicate that bird community composition is relatively hard to predict at the regional scale.

  4. Temporal changes in randomness of bird communities across Central Europe.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swen C Renner

    Full Text Available Many studies have examined whether communities are structured by random or deterministic processes, and both are likely to play a role, but relatively few studies have attempted to quantify the degree of randomness in species composition. We quantified, for the first time, the degree of randomness in forest bird communities based on an analysis of spatial autocorrelation in three regions of Germany. The compositional dissimilarity between pairs of forest patches was regressed against the distance between them. We then calculated the y-intercept of the curve, i.e. the 'nugget', which represents the compositional dissimilarity at zero spatial distance. We therefore assume, following similar work on plant communities, that this represents the degree of randomness in species composition. We then analysed how the degree of randomness in community composition varied over time and with forest management intensity, which we expected to reduce the importance of random processes by increasing the strength of environmental drivers. We found that a high portion of the bird community composition could be explained by chance (overall mean of 0.63, implying that most of the variation in local bird community composition is driven by stochastic processes. Forest management intensity did not consistently affect the mean degree of randomness in community composition, perhaps because the bird communities were relatively insensitive to management intensity. We found a high temporal variation in the degree of randomness, which may indicate temporal variation in assembly processes and in the importance of key environmental drivers. We conclude that the degree of randomness in community composition should be considered in bird community studies, and the high values we find may indicate that bird community composition is relatively hard to predict at the regional scale.

  5. The effect of grassland management on enchytraeids (Oligochaeta) communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maraldo, Kristine; Schmelz, Rüdiger; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup

    2012-01-01

    Enchytraeids (small white earthworms between 3 to 35 mm) are important regulators of nitrogen turnover in grasslands, as their activities accelerate the decomposition and nutrient recycling processes. In this study, the effect of management on species composition, abundance and biomass of the enc...... biomass and density of the grazed plots are due to compaction by grazing animals....

  6. Food preferences of winter bird communities in different forest types.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swen C Renner

    Full Text Available Food availability for forest birds is a function of habitat type, forest management regime, and season. In winter, it is also impacted by variations in the weather. In the current study we assessed the food preferences of wild bird populations in two types of forest (spruce and beech during the months of November 2010 to April 2011 in the Schwäbische Alb Biodiversity Exploratory, south-western Germany. Our aim was to investigate whether local bird communities preferred fat-rich, carbohydrate-rich or wild fruits and to determine how forest structure, seasonality and local weather conditions affected food preferences. We found higher bird activity in beech forests for the eleven resident species. We observed a clear preference for fat-rich food for all birds in both forest types. Snow cover affected activity at food stations but did not affect food preferences. Periods of extreme low temperatures increased activity.

  7. Species at risk setback distances : the effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Linnen, C.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of shallow gas activity on the distribution of grassland birds was discussed in this presentation. The overall purpose of the study was to examine the effects of minimal disturbance gas wells and associated activity on species richness; effects on species abundance; and effects on the occurrence of species. The presentation provided several hypotheses, including that species richness would increase with increasing distance from gas wells and trails; that abundance and occurrence of sensitive species would increase with distance from gas wells and trails; and that abundance and occurrence of brood parasites and predators would decrease with increasing distance from gas wells and trails. The presentation illustrated the study area and study design. Several graphs representing the study results were also presented. Bird species that were examined included the abundance and occurrence of western meadowlark; horned lark; chestnut-collared longspur; clay-coloured sparrow; vesper sparrow; sprague pipit; savannah sparrow; grasshopper sparrow; baird sparrow; and brown-headed cowbird. A summary slide was also presented that concluded that species richness did not vary with distance from gas development and that brown-headed cowbirds tended to favour areas with gas development and interior habitats. tabs., figs

  8. The influence of fire on the assemblage structure of foraging birds in grasslands of the Serra da Canastra National Park, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matheus G. Reis

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands are the most threatened physiognomies of the Cerrado biome (Brazilian savanna, a biodiversity hotspot with conservation as a priority. The Serra da Canastra National Park protects the most important remnants of the Cerrado's southern grasslands, which are under strong anthropogenic pressure. The present study describes the structure of bird assemblages that directly use food resources in burned areas, comparing areas affected by natural fire to the areas where controlled fires were set (a management strategy to combat arson. The tested null hypothesis was that different bird assemblages are structured in a similar manner, regardless of the post-fire period or assessed area. Between December/2012 and January/2015, 92 species were recorded foraging in the study areas. The results indicate that both types of burnings triggered profound and immediate changes in bird assemblages, increasing the number of species and individuals. Natural fires exhibited a more significant influence on the structure (diversity and dominance than prescribed burnings. Nevertheless, all the differences were no longer noticeable after a relatively short time interval of 2-3 months after prescribed burnings and 3-4 after natural fires. The findings may help the understanding of prescribed burnings as a management strategy for bird conservation in grasslands.

  9. A GIS-based model of Serengeti grassland bird species | Gottschalk ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study was conducted on the Serengeti Plains, Tanzania, combining (1) records from a bird survey, (2) local measurements of vegetation structure and precipitation, and (3) a habitat map derived from a Landsat satellite image classification. The question of whether ground-based or satellite data explained more of the ...

  10. Dominance and Diversity of Bird Community in Floodplain Forest Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel Poprach

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper is aimed to assessment of diversity and structure of bird community in floodplain forest ecosystem. Authors present results of analyses data on bird communities obtained at two transects in the Litovelské Pomoraví Protected Landscape Area (Czech Republic in the period 1998–2012. Research of bird communities was carried out using the point-count method. The article deals with qualitative and quantitative representation of breeding bird species, including their relation to habitat type (closed floodplain forest, ecotone. Altogether 63 breeding species were recorded at the Vrapač transect and 67 at the Litovelské luhy transect, respectively. To be able to detect all recorded species, 11 out of 14 years of monitoring were needed at the Vrapač transect and all 8 years of monitoring at the Litovelské luhy transect, respectively. Authors show that the values in dominant bird species change significantly among the particular census dates within one season, mainly with respect to their activity and detectability. Results are discussed in the frame of sustainable forest management in floodplain forest ecosystems. The presented article can promote to discussion aimed to management strategy for floodplain forest ecosystems, which ranks among natural habitat types of Community interest protected under the Natura 2000 European network.

  11. Grassland communities in the USA and expected trends associated with climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Paul Belesky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands, including managed grazinglands, represent one of the largest ecosystems on the planet. Managed grazinglands in particular tend to occupy marginal climatic and edaphic resource zones, thus exacerbating responses in net primary productivity relative to changes in system resources, including anthropogenic factors. Climate dynamism, as evident from the fossil record, appears to be a putative feature of our planet. Recent global trends in temperature and precipitation patterns seem to differ from long-term patterns and have been associated with human activities linked with increased greenhouse gas emissions; specifically CO2. Thus grasslands, with their diverse floristic components, and interaction with and dependence upon herbivores, have a remarkable ability to persist and sustain productivity in response to changing resource conditions. This resistance and resilience to change, including uncertain long-term weather conditions, establishes managed grasslands as an important means of protecting food security. We review responses of grassland communities across regions of the USA and consider the responses in productivity and system function with respect to climatic variation. Research is needed to identify plant resources and management technologies that strengthen our ability to capitalize upon physiological and anatomical features prevalent in grassland communities associated with varying growing conditions.

  12. LINKING THE COMMUNITY IN THE MIGRATORY RAPTOR BIRDS COUNTS (BIRDS: FALCONIFORM IN EASTERN CUBA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naylien Barreda-Leyva

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available Through interviews, workshops, conferences and sociocultural meeting, is carried out the linking of three communities from the high area of Gran Piedra to the studies and counts of migratory raptors birds developed in the east of Cuba. These small communities are near to one of the two points of count of migratory raptors of the region. During the interviews we could verify that some residents possessed basic knowledge on the raptors birds, but didn't know about the migration of these birds. 100 % of the interviewees coincided in that the main local problematic is the loss of birds of pen due to the attack of raptors, specifically the endemic Cuban threatened Accipitter gundlachi. The workshops were able to create spaces of exchange and reflection about the importance of the raptor’s conservation in the region. This linkage of cooperation and increasing awareness, allow an approaching between the communitarians and the researchers and volunteers that work in the counts of raptor birds in Cuba and the feedback of the scientific knowledge with the popular knowledge.

  13. Looking above the prairie: localized and upward acute vision in a native grassland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tyrrell, Luke P; Moore, Bret A; Loftis, Christopher; Fernández-Juricic, Esteban

    2013-12-02

    Visual systems of open habitat vertebrates are predicted to have a band of acute vision across the retina (visual streak) and wide visual coverage to gather information along the horizon. We tested whether the eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) had this visual configuration given that it inhabits open grasslands. Contrary to our expectations, the meadowlark retina has a localized spot of acute vision (fovea) and relatively narrow visual coverage. The fovea projects above rather than towards the horizon with the head at rest, and individuals modify their body posture in tall grass to maintain a similar foveal projection. Meadowlarks have relatively large binocular fields and can see their bill tips, which may help with their probe-foraging technique. Overall, meadowlark vision does not fit the profile of vertebrates living in open habitats. The binocular field may control foraging while the fovea may be used for detecting and tracking aerial stimuli (predators, conspecifics).

  14. Long-term effects of plant diversity and composition on soil nematode communities in grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Bengtsson, J.; Sohlenius, B.; Berg, M.P.; Petchey, O.; Palmborg, C.; Huss-Daniel, K.

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity and diversity influence soil organism communities. We examine the effects of grassland plant species growing alone and together up to a richness of 12 species on nematode diversity and feeding group composition, eight years

  15. Dissimilar response of plant and soil biota communities to long-term nutrient adition in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der A.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Korevaar, H.; Schouten, A.J.; Jagers op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.

    2009-01-01

    The long-term effect of fertilizers on plant diversity and productivity is well known, but long-term effects on soil biota communities have received relatively little attention. Here, we used an exceptional long-lasting (>40 years) grassland fertilization experiment to investigate the long-term

  16. Mechanical soil disturbance as a determinant of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in semi-natural grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim Krone; Lekberg, Ylva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2011-01-01

    an ongoing grassland restoration experiment that contained replicated plowed and control plots. The AM fungal community in roots was determined using nested PCR and LSU rDNA primers. We identified 38 phylotypes within the Glomeromycota, of which 29 belonged to Glomus A, six to Glomus B, and three...

  17. The Effects of Timing of Grazing on Plant and Arthropod Communities in High-Elevation Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stacy C.; Burkle, Laura A.; Cross, Wyatt F.; Cutting, Kyle A.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock grazing can be used as a key management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of using grazing to modify habitat for species of conservation concern depends on how the grazing regime is implemented. Timing of grazing is one grazing regime component that is less understood than grazing intensity and grazer identity, but is predicted to have important implications for plant and higher trophic level responses. We experimentally assessed how timing of cattle grazing affected plant and arthropod communities in high-elevation grasslands of southwest Montana to better evaluate its use as a tool for multi-trophic level management. We manipulated timing of grazing, with one grazing treatment beginning in mid-June and the other in mid-July, in two experiments conducted in different grassland habitat types (i.e., wet meadow and upland) in 2011 and 2012. In the upland grassland experiment, we found that both early and late grazing treatments reduced forb biomass, whereas graminoid biomass was only reduced with late grazing. Grazing earlier in the growing season versus later did not result in greater recovery of graminoid or forb biomass as expected. In addition, the density of the most ubiquitous grassland arthropod order (Hemiptera) was reduced by both grazing treatments in upland grasslands. A comparison of end-of-season plant responses to grazing in upland versus wet meadow grasslands revealed that grazing reduced graminoid biomass in the wet meadow and forb biomass in the upland, irrespective of timing of grazing. Both grazing treatments also reduced end-of-season total arthropod and Hemiptera densities and Hemiptera biomass in both grassland habitat types. Our results indicate that both early and late season herbivory affect many plant and arthropod characteristics in a similar manner, but grazing earlier may negatively impact species of conservation concern requiring forage earlier in the growing season. PMID:25338008

  18. BETA DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY DIFFERENTIATION IN DRY PERENNIAL SAND GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. KOVACS-LANG

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial variability of species composition was studied in perennial sand grasslands in Hungary at multiple scales. Three sites were compared along an aridity gradient. Existing differences in climate along this ca. 200 km gradient correspond to regional climate changes predicted for the next 20-30 years. Six stands of Festucetum vaginatae grasslands were selected at each site within 400 x 1200 m areas for representing the coarse-scale within-site heterogeneity. Fine-scale compositional heterogeneity of vegetation within stands was sampled by recording the presence of species along 52 m long circular belt transects of 1040 units of 5 cm x 5 cm contiguous microquadrats. This sampling design enabled us to study the patterns of species combinations at a wide range of scales. The highest variability of plant species combinations appeared at very fine scales, between 10 cm and 25 cm. Differences in beta diversity along the gradient were scale-dependent. We found a decreasing trend of beta diversity with increasing aridity at fine scale, and on the contrary, an increasing trend at landscape scale. We conclude that the major trend of the vegetation differentiation due to aridity is the decrease of compositional variability at fine-scale accompanied by a coarse-scale diversification.

  19. Bird community responses to the edge between suburbs and reserves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikin, Karen; Barton, Philip S; Knight, Emma; Lindenmayer, David B; Fischer, Joern; Manning, Adrian D

    2014-02-01

    New insights into community-level responses at the urban fringe, and the mechanisms underlying them, are needed. In our study, we investigated the compositional distinctiveness and variability of a breeding bird community at both sides of established edges between suburban residential areas and woodland reserves in Canberra, Australia. Our goals were to determine if: (1) community-level responses were direct (differed with distance from the edge, independent of vegetation) or indirect (differed in response to edge-related changes in vegetation), and (2) if guild-level responses provided the mechanism underpinning community-level responses. We found that suburbs and reserves supported significantly distinct bird communities. The suburban bird community, characterised by urban-adapted native and exotic species, had a weak direct edge response, with decreasing compositional variability with distance from the edge. In comparison, the reserve bird community, characterised by woodland-dependent species, was related to local tree and shrub cover. This was not an indirect response, however, as tree and shrub cover was not related to edge distance. We found that the relative richness of nesting, foraging and body size guilds also displayed similar edge responses, indicating that they underpinned the observed community-level responses. Our study illustrates how community-level responses provide valuable insights into how communities respond to differences in resources between two contrasting habitats. Further, the effects of the suburban matrix penetrate into reserves for greater distances than previously thought. Suburbs and adjacent reserves, however, provided important habitat resources for many native species and the conservation of these areas should not be discounted from continued management strategies.

  20. Functional and phylogenetic structure of island bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Si, Xingfeng; Cadotte, Marc W; Zeng, Di; Baselga, Andrés; Zhao, Yuhao; Li, Jiaqi; Wu, Yiru; Wang, Siyu; Ding, Ping

    2017-05-01

    Biodiversity change in anthropogenically transformed habitats is often nonrandom, yet the nature and importance of the different mechanisms shaping community structure are unclear. Here, we extend the classic Theory of Island Biogeography (TIB) to account for nonrandom processes by incorporating species traits and phylogenetic relationships into a study of faunal relaxation following habitat loss and fragmentation. Two possible mechanisms can create nonrandom community patterns on fragment islands. First, small and isolated islands might consist of similar or closely related species because they are environmentally homogeneous or select for certain shared traits, such as dispersal ability. Alternatively, communities on small islands might contain more dissimilar or distantly related species than on large islands because limited space and resource availability result in greater competitive exclusion among species with high niche overlap. Breeding birds were surveyed on 36 islands and two mainland sites annually from 2010 to 2014 in the Thousand Island Lake region, China. We assessed community structure of breeding birds on these subtropical land-bridge islands by integrating species' trait and evolutionary distances. We additionally analysed habitat heterogeneity and variance in size ratios to distinguish biotic and abiotic processes of community assembly. Results showed that functional-phylogenetic diversity increased with island area, and decreased with isolation. Bird communities on the mainland were more diverse and generally less clustered than island bird communities and not different than randomly assembled communities. Bird communities on islands tend to be functionally similar and phylogenetically clustered, especially on small and isolated islands. The nonrandom decline in species diversity and change in bird community structure with island area and isolation, along with the relatively homogeneous habitats on small islands, support the environmental

  1. DIVERSITY OF PLANT COMMUNITIES IN SECONDARY SUCCESSION OF IMPERATA GRASSLANDS IN SAMBOJA LESTARI, EAST KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Yassir

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Regeneration of  Imperata grassland areas is becoming increasingly important, both to create new secondary forest and to recover the original biodiversity. The diversity of  plant communities in secondary succession of  Imperata grasslands was studied using 45 subplots of  9 linear transects (10 m x 100 m. Data was collected and all stems over 10 cm dbh were identified, the Importance Values Index (IVI for all trees were calculated, saplings and seedlings were counted  and analysed, and soil samples were taken and analysed. Results showed that  after more than 10 years of  regeneration, 65 families were encountered consisting of  164 species, which were dominated by Vernonia arborea Buch.-Ham, Vitex pinnata L., Macaranga gigantea (Reichb.f. & Zoll. Muell.Arg., Symplocos crassipes C.B. Clarke, Artocarpus odoratissimus Miq., and Bridelia glauca Blume. The effects of  regeneration, from Imperata grassland to secondary forest, on soil were the strongest in the A-horizon where an increase in carbon, N content, and pH were observed. Our result shows that Imperata grasslands appear to be permanent because of  frequent fires and human interferences and so far few efforts have been made to promote sustainable rehabilitation. If  protected from fire and other disturbances, such as shifting cultivation, Imperata grassland will grow and develop into secondary forest.

  2. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  3. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Stevens, Carly J.; Dise, Nancy B.; Gowing, David J.; Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Emmett, Bridget A.; Ashmore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: → Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. → Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. → Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. → Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  4. Bird communities of gambel oak: a descriptive analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreas Leidolf; Michael L. Wolfe; Rosemary L. Pendleton

    2000-01-01

    Gambel oak (Quercus gambelii Nutt.) covers 3.75 million hectares (9.3 million acres) of the western United States. This report synthesizes current knowledge on the composition, structure, and habitat relationships of gambel oak avian communities. It lists life history attributes of 183 bird species documented from gambel oak habitats of the western...

  5. Bird communities in sun and shade coffee farms in Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Smith

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Agricultural expansion to meet rising crop demand is one of the greatest threats to terrestrial biodiversity. Coffee, one of the most valuable trade items in tropical countries, can provide both economic livelihood and wildlife habitat. Previous work, conducted primarily on Neotropical coffee farms, indicates that birds are generally more abundant and diverse in farms with a canopy of shade trees, though regional variation exists. To date, few studies have examined birds on coffee farms in Africa, which contains 20% of the world’s coffee acreage. We studied differences in the bird communities between sun and shade monoculture coffee in central Kenya, and we examined effects of vegetation on bird abundance and diversity. Sun coffee had higher species richness and abundances of all major guilds (omnivores, insectivores, and granivores, and showed low community similarity to shade. Unlike findings from the Neotropics, canopy cover appeared to have a negative influence on all guilds, while understory volume of weeds increased bird abundance and species richness with a similar magnitude as canopy cover. These differences highlight the need for further studies in the general East Africa region with a wider variety of shade coffee systems.

  6. SPECIES DIVERSITY AND STABILITY OF BIRD COMMUNITIES

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matsyura M.V.

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available When comparing the suggested stability indicators, we obtained statistically significant correlations for indicators of annual stability of species and total number and standard deviation of the logarithm of the number. Annual Stability Index can be applied with a high degree of reliability as a characteristic of the averaged structure of the community and its pyramid of abundances. The results of correlation analysis confirm our assumptions about the correlation between stability over the years and indices of species diversity and relative uniformity.The final task of the study was to create a mathematical model of stability, where the independent variables are the indices of species diversity. The calculation of these indices allows forecasting birds’ community stability. According to the result of multiple regression for the indicators of diversity and stability of the breeding birds’ community highest correlation coefficients were obtained fro Shannon index and Simpson's dominance Index.Community stability could be determined by its overall species diversity. When considering the stability of community its diversity should be considered as a combination of uniformity of their total number and number of species. The most suitable predictors for the community stability were the nonparametric index of dominance and information-statistical indices, since they considered simultaneously evenness and richness. The community stability is subject of the complexity of its internal communications pattern.

  7. Grassland communities of traditional orchards in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert Zarnovican

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditional orchards are a valuable feature of the rural landscape and they are specific for regions with scattered settlement such as the Myjava hilly land and White Carpathians. Here, the permanent species-rich grasslands beneath trees were regularly managed in the traditional manner until some were replaced in the 1970’s and 80’s by intensively managed orchards, some of which were abandoned in the early 1990’s. Our 2011–2015 phytosociological research followed the standard Braun-Blanquet approach. We classified 178 phytosociological relevés recorded in orchard meadows (156 relevés, former intensively managed orchards (16 relevés, and two relevés from a semi-intensively grazed orchard. Traditionally managed orchard meadows were classified in the following five units: (i Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – thermophilous variant, (ii Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – transitional variant to Alchemillo-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iii Ranunculo bulbosi-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iv Onobrychido viciifoliae-Brometum erecti, and (v Brachypodio pinnati-Molinietum arundinaceae. Formerly intensively managed large-scale orchards were classified as Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris association and the semi-intensively grazed orchard as Lolio perennis-Cynosuretum cristati association. The species composition varies considerably due to tree-shading and different management treatments applied in the orchards, so the relevés of the delimited syntaxonomic units are not typical and have transitional character. Moisture, soil nutrients, and soil reaction were identified as the main environmental gradients influencing species composition. We tested four management treatments in direct gradient analysis and found that abandonment has the strongest effect on species composition. Comparison of grassland vegetation in the studied traditional orchards with that described in Germany reveals differences in species

  8. Forest fragmentation and bird community dynamics: inference at regional scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boulinier, T.; Nichols, J.D.; Hines, J.E.; Sauer, J.R.; Flather, C.H.; Pollock, K.H.

    2001-01-01

    With increasing fragmentation of natural areas and a dramatic reduction of forest cover in several parts of the world, quantifying the impact of such changes on species richness and community dynamics has been a subject of much concern. Here, we tested whether in more fragmented landscapes there was a lower number of area-sensitive species and higher local extinction and turnover rates, which could explain higher temporal variability in species richness. To investigate such potential landscape effects at a regional scale, we merged two independent, large-scale monitoring efforts: the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) and the Land Use and Land Cover Classification data from the U.S. Geological Survey. We used methods that accounted for heterogeneity in the probability of detecting species to estimate species richness and temporal changes in the bird communities for BBS routes in three mid-Atlantic U.S. states. Forest breeding bird species were grouped prior to the analyses into area-sensitive and non-area-sensitive species according to previous studies. We tested predictions relating measures of forest structure at one point in time (1974) to species richness at that time and to parameters of forest bird community change over the following 22-yr-period (1975-1996). We used the mean size of forest patches to characterize landscape structure, as high correlations among landscape variables did not allow us to disentangle the relative roles of habitat fragmentation per se and habitat loss. As predicted, together with lower species richness for area-sensitive species on routes surrounded by landscapes with lower mean forest-patch size, we found higher mean year-to-year rates of local extinction. Moreover, the mean year-to-year rates of local turnover (proportion of locally new species) for area-sensitive species were also higher in landscapes with lower mean forest-patch size. These associations were not observed for the non-area-sensitive species group. These

  9. Biodiversity of Soil Microbial Communities Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland: An Assessment Using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Gentry, T. J.; Filley, T. R.; Boutton, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Woody plants have encroached into grasslands, savannas, and other grass-dominated ecosystems throughout the world during the last century. This dramatic vegetation change is likely driven by livestock grazing, altered fire frequencies, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changes in atmospheric deposition patterns. Woody invasion often results in significant changes in ecosystem function, including alterations in above- and belowground primary productivity, soil C, N, and P storage and turnover, and the size and activity of the soil microbial biomass pool. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships and interactions between plant communities and soil microbial communities in the Rio Grande Plains region of southern Texas where grasslands have been largely replaced by woodlands. Research was conducted along a successional chronosequence representing the stages of woody plant encroachment from open grassland to closed-canopy woodland. To characterize soil microbial community composition, soil samples (0-7.5 cm) were collected in remnant grasslands (representing time 0) and near the centers of woody plant clusters, groves, and drainage woodlands ranging in age from 10 to 130 yrs. Ages of woody plant stands were determined by dendrochronology. Community DNA was extracted from each soil sample with a MoBio PowerMax Soil DNA isolation kit. The DNA concentrations were quantified on a NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer and diluted to a standard concentration. Pyrosequencing was performed by the Research and Testing Laboratory (Lubbock, TX) according to Roche 454 Titanium chemistry protocols. Samples were amplified with primers 27F and 519R for bacteria, and primers ITS1F and ITS4 for fungi. Sequences were aligned using BioEdit and the RDP Pipeline and analyzed in MOTHUR. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of the operational taxonomic units identified by pyrosequencing revealed that both bacterial and fungal community composition were

  10. Drought consistently alters the composition of soil fungal and bacterial communities in grasslands from two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl; Collins, Scott L; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Hamonts, Kelly; Pockman, William T; Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Smith, Melinda D; Knapp, Alan K; Power, Sally A

    2018-03-05

    The effects of short-term drought on soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored, particularly at large scales and under field conditions. We used seven experimental sites from two continents (North America and Australia) to evaluate the impacts of imposed extreme drought on the abundance, community composition, richness, and function of soil bacterial and fungal communities. The sites encompassed different grassland ecosystems spanning a wide range of climatic and soil properties. Drought significantly altered the community composition of soil bacteria and, to a lesser extent, fungi in grasslands from two continents. The magnitude of the fungal community change was directly proportional to the precipitation gradient. This greater fungal sensitivity to drought at more mesic sites contrasts with the generally observed pattern of greater drought sensitivity of plant communities in more arid grasslands, suggesting that plant and microbial communities may respond differently along precipitation gradients. Actinobateria, and Chloroflexi, bacterial phyla typically dominant in dry environments, increased their relative abundance in response to drought, whereas Glomeromycetes, a fungal class regarded as widely symbiotic, decreased in relative abundance. The response of Chlamydiae and Tenericutes, two phyla of mostly pathogenic species, decreased and increased along the precipitation gradient, respectively. Soil enzyme activity consistently increased under drought, a response that was attributed to drought-induced changes in microbial community structure rather than to changes in abundance and diversity. Our results provide evidence that drought has a widespread effect on the assembly of microbial communities, one of the major drivers of soil function in terrestrial ecosystems. Such responses may have important implications for the provision of key ecosystem services, including nutrient cycling, and may result in the weakening of plant-microbial interactions and a

  11. Effect of artificial nestboxes on the diversity of secondary cavity-nesting birds and the stability of breeding bird community

    OpenAIRE

    Wenhong Deng; Wen Liu; Liyuan Yang; Zhen Li

    2008-01-01

    Artificial nestboxes are widely used in ecological research and conservation practices. However, we know little about the effects of nestboxes on breeding bird communities and their actual conservationvalue to bird communities. We chose two sample plots with similar plant communities in Xiaolongmen National Forest Park, Beijing. Fifty artificial nest-boxes were hung in the experimental plot and the other plot as a control. From March to August in 2007, we monitored artificial nestbox use by s...

  12. Does species diversity limit productivity in natural grassland communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grace, James B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Smith, Melinda D.; Seabloom, Eric; Andelman, Sandy J.; Meche, Gayna; Weiher, Evan; Allain, Larry K.; Jutila, Heli; Sankaran, Mahesh; Knops, Johannes; Ritchie, Mark; Willig, Michael R.

    Theoretical analyses and experimental studies of synthesized assemblages indicate that under particular circumstances species diversity can enhance community productivity through niche complementarity. It remains unclear whether this process has important effects in mature natural ecosystems where

  13. The role of community participation in the control of bird hazards at ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... of measures to prevent bird hazards from occurring. One of the most important methods of bird hazard control involves participation of local communities around the airport. This paper illustrates the different ways in which the airport works with the community to control bird collisions with aircraft at Entebbe International ...

  14. The response of sward-dwelling arthropod communities to reduced grassland management intensity in pastures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helden Alvin J.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We compared arthropod taxon richness, diversity and community structure of two replicated grassland husbandry experiments to investigate effects of reduced management intensity, as measured by nutrient input levels (390, 224 and 0 kg/ha per year N in one experiment, and 225 and 88 kg/ha per year N in another. Suction sampling was used to collect Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Hymenoptera, with Araneae and Coleoptera also sampled with pitfall trapping. Univariate analyses found no significant differences in abundance and species density between treatments. However, with multivariate analysis, there were significant differences in arthropod community structure between treatments in both experiments.

  15. Floristic and vegetation structure of a grassland plant community on shallow basalt in southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo Fett Pinto

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have adequately described the floristic and structural features of natural grasslands associated with shallow basalt soils in southern Brazil. This study was carried out on natural grazing land used for livestock production in the municipality of Santana do Livramento, in the Campanha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The aim of the study was to describe the floristic and structural diversity of the area. The floristic list obtained comprises 229 plant taxa from 40 botanical families, with a predominance of the families Poaceae (62, Asteraceae (28, Fabaceae (16 and Cyperaceae (12. The estimated diversity and evenness in the community were 3.00 and 0.874, respectively. Bare soil and rock outcrops accounted for 19.3% of the area, resulting in limited forage availability. Multivariate analysis revealed two well-defined groups among the sampling units. One group showed a high degree of internal aggregation, associated with deep soils, and was characterized by the presence of tussocks, whereas the other was less aggregate and was characterized by prostrate species growing on shallow soil. Ordination analysis indicated a gradient of moisture and of soil depth in the study area, resulting in different vegetation patterns. These patterns were analogous to the vegetation physiognomies described for Uruguayan grasslands. Overall, the grassland community studied is similar to others found throughout southern Brazil, although it harbors more winter forage species. In addition, the rare grass Paspalum indecorum Mez is locally dominant in some patches, behaving similarly to P. notatum Fl., a widespread grass that dominates extensive grassland areas in southern Brazil.

  16. [Soil catalase activity of main plant communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Guo, Jixun; Zhu, Li

    2002-06-01

    The seasonal dynamics of soil catalase activity of three different plants communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China were in a parabolas shape. The seasonal variation of Chloris virgata community was greater than those of Leymus chinensis community and Puccinellia tenuiflora community, and "seed effect" might be the main reason. The correlation between the activity of soil catalase in different soil layers and environmental factors were analyzed. The results showed that the activity of soil catalase was decreased gradually with depth of soil layer. The activity of soil catalase was closely correlated with rainfall and air temperature, and it was affected by soil temperature, soil moisture, and their interactions. The correlation between the activity and aboveground vegetation was very significant, and the growing condition of plant communities could be reflected by the activity of soil catalase.

  17. Forest Plant and Bird Communities in the Lau Group, Fiji

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.

    2010-01-01

    Background We examined species composition of forest and bird communities in relation to environmental and human disturbance gradients on Lakeba (55.9 km2), Nayau (18.4 km2), and Aiwa Levu (1.2 km2), islands in the Lau Group of Fiji, West Polynesia. The unique avifauna of West Polynesia (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) has been subjected to prehistoric human-caused extinctions but little was previously known about this topic in the Lau Group. We expected that the degree of human disturbance would be a strong determinant of tree species composition and habitat quality for surviving landbirds, while island area would be unrelated to bird diversity. Methodology/Principal Findings All trees >5 cm diameter were measured and identified in 23 forest plots of 500 m2 each. We recognized four forest species assemblages differentiated by composition and structure: coastal forest, dominated by widely distributed species, and three forest types with differences related more to disturbance history (stages of secondary succession following clearing or selective logging) than to environmental gradients (elevation, slope, rockiness). Our point counts (73 locations in 1 or 2 seasons) recorded 18 of the 24 species of landbirds that exist on the three islands. The relative abundance and species richness of birds were greatest in the forested habitats least disturbed by people. These differences were due mostly to increased numbers of columbid frugivores and passerine insectivores in forests on Lakeba and Aiwa Levu. Considering only forested habitats, the relative abundance and species richness of birds were greater on the small but completely forested (and uninhabited) island of Aiwa Levu than on the much larger island of Lakeba. Conclusions/Significance Forest disturbance history is more important than island area in structuring both tree and landbird communities on remote Pacific islands. Even very small islands may be suitable for conservation reserves if they are protected from human

  18. Sexual selection affects local extinction and turnover in bird communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Doherty, P.F.; Sorci, G.; Royle, J. Andrew; Hines, J.E.; Nichols, J.D.; Boulinier, T.

    2003-01-01

    Predicting extinction risks has become a central goal for conservation and evolutionary biologists interested in population and community dynamics. Several factors have been put forward to explain risks of extinction, including ecological and life history characteristics of individuals. For instance, factors that affect the balance between natality and mortality can have profound effects on population persistence. Sexual selection has been identified as one such factor. Populations under strong sexual selection experience a number of costs ranging from increased predation and parasitism to enhanced sensitivity to environmental and demographic stochasticity. These findings have led to the prediction that local extinction rates should be higher for species/populations with intense sexual selection. We tested this prediction by analyzing the dynamics of natural bird communities at a continental scale over a period of 21 years (1975-1996), using relevant statistical tools. In agreement with the theoretical prediction, we found that sexual selection increased risks of local extinction (dichromatic birds had on average a 23% higher local extinction rate than monochromatic species). However, despite higher local extinction probabilities, the number of dichromatic species did not decrease over the period considered in this study. This pattern was caused by higher local turnover rates of dichromatic species, resulting in relatively stable communities for both groups of species. Our results suggest that these communities function as metacommunities, with frequent local extinctions followed by colonization. Anthropogenic factors impeding dispersal might therefore have a significant impact on the global persistence of sexually selected species.

  19. Responses of Ammonia-Oxidising Bacterial Communities to Nitrogen, Lime, and Plant Species in Upland Grassland Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Clipson, N.J.W.; Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Gleeson, D.B.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural improvement of semi natural grasslands has been shown to result in changes to plant and microbial diversity, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. A microcosm approach was used to elucidate the effects of two key components of agricultural improvement (nitrogen addition and liming) on ammonia-oxidising bacterial (AOB) communities in an upland grassland soil. Plant species characteristic of unimproved and improved pastures (A. capillaries and L. perenne) were planted in microcosms, and lime, nitrogen (NH 4 NO 3 ), or lime plus nitrogen added. The AOB community was profiled using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of the amoA gene. AOB community structure was largely altered by NH 4 NO 3 addition, rather than liming, although interactions between nitrogen addition and plant species were also evident. Results indicate that nitrogen addition drives shifts in the structure of key microbial communities in upland grassland soils, and that plant species may play a significant role in determining AOB community structure

  20. Varying Land-Use Has an Influence on Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes’ Abundance and Distribution in Driefontein Grasslands Important Bird Area, Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakarayi, Togarasei; Mashapa, Clayton; Gandiwa, Edson; Kativu, Shakkie

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cranes are distributed widely throughout southern Africa, but little is known about how they respond to the changes in land-use that have occurred in this region. This study assessed habitat preference of the two crane species across land-use categories of the self contained small scale commercial farms of 30 to 40 ha per household (A1), large scale commercial agriculture farms of > 50 ha per household (A2) and Old Resettlement, farms of crane species abundance. Crane bird counts and data on influencing environmental variables were collected between June and August 2012. Our results show that varying land-use categories had an influence on the abundance and distribution of the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) and the Grey Crowned Crane (Belearica regulorum) across Driefontein Grasslands IBA. The Wattled Crane was widely distributed in the relatively undisturbed A2 farms while the Grey Crowned Crane was associated with the more disturbed land of A1 farms, Old Resettlement and its communal grazing land. Cyperus esculentus and percent (%) bare ground were strong environmental variables best explaining the observed patterns in Wattled Crane abundance across land-use categories. The pattern in Grey Crowned Crane abundance was best explained by soil penetrability, moisture and grass height variables. A holistic sustainable land-use management that takes into account conservation of essential habitats in Driefontein Grasslands IBA is desirable for crane populations and other wetland dependent species that include water birds. PMID:27875552

  1. Varying Land-Use Has an Influence on Wattled and Grey Crowned Cranes' Abundance and Distribution in Driefontein Grasslands Important Bird Area, Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fakarayi, Togarasei; Mashapa, Clayton; Gandiwa, Edson; Kativu, Shakkie

    2016-01-01

    Three species of cranes are distributed widely throughout southern Africa, but little is known about how they respond to the changes in land-use that have occurred in this region. This study assessed habitat preference of the two crane species across land-use categories of the self contained small scale commercial farms of 30 to 40 ha per household (A1), large scale commercial agriculture farms of > 50 ha per household (A2) and Old Resettlement, farms of crane species abundance. Crane bird counts and data on influencing environmental variables were collected between June and August 2012. Our results show that varying land-use categories had an influence on the abundance and distribution of the Wattled Crane (Bugeranus carunculatus) and the Grey Crowned Crane (Belearica regulorum) across Driefontein Grasslands IBA. The Wattled Crane was widely distributed in the relatively undisturbed A2 farms while the Grey Crowned Crane was associated with the more disturbed land of A1 farms, Old Resettlement and its communal grazing land. Cyperus esculentus and percent (%) bare ground were strong environmental variables best explaining the observed patterns in Wattled Crane abundance across land-use categories. The pattern in Grey Crowned Crane abundance was best explained by soil penetrability, moisture and grass height variables. A holistic sustainable land-use management that takes into account conservation of essential habitats in Driefontein Grasslands IBA is desirable for crane populations and other wetland dependent species that include water birds.

  2. DRY CALCAREOUS GRASSLAND COMMUNITIES (FILIPENDULA VULGARIS-HELICTOTRICHON PRATENSE IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL LATVIA

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    S. RUSINA

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The dry calcareous grassland vegetation of Westem and Central Latvia is described based on 93 rclevés, Ali relevés could be assigned to one community type Filipendula vulgaris-Helictotrichon pratense named according to dominant species. Four variants were distinguished: typicum, Viscaria vulgaris, Astragalus danicus and Carex flacca. Ellenberg indìcator values were calculated to study the ecology of communities. Floristic differences among variants are associated mainly with soil reaction (Ellenberg indicator values for soil pH range from 6.0 to 7.6, but conditions of moisture and fertility are similar among the variants. The calcareous grassland vegetation in Latvia represents transition vegetation between the c1asses Molinio-Arrhenatheretea and Festuco-Brometea. However, ecologically and floristically, these communities are closer to the class Festuco-Brometea and could be assigned to the order Brometalia. For designation to alliance and associations, more data is required. The results are compared with similar communities in other European countries.

  3. Road networks predict human influence on Amazonian bird communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Sadia E.; Lees, Alexander C.; Moura, Nárgila G.; Gardner, Toby A.; Barlow, Jos; Ferreira, Joice; Ewers, Robert M.

    2014-01-01

    Road building can lead to significant deleterious impacts on biodiversity, varying from direct road-kill mortality and direct habitat loss associated with road construction, to more subtle indirect impacts from edge effects and fragmentation. However, little work has been done to evaluate the specific effects of road networks and biodiversity loss beyond the more generalized effects of habitat loss. Here, we compared forest bird species richness and composition in the municipalities of Santarém and Belterra in Pará state, eastern Brazilian Amazon, with a road network metric called ‘roadless volume (RV)’ at the scale of small hydrological catchments (averaging 3721 ha). We found a significant positive relationship between RV and both forest bird richness and the average number of unique species (species represented by a single record) recorded at each site. Forest bird community composition was also significantly affected by RV. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between RV and forest cover, suggesting that road networks may impact biodiversity independently of changes in forest cover. However, variance partitioning analysis indicated that RV has partially independent and therefore additive effects, suggesting that RV and forest cover are best used in a complementary manner to investigate changes in biodiversity. Road impacts on avian species richness and composition independent of habitat loss may result from road-dependent habitat disturbance and fragmentation effects that are not captured by total percentage habitat cover, such as selective logging, fire, hunting, traffic disturbance, edge effects and road-induced fragmentation. PMID:25274363

  4. Modelling stomatal ozone flux and deposition to grassland communities across Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ashmore, M.R.; Bueker, P.; Emberson, L.D.; Terry, A.C.; Toet, S.

    2007-01-01

    Regional scale modelling of both ozone deposition and the risk of ozone impacts is poorly developed for grassland communities. This paper presents new predictions of stomatal ozone flux to grasslands at five different locations in Europe, using a mechanistic model of canopy development for productive grasslands to generate time series of leaf area index and soil water potential as inputs to the stomatal component of the DO 3 SE ozone deposition model. The parameterisation of both models was based on Lolium perenne, a dominant species of productive pasture in Europe. The modelled seasonal time course of stomatal ozone flux to both the whole canopy and to upper leaves showed large differences between climatic zones, which depended on the timing of the start of the growing season, the effect of soil water potential, and the frequency of hay cuts. Values of modelled accumulated flux indices and the AOT40 index showed a five-fold difference between locations, but the locations with the highest flux differed depending on the index used; the period contributing to the accumulation of AOT40 did not always coincide with the modelled period of active ozone canopy uptake. Use of a fixed seasonal profile of leaf area index in the flux model produced very different estimates of annual accumulated total canopy and leaf ozone flux when compared with the flux model linked to a simulation of canopy growth. Regional scale model estimates of both the risks of ozone impacts and of total ozone deposition will be inaccurate unless the effects of climate and management in modifying grass canopy growth are incorporated. - Modelled stomatal flux of ozone to productive grasslands in Europe shows different spatial and temporal variation to AOT40, and is modified by management and soil water status

  5. The community ecology of barley/cereal yellow dwarf viruses in Western US grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alison G; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez; Mitchell, Charles E; Seabloom, Eric W

    2011-08-01

    Research on plant viruses in natural ecosystems has been increasing rapidly over the past decade. This paper reviews recent research on the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in grasslands of the western US, beginning with the evidence that the disease caused by these viruses facilitated the invasion of western US grasslands by European annual grasses. Observational and experimental studies of B/CYDVs were carried out along a latitudinal gradient (33.8-48.8°N) from southern California to southern Canada. The prevalence and community composition of B/CYDVs were assessed over a variety of scales and under a range of biotic and abiotic conditions. The findings indicate that both biotic and abiotic factors are important influences on virus ecology and epidemiology. Introduced annual grasses are high-quality hosts that amplify both virus and vector populations in this system, but our research suggests that endemic perennial grasses are critically important for sustaining virus populations in contemporary grasslands largely composed of introduced species. Experiments indicated that increased phosphorus supply to hosts resulted in greater host biomass and higher virus prevalence. Using experimental exclosures, it was found that the presence of grazing vertebrate herbivores increased the abundance of annual grasses, resulting in increased virus prevalence. The results of these studies suggest that patterns of B/CYDV prevalence and coinfection in western US grasslands are strongly shaped by the interactions of host plants, vectors, vertebrate herbivores, and abiotic drivers including nutrients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands

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    Sandra M. Rodriguez-Artigas

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance, or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes. Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low

  7. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community.

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    Jana Knappová

    Full Text Available The importance of soil biota in the composition of mature plant communities is commonly acknowledged. In contrast, the role of soil biota in the early establishment of new plant communities and their relative importance for soil abiotic conditions are still poorly understood.The aim of this study was to understand the effects of soil origin and soil fungal communities on the composition of a newly established dry grassland plant community. We used soil from two different origins (dry grassland and abandoned field with different pH and nutrient and mineral content. Grassland microcosms were established by sowing seeds of 54 species of dry grassland plants into the studied soils. To suppress soil fungi, half of the pots were regularly treated with fungicide. In this way, we studied the independent and combined effects of soil origin and soil community on the establishment of dry grassland communities.The effect of suppressing the soil fungal community on the richness and composition of the plant communities was much stronger than the effect of soil origin. Contrary to our expectations, the effects of these two factors were largely additive, indicating the same degree of importance of soil fungal communities in the establishment of species-rich plant communities in the soils from both origins. The negative effect of suppressing soil fungi on species richness, however, occurred later in the soil from the abandoned field than in the soil from the grassland. This result likely occurred because the negative effects of the suppression of fungi in the field soil were caused mainly by changes in plant community composition and increased competition. In contrast, in the grassland soil, the absence of soil fungi was limiting for plants already at the early stages of their establishment, i.e., in the phases of germination and early recruitment. While fungicide affects not only arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but also other biota, our data indicate that changes

  8. Effects of hay management and native species sowing on grassland community structure, biomass, and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Bryan L; Kindscher, Kelly; Houseman, Greg R; Murphy, Cheryl A

    2009-10-01

    Prairie hay meadows are important reservoirs of grassland biodiversity in the tallgrass prairie regions of the central United States and are the object of increasing attention for conservation and restoration. In addition, there is growing interest in the potential use of such low-input, high-diversity (LIHD) native grasslands for biofuel production. The uplands of eastern Kansas, USA, which prior to European settlement were dominated by tallgrass prairie, are currently utilized for intensive agriculture or exist in a state of abandonment from agriculture. The dominant grasslands in the region are currently high-input, low-diversity (HILD) hay fields seeded to introduced C3 hay grasses. We present results from a long-term experiment conducted in a recently abandoned HILD hay field in eastern Kansas to evaluate effects of fertilization, haying, and native species sowing on community dynamics, biomass, and potential for restoration to native LIHD hay meadow. Fertilized plots maintained dominance by introduced grasses, maintained low diversity, and were largely resistant to colonization throughout the study. Non-fertilized plots exhibited rapid successional turnover, increased diversity, and increased abundance of C4 grasses over time. Haying led to modest changes in species composition and lessened the negative impact of fertilization on diversity. In non-fertilized plots, sowing increased representation by native species and increased diversity, successional turnover, and biomass production. Our results support the shifting limitations hypothesis of community organization and highlight the importance of species pools and seed limitations in constraining successional turnover, community structure, and ecosystem productivity under conditions of low fertility. Our findings also indicate that several biological and functional aspects of LIHD hay meadows can be restored from abandoned HILD hay fields by ceasing fertilization and reintroducing native species through

  9. Bird communities and environmental correlates in southern Oregon and northern California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaime L. Stephens; Eric C. Dinger; John D. Alexander; Sean R. Mohren; C. John Ralph; Daniel A. Sarr

    2016-01-01

    We examined avian community ecology in the Klamath Ecoregion and determined that individual bird species co-exist spatially to form 29 statistically distinguishable bird groups. We identified climate, geography, and vegetation metrics that are correlated with these 29 bird groups at three scales: Klamath Ecoregion, vegetation formation (agriculture, conifer, mixed...

  10. Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12 in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4, double (S7, and triple (S12 compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63, but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7 than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12. The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands.

  11. The Effect of Re-Planting Trees on Soil Microbial Communities in a Wildfire-Induced Subalpine Grassland

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    Ed-Haun Chang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire often causes tremendous changes in ecosystems, particularly in subalpine and alpine areas, which are vulnerable due to severe climate conditions such as cold temperature and strong wind. This study aimed to clarify the effect of tree re-planting on ecosystem services such as the soil microbial community after several decades. We compared the re-planted forest and grassland with the mature forest as a reference in terms of soil microbial biomass C and N (Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activities, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA composition, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE. The Cmic and Nmic did not differ among the grassland, re-planted forest and mature forest soil; however, ratios of Cmic/Corg and Nmic/Ntot decreased from the grassland to re-planted forest and mature forest soil. The total PLFAs and those attributed to bacteria and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria did not differ between the re-planted forest and grassland soil. Principle component analysis of the PLFA content separated the grassland from re-planted forest and mature forest soil. Similarly, DGGE analysis revealed changes in both bacterial and fungal community structures with changes in vegetation. Our results suggest that the microbial community structure changes with the re-planting of trees after a fire event in this subalpine area. Recovery of the soil microbial community to the original state in a fire-damaged site in a subalpine area may require decades, even under a re-planted forest.

  12. Grassland to woodland transitions: Dynamic response of microbial community structure and carbon use patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, Courtney A.; Filley, Timothy R.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Rowe, Helen I.

    2016-06-01

    Woodland encroachment into grasslands is a globally pervasive phenomenon attributed to land use change, fire suppression, and climate change. This vegetation shift impacts ecosystem services such as ground water allocation, carbon (C) and nutrient status of soils, aboveground and belowground biodiversity, and soil structure. We hypothesized that woodland encroachment would alter microbial community structure and function and would be related to patterns in soil C accumulation. To address this hypothesis, we measured the composition and δ13C values of soil microbial phospholipids (PLFAs) along successional chronosequences from C4-dominated grasslands to C3-dominated woodlands (small discrete clusters and larger groves) spanning up to 134 years. Woodland development increased microbial biomass, soil C and nitrogen (N) concentrations, and altered microbial community composition. The relative abundance of gram-negative bacteria (cy19:0) increased linearly with stand age, consistent with decreases in soil pH and/or greater rhizosphere development and corresponding increases in C inputs. δ13C values of all PLFAs decreased with time following woody encroachment, indicating assimilation of woodland C sources. Among the microbial groups, fungi and actinobacteria in woodland soils selectively assimilated grassland C to a greater extent than its contribution to bulk soil. Between the two woodland types, microbes in the groves incorporated relatively more of the relict C4-C than those in the clusters, potentially due to differences in below ground plant C allocation and organo-mineral association. Changes in plant productivity and C accessibility (rather than C chemistry) dictated microbial C utilization in this system in response to shrub encroachment.

  13. Assessing the Impact of Spectral Resolution on Classification of Lowland Native Grassland Communities Based on Field Spectroscopy in Tasmania, Australia

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    Bethany Melville

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a case study for the analysis of endangered lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands region using field spectroscopy and spectral convolution techniques. The aim of the study was to determine whether there was significant improvement in classification accuracy for lowland native grasslands and other vegetation communities based on hyperspectral resolution datasets over multispectral equivalents. A spectral dataset was collected using an ASD Handheld-2 spectroradiometer at Tunbridge Township Lagoon. The study then employed a k-fold cross-validation approach for repeated classification of a full hyperspectral dataset, a reduced hyperspectral dataset, and two convoluted multispectral datasets. Classification was performed on each of the four datasets a total of 30 times, based on two different class configurations. The classes analysed were Themeda triandra grassland, Danthonia/Poa grassland, Wilsonia rotundifolia/Selliera radicans, saltpan, and a simplified C3 vegetation class. The results of the classifications were then tested for statistically significant differences using ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc comparisons. The results of the study indicated that hyperspectral resolution provides small but statistically significant increases in classification accuracy for Themeda and Danthonia grasslands. For other classes, differences in classification accuracy for all datasets were not statistically significant. The results obtained here indicate that there is some potential for enhanced detection of major lowland native grassland community types using hyperspectral resolution datasets, and that future analysis should prioritise good performance in these classes over others. This study presents a method for identification of optimal spectral resolution across multiple datasets, and constitutes an important case study for lowland native grassland mapping in Tasmania.

  14. Birds Communities at Mangrove of Batu Ampar, Kubu Raya District, West Kalimantan Province

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    Jarwadi Budi Hernowo

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Batu Ampar mangrove is an important bird habitat especially for birds which have relation to mangrove ecosystem in West Kalimantan. The research was conducted in February to March 2007, at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site. Sampling was done to get representative area for bird survey. The 19 transects were chosen as sampling site to collect bird data such as species and number of individual. Bird surveys were carried out using Reconnaissance method and index point of abundance (IPA count method. The length of each transect was approximately 500 m. The results showed that the bird community's structure dominated by insectivorous birds represented approximately 60 % of total bird's species at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site. The abundance numbers of the individual with the bird's species has relation pattern like J opposite. Percentage of dominant bird species was approximately 11%, those are such as stork billed kingfisher, white-collared kingfisher, common iora, chestnuts-rumped babbler, Strip-Tit Babbler, magpie robin, ashy tailorbird, mangrove blue flycatcher, pied fantail, mangrove whistler, Brown-throated Sunbird and Cooper-Throated Sunbird. Vertical structure of mangrove vegetation was used by birds at mangrove Batu Ampar demo site is mainly B stratum, and it used around 60% birds species. Based on dendrogram analysis there were 5 cluster birds species. The mangrove bird specialists found at sampling area were mangrove blue flycatcher and Cooper throated sunbird.

  15. Community structure of grassland ground-dwelling arthropods along increasing soil salinities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Chengchen; Feng, Qi; Liu, Jiliang; Li, Yulin; Li, Yuqiang; Yu, Xiaoya

    2018-03-01

    Ground-dwelling arthropod communities are influenced by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. Little is known, however, about the relative importance of vegetation structure and abiotic environmental factors on the patterns of ground-dwelling arthropod community across a wide range of soil salinities. Here, a field survey was conducted to assess the driving forces controlling ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands in the Hexi Corridor, Gansu Province, China. The data were analyzed by variance partitioning with canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). We found that vegetation structure and edaphic factors were at least of similar importance to the pattern of the whole ground-dwelling arthropod community. However, when all collected ground-dwelling arthropods were categorized into three trophic guilds (predators, herbivores, and decomposers), as these groups use different food sources, their populations were controlled by different driving forces. Predators and decomposers were mainly determined by biotic factors such as vegetation cover and aboveground plant biomass and herbivores by plant density and vegetation cover. Abiotic factors were also major determinants for the variation occurring in these guilds, with predators strongly affected by soil electrical conductivity (EC) and the content of fine particles (silt + clay, CS), herbivores by soil N:P, EC, and CS, and decomposers by soil EC and organic matter content (SOM). Since plant cover, density, and aboveground biomass can indicate resource availability, which are mainly constrained by soil N:P, EC, CS, and SOM, we consider that the ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands was mainly influenced by resource availability.

  16. Road networks predict human influence on Amazonian bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed, Sadia E; Lees, Alexander C; Moura, Nárgila G; Gardner, Toby A; Barlow, Jos; Ferreira, Joice; Ewers, Robert M

    2014-11-22

    Road building can lead to significant deleterious impacts on biodiversity, varying from direct road-kill mortality and direct habitat loss associated with road construction, to more subtle indirect impacts from edge effects and fragmentation. However, little work has been done to evaluate the specific effects of road networks and biodiversity loss beyond the more generalized effects of habitat loss. Here, we compared forest bird species richness and composition in the municipalities of Santarém and Belterra in Pará state, eastern Brazilian Amazon, with a road network metric called 'roadless volume (RV)' at the scale of small hydrological catchments (averaging 3721 ha). We found a significant positive relationship between RV and both forest bird richness and the average number of unique species (species represented by a single record) recorded at each site. Forest bird community composition was also significantly affected by RV. Moreover, there was no significant correlation between RV and forest cover, suggesting that road networks may impact biodiversity independently of changes in forest cover. However, variance partitioning analysis indicated that RV has partially independent and therefore additive effects, suggesting that RV and forest cover are best used in a complementary manner to investigate changes in biodiversity. Road impacts on avian species richness and composition independent of habitat loss may result from road-dependent habitat disturbance and fragmentation effects that are not captured by total percentage habitat cover, such as selective logging, fire, hunting, traffic disturbance, edge effects and road-induced fragmentation. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  17. Bird community conservation and carbon offsets in western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schuster, Richard; Martin, Tara G; Arcese, Peter

    2014-01-01

    Conservation initiatives to protect and restore valued species and communities in human-dominated landscapes face huge challenges linked to the cost of acquiring habitat. We ask how the sale of forest carbon offsets could reduce land acquisition costs, and how the alternate goals of maximizing α or β-diversity in focal communities could affect the prioritization land parcels over a range of conservation targets. Maximizing total carbon storage and carbon sequestration potential reduced land acquisition costs by up to 48%. Maximizing β rather than α-diversity within forest and savannah bird communities reduced acquisition costs by up to 15%, and when these solutions included potential carbon credit revenues, acquisition cost reductions up to 32% were achieved. However, the total cost of conservation networks increased exponentially as area targets increased in all scenarios. Our results indicate that carbon credit sales have the potential to enhance conservation outcomes in human-dominated landscapes by reducing the net acquisition costs of land conservation in old and maturing forests essential for the persistence of old forest plant and animal communities. Maximizing β versus α-diversity may further reduce costs by reducing the total area required to meet conservation targets and enhancing landscape heterogeneity. Although the potential value of carbon credit sales declined as a fraction of total acquisition costs, even conservative scenarios using a carbon credit value of $12.5/T suggest reductions in acquisition cost of up to $235 M, indicating that carbon credit sales could substantially reduce the costs of conservation.

  18. Composition and structure of bird communities in vegetational gradients of Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAURICIO N. GODOI

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The informations of bird species distribution in different habitats and the structure of their communities are crucial for bird conservation. We tested the differences in composition, richness and abundance of birds in different phytophysiognomies at Bodoquena Mountains, western Brazil, and we demonstrated the variations in richness and abundance of birds between different trophic groups. Sampling was conducted between July 2011 and June 2012 in 200 point counts arranged in the study area. A total of 3350 contacts were obtained belonging to 156 bird species. Woodland savannas, seasonal forests and arboreal savannas had higher bird abundance and richness, while riparian forests, clean pastures and dirty pastures had smaller values of these parameters. The bird community was organized according to local vegetational gradient, with communities of forests, open areas and savannas, although many species occurred in more than one vegetation type. The insectivorous, omnivorous, frugivorous and gramnivorous birds composed most of the community. These data showed how important environmental heterogeneity is to bird communities. Furthermore, the presence of extensive patches of natural habitats, the small distance between these patches and the permeability of pastures, with high arboreal and shrubby cover, are indicated as important factors to maintain the bird diversity.

  19. Grassland communities of urban open spaces in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

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    Mamokete N.V. Dingaan

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Natural vegetation in urban environments is greatly impacted by human activities and it is in constant threat of degradation and destruction as a result of urbanisation. This vegetation, although fragmented, serves an important ecological function and needs to be properly managed and conserved. Studies on urban vegetation are lacking in South Africa, with only a handful having been carried out since the end of the last century. This study was initiated to identify, classify and describe the grassland communities of the urban open spaces in Bloemfontein. Relevés were compiled in 61 sample plots, where species present and habitat information were recorded. Care was taken to restrict sample plots to vegetation in pristine condition, wherever possible, and severely degraded stands were avoided. A two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed two distinct major communities, seven communities and four sub-communities. Both detrended and canonical correspondence analyses indicated the vegetation units to be associated with soil texture and pH, although biotic factors such as overgrazing, burning and mowing also influence the composition of the vegetation. The proper management and conservation of urban open spaces requires in-depth knowledge of the spatial distribution, floristic, structural and functional compositions within the major vegetation types in this environment. The present study further contributed towards formulating ways for the proper management, utilisation and functioning of the open spaces within the Bloemfontein area.Conservation implications: The Grassland Biome of South Africa is poorly conserved, mainly because of its status as an agricultural hub of the country. The preservation of natural and semi-natural forms of urban vegetation is important because such vegetation, although often disturbed and degraded, could form dispersal corridors between peri-urban and rural

  20. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

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    Renaud eBerlemont

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of two years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal and bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and constituted ~18.2% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction.

  1. Soil Bacterial and Fungal Community Structure Across a Range of Unimproved and Semi-Improved Upland Grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Kennedy, Nabla; Edwards, Suzanne; Clipson, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    Changes in soil microbial community structure due to improvement are often attributed to concurrent shifts in floristic community composition. The bacterial and fungal communities of unimproved and semi-improved (as determined by floristic classification) grassland soils were studied at five upland sites on similar geological substrata using both broad-scale (microbial activity and fungal biomass) and molecular [terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP)...

  2. Fire effects on the composition of a bird community in an amazonian Savanna (Brazil

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    R. Cintra

    Full Text Available The effects of fire on the composition of a bird community were investigated in an Amazonian savanna near Alter-do-Chão, Pará (Brazil. Mist-net captures and visual counts were used to assess species richness and bird abundance pre- and post-fire in an approximately 20 ha area. Visual counts along transects were used to survey birds in an approximately 2000 ha area in a nearby area. Results using the same method of ordination analysis (multidimensional scaling showed significant effects of fire in the 20 ha and 2000 ha areas and strongly suggest direct effects on bird community composition. However, the effects were different at different spatial scales and/or in different years, indicating that the effects of fire vary spatially and/or temporally. Bird community composition pre-fire was significantly different from that found post-fire. Using multiple regression analysis it was found that the numbers of burned and unburned trees were not significantly related to either bird species richness or bird abundance. Two months after the fire, neither bird species richness nor bird abundance was significantly related to the number of flowering trees (Lafoensia pacari or fruiting trees (Byrsonima crassifolia. Since fire is an annual event in Alter-do-Chão and is becoming frequent in the entire Amazon, bird community composition in affected areas could be constantly changing in time and space.

  3. Local-scale spatial structure and community composition of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in semi-natural grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Oja, J.; Vahtra, J.; Bahram, M.; Kohout, Petr; Kull, T.; Rannap, R.; Köljalg, U.; Tedersoo, L.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 4 (2017), s. 355-367 ISSN 0940-6360 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : mycorrhiza * orchids * fungal community composition * calcareous grassland * spatial distribution * grazing intensity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 3.047, year: 2016

  4. Past tree influence and prescribed fire mediate biotic interactions and community reassembly in a grassland-restoration experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Halpern; Joseph A. Antos; Donald McKenzie; Annette M. Olson; Lara Souza

    2016-01-01

    1. Woody plant encroachment of grasslands is occurring globally, with profound ecological consequences. Attempts to restore herbaceous dominance may fail if the woody state is resilient or if intervention leads to an alternate, undesirable state. Restoration outcomes often hinge on biotic interactions – particularly on priority effects that inhibit or promote community...

  5. Local Environmental Factors Drive Divergent Grassland Soil Bacterial Communities in the Western Swiss Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Hélène; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-11-01

    Mountain ecosystems are characterized by a diverse range of climatic and topographic conditions over short distances and are known to shelter a high biodiversity. Despite important progress, still little is known on bacterial diversity in mountain areas. Here, we investigated soil bacterial biogeography at more than 100 sampling sites randomly stratified across a 700-km 2 area with 2,200-m elevation gradient in the western Swiss Alps. Bacterial grassland communities were highly diverse, with 12,741 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs) across 100 sites and an average of 2,918 OTUs per site. Bacterial community structure was correlated with local climatic, topographic, and soil physicochemical parameters with high statistical significance. We found pH (correlated with % CaO and % mineral carbon), hydrogen index (correlated with bulk gravimetric water content), and annual average number of frost days during the growing season to be among the groups of the most important environmental drivers of bacterial community structure. In contrast, bacterial community structure was only weakly stratified as a function of elevation. Contrasting patterns were discovered for individual bacterial taxa. Acidobacteria responded both positively and negatively to pH extremes. Various families within the Bacteroidetes responded to available phosphorus levels. Different verrucomicrobial groups responded to electrical conductivity, total organic carbon, water content, and mineral carbon contents. Alpine grassland bacterial communities are thus highly diverse, which is likely due to the large variety of different environmental conditions. These results shed new light on the biodiversity of mountain ecosystems, which were already identified as potentially fragile to anthropogenic influences and climate change. This article addresses the question of how microbial communities in alpine regions are dependent on local climatic and soil physicochemical variables. We benefit from a unique 700

  6. Changes in plant species richness induce functional shifts in soil nematode communities in experimental grassland.

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    Nico Eisenhauer

    Full Text Available Changes in plant diversity may induce distinct changes in soil food web structure and accompanying soil feedbacks to plants. However, knowledge of the long-term consequences of plant community simplification for soil animal food webs and functioning is scarce. Nematodes, the most abundant and diverse soil Metazoa, represent the complexity of soil food webs as they comprise all major trophic groups and allow calculation of a number of functional indices.We studied the functional composition of nematode communities three and five years after establishment of a grassland plant diversity experiment (Jena Experiment. In response to plant community simplification common nematode species disappeared and pronounced functional shifts in community structure occurred. The relevance of the fungal energy channel was higher in spring 2007 than in autumn 2005, particularly in species-rich plant assemblages. This resulted in a significant positive relationship between plant species richness and the ratio of fungal-to-bacterial feeders. Moreover, the density of predators increased significantly with plant diversity after five years, pointing to increased soil food web complexity in species-rich plant assemblages. Remarkably, in complex plant communities the nematode community shifted in favour of microbivores and predators, thereby reducing the relative abundance of plant feeders after five years.The results suggest that species-poor plant assemblages may suffer from nematode communities detrimental to plants, whereas species-rich plant assemblages support a higher proportion of microbivorous nematodes stimulating nutrient cycling and hence plant performance; i.e. effects of nematodes on plants may switch from negative to positive. Overall, food web complexity is likely to decrease in response to plant community simplification and results of this study suggest that this results mainly from the loss of common species which likely alter plant-nematode interactions.

  7. Conversion of sagebrush shrublands to exotic annual grasslands negatively impacts small mammal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, S.M.; Schupp, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    Aim The exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is fast replacing sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities throughout the Great Basin Desert and nearby regions in the Western United States, impacting native plant communities and altering fire regimes, which contributes to the long-term persistence of this weedy species. The effect of this conversion on native faunal communities remains largely unexamined. We assess the impact of conversion from native perennial to exotic annual plant communities on desert rodent communities. Location Wyoming big sagebrush shrublands and nearby sites previously converted to cheatgrass-dominated annual grasslands in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA. Methods At two sites in Tooele County, Utah, USA, we investigated with Sherman live trapping whether intact sagebrush vegetation and nearby converted Bromus tectorum-dominated vegetation differed in rodent abundance, diversity and community composition. Results Rodent abundance and species richness were considerably greater in sagebrush plots than in cheatgrass-dominated plots. Nine species were captured in sagebrush plots; five of these were also trapped in cheatgrass plots, all at lower abundances than in the sagebrush. In contrast, cheatgrass-dominated plots had no species that were not found in sagebrush. In addition, the site that had been converted to cheatgrass longer had lower abundances of rodents than the site more recently converted to cheatgrass-dominated plots. Despite large differences in abundances and species richness, Simpson's D diversity and Shannon-Wiener diversity and Brillouin evenness indices did not differ between sagebrush and cheatgrass-dominated plots. Main conclusions This survey of rodent communities in native sagebrush and in converted cheatgrass-dominated vegetation suggests that the abundances and community composition of rodents may be shifting, potentially at the larger spatial scale of the entire Great Basin, where cheatgrass continues to invade

  8. Belowground Carbon Allocation and Plant-Microbial Interactions Drive Resistance and Resilience of Mountain Grassland Communities to Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlowsky, S.; Augusti, A.; Ingrisch, J.; Hasibeder, R.; Lavorel, S.; Bahn, M.; Gleixner, G.

    2016-12-01

    Belowground carbon allocation (BCA) and plant-microbial interactions are crucial for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Recent research suggests that extreme events can have severe effects on these processes but it is unknown how land use intensity potentially modifies their responses. We studied the resistance and resilience of mountain grassland communities to prolonged drought and investigated the role of plant C allocation and soil microbial communities in mediating drought resistance and immediate recovery. In a common garden experiment we exposed monoliths from an abandoned grassland and a hay meadow to an early summer drought. Two independent 13C pulse labeling experiments were conducted, the first during peak drought and the second during the recovery phase. The 13C incorporation was analyzed in above- and belowground plant parts and in phospho- and neutral lipid fatty acids of soil microorganisms. In addition, a 15N label was added at the rewetting to determine plant N uptake. We found that C uptake, BCA and C transfer to soil microorganisms were less strongly reduced by drought in the abandoned grassland than in the meadow. Moreover, drought induced an increase of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) marker in the abandoned grassland. Nevertheless, C uptake and related parameters were quickly recovered and N uptake increased in the meadow during recovery. Unexpectedly, AMF and their C uptake were generally reduced during recovery, while bacteria increased and quickly recovered C uptake, particularly in the meadow. Our results showed a negative relation between high resistance and fast recovery. The more resistant abandoned grassland plant communities seemed to invest more C below ground and into interactions with AMF during drought, likely to access water through their hyphal network. Conversely, meadow communities invested more C from recent photosynthesis into bacterial communities during recovery, obviously to gain more nutrients for regrowth

  9. Prescribed-fire effects on an aquatic community of a southwest montane grassland system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Colleen A.; Jacobi, Gerald Z.; Anderson, Michael C.; Parmenter, Robert R.; McGann, Jeanine; Gould, William R.; DuBey, Robert; Jacobi, M. Donna

    2013-01-01

    The use of prescription fire has long been recognized as a reliable management tool to suppress vegetative succession processes and to reduce fuel loading to prevent catastrophic wildfires, but very little attention has been paid to the effects on aquatic systems. A late-fall prescribed burn was implemented to characterize effects on an aquatic community within a montane grassland system in north-central New Mexico. The fire treatment was consistent with protocols of a managed burn except that the fire was allowed to burn through the riparian area to the treatment stream to replicate natural fire behavior. In addition to summer and fall preburn assessment of the treatment and reference stream, we characterized immediate postfire effects (within a week for macroinvertebrates and within 6 months for fish) and seasonal effects over a 2-year period. Responses within the treatment stream were compared with an unburned reference stream adjacent to the prescription burn. During the burn, the diel range in air temperature increased by 5°C while diel range in water temperature did not change. Carbon–nitrogen ratios did not differ between treatment and reference streams, indicating the contribution of ash from the surrounding grassland was negligible. Although total taxa and species richness of aquatic macroinvertebrates were not altered, qualitative indices revealed departure from preburn condition due to loss of sensitive taxa (mayflies [order Ephemeroptera] and stoneflies [order Plecoptera]) and an increase in tolerant taxa (midges [order Chironomidae]) following the burn. Within 1 year of the burn, these attributes returned to preburn conditions. The density and recruitment of adult Brown Trout Salmo trutta did not differ between pre- and postburn collections, nor did fish condition differ. Fire is rarely truly replicated within a given study. Although our study represents one replication, the results will inform managers about the importance in timing (seasonality

  10. Responses of a grassland arthropod community to chronic beta and gamma radiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Styron, C.E.; Dodson, G.J.; Beauchamp, J.J.; Miller, F.L. Jr.

    1976-01-01

    A long-term project was initiated in 1968 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to assess effects of mixed beta and gamma radiation from simulated fallout on a grassland ecosystem. Beta and gamma radiation dose rates in microhabitats of the experimentally contaminated enclosure were measured with LiF thermoluminescent microdosimeters. Extensive statistical analyses of data on numbers of individuals collected for each of 76 arthropod and 2 molluscan taxa have identified no lasting significant changes in similarity or species diversity of experimental versus control communities as the result of the long-term irradiation at low dose rates. Natural fluctuations in community dynamics obscured any possible radiation effects. Thus, the apparent threshold for mixed beta and gamma radiation inducing changes in community structure must be above the exposure rate range of 2.3 to 13 rad/day delivered during the 5 yr of observation. Establishing such a threshold is of importance in assessing the impact of communities subjected to chronic, low level environmental exposure to ionizing radiation

  11. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

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    Yuhua Zhang

    Full Text Available Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  12. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuhua; Wang, Yongfan; Yu, Shixiao

    2014-01-01

    Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  13. Apple orchard pest control strategies affect bird communities in southeastern France.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bouvier, Jean-Charles; Ricci, Benoît; Agerberg, Julia; Lavigne, Claire

    2011-01-01

    Birds are regarded as appropriate biological indicators of how changes in agricultural practices affect the environment. They are also involved in the biocontrol of pests. In the present study, we provide an assessment of the impact of pest control strategies on bird communities in apple orchards in southeastern France. We compared the structure (abundance, species richness, and diversity) of breeding bird communities in 15 orchards under conventional or organic pest control over a three-year period (2003-2005). Pest control strategies and their evolution over time were characterized by analyzing farmers' treatment schedules. The landscape surrounding the orchards was characterized using a Geographic Information System. We observed 30 bird species overall. Bird abundance, species richness, and diversity were all affected by pest control strategies, and were highest in organic orchards and lowest in conventional orchards during the three study years. The pest control strategy affected insectivores more than granivores. We further observed a tendency for bird communities in integrated pest management orchards to change over time and become increasingly different from communities in organic orchards, which also corresponded to changes in treatment schedules. These findings indicate that within-orchard bird communities may respond quickly to changes in pesticide use and may, in turn, influence biocontrol of pests by birds. © 2010 SETAC.

  14. Multi-scale associations between vegetation cover and woodland bird communities across a large agricultural region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Ikin

    Full Text Available Improving biodiversity conservation in fragmented agricultural landscapes has become an important global issue. Vegetation at the patch and landscape-scale is important for species occupancy and diversity, yet few previous studies have explored multi-scale associations between vegetation and community assemblages. Here, we investigated how patch and landscape-scale vegetation cover structure woodland bird communities. We asked: (1 How is the bird community associated with the vegetation structure of woodland patches and the amount of vegetation cover in the surrounding landscape? (2 Do species of conservation concern respond to woodland vegetation structure and surrounding vegetation cover differently to other species in the community? And (3 Can the relationships between the bird community and the woodland vegetation structure and surrounding vegetation cover be explained by the ecological traits of the species comprising the bird community? We studied 103 woodland patches (0.5 - 53.8 ha over two time periods across a large (6,800 km(2 agricultural region in southeastern Australia. We found that both patch vegetation and surrounding woody vegetation cover were important for structuring the bird community, and that these relationships were consistent over time. In particular, the occurrence of mistletoe within the patches and high values of woody vegetation cover within 1,000 ha and 10,000 ha were important, especially for bird species of conservation concern. We found that the majority of these species displayed similar, positive responses to patch and landscape vegetation attributes. We also found that these relationships were related to the foraging and nesting traits of the bird community. Our findings suggest that management strategies to increase both remnant vegetation quality and the cover of surrounding woody vegetation in fragmented agricultural landscapes may lead to improved conservation of bird communities.

  15. EU protected area network did not prevent a country wide population decline in a threatened grassland bird

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João P. Silva

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Background Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax. Methods We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003–2006 and 2016 in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Results Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10–14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline compared to losses within SPA (25% decline. However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . Discussion In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.

  16. EU protected area network did not prevent a country wide population decline in a threatened grassland bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, João P; Correia, Ricardo; Alonso, Hany; Martins, Ricardo C; D'Amico, Marcello; Delgado, Ana; Sampaio, Hugo; Godinho, Carlos; Moreira, Francisco

    2018-01-01

    Few studies have assessed the effectiveness of the Protected Area networks on the conservation status of target species. Here, we assess the effectiveness of the Portuguese Natura 2000 (the European Union network of protected areas) in maintaining a species included in the Annex I of the Bird Directive, namely the population of a priority farmland bird, the little bustard Tetrax tetrax . We measured the effectiveness of the Natura 2000 by comparing population trends across time (2003-2006 and 2016) in 51 areas, 21 of which within 12 Special Protection Areas (SPA) that were mostly designated for farmland bird conservation and another 30 areas without EU protection. Overall, the national population is estimated to have declined 49% over the last 10-14 years. This loss was found to be proportionally larger outside SPA (64% decline) compared to losses within SPA (25% decline). However, the absolute male density decline was significantly larger within SPA . In spite of holding higher population densities and having prevented habitat loss, we conclude that Natura 2000 was not effective in buffering against the overall bustard population decline. Results show that the mere designation of SPA in farmland is not enough to secure species populations and has to be combined with agricultural policies and investment to maintain not only habitat availability but also habitat quality.

  17. Allelopathic dominance ofMiscanthus transmorrisonensis in an alpine grassland community in Taiwan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, C H; Lee, Y F

    1991-11-01

    A study site located at 2600 m elevation in Tartarchia Anpu, Nantou county, Taiwan, exhibits a unique grassland community composed of two principal species,Miscanthus transmorrisonensis andYushinia niitakayamensis, and 35 other species. The relative frequencies of the two species are 12% and 11%, while their relative coverages are 25% and 19.5%, respectively. The values for the remaining 35 species are lower than4% each, while species diversity of the community is -3.04839, indicating great diversity. To elucidate the mechanism of dominance ofM. transmorrisonensis, allelopathic evaluation of the plant was conducted. Aqueous extracts of M.Transmorrisonensis plant parts with two ecotypes were bioassayed. The extracts showed significant phytotoxic effects on seed germination and radicle growth of four tested plants: rye grass, lettuce, and two varieties of Chinese cabbage. In addition, rhizosphere soils underMiscanthus also exhibited significant phytotoxicity, indicating that allelopathic interaction was involved. Some responsible phytotoxic phenolics, namely, p-coumaric, ferulic, vanillic, protocatechuic, o-hydroxyphenylacetic, andm-hydroxyphenylacetic acids, and 4-hydroxycoumarin and phloridzin were identified. Allelopathy thus can play an important role in regulating plant diversity in the field.

  18. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C R S; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C; Piccolo, Marisa C; Peixoto, Raquel S; Greer, Charles W; Rosado, Alexandre S

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  19. Plant and bird presence strongly influences the microbial communities in soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia C R S Teixeira

    Full Text Available Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies, Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific.

  20. Plant and Bird Presence Strongly Influences the Microbial Communities in Soils of Admiralty Bay, Maritime Antarctica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Lia C. R. S.; Yeargeau, Etienne; Balieiro, Fabiano C.; Piccolo, Marisa C.; Peixoto, Raquel S.; Greer, Charles W.; Rosado, Alexandre S.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the environmental factors that shape microbial communities is crucial, especially in extreme environments, like Antarctica. Two main forces were reported to influence Antarctic soil microbes: birds and plants. Both birds and plants are currently undergoing relatively large changes in their distribution and abundance due to global warming. However, we need to clearly understand the relationship between plants, birds and soil microorganisms. We therefore collected rhizosphere and bulk soils from six different sampling sites subjected to different levels of bird influence and colonized by Colobanthus quitensis and Deschampsia antarctica in Admiralty Bay, King George Island, Maritime Antarctic. Microarray and qPCR assays targeting 16S rRNA genes of specific taxa were used to assess microbial community structure, composition and abundance and analyzed with a range of soil physico-chemical parameters. The results indicated significant rhizosphere effects in four out of the six sites, including areas with different levels of bird influence. Acidobacteria were significantly more abundant in soils with little bird influence (low nitrogen) and in bulk soil. In contrast, Actinobacteria were significantly more abundant in the rhizosphere of both plant species. At two of the sampling sites under strong bird influence (penguin colonies), Firmicutes were significantly more abundant in D. antarctica rhizosphere but not in C. quitensis rhizosphere. The Firmicutes were also positively and significantly correlated to the nitrogen concentrations in the soil. We conclude that the microbial communities in Antarctic soils are driven both by bird and plants, and that the effect is taxa-specific. PMID:23840411

  1. The Effects of Exurbanization on Bird and Macro invertebrate Communities in Deciduous Forests on the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Casey, J.M.; Wilson, M.E.; Haskell, D.G.; Hollingshead, N.

    2009-01-01

    To investigate the potential causes of changes to bird communities in exurban areas, we examined the relationship between bird and macro invertebrate communities in exurbanized forest. We randomly located sampling points across a gradient of exurbanization. We used point counts to quantify bird communities and sweep netting, soil cores, pitfalls, and frass collectors to quantify macro invertebrates. Bird communities had higher richness and abundance in exurban areas compared to undeveloped forests, and lost some species of conservation concern but gained others. The macro invertebrate community was slightly more abundant in exurban areas, with a slight shift in taxonomic composition. The abundance of macro invertebrates in soil cores (but not pitfalls) predicted the abundance of ground-foraging birds. The abundance of macro invertebrates in sweep nets was not associated with the abundance of aerial insectivore birds. Exurbanization therefore appears to change bird and macro invertebrate communities, but to a lesser extent than agricultural forest fragmentation or intensive urbanization.

  2. The Effects of Exurbanization on Bird and Macroinvertebrate Communities in Deciduous Forests on the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan M. Casey

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available To investigate the potential causes of changes to bird communities in exurban areas, we examined the relationship between bird and macroinvertebrate communities in exurbanized forest. We randomly located sampling points across a gradient of exurbanization. We used point counts to quantify bird communities and sweep netting, soil cores, pitfalls, and frass collectors to quantify macroinvertebrates. Bird communities had higher richness and abundance in exurban areas compared to undeveloped forests, and lost some species of conservation concern but gained others. The macroinvertebrate community was slightly more abundant in exurban areas, with a slight shift in taxonomic composition. The abundance of macroinvertebrates in soil cores (but not pitfalls predicted the abundance of ground-foraging birds. The abundance of macroinvertebrates in sweep nets was not associated with the abundance of aerial insectivore birds. Exurbanization therefore appears to change bird and macroinvertebrate communities, but to a lesser extent than agricultural forest fragmentation or intensive urbanization.

  3. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    OpenAIRE

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Sch?ning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

  4. Recreation-induced changes in boreal bird communities in protected areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kangas, K; Luoto, M; Ihantola, A; Tomppo, E; Siikamäki, P

    2010-09-01

    The impacts of human-induced disturbance on birds have been studied in growing extent, but there are relatively few studies about the effects of recreation on forest bird communities in protected areas. In this paper, the relative importance of recreation as well as environmental variables on bird communities in Oulanka National Park, in northeastern Finland, was investigated using general additive models (GAM). Bird data collected using the line transect method along hiking trails and in undisturbed control areas were related to number of visits, area of tourism infrastructure, and habitat variables. We further examined the impact of spatial autocorrelation by calculating an autocovariate term for GAMs. Our results indicate that number of visits affects the occurrence and composition of bird communities, but it had no impact on total species richness. Open-cup nesters breeding on the ground showed strongest negative response to visitor pressure, whereas the open-cup nesters nesting in trees and shrubs were more tolerant. For cavity-nesting species, recreation had no significant impact. The contribution of the number of visits was generally low also in models in which it was selected, and the occurrence of birds was mainly determined by habitat characteristics of the area. However, our results show that the recreation-induced disturbance with relatively low visitor pressure can have negative impacts on some bird species and groups of species and should be considered in management of protected areas with recreational activities.

  5. Predation drives nesting success in moist highland grasslands: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    By focusing on process-oriented data rather than inventory-type data, this study provides a robust understanding of the effects of agricultural management on grassland bird reproductive output in the moist highland grasslands (MHGs) of South Africa. Four-hundred and four nests of 12 grassland-breeding bird species were ...

  6. The relations between forest fragmentation and bird community body size and biodiversity and bird community body size.

    OpenAIRE

    Hopman, F.

    2017-01-01

    Bachelor thesis Future Planet Studies, major biologie ABSTRACT Animal species with a larger body-size tend to have larger home ranges than small-bodied animals. Therefore it is likely that they are more affected by habitat fragmentation than small-bodied species. Body size of birds also seems to have a negative relation with species richness. This research has therefore looked into whether birds with a larger body-size are more sensitive to habitat fragmentation caused by forest...

  7. Conservation of forest birds: evidence of a shifting baseline in community structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chadwick D Rittenhouse

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying changes in forest bird diversity is an essential task for developing effective conservation actions. When subtle changes in diversity accumulate over time, annual comparisons may offer an incomplete perspective of changes in diversity. In this case, progressive change, the comparison of changes in diversity from a baseline condition, may offer greater insight because changes in diversity are assessed over longer periods of times. Our objectives were to determine how forest bird diversity has changed over time and whether those changes were associated with forest disturbance.We used North American Breeding Bird Survey data, a time series of Landsat images classified with respect to land cover change, and mixed-effects models to associate changes in forest bird community structure with forest disturbance, latitude, and longitude in the conterminous United States for the years 1985 to 2006. We document a significant divergence from the baseline structure for all birds of similar migratory habit and nest location, and all forest birds as a group from 1985 to 2006. Unexpectedly, decreases in progressive similarity resulted from small changes in richness (<1 species per route for the 22-year study period and modest losses in abundance (-28.7 - -10.2 individuals per route that varied by migratory habit and nest location. Forest disturbance increased progressive similarity for Neotropical migrants, permanent residents, ground nesting, and cavity nesting species. We also documented highest progressive similarity in the eastern United States.Contemporary forest bird community structure is changing rapidly over a relatively short period of time (e.g., approximately 22 years. Forest disturbance and forest regeneration are primary factors associated with contemporary forest bird community structure, longitude and latitude are secondary factors, and forest loss is a tertiary factor. Importantly, these findings suggest some regions of the United

  8. Conservation of forest birds: evidence of a shifting baseline in community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rittenhouse, Chadwick D; Pidgeon, Anna M; Albright, Thomas P; Culbert, Patrick D; Clayton, Murray K; Flather, Curtis H; Huang, Chengquan; Masek, Jeffrey G; Stewart, Susan I; Radeloff, Volker C

    2010-08-02

    Quantifying changes in forest bird diversity is an essential task for developing effective conservation actions. When subtle changes in diversity accumulate over time, annual comparisons may offer an incomplete perspective of changes in diversity. In this case, progressive change, the comparison of changes in diversity from a baseline condition, may offer greater insight because changes in diversity are assessed over longer periods of times. Our objectives were to determine how forest bird diversity has changed over time and whether those changes were associated with forest disturbance. We used North American Breeding Bird Survey data, a time series of Landsat images classified with respect to land cover change, and mixed-effects models to associate changes in forest bird community structure with forest disturbance, latitude, and longitude in the conterminous United States for the years 1985 to 2006. We document a significant divergence from the baseline structure for all birds of similar migratory habit and nest location, and all forest birds as a group from 1985 to 2006. Unexpectedly, decreases in progressive similarity resulted from small changes in richness (<1 species per route for the 22-year study period) and modest losses in abundance (-28.7 - -10.2 individuals per route) that varied by migratory habit and nest location. Forest disturbance increased progressive similarity for Neotropical migrants, permanent residents, ground nesting, and cavity nesting species. We also documented highest progressive similarity in the eastern United States. Contemporary forest bird community structure is changing rapidly over a relatively short period of time (e.g., approximately 22 years). Forest disturbance and forest regeneration are primary factors associated with contemporary forest bird community structure, longitude and latitude are secondary factors, and forest loss is a tertiary factor. Importantly, these findings suggest some regions of the United States may

  9. Seasonal dynamics and vertical distribution of plant-feeding nematode communities in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschoor, B.C.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Hoop, de J.W.; Vries, de F.W.

    2001-01-01

    The vertical distribution and seasonal dynamics of plant- and fungal-feeding nematode taxa in permanent grasslands were investigated. Dolichodoridae, Paratylenchus, Pratylenchus, Tylenchidae and Aphelenchoides dominated the upper 10 cm soil and their numbers strongly decreased with depth. The

  10. Avian influenza prevalence among hunter-harvested birds in a remote Canadian First Nation community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liberda, Eric N; Meldrum, Richard; Charania, Nadia A; Davey, Robert; Tsuji, Leonard Js

    2017-01-01

    Avian influenza virus (AIV) prevalence has been associated with wild game and other bird species. The contamination of these birds may pose a greater risk to those who regularly hunt and consumed infected species. Due to resident concerns communicated by local Band Council, hunter-harvested birds from a remote First Nation community in subArctic Ontario, Canada were assessed for AIV. Hunters, and especially those who live a subsistence lifestyle, are at higher risk of AIV exposure due to their increased contact with wild birds, which represent an important part of their diet. Cloacal swabs from 304 harvested game birds representing several species of wild birds commonly hunted and consumed in this First Nation community were analyzed for AIV using real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Subtyping was performed using reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Sequences were assembled using Lasergene, and the sequences were compared to Genbank. In total, 16 of the 304 cloacal swab samples were positive for AIV. Of the 16 positive samples, 12 were found in mallard ducks, 3 were found in snow geese (wavies), and 1 positive sample was found in partridge. The AIV samples were subtyped, when possible, and found to be positive for the low pathogenic avian influenza virus subtypes H3 and H4. No samples were positive for subtypes of human concern, namely H5 and H7. This work represents the first AIV monitoring program results of hunter-harvested birds in a remote subsistence First Nation community. Community-level surveillance of AIV in remote subsistence hunting communities may help to identify future risks, while educating those who may have the highest exposure about proper handling of hunted birds. Ultimately, only low pathogenic strains of AIV were found, but monitoring should be continued and expanded to safeguard those with the highest exposure risk to AIV.

  11. Pollination biology in a tropical high-altitude grassland in Brazil: Interactions at the community level

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, L; Sazima, M

    2006-01-01

    Surveys of local assemblages of plants and their pollinators are among the most useful ways to evaluate specialization in pollination and to discuss the patterns of plant-pollinator interactions among ecosystems. The high-altitude grasslands from southeastern Brazil constitute diminutive island-like formations surrounded by montane rainforests. We registered the floral traits of 124 species from the Serra da Bricaina grasslands (about 60% of the animal-pollinated species of this flora), and d...

  12. Nest-site partitioning in a strandveld shrubland bird community ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Nest-site selection may vary adaptively among co-existing species as a result of competitive interactions among the species or in response to density-dependent nest predation. We examined nest-site characteristics and degree of partitioning among 14 co-existing bird species breeding in dwarf strandveld shrubland at ...

  13. Occupancy dynamics in a tropical bird community: unexpectedly high forest use by birds classified as non-forest species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruiz-Gutierrez, Viviana; Zipkin, Elise F.; Dhondt, Andre A.

    2010-01-01

    1. Worldwide loss of biodiversity necessitates a clear understanding of the factors driving population declines as well as informed predictions about which species and populations are at greatest risk. The biggest threat to the long-term persistence of populations is the reduction and changes in configuration of their natural habitat. 2. Inconsistencies have been noted in the responses of populations to the combined effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. These have been widely attributed to the effects of the matrix habitats in which remnant focal habitats are typically embedded. 3. We quantified the potential effects of the inter-patch matrix by estimating occupancy and colonization of forest and surrounding non-forest matrix (NF). We estimated species-specific parameters using a dynamic, multi-species hierarchical model on a bird community in southwestern Costa Rica. 4. Overall, we found higher probabilities of occupancy and colonization of forest relative to the NF across bird species, including those previously categorized as open habitat generalists not needing forest to persist. Forest dependency was a poor predictor of occupancy dynamics in our study region, largely predicting occupancy and colonization of only non-forest habitats. 5. Our results indicate that the protection of remnant forest habitats is key for the long-term persistence of all members of the bird community in this fragmented landscape, including species typically associated with open, non-forest habitats. 6.Synthesis and applications. We identified 39 bird species of conservation concern defined by having high estimates of forest occupancy, and low estimates of occupancy and colonization of non-forest. These species survive in forest but are unlikely to venture out into open, non-forested habitats, therefore, they are vulnerable to the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation. Our hierarchical community-level model can be used to estimate species-specific occupancy dynamics for focal

  14. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legay, N; Baxendale, C; Grigulis, K; Krainer, U; Kastl, E; Schloter, M; Bardgett, R D; Arnoldi, C; Bahn, M; Dumont, M; Poly, F; Pommier, T; Clément, J C; Lavorel, S

    2014-10-01

    Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake, A Guide to Identification, Communities, & Bird Habitat

    OpenAIRE

    Downard, Rebekah; Frank, Maureen; Perkins, Jennifer; Kettenring, Karin; Larese-Casanova, Mark

    2017-01-01

    Wetland Plants of Great Salt Lake: a guide to identification, communities, & bird habitat is a wetland plant identification guide, resulting from collaborative research efforts about Great Salt Lake (GSL) wetland conditions and bird habitat. Dr. Rebekah Downard collected dissertation field data from GSL wetlands during 2012–2015, the majority of which informed this work. Dr. Maureen Frank contributed her guide to GSL wetland vegetation and how to manage native plants as high-quality habitat f...

  16. Effects of exotic fish farms on bird communities in lake and marine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiménez, Jaime E.; Arriagada, Aldo M.; Fontúrbel, Francisco E.; Camus, Patricio A.; Ávila-Thieme, M. Isidora

    2013-08-01

    Salmon farming is a widespread activity around the world, also known to promote diverse environmental effects on aquatic ecosystems. However, information regarding the impact of salmon farming on bird assemblages is notably scarce. We hypothesize that salmon farming, by providing food subsidies and physical structures to birds, will change their local community structure. To test this hypothesis, we conducted a seasonal monitoring of bird richness, abundance, and composition at paired salmon pen and control plots in two marine and two lake sites in southern Chile, from fall 2002 to summer 2004. Overall, salmon farming had no significant effects on species richness, but bird abundance was significantly and noticeably higher in salmon pens than in controls. Such aggregation was mainly accounted for by the trophic guilds of omnivores, diving piscivores, carrion eaters, and perching piscivores, but not by invertebrate feeders, herbivores, and surface feeders. Species composition was also significantly and persistently different between salmon pens and controls within each lake or marine locality. The patterns described above remained consistent across environment types and seasons indicating that salmon farming is changing the community structure of birds in both lake and marine habitats by promoting functional and aggregation responses, particularly by favoring species with broader niches. Such local patterns may thus anticipate potential threats from the ongoing expansion of the salmon industry to neighboring areas in Chile, resulting in regional changes of bird communities, toward a less diverse one and dominated by opportunistic, common, and generalist species such as gulls, vultures, and cormorants.

  17. Antibiotics and Manure Effects on Microbial Communities Responsible for Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semedo, M.; Song, B.; Sparrer, T.; Crozier, C.; Tobias, C. R.; Phillips, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    Agroecosystems are major contributors of nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. Denitrification and nitrification are the primary pathways of N2O emission in soils. However, there is uncertainty regarding the organisms responsible for N2O production. Bacteria were previously considered the only microbial N2O source, however, current studies indicate that fungi also produce N2O by denitrification. Denitrifying bacteria can be a source or sink of N2O depending on the presence and expression of nitrous oxide reductase genes (nosZ), encoding for the enzyme converting N2O to N2. Fungal denitrification may produce only N2O as an end product due to missing the nosZ gene. Animal manures applied to agricultural fields can transfer antibiotics to soils as a result of antibiotic use in the livestock industry. These antibiotics target mostly bacteria and may promote fungal growth. The growth inhibition of denitrifying bacteria may favor fungal denitrifiers potentially enhancing N2O emissions. Our objective is to examine the effects of antibiotic exposure and manure fertilization on the microbial communities responsible for N2 and N2O production in grasslands. Soil slurry incubations were conducted with tetracycline at different concentrations. A mesocosm experiment was also performed with soil cores exposed to tetracycline and cow manure. Production of N2O and N2 was measured using gas chromatography with electron capture detector (GC-ECD) and isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS), respectively. Antibiotic inhibition of soil N2 production was found to be dose dependent, reaching up to 80% inhibition with 1g Kg-1 of tetracycline treatment, while N2O production was enhanced up to 8 times. These results suggest higher fungal denitrification with a concomitant decrease in bacterial denitrification after antibiotic exposure. We also found higher N2O fluxes in the soil mesocosms treated with manure plus tetracycline. Quantitative PCR (qPCR) will be conducted to examine the changes in

  18. Effects of Bromus tectorum invasion on microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in two adjacent undisturbed arid grassland communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Sean M.; Ziegler, Susan E.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    Soil nitrogen (N) is an important component in maintaining ecosystem stability, and the introduction of non-native plants can alter N cycling by changing litter quality and quantity, nutrient uptake patterns, and soil food webs. Our goal was to determine the effects of Bromus tectorum (C3) invasion on soil microbial N cycling in adjacent non-invaded and invaded C3 and C4 native arid grasslands. We monitored resin-extractable N, plant and soil δ13C and δ15N, gross rates of inorganic N mineralization and consumption, and the quantity and isotopic composition of microbial phospholipid biomarkers. In invaded C3 communities, labile soil organic N and gross and net rates of soil N transformations increased, indicating an increase in overall microbial N cycling. In invaded C4 communities labile soil N stayed constant, but gross N flux rates increased. The δ13C of phospholipid biomarkers in invaded C4 communities showed that some portion of the soil bacterial population preferentially decomposed invader C3-derived litter over that from the native C4 species. Invasion in C4 grasslands also significantly decreased the proportion of fungal to bacterial phospholipid biomarkers. Different processes are occurring in response to B. tectorum invasion in each of these two native grasslands that: 1) alter the size of soil N pools, and/or 2) the activity of the microbial community. Both processes provide mechanisms for altering long-term N dynamics in these ecosystems and highlight how multiple mechanisms can lead to similar effects on ecosystem function, which may be important for the construction of future biogeochemical process models.

  19. Patterns of distribution, abundance, and change over time in a subarctic marine bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Daniel A.; Roby, Daniel D.; Irons, David B.

    2018-01-01

    Over recent decades, marine ecosystems of Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, have experienced concurrent effects of natural and anthropogenic perturbations, including variability in the climate system of the northeastern Pacific Ocean. We documented spatial and temporal patterns of variability in the summer marine bird community in relation to habitat and climate variability using boat-based surveys of marine birds conducted during the period 1989-2012. We hypothesized that a major factor structuring marine bird communities in PWS would be proximity to the shoreline, which is theorized to relate to aspects of food web structure. We also hypothesized that shifts in physical ecosystem drivers differentially affected nearshore-benthic and pelagic components of PWS food webs. We evaluated support for our hypotheses using an approach centered on community-level patterns of spatial and temporal variability. We found that an environmental gradient related to water depth and distance from shore was the dominant factor spatially structuring the marine bird community. Responses of marine birds to this onshore-offshore environmental gradient were related to dietary specialization, and separated marine bird taxa by prey type. The primary form of temporal variability over the study period was monotonic increases or decreases in abundance for 11 of 18 evaluated genera of marine birds; 8 genera had declined, whereas 3 had increased. The greatest declines occurred in genera associated with habitats that were deeper and farther from shore. Furthermore, most of the genera that declined primarily fed on pelagic prey resources, such as forage fish and mesozooplankton, and few were directly affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Our observations of synchronous declines are indicative of a shift in pelagic components of PWS food webs. This pattern was correlated with climate variability at time-scales of several years to a decade.

  20. Patterns of distribution, abundance, and change over time in a subarctic marine bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cushing, Daniel; Roby, Daniel D.; Irons, David B.

    2017-01-01

    Over recent decades, marine ecosystems of Prince William Sound (PWS), Alaska, have experienced concurrent effects of natural and anthropogenic perturbations, including variability in the climate system of the northeastern Pacific Ocean. We documented spatial and temporal patterns of variability in the summer marine bird community in relation to habitat and climate variability using boat-based surveys of marine birds conducted during the period 1989–2012. We hypothesized that a major factor structuring marine bird communities in PWS would be proximity to the shoreline, which is theorized to relate to aspects of food web structure. We also hypothesized that shifts in physical ecosystem drivers differentially affected nearshore-benthic and pelagic components of PWS food webs. We evaluated support for our hypotheses using an approach centered on community-level patterns of spatial and temporal variability. We found that an environmental gradient related to water depth and distance from shore was the dominant factor spatially structuring the marine bird community. Responses of marine birds to this onshore-offshore environmental gradient were related to dietary specialization, and separated marine bird taxa by prey type. The primary form of temporal variability over the study period was monotonic increases or decreases in abundance for 11 of 18 evaluated genera of marine birds; 8 genera had declined, whereas 3 had increased. The greatest declines occurred in genera associated with habitats that were deeper and farther from shore. Furthermore, most of the genera that declined primarily fed on pelagic prey resources, such as forage fish and mesozooplankton, and few were directly affected by the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. Our observations of synchronous declines are indicative of a shift in pelagic components of PWS food webs. This pattern was correlated with climate variability at time-scales of several years to a decade.

  1. The Effects of Different Forest Loggings on Forest Birds Community Composition in Shastkolateh Forest, Gorgan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Parsaei

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The species composition of a bird community is dependent upon many factors. Within any geographic area, vegetation structure may be the most important factor. The changes of bird community composition based on foraging behavior in relation to 3 different harvesting systems, including strip cutting, group selection logging, and single tree selection logging, was evaluated in a virgin area in this study. Birds and environmental variables were detected within 103 circle sampling plots with 25m radius. Based on the results, 4 groups of birds were observed in treatments based on the foraging behavior. Group 1 was ground foragers, group 2 consisted of foliage gleaning, group 3 included flycatchers, and group 4 represented bark foraging. The first group had the highest abundance in the strip treatment. The second group in group selection treatment, and the third and fourth groups had the highest abundance in the virgin area and then, in single tree selection treatment. The first group showed the highest correlation with shrub and herb or grass layer, stone cover and the number of trees 10-20m in height. The second, third and fourth groups showed the highest correlation with the number of trees>20m in height, basal areas, dead trees number, and the number of fagus trees. The results showed the single cutting treatment had a relatively minor effect on mature forest bird species and were more appropriate and sustainable methods to reduce the negative effects of forest harvesting on the birds.

  2. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  3. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

    Full Text Available Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM, intensely used mown pastures (IP and extensively used pastures (EP, respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK. The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  4. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  5. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  6. [Response of forest bird communities to forest gap in winter in southwestern China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Dong-Dong; Wu, Ying-Huan; Lu, Zhou; Jiang, Guang-Wei; Zhou, Fang

    2013-06-01

    Although forest gap ecology is an important field of study, research remains limited. By plot setting and point counted observation, the response of birds to forest gaps in winter as well as bird distribution patterns in forest gaps and intact canopies were studied in a north tropical monsoon forest of southwestern China from November 2011 to February 2012 in the Fangcheng Golden Camellia National Nature Reserve, Guangxi. The regression equation of bird species diversity to habitat factor was Y1=0.611+0.002 X13+0.043 X2+0.002 X5-0.003 X8+0.006 X10+0.008 X1 and the regression equation of bird species dominance index to habitat factor was Y3=0.533+0.001 X13+0.019 X2+0.002 X3-0.017 X4+0.002 X1. There were 45 bird species (2 orders and 13 families) recorded in the forest gap, accounting for 84.9% of all birds (n=45), with an average of 9.6 species (range: 2-22). Thirty-nine bird species (5 orders and 14 families) were recorded in non-gap areas, accounting for 73.6% of all birds (n=39), with an average of 5.3 species (range: 1-12). These results suggested that gap size, arbor average height (10 m from gap margin), arbor quantity (10 m from gap margin), shrub quantity (10 m from gap margin), herbal average coverage (1 m from gap margin) and bare land ratio were the key forest gap factors that influenced bird diversities. On the whole, bird diversity in the forest gap was greater than in the intact canopy. Spatial distributions in the forest gaps were also observed in the bird community. Most birds foraged in the "middle" and "canopy" layers in the vertical stratification. In addition, "nearly from" and "close from" contained more birds in relation to horizontal stratification. Feeding niche differentiation was suggested as the main reason for these distribution patterns.

  7. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  8. Lizard community structure across a grassland - creosote bush ecotone in the Chihuahuan Desert

    OpenAIRE

    Menke, Sean B

    2003-01-01

    I investigated the distribution and abundance of lizard species (Aspidoscelis inornatus, Aspidoscelis tesselatus, Aspidoscelis tigris, Aspidoscelis uniparens, Cophosaurus texanus, Crotaphytus collaris, Eumeces obsoletus, Gambelia wislizenii, Holbrookia maculata, Phrynosoma cornutum, Sceloporus magister, and Uta stansburiana) across a desert grassland - creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) ecotone in Dona Ana County, New Mexico. The ecotonal area in the Jomada del Muerto basin has increased drama...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vasiliy Sokolov

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

  10. Vegetation moderates impacts of tourism usage on bird communities along roads and hiking trails.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wolf, Isabelle D; Hagenloh, Gerald; Croft, David B

    2013-11-15

    Bird communities inhabiting ecosystems adjacent to recreational tracks may be adversely affected by disturbance from passing tourism traffic, vehicle-related mortality, habitat alteration and modified biotic relationships such as the increase of strong competitors. This study investigated the effects of tourist usage of roads vs. hiking trails on bird communities in gorges of the Flinders Ranges, a popular South Australian tourist destination in the arid-lands. High tourist usage along roads decreased the individual abundance and species richness of birds relative to low usage trails. The decrease in species richness, though less pronounced, also occurred at high-usage sites along trails. Changes in the species response to recreational disturbance/impacts varied depending on the ecology of the species. Bigger, more competitive birds with a generalist diet were overrepresented at high-usage sites along roads and trails. Species using microhabitats in lower vegetation layers were more sensitive. However, structural and floristic complexity of vegetation was a more important factor influencing bird abundance than tourist usage. Sites with a better developed shrub and tree layer sustained higher species abundance and richer communities. Importantly, vegetation qualities moderated the negative effect of high usage on the individual abundance of birds along roads, to the extent that such an effect was absent at sites with the best developed shrub and tree layer. To protect avifauna along recreational tracks in arid-lands gorges, we recommend the closure of some gorges or sections for vehicle or any access. Further, open space particularly for camping needs to be minimized as it creates areas of high tourist usage with modified habitat that provides birds with little buffer from disturbance. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Low effect of young afforestations on bird communities inhabiting heterogeneous Mediterranean cropland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan S. Sánchez-Oliver

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Afforestation programs such as the one promoted by the EU Common Agricultural Policy have spread tree plantations on former cropland. These afforestations attract generalist forest and ubiquitous species but may cause severe damage to open habitat species, especially birds of high conservation value. We investigated the effects of young (<20 yr tree plantations dominated by pine P. halepensis on bird communities inhabiting the adjacent open farmland habitat in central Spain. We hypothesize that pine plantations located at shorter distances from open fields and with larger surface would affect species richness and conservation value of bird communities. Regression models controlling for the influence of land use types around plantations revealed positive effects of higher distance to pine plantation edge on community species richness in winter, and negative effects on an index of conservation concern (SPEC during the breeding season. However, plantation area did not have any effect on species richness or community conservation value. Our results indicate that the effects of pine afforestation on bird communities inhabiting Mediterranean cropland are diluted by heterogeneous agricultural landscapes.

  12. Diversity and distribution of autotrophic microbial community along environmental gradients in grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guangxia; Kong, Weidong; Liu, Jinbo; Zhao, Jingxue; Du, Haodong; Zhang, Xianzhou; Xia, Pinhua

    2015-10-01

    Soil microbial autotrophs play a significant role in CO2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystem, particularly in vegetation-constrained ecosystems with environmental stresses, such as the Tibetan Plateau characterized by low temperature and high UV. However, soil microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors remain less appreciated. We investigated the structure and shift of microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors along an elevation gradient (4400-5100 m above sea level) in alpine grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau. The autotrophic microbial communities were characterized by quantitative PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and cloning/sequencing of cbbL genes, encoding the large subunit for the CO2 fixation protein ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). High cbbL gene abundance and high RubisCO enzyme activity were observed and both significantly increased with increasing elevations. Path analysis identified that soil RubisCO enzyme causally originated from microbial autotrophs, and its activity was indirectly driven by soil water content, temperature, and NH4 (+) content. Soil autotrophic microbial community structure dramatically shifted along the elevation and was jointly driven by soil temperature, water content, nutrients, and plant types. The autotrophic microbial communities were dominated by bacterial autotrophs, which were affiliated with Rhizobiales, Burkholderiales, and Actinomycetales. These autotrophs have been well documented to degrade organic matters; thus, metabolic versatility could be a key strategy for microbial autotrophs to survive in the harsh environments. Our results demonstrated high abundance of microbial autotrophs and high CO2 fixation potential in alpine grassland soils and provided a novel model to identify dominant drivers of soil microbial communities and their ecological functions.

  13. Adaptation of bird communities to farmland abandonment in a mountain landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Lopes Guilherme

    Full Text Available Widespread farmland abandonment has led to significant landscape transformations of many European mountain areas. These semi-natural multi-habitat landscapes are important reservoirs of biodiversity and their abandonment has important conservation implications. In multi-habitat landscapes the adaptation of communities depends on the differential affinity of the species to the available habitats. We use nested species-area relationships (SAR to model species richness patterns of bird communities across scales in a mountain landscape, in NW Portugal. We compare the performance of the classic-SAR and the countryside-SAR (i.e. multi-habitat models at the landscape scale, and compare species similarity decay (SSD at the regional scale. We find a considerable overlap of bird communities in the different land-uses (farmland, shrubland and oak forest at the landscape scale. Analysis of the classic and countryside SAR show that specialist species are strongly related to their favourite habitat. Farmland and shrubland have higher regional SSD compared to oak forests. However, this is due to the opportunistic use of farmlands by generalist birds. Forest specialists display significant regional turnover in oak forest. Overall, the countryside-SAR model had a better fit to the data showing that habitat composition determines species richness across scales. Finally, we use the countryside-SAR model to forecast bird diversity under four scenarios of land-use change. Farmland abandonment scenarios show little impact on bird diversity as the model predicts that the complete loss of farmland is less dramatic, in terms of species diversity loss, than the disappearance of native Galicio-Portuguese oak forest. The affinities of species to non-preferred habitats suggest that bird communities can adapt to land-use changes derived from farmland abandonment. Based on model predictions we argue that rewilding may be a suitable management option for many European mountain

  14. Breeding bird response to juniper woodland expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenstock, Steven S.; van Riper, Charles

    2001-01-01

    In recent times, pinyon (Pinus spp.)-juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have expanded into large portions of the Southwest historically occupied by grassland vegetation. From 1997-1998, we studied responses of breeding birds to one-seed juniper (J. monosperma) woodland expansion at 2 grassland study areas in northern Arizona. We sampled breeding birds in 3 successional stages along a grassland-woodland gradient: un-invaded grassland, grassland undergoing early stages of juniper establishment, and developing woodland. Species composition varied greatly among successional stages and was most different between endpoints of the gradient. Ground-nesting grassland species predominated in uninvaded grassland but declined dramatically as tree density increased. Tree- and cavity-nesting species increased with tree density and were most abundant in developing woodland. Restoration of juniper-invaded grasslands will benefit grassland-obligate birds and other wildlife.

  15. Influence of restored koa in supporting bird communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camp, Richard J.; Paxton, Eben H.; Yelenik, Stephanie G.

    2017-01-01

    Deforestation of Hawaiian forests has adversely impacted native wildlife, including forest birds, bats and arthropods. Restoration activities have included reforestation with the native koa (Acacia koa), a dominant canopy tree species that is easy to propagate, has high survivorship, and has fast growth rates. We review recent research describing the ecological benefits of koa restoration on wildlife colonization/use, plant dispersal, and native plant recruitment. In general, planting monotypic koa stands can provide forest habitats for species that need them but does not automatically lead to natural regeneration of a diverse forest species assemblage and may require additional restoration activities such as outplanting of other native plants and alien grass control to achieve more natural forest systems. Although early signs of forest and wildlife recovery have been encouraging, the goals of restoration for wildlife conservation versus commercial grade harvesting require different restoration methods.

  16. Patterns of forest use and endemism in resident bird communities of north-central Michoacan, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santiago Garcia; Deborah M. Finch; Gilberto Chavez. Leon

    1998-01-01

    We compared breeding avian communities among 11 habitat types in north-central Michoacan, Mexico, to determine patterns of forest use by endemic and nonendemic resident species. Point counts of birds and vegetation measurements were conducted at 124 sampling localities from May through July, in 1994 and 1995. Six native forest types sampled were pine, pine-oak, oak-...

  17. Negative range size-abundance relationships in Indo-Pacific bird communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hart Reeve, Andrew; Borregaard, Michael Krabbe; Fjeldså, Jon

    2016-01-01

    and environmental stability create selection pressures that favor narrowly specialized species, which could drive these non-positive relationships. To test this idea, we measured the range size-abundance relationships of eleven bird communities in mature and degraded forest on four islands in the Indo...

  18. Constant and seasonal drivers of bird communities in a wind farm: implications for conservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzanna M. Rosin

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background. One of the most difficult challenges for conservation biology is to reconcile growing human demands for resources with the rising need for protecting nature. Wind farms producing renewable energy have been recognised to be a threat for birds, but clear directives for environmental planning are still missing. Methods. Point counts were performed to study the relationship between eight environmental variables and bird populations in different parts of a year on the largest Polish wind farm between March 2011 and February 2013. Variables potentially related to species richness (Chao 1 estimator and the abundance of the entire bird community as well as five selected farmland species were analysed with the use of generalized linear mixed models. Results. Some associations between the studied variables and bird populations were season/year specific, while others had a constant direction (positive or negative across seasons and/or years. The latter were distance to the nearest turbine, field size, number of wind turbines, proximity of settlements and water bodies. Spatial autocorrelation and counting time were significantly correlated with bird population estimates but the directions of these relationships varied among seasons and years. Associations between abundance of individual species and environmental variables were species-specific. Conclusions. The results demonstrated a constant negative relationship between wind turbine proximity and bird numbers. Other environmental variables, such as field size, proximity of settlements and water bodies that also had constant associations with bird populations across seasons may be taken into account when minimizing adverse effects of wind farm development on birds or choosing optimal locations of new turbines.

  19. Constant and seasonal drivers of bird communities in a wind farm: implications for conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosin, Zuzanna M; Skórka, Piotr; Szymański, Paweł; Tobolka, Marcin; Luczak, Andrzej; Tryjanowski, Piotr

    2016-01-01

    Background. One of the most difficult challenges for conservation biology is to reconcile growing human demands for resources with the rising need for protecting nature. Wind farms producing renewable energy have been recognised to be a threat for birds, but clear directives for environmental planning are still missing. Methods. Point counts were performed to study the relationship between eight environmental variables and bird populations in different parts of a year on the largest Polish wind farm between March 2011 and February 2013. Variables potentially related to species richness (Chao 1 estimator) and the abundance of the entire bird community as well as five selected farmland species were analysed with the use of generalized linear mixed models. Results. Some associations between the studied variables and bird populations were season/year specific, while others had a constant direction (positive or negative) across seasons and/or years. The latter were distance to the nearest turbine, field size, number of wind turbines, proximity of settlements and water bodies. Spatial autocorrelation and counting time were significantly correlated with bird population estimates but the directions of these relationships varied among seasons and years. Associations between abundance of individual species and environmental variables were species-specific. Conclusions. The results demonstrated a constant negative relationship between wind turbine proximity and bird numbers. Other environmental variables, such as field size, proximity of settlements and water bodies that also had constant associations with bird populations across seasons may be taken into account when minimizing adverse effects of wind farm development on birds or choosing optimal locations of new turbines.

  20. How extensive is the effect of modern farming on bird communities in a sand dune desert?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faris Khoury

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Bird community structure and diversity measures in sand dune habitats far from and close to modern farms in Wadi Araba, south-west Jordan, were compared using 52 line transects for breeding birds and habitat variables. A change in the bird community of sand dunes surrounding farming projects was measured to a distance of 1 km, but could neither be related to changes in habitat structure nor to the activity of op- portunistic predators (Red Fox as these did not vary significantly between the two samples. The farms included lines of trees and offered a constant source of water, which attracted a variety of opportunistic species, thus increasing bird diversity and total bird abundances. The absence of characteristic ground-dwelling species of open sand dune habitats in the structurally intact sand dunes surrounding farms was likely to be the result of localized, but effectively far-reaching habitat modification (farms acting as barriers and/or competition with some of the opportunistic species, which were common around farms.

  1. Community-specific hydraulic conductance potential of soil water decomposed for two Alpine grasslands by small-scale lysimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenck, Georg; Leitinger, Georg; Obojes, Nikolaus; Hofmann, Magdalena; Newesely, Christian; Deutschmann, Mario; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich

    2018-02-01

    For central Europe in addition to rising temperatures an increasing variability in precipitation is predicted. This will increase the probability of drought periods in the Alps, where water supply has been sufficient in most areas so far. For Alpine grasslands, community-specific imprints on drought responses are poorly analyzed so far due to the sufficient natural water supply. In a replicated mesocosm experiment we compared evapotranspiration (ET) and biomass productivity of two differently drought-adapted Alpine grassland communities during two artificial drought periods divided by extreme precipitation events using high-precision small lysimeters. The drought-adapted vegetation type showed a high potential to utilize even scarce water resources. This is combined with a low potential to translate atmospheric deficits into higher water conductance and a lower biomass production as those measured for the non-drought-adapted type. The non-drought-adapted type, in contrast, showed high water conductance potential and a strong increase in ET rates when environmental conditions became less constraining. With high rates even at dry conditions, this community appears not to be optimized to save water and might experience drought effects earlier and probably more strongly. As a result, the water use efficiency of the drought-adapted plant community is with 2.6 gDW kg-1 of water much higher than that of the non-drought-adapted plant community (0.16 gDW kg-1). In summary, the vegetation's reaction to two covarying gradients of potential evapotranspiration and soil water content revealed a clear difference in vegetation development and between water-saving and water-spending strategies regarding evapotranspiration.

  2. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

  3. Response of bird community structure to habitat management in piñon-juniper woodland-sagebrush ecotones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knick, Steven T.; Hanser, Steven E.; Grace, James B.; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Leu, Matthias

    2017-01-01

    Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) woodlands have been expanding their range across the intermountain western United States into landscapes dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) shrublands. Management actions using prescribed fire and mechanical cutting to reduce woodland cover and control expansion provided opportunities to understand how environmental structure and changes due to these treatments influence bird communities in piñon-juniper systems. We surveyed 43 species of birds and measured vegetation for 1–3 years prior to treatment and 6–7 years post-treatment at 13 locations across Oregon, California, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah. We used structural equation modeling to develop and statistically test our conceptual model that the current bird assembly at a site is structured primarily by the previous bird community with additional drivers from current and surrounding habitat conditions as well as external regional bird dynamics. Treatment reduced woodland cover by >5% at 80 of 378 survey sites. However, habitat change achieved by treatment was highly variable because actual disturbance differed widely in extent and intensity. Biological inertia in the bird community was the strongest single driver; 72% of the variation in the bird assemblage was explained by the community that existed seven years earlier. Greater net reduction in woodlands resulted in slight shifts in the bird community to one having ecotone or shrubland affinities. However, the overall influence of woodland changes from treatment were relatively small and were buffered by other extrinsic factors. Regional bird dynamics did not significantly influence the structure of local bird communities at our sites. Our results suggest that bird communities in piñon-juniper woodlands can be highly stable when management treatments are conducted in areas with more advanced woodland development and at the level of disturbance measured in our study.

  4. The effects of organic inputs to estuaries on overwintering bird populations and communities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Green, P.T.; Hill, D.A.; Clark, N.A.

    1992-01-01

    This study investigates the relationship between changes in organic inputs to river estuaries and other coastal intertidal areas, and changes in the populations of waterfowl in these habitats. This is done in the context of tidal barrage construction, where barrage construction and operation may coincide with the cleaning of estuarine water. A thorough review of the literature is undertaken to determine the current status of knowledge of bird/organic-enrichment interactions. The use of multivariate statistics for identifying gradients in similarity between bird communities (specifically waders) of different estuaries, irrespective of geographic locations is investigated. (UK)

  5. Dataset of Passerine bird communities in a Mediterranean high mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Barea-Azcón, José Miguel; Álvarez-Ruiz, Lola; Bonet-García, Francisco Javier; Zamora, Regino

    2016-01-01

    Abstract In this data paper, a dataset of passerine bird communities is described in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high mountain located in southern Spain. The dataset includes occurrence data from bird surveys conducted in four representative ecosystem types of Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2015. For each visit, bird species numbers as well as distance to the transect line were recorded. A total of 27847 occurrence records were compiled with accompanying measurements on distance to the transect and animal counts. All records are of species in the order Passeriformes. Records of 16 different families and 44 genera were collected. Some of the taxa in the dataset are included in the European Red List. This dataset belongs to the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area. PMID:26865820

  6. Dataset of Passerine bird communities in a Mediterranean high mountain (Sierra Nevada, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Luque, Antonio Jesús; Barea-Azcón, José Miguel; Álvarez-Ruiz, Lola; Bonet-García, Francisco Javier; Zamora, Regino

    2016-01-01

    In this data paper, a dataset of passerine bird communities is described in Sierra Nevada, a Mediterranean high mountain located in southern Spain. The dataset includes occurrence data from bird surveys conducted in four representative ecosystem types of Sierra Nevada from 2008 to 2015. For each visit, bird species numbers as well as distance to the transect line were recorded. A total of 27847 occurrence records were compiled with accompanying measurements on distance to the transect and animal counts. All records are of species in the order Passeriformes. Records of 16 different families and 44 genera were collected. Some of the taxa in the dataset are included in the European Red List. This dataset belongs to the Sierra Nevada Global-Change Observatory (OBSNEV), a long-term research project designed to compile socio-ecological information on the major ecosystem types in order to identify the impacts of global change in this area.

  7. Forest fragmentation and bird community dynamics: inference at regional scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thierry Boulinier; James D. Nichols; James E. Hines; John R. Sauer; Curtis H. Flather; Kenneth H. Pollock

    2001-01-01

    With increasing fragmentation of natural areas and a dramatic reduction of forest cover in several parts of the world, quantifying the impact of such changes on species richness and community dynamics has been a subject of much concern. Here, we tested whether in more fragmented landscapes there was a lower number of area-sensitive species and higher local extinction...

  8. Heterogeneity of bird communities in a mosaic of habitats on a restinga ecosystem in southeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verônica S. da M. Gomes

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Restinga occurs as a narrow band of coastal habitats throughout the Atlantic Forest, although it presents considerable variation in vegetation structure, which likely contributes to heterogeneity in species inhabiting this endangered ecosystem. The goal of this study is to examine how variation in vegetation and abiotic conditions in the restinga ecosystem may contribute to heterogeneity of bird communities in Restinga de Jurubatiba, Brazil. Temperature, relative humidity, and vegetation structure were sampled to characterize four sites (dry forest, flooded forest, open scrub and closed scrub. Birds were sampled using observations, mist-netting and voice recordings. Results indicate that major differences of all variables occur between forest and scrub in both vegetation and birds. In addition, differences also exist within forests and within scrub, resulting in considerable heterogeneity among sampled areas. Scrub sites were richer in bird species (n = 58 than forest sites (n = 41, while closed scrub had the most species (n = 49. Also, 64% (47 of 73 of bird species were exclusive to forest or scrub habitats. Scrub habitats were more similar to each other than forest habitats. Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI calculated from satellite images distinguished scrub sites and may be useful to monitor changes in vegetation patches through time. The restinga ecosystem is quite heterogeneous with considerable turnover in bird species composition and differences in vegetation structure. Forest strips may serve as connectors on the landscape and to help maintain species diversity and conservation of forest species. Also, this highly dynamic ecosystem, which includes a mosaic of habitat types, likely promotes resilience of bird populations under changing conditions.

  9. How disturbances and management practices affect bird communities in a Carpathian river ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacko, Jozef; Topercer, Ján; Súľovský, Marek

    2018-04-01

    We studied how interactions between disturbances, succession, human alterations and other habitat and landscape attributes affect bird community patterns in a lower reach of a large West Carpathian river Váh with complex disturbance and alteration histories. Breeding-bird communities, their habitats (54 variables) and surrounding landscapes (11 metrics) were sampled using standardized point counts with limited distances at 40 riparian sites divided among two transects along a 12.9 km river stretch. The most frequent and abundant birds were generalists typically associated with forest edge habitats, such as Parus major, Sylvia atricapilla, Fringilla coelebs, Oriolus oriolus, Phylloscopus collybita, Sturnus vulgaris, Turdus merula and Luscinia megarhynchos. Abundances show significant increase at the lower transect responding apparently to greater size and heterogeneity of riparian habitats and more abundant food supply linked to more diverse and intense human influences in a suburban zone. Both indirect (NMDS) and direct ordination (CCA) revealed remarkably large number of evenly important factors underlying riparian bird-habitat interactions. It suggests considerable environmental heterogeneity and complexity of these interactions as a likely outcome of long and complex disturbance and alteration histories of the area. Yet structure and relative importance of first two gradients (longitudinal and lateral linkages) remains simple and stable, complying well with predictions of river continuum concept and stream ecosystem theory. Of the nine statistically significant variables most strongly correlated with first two CCA axes, percentages of Helianthus tuberosus, footpaths, fields, Calystegia sepium and steep banks uphold our hypotheses predicting significant effects of invasive species, visitor disturbances, agricultural land use and unaltered river banks/bed on bird community composition and structure. A small but significant contribution of patch size standard

  10. Response of Bird Community to Various Plantation Forests in Gunung Walat, West Java, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aronika Kaban

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Different plantation forests possibly harbor different bird communities. This study was aimed to reveal responses of bird community to the different plantation (Schima wallichii, Agathis loranthifolia, Pinus merkusii, and mixed plantation, identify species shared in all plantation, and species confined to a particular plantation. The study site was plantation forests, using the point count method for 64 effective hours. There were 40 bird species (maximum prediction 52 in all forest plantations and each type had 26–31 species. Number of individuals, species density, and diversity index in Schima plantation were higher, followed by Agathis, Pinus, and mixed plantations. Mixed plantation could have harbored more species based on the prediction by Chao. Although there were some differences in tree species, tree sizes, and tree heights, the response of bird composition in all plantations was not differed (93–81% similarity probably because of the short distances among the forests, the abundance of food insects, and the same late-successional stages. There were 15 (37.5% widely distributed species in all forest types. Eight species were confined only to a specific forest type. Four species were considered true confined species, namely Javan sunbird (Schima forest, Grey-cheeked bulbul (in Pinus, Crescent-chested babbler (Agathis, and Mountain white-eye (Agathis.

  11. Predation risk determines breeding territory choice in a Mediterranean cavity-nesting bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parejo, Deseada; Avilés, Jesús M

    2011-01-01

    Non-direct effects of predation can be an important component of the total effect of predation, modulating animal population and community dynamics. The isolated effects of predation risk on the spatial organisation of the breeding bird community, however, remains poorly studied. We investigated whether an experimentally increased predation risk prior to reproduction affected breeding territory selection and subsequent reproductive strategies in three Mediterranean cavity-nesting birds, i.e., the little owl Athene noctua, European roller Coracias garrulus and scops owl Otus scops. We found that territories used the previous year were more likely to be re-occupied when they belonged to the safe treatment rather than to the risky treatment. The first choice of breeders of all three species was for safe territories over risky ones. When all breeding attempts in the season (i.e., final occupation) were considered, breeders also preferred safe to risky sites. In addition, little owls laid larger eggs in risky territories than in safe territories. Our study provides experimental evidence of a rapid preventive response of the three most abundant species in a cavity-nesting bird community to a short-term manipulation of predation risk. This response highlights the key role of the non-direct effects of predation in modulating avian community organisation.

  12. Bird community changes in response to single and repeated fires in a lowland tropical rainforest of eastern Borneo

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Slik, J.W.F.; Balen, van S.

    2006-01-01

    Our current understanding of bird community responses to tropical forest fires is limited and strongly geographically biased towards South America. Here we used the circular plot method to carry out complete bird inventories in undisturbed, once burned (1998) and twice burned forests (1983 and 1998)

  13. Rapid adjustment of bird community compositions to local climatic variations and its functional consequences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaüzère, Pierre; Jiguet, Frédéric; Devictor, Vincent

    2015-09-01

    The local spatial congruence between climate changes and community changes has rarely been studied over large areas. We proposed one of the first comprehensive frameworks tracking local changes in community composition related to climate changes. First, we investigated whether and how 12 years of changes in the local composition of bird communities were related to local climate variations. Then, we tested the consequences of this climate-induced adjustment of communities on Grinnellian (habitat-related) and Eltonian (function-related) homogenization. A standardized protocol monitoring spatial and temporal trends of birds over France from 2001 to 2012 was used. For each plot and each year, we used the spring temperature and the spring precipitations and calculated three indices reflecting the thermal niche, the habitat specialization, and the functional originality of the species within a community. We then used a moving-window approach to estimate the spatial distribution of the temporal trends in each of these indices and their congruency with local climatic variations. Temperature fluctuations and community dynamics were found to be highly variable in space, but their variations were finely congruent. More interestingly, the community adjustment to temperature variations was nonmonotonous. Instead, unexplained fluctuations in community composition were observed up to a certain threshold of climate change intensity, above which a change in community composition was observed. This shift corresponded to a significant decrease in the relative abundance of habitat specialists and functionally original species within communities, regardless of the direction of temperature change. The investigation of variations in climate and community responses appears to be a central step toward a better understanding of climate change effects on biodiversity. Our results suggest a fine-scale and short-term adjustment of community composition to temperature changes. Moreover

  14. Assessment of interspecific interactions in plant communities: an illustration from the cold desert saltbush grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Carl D.; Emlen, John M.

    1995-01-01

    Interspecific interactions influence both the productivity and composition of plant communities. Here, we propose new field procedures and analytical approaches for assessing interspecific interactions in nature and apply these procedures to the salt desert shrub grasslands of western Utah. Data were collected from two grazing treatments over a period of 2 years. The proposed equations were fairly consistent across both treatments and years. In addition to illustrating how to assess interspecific interactions within a community, we also develop a new approach for projecting the community composition as a result of some alteration, i.e. increase or decrease in the abundance of one or more species. Results demonstrate competition both within and between plant life-form groups. While introduced annuals were found to depress profoundly the likelihood of perennial plants replacing themselves, perennials had little influence on annuals. Thus, as native perennials die, they are more likely to be replaced by perennials than for the reverse to occur. Our results suggest that unless conditions change, these communities will become increasingly dominated by introduced annuals.

  15. Effects of soil depth and plant-soil interaction on microbial community in temperate grasslands of northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xiaodong; Zhang, Naili; Zeng, Hui; Wang, Wei

    2018-07-15

    Although the patterns and drivers of soil microbial community composition are well studied, little is known about the effects of plant-soil interactions and soil depth on soil microbial distribution at a regional scale. We examined 195 soil samples from 13 sites along a climatic transect in the temperate grasslands of northern China to measure the composition of and factors influencing soil microbial communities within a 1-m soil profile. Soil microbial community composition was measured using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Fungi predominated in topsoil (0-10 cm) and bacteria and actinomycetes in deep soils (40-100 cm), independent of steppe types. This variation was explained by contemporary environmental factors (including above- and below-ground plant biomass, soil physicochemical and climatic factors) >58% in the 0-40 cm of soil depth, but soils. Interestingly, when we considered the interactive effects between plant traits (above ground biomass and root biomass) and soil factors (pH, clay content, and soil total carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous), we observed a significant interaction effect occurring at depths of 10-20 cm soil layer, due to different internal and external factors of the plant-soil system along the soil profile. These results improve understanding of the drivers of soil microbial community composition at regional scales. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. At the Crossroads: Does the Configuration of Roadside Vegetation Affect Woodland Bird Communities in Rural Landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Mark; Nimmo, Dale; Bennett, Andrew F.

    2016-01-01

    In agricultural regions worldwide, linear networks of vegetation such as hedges, fencerows and live fences provide habitat for plant and animal species in heavily modified landscapes. In Australia, networks of remnant native vegetation along roadsides are a distinctive feature of many rural landscapes. Here, we investigated the richness and composition of woodland-dependent bird communities in networks of eucalypt woodland vegetation along roadsides, in an agricultural region in which >80% of native woodland and forest vegetation has been cleared. We stratified sites in a) cross sections and b) linear strips of roadside vegetation, to test the influence on woodland birds of site location and configuration in the linear network (the ‘intersection effect’). We also examined the influence of tree size at the site, the amount of wooded vegetation surrounding the site, and the abundance of an aggressive native species, the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala. Birds were surveyed at 26 pairs of sites (cross section or linear strip) on four occasions. A total of 66 species was recorded, including 35 woodland species. The richness of woodland bird species was influenced by site configuration, with more species present at cross sections, particularly those with larger trees (>30 cm diameter). However, the strongest influence on species richness was the relative abundance of the noisy miner. The richness of woodland birds at sites where noisy miners were abundant was ~20% of that where miners were absent. These results recognise the value of networks of roadside vegetation as habitat for woodland birds in depleted agricultural landscapes; but highlight that this value is not realised for much of this vast vegetation network because of the dominance of the noisy miner. Nevertheless, roadside vegetation is particularly important where the configuration of networks create nodes that facilitate movement. Globally, the protection, conservation and restoration of such linear

  17. Temporal and Spatial Scales Matter: Circannual Habitat Selection by Bird Communities in Vineyards.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Guyot

    Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of

  18. At the Crossroads: Does the Configuration of Roadside Vegetation Affect Woodland Bird Communities in Rural Landscapes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Mark; Nimmo, Dale; Bennett, Andrew F

    2016-01-01

    In agricultural regions worldwide, linear networks of vegetation such as hedges, fencerows and live fences provide habitat for plant and animal species in heavily modified landscapes. In Australia, networks of remnant native vegetation along roadsides are a distinctive feature of many rural landscapes. Here, we investigated the richness and composition of woodland-dependent bird communities in networks of eucalypt woodland vegetation along roadsides, in an agricultural region in which >80% of native woodland and forest vegetation has been cleared. We stratified sites in a) cross sections and b) linear strips of roadside vegetation, to test the influence on woodland birds of site location and configuration in the linear network (the 'intersection effect'). We also examined the influence of tree size at the site, the amount of wooded vegetation surrounding the site, and the abundance of an aggressive native species, the noisy miner Manorina melanocephala. Birds were surveyed at 26 pairs of sites (cross section or linear strip) on four occasions. A total of 66 species was recorded, including 35 woodland species. The richness of woodland bird species was influenced by site configuration, with more species present at cross sections, particularly those with larger trees (>30 cm diameter). However, the strongest influence on species richness was the relative abundance of the noisy miner. The richness of woodland birds at sites where noisy miners were abundant was ~20% of that where miners were absent. These results recognise the value of networks of roadside vegetation as habitat for woodland birds in depleted agricultural landscapes; but highlight that this value is not realised for much of this vast vegetation network because of the dominance of the noisy miner. Nevertheless, roadside vegetation is particularly important where the configuration of networks create nodes that facilitate movement. Globally, the protection, conservation and restoration of such linear

  19. Changes in bird community composition in response to growth changes in short-rotation woody crop planting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolbert, V.R.; Hanowski, J.; Schiller, A.; Hoffman, W.; Christian, D.; Lindberg, J.

    1997-01-01

    Hybrid poplar established as intensively managed short-rotation woody crops (SRWC) on former agricultural lands can provide habitat for wildlife. Studies of bird use of SRWC for nesting and during fall migration have shown that the numbers and kinds of breeding birds using mature plantings of hybrid poplar are similar to natural forested lands. In Minnesota, the number of species of breeding birds using habitat provided by clonal-trial plantings and young larger-scale plantings (12-64 ha) of hybrid poplar were initially most similar to those using grasslands and row-crops. As the plantings approached canopy closure, successional species became predominant. In the Pacific Northwest, breeding bird composition and density were very similar for mature plantings and forested areas; however, fall migrants were found primarily in forested areas. In the Southeast, preliminary comparisons of breeding bird use of plantings of sweetgum and sycamore with naturally regenerating forests of different ages and sizes and vegetation structure are showing no size effect on use. As with hybrid poplar, species use of the more mature plantings of sweetgum and sycamore was most similar to that of natural forests. (author)

  20. Assessing the effect of agricultural land abandonment on bird communities in southern-eastern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zakkak, Sylvia; Radovic, Andreja; Nikolov, Stoyan C; Shumka, Spase; Kakalis, Lefteris; Kati, Vassiliki

    2015-12-01

    Agricultural land abandonment is recognized as a major environmental threat in Europe, being particularly pronounced in south-eastern Europe, where knowledge on its effects is limited. Taking the Balkan Peninsula as a case study, we investigated agricultural abandonment impact on passerine communities at regional level. We set up a standard methodology for site selection (70 sites) and data collection, along a well-defined forest-encroachment gradient that reflects land abandonment in four countries: Albania, Bulgaria, Croatia and Greece. Regardless the different socio-economic and political histories in the Balkans that led to diverse land abandonment patterns in space and time, rural abandonment had a consistent negative effect on bird communities, while regional-level analysis revealed patterns that were hidden at local level. The general trends were an increase of forest-dwelling bird species at the expense of farmland birds, the decline of overall bird species richness, as well as the decline of Species of European Conservation Concern (SPECs) richness and abundance. Many farmland bird species declined with land abandonment, whereas few forest species benefited from the process. In conclusion, our results support CAP towards hampering rural land abandonment and preserving semi-open rural mosaics in remote upland areas, using a suite of management measures carefully tailored to local needs. The maintenance of traditional rural landscapes should be prioritized in the Balkans, through the timely identification of HNV farmland that is most prone to abandonment. We also suggest that coordinated transnational research is needed, for a better assessment of conservation options in remote rural landscapes at European scale, including the enhancement of wild grazers' populations as an alternative in areas where traditional land management is rather unlikely to be re-established. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  1. Temperate grassland songbird species accumulate incrementally along a gradient of primary productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

    Full Text Available Global analyses of bird communities along elevation gradients suggest that bird diversity on arid mountains is primarily limited by water availability, not temperature or altitude. However, the mechanism by which water availability, and subsequently primary productivity, increases bird diversity is still unclear. Here we evaluate two possible mechanisms from species-energy theory. The more individuals hypothesis proposes that a higher availability of resources increases the total number of individuals that can be supported, and therefore the greater number of species that will be sampled. By contrast, the more specialization hypothesis proposes that increasing resource availability will permit specialists to exploit otherwise rare resources, thus increasing total diversity. We used 5 years of surveys of grassland songbird communities along an elevational gradient in British Columbia, Canada, to distinguish between these hypotheses. Vegetation changed markedly in composition along the gradient and contrary to the expectations of the more specialization hypothesis, bird community composition was remarkably constant. However, both total abundance and species richness of birds increased with increasing water availability to plants. When we used rarefaction to correct species richness for differences in total abundance, much of the increase in bird diversity was lost, consistent with the expectations of the more individuals hypothesis. Furthermore, high species richness was associated with reductions in territory size of common bird species, rather than the fine-scale spatial partitioning of the landscape. This suggests that bird diversity increases when greater resource availability allows higher densities rather than greater habitat specialization. These results help explain a pervasive global pattern in bird diversity on arid mountains, and suggest that in such landscapes conservation of grassland birds is strongly linked to climate and hydrology.

  2. Rapid response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities to short-term fertilization in an alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingjia Xiang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP is home to the vast grassland in China. The QTP grassland ecosystem has been seriously degraded by human land use practices and climate change. Fertilization is used in this region to increase vegetation yields for grazers. The impact of long-term fertilization on plant and microbial communities has been studied extensively. However, the influence of short-term fertilization on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF communities in the QTP is largely unknown, despite their important functional role in grassland ecosystems. Methods: We investigated AMF community responses to three years of N and/or P addition at an experimental field site on the QTP, using the Illumina MiSeq platform (PE 300. Results: Fertilization resulted in a dramatic shift in AMF community composition and NP addition significantly increased AMF species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Aboveground biomass, available phosphorus, and NO3− were significantly correlated with changes in AMF community structure. Changes in these factors were driven by fertilization treatments. Thus, fertilization had a large impact on AMF communities, mediated by changes in aboveground productivity and soil chemistry. Discussion: Prior work has shown how plants often lower their reliance on AMF symbioses following fertilization, leading to decrease AMF abundance and diversity. However, our study reports a rise in AMF diversity with fertilization treatment. Because AMF can provide stress tolerance to their hosts, we suggest that extreme weather on the QTP may help drive a positive relationship between fertilizer amendment and AMF diversity.

  3. Object-based random forest classification of Landsat ETM+ and WorldView-2 satellite imagery for mapping lowland native grassland communities in Tasmania, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melville, Bethany; Lucieer, Arko; Aryal, Jagannath

    2018-04-01

    This paper presents a random forest classification approach for identifying and mapping three types of lowland native grassland communities found in the Tasmanian Midlands region. Due to the high conservation priority assigned to these communities, there has been an increasing need to identify appropriate datasets that can be used to derive accurate and frequently updateable maps of community extent. Therefore, this paper proposes a method employing repeat classification and statistical significance testing as a means of identifying the most appropriate dataset for mapping these communities. Two datasets were acquired and analysed; a Landsat ETM+ scene, and a WorldView-2 scene, both from 2010. Training and validation data were randomly subset using a k-fold (k = 50) approach from a pre-existing field dataset. Poa labillardierei, Themeda triandra and lowland native grassland complex communities were identified in addition to dry woodland and agriculture. For each subset of randomly allocated points, a random forest model was trained based on each dataset, and then used to classify the corresponding imagery. Validation was performed using the reciprocal points from the independent subset that had not been used to train the model. Final training and classification accuracies were reported as per class means for each satellite dataset. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was undertaken to determine whether classification accuracy differed between the two datasets, as well as between classifications. Results showed mean class accuracies between 54% and 87%. Class accuracy only differed significantly between datasets for the dry woodland and Themeda grassland classes, with the WorldView-2 dataset showing higher mean classification accuracies. The results of this study indicate that remote sensing is a viable method for the identification of lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands, and that repeat classification and statistical significant testing can be

  4. Behavioral responses of birds of prey to large scale energy development in southcentral Washington

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fitzner, R.E.

    1985-02-01

    The types of raptorial and semi-raptorial birds that use the Hanford environs are discussed along with the impacts of past operations and the recent WPPSS project on their populations. These findings add to our understanding of the population dynamics of the birds of prey community at the Hanford Site and the expected impacts of the WPPSS energy facilities. The results may have implications toward other large scale energy facilities, and may aid us in management of bird of prey communities throughout the grasslands of the western United States. 110 refs., 5 figs., 4 tabs

  5. Ozone pollution affects flower numbers and timing in a simulated BAP priority calcareous grassland community

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hayes, Felicity; Williamson, Jennifer; Mills, Gina

    2012-01-01

    Mesocosms representing the BAP Priority habitat ‘Calcareous Grassland’ were exposed to eight ozone profiles for twelve-weeks in two consecutive years. Half of the mesocosms received a reduced watering regime during the exposure periods. Numbers and timing of flowering in the second exposure period were related to ozone concentration and phytotoxic ozone dose (accumulated stomatal flux). For Lotus corniculatus, ozone accelerated the timing of the maximum number of flowers. An increase in mean ozone concentration from 30 ppb to 70 ppb corresponded with an advance in the timing of maximum flowering by six days. A significant reduction in flower numbers with increasing ozone was found for Campanula rotundifolia and Scabiosa columbaria and the relationship with ozone was stronger for those that were well-watered than for those with reduced watering. These changes in flowering timing and numbers could have large ecological impacts, affecting plant pollination and the food supply of nectar feeding insects. - Highlights: ► An increase in ozone accelerated timing of maximum flowering in Lotus corniculatus. ► Ozone reduced flower numbers in Campanula rotundifolia and Scabiosa columbaria. ► Reduced water availability did not protect most species from the effects of ozone. - Increased tropospheric ozone affected timing of flowering and maximum flower numbers in calcareous grassland mesocosms.

  6. Community occupancy before-after-control-impact (CO-BACI) analysis of Hurricane Gudrun on Swedish forest birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, James C; Stjernman, Martin; Lindström, Åke; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-04-01

    Resilience of ecological communities to perturbation is important in the face of increased global change from anthropogenic stressors. Monitoring is required to detect the impact of, and recovery from, perturbations, and before-after-control-impact (BACI) analysis provides a powerful framework in this regard. However, species in a community are not observed with perfect detection, and occupancy analysis is required to correct for imperfect detectability of species. We present a Bayesian community occupancy before-after-control-impact (CO-BACI) framework to monitor ecological community response to perturbation when constituent species are imperfectly detected. We test the power of the model to detect changes in community composition following an acute perturbation with simulation. We then apply the model to a study of the impact of a large hurricane on the forest bird community of Sweden, using data from the national bird survey scheme. Although simulation shows the model can detect changes in community occupancy following an acute perturbation, application to a Swedish forest bird community following a major hurricane detected no change in community occupancy despite widespread forest loss. Birds with landscape occupancy less than 50% required correcting for detectability. We conclude that CO-BACI analysis is a useful tool that can incorporate rare species in analyses and detect occupancy changes in ecological communities following perturbation, but, because it does not include abundance, some impacts may be overlooked.

  7. Increased precipitation accelerates soil organic matter turnover associated with microbial community composition in topsoil of alpine grassland on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Conghai; Wang, Zongli; Si, Guicai; Lei, Tianzhu; Yuan, Yanli; Zhang, Gengxin

    2017-10-01

    Large quantities of carbon are stored in alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau, which is extremely sensitive to climate change. However, it remains unclear whether soil organic matter (SOM) in different layers responds to climate change analogously, and whether microbial communities play vital roles in SOM turnover of topsoil. In this study we measured and collected SOM turnover by the 14 C method in alpine grassland to test climatic effects on SOM turnover in soil profiles. Edaphic properties and microbial communities in the northwestern Qinghai Lake were investigated to explore microbial influence on SOM turnover. SOM turnover in surface soil (0-10 cm) was more sensitive to precipitation than that in subsurface layers (10-40 cm). Precipitation also imposed stronger effects on the composition of microbial communities in the surface layer than that in deeper soil. At the 5-10 cm depth, the SOM turnover rate was positively associated with the bacteria/fungi biomass ratio and the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, both of which are related to precipitation. Partial correlation analysis suggested that increased precipitation could accelerate the SOM turnover rate in topsoil by structuring soil microbial communities. Conversely, carbon stored in deep soil would be barely affected by climate change. Our results provide valuable insights into the dynamics and storage of SOM in alpine grasslands under future climate scenarios.

  8. Diversity effects on root length production and loss in an experimental grassland community

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mommer, L.; Padilla, F.M.; Ruijven, van J.; Caluwe, de H.; Smit-Tiekstra, A.E.; Berendse, F.; Kroon, de H.

    2015-01-01

    Advances in root ecology have revealed that root standing biomass is higher in species-rich plant communities than in species-poor communities. Currently, we do not know whether this below-ground diversity effect is the result of enhanced root production or reduced root mortality or both, which is

  9. Climate impacts on bird and plant communities from altered animal-plant interactions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Maron, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of climate change to declining populations of organisms remains a question of outstanding concern. Much attention to declining populations has focused on how changing climate drives phenological mismatches between animals and their food. Effects of climate on plant communities may provide an alternative, but particularly powerful, influence on animal populations because plants provide their habitats. Here, we show that abundances of deciduous trees and associated songbirds have declined with decreasing snowfall over 22 years of study in montane Arizona, USA. We experimentally tested the hypothesis that declining snowfall indirectly influences plants and associated birds by allowing greater over-winter herbivory by elk (Cervus canadensis). We excluded elk from one of two paired snowmelt drainages (10 ha per drainage), and replicated this paired experiment across three distant canyons. Over six years, we reversed multi-decade declines in plant and bird populations by experimentally inhibiting heavy winter herbivory associated with declining snowfall. Moreover, predation rates on songbird nests decreased in exclosures, despite higher abundances of nest predators, demonstrating the over-riding importance of habitat quality to avian recruitment. Thus, our results suggest that climate impacts on plant–animal interactions can have forceful ramifying effects on plants, birds, and ecological interactions.

  10. Birds communities of fragmented forest within highly urbanized landscape in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohd-Taib, F. S.; Rabiatul-Adawiyah, S.; Md-Nor, S.

    2014-09-01

    Urbanization is one form of forest modification for development purposes. It produces forest fragments scattered in the landscape with different intensity of disturbance. We want to determine the effect of forest fragmentation towards bird community in urbanized landscapes in Kuala Lumpur, namely Sungai Besi Forest Reserve (FR), Bukit Nenas FR and Bukit Sungei Puteh FR. We used mist-netting and direct observation method along established trails. These forests differ in size, vegetation composition and land use history. Results show that these forests show relatively low number of species compared to other secondary forest with only 39 bird species recorded. The largest fragment, Sg. Besi encompassed the highest species richness and abundance with 69% species but lower in diversity. Bukit Nenas, the next smallest fragment besides being the only remaining primary forest has the highest diversity index with 1.866. Bkt. Sg. Puteh the smallest fragment has the lowest species richness and diversity with Shanon diversity index of 1.332. The presence of introduced species such as Corvus splendens (House crow) in all study areas suggest high disturbance encountered by these forests. Nonetheless, these patches comprised of considerably high proportion of native species. In conclusion, different intensity of disturbance due to logging activities and urbanization surrounding the forest directly influenced bird species richness and diversity. These effects however can be compensated by maintaining habitat complexity including high vegetation composition and habitat structure at the landscape level.

  11. Inter-specific competition, but not different soil microbial communities, affects N chemical forms uptake by competing graminoids of upland grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Medina-Roldán

    Full Text Available Evidence that plants differ in their ability to take up both organic (ON and inorganic (IN forms of nitrogen (N has increased ecologists' interest on resource-based plant competition. However, whether plant uptake of IN and ON responds to differences in soil microbial community composition and/or functioning has not yet been explored, despite soil microbes playing a key role in N cycling. Here, we report results from a competition experiment testing the hypothesis that soil microbial communities differing in metabolic activity as a result of long-term differences to grazing exposure could modify N uptake of Eriophorum vaginatum L. and Nardus stricta L. These graminoids co-occur on nutrient-poor, mountain grasslands where E. vaginatum decreases and N. stricta increases in response to long-term grazing. We inoculated sterilised soil with soil microbial communities from continuously grazed and ungrazed grasslands and planted soils with both E. vaginatum and N. stricta, and then tracked uptake of isotopically labelled NH(4 (+ (IN and glycine (ON into plant tissues. The metabolically different microbial communities had no effect on N uptake by either of the graminoids, which might suggest functional equivalence of soil microbes in their impacts on plant N uptake. Consistent with its dominance in soils with greater concentrations of ON relative to IN in the soluble N pool, Eriophorum vaginatum took up more glycine than N. stricta. Nardus stricta reduced the glycine proportion taken up by E. vaginatum, thus increasing niche overlap in N usage between these species. Local abundances of these species in mountain grasslands are principally controlled by grazing and soil moisture, although our results suggest that changes in the relative availability of ON to IN can also play a role. Our results also suggest that coexistence of these species in mountain grasslands is likely based on non-equilibrium mechanisms such as disturbance and/or soil heterogeneity.

  12. Effects of below-ground insects, mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment of Vicia in grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganade, G; Brown, V K

    1997-02-01

     The effects of, and interactions between, insect root feeders, vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment, growth and reproduction of Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta (Fabaceae) were investigated in an early-successional grassland community. Seeds of both species were sown into plots where soil insecticide (Dursban 5G), soil fungicide (Rovral) and soil fertiliser (NPK) were applied in a factorial randomised block design. Fertiliser addition reduced growth, longevity and reproduction of both Vicia species, due to the commonly recorded increase in the competitive advantage of the non-nitrogen-fixing species when nitrogen is added to the plant community. However, in plots where fertiliser was not applied, a reduction in root feeders and mycorrhizal infection led to an increase in seedling establishment and fruit production of V. sativa, and to an increase in flower production for both Vicia species. The interaction between all three soil treatments explained much of the variation in growth and longevity of V. sativa. Plants grew larger and survived longer in plots where natural levels of mycorrhizal infection and root feeders were low compared with plots where all the treatments were applied. This suggests that, although soil nutrient availability was a strong determinant of the performance of these two leguminous species, at natural levels of soil fertility biotic factors acting in the soil, such as mycorrhizal fungi and soil-dwelling insects, were important in shaping the competitive interactions between the two Vicia species and the plant community. Our results indicate that non-additive interactions between ecological factors in the soil environment may strongly affect plant performance.

  13. Bird communities as indicators of the impact of changes in agriculture in the Mar Menor catchment area (Murcia, SE Spain)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farinos, P.; Robledano, F.; Jimenez, M. V.; Zapata Perez, V. M.

    2009-01-01

    Mediterranean coastal landscapes have suffered significant changes along the last decades due to agricultural intensification and tourism, that have altered the hydrological regime of wetland, as ha occurred in the Mar Menor (Southeast Spain). Such alterations and the consequent changes in nutrient flows are threatening the conservation of these wetlands. We analyze the effects of these ecosystems changes on the bird assemblages, focusing on two especially sensitive communities: water birds and steppe passerines. (Author) 2 refs.

  14. Bird communities in two fragments of semideciduos forest in rural São Paulo state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. D. Pozza

    Full Text Available A quali-quantitative survey was done in two fragments (75 and 100 ha of semideciduous forest in rural São Paulo State. The aim was to characterize the bird community according to richness, abundance, and occurrence frequency in these areas. The qualitative survey showed 145 species in the Estação Ecológica de São Carlos - EESCar (Brotas - and 173 in the Fazenda Santa Cecília - FSC (Patrocínio Paulista, while the quantitative survey showed the presence of 60 and 72 species in EESCar and FSC respectively. The isolation and the lower environmental quality of the EESCar fragment may be responsible for the lower number of species in this area compared to that of FSC. Abundance index value analysis (IPA showed that both areas have a large number of species with low IPA and few species with intermediate or high IPA compared to the pattern observed in other surveys. At FSC, a larger number of occurrences of species in danger of extinction in São Paulo State was also observed. Apparently, the FSC fragment had better environmental quality for sheltering a larger number of species, including the endangered ones. The study of the community of birds is important in planning management and conservation of natural areas.

  15. Bird communities in two fragments of semideciduos forest in rural São Paulo state

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozza D. D.

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available A quali-quantitative survey was done in two fragments (75 and 100 ha of semideciduous forest in rural São Paulo State. The aim was to characterize the bird community according to richness, abundance, and occurrence frequency in these areas. The qualitative survey showed 145 species in the Estação Ecológica de São Carlos - EESCar (Brotas - and 173 in the Fazenda Santa Cecília - FSC (Patrocínio Paulista, while the quantitative survey showed the presence of 60 and 72 species in EESCar and FSC respectively. The isolation and the lower environmental quality of the EESCar fragment may be responsible for the lower number of species in this area compared to that of FSC. Abundance index value analysis (IPA showed that both areas have a large number of species with low IPA and few species with intermediate or high IPA compared to the pattern observed in other surveys. At FSC, a larger number of occurrences of species in danger of extinction in São Paulo State was also observed. Apparently, the FSC fragment had better environmental quality for sheltering a larger number of species, including the endangered ones. The study of the community of birds is important in planning management and conservation of natural areas.

  16. Functional Traits, Flocking Propensity, and Perceived Predation Risk in an Amazonian Understory Bird Community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez, Ari E; Gomez, Juan P; Ponciano, José Miguel; Robinson, Scott K

    2016-05-01

    Within a community, different species might share similar predation risks, and, thus, the ability of species to signal and interpret heterospecific threat information may determine species' associations. We combined observational, experimental, and phylogenetic approaches to determine the extent to which evolutionary history and functional traits determined flocking propensity and perceived predation risk (response to heterospecific alarm calls) in a lowland Amazonian bird community. We predicted that small birds that feed myopically and out in the open would have higher flocking propensities and account for a higher proportion of positive responses to alarms. Using generalized linear models and the incorporation of phylogeny on data from 56 species, our results suggest that phylogenetic relationships alongside body size, foraging height, vegetation density, and response to alarm calls influence flocking propensity. Conversely, phylogenetic relationships did not influence response to heterospecific alarm calls. Among functional traits, however, foraging strategy, foraging density, and flocking propensity partially explained responses to alarm calls. Our results suggest that flocking propensity and perceived predation risk are positively related and that functional ecological traits and evolutionary history may explain certain species' associations.

  17. Spectral identification of plant communities for mapping of semi-natural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jacobsen, Anne; Nielsen, Allan Aasbjerg; Ejrnæs, Rasmus

    2000-01-01

    identification of plant communities was based on a hierarchical approach relating the test sites to i) management (Ma) and ii) flora (Fl) using spectral consistency and separability as the main criteria. Evaluation of spectral consistency was based on unsupervised clustering of test sites of Ma classes 1 to 7...... as a measure of plant community heterogeneity within management classes. The spectral analysis as well as the maximum likelihood classification indicated that the source of spectral variation within management classes might be related to vegetation composition....

  18. Scale dependence of biotic homogenisation by urbanisation: a comparison of urban bird communities between central Argentina and northern Finland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leveau Lucas M.

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies showed contrasting results about the homogenising force of urbanisation on bird community composition at large and regional scales. We studied whether urbanisation promotes the homogenisation of wintering bird communities and if this varies when comparing towns located within a specific region and towns located in two different biomes of two countries. We used both similarity indices based on the presence/absence data and the abundance data in comparing communities. Processes governing bird community dissimilarity between urbanisation levels were examined with the partitioning of Sörensen index in species turnover and nestedness. We made bird surveys in town centres and suburban habitats of three cities located in the Pampean region of Argentina and in the boreal region of Finland using a single-visit study plot method. Rarefacted species richness did not differ amongst the town centres between the countries, but it was higher in the suburban areas of Argentina than in Finland. At the country-level comparison, we found a higher similarity amongst the town centres than amongst the suburban areas; whereas at the regional comparison, similarity between town centres was comparable to the similarity between suburban areas. The use of an abundance-based index produced a higher similarity between town centre communities of both countries than when using a presence-based index. The dissimilarity between habitats in Argentina was related to nestedness and to species turnover in Finland. Our results indicate that urban-based biotic homogenisation of bird communities is dependent on the scale used, being more evident when comparing cities of different biomes where the same and abundant bird species, such as sparrows and doves, dominate. At the regional scale, quite a high beta-diversity can still be found within urban habitats. Processes of community dissimilarity between urban habitats may differ according to the regional pool of species

  19. Mangrove bird community of Paranaguá Bay - Paraná, Brazil

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    Luiz Augusto Macedo Mestre

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This study describes the mangrove bird community of Paranaguá Bay in Paraná - South Brazil. Seasonal surveys were conducted during September 1997 to September 1998 at three sites in Paranaguá Bay. Frequencies and abundances of birds were registered in 200m transects and one hour point counts. A total of 81 bird species were observed in the three sampling sites. Most of the bird species in Paranaguá mangroves are fruits, seeds and arthropods consumers, and predators of flying insects. The most frequent and abundant species were Egretta caerulea, Ceryle torquata, Chloroceryle amazona, Pitangus sulphuratus, Turdus amaurochalinus and Parula pitiayumi. The bird community of these three sites is composed mainly by forest bird species. The mangroves of Paranaguá Bay shelter one of the richest avifauna of Brazilian mangroves. Differences between sampling sites could be related to the proximity of the Paranaguá city and human impacts in the areas. Only in the most disturbed site were observed Passer domesticus and large flocks of Coragyps atratus. This study contributed to the knowledge of mangrove communities, and could be an important basis to fluvial-marine conservation plans in Paraná- Brazil.Este estudo teve como objetivos caracterizar a comunidade de aves de manguezais na baía de Paranaguá e comparar descritivamente a comunidade das três áreas amostradas, diferentes em relação à proximidade de centros urbanos. Foram amostradas sazonalmente, entre setembro de 1997 a setembro 1998, três áreas de manguezais a diferentes distâncias da cidade e do porto de Paranaguá. A avifauna foi registrada em transectos de 200m no interior dos manguezais e em observações de 1 hora em pontos fixos. Foram determinadas freqüência, abundancia relativa e densidade de espécies em cada área. Foram observadas 81 espécies de aves nas três áreas de manguezais. As guildas mais significativas foram das espécies consumidoras de frutos, sementes e artr

  20. Effects of slurry application methods on soil faunal communities in permanent grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliet, van P.C.J.; Goede, de R.G.M.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the effects of two slurry manure application methods, broadcasting manure slurry (MB) and manure slit injection (SMI), on soil faunal communities 1 week and 4 or 5 weeks after application in the spring of 2002 and the summer of 2003. No effect on total numbers of Enchytraeidae and

  1. Comparing arbuscular mycorrhizal communities of individual plants in a grassland biodiversity experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van de Voorde, T.F.J.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gamper, H.A.; Hol, W.H.G.; Bezemer, T.M.

    2010-01-01

    Plants differ greatly in the soil organisms colonizing their roots. However, how soil organism assemblages of individual plant roots can be influenced by plant community properties remains poorly understood. We determined the composition of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in Jacobaea vulgaris

  2. Distribution, species diversity and composition of plant communities in relation to various affecting factors in an alpine grassland at Bandipora, Kashmir

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dad, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides a broad understanding of vascular plant richness and community structure of mountain grassland (Matri) at Bandipora, Kashmir and links it various environmental variables. Employing a stratified sampling design, six sites were selected wherein vegetation was sampled by placing quadrats (n=210). Elucidating an important effect of topography and anthropic pressure, numerical classification TWINSPAN segregated the quadrats into seven community types. Contrary to species rich communities which showed an explicit composition and localized distribution, the other communities depicted a vague composition and stretched unevenly between the lower and middle altitudes. Using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), elevation and disturbance were found as most influencing factors whereas steepness of slope, organic carbon, soil reaction (pH) and soil salinity (electrical conductivity) were other important factors. Indices of diversity measured at two measurement scales varied differently between communities and at a macro scale (site level) highest values were recorded in least disturbed communities. However, on a micro scale (quadrat level) the indices behaved differently. For effective conservation of these species rich grasslands, acknowledging the local level variability in vegetation structure is all but crucial. (author)

  3. Short-term hurricane impacts on a neotropical community of marked birds and implications for early-stage community resilience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Andrew B; Winker, Kevin

    2010-11-30

    Populations in fragmented ecosystems risk extirpation through natural disasters, which must be endured rather than avoided. Managing communities for resilience is thus critical, but details are sketchy about the capacity for resilience and its associated properties in vertebrate communities. We studied short-term resilience in a community of individually marked birds, following this community through the catastrophic destruction of its forest habitat by Hurricane Iris in Belize, Central America. We sampled for 58 d immediately before the storm, 28 d beginning 11 d after Hurricane Iris, and for 69 d approximately one year later. Our data showed that the initial capacity for resilience was strong. Many banded individuals remained after the storm, although lower post-hurricane recapture rates revealed increased turnover among individuals. Changes occurred in community dynamics and in abundances among species and guilds. Survivors and immigrants both were critical components of resilience, but in a heterogeneous, species-specific manner. Delayed effects, including higher fat storage and increased species losses, were evident one year later.

  4. Environmental species sorting dominates forest-bird community assembly across scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özkan, Korhan; Svenning, Jens-Christian; Jeppesen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    Environmental species sorting and dispersal are seen as key factors in community assembly, but their relative importance and scale dependence remain uncertain, as the extent to which communities are consistently assembled throughout their biomes. To address these issues, we analysed bird metacommunity structure in a 1200-km(2) forested landscape (Istranca Forests) in Turkish Thrace at the margin of the Western Palaearctic (WP) temperate-forest biome. First, we used spatial regressions and Mantel tests to assess the relative importance of environmental and spatial factors as drivers of local species richness and composition within the metacommunity. Second, we analysed species' abundance-occupancy relationship across the metacommunity and used null models to assess whether occupancy is determined by species' environmental niches. Third, we used generalized linear models to test for links between species' metacommunity-wide occupancy and their broader WP regional populations and assessed whether these links are consistent with environmental species sorting. There was strong environmental control on local species richness and composition patterns within the metacommunity, but non-environmental spatial factors had also an important joint role. Null model analyses on randomized communities showed that species' occupancy across the metacommunity was strongly determined by species' environmental niches, with occupancy being related to niche position marginality. Species' metacommunity-wide occupancy correlated with their local abundance as well as with their range size and total abundance for the whole WP, suggesting that the same assembly mechanisms act consistently across local to regional scales. A species specialization index that was estimated by bird species' habitat use across France, incorporating both niche position and breadth, was significantly related to species' occupancy and abundance at both metacommunity and WP regional scales. Hence, the same niche

  5. How spatial variation in areal extent and configuration of labile vegetation states affect the riparian bird community in Arctic tundra.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John-André Henden

    Full Text Available The Arctic tundra is currently experiencing an unprecedented combination of climate change, change in grazing pressure by large herbivores and growing human activity. Thickets of tall shrubs represent a conspicuous vegetation state in northern and temperate ecosystems, where it serves important ecological functions, including habitat for wildlife. Thickets are however labile, as tall shrubs respond rapidly to both abiotic and biotic environmental drivers. Our aim was to assess how large-scale spatial variation in willow thicket areal extent, configuration and habitat structure affected bird abundance, occupancy rates and species richness so as to provide an empirical basis for predicting the outcome of environmental change for riparian tundra bird communities. Based on a 4-year count data series, obtained through a large-scale study design in low arctic tundra in northern Norway, statistical hierarchical community models were deployed to assess relations between habitat configuration and bird species occupancy and community richness. We found that species abundance, occupancy and richness were greatly affected by willow areal extent and configuration, habitat features likely to be affected by intense ungulate browsing as well as climate warming. In sum, total species richness was maximized in large and tall willow patches of small to intermediate degree of fragmentation. These community effects were mainly driven by responses in the occupancy rates of species depending on tall willows for foraging and breeding, while species favouring other vegetation states were not affected. In light of the predicted climate driven willow shrub encroachment in riparian tundra habitats, our study predicts that many bird species would increase in abundance, and that the bird community as a whole could become enriched. Conversely, in tundra regions where overabundance of large herbivores leads to decreased areal extent, reduced height and increased fragmentation

  6. Temporal bird community dynamics are strongly affected by landscape fragmentation in a Central American tropical forest region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blandón, A.C.; Perelman, S.B.; Ramírez, M.; López, A.; Javier, O.; Robbins, Chandler S.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered the main causes of species extinctions, particularly in tropical ecosystems. The objective of this work was to evaluate the temporal dynamics of tropical bird communities in landscapes with different levels of fragmentation in eastern Guatemala. We evaluated five bird community dynamic parameters for forest specialists and generalists: (1) species extinction, (2) species turnover, (3) number of colonizing species, (4) relative species richness, and (5) a homogeneity index. For each of 24 landscapes, community dynamic parameters were estimated from bird point count data, for the 1998–1999 and 2008–2009 periods, accounting for species’ detection probability. Forest specialists had higher extinction rates and a smaller number of colonizing species in landscapes with higher fragmentation, thus having lower species richness in both time periods. Alternatively, forest generalists elicited a completely different pattern, showing a curvilinear association to forest fragmentation for most parameters. Thus, greater community dynamism for forest generalists was shown in landscapes with intermediate levels of fragmentation. Our study supports general theory regarding the expected negative effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on the temporal dynamics of biotic communities, particularly for forest specialists, providing strong evidence from understudied tropical bird communities.

  7. Habitat fragmentation reduces nest survival in an Afrotropical bird community in a biodiversity hotspot.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newmark, William D; Stanley, Thomas R

    2011-07-12

    Ecologists have long hypothesized that fragmentation of tropical landscapes reduces avian nest success. However, this hypothesis has not been rigorously assessed because of the difficulty of finding large numbers of well-hidden nests in tropical forests. Here we report that in the East Usambara Mountains in Tanzania, which are part of the Eastern Arc Mountains, a global biodiversity hotspot, that daily nest survival rate and nest success for seven of eight common understory bird species that we examined over a single breeding season were significantly lower in fragmented than in continuous forest, with the odds of nest failure for these seven species ranging from 1.9 to 196.8 times higher in fragmented than continuous forest. Cup-shaped nests were particularly vulnerable in fragments. We then examined over six breeding seasons and 14 study sites in a multivariable survival analysis the influence of landscape structure and nest location on daily nest survival for 13 common species representing 1,272 nests and four nest types (plate, cup, dome, and pouch). Across species and nest types, area, distance of nest to edge, and nest height had a dominant influence on daily nest survival, with area being positively related to nest survival and distance of nest to edge and nest height being both positively and negatively associated with daily nest survival. Our results indicate that multiple environmental factors contribute to reduce nest survival within a tropical understory bird community in a fragmented landscape and that maintaining large continuous forest is important for enhancing nest survival for Afrotropical understory birds.

  8. Linking snake behavior to nest predation in a Midwestern bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weatherhead, Patrick J; Carfagno, Gerardo L F; Sperry, Jinelle H; Brawn, Jeffrey D; Robinson, Scott K

    2010-01-01

    Nest predators can adversely affect the viability of songbird populations, and their impact is exacerbated in fragmented habitats. Despite substantial research on this predator-prey interaction, however, almost all of the focus has been on the birds rather than their nest predators, thereby limiting our understanding of the factors that bring predators and nests into contact. We used radiotelemetry to document the activity of two snake species (rat snakes, Elaphe obsoleta; racers, Coluber constrictor) known to prey on nests in Midwestern bird communities and simultaneously monitored 300 songbird nests and tested the hypothesis that predation risk should increase for nests when snakes were more active and in edge habitat preferred by both snake species. Predation risk increased when rat snakes were more active, for all nests combined and for two of the six bird species for which we had sufficient nests to allow separate analyses. This result is consistent with rat snakes being more important nest predators than racers. We found no evidence, however, that nests closer to forest edges were at greater risk. These results are generally consistent with the one previous study that investigated rat snakes and nest predation simultaneously. The seemingly paradoxical failure to find higher predation risk in the snakes' preferred habitat (i.e., edge) might be explained by the snakes using edges at least in part for non-foraging activities. We propose that higher nest predation in fragmented habitats (at least that attributable to snakes) results indirectly from edges promoting larger snake populations, rather than from edges directly increasing the risk of nest predation by snakes. If so, the notion of edges per se functioning as ecological "traps" merits further study.

  9. Effects of high latitude protected areas on bird communities under rapid climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangeli, Andrea; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Lehikoinen, Aleksi

    2017-06-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is rapidly becoming one of the main threats to biodiversity, along with other threats triggered by human-driven land-use change. Species are already responding to climate change by shifting their distributions polewards. This shift may create a spatial mismatch between dynamic species distributions and static protected areas (PAs). As protected areas represent one of the main pillars for preserving biodiversity today and in the future, it is important to assess their contribution in sheltering the biodiversity communities, they were designated to protect. A recent development to investigate climate-driven impacts on biological communities is represented by the community temperature index (CTI). CTI provides a measure of the relative temperature average of a community in a specific assemblage. CTI value will be higher for assemblages dominated by warm species compared with those dominated by cold-dwelling species. We here model changes in the CTI of Finnish bird assemblages, as well as changes in species densities, within and outside of PAs during the past four decades in a large boreal landscape under rapid change. We show that CTI has markedly increased over time across Finland, with this change being similar within and outside PAs and five to seven times slower than the temperature increase. Moreover, CTI has been constantly lower within than outside of PAs, and PAs still support communities, which show colder thermal index than those outside of PAs in the 1970s and 1980s. This result can be explained by the higher relative density of northern species within PAs than outside. Overall, our results provide some, albeit inconclusive, evidence that PAs may play a role in supporting the community of northern species. Results also suggest that communities are, however, shifting rapidly, both inside and outside of PAs, highlighting the need for adjusting conservation measures before it is too late. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Receivers matter: the meaning of alarm calls and competition for nest sites in a bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parejo, Deseada; Avilés, Jesús M; Expósito-Granados, Mónica

    2018-04-11

    Animal communities may constitute information networks where individuals gain information on predation risk by eavesdropping on alarm calls of other species. However, communities include species in different trophic levels, and it is not yet known how the trophic level of the receiver influences the informative value of a call. Furthermore, no empirical study has yet tested how increased competition may influence the value of alarm calls for distinct receivers. Here, we identify the importance of alarm calls emitted by a small owl, the little owl (Athene noctua), on the structure of a cavity-nesting bird community including mesopredators and primary prey under variable levels of competition for nest holes. Competitors sharing top predators with the callers and prey of the callers interpreted alarm and non-alarm calls differently. Competitors chose preferentially alarm and non-alarm patches over control patches to breed, while prey selected alarm patches. In contrast, competition for nest sites affected habitat selection of prey species more than that of competitors of the callers. This study provides support for a changing value of alarm calls and competition for nest sites for distinct receivers related to niche overlapping among callers and eavesdroppers, therefore, calling attention to possible cascading effects by the use of information in natural communities.

  11. Pavement and riparian forest shape the bird community along an urban river corridor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J.W. McClure

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Knowledge of habitat use by animals within urban-riparian corridors during the breeding season is important for conservation, yet remains understudied. We examined the bird community along an urban-riparian corridor through metropolitan Boise, Idaho and predicted that occupancy of individual species and species richness would be greater in forested areas than in urbanized areas. We surveyed birds throughout the summers of 2009 and 2010 and quantified the m2 of each cover-type within 50-m, 100-m, and 200-m buffers surrounding each survey location using satellite imagery. Occupancy modeling revealed that eight of 14 species analyzed were positively associated with riparian forest, and no species avoided forest. Species richness was negatively associated with the amount of paved surface within 100 m of a survey site with richness declining by more than two species for every hectare of paved surface. Most associations with cover-types–especially riparian forest–were at ⩾100 m. Therefore, the riparian forest within 100 m of a given site along an urban-riparian corridor should be the most important for maintaining species richness.

  12. Richness, diversity, and similarity of arthropod prey consumed by a community of Hawaiian forest birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, Paul C.; Peck, Robert W.; Brinck, Kevin W.; Leonard, David L.

    2015-01-01

    We evaluated the diet richness, diversity, and similarity of a community of seven endemic and two introduced passerine birds by analyzing the composition of arthropod prey in fecal samples collected during 1994–1998 at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, Hawai‘i Island. Most prey fragments were identified to order, but we also distinguished among morpho-species of Lepidoptera based on the shape of larval (caterpillar) mandibles for higher resolution of this important prey type. Diets were compared among feeding specialists, generalists, and “intermediate” species and among introduced and three endangered Hawaiian honeycreeper (Fringillidae) species. Lepidoptera (moths), especially the larval (caterpillar) stage, comprised the greatest proportion of prey in samples of all bird species except for the introduced Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus; JAWE). Araneae (spiders) was the most abundant order in JAWE samples and the second most abundant order for most other species. The two specialist honeycreepers ranked lowest in the richness and diversity of arthropod orders, but only the ‘akiapōlā‘au (Hemignathus munroi, AKIP) was significantly lower than the three generalist or intermediate honeycreeper species. The diversity of arthropod orders was significantly lower for the three endangered honeycreeper species compared to the two introduced species. No significant differences were observed among the five honeycreepers with respect to the arthropod orders they consumed. The use of arthropod orders taken by endangered honeycreepers and introduced species was significantly different in all paired comparisons except for JAWE and ‘ākepa (Loxops coccineus; AKEP). In terms of richness and diversity of caterpillar morpho-species in the diet, only the specialist, AKEP, was significantly lower than all three generalist and intermediate species. Both AKEP and AKIP consumed a significantly different diet of caterpillar morpho-species compared to at least

  13. Scrub-Successional Bird Community Dynamics in Young and Mature Pine-Wiregrass Savannahs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krementz, D.G.; Christie, J.S.

    2001-01-01

    We investigated how management for habitat conditions to support the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker effects the biodiversity of the breeding bird community associated with those habitats. Habitat is created by thinning, burning and mid-story control of hardwoods in mature longleaf stands. In addition, similar habitat structurally can be found in recently harvested areas. We tested the hypothesis that diversity and abundance, as well as survival and reproduction would be greater in mature stands. However, mature stands used for recruitment always had fewer species (36/31) than recently harvested areas (54/55). All species that occurred in recruitment stands also occurred in mature stands. No differences in survival rates were found between mature and recent cuts for Bachman's sparrow and indigo bunting

  14. Bird community in an Araucaria forest fragment in relation to changes in the surrounding landscape in Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Scherer-Neto

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The dynamics of the bird community in a small forest fragment was evaluated along seven years in relation to changes in the surrounding landscape. The study area is an Araucaria forest fragment in Southern Brazil (state of Paraná. The sampling period covered the years 1988 through 1994 and the mark-release-recapture method was utilized. The landscape analysis was based on Landsat TM images, and changes in exotic tree plantations, native forest, open areas (agriculture, pasture, bare soil, and abandoned field, and "capoeira"(native vegetation < 2 m were quantified. The relationship between landscape changes and changes in abundance diversity of forest birds, open-area birds, forest-edge birds, and bamboo specialists was evaluated. Richness estimates were run for each year studied. The richness recorded in the study area comprised 96 species. The richness estimates were 114, 118 and 110 species for Chao 1, Jackknife 1 and Bootstrap, respectively. The bird community varied in species richness, abundance and diversity from year to year. As for species diversity, 1991, 1993 and 1994 were significantly different from the other years. Changes in the landscape contributed to the increase in abundance and richness for the groups of forest, open-area and bamboo-specialist species. An important factor discussed was the effect of the flowering of "taquara" (Poaceae, which contributed significantly to increasing richness of bamboo seed eaters, mainly in 1992 and 1993. In general, the results showed that landscape changes affected the dynamics and structure of the bird community of this forest fragment over time, and proved to have an important role in conservation of the avian community in areas of intensive forestry and agricultural activities.

  15. How do plant communities and flower visitors relate? A case study of semi-natural xerothermic grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Damian Chmura

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper examines the relationships between the species composition of flower visitors and plants in the semi-natural xerothermic grasslands in southern and central Poland. Thirty 10 × 10 m permanent plots were laid out in total, mainly in nature reserves. The vegetation units studied were classified according to the Braun-Blanquet system; these were phytocoenoses of the Festuco-Brometea classes Inuletum ensifoliae, Adonido-Brachypodietum pinnati and the transitional plant community. Entomological research was performed using the Pollard method within the same plots. A particular site was visited only once and different sites were studied between April and August 2008. We applied, among others, co-correspondence-analysis Co-CA, detrended correspondence analysis (DCA and redundancy analysis (RDA to investigate the co-occurrence patterns of plants and flower visitors and their biotopic requirements. We found that the species composition of flower visitors cannot be predicted by floristic composition when the duration of the study is restricted to one day (but under similar weather conditions; however, there is a positive relationship between the species richness of insects and plants and a positive relationship between the number of plant species and the abundance of flower visitors. The Ellenberg moisture index and the cover of meadow species significantly explained the species composition of insects. The three various vegetation units and five dominant xerothermic species, i.e. Adonis vernalis, Anemone sylvestris, Inula ensifolia, Linum hirsutum and Carlina onopordifolia that were studied across time differed in the species richness of insects. Our results demonstrate that possible patterns in the species composition and the assembly rules of flower visitors are not apparent when the Pollard method is applied. Based on the data obtained using this method, the flower visiting assemblages seem not to be driven by competition and they primarily

  16. Plants, birds and butterflies: short-term responses of species communities to climate warming vary by taxon and with altitude.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

    As a consequence of climate warming, species usually shift their distribution towards higher latitudes or altitudes. Yet, it is unclear how different taxonomic groups may respond to climate warming over larger altitudinal ranges. Here, we used data from the national biodiversity monitoring program of Switzerland, collected over an altitudinal range of 2500 m. Within the short period of eight years (2003-2010), we found significant shifts in communities of vascular plants, butterflies and birds. At low altitudes, communities of all species groups changed towards warm-dwelling species, corresponding to an average uphill shift of 8 m, 38 m and 42 m in plant, butterfly and bird communities, respectively. However, rates of community changes decreased with altitude in plants and butterflies, while bird communities changed towards warm-dwelling species at all altitudes. We found no decrease in community variation with respect to temperature niches of species, suggesting that climate warming has not led to more homogenous communities. The different community changes depending on altitude could not be explained by different changes of air temperatures, since during the 16 years between 1995 and 2010, summer temperatures in Switzerland rose by about 0.07°C per year at all altitudes. We discuss that land-use changes or increased disturbances may have prevented alpine plant and butterfly communities from changing towards warm-dwelling species. However, the findings are also consistent with the hypothesis that unlike birds, many alpine plant species in a warming climate could find suitable habitats within just a few metres, due to the highly varied surface of alpine landscapes. Our results may thus support the idea that for plants and butterflies and on a short temporal scale, alpine landscapes are safer places than lowlands in a warming world.

  17. Multi-level natural resources governance based on local community: A case study on semi-natural grassland in Tarōji, Nara, Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daisaku Shimada

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Japan is facing a bio-diversity crisis as a result of rapid industrialisation. The Japanese Ministry of the Environment formulated a National Biodiversity Strategy based on the Convention on Biological Diversity signed at the Earth Summit in 1992. After an amendment in 2002, the National Biodiversity Strategy addressed three crises in biodiversity: over-exploitation and development that destroys habitats, underutilisation (the satoyama problem and artificially introduced factors (chemicals, alien species and so on. This paper focuses on the second problem. Secondary natural environments called satoyama have been created and maintained over the centuries by human activity. Because natural environments in Japan have been affected by human-induced disturbances for 35,000 years, many species have evolved in response to these disturbances. If the human activities cease, many of the species that have evolved to survive in managed environments become threatened. Many satoyama have been managed as commonage or common lands, called iriai in Japan. One natural resource system created by commoners is semi-natural grassland, and economic modernisation has led to abandonment of traditional management practices on these grasslands – one of the more evident changes in Japanese iriai practices. Before industrialisation, semi-natural grasslands were managed as a source of green manure, as a harvest for roofing materials (thatch and as pasture for animals. After industrialisation, however, introduction of chemical fertilizers, changes in building practices and importation of animal feeds rapidly decreased the use value of these grasslands for local residents. On the other hand, their value as public goods – as historical, cultural landscapes and places of biodiversity – which concern a much broader population than the local community – became relatively more important. The resulting problem is how to manage this resource with its new value for new

  18. Important bird areas of the Madrean Archipelago: A conservation strategy for avian communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vashti (Tice) Supplee; Jennie MacFarland

    2013-01-01

    The Important Bird Areas (IBA) Program is a worldwide program through BirdLife International that identifies sites considered to provide important habitats for avian species. Criteria for designation are species abundance, diversity, and range restriction. As the United States Partner of BirdLife International, the National Audubon Society administers the IBA Program...

  19. Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klabi, Rim; Bell, Terrence H; Hamel, Chantal; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike; Raies, Aly; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha(-1) at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  20. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of soil microbial communities follow alteration of native tussock grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wakelin, Steven A.; Barratt, Barbara I.P.; Gerard, Emily; Gregg, Adrienne L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Andersen, Gary L.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zhou, Jizhong; He, Zhili; Kowalchuk, George A.; O'Callaghan, Maureen

    Globally, tussock-based grasslands are being modified to increase productive capacity. The impacts of cultivation and over-sowing with exotic grass and legumes on soil microbiology were assessed at four sites in New Zealand which differed in soil type, climate and vegetation. Primary alteration of

  1. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Knappová, Jana; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 7 (2016), s. 1-24 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-11635S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : AMF * dry grassland commnunity * soil abiotic conditions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  2. Bird associations with shrubsteppe plant communities at the proposed reference repository location in southeastern Washington

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schuler, C.A.; Rickard, W.H.; Sargeant, G.A.

    1988-03-01

    This report provides information on te seasonal use of shrubsteppe vegetation by bird species at the RRL. Bird abundance and distribution were studied at the RRL to ensure that the DOE monitored migratory bird species pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to assess potential impacts of site characterization activities on bird populations. Birds were counted on two transects that together sampled an areas of 1.39 km/sup 2/. The relative abundance of birds, species richness, seasonal distribution, and the association of breeding shrubsteppe birds with major vegetation types were determined from Janurary through December 1987. Only 38 species were counted during 82 surveys. Total bird density during the nesting season (March-June) was 42.96 birdskm/sup 2/ and the density for the entire year was 26.74 birdskm/sup 2/. The characteristic nesting birds in shrubsteppe habitats were western meadowlark, sage sparrow, burrowing owl, mourning dove, horned lark, long-billed curlew, lark sparrow, and loggerhead shrike. Western meadowlark and sage sparrows were the most abundant breeding birds with an average density of 11.25 and 7.76 birdskm/sup 2/, respectively. Seasonal distribution of birds varied with species, but most species were present from March to September. Distribution and abunandance of nesting birds were correlated with habitat type. About 63% of the habitat surveyed was sagebrush, 26% was cheatgrass, and 11% was spiny hopsage. Sagebrush habitat supproted a greeater total bird density than cheatgrass or hopsage habitats. Sage sparrows were closely associated with sagebrush habitats, while western meadowlarks showed no strong habitat affinities. 22 refs., 9 figs., 6 tabs

  3. Short-term responses and resistance of soil microbial community structure to elevated CO2 and N addition in grassland mesocosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonin, Marie; Nunan, Naoise; Bloor, Juliette M G; Pouteau, Valérie; Niboyet, Audrey

    2017-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) addition is known to affect soil microbial communities, but the interactive effects of N addition with other drivers of global change remain unclear. The impacts of multiple global changes on the structure of microbial communities may be mediated by specific microbial groups with different life-history strategies. Here, we investigated the combined effects of elevated CO2 and N addition on soil microbial communities using PLFA profiling in a short-term grassland mesocosm experiment. We also examined the linkages between the relative abundance of r- and K-strategist microorganisms and resistance of the microbial community structure to experimental treatments. N addition had a significant effect on microbial community structure, likely driven by concurrent increases in plant biomass and in soil labile C and N. In contrast, microbial community structure did not change under elevated CO2 or show significant CO2 × N interactions. Resistance of soil microbial community structure decreased with increasing fungal/bacterial ratio, but showed a positive relationship with the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacterial ratio. Our findings suggest that the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacteria ratio may be a useful indicator of microbial community resistance and that K-strategist abundance may play a role in the short-term stability of microbial communities under global change. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  4. The heterogeneity of wooded-agricultural landscape mosaics influences woodland bird community assemblages

    OpenAIRE

    Neumann, Jessica L.; Griffiths, Geoffrey H.; Foster, Christopher W.; Holloway, Graham J.

    2016-01-01

    Context\\ud Landscape heterogeneity (the composition and configuration of different landcover types) plays a key role in shaping woodland bird assemblages in wooded-agricultural mosaics. Understanding how species respond to landscape factors could contribute to preventing further decline of woodland bird populations.\\ud Objective\\ud To investigate how woodland birds with different species traits respond to landscape heterogeneity, and to identify whether specific landcover types are important ...

  5. The Use of Various Vegetation Level by Bird Community on Mbarek Spring, Gedangan, Malang

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suparno Suparno

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Study of correlation between vegetation and birds could show how great the impact of Figs (Ficus spp. towards wildlife. Mbarek spring has a unique microhabitat by Figs. These trees expected to provide a high potential role and benefit related to supporting bird life. This study aims to analyze the use of vegetation by birds in the sphere of Mbarek’s spring microhabitat. Study was held in Mulyosari sub-village, Sumberejo village, Gedangan subdistrict, Malang regency. The study was conducted from 26-29 October 2017. Bird observation point was chosen on Ficus racemosa, known locally as ‘Lo’, which suspected to have a major influence on the presence of birds. Each of observation results were identified, counted, and recorded. Documentation were done incidentally. The results are visualized by descriptive representations of the use of vegetation composition on 4 vegetation classifications : seedling (high = 0-1.5 m, sapling (high≥1.5 m, pole (diameter = 10-20 cm, tree (diameter> 20 cm. Sooty-headed Bulbul (Pycnonotus aurigaster is the dominant bird during observation. Most of birds observed at the canopy  with the activity of sunbathing. Figs became a favorite location for birds to rest and parenting during the day. Sedges (Cyperus sp. is the greatest importance on study site. Keywords: Birds, Figs, Mbarek, Sedges

  6. Differential Responses of Soil Microbial Community to Four-Decade Long Grazing and Cultivation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yating He

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Grazing and cultivation are two important management practices worldwide that can cause significant soil organic carbon (SOC losses. However, it remains elusive how soil microbes have responded to soil carbon changes under these two practices. Based on a four-decade long field experiment, this study investigated the effects of grazing and cultivation on SOC stocks and microbial properties in the semi-arid grasslands of China. We hypothesize that grazing and cultivation would deplete SOC and depress microbial activities under both practices. However, our hypotheses were only partially supported. As compared with the adjacent indigenous grasslands, SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC were decreased by 20% or more under grazing and cultivation, which is consistent with the reduction of fungi abundance by 40% and 71%, respectively. The abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes was decreased under grazing but increased under cultivation, which likely enhanced microbial diversity in cultivation. Invertase activity decreased under the two treatments, while urease activity increased under grazing. These results suggest that nitrogen fertilizer input during cultivation may preferentially favor bacterial growth, in spite of SOC loss, due to rapid decomposition, while overgrazing may deteriorate the nitrogen supply to belowground microbes, thus stimulating the microbial production of nitrogen acquisition enzymes. This decade-long study demonstrated differential soil microbial responses under grazing and cultivation and has important applications for better management practices in the grassland ecosystem.

  7. Grassland ecology and diversity (Ecologia y diversidad de pastizales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert region are ecologically and economically important. These grasslands are valued for their rangeland, wildlife, watershed, and recreation resources. Biological diversity also raises the value of grassland communities. The potential for multiple uses within the region increases as the diversity of the resource base increases. In order...

  8. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C. J.; Bodelier, Paul L. E.; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M. F.; Hefting, Mariet M.; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization. PMID:23060870

  9. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eDaebeler

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of the associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilisation site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative PCR suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while the measured soil physico-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

  10. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C J; Bodelier, Paul L E; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M F; Hefting, Mariet M; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

  11. Lack of nest site limitation in a cavity-nesting bird community

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeffry R. Waters; Barry R. Noon; Jared Verner

    1990-01-01

    We examined the relationship between nest site availability and density of secondary cavitynesting birds by blocking cavities in an oak-pine (Quercus spp.-Pinus sp. ) woodland. In 1986 and 1987we blocked 67 and 106 cavities, respectively, on a 37-ha plot. The combined density of secondary cavity-nesting birds did not decline...

  12. Long-term decline of a winter-resident bird community in Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    J. Faaborg; W. J. Arendt; J. D. Toms; K. M. Dugger; W. A. Cox; M. Canals Mora

    2013-01-01

    Despite concern expressed two decades ago, there has been little recent discussion about continuing declines of migrant bird populations. Monitoring efforts have been focused almost exclusively on the breeding grounds. We describe the long-term decline of a winter-resident bird population in Guanica Commonwealth Forest, Puerto Rico, one of the last remaining tracts of...

  13. Does the stress tolerance of mixed grassland communities change in a future climate? A test with heavy metal stress (zinc pollution)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van den Berge, Joke; Naudts, Kim; Janssens, Ivan A.; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Nijs, Ivan

    2011-01-01

    Will species that are sensitive/tolerant to Zn pollution still have the same sensitivity/tolerance in a future climate? To answer this question we analysed the response of constructed grassland communities to five levels of zinc (Zn) supply, ranging from 0 to 354 mg Zn kg -1 dry soil, under a current climate and a future climate (elevated CO 2 and warming). Zn concentrations increased in roots and shoots with Zn addition but this increase did not differ between climates. Light-saturated net CO 2 assimilation rate (A sat ) of the species, on the other hand, responded differently to Zn addition depending on climate. Still, current and future climate communities have comparable biomass responses to Zn, i.e., no change in root biomass and a 13% decrease of above-ground biomass. Provided that the different response of A sat in a future climate will not compromise productivity and survival on the long term, sensitivity is not altered by climate change. - Highlights: → We exposed constructed grassland communities to Zn addition in a current and a future climate. → Zn uptake did not differ between the climates. → Although A sat was more responsive to Zn in future climate, climate did not alter biomass responses. → If this response remains on the long term, climate change will not alter sensitivity. - This study is the first to examine plant responses to a heavy metal (Zn) in a changing climate, and shows that the tolerance of plants to Zn stress will not be altered in a future climate.

  14. Structure of the community of nesting birds in a ravine oak wood in the valley of the Oskol river

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Atemasov

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This investigation was carried out in a forest on the southern borders of the Central-Russian Upland, on the Prioskolsky plateau, in the Srednedonskoy subprovince of the Pontic steppe province. The aim of this work is to identify the peculiarities of structure and ways of formation of the breeding population of ravine oak forests on the border of two geographic zones. The objectives of the work were to describe quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the population of the nesting birds of ravine oak forests, as well as provide an analysis of the faunogenesic structure of the nesting bird population. To obtain data on the species composition and density of nesting birds we used the line transect method by D. Hayne – Y. Ravkin. The surveys were carried out in 2011–2015 three times per season (April to June. The indicators of the breeding density of each bird species and the totals for each year were calculated. The Polydominant Simpson index was used to characterize species diversity. To evaluate the uniformity we used the calibrated version of G ‘Alatalo index F’. The calculations were performed using the program PAST. In total we observed 34 species of birds over the 5 years of research. The dynamics of the total density of breeding birds in the period researched (2011–2015 showed a maximum in 2013 (1,711 pairs/km2; the average index for the 5 years was 1,288 ± 133 pairs/km2, which is similar to the characteristics of the populations of birds forests of the steppe zone (Donetsk Ridge, Azov Upland. The dominant and subdominant species comprised 32.2–54.7% of the population, indicating a balanced community, in spite of the insular nature of the forest. The absolute dominant in all years was the Chaffinch (an average of 21.2% of the population; subdominant species were the Robin (11.2%, Great Tit (10.5% and the Collared Flycatcher (10.3%. Over a third of the total number of birds are the hollow-nesting birds (37.1%; species

  15. Comparative analysis of the intestinal bacterial and RNA viral communities from sentinel birds placed on selected broiler chicken farms.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Michael Day

    Full Text Available There is a great deal of interest in characterizing the complex microbial communities in the poultry gut, and in understanding the effects of these dynamic communities on poultry performance, disease status, animal welfare, and microbes with human health significance. Investigations characterizing the poultry enteric virome have identified novel poultry viruses, but the roles these viruses play in disease and performance problems have yet to be fully characterized. The complex bacterial community present in the poultry gut influences gut development, immune status, and animal health, each of which can be an indicator of overall performance. The present metagenomic investigation was undertaken to provide insight into the colonization of specific pathogen free chickens by enteric microorganisms under field conditions and to compare the pre-contact intestinal microbiome with the altered microbiome following contact with poultry raised in the field. Analysis of the intestinal virome from contact birds ("sentinels" placed on farms revealed colonization by members of the Picornaviridae, Picobirnaviridae, Reoviridae, and Astroviridae that were not present in pre-contact birds or present in proportionally lower numbers. Analysis of the sentinel gut bacterial community revealed an altered community in the post-contact birds, notably by members of the Lachnospiracea/Clostridium and Lactobacillus families and genera. Members of the avian enteric Reoviridae and Astroviridae have been well-characterized and have historically been implicated in poultry enteric disease; members of the Picobirnaviridae and Picornaviridae have only relatively recently been described in the poultry and avian gut, and their roles in the recognized disease syndromes and in poultry performance in general have not been determined. This metagenomic analysis has provided insight into the colonization of the poultry gut by enteric microbes circulating in commercial broiler flocks, and

  16. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

  17. A taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic perspective on the community assembly of passerine birds along an elevational gradient in southwest China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Xuelian; Luo, Kang; Brown, Calum; Lin, Luxiang

    2018-03-01

    Integrating multiple facets of biodiversity to describe spatial and temporal distribution patterns is one way of revealing the mechanisms driving community assembly. We assessed the species, functional, and phylogenetic composition and structure of passerine bird communities along an elevational gradient both in wintering and breeding seasons in the Ailao Mountains, southwest China, in order to identify the dominant ecological processes structuring the communities and how these processes change with elevation and season. Our research confirms that the highest taxonomic diversity, and distinct community composition, was found in the moist evergreen broadleaf forest at high elevation in both seasons. Environmental filtering was the dominant force at high elevations with relatively cold and wet climatic conditions, while the observed value of mean pairwise functional and phylogenetic distances of low elevation was constantly higher than expectation in two seasons, suggested interspecific competition could play the key role at low elevations, perhaps because of relative rich resource result from complex vegetation structure and human-induced disturbance. Across all elevations, there was a trend of decreasing intensity of environmental filtering whereas increasing interspecific competition from wintering season to breeding season. This was likely due to the increased resource availability but reproduction-associated competition in the summer months. In general, there is a clear justification for conservation efforts to protect entire elevational gradients in the Ailao Mountains, given the distinct taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic compositions and also elevational migration pattern in passerine bird communities.

  18. Spatial Variation in Bird Community Composition in Relation to Topographic Gradient and Forest Heterogeneity in a Central Amazonian Rainforest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato Cintra

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the effects of landscape features and forest structure on the avian community at the Reserva Florestal Adolpho Ducke near Manaus, in the Brazilian Amazon. We sampled the landscape and forest in 72 50 × 50 m plots systematically distributed in the reserve, covering an area of 6,400 ha. The avifauna was sampled using mist nets and acoustic surveys near the plots. We found no significant relationships between landscape features and forest components in the plots and the number of bird species and individuals sampled. Results of Principal Coordinate Analyses, however, showed that bird species composition changes along a topographic gradient (plateau-slope-valley, and also in relation to leaf litter depth and distance to forest streams. We also found compositional differences in the avian community on the eastern and western water basins that compose the reserve. Our results suggest that although most bird species occur throughout the reserve, many species track differences in the landscape and the forest structure.

  19. Changes in the microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi in response to elevated CO(2) and warming in an Australian native grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Helen L; Mele, Pauline M; Bougoure, Damian S; Allan, Claire Y; Norng, Sorn; Piceno, Yvette M; Brodie, Eoin L; Desantis, Todd Z; Andersen, Gary L; Williams, Amity L; Hovenden, Mark J

    2012-12-01

    The microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi is described in an Australian native grassland soil after more than 5 years exposure to different atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) (ambient, +550 ppm) and temperatures (ambient, + 2°C) under different plant functional types (C3 and C4 grasses) and at two soil depths (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm). Archaeal community diversity was influenced by elevated [CO2], while under warming archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers increased for C4 plant Themeda triandra and decreased for the C3 plant community (P fungi in soil responded differently to elevated [CO2], warming and their interaction. Taxa identified as significantly climate-responsive could show differing trends in the direction of response ('+' or '-') under elevated CO2 or warming, which could then not be used to predict their interactive effects supporting the need to investigate interactive effects for climate change. The approach of focusing on specific taxonomic groups provides greater potential for understanding complex microbial community changes in ecosystems under climate change. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Meta-scale mountain grassland observatories uncover commonalities as well as specific interactions among plant and non-rhizosphere soil bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Helene; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2018-04-10

    Interactions between plants and bacteria in the non-rhizosphere soil are rarely assessed, because they are less direct and easily masked by confounding environmental factors. By studying plant vegetation alliances and soil bacterial community co-patterning in grassland soils in 100 sites across a heterogeneous mountain landscape in the western Swiss Alps, we obtained sufficient statistical power to disentangle common co-occurrences and weaker specific interactions. Plant alliances and soil bacterial communities tended to be synchronized in community turnover across the landscape, largely driven by common underlying environmental factors, such as soil pH or elevation. Certain alliances occurring in distinct, local, environmental conditions were characterized by co-occurring specialist plant and bacterial species, such as the Nardus stricta and Thermogemmatisporaceae. In contrast, some generalist taxa, like Anthoxanthum odoratum and 19 Acidobacteria species, spanned across multiple vegetation alliances. Meta-scale analyses of soil bacterial community composition and vegetation surveys, complemented with local edaphic measurements, can thus prove useful to identify the various types of plant-bacteria interactions and the environments in which they occur.

  1. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success...... to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration...

  2. Bird-community responses to habitat creation in a long-term, large-scale natural experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whytock, Robin C; Fuentes-Montemayor, Elisa; Watts, Kevin; Barbosa De Andrade, Patanjaly; Whytock, Rory T; French, Paul; Macgregor, Nicholas A; Park, Kirsty J

    2018-04-01

    Ecosystem function and resilience are compromised when habitats become fragmented due to land-use change. This has led to national and international conservation strategies aimed at restoring habitat extent and improving functional connectivity (i.e., maintaining dispersal processes). However, biodiversity responses to landscape-scale habitat creation and the relative importance of spatial and temporal scales are poorly understood, and there is disagreement over which conservation strategies should be prioritized. We used 160 years of historic post-agricultural woodland creation as a natural experiment to evaluate biodiversity responses to habitat creation in a landscape context. Birds were surveyed in 101 secondary, broadleaf woodlands aged 10-160 years with ≥80% canopy cover and in landscapes with 0-17% broadleaf woodland cover within 3000 m. We used piecewise structural equation modeling to examine the direct and indirect relationships between bird abundance and diversity, ecological continuity, patch characteristics, and landscape structure and quantified the relative conservation value of local and landscape scales for bird communities. Ecological continuity indirectly affected overall bird abundance and species richness through its effects on stand structure, but had a weaker influence (effect size near 0) on the abundance and diversity of species most closely associated with woodland habitats. This was probably because woodlands were rapidly colonized by woodland generalists in ≤10 years (minimum patch age) but were on average too young (median 50 years) to be colonized by woodland specialists. Local patch characteristics were relatively more important than landscape characteristics for bird communities. Based on our results, biodiversity responses to habitat creation depended on local- and landscape-scale factors that interacted across time and space. We suggest that there is a need for further studies that focus on habitat creation in a landscape

  3. Taxonomic and functional diversity of farmland bird communities across Europe: effects of biogeography and agricultural intensification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Guerrero, I.; Morales, M.B.; Onate, J.J.; Aavik, T.; Bengtsson, J.; Berendse, F.; Geiger, F.

    2011-01-01

    Abstract In eight European study sites (in Spain, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Estonia and Sweden), abundance of breeding farmland bird territories was obtained from 500 9 500 m survey plots (30 per area, N = 240) using the mapping method. Two analyses were performed: (I) a Canonical

  4. Does the stress tolerance of mixed grassland communities change in a future climate? A test with heavy metal stress (zinc pollution).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van den Berge, Joke; Naudts, Kim; Janssens, Ivan A; Ceulemans, Reinhart; Nijs, Ivan

    2011-12-01

    Will species that are sensitive/tolerant to Zn pollution still have the same sensitivity/tolerance in a future climate? To answer this question we analysed the response of constructed grassland communities to five levels of zinc (Zn) supply, ranging from 0 to 354 mg Zn kg(-1) dry soil, under a current climate and a future climate (elevated CO2 and warming). Zn concentrations increased in roots and shoots with Zn addition but this increase did not differ between climates. Light-saturated net CO2 assimilation rate (A(sat)) of the species, on the other hand, responded differently to Zn addition depending on climate. Still, current and future climate communities have comparable biomass responses to Zn, i.e., no change in root biomass and a 13% decrease of above-ground biomass. Provided that the different response of A(sat) in a future climate will not compromise productivity and survival on the long term, sensitivity is not altered by climate change. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Soil fertilization leads to a decline in between-samples variability of microbial community δ13C profiles in a grassland fertilization experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stavros D Veresoglou

    Full Text Available Gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS was used to measure the (13C/(12C ratios of PLFAs at natural abundance levels from a temperate grassland nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P factorial fertilization experiment in northern Greece. In each plot two rhizosphere samples were derived centred around individual Agrostis capillaris and Prunella vulgaris plants. It was hypothesized that the isotopic signal of microbes that preferentially feed on recalcitrant litter such as fungi would be modified by fertilization more strongly than that of opportunistic microbes using labile C. Microbial community δ(13C was affected by both P and N fertilization regime and plant species identity. However, we have been unable to detect significant nutrient effects on individual groups of microbes when analyzed separately in contrast to our original hypothesis. Intra-treatment variability, as evaluated from Hartley's F(max tests in the five first PCA components axes as well as the size of the convex hulls in PCA scoreplots and Mahalanobis distances, was considerably higher in the non-fertilized controls. Moreover, a significant relationship was established between the change in PLFA abundances and their respective changes in δ(13C for the aggregate of samples and those simultaneously fertilized with N and P. We conclude that use of compound specific isotope analysis in the absence of labelling represents a valuable and overlooked tool in obtaining an insight of microbial community functioning.

  6. Partners in flight bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knutson, M.G.; Butcher, G.; Fitzgerald, J.; Shieldcastle, J.

    2001-01-01

    oak savannah grasslands already have been converted to agriculture. The conversion to cropland may have benefitted some grassland birds, and forest birds still persist. Rates of cowbird parasitism and nest predation in this heavily fragmented region, however, are extremely high and it is possible that only those bird communities in the few remaining expanses of contiguous habitat are self-sustaining. Forest habitat needs to be retained or restored so that a significant number of patches of sufficient size and quality each support a healthy population of Cerulean Warblers. It is assumed that each of these patches will then support the full range of forest birds. The total area of savannah habitat also should be increased, although the need for large blocks is not as apparent. Those few areas of grassland that still exist should be retained.

  7. The Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Jean

    2001-01-01

    Students use a dead bird to learn about bird life, anatomy, and death. Students examine a bird body and discuss what happened to the bird. Uses outdoor education as a resource for learning about animals. (SAH)

  8. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  9. Characteristics of the birds community in the islands off the West Coast of Seogwipo City, Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wan-Byung Kim

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted to survey the status of birds in islands off the west coast of Seogwipo City – Beomseom, Hyeongjeseom, Marado, and Gapado islands – in May and September 2013, as a part of the joint research of the Korean Biodiversity Consortium. As a result, 56 species were observed in those four islands: 167 individuals of 15 species on Beomseom, 79 individuals of 13 species on Hyeongjeseom, 193 individuals of 21 species on Gapado, and 354 individuals of 42 species on Marado; where seven threatened birds were confirmed to inhabit there. Apus pacificus is dominant on Beomseom, Hyeongjeseom, and Marado while Passer montanus is dominant on Gapado. Species diversity was highest on Marado (2.54 which was followed by Gapado and Beomseom (1.99 and Hyeongjeseom (1.82. These findings will be used as valuable data to protect the biota of the islands off Seogwipo including Beomseom that was a state-designated natural reserve.

  10. Bird communities in three forest types in the Pernambuco Centre of Endemism, Alagoas, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lahert W. Lobo-Araújo

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available The Pernambuco Center of Endemism (PCE in northeastern Brazil is highly fragmented and degraded. Despite its potential conservation importance the bird fauna in this area is still relatively unknown and there are many remnant fragments that have not been systematically surveyed. Here, we report the results of bird surveys in five forest fragments (one pioneer, two ombrophilous and two seasonal. In total, 162 taxa were recorded, 12 of which are endemic to the PCE. The frequency of endangered species was lower than what has been reported in studies from the same area and most of the taxa considered to be at risk of extinction were sub-species of uncertain taxonomic validity. The comparatively low number of endemic/threatened species may be due to the small size of the fragments in the present study - a consequence of the high levels of habitat loss in this region. Analysis of species richness patterns indicates that ombrophilous forest fragments are acting as refuges for those bird species that are most sensitive to environmental degradation.

  11. Community level offset of rain use- and transpiration efficiency for a heavily grazed ecosystem in inner Mongolia grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ying Z; Giese, Marcus; Gao, Qiang; Brueck, Holger; Sheng, Lian X; Yang, Hai J

    2013-01-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE) is a key indicator to assess ecosystem adaptation to water stress. Rain use efficiency (RUE) is usually used as a proxy for WUE due to lack of transpiration data. Furthermore, RUE based on aboveground primary productivity (RUEANPP) is used to evaluate whole plant water use because root production data is often missing as well. However, it is controversial as to whether RUE is a reliable parameter to elucidate transpiration efficiency (TE), and whether RUEANPP is a suitable proxy for RUE of the whole plant basis. The experiment was conducted at three differently managed sites in the Inner Mongolia steppe: a site fenced since 1979 (UG79), a winter grazing site (WG) and a heavily grazed site (HG). Site HG had consistent lowest RUEANPP and RUE based on total net primary productivity (RUENPP). RUEANPP is a relatively good proxy at sites UG79 and WG, but less reliable for site HG. Similarly, RUEANPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on aboveground net primary productivity (TEANPP) at sites UG79 and WG but not for site HG. However, if total net primary productivity is considered, RUENPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on total net primary productivity (TENPP) for all sites. Although our measurements indicate decreased plant transpiration and consequentially decreasing RUE under heavy grazing, productivity was relatively compensated for with a higher TE. This offset between RUE and TE was even enhanced under water limited conditions and more evident when belowground net primary productivity (BNNP) was included. These findings suggest that BNPP should be considered when studies fucus on WUE of more intensively used grasslands. The consideration of the whole plant perspective and "real" WUE would partially revise our picture of system performance and therefore might affect the discussion on the C-sequestration and resilience potential of ecosystems.

  12. Biodiversity conservation in an anthropized landscape: Trees, not patch size drive, bird community composition in a low-input agro-ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mellink, Eric; Riojas-López, Mónica E; Cárdenas-García, Melinda

    2017-01-01

    One of the most typical agro-ecosystems in the Llanos de Ojuelos, a semi-arid region of central Mexico, is that of fruit-production orchards of nopales (prickly pear cacti). This perennial habitat with complex vertical structure provides refuge and food for at least 112 species of birds throughout the year. Nopal orchards vary in their internal structure, size and shrub/tree composition, yet these factors have unknown effects on the animals that use them. To further understand the conservation potential of this agro-ecosystem, we evaluated the effects of patch-size and the presence of trees on bird community composition, as well as several habitat variables, through an information-theoretical modelling approach. Community composition was obtained through a year of census transects in 12 orchards. The presence of trees in the orchards was the major driver of bird communities followed by seasonality; bird communities are independent of patch size, except for small orchard patches that benefit black-chin sparrows, which are considered a sensitive species. At least 55 species of six trophic guilds (insectivores, granivores, carnivores, nectivores, omnivores, and frugivores) used the orchards. Orchards provide adequate habitat and food resources for several sensitive species of resident and migratory sparrows. The attributes that make orchards important for birds: trees, shrubs, herb seeds, and open patches can be managed to maintain native biodiversity in highly anthropized regions with an urgent need to find convergence between production and biological conservation.

  13. Virginia ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, pelagic birds, passerine birds, and gulls...

  14. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  15. Helminth communities of two species of piscivorous birds, Ardea alba (Linnaeus) and Nyctanassa violacea (Gmelin) (Ciconiiformes: Ardeidae), in two coastal lagoons from Guerrero state, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Violante-González, Juan; Monks, Scott; Gil-Guerrero, Salvador; Rojas-Herrera, Agustín A; Flores-Rodríguez, Pedro

    2012-07-01

    The composition and species richness in helminth communities of two species of heron, Ardea alba and Nyctanassa violacea, in two coastal lagoons from Guerrero, Mexico were examined. Nineteen species of helminth (7,804 individuals) were identified in 43 adult birds: 15 digeneans, 1 acanthocephalan, 1 cestode, and 2 nematodes. Eight species co-occurred in herons of both species and lagoons. The prevalence values of seven species and the mean abundance of five species varied significantly between species of birds and between lagoons. The heterophyid, Ascocotyle (Phagicola) longa, was the helminth numerically dominant in the helminth community of A. alba in both lagoons, while the cestode, Parvitaenia cochlearii, dominated the community of N. violacea. At the component community level, species richness varied significantly: 10 species in A. alba from Coyuca to 16 in N. violacea (Tres Palos). All of the birds examined were infected with helminth parasites: three to seven species per host in A. alba from Coyuca, and two to eight species in A. alba and N. violacea from Tres Palos. The results indicate that even though species composition was similar between both species of heron, the structure of their communities was not the same. Differences in the feeding behavior of the birds (day/night habits), as well as local differences in the abundance of species of fish, and infection levels of helminths in each lagoon are suggested as being responsible for the variations registered in the structure of the helminth communities.

  16. Contrasting response of coexisting plant’s water-use patterns to experimental precipitation manipulation in an alpine grassland community of Qinghai Lake watershed, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiao-Yan; He, Bin; Liu, Jinzhao; Jiang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Cicheng

    2018-01-01

    Understanding species-specific changes in water-use patterns under recent climate scenarios is necessary to predict accurately the responses of seasonally dry ecosystems to future climate. In this study, we conducted a precipitation manipulation experiment to investigate the changes in water-use patterns of two coexisting species (Achnatherum splendens and Allium tanguticum) to alterations in soil water content (SWC) resulting from increased and decreased rainfall treatments. The results showed that the leaf water potential (Ψ) of A. splendens and A. tanguticum responded to changes in shallow and middle SWC at both the control and treatment plots. However, A. splendens proportionally extracted water from the shallow soil layer (0–10cm) when it was available but shifted to absorbing deep soil water (30–60 cm) during drought. By contrast, the A. tanguticum did not differ significantly in uptake depth between treatment and control plots but entirely depended on water from shallow soil layers. The flexible water-use patterns of A.splendens may be a key factor facilitating its dominance and it better acclimates the recent climate change in the alpine grassland community around Qinghai Lake. PMID:29677195

  17. The roles of mosquito and bird communities on the prevalence of West Nile virus in urban wetland and residential habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Brian J.; Munafo, Kristin; Shappell, Laura; Tsipoura, Nellie; Robson, Mark; Ehrenfeld, Joan; Sukhdeo, Michael V. K.

    2014-01-01

    This study investigated the impacts of urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments on the transmission dynamics of West Nile virus (WNV) within the state of New Jersey (USA). A working hypothesis was that urban wetlands decrease the local prevalence of WNV through the dilution effect from increased bird diversity, and through relative reductions in the numbers of competent avian host and mosquito species commonly associated with WNV. Surveys of mosquito and bird communities were undertaken at six urban wetlands and their adjacent residential environments over two seasons (2009, 2010). The community compositions of both avian and mosquito species differed significantly across habitats, and over relatively short geographical distances. Residential areas contained significantly higher proportions of WNV-competent mosquito species (31.25±5.3 %; e.g. Culex pipiens and Culex restuans), and WNV-competent avian host species (62.8±2.3 %, e.g. House Sparrow and American Robin) when compared to adjacent urban wetlands (13.5±2.1 %; 35.4±2.1 % respectively). Correspondingly, WNV infection rates within local Culex spp. populations indicate that WNV was more prevalent within residential areas (28.53/1000) compared to wetlands (16.77/1000). Large urban wetlands (>100 ha) produced significantly lower weekly WNV infection rates in local Culex spp. (6.67±2.84/1000) compared to small (urban wetlands contained significantly more species than small wetland patches. These results confirm that the community compositions of mosquito and avian hosts are important drivers in WNV infections, and that the ecological conditions that favor transmission are more strongly associated with urban residential environments than with adjacent urban wetlands. PMID:25484570

  18. Relations between urban bird and plant communities and human well-being and connection to nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luck, Gary W; Davidson, Penny; Boxall, Dianne; Smallbone, Lisa

    2011-08-01

    By 2050, 70% of the world's population will live in urban areas. In many cases urbanization reduces the richness and abundance of native species. Living in highly modified environments with fewer opportunities to interact directly with a diversity of native species may adversely affect residents' personal well-being and emotional connection to nature. We assessed the personal well-being, neighborhood well-being (a measure of a person's satisfaction with their neighborhood), and level of connection to nature of over 1000 residents in 36 residential neighborhoods in southeastern Australia. We modeled these response variables as a function of natural features of each neighborhood (e.g., species richness and abundance of birds, density of plants, and amount of vegetation cover) and demographic characteristics of surveyed residents. Vegetation cover had the strongest positive relations with personal well-being, whereas residents' level of connection to nature was weakly related to variation in species richness and abundance of birds and density of plants. Demographic characteristics such as age and level of activity explained the greatest proportion of variance in well-being and connection to nature. Nevertheless, when controlling for variation in demographic characteristics (examples were provided above), neighborhood well-being was positively related to a range of natural features, including species richness and abundance of birds, and vegetation cover. Demographic characteristics and how well-being was quantified strongly influenced our results, and we suggest demography and metrics of well-being must be considered when attempting to determine relations between the urban environment and human well-being. © 2011 Society for Conservation Biology.

  19. Effect of incubation on bacterial communities of eggshells in a temperate bird, the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Won Young Lee

    Full Text Available Inhibitory effect of incubation on microbial growth has extensively been studied in wild bird populations using culture-based methods and conflicting results exist on whether incubation selectively affects the growth of microbes on the egg surface. In this study, we employed culture-independent methods, quantitative PCR and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing, to elucidate the effect of incubation on the bacterial abundance and bacterial community composition on the eggshells of the Eurasian Magpie (Pica pica. We found that total bacterial abundance increased and diversity decreased on incubated eggs while there were no changes on non-incubated eggs. Interestingly, Gram-positive Bacillus, which include mostly harmless species, became dominant and genus Pseudomonas, which include opportunistic avian egg pathogens, were significantly reduced after incubation. These results suggest that avian incubation in temperate regions may promote the growth of harmless (or benevolent bacteria and suppress the growth of pathogenic bacterial taxa and consequently reduce the diversity of microbes on the egg surface. We hypothesize that this may occur due to difference in sensitivity to dehydration on the egg surface among microbes, combined with the introduction of Bacillus from bird feathers and due to the presence of antibiotics that certain bacteria produce.

  20. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is critical for the maintenance of plant populations and community diversity, but sexual regeneration is considered to be infrequent in climatically harsh habitats such as sub alpine grasslands. For this reasons it is very important to improve the grassland. In this paper we study the interaction among milk production, fertilizations and flower composition in sub alpine grasslands. The agrochemical indicators are important because they influence the pasture value and at the final the milk production.

  1. Responses of the functional structure of soil microbial community to livestock grazing in the Tibetan alpine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yunfeng; Wu, Linwei; Lin, Qiaoyan; Yuan, Mengting; Xu, Depeng; Yu, Hao; Hu, Yigang; Duan, Jichuang; Li, Xiangzhen; He, Zhili; Xue, Kai; van Nostrand, Joy; Wang, Shiping; Zhou, Jizhong

    2013-02-01

    Microbes play key roles in various biogeochemical processes, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. However, changes of microbial community at the functional gene level by livestock grazing, which is a global land-use activity, remain unclear. Here we use a functional gene array, GeoChip 4.0, to examine the effects of free livestock grazing on the microbial community at an experimental site of Tibet, a region known to be very sensitive to anthropogenic perturbation and global warming. Our results showed that grazing changed microbial community functional structure, in addition to aboveground vegetation and soil geochemical properties. Further statistical tests showed that microbial community functional structures were closely correlated with environmental variables, and variations in microbial community functional structures were mainly controlled by aboveground vegetation, soil C/N ratio, and NH4 (+) -N. In-depth examination of N cycling genes showed that abundances of N mineralization and nitrification genes were increased at grazed sites, but denitrification and N-reduction genes were decreased, suggesting that functional potentials of relevant bioprocesses were changed. Meanwhile, abundances of genes involved in methane cycling, C fixation, and degradation were decreased, which might be caused by vegetation removal and hence decrease in litter accumulation at grazed sites. In contrast, abundances of virulence, stress, and antibiotics resistance genes were increased because of the presence of livestock. In conclusion, these results indicated that soil microbial community functional structure was very sensitive to the impact of livestock grazing and revealed microbial functional potentials in regulating soil N and C cycling, supporting the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating the consequence of land-use and/or climate changes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Niche partitioning in arbuscular mycorrhizal communities in temperate grasslands: a lesson from adjacent serpentine and nonserpentine habitats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kohout, Petr; Doubková, Pavla; Bahram, M.; Suda, Jan; Tedersoo, L.; Voříšková, Jana; Sudová, Radka

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 24, č. 8 (2015), s. 1831-1843 ISSN 0962-1083 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 ; RVO:61388971 Keywords : arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi * community ecology * NDA barcoding Subject RIV: EF - Botanics; EE - Microbiology, Virology (MBU-M) Impact factor: 5.947, year: 2015

  3. Darwin's naturalization hypothesis up-close: Intermountain grassland invaders differ morphologically and phenologically from native community dominants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dean E. Pearson; Yvette K. Ortega; Samantha J. Sears

    2012-01-01

    Darwin's naturalization hypothesis predicts that successful invaders will tend to differ taxonomically from native species in recipient communities because less related species exhibit lower niche overlap and experience reduced biotic resistance. This hypothesis has garnered substantial support at coarse scales. However, at finer scales, the influence of traits...

  4. Mutual replacement of species in space in a grassland community: is there an evidence for functional complementarity of replacement groups?

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Herben, Tomáš; Březina, Stanislav; Hadincová, Věroslava; Krahulec, František; Skálová, Hana

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 122, č. 1 (2013), s. 111-121 ISSN 0030-1299 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/1471 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : community dynamics * biomass * removal experiments Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.559, year: 2013

  5. Conceptual ecological model for management of breeding shrubland birds in the Mid-Atlantic Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterjohn, Bruce G.

    2006-01-01

    While grassland birds have become the focus of increased conservation activities, the status of birds occupying shrubland habitats has received relatively little attention (Hunter et al. 2001). Yet, in eastern North America, shrubland birds exhibited consistent population declines during the past 40 years, based on data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey (Pardieck and Sauer 2001). These population declines primarily reflect large-scale changes in land use patterns during the previous century (Lorimer 2001). Large areas of marginal farmland were abandoned and underwent secondary succession during the first half of the twentieth century, producing abundant successional habitats favored by shrubland birds. As these habitats matured, combined with strict fire-suppression policies (Hunter et al. 2001), shrublands succeeded into mature forests, and shrubland bird communities were replaced by woodland birds (Irland 1982; Askins 1993). For example, while nearly 29% of New England forests were classified as sapling stage in 1950, only 8% remained at that stage in the 1980s (Askins 1993). The trend towards forest maturation and loss of shrubland habitats continues, yet concerted conservation activities have not been directed to benefit declining shrubland bird populations. The National Park Service (NPS) could contribute to shrubland bird conservation in the Mid- Atlantic Region. The NPS maintains a number of historic sites and former battlefields managed for their cultural significance but also support wildlife populations. Many of these “cultural parks” maintain open landscapes, recreating land use patterns existing at the times of the historical events. While these open landscapes are frequently managed grasslands, some parks also support successional habitats that could be managed to benefit shrubland birds. In 2005, the NPS initiated a project exploring the potential of “cultural parks” to support significant breeding grassland and shrubland bird

  6. Referential calls coordinate multi-species mobbing in a forest bird community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzuki, Toshitaka N

    2016-01-01

    Japanese great tits ( Parus minor ) use a sophisticated system of anti-predator communication when defending their offspring: they produce different mobbing calls for different nest predators (snake versus non-snake predators) and thereby convey this information to conspecifics (i.e. functionally referential call system). The present playback experiments revealed that these calls also serve to coordinate multi-species mobbing at nests; snake-specific mobbing calls attracted heterospecific individuals close to the sound source and elicited snake-searching behaviour, whereas non-snake mobbing calls attracted these birds at a distance. This study demonstrates for the first time that referential mobbing calls trigger different formations of multi-species mobbing parties.

  7. Bird communities following high-severity fire: Response to single and repeat fires in a mixed-evergreen forest, Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph B. Fontaine; Daniel C. Donato; W. Douglas Robinson; Beverly E. Law; J. Boone Kauffman

    2009-01-01

    Fire is a widespread natural disturbance agent in most conifer-dominated forests. In light of climate change and the effects of fire exclusion, single and repeated high-severity (stand-replacement) fires have become prominent land management issues. We studied bird communities using point counting in the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion of Oregon, USA at various points in...

  8. Use of multispecies occupancy models to evaluate the response of bird communities to forest degradation associated with logging.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrillo-Rubio, Eduardo; Kéry, Marc; Morreale, Stephen J; Sullivan, Patrick J; Gardner, Beth; Cooch, Evan G; Lassoie, James P

    2014-08-01

    Forest degradation is arguably the greatest threat to biodiversity, ecosystem services, and rural livelihoods. Therefore, increasing understanding of how organisms respond to degradation is essential for management and conservation planning. We were motivated by the need for rapid and practical analytical tools to assess the influence of management and degradation on biodiversity and system state in areas subject to rapid environmental change. We compared bird community composition and size in managed (ejido, i.e., communally owned lands) and unmanaged (national park) forests in the Sierra Tarahumara region, Mexico, using multispecies occupancy models and data from a 2-year breeding bird survey. Unmanaged sites had on average higher species occupancy and richness than managed sites. Most species were present in low numbers as indicated by lower values of detection and occupancy associated with logging-induced degradation. Less than 10% of species had occupancy probabilities >0.5, and degradation had no positive effects on occupancy. The estimated metacommunity size of 125 exceeded previous estimates for the region, and sites with mature trees and uneven-aged forest stand characteristics contained the highest species richness. Higher estimation uncertainty and decreases in richness and occupancy for all species, including habitat generalists, were associated with degraded young, even-aged stands. Our findings show that multispecies occupancy methods provide tractable measures of biodiversity and system state and valuable decision support for landholders and managers. These techniques can be used to rapidly address gaps in biodiversity information, threats to biodiversity, and vulnerabilities of species of interest on a landscape level, even in degraded or fast-changing environments. Moreover, such tools may be particularly relevant in the assessment of species richness and distribution in a wide array of habitats. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  9. Alabama ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns...

  10. Maryland ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  11. Spatial Pattern and Scale Influence Invader Demographic Response to Simulated Precipitation Change in an Annual Grassland Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meghan J Skaer Thomason

    Full Text Available It is important to predict which invasive species will benefit from future changes in climate, and thereby identify those invaders that need particular attention and prioritization of management efforts. Because establishment, persistence, and spread determine invasion success, this prediction requires detailed demographic information. Explicit study of the impact of pattern on demographic response is particularly important for species that are naturally patchy, such as the invasive grass, Aegilops triuncialis. In the northern California Coast Range, where climate change may increase or decrease mean annual rainfall, we conducted a field experiment to understand the interaction of climate change and local-scale patterning on the demography of A. triuncialis. We manipulated precipitation (reduced, ambient, or augmented, seed density, and seeding pattern. Demographic and environmental data were collected for three years following initial seeding. Pattern and scale figure prominently in the demographic response of A. triuncialis to precipitation manipulation. Pattern interacts with precipitation and seeding density in its influence on per-plant seed output. Although per-plot seed production was highest when seeds were not aggregated, per-plant seed output was higher in aggregated patches. Results suggest aggregation of invasive A. triuncialis reduces the detrimental impact of interspecific competition in its invaded community, and that interspecific competition per se has a stronger impact than intraspecific competition.

  12. Elevational zonation of afrotropical forest bird communities along a homogeneous forest gradient

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Romdal, Tom Skovlund; Rahbek, Carsten

    2009-01-01

    studies, we find evidence of an elevational zonation of distinct communities within a seemingly homogeneous habitat. Although similar boundaries have been assumed to arise as a result of vegetational ecotones, or because of interspecific competition, these mechanisms are poorly corroborated. We suggest...

  13. Effects of reintroduced beaver (Castor canadensis) on riparian bird community structure along the upper San Pedro River, southeastern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Glenn E.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Chapter 1.—We measured bird abundance and richness along the upper San Pedro River in 2005 and 2006, in order to document how beavers (Castor canadensis) may act as ecosystem engineers after their reintroduction to a desert riparian area in the Southwestern United States. In areas where beavers colonized, we found higher bird abundance and richness of bird groups, such as all breeding birds, insectivorous birds, and riparian specialists, and higher relative abundance of many individual species—including several avian species of conservation concern. Chapter 2.—We conducted bird surveys in riparian areas along the upper San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona (United States) and northern Sonora (Mexico) in order to describe factors influencing bird community dynamics and the distribution and abundance of species, particularly those of conservation concern. These surveys were also used to document the effects of the ecosystem-altering activities of a recently reintroduced beavers (Castor canadensis). Chapter 3.—We reviewed Southwestern Willow Flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus) nest records and investigated the potential for future breeding along the upper San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona, where in July 2005 we encountered the southernmost verifiable nest attempt for the species. Continued conservation and management of the area’s riparian vegetation and surface water has potential to contribute additional breeding sites for this endangered Willow Flycatcher subspecies. Given the nest record along the upper San Pedro River and the presence of high-density breeding sites to the north, the native cottonwood-willow forests of the upper San Pedro River could become increasingly important to E. t. extimus recovery, especially considering the anticipated effect of the tamarisk leaf beetle (Diorhabda carinulata) on riparian habitat north of the region.

  14. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.

  15. The early Eocene birds of the Messel fossil site: a 48 million-year-old bird community adds a temporal perspective to the evolution of tropical avifaunas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mayr, Gerald

    2017-05-01

    Birds play an important role in studies addressing the diversity and species richness of tropical ecosystems, but because of the poor avian fossil record in all extant tropical regions, a temporal perspective is mainly provided by divergence dates derived from calibrated molecular analyses. Tropical ecosystems were, however, widespread in the Northern Hemisphere during the early Cenozoic, and the early Eocene German fossil site Messel in particular has yielded a rich avian fossil record. The Messel avifauna is characterized by a considerable number of flightless birds, as well as a high diversity of aerial insectivores and the absence of large arboreal birds. With about 70 currently known species in 42 named genus-level and at least 39 family-level taxa, it approaches extant tropical biotas in terms of species richness and taxonomic diversity. With regard to its taxonomic composition and presumed ecological characteristics, the Messel avifauna is more similar to the Neotropics, Madagascar, and New Guinea than to tropical forests in continental Africa and Asia. Because the former regions were geographically isolated during most of the Cenozoic, their characteristics may be due to the absence of biotic factors, especially those related to the diversification of placental mammals, which impacted tropical avifaunas in Africa and Asia. The crown groups of most avian taxa that already existed in early Eocene forests are species-poor. This does not support the hypothesis that the antiquity of tropical ecosystems is key to the diversity of tropical avifaunas, and suggests that high diversification rates may be of greater significance. © 2016 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  16. Assessing social vulnerability to climate change in human communities near public forests and grasslands: a framework for resource managers and planners

    Science.gov (United States)

    A. Paige Fischer; Travis Paveglio; Matthew Carroll; Daniel Murphy; Hannah Brenkert-Smith

    2013-01-01

    Public land management agencies have incorporated the concept of vulnerability into protocols for assessing and planning for climate change impacts on public forests and grasslands. However, resource managers and planners have little guidance for how to address the social aspects of vulnerability in these assessments and plans. Failure to assess social vulnerability to...

  17. CEPF Western Ghats Special Series: Birds of lower Palni Hills, Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Ramesh

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The current altitudinal distribution and breeding observations on birds of lower Palni Hills, Western Ghats were documented by conducting road transects, opportunistic surveys including trail walks and mist netting. A total of 196 species belonging to 63 families were recorded during the study. The Accipitridae family was foremost in species richness, followed by Cuculidae and Muscicapidae, Picidae, Timaliidae and other families. Altitudinal distribution of birds was higher between 600 and 900 m. The general patterns of the decreasing species richness with increasing altitude were observed in mid and upper Palnis. This could be probably because the lower Palnis have more deciduous and scrub forest which can support high food availability. Resident and migrant species made up to 87.76% and 12.24% of the community, respectively. We recorded a species that was threatened, three nearly threatened, and five endemic to the Western Ghats. Most of the endemics were confined to the higher altitudes due to the presence of moist evergreen and high altitude montane forests and grasslands. In total, 51 breeding bird observations were recorded. Interestingly, the variation in the breeding season of some birds was noticed with respect to earlier studies. Overall, our study illustrated useful information on bird community in this region which serves as a baseline for future monitoring programs.

  18. Breeding Bird Community Continues to Colonize Riparian Buffers Ten Years after Harvest.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Scott F Pearson

    Full Text Available Riparian ecosystems integrate aquatic and terrestrial communities and often contain unique assemblages of flora and fauna. Retention of forested buffers along riparian habitats is a commonly employed practice to reduce potential negative effects of land use on aquatic systems. However, very few studies have examined long-term population and community responses to buffers, leading to considerable uncertainty about effectiveness of this practice for achieving conservation and management outcomes. We examined short- (1-2 years and long-term (~10 years avian community responses (occupancy and abundance to riparian buffer prescriptions to clearcut logging silvicultural practices in the Pacific Northwest USA. We used a Before-After-Control-Impact experimental approach and temporally replicated point counts analyzed within a Bayesian framework. Our experimental design consisted of forested control sites with no harvest, sites with relatively narrow (~13 m forested buffers on each side of the stream, and sites with wider (~30 m and more variable width unharvested buffer. Buffer treatments exhibited a 31-44% increase in mean species richness in the post-harvest years, a pattern most evident 10 years post-harvest. Post-harvest, species turnover was much higher on both treatments (63-74% relative to the controls (29%. We did not find evidence of local extinction for any species but found strong evidence (no overlap in 95% credible intervals for an increase in site occupancy on both Narrow (short-term: 7%; long-term 29% and Wide buffers (short-term: 21%; long-term 93% relative to controls after harvest. We did not find a treatment effect on total avian abundance. When assessing relationships between buffer width and site level abundance of four riparian specialists, we did not find strong evidence of reduced abundance in Narrow or Wide buffers. Silviculture regulations in this region dictate average buffer widths on small and large permanent streams that

  19. Understory Bird Communities in Amazonian Rainforest Fragments: Species Turnover through 25 Years Post-Isolation in Recovering Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stouffer, Philip C.; Johnson, Erik I.; Bierregaard, Richard O.; Lovejoy, Thomas E.

    2011-01-01

    Inferences about species loss following habitat conversion are typically drawn from short-term surveys, which cannot reconstruct long-term temporal dynamics of extinction and colonization. A long-term view can be critical, however, to determine the stability of communities within fragments. Likewise, landscape dynamics must be considered, as second growth structure and overall forest cover contribute to processes in fragments. Here we examine bird communities in 11 Amazonian rainforest fragments of 1–100 ha, beginning before the fragments were isolated in the 1980s, and continuing through 2007. Using a method that accounts for imperfect detection, we estimated extinction and colonization based on standardized mist-net surveys within discreet time intervals (1–2 preisolation samples and 4–5 post-isolation samples). Between preisolation and 2007, all fragments lost species in an area-dependent fashion, with loss of as few as <10% of preisolation species from 100-ha fragments, but up to 70% in 1-ha fragments. Analysis of individual time intervals revealed that the 2007 result was not due to gradual species loss beginning at isolation; both extinction and colonization occurred in every time interval. In the last two samples, 2000 and 2007, extinction and colonization were approximately balanced. Further, 97 of 101 species netted before isolation were detected in at least one fragment in 2007. Although a small subset of species is extremely vulnerable to fragmentation, and predictably goes extinct in fragments, developing second growth in the matrix around fragments encourages recolonization in our landscapes. Species richness in these fragments now reflects local turnover, not long-term attrition of species. We expect that similar processes could be operating in other fragmented systems that show unexpectedly low extinction. PMID:21731616

  20. Understory bird communities in Amazonian rainforest fragments: species turnover through 25 years post-isolation in recovering landscapes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Philip C Stouffer

    Full Text Available Inferences about species loss following habitat conversion are typically drawn from short-term surveys, which cannot reconstruct long-term temporal dynamics of extinction and colonization. A long-term view can be critical, however, to determine the stability of communities within fragments. Likewise, landscape dynamics must be considered, as second growth structure and overall forest cover contribute to processes in fragments. Here we examine bird communities in 11 Amazonian rainforest fragments of 1-100 ha, beginning before the fragments were isolated in the 1980s, and continuing through 2007. Using a method that accounts for imperfect detection, we estimated extinction and colonization based on standardized mist-net surveys within discreet time intervals (1-2 preisolation samples and 4-5 post-isolation samples. Between preisolation and 2007, all fragments lost species in an area-dependent fashion, with loss of as few as <10% of preisolation species from 100-ha fragments, but up to 70% in 1-ha fragments. Analysis of individual time intervals revealed that the 2007 result was not due to gradual species loss beginning at isolation; both extinction and colonization occurred in every time interval. In the last two samples, 2000 and 2007, extinction and colonization were approximately balanced. Further, 97 of 101 species netted before isolation were detected in at least one fragment in 2007. Although a small subset of species is extremely vulnerable to fragmentation, and predictably goes extinct in fragments, developing second growth in the matrix around fragments encourages recolonization in our landscapes. Species richness in these fragments now reflects local turnover, not long-term attrition of species. We expect that similar processes could be operating in other fragmented systems that show unexpectedly low extinction.

  1. Environmental species sorting dominates forest-bird community assembly across scales

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Özkan, Korhan; Svenning, J.-C.; Jeppesen, Erik

    2013-01-01

    species richness and composition within the metacommunity. Second, we analysed species' abundance–occupancy relationship across the metacommunity and used null models to assess whether occupancy is determined by species' environmental niches. Third, we used generalized linear models to test for links...... between species' metacommunity-wide occupancy and their broader WP regional populations and assessed whether these links are consistent with environmental species sorting. There was strong environmental control on local species richness and composition patterns within the metacommunity, but non......-environmental spatial factors had also an important joint role. Null model analyses on randomized communities showed that species' occupancy across the metacommunity was strongly determined by species' environmental niches, with occupancy being related to niche position marginality. Species' metacommunity...

  2. Diversity and abundance of communities of birds associated to forests semideciduos and pine encino of the National Park Viñales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sael Hanoi Pérez Báez

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The present work was carried out in the months of February to April 2009 in the forest semideciduo of the path "Marvel of Viñales" and the formation pine-encino of the Valley Ancón of the National Park Viñales and it pursued as main objective to evaluate the diversity and abundance of the communities of birds and its association grade with both formations. The method of circular parcels of fixed radio was used in 30 points of counts separated to 150 m one of other and for the study of vegetation he/she took like base the methodology proposed by James and Shugart (1970 and Noon (1981 with adaptations, he/she took state fenológico of the vegetable species and they measured different variables of the formation boscosa. They were detected a total of 44 species of birds for the semidesiduo and 42 in Ancón. He/she was association between several species of birds and vegetables of the formations in study, appreciating you increment of S with the Relative Abundance and the decrease of the height of the vegetation with the vegetable density. The communities of birds of the formation of forest semideciduo of the path "Marvels of Viñales" and of the forest of pine encino of "Valley Ancón" presented similar figures of wealth, diversity and equitatividad but they sustained differences in composition and it structures. In both study formations numeric dominancias of Turdus plumbeus and Vireo altiloquus registered and the difference was given by the abundance of Teretistris fernandinae in "Marvels of Viñales" and Tiaris canorus in Valley Ancón. The relationship was demonstrated between ornitocenosis and fitocenosis and several species of birds they associated in more measure to rosy Clusea, Callophilum antillanun, Cuban Quercus, Matayba oppositifolia and Cordovan leathers.

  3. Avifaunal diversity and bird community responses to man-made habitats in St. Coombs Tea Estate, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Dananjaya Kottawa-Arachchi

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available A survey on birds was conducted at St. Coombs Tea Estate, Talawakelle, Sri Lanka with the objective of assessing the avifaunal diversity of a given tea plantation ecosystem. Bird populations were sampled in man-made habitats such as home garden, wetland, tea plantation, Eucalyptus plantation and small scale reservoir. Hundred-and-twenty counts were made for each habitat and in addition, activities of birds, feeding habits and food recourses were also observed. A total of 87 species, including 11 endemic and 11 migrant species of birds, was recorded, which included one globally threatened species, Kashmir Flycatcher Ficedula subrubra and 16 nationally threatened species. A majority of the bird species were observed in home gardens (75%, followed by reservoirs (57%, wetlands (48%, tea plantations (43% and in Eucalyptus plantations (23%. Home gardens support bird diversity while the species richness of endemic bird species increases thereby enabling these findings to be used as guidelines in long term conservational practices. Several conservation measures such as increasing plant diversity, introduction of shade trees and prevention of fire are recommended to conserve and enhance avifaunal diversity in tea plantations.

  4. Spatial and Time Pattern Distribution of Water Birds Community at Mangrove Ecosystem of Bengawan Solo Estuary - Gresik Regency

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sutopo .

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Mangrove ecosystem in Bengawan Solo estuary is a part of the essential ecosystem and also as important and endemic birds’ areas. Aim of this study is to analysis the parameter of habitat condition, analysis the different of time and spatial pattern and provide the management strategy for water birds and habitat. Reseach was carry out at January – May, 2017 (two period observation. Methods are used i.e. concentration count, single and unit plot, point count, interview and field observation. Data analyze using chi-square, grid-line point and mark point, beak-type and vegetation analysis. There are 41 (forty one species of water birds (23 migrant species and 17 native species. Chi-square analysis have significance difference both the time and spatial and also type of feed with chi-square values (χ2 hit.(2;0,95 > χ2 tab.(2;0,95. Migrant birds’ occupy the mudflat for feeding and resting ground, while the native birds use pond areas. Common the invertebrate species as feed for migrant like crustace and native birds are tend to feed fish and shrimp. Feeding and resting activities by migrant birds was influence by water-tidal condition. Total of water birds population are 112.100+ individual. Total of mangrove species was identified are 15 (fifteen species, and dominant at three habitus by Avicennia alba.Keywords: Bengawan Solo Estuary, mangrove ecosystem, spatial and time, water birds

  5. The impact of nature-based tourism on bird communities: a case study in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huhta, Esa; Sulkava, Pekka

    2014-05-01

    Nature-based tourism and recreation within and close to protected areas may have negative environmental impacts on biodiversity due to urban development, landscape fragmentation, and increased disturbance. We conducted a 3-year study of disturbances of birds induced by nature-based tourism over a recreational gradient in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and its surroundings in northern Finland. Bird assemblages were studied in highly disturbed areas close to the park (a ski resort, villages, and accommodation areas) and in campfire sites, along hiking routes (recreational areas) and in a forest (control area) within the park. Compared with the forest, the disturbed urbanized areas had higher abundances of human-associated species, corvid species, cavity and building nesters, and edge species. The abundances of managed forest species were higher in campfire sites than in the forest. Hiking trails and campfire sites did not have a negative impact on open-nesting bird species. The most likely reason for this outcome is that most campfire sites were situated at forest edges; this species group prefers managed forests and forest edge as a breeding habitat. The abundances of virgin forest species did not differ among the areas studied. The results of the study suggest that the current recreation pressure has not caused substantial changes in the forest bird communities within the National Park. We suggest that the abundances of urban exploiter species could be used as indicators to monitor the level and changes of urbanization and recreational pressure at tourist destinations.

  6. The Impact of Nature-Based Tourism on Bird Communities: A Case Study in Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huhta, Esa; Sulkava, Pekka

    2014-05-01

    Nature-based tourism and recreation within and close to protected areas may have negative environmental impacts on biodiversity due to urban development, landscape fragmentation, and increased disturbance. We conducted a 3-year study of disturbances of birds induced by nature-based tourism over a recreational gradient in the Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park and its surroundings in northern Finland. Bird assemblages were studied in highly disturbed areas close to the park (a ski resort, villages, and accommodation areas) and in campfire sites, along hiking routes (recreational areas) and in a forest (control area) within the park. Compared with the forest, the disturbed urbanized areas had higher abundances of human-associated species, corvid species, cavity and building nesters, and edge species. The abundances of managed forest species were higher in campfire sites than in the forest. Hiking trails and campfire sites did not have a negative impact on open-nesting bird species. The most likely reason for this outcome is that most campfire sites were situated at forest edges; this species group prefers managed forests and forest edge as a breeding habitat. The abundances of virgin forest species did not differ among the areas studied. The results of the study suggest that the current recreation pressure has not caused substantial changes in the forest bird communities within the National Park. We suggest that the abundances of urban exploiter species could be used as indicators to monitor the level and changes of urbanization and recreational pressure at tourist destinations.

  7. Shifts in composition of avian communities related to temperate-grassland afforestation in southeastern South America Alterações na composição de comunidades de aves relacionadas ao florestamento de campos temperados no sudeste da América do Sul

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael A. Dias

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Afforestation of temperate grasslands with fast-growing trees for industrial pulpwood production is spreading in South America. Despite high afforestation rates resulting from governmental policies that stimulate pulpwood production in grasslands of southern Brazil and Uruguay, the impact of this activity on biodiversity remains to be properly assessed. We used an Impact-Reference study design to evaluate how grassland afforestation affects the composition of grassland bird assemblages. We sampled eucalyptus plantations and neighboring natural grasslands in southern Brazil from 2006-2009, and relied on nested sampling and analysis to separate the effects of afforestation from the natural variability of grasslands. We recorded a significant difference in composition between assemblages from grasslands and tree plantations. Species adapted to open, treeless areas tended to be negatively affected in relation to edge or forest birds in eucalyptus plantations. Afforestation is systematically replacing the bird assemblage of hilltop grasslands by a collection of common edge and forest species that occur in nearby riverine and hillside forests. Although most grassland birds negatively affected by tree plantations are common and widespread, observed and predicted afforestation rates in southeastern South America may result in regional population reductions in the near future.O florestamento de campos temperados com árvores de crescimento rápido para a produção industrial de celulose está aumentando na América do Sul. Apesar das elevadas taxas de florestamento resultantes de políticas governamentais que estimulam o plantio de árvores para celulose em campos do sul do Brasil e Uruguai, o impacto dessa atividade sobre a biodiversidade ainda carece de avaliação adequada. Utilizamos um delineamento experimental do tipo impacto-referência para avaliar como o florestamento dos campos afeta a composição da assembleia de aves campestres. Amostramos

  8. Screamy Bird

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tarby, Sara; Cermak, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016.......Sara Tarby, Daniel Cermak-Sassenrath. Screamy Bird. Digital game. Kulturnatten 2016, Danish Science Ministry, Copenhagen, DK, Oct 14, 2016....

  9. Assessing the impacts of bait collection on inter-tidal sediment and the associated macrofaunal and bird communities: The importance of appropriate spatial scales.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watson, G J; Murray, J M; Schaefer, M; Bonner, A; Gillingham, M

    2017-09-01

    Bait collection is a multibillion dollar worldwide activity that is often managed ineffectively. For managers to understand the impacts on protected inter-tidal mudflats and waders at appropriate spatial scales macrofaunal surveys combined with video recordings of birds and bait collectors were undertaken at two UK sites. Dug sediment constituted approximately 8% of the surveyed area at both sites and is less muddy (lower organic content) than undug sediment. This may have significant implications for turbidity. Differences in the macrofaunal community between dug and undug areas if the same shore height is compared as well as changes in the dispersion of the community occurred at one site. Collection also induces a 'temporary loss of habitat' for some birds as bait collector numbers negatively correlate with wader and gull abundance. Bait collection changes the coherence and ecological structure of inter-tidal mudflats as well as directly affecting wading birds. However, as β diversity increased we suggest that management at appropriate hectare/site scales could maximise biodiversity/function whilst still supporting collection. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Vegetation composition and structure influences bird species ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Vegetation composition and structure influences bird species community ... variables on bird species diversity and richness of respective foraging guilds, and ... of the species assessed: (1) increasing closed cover due to woody plant density, ...

  11. Risk of Agricultural Practices and Habitat Change to Farmland Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Anthony. Kirk

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Many common bird species have declined as a result of agricultural intensification and this could be mitigated by organic farming. We paired sites for habitat and geographical location on organic and nonorganic farms in Ontario, Canada to test a priori predictions of effects on birds overall, 9 guilds and 22 species in relation to candidate models for farming practices (13 variables, local habitat features (12 variables, or habitat features that influence susceptibility to predation. We found that: (1 Overall bird abundance, but not richness, was significantly (p < 0.05 higher on organic sites (mean 43.1 individuals per site than nonorganic sites (35.8 individuals per site. Significantly more species of birds were observed for five guilds, including primary grassland birds, on organic vs. nonorganic sites. No guild had higher richness or abundance on nonorganic farms; (2 Farming practice models were the best (Î"AIC < 4 for abundance of birds overall, primary grassland bird richness, sallier aerial insectivore richness and abundance, and abundance of ground nesters; (3 Habitat models were the best for overall richness, Neotropical migrant abundance, richness and abundance of Ontario-USA-Mexico (short-distance migrants and resident richness; (4 Predation models were the best for richness of secondary grassland birds and ground feeders; (5 A combination of variables from the model types were best for richness or abundance overall, 13 of 18 guilds (richness and abundance and 16 of 22 species analyzed. Five of 10 farming practice variables (including herbicide use, organic farm type and 9 of 13 habitat variables (including hedgerow length, proportion of hay were significant in best models. Risk modeling indicated that herbicide use could decrease primary grassland birds by one species (35% decline from 3.4 to 2.3 species per site. Organic farming could benefit species of conservation concern by 49% (an increase from 7.6 to 11.4 grassland birds. An

  12. Qualitative-quantitative characteristic of bird community of middle course alluvium of the Vah River (Piestany - Nove Mesto); Kvalitativno-kvantitativna charakteristika ornitocenoz aluvia stredneho toku Vahu (Piestany - Nove Mesto nad Vahom)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lacko, J. [Univerzita Komenskeho v Bratislave, Prirodovedecka fakulta, Katedra ekologie, 84215 Bratislava (Slovakia); Topercer, J. [Botanicka zahrada Univerzity Komenskeho v Bratislave, pracovisko Blatnica, 03815 Blatnica pri Martine (Slovakia)

    2013-04-16

    The research focuses on the analysis of structure and dynamics of bird communities in two transects on the Vah river alluvium between cities Piestany and Nove Mesto nad Vahom. The research is aimed on the analysis of species composition, distribution and multitude of aquatic and wetland birds, on the analysis of their seasonal dynamics, inter-annual variability in species composition, diversity and others indicators of birds in these transects. The secondary aim is to find out the main types of disturbances, their intensity, antropogenous effects and others chosen environment variables in these transects of Vah river alluvium. We will utilize statistical analyses from these environmental variables and explain their impact on bird communities of this area. From these findings suitable management measures for the conservation or improvement of conservation status of target species will be derived. (authors)

  13. Bird communities of contrasting semi-natural habitats of Lac bay, Bonaire, during the fall migration season, 2011

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debrot, A.O.; Bemmelen, van R.S.A.; Ligon, J.

    2013-01-01

    The mangrove and seagrass lagoon of Lac Bay on Bonaire covers an area of roughly 700 ha. It is home to endangered green sea turtles, Chelonia mydas, and the Caribbean queen conch, Strombus gigas, and is a roosting and breeding area for several birds. Based on its nature values this 7 km2 bay has

  14. Edge effect of low-traffic forest roads on bird communities in secondary production forests in central Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Šálek, M.; Svobodová, Jana; Zasadil, P.

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 7 (2010), s. 1113-1124 ISSN 0921-2973 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : Biodiversity * Bird assemblages * Czech Republic * Edge effect * Habitat fragmentation * Landscape structure * Point count method Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.200, year: 2010

  15. The first 50 years of the North American Breeding Bird Survey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sauer, John; Ziolkowski, David; Pardieck, Keith L.; Smith, Adam C.; Hudson, Marie-Anne R.; Rodriguez, Vicente; Berlanga, Humberto; Niven, Daniel; Link, William

    2017-01-01

    The vision of Chandler (Chan) S. Robbins for a continental-scale omnibus survey of breeding birds led to the development of the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS). Chan was uniquely suited to develop the BBS. His position as a government scientist had given him experience with designing and implementing continental-scale surveys, his research background made him an effective advocate of the need for a survey to monitor pesticide effects on birds, and his prominence in the birding community gave him connections to infrastructure—a network of qualified volunteer birders who could conduct roadside surveys with standardized point counts. Having started in the eastern United States and the Atlantic provinces of Canada in 1966, the BBS now provides population change information for ∼546 species in the continental United States and Canada, and recently initiated routes in Mexico promise to greatly expand the areas and species covered by the survey. Although survey protocols have remained unchanged for 50 years, the BBS remains relevant in a changing world. Several papers that follow in this Special Section of The Condor: Ornithological Advances review how the BBS has been applied to conservation assessments, especially in combination with other large-scale survey data. A critical feature of the BBS program is an active research program into field and analytical methods to enhance the quality of the count data and to control for factors that influence detectability. Papers in the Special Section also present advances in BBS analyses that improve the utility of this expanding and sometimes controversial survey. In this Perspective, we introduce the Special Section by reviewing the history of the BBS, describing current analyses, and providing summary trend results for all species, highlighting 3 groups of conservation concern: grassland-breeding birds, aridland-breeding birds, and aerial insectivorous birds.

  16. Bird guard

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fairchild, Dana M [Armour, SD

    2010-03-02

    The bird guard provides a device to protect electrical insulators comprising a central shaft; a clamp attached to an end of the shaft to secure the device to a transmission tower; a top and bottom cover to shield transmission tower insulators; and bearings to allow the guard to rotate in order to frighten birds away from the insulators.

  17. A checklist of the winter bird community in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Assam, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Ahmed

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available This study was aimed at preparing an inventory of the avifauna and to document the species composition of birds during winter in different habitat types of Rosekandy Tea Estate of Cachar District of Assam. Four habitat types, viz., tea plantation, ecotone zone, secondary growth forest and water bodies were selected within the tea estate and surveyed from mid-December 2010 (early winter to mid-April 2011 (late winter covering four months of survey. A total of 88 species were recorded during the survey period with the highest number of species in ecotone zone (n=63, followed by secondary forest (n=60, tea plantation (n=48 and water bodies (n=17. The species were further categorized into different feeding and habitat guilds to study the distribution of bird species in different habitat types according to various guilds.

  18. Response of predominant soil bacteria to grassland succession as monitored by ribosomal RNA analyses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Felske, A.

    1999-01-01

    The research described in this thesis was aimed to provide insight into the effects of grassland succession on the composition of the soil bacteria community in the Drentse A agricultural research area. The Drentse A meadows represent grassland succession at different stages. Since 30 years

  19. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  20. Changes in bird communities of Admiralty Bay, King George Island (West Antarctic: insights from monitoring data (1977–1996

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sierakowski Kazimierz

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The paper summarizes results of twenty years of seabird observations carried out between 1977 and 1996 on the western shore of Admiralty Bay (King George Island, South Shetlands, Antarctic. Changes in population size, distribution and phenology of the breeding species as well as the appearance of non-breeding species are reported. A total of 34 species of birds were observed, including 13 breeding species. Among the non-breeding species, four were observed to visit the site regularly, six rarely, and the remaining 11 were observed only occasionally. Among breeding populations, three Pygoscelis penguin species, the main krill consumers, were most numerous. The Adélie Penguin (P. adeliae dominated among the penguins nesting in the investigated areas, reaching 23,661 breeding pairs in 1978. Two other penguin species were less abundant with population sizes of approximately 7,200 breeding pairs for the Chinstrap Penguin (P. antarcticus and 3,100 breeding pairs for the Gentoo Penguin (P. papua in the same year. During the following two decades, breeding populations of pygoscelid species experienced a declining trend and their numbers were reduced by 68.0% for Chinstrap, 67.1% for Gentoo, and 33.9% for Adélie Penguins. The data reported here represent a unique reference basis and provide valuable information about indicator species, suitable for comparison with contemporary observations of bird populations in the Antarctic Peninsula region, a place of rapidly occurring climate changes and intensive harvesting of marine living resources.

  1. Hawaii ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for endangered waterbirds and passerine birds, migratory shorebirds and waterfowl, gulls and terns,...

  2. DESERTIFICATION AND ANIMAL BIODIVERSITY IN THE DESERT GRASSLANDS OF NORTH AMERICA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Studies of breeding birds and small mammals were conducted at a series of sites that form a gradient of severity of desertification. Desert grassland sites represented the least changed landscape units and mesquite coppice dunes represented the most severe degradtion, an irrevers...

  3. Conservation of disturbance-dependent birds in eastern North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. Hunter; David A. Buehler; Ronald A. Canterbury; John L. Confer; Paul B. Hamel

    2001-01-01

    Populations of most bird species associated with grassland, shrub-scrub habitats, and disturbed areas in forested habitats (hereafter all referred to as disturbance-dependent species) have declined steeply. However, a widespread perception exists that disturbance-dependent species are merely returning to population levels likely found by the first European explorers...

  4. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  5. Columbia River ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, gulls, and terns in...

  6. A method for evaluating land conservation value by means of a bird community analysis; Valutazione dell`integrita` ecologica del territorio mediante l`analisi di comunita` di uccelli

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fornasari, Lorenzo; De Carli, Elisabetta; Bottoni, Luciana; Massa, Renato [Milan, Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Scenze dell`Ambiente e del Territorio

    1997-06-01

    The present planetary crisis of species extinction is mainly due to habitat loss. Therefore, for its mitigation, it is imperative to identify areas of major conservation concern. To this end, they analysed bird community data, by selecting samples randomly over a large study area. They subjected the samples collected to a cluster analysis to identify `a posteriori` bird communities to be indexed together with their habitats associated. They identified 15 bird community types and were able to characterise each of them by a community conservation index (CCI) taking into account three different components of rarity: habitat selectivity, geographical distribution and abundance. A cluster of four communities was associated with lowland farmland and woodland; another cluster of five was found at higher average altitudes and degree of urbanization; a third one of six showed a montane distribution. This third cluster showed much higher CCI in comparison with the first two. As a conservation tool, CCI points out the events in which selectivity is high and geographical distribution / abundance is restricted. In the study area (the whole of Lombardy) they found that the communities showing high CCI values are mostly associated with habitats of marginal value for human use.

  7. Effect of burn area on invertebrate recolonization in grasslands in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our study examined the short-term response of grassland invertebrate communities to fire in the South African Drakensberg, in relation to distance from the edge of a burn. We aimed to establish which species survive fire and the dynamics of the post-fire recolonization process, and thereby contribute to establishing the ...

  8. Local temperatures predict breeding phenology but do not result in breeding synchrony among a community of resident cavity-nesting birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Anna; Martin, Kathy

    2018-02-09

    Weather and ecological factors are known to influence breeding phenology and thus individual fitness. We predicted concordance between weather conditions and annual variation in phenology within a community of eight resident, cavity-nesting bird species over a 17-year period. We show that, although clutch initiation dates for six of our eight species are correlated with local daily maximum temperatures, this common driver does not produce a high degree of breeding synchrony due to species-specific responses to conditions during different periods of the preceding winter or spring. These "critical temperature periods" were positively associated with average lay date for each species, although the interval between critical periods and clutch initiation varied from 4-78 days. The ecological factors we examined (cavity availability and a food pulse) had an additional influence on timing in only one of our eight focal species. Our results have strong implications for understanding heterogeneous wildlife responses to climate change: divergent responses would be expected within communities where species respond to local conditions within different temporal windows, due to differing warming trends between winter and spring. Our system therefore indicates that climate change could alter relative breeding phenology among sympatric species in temperate ecosystems.

  9. Effects of the endemic earthworm .i.Allolobophora hrabei./i. (Černosvitov, 1935) on soil microbial communities of steppe grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Jirout, Jiří; Pižl, Václav

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 76, September (2014), s. 249-256 ISSN 0038-0717 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP504/12/0536 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : bacteria * archaea * fungi * community composition * DGGE * earthworm Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.932, year: 2014

  10. Seasonal Variation in Soil Microbial Biomass, Bacterial Community Composition and Extracellular Enzyme Activity in Relation to Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilton, E.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2014-12-01

    Soil respiration rate is affected by seasonal changes in temperature and moisture, but is this a direct effect on soil metabolism or an indirect effect caused by changes in microbial biomass, bacterial community composition and substrate availability? In order to address this question, we compared continuous measurements of soil and plant CO2 exchange made with an automatic chamber system to analyses conducted on replicate soil samples collected on four dates during June-August. Microbial biomass was estimated from substrate-induced respiration rate, bacterial community composition was determined by 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, and β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGase) and phenol oxidase enzyme activities were assayed fluorometrically or by absorbance measurements, respectively. Soil microbial biomass declined from June to August in strong correlation with a progressive decline in soil moisture during this time period. Soil bacterial species richness and alpha diversity showed no significant seasonal change. However, bacterial community composition showed a progressive shift over time as measured by Bray-Curtis dissimilarity. In particular, the change in community composition was associated with increasing relative abundance in the alpha and delta classes, and declining abundance of the beta and gamma classes of the Proteobacteria phylum during June-August. NAGase showed a progressive seasonal decline in potential activity that was correlated with microbial biomass and seasonal changes in soil moisture. In contrast, phenol oxidase showed highest potential activity in mid-July near the time of peak soil respiration and ecosystem photosynthesis, which may represent a time of high input of carbon exudates into the soil from plant roots. This input of exudates may stimulate the activity of phenol oxidase, a lignolytic enzyme involved in the breakdown of soil organic matter. These analyses indicated that seasonal change in soil respiration is a complex

  11. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

  12. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities differ in their species composition, and, thus, also in their functional trait composition, at different stages in the succession from arable fields to grazed grassland. We examine whether aerial hyperspectral (414–2501 nm remote sensing can be used to discriminate between grazed vegetation belonging to different grassland successional stages. Vascular plant species were recorded in 104.1 m2 plots on the island of Öland (Sweden and the functional properties of the plant species recorded in the plots were characterized in terms of the ground-cover of grasses, specific leaf area and Ellenberg indicator values. Plots were assigned to three different grassland age-classes, representing 5–15, 16–50 and >50 years of grazing management. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models were used to compare classifications based on aerial hyperspectral data with the age-class classification. The remote sensing data successfully classified the plots into age-classes: the overall classification accuracy was higher for a model based on a pre-selected set of wavebands (85%, Kappa statistic value = 0.77 than one using the full set of wavebands (77%, Kappa statistic value = 0.65. Our results show that nutrient availability and grass cover differences between grassland age-classes are detectable by spectral imaging. These techniques may potentially be used for mapping the spatial distribution of grassland habitats at different successional stages.

  13. Oak Ridge Reservation Bird Records and Population Trends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, W. K. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, N. R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, M. C. [CDM Smith (United States); Haines, A. M. [Xcel Engineering, Inc.(United States); Evans, J. W. [Tennessee WIldlife Resources Agency (WRA), Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, R. T. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-09-01

    Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950-2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species--approximately 10% of the total number of species observed--have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.

  14. Oak Ridge Reservation Bird Records and Population Trends

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roy, W. Kelly [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Giffen, Neil R. [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Wade, Murray [CDM Smith, Inc., Knoxville, TN (United States); Haines, Angelina [Xcel Engineering, Inc., Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Evans, James W. [Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Nashville, TN (United States); Jett, Robert Trent [Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2014-11-01

    Bird data have been collected through surveys, environmental assessments, and other observations for decades in the Oak Ridge National Environmental Research Park, located on the US Department of Energy s Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) in East Tennessee. Birds were recorded in a variety of habitats, including wetlands, interior forests, grasslands, ponds, corridors, forest edges, and more. Most of the information was gathered from waterfowl surveys conducted from 1990 to 2008, from Partners in Flight (PIF) breeding bird surveys conducted from 1995 to 2013, and from past publications and research on Reservation birds. We have also included our own observations and, in a few instances, credible observations of ORR birds of which we have been made aware through eBird or discussions with area ornithologists and bird watchers. For the period 1950 2014, we were able to document 228 species of birds on the ORR. Several of these species are known from historic records only, while others were not known to have ever occurred on the Reservation until recently. This report does not include PIF breeding bird data from the 2014 season or any records after July 2014. Twenty-two species approximately 10% of the total number of species observed have state-listed status in Tennessee as endangered, threatened, or in need of management. Of the 228 species we documented, 120 are believed to be breeding birds on the ORR.

  15. Grassland habitat restoration: lessons learnt from long term monitoring of Swanworth Quarry, UK, 1997–2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Maria Smith

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration projects are often conducted when prior use or extraction of natural resources results in land degradation. The success of restoration programmes, however, is variable, and studies that provide evidence of long term outcomes are valuable for evaluation purposes. This study focused on the restoration of vegetation within a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK between 1997 and 2014. Using a randomised block design, the effect of seed mix and seed rate on the development of community assemblage was investigated in comparison to a nearby target calcareous grassland site. We hypothesised that seed mix composition and sowing rate would influence both the trajectory of the grassland assemblage and final community composition. We found that species composition (in relation to both richness and community assemblage was strongly influenced by time and to some extent by seed rate and seed mix. However, no treatments achieved strong resemblance to the calcareous grassland target vegetation; rather they resembled mesotrophic communities. We conclude that (as with previous studies there is no “quick fix” for the establishment of a grassland community; long-term monitoring provides useful information on the trajectory of community development; sowing gets you something (in our case mesotrophic grassland, but, it may not be the target vegetation (e.g., calcicolous grassland you want that is difficult to establish and regenerate; it is important to sow a diverse mix as subsequent recruitment opportunities are probably limited; post-establishment management should be explored further and carefully considered as part of a restoration project.

  16. New insights into broad spectrum communities of the Early Holocene Near East: The birds of Hallan Çemi

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeder, Melinda A.; Spitzer, Megan D.

    2016-11-01

    The Early Holocene in Near East was a pivotal transitional period that witnessed dramatic changes in climate and environment, human settlement, major changes in subsistence strategies focusing on a broad range of different plant and animal resources, and a radical restructuring of social relations. The remarkable corpus of avifauna from the Early Holocene site of Hallan Çemi in southeastern Turkey sheds new light on key issues about this dynamic period that has been termed the ;Broad Spectrum Revolution;. The avifauna from this important site demonstrate how Hallan Çemi occupants took advantage of the site's strategic location at the junction of multiple environmental zones by extracting a diverse range of seasonally available resources from both near-by and more distant eco-zones to cobble together a stable subsistence economy capable of supporting this small community throughout the year. They give testimony to the impacts of resource utilization over time, especially on species unable to rebound from sustained human hunting. At the same time, they show how Hallan Çemi residents mitigated these impacts by replacing depleted resources with alternative, more resilient ones that could be more sustainably harvested. They open a window onto the growing investment in feasting and ritual activity that helped bind this community together. In so doing they provide a means of empirically evaluating the efficacy of contrasting explanatory frameworks for the Broad Spectrum Revolution that gave rise to the subsequent domestication of plant and animals in the Near East. Contrary to frameworks that cast these developments as responses to resource depression, lessons learned from the Hallan Çemi avifauna lend support to frameworks that emphasize the human capacity to strategically target, capitalize, and improve upon circumscribed resource rich environments in a way that permits more permanent occupation of these niches. And they underscore the degree to which social and

  17. 9 CFR 93.104 - Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds. 93.104 Section 93.104 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... (INCLUDING POULTRY) AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN...

  18. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

  19. Fitossociologia do estrato herbáceo-subarbustivo em campo limpo úmido no Brasil Central Phytosociology of the herb-subshrub layer of a moist grassland community in Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cássia Beatriz Rodrigues Munhoz

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available O campo limpo úmido é uma das fisionomias de Cerrado onde o lençol freático é superficial durante o ano todo. Em geral ocorrem bordeando as matas de galeria, sendo um local de ligação entre estas e as fitofisionomias bem drenadas de Cerrado. O objetivo deste estudo foi analisar a estrutura fitossociológica do estrato herbáceo-subarbustivo de uma comunidade de campo limpo úmido na Fazenda Água Limpa, Brasília, e avaliar possíveis alterações na composição e cobertura de espécies, em diferentes ocasiões no período de 13 meses, após incêndio. Uma área de 400×400 m foi subdividida em quatro porções de 200×200 m onde foram sorteadas as linhas de amostragem. No levantamento fitossociológico, adotou-se o método de interseção na linha, onde cada linha foi dividida em seções de 1 m. Foram amostradas 84 espécies incluídas em 54 gêneros e 24 famílias. A similaridade de Sørensen entre as quatro transeções amostradas foi baixa, entre 0,26 e 0,55%. As linhas sobre solos com lençol freático superficial o ano todo apresentaram composição de espécies diferenciada das linhas sobre solos com flutuação sazonal do lençol freático. A similaridade entre os cinco períodos de inventário foi elevada, pois as espécies mais importantes mostraram pouca variação nas suas taxas de cobertura ao longo do ano.The moist grassland community vegetation of the Cerrado is one of the physiognomies where the water table is superficial throughout the year. It generally occurs bordering the gallery forests, located between these forests and the well-drained Cerrado physiognomies. The aim of this study was to investigate the phytosociological structure of the herb-subshrub layer in a moist grassland at Água Limpa farm, Brasília, DF, and assess possible changes in species composition and cover, at different times throughout a 13-month period, after a fire. An area of 400×400 m was subdivided into four sections of 200×200 m and the

  20. Terrestrial ecology. Comprehensive study of the grassland biome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

    Terrestrial ecology and grassland biome studies are designed to characterize the biota of the Hanford Reservation, elucidate seasonal dynamics of plant productivity, decomposition and mineral behavior patterns of important plant communities, and, to study the response of these communities to important natural environmental stresses, such as weather, wildfire and man-induced alterations of communities (influenced by grazing cattle and severe mechanical disturbance of the soil, such as affected by plowing or burial of waste materials or construction activities). A detailed account of the important findings of a 5-yr study is currently being prepared by the terrestrial ecology section staff for publication as a contribution to the International Biological Program Grassland Biome project

  1. Protecting Mongolia's grassland steppes | CRDI - Centre de ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... windy grassland region is severely damaged, desertification can quickly set in. ... to marketing to the sound use of (grassland) resources," explains Ykhanbai, who ... is going to require improvement in the skills of researchers, adds Ykhanbai.

  2. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leaching losses of nitrogen (N) from soil and atmospheric N deposition have led to widespread changes in plant community and microbial community composition, but our knowledge of the factors that determine ecosystem N retention is limited. A common feature of extensively managed, species-rich grasslands is that they have fungal-dominated microbial communities, which might reduce soil N losses and increase ecosystem N retention, which is pivotal for pollution mitigation and sustainable food production. However, the mechanisms that underpin improved N retention in extensively managed, species-rich grasslands are unclear. We combined a landscape-scale field study and glasshouse experiment to test how grassland management affects plant and soil N retention. Specifically, we hypothesised that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands of high conservation value would have lower N loss and greater N retention than intensively managed, species-poor grasslands, and that this would be due to a greater immobilisation of N by a more fungal-dominated microbial community. In the field study, we found that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands had lower N leaching losses. Soil inorganic N availability decreased with increasing abundance of fungi relative to bacteria, although the best predictor of soil N leaching was the C/N ratio of aboveground plant biomass. In the associated glasshouse experiment we found that retention of added 15N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of 15N in the former, and that microbial immobilisation increased with increasing biomass and abundance of fungi. These findings show that grassland management affects mechanisms of N retention in soil through changes in root and microbial uptake of N. Moreover, they support the notion that microbial communities might be the key to improved N retention through tightening linkages

  3. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance

  4. Mosquito blood-meal analysis for avian malaria study in wild bird communities: laboratory verification and application to Culex sasai (Diptera: Culicidae) collected in Tokyo, Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Kyeong Soon; Tsuda, Yoshio; Sasaki, Toshinori; Kobayashi, Mutsuo; Hirota, Yoshikazu

    2009-10-01

    We conducted laboratory experiments to verify molecular techniques of avian malaria parasite detection distinguishing between an infected mosquito (oocysts on midgut wall) and infective mosquito (sporozoites in salivary glands) in parallel with blood-meal identification from individual blood-fed mosquitoes prior to application to field survey for avian malaria. Domestic fowl infected with Plasmodium gallinaceum was exposed to a vector and non-vector mosquito species, Aedes aegypti and Culex pipiens pallens, respectively, to compare the time course of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection for parasite between competent and refractory mosquitoes. DNA of the domestic fowl was detectable for at least 3 days after blood feeding. The PCR-based detection of P. gallinaceum from the abdomen and thorax of A. aegypti corresponded to the microscopic observation of oocysts and sporozoites. Therefore, this PCR-based method was considered useful as one of the criteria to assess developmental stages of Plasmodium spp. in mosquito species collected in the field. We applied the same PCR-based method to 21 blood-fed C. sasai mosquitoes collected in Rinshi-no-mori Park in urban Tokyo, Japan. Of 15 blood meals of C. sasai successfully identified, 86.7% were avian-derived, 13.3% were bovine-derived. Plasmodium DNA was amplified from the abdomen of three C. sasai specimens having an avian blood meal from the Great Tit (Parus major), Pale Thrush (Turdus pallidus), and Jungle Crow (Corvus macrorhynchos). This is the first field study on host-feeding habits of C. sasai in relation to the potential role as a vector for avian malaria parasites transmitted in the Japanese wild bird community.

  5. Specialist plant species harbour higher reproductive performances in recently restored calcareous grasslands than in reference habitats

    OpenAIRE

    Harzé, Mélanie; Mahy, Grégory; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe; Piqueray, Julien; Monty, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their success has traditionally been assessed using a plant community approach. However, population ecology can also be useful to assess restoration success and to understand underlying mechanisms. Methods_We took advantage of three calcareous grassland sites in Southern Belgium, where reference p...

  6. Trade-offs between pasture production and farmland bird conservation: exploration of options using a dynamic farm model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabatier, R; Teillard, F; Rossing, W A H; Doyen, L; Tichit, M

    2015-05-01

    In European grassland landscapes, grazing and mowing play a key role for the maintenance of high-quality habitats that host important bird populations. As grasslands are also key resources for cattle feeding, there is a need to develop management strategies that achieve the double objective of production and biodiversity conservation. The objective of this study was to use a modelling approach to generate recognisable patterns of bird dynamics in farms composed of different land use proportions, and to compare their production and ecological dimensions. We developed a dynamic model, which linked grassland management to bird population dynamics at the field and farm levels. The model was parameterised for two types of suckling farms corresponding to contrasting levels of grassland intensification and for two bird species of high conservation value. A viability algorithm was used to define and assess viable management strategies for production and ecological performance so as to draw the shape of the relationship between both types of performances for the two types of farms. Our results indicated that, at the farm level, there was a farming system effect with a negative and non-linear relationship linking performance. Improving bird population maintenance was less costly in extensive farms compared with intensive farms. At the field level, the model predicted the timing and intensity of land use, maximising either production or ecological performance. The results suggested that multi-objective grassland management would benefit from public policies that consider levels of organisation higher than the field level, such as the farm or the landscape.

  7. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this document is to propose how ecological monitoring might be developed in the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Monitoring is defined as the maintenance of regular surveillance to test the null hypothesis of no change...

  8. The effect of the Sep wind park near Oosterbierum, Friesland, The Netherlands, on birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winkelman, J.E.

    1992-01-01

    The title study concerns the period 1984-1991. The wind park consists of 18 three-bladed 300 kW horizontal axis wind turbines of 35 meters height, and a rotor diameter of 30 meters, seven meteorological towers, and three cluster and control buildings. Aspects studied included disturbance of breeding, resting or feeding, and migrating birds, behavior of birds approaching the wind turbines during the day and night, and bird victims due to collision with the wind turbines and the meteorological towers. In this report attention is paid to the disturbance of the bird's biotope. The results show that four species of grassland birds, breeding in the park, were hardly disturbed by the wind turbines. For feeding and resting birds, however, disturbance effects were noted, even at a distance of 500 meters from the outside wind turbine array. The present number of bird species reduced 60-95%, dependent on the species, after the wind park was put into operation. Also the behavior of migrating birds was influenced by the wind park, showed in clustering of groups or avoiding the wind park, sometimes up to 67% of the birds did so. It is therefore recommended not to implement new wind parks in important bird migration and bird feeding or bird resting areas. Bird popular areas, however, are mostly windy areas. 15 figs., 25 tabs., 56 app., 128 refs

  9. Potential for enhancing nongame bird habitat values on abandoned mine lands of western North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burley, J.B.; Hopkins, R.B.

    1984-01-01

    Throughout western North Dakota the number of unreclaimed surface coal and coal-uranium mines might total over 1100. We examined the potential for enhancing the nongame bird habitat values of unreclaimed mine lands in the arid, western region of North Dakota. Generally, the greatest variety of birds occurred in natural and planted woodlands, while fewer birds occurred in unreclaimed mine lands, grasslands, shrublands and croplands. Deciduous woodland types supported more species of birds than coniferous types. Planted woodlands supported about the same number of bird species as some natural deciduous woodland types and more species than coniferous woods. Unreclaimed mine lands supported more species than grasslands and croplands, and about the same number of species as native shrublands. The highest bird densities were in planted woodlands. Bird diversity varied positively with habitat diversity. The bird fauna of unreclaimed mine lands can be enhanced by creating more diverse habitats. Seventeen guidelines to enhance unreclaimed mine lands for nongame birds are presented. These guidelines can be used in preserving habitats threatened by surface mining and reclaiming previously mined lands

  10. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suttle, K B; Thomsen, Meredith A; Power, Mary E

    2007-02-02

    Predictions of ecological response to climate change are based largely on direct climatic effects on species. We show that, in a California grassland, species interactions strongly influence responses to changing climate, overturning direct climatic effects within 5 years. We manipulated the seasonality and intensity of rainfall over large, replicate plots in accordance with projections of leading climate models and examined responses across several trophic levels. Changes in seasonal water availability had pronounced effects on individual species, but as precipitation regimes were sustained across years, feedbacks and species interactions overrode autecological responses to water and reversed community trajectories. Conditions that sharply increased production and diversity through 2 years caused simplification of the food web and deep reductions in consumer abundance after 5 years. Changes in these natural grassland communities suggest a prominent role for species interactions in ecosystem response to climate change.

  11. [Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariottini, Yanina; De Wysiecki, María Laura; Lange, Carlos Ernesto

    2013-03-01

    In Argentina, the grasslands of Pampas region comprise approximately 15% of the country. As in other grasslands of the world, grasshoppers are among the most important native herbivores. Their economic importance has been recognized in Argentina since the mid to late nineteenth century, since outbreaks of different species have become recurrent phenomena. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study their diversity and distribution in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region (Laprida county, Buenos Aires province), as one of the most affected areas. The study was conducted during five seasons (2005-10). Sampling sites were represented by the most common plant communities in this area, classified in four categories: native grasslands, disturbed grasslands, implanted pastures and halophilous grasslands. The samplings were conducted from mid-spring to early autumn, with five or six samples per season. We estimated the following population descriptors: species richness (S), eveness (E), dominance (J), and diversity index (H'). In order to evaluate the similitude of the grasshopper communities present in the different plant communities, we used qualitative and quantitative coefficients of similitude. A total of 22 species of grasshoppers were collected, of which 21 belong to the family Acrididae. The subfamily Melanoplinae was the most diverse with eight species. The largest species richness was recorded in native grasslands (18). The different communities of grasshoppers had similar indices of evenness and dominance (p>0.05). Considering all plant communities, the average value of Shannon-Wiener index was 1.58+/-0.075. There was a positive correlation between evenness index and species richness (pgrasshoppers species richness, and diversity of grasshoppers. According to the qualitative indices applied, the similitude between different grasshopper communities was higher than 60%. In general, the species that had a higher frequency of occurrence showed greater

  12. Vulnerability of shortgrass prairie bird assemblages to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Dreitz, Victoria; Conrey, Reesa Y.; Yackel, Amy; Panjabi, Arvind O.; Knuffman, Lekha

    2016-01-01

    The habitats and resources needed to support grassland birds endemic to North American prairie ecosystems are seriously threatened by impending climate change. To assess the vulnerability of grassland birds to climate change, we consider various components of vulnerability, including sensitivity, exposure, and adaptive capacity (Glick et al. 2011). Sensitivity encompasses the innate characteristics of a species and, in this context, is related to a species’ tolerance to changes in weather patterns. Groundnesting birds, including prairie birds, are particularly responsive to heat waves combined with drought conditions, as revealed by abundance and distribution patterns (Albright et al. 2010). To further assess sensitivity, we estimated reproductive parameters of nearly 3000 breeding attempts of a suite of prairie birds relative to prevailing weather. Fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado, 1997-2014, influenced breeding performance of a suite of avian species endemic to the shortgrass prairie, many of which have experienced recent population declines. High summer temperatures and intense rain events corresponded with lower nest survival for most species. Although dry conditions favored nest survival of Burrowing Owls and Mountain Plovers (Conrey 2010, Dreitz et al. 2012), drought resulted in smaller clutch sizes and lower nest survival for passerines (Skagen and Yackel Adams 2012, Conrey et al. in review). Declining summer precipitation may reduce the likelihood that some passerine species can maintain stable breeding populations in this region of the shortgrass prairie.

  13. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bassin, S. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)]. E-mail: seraina.bassin@fal.admin.ch; Volk, M. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland); Fuhrer, J. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)

    2007-04-15

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles.

  14. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassin, S.; Volk, M.; Fuhrer, J.

    2007-01-01

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles

  15. Research on the Mechanism of Cross Regional Grassland Ecological Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.

  16. Assessing the biophysical naturalness of grassland in eastern North Dakota with hyperspectral imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Over the past two decades, non-native species within grassland communities have quickly developed due to human migration and commerce. Invasive species like Smooth Brome grass (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis), seriously threaten conservation of native grasslands. This study aims to discriminate between native grasslands and planted hayfields and conservation areas dominated by introduced grasses using hyperspectral imagery. Hyperspectral imageries from the Hyperion sensor on EO-1 were acquired in late spring and late summer on 2009 and 2010. Field spectra for widely distributed species as well as smooth brome grass and Kentucky blue grass were collected from the study sites throughout the growing season. Imagery was processed with an unmixing algorithm to estimate fractional cover of green and dry vegetation and bare soil. As the spectrum is significantly different through growing season, spectral libraries for the most common species are then built for both the early growing season and late growing season. After testing multiple methods, the Adaptive Coherence Estimator (ACE) was used for spectral matching analysis between the imagery and spectral libraries. Due in part to spectral similarity among key species, the results of spectral matching analysis were not definitive. Additional indexes, "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance", were calculated to measure the predominance of spectral signatures in any area. A Texture co-occurrence analysis was also performed on both "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" indexes to extract spatial characteristics. The results suggest that compared with disturbed area, native prairie tend to have generally lower "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" as well as lower spatial dissimilarity. A final decision tree model was created to predict presence of native or introduced grassland. The model was more effective for identification of Mixed Native Grassland than for grassland dominated by a single

  17. Drug metabolism in birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Huo Ping; Fouts, James R.

    1979-01-01

    Papers published over 100 years since the beginning of the scientific study of drug metabolism in birds were reviewed. Birds were found to be able to accomplish more than 20 general biotransformation reactions in both functionalization and conjugation. Chickens were the primary subject of study but over 30 species of birds were used. Large species differences in drug metabolism exist between birds and mammals as well as between various birds, these differences were mostly quantitative. Qualitative differences were rare. On the whole, drug metabolism studies in birds have been neglected as compared with similar studies on insects and mammals. The uniqueness of birds and the advantages of using birds in drug metabolism studies are discussed. Possible future studies of drug metabolism in birds are recommended.

  18. Bird list of San Bernardino Ranch in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melinda Cardenas-Garcia; Monica C. Olguin-Villa

    2013-01-01

    Interest and investigation of birds has been increasing over the last decades due to the loss of their habitats, and declination and fragmentation of their populations. San Bernardino Ranch is located in the desert grassland region of northeastern Sonora, México. Over the last decade, restoration efforts have tried to address the effects of long deteriorating economic...

  19. Spatial distribution of bird communities in small forest fragments in central Europe in relation to distance to the forest edge, fragment size and type of forest

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hofmeister, Jeňýk; Hošek, J.; Brabec, Marek; Kočvara, R.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 401, OCT (2017), s. 255-263 ISSN 0378-1127 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985807 Keywords : Clearing * Dryocopus martius * Forest bird * Forest management * Generalized additive model * Habitat fragmentation Subject RIV: GK - Forestry; BB - Applied Statistics, Operational Research (UIVT-O) OBOR OECD: Forestry; Statistics and probability (UIVT-O) Impact factor: 3.064, year: 2016

  20. Long-term variation in the winter resident bird community of Guanica Forest, Puerto Rico: lessons for measuring and monitoring species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Faaborg; Katie M. Dugger; Wayne J. Arendt

    2007-01-01

    Because the winter season is potentially limiting for migratory birds, understanding their nonbreeding distributional patterns is essential. At a given site, patterns of species occurrence and abundance may vary over time and, within a species, wintering strategies may vary with regard to the degree that individuals are site-faithful both within and between winters. We...

  1. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M.; Alder, Peter B.; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Crawley, Michael J.; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; Davies, Kendi F.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hautier, Yann; Heckman, Robert W.; Hector, Andy; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Iribarne, Oscar; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Orrock, John L.; Pascual, Jesús; Prober, Suzanne M.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren L.; Williams, Ryan J.; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin P.; Yang, Louie H.

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

  2. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, Bingzhen; Zhen, Lin; Yan, Huimin; Groot, de Dolf

    2016-01-01

    Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998) a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of

  3. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

  4. Birds and music

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L Amini

    2009-03-01

    Through research in old mythological narrations, and literary texts, one could assume an intrinsic relationship between music and such sweet-singing mythological birds as phoenix, sphinx, Song-song, holy birds like Kership-tah, and other birds including swan and ring dove.

  5. Birds Kept as Pets

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... your pet’s health Visit a veterinarian who has experience with pet birds for routine check-ups to keep your bird healthy and prevent infectious diseases. If your bird becomes sick or dies within a month after purchase or adoption: Contact your veterinarian. Inform the pet ...

  6. Audubon Bird Study Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    National Audubon Society, New York, NY.

    Included are a student reader, "The Story of Birds," a leaders' guide, a large colored Audubon bird chart, and a separate guide for the chart. The student reader is divided into eleven sections which relate to the various physical and behavioral features of birds such as feathers, feeding habits as related to the shape of bills and feet, nests,…

  7. Research priorities for grassland science: the need of long term integrated experiments networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lemaire

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands have to be considered not only as a mean for providing foods for domestic herbivore but also as an important biome of terrestrial biosphere. This function of grasslands as an active component of our environment requires specific studies on the role and impact of this ecosystem on soil erosion and soil quality, quality and quantity of water resources, atmosphere composition and greenhouse gas emission or sequestration, biodiversity dynamics at different scales from field plot to landscape. All these functions have to be evaluated in conjunction with the function of providing animal products for increasing human population. So multifunctionality of grasslands become a new paradigm for grassland science. Environmental and biodiversity outputs require long term studies, being the long term retro-active processes within soil, vegetation and micro-organism communities in relation to changes in management programme. So grassland science needs to carry on long term integrated experimentation for studying all the environmental outputs and ecological services associated to grassland management systems.

  8. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

    The productivity of grassland may change greatly with ageing. Frequently, a productive ley period, occurring in the first time after (re)seeding, is followed by a period in which productivity decreases. Under conditions favourable to grassland this may be temporary. A production level

  9. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Grassland abandonment followed by forest succession is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. We studied the impact of current forest expansion on mountain grassland on changes in physical soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions along a land-use and management gradient......, focusing on changes in aggregate stability and particulate organic matter (POM). Methods. Four successional stages were investigated: managed grassland, two transitional phases in which grassland abandonment led to colonization by Picea abies (L.) Karst., and old mixed forest dominated by Fagus sylvatica L....... Results. The dimension of aggregates assessed by aggregate size fractionation tended to increase, whereas SOC allocation to stable aggregates assessed by sizedensity fractionation decreased following conversion of grassland to forest (e.g. from 81 to 59 % in the 0–5 cm layer). The amount of SOC stored...

  10. Changes in grassland management and plant diversity in a marginal region of the Carpathian Mts. in 1999-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halada, Ľuboš; David, Stanislav; Hreško, Juraj; Klimantová, Alexandra; Bača, Andrej; Rusňák, Tomáš; Buraľ, Miroslav; Vadel, Ľuboš

    2017-12-31

    The political change from socialism to democracy in countries of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century induced broad changes in agriculture mostly due to land ownership changes and strong reduction of subsidies to agriculture. This resulted in agricultural decline, including grassland abandonment, which influenced grassland biodiversity and conservation. Between 1999 and 2015 we studied the grasslands in the area depopulated in the early 1980's in the Poloniny National Park (NE Slovakia, Carpathian Mts.). The aim of the study was to examine influence of environmental factors and grassland management driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to plant community structure and taxonomical diversity. We identified altitude and soil properties as the main environmental factors: altitude determines climate gradient and probably also management intensity gradient and soil properties express soil fertility via A-horizon depth. We identified remarkable increase of proportion of managed grasslands from only 8% in 1999 to 40% in 2012-2015; other 7% of sampled grasslands were recently restored and prepared for future management. The average species richness in grasslands managed in 2012-2015 increased from 47.5 species per record in 1999 to 54.2 species in 2012-2015, the increase was found statistically significant. In 2012-2015, we observed statistically significant difference in the average species richness between managed (54.2) and abandoned grasslands (46.3). The agricultural subsidies of the CAP drive the grassland management in the study area. Therefore, we conclude that CAP enabled grassland biodiversity maintenance in significant part of the Poloniny National Park following start of its application in 2004 and above provided figures can be considered as indicators of the CAP effectiveness in our study area. However, the conservation of mountain meadows remains a challenge because of their poor accessibility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  11. Nepal’s National Red List of Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carol Inskipp

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The main objectives of the Nepal National Bird Red Data Book were to provide comprehensive and up-to-date accounts of all the bird species found in Nepal, assess their status applying the IUCN Guidelines at Regional Levels, identify threats to all bird species and recommend the most practical measures for their conservation.  It is hoped that the Bird RDB will help Nepal achieve the Convention on Biological Diversity target of preventing the extinction of known threatened species and improving their conservation status.  As population changes of Nepal’s birds have been studied for only a few species, assessments of species’ national status were mainly made by assessing changes in distribution.  Species distribution maps were produced for all of Nepal’s bird species except vagrants and compared to maps that were produced in 1991 using the same mapping system.  Of the 878 bird species recorded, 168 species (19% were assessed as nationally threatened. These comprise 68 (40% Critically Endangered species, 38 (23% Endangered species and 62 (37% Vulnerable species.  A total of 62 species was considered Near Threatened and 22 species Data Deficient.  Over 55% of the threatened birds are lowland grassland specialists, 25% are wetland birds and 24% tropical and sub-tropical broadleaved forest birds.  Larger birds appear to be more threatened than smaller birds with 98 (25% non-passerine species threatened and 67 (14% passerine species.  Habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation are the most important threats.  Other threats include chemical poisoning, over-exploitation, climate change, hydropower, invasive species, intensification of agriculture, disturbance, and limited conservation measures and research.  Measures to address these threats are described.  It was also concluded that re-assessments of the status of certain bird groups carried out every five years and the setting up of a national online system for storing and reporting

  12. Interspecific competition and the structure of bird guilds in boreal Europe: the importance of doing fieldwork in the right season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, L

    1987-12-01

    Bird studies have gained a central role in the debate on the importance of interspecific competition in nature. Thus, the negative results reported from a breeding bird community in a North American shrubsteppe area have created ripples throughout community ecology. However, the set of coexisting breeding birds might be an inappropriate operational definition of a bird community, because the intensity of interspecific competition can be expected to peak in autumn-winter. A review of North European data on wintering birds suggests that the case for the competition theory remains strong when bird communities are defined on the basis of winter coexistence. Copyright © 1987. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  13. North Slope, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for diving birds, gulls and terns, seabirds, shorebirds, and waterfowl for the North Slope of Alaska....

  14. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laura Marie Ladwig

    2014-01-01

    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural...

  15. Birds of Sabaki Birds of Sabaki

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    CJ

    2005-02-25

    Feb 25, 2005 ... covers approximately 250ha.The area encompassed by this study extends from Mambrui to the north, the sea to the east, the opposite bank of the estuary to the south and the Sabaki bridge and Malindi-Garsen road to the west. The area is defined as an Important Bird Area(IBA) by BirdLife International in ...

  16. Birds of the St. Croix River valley: Minnesota and Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faanes, Craig A.

    1981-01-01

    The St. Croix River Valley encompasses nearly 11,550 km2 in east-central Minnesota and northwestern Wisconsin. A wide range of habitats are available for birds including upland oak, lowland deciduous, maple-basswood, lowland and upland coniferous forests, natural basin wetlands, and grasslands. Situated in the north-central region of the United States, the valley is a biological 'crossroads' for many species. Because of the mixed affinities of plant communities, the valley includes the northern and southern range limits for a number of species. Also, because the valley lies near the forest-prairie transition zone, many typical western breeding species (e.g. pintail, western meadowlark, yellow-headed blackbird) breed in proximity to typical eastern species such as tufted titmouse, eastern meadowlark, and cardinal. From 1966 to 1980, I conducted extensive surveys of avian distribution and abundance in the St. Croix River Valley. I have supplemented the results of these surveys with published and unpublished observations contributed by many ornithologists. These additional data include compilations from Christmas Bird Counts sponsored by the National Audubon Society and from the Breeding Bird Survey coordinated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Three hundred fourteen species have been recorded in the study area; data are presented on the migration period, nesting season distribution, winter distribution, relative abundance, and habitat use of each species. Recognizing the uniqueness of the area, and its importance not only to wildlife but also to man, the U.S. Congress designated the St. Croix a National Scenic Riverway. This action provided a considerable degree of protection to lands along and directly adjacent to the river. Unfortunately, no similar legal measure exists to protect lands away from the river. With the exception of the northern quarter of the St. Croix River Valley, agricultural interests have made significant inroads into the habitat base. The

  17. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. CUTINI

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  18. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. SPADA

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  19. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jacobs, C.M.J.; Jacobs, A.F.G.; Bosveld, F.C.; Hendriks, D.M.D.; Hensen, A.; Kroon, P.; Moors, E.J.; Nol, L.; Schrier-Uijl, A.P.; Veenendaal, E.M.

    2007-01-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites: four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site,

  20. Foraging ecology and spatial behavior of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in a wet grassland ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meisner, Katrine; Sunde, Peter; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann

    2014-01-01

    We investigated diet composition, habitat selection and spatial behaviour of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to the availability of wader nests in a coastal polder area in southwest Denmark. The predatory role of the red fox in wet grassland ecosystems has profound implications...... for conservation status of declining populations of grassland breeding waders. However, few studies have focussed on the foraging ecology and behaviour of the red fox in these landscapes. Faecal analyses revealed that fox diet consisted of birds (43 % of prey remains / 32 % of biomass), rodents (39 % / 21...... %), sheep (mainly as carrion, 14 % / 41 %) and lagomorphs (4 % / 7 %). Charadriiformes (including waders) comprised 3–12 % of prey remains throughout the year. Telemetry data and spotlight counts indicated that foxes did not select areas with high densities of breeding waders, suggesting that foxes did...

  1. Viñales Taxonomic Characterization and trophic groups of two communities of birds associated to semideciduos forests and vegetation of Pine-oak of the paths «Marvels of Viñales» and «Valley Ancón» in Viñales National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miguel Cué Rivero

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The present work was carried out in the months of February to April 2009 in the semideciduos forest «Marvels of Viñales» and the formation pine-encino of the «Valley Ancón» of the Viñales National Park and it pursued as main objective to characterize the taxonomic composition and tropic groups tof two communities of birds associated to semideciduos forest and pine oak vegetation from both -. The method of circular parcels of fixed radio was used in 30 points of counts separated to 150 m one of another. There were detected a total of 44 species of birds (in the semideciduo and 42 in pine-oak contained in 9 orders and 18 families. They registered 23 trophic groups with prevalence of Insectivorous. The communities of birds of the formation of semideciduo forest of the path «Marvels of Viñales» and of the forest of pine oak of «Valley Ancón» presented differences in its taxonomic composition The communities of birds of both vegetable formations showed differences as for their trophiccomposition but so much in one as in other majority of birds consumers of insects and grains was observed.

  2. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K.; Siegmund, R.; Wagner, M.; Hartmann, S.

    2015-04-01

    Cutting date and frequency are important parameters determining grassland yields in addition to the effects of weather, soil conditions, plant composition and fertilisation. Because accurate and area-wide data of grassland yields are currently not available, cutting frequency can be used to estimate yields. In this project, a method to detect cutting dates via surface changes in radar images is developed. The combination of this method with a grassland yield model will result in more reliable and regional-wide numbers of grassland yields. For the test-phase of the monitoring project, a study area situated southeast of Munich, Germany, was chosen due to its high density of managed grassland. For determining grassland cutting robust amplitude change detection techniques are used evaluating radar amplitude or backscatter statistics before and after the cutting event. CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A data were analysed. All detected cuts were verified according to in-situ measurements recorded in a GIS database. Although the SAR systems had various acquisition geometries, the amount of detected grassland cut was quite similar. Of 154 tested grassland plots, covering in total 436 ha, 116 and 111 cuts were detected using CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A radar data, respectively. Further improvement of radar data processes as well as additional analyses with higher sample number and wider land surface coverage will follow for optimisation of the method and for validation and generalisation of the results of this feasibility study. The automation of this method will than allow for an area-wide and cost efficient cutting date detection service improving grassland yield models.

  3. Comunidade de aves da Reserva Estadual de Gurjaú, Pernambuco, Brasil Bird communities of the Gurjaú Reserve, Pernambuco State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel Maria de Lyra-Neves

    2004-09-01

    Full Text Available Estudos quali-quantitativos foram realizados em um fragmento florestal da Reserva Estadual de Gurjaú, Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Pernambuco, Brasil. Foram registradas 220 espécies de aves no levantamento qualitativo. Através da contagem por pontos, foram identificadas 175 espécies em 6.470 contatos (270 amostras. A freqüência de ocorrência de 75% foi registrada para 43 espécies (19,6%; para a maioria das espécies a freqüência de ocorrência esteve abaixo de 25%.A qualitative and quantitative bird surveys were carried out in a forest fragment in Gurjau Reserve, Santo Agostinho Cape, Pernambuco State, Brazil. By qualitative census were registered 220 different bird species. Concerning the point counts, were identified 175 different species in 6.470 contacts (270 samples. A frequency of occurrence of 75% was registered for 43 species (19,6%; the most part of species had a frequency of occurrence below 25%.

  4. An annotated check list of the birds of Qwaqwa National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D.H. De Swardt

    1996-08-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a check list of 179 bird species occuring in the Qwaqwa National Park which borders the eastern part of Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Data on the distribution, status, habitat preferences and breeding were obtained during several visits between December 1992 and March 1995. The following habitats were preferred: grassland, montane grassland, woodland, rocky hillsides, mountain slopes and riverine areas with Phragmites reedbeds. The conservation of waterbirds, raptors and other localised species such as Orangebreasted Rockjumper, Palecrowned Cisticola, Mountain Pipit and Gurney's Sugarbird is important as these species occur in specialised habitats.

  5. Relationships between botanical and chemical composition of forages: a multivariate approach to grasslands in the Western Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravetto Enri, Simone; Renna, Manuela; Probo, Massimiliano; Lussiana, Carola; Battaglini, Luca M; Lonati, Michele; Lombardi, Giampiero

    2017-03-01

    Plant composition of species-rich mountain grasslands can affect the sensorial and chemical attributes of dairy and meat products, with implications for human health. A multivariate approach was used to analyse the complex relationships between vegetation characteristics (botanical composition and plant community variables) and chemical composition (proximate constituents and fatty acid profile) in mesophilic and dry vegetation ecological groups, comprising six different semi-natural grassland types in the Western Italian Alps. Mesophilic and dry grasslands were comparable in terms of phenology, biodiversity indices and proportion of botanical families. The content of total fatty acids and that of the most abundant fatty acids (alpha-linolenic, linoleic and palmitic acids) were mainly associated to nutrient-rich plant species, belonging to the mesophilic grassland ecological group. Mesophilic grasslands showed also higher values of crude protein, lower values of fibre content and they were related to higher pastoral values of vegetation compared to dry grasslands. The proximate composition and fatty acid profile appeared mainly single species dependent rather than botanical family dependent. These findings highlight that forage from mesophilic grasslands can provide higher nutritive value for ruminants and may be associated to ruminant-derived food products with a healthier fatty acid profile. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  6. Diseases Transmitted by Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levison, Matthew E

    2015-08-01

    Although many people these days actually work very hard at leisure time activities, diseases are most commonly acquired from birds during the course of work in the usual sense of the term, not leisure. However, travel for pleasure to areas where the diseases are highly endemic puts people at risk of acquiring some of these bird-related diseases (for example, histoplasmosis and arbovirus infections), as does ownership of birds as pets (psittacosis).

  7. Constraints on tree seedling establishment in montane grasslands of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan D. Coop; Thomas J. Givnish

    2008-01-01

    Montane and subalpine grasslands are prominent, but poorly understood, features of the Rocky Mountains. These communities frequently occur below reversed tree lines on valley floors, where nightly cold air accumulation is spatially coupled with fine soil texture. We used field experiments to assess the roles of minimum temperature, soil texture, grass competition, and...

  8. The history of widespread decrease in oak dominance exemplified in a grassland--forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; Daniel C. Dey; Hong S. He

    2014-01-01

    Regionally-distinctive open oak forest ecosystems have been replaced either by intensive agriculture and grazing fields or by denser forests throughout eastern North America and Europe. To quantify changes in tree communities and density in the Missouri Plains, a grassland-forest landscape, we used historical surveys from1815 to 1864 and current surveys from 2004 to...

  9. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. D. Petrie; S. L. Collins; A. M. Swann; P. L. Ford; M. E. Litvak

    2015-01-01

    The replacement of native C4-dominated grassland by C3-dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be...

  10. Birds of the Reserva Biológica do Mato Grande and surroundings, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Vizentin-Bugoni, Jeferson; Jacobs, Fernando; Coimbra, Marco Antônio Afonso

    2015-01-01

    The Reserva Biológica do Mato Grande encompasses 5,161 hectares of wetlands, restinga forests and grasslands in southern Brazil. Aiming to assemble a list of bird species occurring in the reserve, we carried out 21 monthly expeditions from July 2007 to March 2009 and an additional visit on October...

  11. Prioritizing bird conservation actions in the Prairie Hardwood transition of the Midwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Crimmins, Shawn M.; Pearce, Jennie

    2014-01-01

    Large-scale planning for the conservation of species is often hindered by a poor understanding of factors limiting populations. In regions with declining wildlife populations, it is critical that objective metrics of conservation success are developed to ensure that conservation actions achieve desired results. Using spatially explicit estimates of bird abundance, we evaluated several management alternatives for conserving bird populations in the Prairie Hardwood Transition of the United States. We designed landscapes conserving species at 50% of their current predicted abundance as well as landscapes attempting to achieve species population targets (which often required the doubling of current abundance). Conserving species at reduced (half of current) abundance led to few conservation conflicts. However, because of extensive modification of the landscape to suit human use, strategies for achieving regional population targets for forest bird species would be difficult under even ideal circumstances, and even more so if maintenance of grassland bird populations is also desired. Our results indicated that large-scale restoration of agricultural lands to native grassland and forest habitats may be the most productive conservation action for increasing bird population sizes but the level of landscape transition required to approach target bird population sizes may be societally unacceptable.

  12. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, diving birds, seabirds, passerine birds, and gulls and...

  13. Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains sensitive biological resource data for pelagic birds, shorebirds, wading birds, waterfowl, gulls, terns, and passerine birds in Guam and the...

  14. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, M D; Collins, S L; Swann, A M; Ford, P L; Litvak, M E

    2015-03-01

    The replacement of native C4 -dominated grassland by C3 -dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid and semiarid ecosystems may be highly variable. During a drier than average period from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, we found established shrubland to sequester 49 g C m(-2) yr(-1) on average, while nearby native C4 grassland was a net source of 31 g C m(-2) yr(-1) over this same period. Differences in C exchange between these ecosystems were pronounced--grassland had similar productivity compared to shrubland but experienced higher C efflux via ecosystem respiration, while shrubland was a consistent C sink because of a longer growing season and lower ecosystem respiration. At daily timescales, rates of carbon exchange were more sensitive to soil moisture variation in grassland than shrubland, such that grassland had a net uptake of C when wet but lost C when dry. Thus, even under unfavorable, drier than average climate conditions, the state transition from grassland to shrubland resulted in a substantial increase in terrestrial C sequestration. These results illustrate the inherent tradeoffs in quantifying ecosystem services that result from ecological state transitions, such as shrub encroachment. In this case, the deleterious changes to ecosystem services often linked to grassland to shrubland state transitions may at least be partially offset by increased ecosystem carbon sequestration. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  15. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wilcox, K. R.; Shi, Z.; Gherardi, L. A.; Lemoine, N. P.; Koerner, S. E.; Hoover, D. L.; Bork, E.; Byrne, K. M.; Cahill, J.; Collins, S. L.; Evans, S.M.; Gilgen, Anna K.; Holub, Petr; Jiang, L.; Knapp, A. K.; LeCain, D.; Liang, J.; Garcia-Palacios, P.; Penuelas, J.; Pockman, W. T.; Smith, M. D.; Sun, S.; White, S. R.; Yahdjian, L.; Zhu, K.; Luo, Y.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 10 (2017), s. 4376-4385 ISSN 1354-1013 Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : net primary productivity * terrestrial ecosystems * temperate grassland * biomass allocation * plant-communities * tallgrass prairie * climate extremes * use efficiency * united-states * global-change * aboveground net primary productivity * belowground net primary productivity * biomass allocation * climate change * grasslands * meta-analysis * root biomass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 8.502, year: 2016

  16. Bird Perches Increase Forest Seeds on Puerto Rican Landslides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron B. Shiels; Lawrence R. Walker

    2003-01-01

    Landslides result in the loss of vertical vegetative structure, soil nutrients, and the soil seed bank. These losses impede timely recovery of tropical forest communities. In this study we added bird perches to six Puerto Rican landslides with three types of surfaces (bare, climbing fern, grass) in an effort to facilitate inputs of forest seeds through bird dispersal...

  17. Bird checklist, Guánica Biosphere Reserve, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne J. Arendt; John Faaborg; Miguel Canals; Jerry Bauer

    2015-01-01

    This research note compiles 43 years of research and monitoring data to produce the first comprehensive checklist of the dry forest avian community found within the Guánica Biosphere Reserve. We provide an overview of the reserve along with sighting locales, a list of 185 birds with their resident status and abundance, and a list of the available bird habitats....

  18. Characteristics of urban woodlands affecting breeding bird diversity and abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    N.G. Tilghman

    1987-01-01

    Breeding bird communities were studied in 32 forest islands surrounded by urban development. These isolated woodlands in Springfield, Massachusetts, provided breeding habitats for a wider variety of birds (77 species) than previously described for other urban habitats (e.g. four times as many species as found in urban residential areas in the same city in a...

  19. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives, organization and research programme of the Grassland Biome Project are described against a background of the biome's ecological characteristics and environmental problems. Four principal research topics wil 1 be focused upon: (i...

  20. Bird Flu (Avian Influenza)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird flu (avian influenza) Overview Bird flu is caused by a type of influenza virus that rarely infects humans. More than a ... for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that seasonal influenza is responsible for ... heat destroys avian viruses, cooked poultry isn't a health threat. ...

  1. Nanoscale magnetoreceptors in birds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Greiner, Walter

    2012-01-01

    The Earth's magnetic field provides an important source of directional information for many living organisms, especially birds, but the sensory receptor responsible for magnetic field detection still has to be identified. Recently, magnetic iron oxide particles were detected in dendritic endings...... field, by a bird....

  2. Understanding how birds navigate

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Solov'yov, Ilia; Schulten, Klaus

    2009-01-01

    A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye.......A proposed model for migrating birds' magnetic sense can withstand moderate orientational disorder of a key protein in the eye....

  3. Plant Community and Soil Environment Response to Summer Fire in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is a keystone process in many ecosystems, especially grasslands. However, documentation of plant community and soil environment responses to fire is limited for semiarid grasslands relative to that for mesic grasslands. Replicated summer fire research is lacking, but much needed because summe...

  4. Grassland canopy parameters and their relationships to remotely sensed vegetation indices in the Nebraska Sand Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; DeJong, Donovan D.; Tieszen, Larry L.; Biondini, Mario E.

    1996-01-01

    Relationships among spectral vegetation indices and grassland biophysical parameters including the effects of varying levels of standing dead vegetation, range sites, and range plant communities were examined. Range plant communities consisting of northern mixed grass prairie and a smooth brome field as well as range sites and management in a Sand Hills bluestem prairie were sampled with a ground radiometer and for LAI, biomass, chlorophy

  5. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dasselaar, A. [Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands); Oenema, O. [NMI, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    Net methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions from managed grassland on peat soils in the Netherlands have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers in the period January - June 1994. Net CH{sub 4} emissions from two intensively managed grasslands were low, in general less than 0.1 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. On these sites, the effect of management was negligibly small. CH{sub 4} emission from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve ranged from 0 to 185 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. The results presented here indicate that CH{sub 4} emissions are 2-3 orders of magnitude higher on extensively managed grasslands than on intensively managed grasslands. 2 figs., 6 refs.

  6. Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi mediate soil respiration response to climate change in California grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estruch, Carme; Mcfarland, Jack; Haw, Monica P.; Schulz, Marjorie S.; Pugnaire, Francisco I.; Waldrop, Mark P.

    2017-04-01

    California grasslands store ca. 100 Tg of soil organic carbon (SOC) and almost 40% of those ecosystems are prone to land use changes. The fate of these carbon pools will largely depend on how the main components of soil respiration - i.e., roots, mycorrhiza, and 'bulk soil' communities- respond to such changes. In order to determine the sensitivity to environmental drivers we set up an experiment to address the effect of plant community composition, soil age and warming on soil respiration rate during the 2014-2015 winter. We tested differences among microbial, fungal and root respiration using an exclusion technique to assess the effect of plant community (open grasslands vs oak woodland) in two field sites differing in soil properties as nutrient content, related to geologic soil age (92 and 137 kyr). We also used open top chambers (OTC) to simulate global change effects on grasslands. Our results showed that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were the main drivers of differences recorded between soils of different age, and that those differences were linked to nutrient availability. Bulk soil respiration was more sensitive to environmental variation than mycorrhizal or root respiration, indicating that the presence of mycorrhizae and roots can regulate the capacity of CO2 emission to the atmosphere. Soil age affected CO2 flux from grasslands but not under oak canopies, likely due to the high concentration of SOM in oak canopies which moderated any affect of soil mineralogy on nutrient availability. Overall our study shows that the ability of grasslands to mitigate CO2 emissions depends on interactions between vegetation and their rhizosphere on soil microbial communities.

  7. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes

  8. Ecological study of a wetland in Vercelli area. Bird community of 'palude di San Genuario' (Crescentino-Fontanetto Po); Studio ecologico di una zona umida del Vercellese. La comunita' ornitica della palude di S. Genuario (Crescentino-Fontanetto Po)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cellerino, A; Rossi, G L [ENEA, Divisione Protezione dell' Uomo e degli Ecosistemi, Centro Ricerche Saluggia, Vercelli (Italy)

    2001-07-01

    The Palude di San Genuario, that includes an artificial wetland zone, has been declared a Community importance site according to Directive CEE n. 92/43 (Habitat), because of the rare bird species living in (as Botarus stellaris, Ardea purpurea, Circus aeruginosus). This research has the aim to improve the knowledge about natural characteristics, the ornithological community and the conservation degree of the area. The study has been carried out by the Sezione Componente Biotica dell'Ecosistema of the ENEA Research Center of Saluggia during 1996, 1997, 1998. It has been possible to describe the ornithological wintering and reproductive community, defining it in terms of diversity by the application of indices (Shannon-Weaver, Berger-Parker, Pielou, Simpson). Besides, the community has been analyzed by the calculation of the curves of relative abundance distribution verifying the consistency in respect to four theoretic models. Using Brichetti and Gariboldi's system of evaluation for the nesting species (based on italian species) and verifying the species considered by the Red List of italian birds, by the work of Tucker and Heath concerning the european species of conservation interest (1994) and by International Convention (Berna and Bonn) as well as European Directives (Birds Directive), it has been possible to point out that the most interesting species belong to wetlands habitats. In accordance with these results, some managerial hypothesis have been elaborated in order to preserve the area. [Italian] La palude di S. Genuario, che racchiude una zona umida di origine artificiale, e' stata individuata come sito di Importanza Comunitaria, ai sensi della Direttiva CEE n. 92/43 ({sup H}abitat{sup )}, per le specie avifaunistiche rare che ospita (Tarabuso, Airone rosso, Falco di palude). Questo studio ha lo scopo di costituire uno strumento conoscitivo riguardante le caratteristiche naturali, i popolamenti ornitici e lo stato di conservazione del sito. La ricerca

  9. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's sparrow (Ammodrammus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S; Hofmeister, Erik K; Ribic, Christine A; Sample, David W

    2014-10-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n=346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2-6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4-10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4-9% and 9-20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n=165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  10. Relatively high prevalence of pox-like lesions in Henslow's Sparrow (Ammodramus henslowii) among nine species of migratory grassland passerines in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellison, Kevin S.; Hofmeister, Erik K.; Ribic, Christine A.; Sample, David W.

    2014-01-01

    Globally, Avipoxvirus species affect over 230 species of wild birds and can significantly impair survival. During banding of nine grassland songbird species (n = 346 individuals) in southwestern Wisconsin, USA, we noted species with a 2–6% prevalence of pox-like lesions (possible evidence of current infection) and 4–10% missing digits (potential evidence of past infection). These prevalences approach those recorded among island endemic birds (4–9% and 9–20% for the Galapagos and Hawaii, respectively) for which Avipoxvirus species have been implicated as contributing to dramatic population declines. Henslow's Sparrow Ammodramus henslowii (n = 165 individuals) had the highest prevalence of lesions (6.1%) and missing digits (9.7%). Among a subset of 26 Henslow's Sparrows from which blood samples were obtained, none had detectable antibody reactive to fowlpox virus antigen. However, four samples (18%) had antibody to canarypox virus antigen with test sample and negative control ratios (P/N values) ranging from 2.4 to 6.5 (median 4.3). Of four antibody-positive birds, two had lesions recorded (one was also missing a digit), one had digits missing, and one had no signs. Additionally, the birds with lesions or missing digits had higher P/N values than did the antibody-positive bird without missing digits or recorded lesions. This study represents an impetus for considering the impacts and dynamics of disease caused by Avipoxvirus among North American grassland bird species.

  11. Birds of Sabaragamuwa University campus, Buttala, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T.D. Surasinghe

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a bird survey in the Sabaragamuwa University premises in southeastern Sri Lanka between 2001 and 2004. We recorded 145 bird species, representing 17 orders and 51 families from the campus. The birdlife included Red-faced Malkoha, a globally Vulnerable species and four Near Threatened taxa. The university premises suffer from severe habitat alteration largely owing to fire, filling-up of aquatic habitats, resource over-extraction, improper waste management, invasion by exotic species and livestock grazing. Several conservation measures, including habitat management strategies such as restoration of riparian vegetation, and wetlands, increasing plant diversity in home gardens and prevention of secondary successions in grasslands are recommended to protect the campus environment and to conserve its avifaunal diversity.

  12. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

  13. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  14. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  15. Hatching synchrony in birds

    OpenAIRE

    Tippeltová, Zuzana

    2011-01-01

    This bachelor thesis is about hatching synchrony in birds. Generally, among birds there are two types of hatching - asynchronous and synchronous- and the type of hatching is primarily determined by the time of the onset of incubation. In many bird species, including most precocial ones, incubation does not begin until the last egg has been laid, which results in hatching of all the eggs within a few hours. In synchronously-hatched broods, all the chicks are about the same age. Thus no single ...

  16. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  17. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

    The connotation, progress, research frontiers and developmental trend of grassland agroecology are discussed in this paper. The interface theory, structure and function, coupling and discordance, and health assessment of grassland agroecosystems were recognized as the four research frontiers of the discipline. There exist three primary interfaces in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., vegetation-site, grassland-animal and production-management. Research into a series of the ecological processes that occurred at these interfaces is the key to revealing the features of the system behavior. There are four sections in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., pre-plant, plant, animal and post-biotic sections. System coupling and discordance are the two important concepts to describe interactions among the production sections. System coupling among the sections can lead to system improvement by exerting the potential of system capacity. Health of an ecosystem is a reflection of its structure and function, and health assessment is a measurement of its orderliness and service value.

  18. Bird Community Composition in a Shaded Coffee Agro-ecological Matrix in Puebla, Mexico: The Effects of Landscape Heterogeneity at Multiple Spatial Scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leyequien, E.; Boer, de W.F.; Toledo, V.M.

    2010-01-01

    This study examined the importance of habitat heterogeneity on the avian community composition, and investigated the scale at which species abundances respond to habitat variables. The study was conducted within a diverse landscape matrix of a shaded coffee region in Mexico. To detect at which

  19. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prober, Suzanne M.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bates, Scott T.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Lind, Eric M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Adler, Peter B.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Williams, Ryan J.; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground–belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m2 plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity.

  20. Barrier Infrared Detector (BIRD)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — A recent breakthrough in MWIR detector design, has resulted in a high operating temperature (HOT) barrier infrared detector (BIRD) that is capable of spectral...

  1. Calcium metabolism in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Matos, Ricardo

    2008-01-01

    Calcium is one of the most important plasma constituents in mammals and birds. It provides structural strength and support (bones and eggshell) and plays vital roles in many of the biochemical reactions in the body. The control of calcium metabolism in birds is highly efficient and closely regulated in a number of tissues, primarily parathyroid gland, intestine, kidney, and bone. The hormones with the greatest involvement in calcium regulation in birds are parathyroid hormone, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D(3) (calcitriol), and estrogen, with calcitonin playing a minor and uncertain role. The special characteristics of calcium metabolism in birds, mainly associated with egg production, are discussed, along with common clinical disorders secondary to derangements in calcium homeostasis.

  2. Birds as biodiversity surrogates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Larsen, Frank Wugt; Bladt, Jesper Stentoft; Balmford, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    1. Most biodiversity is still unknown, and therefore, priority areas for conservation typically are identified based on the presence of surrogates, or indicator groups. Birds are commonly used as surrogates of biodiversity owing to the wide availability of relevant data and their broad popular...... and applications.?Good surrogates of biodiversity are necessary to help identify conservation areas that will be effective in preventing species extinctions. Birds perform fairly well as surrogates in cases where birds are relatively speciose, but overall effectiveness will be improved by adding additional data...... from other taxa, in particular from range-restricted species. Conservation solutions with focus on birds as biodiversity surrogate could therefore benefit from also incorporating species data from other taxa....

  3. Awesome Audubon Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kahler, Laura

    2010-01-01

    In this article, the author describes a watercolor art lesson on Audubon birds. She also discusses how science, technology, writing skills, and the elements and principles of art can be incorporated into the lesson.

  4. Nuisance Birds Webinar Report

    Science.gov (United States)

    All over the nation, birds of all shapes and sizes attempt to make schools a their favorite hangout. Their arrival can lead to sanitation issues, added facility degradation, distracted students and health problems.

  5. Birds - Breeding [ds60

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This data set provides access to information gathered on annual breeding bird surveys in California using a map layer developed by the Department. This data layer...

  6. Breeding bird survey data

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — The data are maintained by the USGS (https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/bbs/RawData/) and provides information on the trends and status of North American bird populations...

  7. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    This study was concerned with plutonium contamination of grassland at the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geogrphical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for plutonium analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99% of the total plutonium was contained in the soil. The concentrations of plutonium in soil were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes. A mechanism of agglomerated submicron plutonium oxide particles and larger (1-500 μm) host soil particles was proposed. Concentrations of Pu in litter and vegetation were inversely correlated to distance from the source and directly correlated to soil concentrations at the same location. Comparatively high concentration ratios of vegetation to soil suggested wind resuspension of contamination as an important transport mechanism. Arthropod and small mammal samples were highly skewed, kurtotic, and quite variable, having coefficients of variation (standard deviation/mean) as high as 600%. Bone Pu concentrations were lower than other tissues. Hide, GI, and lung were generally not higher in Pu than kidney, liver and muscle

  8. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Modernel, P.; Rossing, W. A. H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-11-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of external inputs. We synthesised 242 references from peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1945 and mid-2015 and analysed secondary data to examine the evidence on the ecosystem services provided by this grassland biodiversity hotspot and the way they are affected by land use changes and their drivers. The analysis followed the requirements of systematic review from the PRISMA statement (Moher et al 2009 Acad. Clin. Ann. Intern. Med. 151 264-9). The Pampas and Campos provide feed for 43 million heads of cattle and 14 million sheep. The biome is habitat of 4000 native plant species, 300 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 49 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The soils of the region stock 5% of the soil organic carbon of Latin America on 3% of its area. Driven by high prices of soybean, the soybean area increased by 210% between 2000 and 2010, at the expense of 2 million ha (5%) of native grassland, mostly in the Pampas. Intensification of livestock production was apparent in two spatially distinct forms. In subregions where cropping increased, intensification of livestock production was reflected in an increased use of grains for feed as part of feedlots. In subregions dominated by native grasslands, stocking rates increased. The review showed that land use change and grazing regimes with low forage allowances were predominantly associated with negative effects on ecosystem service provision by reducing soil organic carbon stocks and the diversity of plants, birds and mammals, and by increasing soil erosion. We found little quantitative information on changes in the ecosystem services water provision, nutrient cycling and erosion control

  9. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...

  10. Modeling birds on wires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydoğdu, A; Frasca, P; D'Apice, C; Manzo, R; Thornton, J M; Gachomo, B; Wilson, T; Cheung, B; Tariq, U; Saidel, W; Piccoli, B

    2017-02-21

    In this paper we introduce a mathematical model to study the group dynamics of birds resting on wires. The model is agent-based and postulates attraction-repulsion forces between the interacting birds: the interactions are "topological", in the sense that they involve a given number of neighbors irrespective of their distance. The model is first mathematically analyzed and then simulated to study its main properties: we observe that the model predicts birds to be more widely spaced near the borders of each group. We compare the results from the model with experimental data, derived from the analysis of pictures of pigeons and starlings taken in New Jersey: two different image elaboration protocols allow us to establish a good agreement with the model and to quantify its main parameters. We also discuss the potential handedness of the birds, by analyzing the group organization features and the group dynamics at the arrival of new birds. Finally, we propose a more refined mathematical model that describes landing and departing birds by suitable stochastic processes. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

  12. Soil acidification and liming in grassland production and grassland soil fertility in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure ČOP

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the evidences on grassland soil acidity and liming in relation to soil processes and herbage production. There is also an outline of the present state of soil acidity and acidity-related traits – contents of organic matter (OM, phosphorus (P and potassium (K in Slovene grassland. In grassland, soil acidification is an ongoing process under humid climate conditions. It is mainly driven by leaching of nutrients, net loss of cations due to retention in livestock products, use of physiologically acid fertilizers, acid rain and N2 fixation. This process is reduced by strong pH buffering capacity of the soil and by physiologically basic fertilizers. Acid grassland soils in Slovenia are widely distributed in spite of the fact that 44% of the total land has developed from a carbonate parent material. Of the 1713 grassland soil samples analysed during 2005-2007 45% were regarded as acid ones (pH < 5.5; in KCl, 57% as soils with very low P status (˂ 6 mg P2O5/100 g soil and 22% as soils with very low K status (˂ 10 mg K2O/100 soil. Increased content of soil organic matter was identified for alpine pastures (˃ 10 % OM in 44% of samples, mainly as a result of low decomposition rate. Liming of acid grassland soils did not always reflect in a higher herbage yield. The cause for this inefficiency is plant composition of grassland. Thus, many grassland plants with relatively high production potential have adapted to acid soil conditions. To illustrate the inconsistent liming effect three researches are reviewed. In the first two researches liming along with fertilizer application did not increase the yield comparing to the fertilized control while in the third research the increase amounted 26 %. Liming improves considerably botanical composition of the acid grassland (e.g. sward where Common Bent – Agrostis tenuis Sibth. – prevails and thus indirectly affects palatability and nutritive value of herbage. Grassland liming has a weak

  13. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hennessy, D.; Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.

    2014-01-01

    The European project MultiSward studied the appreciation of different functions of grasslands by European stakeholders. This paper describes the importance of grasslands for stakeholders in Ireland. Ireland currently has approximately 4.6 million ha of grassland, which is 90% of the total utilized

  14. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available In Rome both meadows of CentraI-European affinity and Mediterranean dry grasslands are presento We studied a site (Parco Regionale Urbano de] Pineto in Rome with very diverse vegetation, where species belonging to both coenologica] groups oceur. Wc fertilized a grassland with a combination of phosphorus (P and nitrogen (N. After fertilization diagDostie species of Helianthemetea guttati (Thcrophytes dccrease while species of MolinioArrhenatheretea (Hemicriptophytes increase. In a climate as that of Rome, transition between Mediterranean (with summer drought and Central European (without summer drought, nutrients availability modulates the distribution of vegetation Classes with respectively Mediterranean or Central-Europe affinities.

  15. Mapping Land Cover and Estimating the Grassland Structure in a Priority Area of the Chihuahuan Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Maturino

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A field characterization of the grassland vegetation structure, represented by the coverage of grass canopy (CGC and the grass height, was carried out during three years (2009–2011 in a priority area for the conservation of grasslands of North America. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM5 images were selected and the information of reflectance was obtained based on the geographical location of each field-sampling site. Linear models, constructed with field and satellite data, with high coefficients of determination for CGC (R2 = 0.81, R2 = 0.81 and R2 = 0.72 and grass height (R2 = 0.82, R2 = 0.79 and R2 = 0.73 were obtained. The maps showed a good level of CGC (>25% and grass height (>25 cm, except for the year 2009, which presented the lowest values of grass height in the area. According to the Kappa Index, a moderate concordance among the three CGC maps was presented (0.49–0.59. Conversely, weak and moderate concordances were found among the grass height maps (0.36–0.59. It was observed that areas with a high CGC do not necessarily correspond to areas with greater grass height values. Based on the data analyzed in this study, the grassland areas are highly dynamic, structurally heterogeneous and the spatial distribution of the variables does not show a definite pattern. From the information generated, it is possible to determine those areas that are the most important for monitoring to then establish effective strategies for the conservation of these grasslands and the protection of threatened migratory bird species.

  16. Urban and rural habitats differ in number and type of bird feeders and in bird species consuming supplementary food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tryjanowski, Piotr; Skórka, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H; Biaduń, Waldemar; Brauze, Tomasz; Hetmański, Tomasz; Martyka, Rafał; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Myczko, Łukasz; Kunysz, Przemysław; Kawa, Piotr; Czyż, Stanisław; Czechowski, Paweł; Polakowski, Michał; Zduniak, Piotr; Jerzak, Leszek; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Goławski, Artur; Duduś, Leszek; Nowakowski, Jacek J; Wuczyński, Andrzej; Wysocki, Dariusz

    2015-10-01

    Bird feeding is one of the most widespread direct interactions between man and nature, and this has important social and environmental consequences. However, this activity can differ between rural and urban habitats, due to inter alia habitat structure, human behaviour and the composition of wintering bird communities. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km(2) each) in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 towns and cities across Poland (in each urban area, we surveyed 3 squares and also 3 squares in nearby rural areas). At each count, we noted the number of bird feeders, the number of bird feeders with food, the type of feeders, additional food supplies potentially available for birds (bread offered by people, bins) and finally the birds themselves. In winter, urban and rural areas differ in the availability of food offered intentionally and unintentionally to birds by humans. Both types of food availability are higher in urban areas. Our findings suggest that different types of bird feeder support only those species specialized for that particular food type and this relationship is similar in urban and rural areas.

  17. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Besson, Benoit

    2009-01-01

    The project 'SENSIB' of the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) aims at characterizing and classifying parameters with significant impact on the transfer of radioactive contaminants in the environment. This thesis is focused on permanent grassland areas. Its objectives are the analysis of the activity variations of two artificial radionuclides ( 137 Cs and 90 Sr) in the chain from soil to dairy products as well as the categorization of ecological and anthropogenic parameters, which determine the sensitivity of the studied area. For this study, in situ sampling is carried out in 15 farms in 3 different French regions (Charente, Puy-de-Dome and Jura). The sampling sites are chosen according to their natural variations (geology, altitude and climate) and the soil types. Additionally to the radiologic measurements, geographic, soil and vegetation data as well as data concerning cattle-rearing and cheese manufacturing processes are gathered. From the soil to the grass vegetation, 137 Cs transfer factors vary between 3 x 10-3 and 148 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (dry weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 73). Theses transfer factors are significantly higher in the Puy-de-Dome region than in the Jura region. The 137 Cs transfer factor from cattle feed to milk varies from 5.9 x 10-3 to 258 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (fresh weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 28). Statistically, it is higher in the Charente region. Finally, the 90 Sr transfer factor from milk to cheese ranges from 3.9 to 12.1. The studied site with the highest factor is the Jura (N = 25). The link between milk and dairy products is the stage with the most 137 Cs and 90 Sr transfers. A nonlinear approach based on a discretization method of the transfer factor with multiple comparison tests admits a classification of the sensitivity factors from soil to grass vegetation. We can determine 20 factors interfering in the 137 Cs transfer into the vegetation, for instance, the clay rate of the soils or a marker

  18. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  19. Grasslands feeling the heat: The effects of elevated temperatures on a subtropical grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan D. Buhrmann

    2016-12-01

    Conclusions: OTCs can simulate realistic increases of air temperature in subtropical grasslands. Graminoids and shrubs appear to benefit from elevated temperatures whilst forbs decrease in abundance, possibly through competition and/or direct physiological effects.

  20. China's Grassland Contract Policy and its Impacts on Herder Ability to Benefit in Inner Mongolia: Tragic Feedbacks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wenjun Li

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Northern China's grasslands have been losing productivity since the 1980s, when a policy known as the "grassland contracting policy" allocated commonly used grazing lands to individual herder households. Examined here is the connection between implementation of the grassland contracting policy and the loss of grassland production using the analytic concepts of ability to benefit and community failure. A gacha (village of the Sunite Left Banner of the Xilingol League in Inner Mongolia is used as a case study to compare herder ability to benefit from rangeland resources during adverse climate events before and after policy implementation. Social-ecological resilience, access to social and ecological assets, and institutions supporting crisis relief have been affected. We find that the privatization of grassland use rights has weakened pastoralist ability to benefit from rangelands by weakening or dismantling what are identified as the rights-, structure-, and relations-based abilities that enabled pastoralists to cope with nonequilibrium conditions. This has led to a community failure that engenders feedbacks of increased impoverishment and environmental deterioration. The inflexible boundaries of quasi-private household property rights have caused the pastoral system to lose capacity to respond to drought and weather events through the flexibility of "otor" and other forms of herd movement, increasing vulnerability to environmental change.

  1. Aerodynamics of bird flight

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dvořák Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Unlike airplanes birds must have either flapping or oscillating wings (the hummingbird. Only such wings can produce both lift and thrust – two sine qua non attributes of flying.The bird wings have several possibilities how to obtain the same functions as airplane wings. All are realized by the system of flight feathers. Birds have also the capabilities of adjusting the shape of the wing according to what the immediate flight situation demands, as well as of responding almost immediately to conditions the flow environment dictates, such as wind gusts, object avoidance, target tracking, etc. In bird aerodynamics also the tail plays an important role. To fly, wings impart downward momentum to the surrounding air and obtain lift by reaction. How this is achieved under various flight situations (cruise flight, hovering, landing, etc., and what the role is of the wing-generated vortices in producing lift and thrust is discussed.The issue of studying bird flight experimentally from in vivo or in vitro experiments is also briefly discussed.

  2. Sex Reversal in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Major, Andrew T; Smith, Craig A

    2016-01-01

    Sexual differentiation in birds is controlled genetically as in mammals, although the sex chromosomes are different. Males have a ZZ sex chromosome constitution, while females are ZW. Gene(s) on the sex chromosomes must initiate gonadal sex differentiation during embryonic life, inducing paired testes in ZZ individuals and unilateral ovaries in ZW individuals. The traditional view of avian sexual differentiation aligns with that expounded for other vertebrates; upon sexual differentiation, the gonads secrete sex steroid hormones that masculinise or feminise the rest of the body. However, recent studies on naturally occurring or experimentally induced avian sex reversal suggest a significant role for direct genetic factors, in addition to sex hormones, in regulating sexual differentiation of the soma in birds. This review will provide an overview of sex determination in birds and both naturally and experimentally induced sex reversal, with emphasis on the key role of oestrogen. We then consider how recent studies on sex reversal and gynandromorphic birds (half male:half female) are shaping our understanding of sexual differentiation in avians and in vertebrates more broadly. Current evidence shows that sexual differentiation in birds is a mix of direct genetic and hormonal mechanisms. Perturbation of either of these components may lead to sex reversal. © 2016 S. Karger AG, Basel.

  3. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage

  4. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Cathy W. Dahms

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of an ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States, and it is one of a series of planned publications addressing major ecosystems of the Southwest. The first assessment, General Technical Report RM-GTR- 295, An Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in the Southwest (by Dahms and Geils, technical editors,...

  5. [Spatiotemporal characteristics of MODIS NDVI in Hulunber Grassland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Hong-Bin; Yang, Gui-Xia; Wu, Wen-Bin; Li, Gang; Chen, Bao-Rui; Xin, Xiao-Ping

    2009-11-01

    Time-series MODIS NDVI datasets from 2000 to 2008 were used to study the spatial change trend, fluctuation degree, and occurrence time of the annual NDVImax of four typical grassland types, i.e., lowland meadow, temperate steppe, temperate meadow steppe, and upland meadow, in Hulunber Grassland. In 2000-2008, the vegetation in Hulunber Grassland presented an obvious deterioration trend. The mean annual NDVImax of the four grassland types had a great fluctuation, especially in temperate steppe where the maximum change in the mean value of annual NDVImax approximated to 50%. As for the area change of different grade grasslands, the areas with NDVImax between 0.4 and 1 accounted for about 91% of the total grassland area, which suggested the good vegetation coverage in the Grassland. However, though the areas with NDVImax values in (0.4, 0.8) showed an increasing trend, the areas with NDVImax values in (0.2, 0.4) and (0.8, 1) decreased greatly in the study period. Overall, the deteriorating grassland took up about 66.25% of the total area, and the restoring grassland took the rest. There was about 62.85% of the grassland whose NDVImax occurred between the 193rd day and the 225th day in each year, indicating that this period was the most important vegetation growth season in Hulunber Grassland.

  6. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haigen Xu

    Full Text Available Understanding the spatial patterns in species richness is a central issue in macroecology and biogeography. Analyses that have traditionally focused on overall species richness limit the generality and depth of inference. Spatial patterns of species richness and the mechanisms that underpin them in China remain poorly documented. We created a database of the distribution of 580 mammal species and 849 resident bird species from 2376 counties in China and established spatial linear models to identify the determinants of species richness and test the roles of five hypotheses for overall mammals and resident birds and the 11 habitat groups among the two taxa. Our result showed that elevation variability was the most important determinant of species richness of overall mammal and bird species. It is indicated that the most prominent predictors of species richness varied among different habitat groups: elevation variability for forest and shrub mammals and birds, temperature annual range for grassland and desert mammals and wetland birds, net primary productivity for farmland mammals, maximum temperature of the warmest month for cave mammals, and precipitation of the driest quarter for grassland and desert birds. Noteworthily, main land cover type was also found to obviously influence mammal and bird species richness in forests, shrubs and wetlands under the disturbance of intensified human activities. Our findings revealed a substantial divergence in the species richness patterns among different habitat groups and highlighted the group-specific and disparate environmental associations that underpin them. As we demonstrate, a focus on overall species richness alone might lead to incomplete or misguided understanding of spatial patterns. Conservation priorities that consider a broad spectrum of habitat groups will be more successful in safeguarding the multiple services of biodiversity.

  7. Aging in Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Travin, D Y; Feniouk, B A

    2016-12-01

    Rodents are the most commonly used model organisms in studies of aging in vertebrates. However, there are species that may suit this role much better. Most birds (Aves), having higher rate of metabolism, live two-to-three times longer than mammals of the same size. This mini-review briefly covers several evolutionary, ecological, and physiological aspects that may contribute to the phenomenon of birds' longevity. The role of different molecular mechanisms known to take part in the process of aging according to various existing theories, e.g. telomere shortening, protection against reactive oxygen species, and formation of advanced glycation end-products is discussed. We also address some features of birds' aging that make this group unique and perspective model organisms in longevity studies.

  8. Trajectories of grassland ecosystem change in response to experimental manipulations of precipitation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, Alan; Smith, Melinda; Collins, Scott; Blair, John; Briggs, John

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and predicting the dynamics of ecological systems has always been central to Ecology. Today, ecologists recognize that in addition to natural and human-caused disturbances, a fundamentally different type of ecosystem change is being driven by the combined and cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities affecting earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. This type of change is historically unprecedented in magnitude, and as a consequence, such alterations are leading to trajectories of change in ecological responses that differ radically from those observed in the past. Through both short- and long-term experiments, we have been trying to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of ecological change in grassland ecosystems likely to result from changes in precipitation regimes. We have manipulated a key resource for most grasslands (water) and modulators of water availability (temperature) in field experiments that vary from 1-17 years in duration, and used even longer-term monitoring data from the Konza Prairie LTER program to assess how grassland communities and ecosystems will respond to changes in water availability. Trajectories of change in aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in sites subjected to 17 years of soil water augmentation were strongly non-linear with a marked increase in the stimulation of ANPP after year 8 (from 25% to 65%). Lags in alterations in grassland community composition are posited to be responsible for the form of this trajectory of change. In contrast, responses in ANPP to chronic increases in soil moisture variability appear to have decreased over a 10-yr period of manipulation, although the net effects of more variable precipitation inputs were to reduce ANPP, alter the genetic structure of the dominant grass species, increase soil nitrogen availability and reduce soil respiration. The loss of sensitivity to increased resource variability was not reflected in adjacent plots where precipitation was

  9. Plant species' origin predicts dominance and response to nutrient enrichment and herbivores in global grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seabloom, Eric W.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Buckley, Yvonne M.; Cleland, Elsa E.; Davies, Kendi F.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Lind, Eric M.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Adler, Peter B.; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana M.; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Chengjin; Cottingham, Kathryn L.; Crawley, Michael J.; Damschen, Ellen I.; Dantonio, Carla M.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Du, Guozhen; Fay, Philip A.; Frater, Paul; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Hector, Andy; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Humphries, Hope C.; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Ladwig, Laura; Lambrinos, John G.; Li, Qi; Li, Wei; Marushia, Robin; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Melbourne, Brett A.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schuetz, Martin; Simonsen, Anna; Smith, Melinda D.; Stevens, Carly J.; Sullivan, Lauren; Wolkovich, Elizabeth; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin; Yang, Louie

    2015-01-01

    Exotic species dominate many communities; however the functional significance of species' biogeographic origin remains highly contentious. This debate is fuelled in part by the lack of globally replicated, systematic data assessing the relationship between species provenance, function and response to perturbations. We examined the abundance of native and exotic plant species at 64 grasslands in 13 countries, and at a subset of the sites we experimentally tested native and exotic species responses to two fundamental drivers of invasion, mineral nutrient supplies and vertebrate herbivory. Exotic species are six times more likely to dominate communities than native species. Furthermore, while experimental nutrient addition increases the cover and richness of exotic species, nutrients decrease native diversity and cover. Native and exotic species also differ in their response to vertebrate consumer exclusion. These results suggest that species origin has functional significance, and that eutrophication will lead to increased exotic dominance in grasslands. PMID:26173623

  10. Feasibility Study on: Reforestation of Degraded Grasslands in Indonesia as a Climate Change Mitigation Option

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalfelt, A; Naess, L O; Sutamihardja, R T.M.; Gintings, N

    1997-12-31

    The report deals with a cooperation project between Norway and Indonesia dealing with a feasibility study on sustainable reforestation of degraded grasslands in Indonesia. Poor forest management and uncontrolled land use changes contribute a significant share anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO{sub 2}, and one of many ways to reduce the CO{sub 2} emission is to encourage reforestation and better forest management. The report contains a brief overview of the issue of Imperata (alang-alang) grasslands, an outline of the present status, a discussion of potential costs and benefits associated with reforestation, and suggestions of strategies which could be applied to reach the desired goals. Case studies are presented from three locations where field work has been undertaken. The case studies provide baseline data about the sites and the imperata grasslands, experiences from earlier efforts to rehabilitate the grasslands, the common attitude to reforestation among the local communities, a discussion of the feasibility of reforestation, and finally, recommendations for the future. 142 refs., 11 figs., 15 tabs.

  11. Multiscale Trend Analysis for Pampa Grasslands Using Ground Data and Vegetation Sensor Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando C. Scottá

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to evaluate changes in the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP of grasslands in the Pampa biome by using experimental plots and changes in the spectral responses of similar vegetation communities obtained by remote sensing and to compare both datasets with meteorological variations to validate the transition scales of the datasets. Two different geographic scales were considered in this study. At the local scale, an analysis of the climate and its direct influences on grassland ANPP was performed using data from a long-term experiment. At the regional scale, the influences of climate on the grassland reflectance patterns were determined using vegetation sensor imagery data. Overall, the monthly variations of vegetation canopy growth analysed using environmental changes (air temperature, total rainfall and total evapotranspiration were similar. The results from the ANPP data and the NDVI data showed the that variations in grassland growth were similar and independent of the analysis scale, which indicated that local data and the relationships of local data with climate can be considered at the regional scale in the Pampa biome by using remote sensing.

  12. High potential of sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands for sheep epizoochory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a general decline of grasslands across Europe due to habitat loss and degradation. Ensuring plant dispersal thus becomes a key process for preserving grassland patches in all scales. We examined diaspore dispersal by sheep epizoochory in the pastures of the North Adriatic Karst (NW Slovenia and determined the qualitative and quantitative features of diaspores in fur. We recorded 25,650 diaspores of 141 plant taxa (with 107 taxa and 23,350 diaspores determined to species level, using three different methods: (i the “whole-coat method”, (ii the “part-of-thecoat method” and (iii a “seedling emergence method”. A comparison of these techniques revealed that the “wholecoat method” provided the highest number of diaspores and plant species. All diaspores were clustered into five emergent groups based on seven functional traits (diaspore weight, length, width, height, volume, specific weight and the diaspore surface structure. Our research revealed that sheep represent an important dispersal vector, since about half of the plant species recorded in the pastures were found as diaspores in fur. This study contributes to knowledge about the modes of seed dispersal in seminatural grasslands. Taking into account that livestock play a key role in vegetation dynamics, understanding their effects on seed dispersal is essential for conservation and restoration of these species-rich grassland communities.

  13. Feasibility Study on: Reforestation of Degraded Grasslands in Indonesia as a Climate Change Mitigation Option

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalfelt, A.; Naess, L.O.; Sutamihardja, R.T.M.; Gintings, N.

    1996-12-31

    The report deals with a cooperation project between Norway and Indonesia dealing with a feasibility study on sustainable reforestation of degraded grasslands in Indonesia. Poor forest management and uncontrolled land use changes contribute a significant share anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO{sub 2}, and one of many ways to reduce the CO{sub 2} emission is to encourage reforestation and better forest management. The report contains a brief overview of the issue of Imperata (alang-alang) grasslands, an outline of the present status, a discussion of potential costs and benefits associated with reforestation, and suggestions of strategies which could be applied to reach the desired goals. Case studies are presented from three locations where field work has been undertaken. The case studies provide baseline data about the sites and the imperata grasslands, experiences from earlier efforts to rehabilitate the grasslands, the common attitude to reforestation among the local communities, a discussion of the feasibility of reforestation, and finally, recommendations for the future. 142 refs., 11 figs., 15 tabs.

  14. Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula, Alaska ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains biological resource data for alcids, shorebirds, waterfowl, diving birds, pelagic birds, gulls and terns in Cook Inlet and Kenai Peninsula,...

  15. Transient behavior of cadmium in a grassland arthropod food chain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Hook, R.I.; Yates, A.J.

    1975-01-01

    Biological assimilation and transport of cadmium were determined for an arthropod food chain in an east Tennessee grassland community. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that there were no significant differences (P greater than 0.05) in assimilation rates (17 percent assimilation per day) or biological half-lives (7 days) of 109 Cd either as soluble nitrate or insoluble oxide in crickets under identical conditions. Field experiments demonstrated that primary consumers (crickets) accumulated 109 Cd much more rapidly (uptake rate = 0.55 day -1 ) than did the spider predators (uptake rate = 0.08 day -1 ). Equilibrium concentrations in crickets were obtained in 9 days (0.04 ppM cadmium), while equilibrium was not reached in spiders during the 30-day study. Food-chain concentration of cadmium did not occur as crickets accumulated levels of cadmium 60 percent of that in their vegetation food sources and spiders accumulated only 70 percent of the cadmium present in the cricket tissues

  16. Wind power and bird kills

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raynolds, M.

    1998-01-01

    The accidental killing of birds by wind generators, and design improvements in the towers that support the turbines that might cut down on the bird killings were discussed. The first problem for the industry began in the late 1980s when the California Energy Commission reported as many as 160 birds (the majority being raptors, including the protected golden eagle) killed in one year in the vicinity of wind power plants. The key factor identified was the design of the towers as birds of prey are attracted to lattice towers as a place to hunt from. Tubular towers do not provide a place for the birds to perch, therefore they reduce the potential for bird strikes. Bird strikes also have been reported in Spain and the siting of the towers have been considered as the principal cause of the bird strikes. In view of these incidents, the wind power industry is developing standards for studying the potential of bird strikes and is continuing to study bird behaviour leading to collisions, the impact of topography, cumulative impacts and new techniques to reduce bird strikes. Despite the reported incidents, the risk of bird strikes by wind turbines, compared to other threats to birds such as pollution, oil spills, and other threats from fossil and nuclear fuels, is considered to be negligible. With continuing efforts to minimize incidents by proper design and siting, wind power can continue to grow as an environmentally sound and efficient source of energy

  17. Wind power and bird kills

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Raynolds, M.

    1998-12-01

    The accidental killing of birds by wind generators, and design improvements in the towers that support the turbines that might cut down on the bird killings were discussed. The first problem for the industry began in the late 1980s when the California Energy Commission reported as many as 160 birds (the majority being raptors, including the protected golden eagle) killed in one year in the vicinity of wind power plants. The key factor identified was the design of the towers as birds of prey are attracted to lattice towers as a place to hunt from. Tubular towers do not provide a place for the birds to perch, therefore they reduce the potential for bird strikes. Bird strikes also have been reported in Spain and the siting of the towers have been considered as the principal cause of the bird strikes. In view of these incidents, the wind power industry is developing standards for studying the potential of bird strikes and is continuing to study bird behaviour leading to collisions, the impact of topography, cumulative impacts and new techniques to reduce bird strikes. Despite the reported incidents, the risk of bird strikes by wind turbines, compared to other threats to birds such as pollution, oil spills, and other threats from fossil and nuclear fuels, is considered to be negligible. With continuing efforts to minimize incidents by proper design and siting, wind power can continue to grow as an environmentally sound and efficient source of energy.

  18. Elevated CO2 and water addition enhance nitrogen turnover in grassland plants with implications for temporal stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Feike A; Carrillo, Yolima; Blumenthal, Dana M; Mueller, Kevin E; LeCain, Dan R; Morgan, Jack A; Zelikova, Tamara J; Williams, David G; Follett, Ronald F; Pendall, Elise

    2018-05-01

    Temporal variation in soil nitrogen (N) availability affects growth of grassland communities that differ in their use and reuse of N. In a 7-year-long climate change experiment in a semi-arid grassland, the temporal stability of plant biomass production varied with plant N turnover (reliance on externally acquired N relative to internally recycled N). Species with high N turnover were less stable in time compared to species with low N turnover. In contrast, N turnover at the community level was positively associated with asynchrony in biomass production, which in turn increased community temporal stability. Elevated CO 2 and summer irrigation, but not warming, enhanced community N turnover and stability, possibly because treatments promoted greater abundance of species with high N turnover. Our study highlights the importance of plant N turnover for determining the temporal stability of individual species and plant communities affected by climate change. © 2018 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  19. Fossil bird eggs from the Pliocene of Laetoli, Tanzania: Their taxonomic and paleoecological relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Terry

    2005-04-01

    Recent paleontological investigations at the Pliocene site of Laetoli and at neighboring localities on the Eyasi Plateau of northern Tanzania have led to the recovery of a sizable collection of fossil bird eggs. The material comes from the Upper Laetolil Beds, dated at ˜3.6-3.8 Ma, and the Lower Laetolil Beds, dated at 3.8 Ma to older than 4.3 Ma. The preservation of relatively complete eggs (other than those of ratites) is an extremely rare occurrence in the fossil record, and Laetoli is the only locality in Africa that has produced such well-preserved eggs. Deposition of carbonatite air-fall tuffs led to the rapid burial of the eggs sub-aerially, and they were then preserved in paleosols that were geochemically conducive to their preservation. The collection of fossil eggs from Laetoli can be assigned to at least five different species of ground-nesting birds, including two or three species of francolins, a species of guineafowl, and a larger bird of uncertain taxonomic status about the size of a bustard. Most of the eggs can be assigned to a large species of Francolinus, similar in size to the extant F. afer and F. leucoscepus. A smaller species of francolin, about the size of Francolinus coqui or F. sephaena, is also represented, but is less common. A single egg may represent an even smaller species of francolin, about the size of Francolinus lathami or F. nahani, but its attribution to Francolinus is less certain. The evidence of at least two species of Francolinus at Laetoli indicates that francolins were already taxonomically diverse in East Africa by the mid-Pliocene. Three eggs are similar in their overall dimensions and morphology to the living Numida meleagris, the helmeted guineafowl. An avian community including at least one small species of francolin, a larger francolin, and a guineafowl (as well as ostriches and a vulture) implies that the paleoecology at Laetoli was likely to have been open woodland, bushland, savanna or grassland. However

  20. Parasite communities: patterns and processes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Esch, Gerald W; Bush, Albert O; Aho, John M

    1990-01-01

    .... Taking examples from many hosts including molluscs, marine and freshwater fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals, this book shows how parasitic communities are influenced by a multitude...

  1. Non-random co-occurrence of native and exotic plant species in Mediterranean grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Miguel, José M.; Martín-Forés, Irene; Acosta-Gallo, Belén; del Pozo, Alejandro; Ovalle, Carlos; Sánchez-Jardón, Laura; Castro, Isabel; Casado, Miguel A.

    2016-11-01

    Invasion by exotic species in Mediterranean grasslands has determined assembly patterns of native and introduced species, knowledge of which provides information on the ecological processes underlying these novel communities. We considered grasslands from Spain and Chile. For each country we considered the whole grassland community and we split species into two subsets: in Chile, species were classified as natives or colonizers (i.e. exotics); in Spain, species were classified as exclusives (present in Spain but not in Chile) or colonizers (Spanish natives and exotics into Chile). We used null models and co-occurrence indices calculated in each country for each one of 15 sites distributed along a precipitation gradient and subjected to similar silvopastoral exploitation. We compared values of species co-occurrence between countries and between species subsets (natives/colonizers in Chile; exclusives/colonizers in Spain) within each country and we characterised them according to climatic variables. We hypothesized that: a) the different coexistence time of the species in both regions should give rise to communities presenting a spatial pattern further from random in Spain than in Chile, b) the co-occurrence patterns in the grasslands are affected by mesoclimatic factors in both regions. The patterns of co-occurrence are similar in Spain and Chile, mostly showing a spatial pattern more segregated than expected by random. The colonizer species are more segregated in Spain than in Chile, possibly determined by the longer residence time of the species in the source area than in the invaded one. The segregation of species in Chile is related to water availability, being species less segregated in habitat with greater water deficit; in Spain no relationship with climatic variables was found. After an invasion process, our results suggest that the possible process of alteration of the original Chilean communities has not prevented the assembly between the native and

  2. Impact of Grassland Reseeding, Herbicide spraying and Ploughing on Diversity and Abundance of Soil Arthropods.

    OpenAIRE

    Wei Liu; Wei Liu; Wei Liu; Junling Zhang; Stuart L Norris; Phil Murray

    2016-01-01

    In order to determine the interactive effect of reseeding, herbicide spraying and ploughing on soil fauna communities, we conducted a grassland reseeding experiment combined with pre-reseed management to examine how with the whole reseeding process affects soil faunal composition. Sampling occasions and exact treatments were as follows: 1) before chemical herbicide spray; 2) after spray but before ploughing; 3) after ploughing but before reseeding; and 4) after one year of recovery. Our resul...

  3. Changes in nitrogen mineralization, tissue nutrient concentrations and biomass compartmentation after cessation of fertiliser application to mown grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Berendse, F.; Visser, de W.

    1994-01-01

    1 Nitrogen mineralization was studied in four grasslands (fields A-D), which had not been fertilized for 2, 6, 19 and 45 years, respectively, thereby forming a chrono-sequence. Fertilizer application was stopped in these fields in order to restore former species-rich communities characteristic of

  4. Convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrestel, Elisabeth J; Donoghue, Michael J; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-08-01

    The importance of fire in the creation and maintenance of mesic grassland communities is well recognized. Improved understanding of how grasses--the dominant clade in these important ecosystems--will respond to alterations in fire regimes is needed in the face of anthropogenically driven climate and land-use change. Here, we examined how grass communities shift in response to experimentally manipulated fire regimes at multiple levels of community diversity--taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional--in C4-dominanted mesic savanna grassland sites with similar structure and physiognomy, yet disparate biogeographic histories. We found that the grass communities were similar in their phylogenetic response and aspects of their functional response to high fire frequency. Both sites exhibited phylogenetic clustering of highly abundant species in annually burned plots, driven by species of the Andropogoneae, and a narrow range of functional strategies associated with rapid post-fire regeneration in a high-light, nitrogen-limited environment. By examining multiple facets of diversity in a comparative context, we identified convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in two mesic savanna grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of a common filtering process associated with fire that is consistent across grasslands of disparate biogeographic histories and taxonomic representation. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  5. Interactions between above- and belowground biota: importance for small-scale vegetation mosaics in a grassland ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blomqvist, M.M.; Olff, H.; Blaauw, M.B.; Bongers, T.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2000-01-01

    Grasslands are often characterised by small-scale mosaics in plant community composition that contribute to their diversity. Although above- and belowground biota can both cause such mosaics, few studies have addressed their interacting effects. We studied multi-trophic interactions between

  6. Interactions between above- and belowground biota : importance for small-scale vegetation mosaics in a grassland ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blomqvist, N.M.; Olff, H.; Blaauw, M.B.; Bongers, T.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2000-01-01

    Grasslands are often characterised by small-scale mosaics in plant community composition that contribute to their diversity. Although above- and belowground biota can both cause such mosaics, few studies have addressed their interacting effects. We studied multi-trophic interactions between

  7. Does introduction of clover in an agricultural grassland affect the food base and functional diversity of Collembola?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Annibale, D' Alessandra; Sechi, Valentina; Larsen, Thomas; Christensen, Søren; Krogh, Paul Henning; Eriksen, Jørgen

    2017-01-01

    Introduction of legumes (i.e. white clover) in agricultural grasslands is a common practice to improve yields, but how this affects soil fauna populations, particularly mesofauna, is still poorly understood. We investigated taxonomical and functional differences of Collembola communities between

  8. Vegetation changes over 12 years in ungrazed and grazed Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands in the central and southern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cade, Brian S.; Vandever, Mark W.; Allen, Arthur W.; Terrell, James W.

    2005-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) established under the 1985 Food Security Act has the fundamental objectives of jointly providing economic support to segments of the agricultural community and conservation of natural resources (Osborn, 1997; Heard and others, 2000). Although soil loss on highly erodable lands was the principal natural resource conservation issue addressed in the 1985 CRP, improving water quality and wildlife habitat both became important considerations as the program evolved (Farmer and others, 1988). For example, Best and others (1997) found that production of young birds on CRP fields in the Midwest was ≥15 times the production on row-crop fields because of improved habitat. The increasing importance of wildlife habitat is reflected in continuing refinement of the Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to quantify the potential benefits of enrolling lands in CRP (Osborn, 1997; Ribaudo and others, 2001). The refinements reflect input furnished by federal, state, and non-government organizations seeking greater wildlife habitat quality on CRP lands (Roseberry and David, 1994; Hughes and others, 1995; Millenbah and others, 1996; Patterson and Best, 1996; Rodgers, 1999; Allen and others, 2001).Refinement in the EBI has changed the types of grasses planted on newly enrolled land. In early CRP signups (1 through 11), 71% of new grassland acres were planted to introduced grasses and legumes [Conservation Practice (CP) 1] while 29% of the acres were planted to native grasses (CP2) (Osborn and others, 1992). By the 27th signup in July 2004, over 34.8 million acres (14 million ha) were enrolled in the CRP. More than 73% of these lands were planted to various mixtures of introduced (CP1) or native (CP2) grasses for a minimal contract period of 10 years (USDA, 2004). Continuation of grass plantings under the 2002 Farm Bill may result in CRP lands furnishing grass dominated cover for 20 or more consecutive

  9. No evidence of complementary water use along a plant species richness gradient in temperate experimental grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dörte Bachmann

    Full Text Available Niche complementarity in resource use has been proposed as a key mechanism to explain the positive effects of increasing plant species richness on ecosystem processes, in particular on primary productivity. Since hardly any information is available for niche complementarity in water use, we tested the effects of plant diversity on spatial and temporal complementarity in water uptake in experimental grasslands by using stable water isotopes. We hypothesized that water uptake from deeper soil depths increases in more diverse compared to low diverse plant species mixtures. We labeled soil water in 8 cm (with 18O and 28 cm depth (with ²H three times during the 2011 growing season in 40 temperate grassland communities of varying species richness (2, 4, 8 and 16 species and functional group number and composition (legumes, grasses, tall herbs, small herbs. Stable isotope analyses of xylem and soil water allowed identifying the preferential depth of water uptake. Higher enrichment in 18O of xylem water than in ²H suggested that the main water uptake was in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, our results revealed no differences in root water uptake among communities with different species richness, different number of functional groups or with time. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of increased complementarity in water use in more diverse than in less diverse communities of temperate grassland species.

  10. Europe's last Mesozoic bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dyke, Gareth J.; Dortangs, Rudi W.; Jagt, John W.; Mulder, Eric W. A.; Schulp, Anne S.; Chiappe, Luis M.

    2002-01-01

    Birds known from more than isolated skeletal elements are rare in the fossil record, especially from the European Mesozoic. This paucity has hindered interpretations of avian evolution immediately prior to, and in the aftermath of, the Cretaceous-Tertiary (K-T) extinction event. We report on a

  11. The Umbrella Bird

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crandall, Lee S.

    1949-01-01

    When CHARLES CORDIER arrived from Costa Rica on October 9, 1942, bringing with him, among other great rarities, three Bare-necked Umbrella Birds (Cephalopterus ornatus glabricollis), it seemed to us that the mere possession of such fabulous creatures was satisfaction enough. True, they were not

  12. Timber and forest birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Roy Lockhart

    2009-01-01

    Many years ago, I had an epiphany that I would like to share. Several students and I were installing research plots in the forests on Pittman Island, Issaquena County, Mississippi, an island adjacent to the Mississippi River, near the borders of Arkansas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. While eating lunch, we watched a bird, more specifically a prothonotary warbler (

  13. Fish, birds and flies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gibbings, J. C.

    2013-04-01

    The article in your animal physics special issue on the use of magnetic field sensing in bird navigation (November 2012 pp38-42) reminded me of a comment made regarding a paper that I presented in the US many years ago.

  14. Cavity Nesting Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virgil E. Scott; Keith E. Evans; David R. Patton; Charles P. Stone

    1977-01-01

    Many species of cavity-nesting birds have declined because of habitat reduction. In the eastern United States, where primeval forests are gone, purple martins depend almost entirely on man-made nesting structures (Allen and Nice 1952). The hole-nesting population of peregrine falcons disappeared with the felling of the giant trees upon which they depended (Hickey and...

  15. Eating Like a Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brothers, Chris; Fortner, Rosanne W.

    This teacher guide and student workbook set contains two learning activities, designed for fifth through ninth grade students, that concentrate on the adaptations of shorebird beaks for a variety of habitats and food sources, and the effect of toxic chemicals in the food chain on the birds. In activity A, students discover how shorebirds are…

  16. Community

    Science.gov (United States)

    stability Science & Innovation Collaboration Careers Community Environment Science & Innovation Recruitment Events Community Commitment Giving Campaigns, Drives Economic Development Employee Funded neighbor pledge: contribute to quality of life in Northern New Mexico through economic development

  17. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  18. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve

  19. Breeding Ecology of Birds -22 ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    or drive the birds away. However, the droppings of the birds provide a rich source of fertilizer and this ... birds of India are under severe threat and require urgent protection. he~ries'(Box 1), can ... there will be no fish and then suddenly a school.

  20. Reproductive plasticity and landscape heterogeneity benefit a ground-nesting bird in a fire-prone ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carroll, J Matthew; Hovick, Torre J; Davis, Craig A; Elmore, Robert Dwayne; Fuhlendorf, Samuel D

    2017-10-01

    Disturbance is critical for the conservation of rangeland ecosystems worldwide and many of these systems are fire dependent. Although it is well established that restoring fire as an ecological process can lead to increased biodiversity in grasslands and shrublands, the underlying mechanisms driving community patterns are poorly understood for fauna in fire-prone landscapes. Much of this uncertainty stems from the paucity of studies that examine the effects of fire at scales relevant to organism life histories. We assessed the response of a non-migratory ground-dwelling bird to disturbance (i.e., prescribed fire) and environmental stochasticity over the course of a 4-yr period, which spanned years of historic drought and record rainfall. Specifically, we investigated the nesting ecology of Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter Bobwhite) to illuminate possible avenues by which individuals respond to dynamic landscape patterns during a critical reproductive stage (i.e., nesting) in a mixed-grass shrubland in western Oklahoma, USA. We found that Bobwhites exhibited extreme plasticity in nest substrate use among time since fire categories (TSF) and subsequently maintained high nest survival (e.g., 57-70%). Bobwhites were opportunistic in nest substrate use among TSF categories (i.e., 72% of nest sites in shrubs in 0-12 months post fire compared to 71% in herbaceous vegetation in >36 months post fire), yet nesting decisions were first filtered by similar structural components (i.e., vertical and horizontal cover) within the vicinity of nest sites regardless of TSF category. Despite being a non-migratory and comparatively less mobile ground-nesting bird species, Bobwhites adjusted to dynamic vegetation mosaics on a fire-prone landscape under stochastic climatic conditions that culminated in stable and high nest survival. Broadly, our findings provide a unique depiction of organism response strategies to fire at scales relevant to a critical life-stage, a