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Sample records for grassland bird species

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

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    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

  3. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  8. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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. ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  7. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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, ...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  19. 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...

  20. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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.

  5. Determinants of Mammal and Bird Species Richness in China Based on Habitat Groups.

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    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Phylogeny and species traits predict bird detectability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solymos, Peter; Matsuoka, Steven M.; Stralberg, Diana; Barker, Nicole K. S.; Bayne, Erin M.

    2018-01-01

    Avian acoustic communication has resulted from evolutionary pressures and ecological constraints. We therefore expect that auditory detectability in birds might be predictable by species traits and phylogenetic relatedness. We evaluated the relationship between phylogeny, species traits, and field‐based estimates of the two processes that determine species detectability (singing rate and detection distance) for 141 bird species breeding in boreal North America. We used phylogenetic mixed models and cross‐validation to compare the relative merits of using trait data only, phylogeny only, or the combination of both to predict detectability. We found a strong phylogenetic signal in both singing rates and detection distances; however the strength of phylogenetic effects was less than expected under Brownian motion evolution. The evolution of behavioural traits that determine singing rates was found to be more labile, leaving more room for species to evolve independently, whereas detection distance was mostly determined by anatomy (i.e. body size) and thus the laws of physics. Our findings can help in disentangling how complex ecological and evolutionary mechanisms have shaped different aspects of detectability in boreal birds. Such information can greatly inform single‐ and multi‐species models but more work is required to better understand how to best correct possible biases in phylogenetic diversity and other community metrics.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  12. Siadenovirus infection in two psittacine bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wellehan, James F X; Greenacre, Cheryl B; Fleming, Gregory J; Stetter, Mark D; Childress, April L; Terrell, Scott P

    2009-10-01

    Consensus polymerase chain reaction was used to identify a novel adenovirus from two psittacine birds: a plum-headed parakeet (Psittacula cyanocephala) with lethargy, weight loss, and marked leukocytosis; and an umbrella cockatoo (Cacatua alba) with lethargy, weight loss, and feather abnormalities. Phylogenetic and comparative sequence analysis suggested that this virus is a member of the genus Siadenovirus, and is here termed psittacine adenovirus 2. This extends the characterized adenoviruses of psittacine birds beyond Aviadenovirus to include the genus Siadenovirus. Identification and further study of adenoviral types and species will provide useful diagnostic, prognostic, and epidemiologic information for the clinician. Like other known members of the genus Siadenovirus, Psittacine adenovirus 2 is AT-rich over the region sequenced, and it is hypothesized that this may be associated with shorter host-virus evolutionary association.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Grassland invader responses to realistic changes in native species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinella, Matthew J; Pokorny, Monica L; Rekaya, Romdhane

    2007-09-01

    The importance of species richness for repelling exotic plant invasions varies from ecosystem to ecosystem. Thus, in order to prioritize conservation objectives, it is critical to identify those ecosystems where decreasing richness will most greatly magnify invasion risks. Our goal was to determine if invasion risks greatly increase in response to common reductions in grassland species richness. We imposed treatments that mimic management-induced reductions in grassland species richness (i.e., removal of shallow- and/or deep-rooted forbs and/or grasses and/or cryptogam layers). Then we introduced and monitored the performance of a notorious invasive species (i.e., Centaurea maculosa). We found that, on a per-gram-of-biomass basis, each resident plant group similarly suppressed invader growth. Hence, with respect to preventing C. maculosa invasions, maintaining overall productivity is probably more important than maintaining the productivity of particular plant groups or species. But at the sites we studied, all plant groups may be needed to maintain overall productivity because removing forbs decreased overall productivity in two of three years. Alternatively, removing forbs increased productivity in another year, and this led us to posit that removing forbs may inflate the temporal productivity variance as opposed to greatly affecting time-averaged productivity. In either case, overall productivity responses to single plant group removals were inconsistent and fairly modest, and only when all plant groups were removed did C. maculosa growth increase substantially over a no-removal treatment. As such, it seems that intense disturbances (e.g., prolonged drought, overgrazing) that deplete multiple plant groups may often be a prerequisite for C. maculosa invasion.

  18. Species Diversity and Bird Feed in Residential Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hadinoto; Suhesti, Eni

    2017-12-01

    Bird is one component of the ecosystem which has an important role in supporting the occurrence of an organism's life cycle. Therefore, the presence of birds in an area is important, because it can affect the existence and distribution of plant species. The purpose of this study is to calculate the diversity of bird species and identify the source of bird feed in the compound. This study was conducted by field surveys in the residential complex. In addition to the birds as a research object vegetation as habitat / foraging birds were also observed. Data were analyzed by using the bird diversity index, richenes index, bundance index, dominance analysis, analysis of bird distribution and analysis of the level of meeting types, while vegetation will be analyzed based on the type and part of what is eaten by birds. In Pandau Jaya housing complex, found as many as 12 species of birds which consists of seven families. Bird species often present is Cucak Kutilang (Pycnonotus aurigaster) of 20 individuals, Bondol Peking (Lonchura punctulata) 14 individuals and Perkutut Jawa (Geopelia striata) 10 individuals. Bird species diversity (H ‘) in Pandau Jaya housing complex is still relatively moderate with a value of 2.27, while the Evenness Index (E) of 0.91 and Richenes Index (R) of 2.45. Types of vegetation as a food source, among others: mango, guava, cherry, jackfruit, ketapang, coconut, areca, palm, banana, papaya, flowers and grasses.

  19. Prescribed burning supports grassland biodiversity - A multi-species study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkó, Orsolya; Deák, Balázs; Magura, Tibor; Török, Péter; Kelemen, András; Tóth, Katalin; Horváth, Roland; Nagy, Dávid; Debnár, Zsuzsanna; Zsigrai, György; Kapocsi, István; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2017-04-01

    During ancient times, fire was an important factor shaping European landscapes. Nowadays, prescribed burning can be one of the most effective conservation tools for the management of open landscapes, controlling dominant species, reducing accumulated litter or decreasing wildfire risk. In a prescribed burning experiment, we studied the effects of fire on dry alkaline grasslands. We tested whether autumn prescribed burning can be an alternative conservation measure in these grasslands. We selected six sites in Hungary: in three sites, prescribed burning was applied in November 2011, while three sites remained unburnt. We studied the effects of fire on soil characteristics, plant biomass and on the vegetation and arthropod assemblages (isopods, spiders, ground beetles and rove beetles). Soluble salt content increased significantly in the burnt sites, but soil pH, organic matter, potassium and phosphorous did not change. We found that prescribed fire had several positive effects from the nature conservation viewpoint. Diversity and the number of flowering shoots were higher, and the cover of the dominant grass was lower in the burnt sites. Graminoid biomass was lower, while total, green and forb biomass were higher in the burnt plots compared to the control ones. Our findings suggest that prescribed burning fire did not harm arthropods; species-level analyses showed that out of the most abundant invertebrate species, the abundance of ten was not affected, one decreased and one increased after burning. Our findings highlight that mosaic prescribed fire is a viable management tool in open landscapes, because it supports plant diversity and does not threaten arthropods.

  20. Bird species richness and abundance in different forest types at ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The avifauna of differently disturbed forest types of Kakamega Afrotropical forest were compared from December 2004 to May 2005. A total of 11 220 individual birds comprising of 129 bird species were recorded. Significant differences in abundance of birds among Psidium guajava, Bischoffia javanica, mixed indigenous, ...

  1. Does resource availability, resource heterogeneity or species turnover mediate changes in plant species richness in grazed grasslands?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

    Grazing by large ungulates often increases plant species richness in grasslands of moderate to high productivity. In a mesic North American grassland with and without the presence of bison (Bos bison), a native ungulate grazer, three non-exclusive hypotheses for increased plant species richness in

  2. Bird species of Mouau with special emphasis on foraging behavior ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ten different bird species were peculiar to the Umudike environment and of these eight were regular thus closely observed and identified. The other two species were scarcely available and may be regarded as visiting birds. The eight species identified were either Passerine or Non-Passerine. The northern grey-headed ...

  3. Equilibrium Bird Species Diversity in Atlantic Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valente, Luis; Illera, Juan Carlos; Havenstein, Katja; Pallien, Tamara; Etienne, Rampal S; Tiedemann, Ralph

    2017-06-05

    Half a century ago, MacArthur and Wilson proposed that the number of species on islands tends toward a dynamic equilibrium diversity around which species richness fluctuates [1]. The current prevailing view in island biogeography accepts the fundamentals of MacArthur and Wilson's theory [2] but questions whether their prediction of equilibrium can be fulfilled over evolutionary timescales, given the unpredictable and ever-changing nature of island geological and biotic features [3-7]. Here we conduct a complete molecular phylogenetic survey of the terrestrial bird species from four oceanic archipelagos that make up the diverse Macaronesian bioregion-the Azores, the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, and Madeira [8, 9]. We estimate the times at which birds colonized and speciated in the four archipelagos, including many previously unsampled endemic and non-endemic taxa and their closest continental relatives. We develop and fit a new multi-archipelago dynamic stochastic model to these data, explicitly incorporating information from 91 taxa, both extant and extinct. Remarkably, we find that all four archipelagos have independently achieved and maintained a dynamic equilibrium over millions of years. Biogeographical rates are homogeneous across archipelagos, except for the Canary Islands, which exhibit higher speciation and colonization. Our finding that the avian communities of the four Macaronesian archipelagos display an equilibrium diversity pattern indicates that a diversity plateau may be rapidly achieved on islands where rates of in situ radiation are low and extinction is high. This study reveals that equilibrium processes may be more prevalent than recently proposed, supporting MacArthur and Wilson's 50-year-old theory. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. International Trade of CITES Listed Bird Species in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  5. International trade of CITES listed bird species in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Linlin; Jiang, Zhigang

    2014-01-01

    Commercial trade of wild birds may devastate wild bird populations. Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) controls the trade of wild species listed in its appendices to avoid these species being threatened by international trade. China used to be one of the major trading countries with significant bird trade with foreign countries; on the other hand, China is a country with unique avian fauna, many Important Bird Areas and critically endangered bird species. What is the role of the country in world wild bird trade? What kind of insights can we extract from trade records for improving future management of wild bird trade in the country? We retrieved and analyzed international trade records of the CITES listed bird species of China from 1981 to 2010 from the CITES Trade Database maintained by United Nations Environment Program and World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC). We found that: (1) International trade of live birds in China peaked during the late 1990s, then decreased to the level before the surge of trade in a few years, the trade dynamics of wild birds may be affected by governmental policy and the outbreak of avian influenza during the period. (2) Most frequently traded CITES Appendix listed birds in China were parrots, most of which were exotic species to the country. (3) Birds were mainly traded for commercial purpose. Exotic birds in trade were mainly captive-bred while the most Chinese birds traded internationally were captured from the wild. Since many bird species in international trade are threatened to extinction, China should take stricter measures on importing of wild-captured birds and should collaborate with the countries of original in the international bird trade to avoid unsustainable harvesting of wild birds. It is urgent for China to carry out population surveys on those domestic bird species once in significant international trade and to make better conservation decisions based on

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Toxoplasmosis in three species of native and introduced Hawaiian birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Work, Thierry M.; Massey, J. Gregory; Lindsay, D.S.; Dubey, J.P.

    2002-01-01

    Toxoplasma gondii was found in endemic Hawaiian birds, including 2 nene geese (Nesochen sandvicensis), 1 red-footed booby (Sula sula), and an introduced bird, the Erckels francolin (Francolinus erckelii). All 4 birds died of disseminated toxoplasmosis; the parasite was found in sections of many organs, and the diagnosis was confirmed by immunohistochemical staining with anti–T. gondii–specific polyclonal antibodies. This is the first report of toxoplasmosis in these species of birds.

  9. Plant species occurrence patterns in Eurasian grasslands reflect adaptation to nutrient ratios

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Roeling, Ineke S.; Ozinga, Wim A.; van Dijk, Jerry; Eppinga, Maarten B.; Wassen, Martin J.

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies of Eurasian grasslands have suggested that nutrient ratios, rather than absolute nutrient availabilities and associated productivity, may be driving plant species richness patterns. However, the underlying assumption that species occupy distinct niches along nutrient ratio gradients

  10. Microhabitat selection by three common bird species of montane farmlands in Northern Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiakiris, Rigas; Stara, Kalliopi; Pantis, John; Sgardelis, Stefanos

    2009-11-01

    Common farmland birds are declining throughout Europe; however, marginal farmlands that escaped intensification or land abandonment remain a haven for farmland species in some Mediterranean mountains. The purpose of this study is to identify the most important anthropogenic microhabitat characteristics for Red-Backed Shrike (Lanius collurio), Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra) and Common Whitethroat (Sylvia communis) in three such areas within the newly established Northern Pindos National Park. We compare land use structural and physiognomic characteristics of the habitat within 133 plots containing birds paired with randomly selected "non-bird" plots. Using logistic regression and classification-tree models we identify the specific habitat requirements for each of the three birds. The three species show a preference for agricultural mosaics dominated by rangelands with scattered shrub or short trees mixed with arable land. Areas with dikes and dirt roads are preferred by all three species, while the presence of fences and periodically burned bushes and hedges are of particular importance for Red-Backed Shrike. Across the gradient of vegetation density and height, M. calandra is mostly found in grasslands with few dwarf shrubs and short trees, S. communis in places with more dense and tall vegetation of shrub, trees and hedges, and L. collurio, being a typical bird of ecotones, occurs in both habitats and in intermediate situations. In all cases those requirements are associated with habitat features maintained either directly or indirectly by the traditional agricultural activities in the area and particularly by the long established extensive controlled grazing that prevent shrub expansion.

  11. 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

  12. East Africa's diminishing bird habitats and bird species

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    foreign exchange earnings for each national exchequer. However, recent national census records have .... Dar-es-. Salaam: Wildlife Conservation Society of Tanzania. Bennun, L & Njoroge, P. 1999. Important Bird Areas in Kenya, Nairobi: East Africa Natural. History Society. Byaruhanga, A, Kasoma, P. & Pomeroy, D. 2001.

  13. Genetic sorting of subordinate species in grassland modulated by intraspecific variation in dominant species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny J Gustafson

    Full Text Available Genetic variation in a single species can have predictable and heritable effects on associated communities and ecosystem processes, however little is known about how genetic variation of a dominant species affects plant community assembly. We characterized the genetic structure of a dominant grass (Sorghastrum nutans and two subordinate species (Chamaecrista fasciculata, Silphium integrifolium, during the third growing season in grassland communities established with genetically distinct (cultivated varieties or local ecotypes seed sources of the dominant grasses. There were genetic differences between subordinate species growing in the cultivar versus local ecotype communities, indicating that intraspecific genetic variation in the dominant grasses affected the genetic composition of subordinate species during community assembly. A positive association between genetic diversity of S. nutans, C. fasciculata, and S. integrifolium and species diversity established the role of an intraspecific biotic filter during community assembly. Our results show that intraspecific variation in dominant species can significantly modulate the genetic composition of subordinate species.

  14. The relative importance of climate and vegetation properties on patterns of North American breeding bird species richness

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goetz, Scott J; Sun, Mindy; Zolkos, Scott; Hansen, Andy; Dubayah, Ralph

    2014-01-01

    Recent advances in remote sensing and ecological modeling warrant a timely and robust investigation of the ecological variables that underlie large-scale patterns of breeding bird species richness, particularly in the context of intensifying land use and climate change. Our objective was to address this need using an array of bioclimatic and remotely sensed data sets representing vegetation properties and structure, and other aspects of the physical environment. We first build models of bird species richness across breeding bird survey (BBS) routes, and then spatially predict richness across the coterminous US at moderately high spatial resolution (1 km). Predictor variables were derived from various sources and maps of species richness were generated for four groups (guilds) of birds with different breeding habitat affiliation (forest, grassland, open woodland, scrub/shrub), as well as all guilds combined. Predictions of forest bird distributions were strong (R 2 = 0.85), followed by grassland (0.76), scrub/shrub (0.63) and open woodland (0.60) species. Vegetation properties were generally the strongest determinants of species richness, whereas bioclimatic and lidar-derived vertical structure metrics were of variable importance and dependent upon the guild type. Environmental variables (climate and the physical environment) were also frequently selected predictors, but canopy structure variables were not as important as expected based on more local to regional scale studies. Relatively sparse sampling of canopy structure metrics from the satellite lidar sensor may have reduced their importance relative to other predictor variables across the study domain. We discuss these results in the context of the ecological drivers of species richness patterns, the spatial scale of bird diversity analyses, and the potential of next generation space-borne lidar systems relevant to vegetation and ecosystem studies. This study strengthens current understanding of bird species

  15. 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,

  16. Prevalence of Campylobacter species in wild birds of South Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwon, Yong-Kuk; Oh, Jae-Young; Jeong, Ok-Mi; Moon, Oun-Kyoung; Kang, Min-Su; Jung, Byeong-Yeal; An, Byung-Ki; Youn, So-Youn; Kim, Hye-Ryoung; Jang, Il; Lee, Hee-Soo

    2017-10-01

    Campylobacter species cause human gastrointestinal infections worldwide. They commonly inhabit intestines of avian species including wild birds. They might play a role in the spread of infections to humans and other bird species. The prevalence of Campylobacter species in 2164 faecal samples of wild birds (representing 71 species and 28 families) captured across the Korean peninsula was evaluated in this study. The overall prevalence was 15.3% (332/2164). Bird species belonging to the family Charadriidae had the highest isolation rate (30.0%), followed by those belonging to the families Ardeidae (26.4%), Turdidae (21.9%), and Anatidae (15.3%). The prevalence of Campylobacter spp. differed significantly according to migratory habit. Stopover birds were the most commonly infected (19.0%), followed by winter migratory (16.7%) and summer migratory birds (12.3%). However, indigenous birds showed very low prevalence (2.7%). Antimicrobial susceptibility tests were performed for 213 isolates. Results showed that Campylobacter jejuni isolates (n = 169) exhibited resistance to nalidixic acid (5.3%), ciprofloxacin (3.0%), and tetracycline (1.8%), while Campylobacter lari (n = 1) displayed resistance to nalidixic acid and ciprofloxacin. However, all Campylobacter coli isolates (n = 20) were susceptible to all antimicrobials tested. This is the first report on the prevalence of Campylobacter species in wild birds that seasonally or indigenously inhabit the Korean peninsula. Our results indicate that the overall prevalence of Campylobacter in wild birds is moderate. Therefore, birds might serve as significant reservoirs for Campylobacter pathogens.

  17. Music for the birds: effects of auditory enrichment on captive bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robbins, Lindsey; Margulis, Susan W

    2016-01-01

    With the increase of mixed species exhibits in zoos, targeting enrichment for individual species may be problematic. Often, mammals may be the primary targets of enrichment, yet other species that share their environment (such as birds) will unavoidably be exposed to the enrichment as well. The purpose of this study was to determine if (1) auditory stimuli designed for enrichment of primates influenced the behavior of captive birds in the zoo setting, and (2) if the specific type of auditory enrichment impacted bird behavior. Three different African bird species were observed at the Buffalo Zoo during exposure to natural sounds, classical music and rock music. The results revealed that the average frequency of flying in all three bird species increased with naturalistic sounds and decreased with rock music (F = 7.63, df = 3,6, P = 0.018); vocalizations for two of the three species (Superb Starlings and Mousebirds) increased (F = 18.61, df = 2,6, P = 0.0027) in response to all auditory stimuli, however one species (Lady Ross's Turacos) increased frequency of duetting only in response to rock music (X(2) = 18.5, df = 2, P < 0.0001). Auditory enrichment implemented for large mammals may influence behavior in non-target species as well, in this case leading to increased activity by birds. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  18. Urban Bird Feeders Dominated by a Few Species and Individuals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josie A. Galbraith

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The practice of garden bird feeding is a global phenomenon, involving millions of people and vast quantities of food annually. Many people engage in the practice of feeding assuming that birds gain some benefit from the food they provide, yet recent studies have revealed the potential for detrimental impacts as well. However, there is still a paucity of information on the impacts of feeding, including the ubiquity of these impacts among and within feeder-visiting species. Consistency in feeder use among birds is likely an important determinant of this. Individual birds and species that make frequent use of feeders are more likely to experience both the benefits and detrimental impacts of supplementary food. We investigated patterns of feeder use by garden birds visiting experimental feeding stations in Auckland, New Zealand, with the specific aim of determining whether use of supplementary food was consistent or variable among individuals and species. We used camera traps as well as Radio Frequency Identification (RFID technology to examine intra- and interspecific feeder visitation patterns and to discern species associations. Eleven bird species were detected using feeding stations, however, two introduced species (house sparrow Passer domesticus and spotted dove Streptopelia chinensis dominated visitation events. These species were present at feeders most frequently, with the largest conspecific group sizes. Significant associations were detected among a number of species, suggesting interspecific interactions are important in determining feeder use. We also found within-species differences in feeder use for all focal species, with individual variation greatest in house sparrows. Furthermore, season had an important influence on most visitation parameters. The observed individual and species-specific differences in supplementary food resource use imply that the impacts of garden bird feeding are not universal. Crucially, particularly given

  19. Birds' species diversity measurement of Uchali Wetland (Ramsar site Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Taofik Oyedele Dauda

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available We carried out this study to evaluate bird species diversity and to model bird species abundance using Uchali Wetland, Pakistan (32°33′N, 72°01′E. Data obtained were subjected to summary statistics, Simpson diversity, Shannon evenness index, and rank abundance curve and model. The watershed supports 25,361 birds of 47 species, which is appreciably less than the number of bird species supported by the same wetland in the past year (1991. Total evenness could be obtained as the ranks increases and this differed annually. Evenness index (EI analysis showed that EI for 2011 was 0.0231, for 2012, it was 0.02, for 2013, it was 0.01, and for the annual mean, it was 0.046 indicating functional abundance of the species. Bird species diversity measurement could be enhanced by the use of the modified rank–abundance curve and would clearly present the true picture of the bird species abundance.

  20. 135 SPECIES LIST AND STATUS OF MAMMALS AND BIRDS IN ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2010-03-01

    Mar 1, 2010 ... Officer i/c Sambisa Game Reserve Forestry and Wildlife Services Division,. Ministry of ... Key words: Game Reserve, Mammals, Birds, Checklist and Status. INTRODUCTION. Species ..... Ph.D Thesis, University of. Ibadan. pp ...

  1. Floristic composition, environmental variation and species distribution patterns in burned grassland in southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overbeck, G E; Müller, S C; Pillar, V D; Pfadenhauer, J

    2006-11-01

    In regularly burned grassland on Morro Santana, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, we investigated differences in the floristic composition and their relation to soil properties, aspect and distance from the forest border. In 48 plots of 0.75 m2, we identified a total of 201 species from a local species pool of approximately 450 to 500 species. Most species occurred in low frequencies, showing clumpy distribution patterns in the studied area. Multivariate analysis showed that plots close to the forest edge clearly differed from plots in the open grassland concerning composition and structure. Plots exposed to the north differed from plots on the top of the hill both in the composition of species as well as in soil variables, mainly due to shallower soil in the former. No strong relation between soil properties and variation in vegetation composition could be detected at a finer scale. The studied grassland, as all grassland vegetation in southern Brazil, is very rich in species compared to other grassland formations worldwide. However, this high biodiversity and conservational value of Campos vegetation in general has so far not been recognized properly. Disturbance is essential to maintain this open vegetation type and its species richness. Fire should be considered as a management option in the absence of grazing.

  2. Effects of water and nitrogen addition on species turnover in temperate grasslands in northern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuwen Xu

    Full Text Available Global nitrogen (N deposition and climate change have been identified as two of the most important causes of current plant diversity loss. However, temporal patterns of species turnover underlying diversity changes in response to changing precipitation regimes and atmospheric N deposition have received inadequate attention. We carried out a manipulation experiment in a steppe and an old-field in North China from 2005 to 2009, to test the hypothesis that water addition enhances plant species richness through increase in the rate of species gain and decrease in the rate of species loss, while N addition has opposite effects on species changes. Our results showed that water addition increased the rate of species gain in both the steppe and the old field but decreased the rates of species loss and turnover in the old field. In contrast, N addition increased the rates of species loss and turnover in the steppe but decreased the rate of species gain in the old field. The rate of species change was greater in the old field than in the steppe. Water interacted with N to affect species richness and species turnover, indicating that the impacts of N on semi-arid grasslands were largely mediated by water availability. The temporal stability of communities was negatively correlated with rates of species loss and turnover, suggesting that water addition might enhance, but N addition would reduce the compositional stability of grasslands. Experimental results support our initial hypothesis and demonstrate that water and N availabilities differed in the effects on rate of species change in the temperate grasslands, and these effects also depend on grassland types and/or land-use history. Species gain and loss together contribute to the dynamic change of species richness in semi-arid grasslands under future climate change.

  3. 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

  4. A comparison of auditory brainstem responses across diving bird species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Sara E.; Berlin, Alicia; Carr, Catherine E.; Olsen, Glenn H.; Therrien, Ronald E.; Yannuzzi, Sally E.; Ketten, Darlene R.

    2015-01-01

    There is little biological data available for diving birds because many live in hard-to-study, remote habitats. Only one species of diving bird, the black-footed penguin (Spheniscus demersus), has been studied in respect to auditory capabilities (Wever et al., Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 63:676–680, 1969). We, therefore, measured in-air auditory threshold in ten species of diving birds, using the auditory brainstem response (ABR). The average audiogram obtained for each species followed the U-shape typical of birds and many other animals. All species tested shared a common region of the greatest sensitivity, from 1000 to 3000 Hz, although audiograms differed significantly across species. Thresholds of all duck species tested were more similar to each other than to the two non-duck species tested. The red-throated loon (Gavia stellata) and northern gannet (Morus bassanus) exhibited the highest thresholds while the lowest thresholds belonged to the duck species, specifically the lesser scaup (Aythya affinis) and ruddy duck (Oxyura jamaicensis). Vocalization parameters were also measured for each species, and showed that with the exception of the common eider (Somateria mollisima), the peak frequency, i.e., frequency at the greatest intensity, of all species' vocalizations measured here fell between 1000 and 3000 Hz, matching the bandwidth of the most sensitive hearing range.

  5. Bird species and numbers of birds in oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region including effects of burning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter F. Ffolliott; Hui Chen; Gerald J. Gottfried

    2011-01-01

    Oak savannas of the Southwestern Borderlands region provide food, cover, and sites for nesting, roosting, and perching for a diversity of bird species. The results of a five-year (2003-2007) study of bird species, numbers of birds, and their diversities in the naturally occurring (unburned) oak savannas of the region are reported in this paper. Effects of cool-season...

  6. DNA barcode detects high genetic structure within neotropical bird species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erika Sendra Tavares

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Towards lower latitudes the number of recognized species is not only higher, but also phylogeographic subdivision within species is more pronounced. Moreover, new genetically isolated populations are often described in recent phylogenies of Neotropical birds suggesting that the number of species in the region is underestimated. Previous COI barcoding of Argentinean bird species showed more complex patterns of regional divergence in the Neotropical than in the North American avifauna. METHODS AND FINDINGS: Here we analyzed 1,431 samples from 561 different species to extend the Neotropical bird barcode survey to lower latitudes, and detected even higher geographic structure within species than reported previously. About 93% (520 of the species were identified correctly from their DNA barcodes. The remaining 41 species were not monophyletic in their COI sequences because they shared barcode sequences with closely related species (N = 21 or contained very divergent clusters suggestive of putative new species embedded within the gene tree (N = 20. Deep intraspecific divergences overlapping with among-species differences were detected in 48 species, often with samples from large geographic areas and several including multiple subspecies. This strong population genetic structure often coincided with breaks between different ecoregions or areas of endemism. CONCLUSIONS: The taxonomic uncertainty associated with the high incidence of non-monophyletic species and discovery of putative species obscures studies of historical patterns of species diversification in the Neotropical region. We showed that COI barcodes are a valuable tool to indicate which taxa would benefit from more extensive taxonomic revisions with multilocus approaches. Moreover, our results support hypotheses that the megadiversity of birds in the region is associated with multiple geographic processes starting well before the Quaternary and extending to more recent

  7. 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...

  8. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on ex-arable land: Seed addition outweighs soil fertility reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Van der Wal, A.; Bezemer, T.M.; De Boer, W.; Duyts, H.; Holtkamp, R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2008-01-01

    A common practice in biodiversity conservation is restoration of former species-rich grassland on ex-arable land. Major constraints for grassland restoration are high soil fertility and limited dispersal ability of plant species to target sites. Usually, studies focus on soil fertility or on methods

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Literature based species occurrence data of birds of northeast India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sujit Narwade

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The northeast region of India is one of the world’s most significant biodiversity hotspots. One of the richest bird areas in India, it is an important route for migratory birds and home to many endemic bird species. This paper describes a literature-based dataset of species occurrences of birds of northeast India. The occurrence records documented in the dataset are distributed across eleven provinces of India, viz.: Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. The geospatial scope of the dataset represents 24 to 29 degree North latitude and 78 to 94 degree East longitude, and it comprises over 2400 occurrence records. These records have been collated from scholarly literature published between1915 and 2008, especially from the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society (JBNHS. The temporal scale of the dataset represents bird observations recorded between 1909 and 2007. The dataset has been developed by employing MS Excel. The key elements in the database are scientific name, taxonomic classification, temporal and geospatial details including geo-coordinate precision, data collector, basis of record and primary source of the data record. The temporal and geospatial quality of more than 50% of the data records has been enhanced retrospectively. Where possible, data records are annotated with geospatial coordinate precision to the nearest minute. This dataset is being constantly updated with the addition of new data records, and quality enhancement of documented occurrences. The dataset can be used in species distribution and niche modeling studies. It is planned to expand the scope of the dataset to collate bird species occurrences across the Indian peninsula.

  12. 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.

  13. Quantifying establishment limitations during the ecological restoration of species-rich Nardus grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daele, Van Frederik; Wasof, Safaa; Demey, Andreas; Schelfhout, Stephanie; Schrijver, De A.; Baeten, Lander; Ruijven, van Jasper; Mertens, Jan; Verheyen, Kris

    2017-01-01

    Aims: Successful establishment of species-rich Nardus grasslands on ex-agricultural land requires identification and removal of barriers to effective seed germination and seedling survival. Therefore, we investigate how germination and early development are affected by soil conditions from

  14. Threatened bird species on two little-known mountains (Chiperone ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The montane forests of northern Mozambique and southern Malawi support several bird species of global conservation concern, and particularly in Malawi are seriously threatened by deforestation. However, the status of these in northern Mozambique remains poorly known. We report that some 1 600 ha of mid-altitude and ...

  15. The role of indicator species: Neotropical migratory song birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodore R. Simons; Kerry N. Rabenold; David A. Buehler; Jaime A. Collazo; Kathleen E. Franzreb

    1999-01-01

    Southern Appalachian forests support some of the richest avian diversity in North America, including some 75 species of Neotropical migrants, birds that perform the remarkable feat of making much of the Western Hemisphere their home. This diverse group includes the swallows, kingbirds, and other flycatchers that feed in the air on flying insects. The Eastern kingbird...

  16. The bird species of pandam wildlife park and the surrounding ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The effect of time of day as well as vegetation variables on bird species diversity in the park and surrounding farmlands was also conducted. 10 transects in each study site were surveyed twice between during the dry season and vegetation variables (trees, fingers, finger-rings two- hand, grazing, farming, canopy cover, ...

  17. Soil chemical factors and grassland species density in Emas National Park (central Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, P K; Batalha, M A

    2008-05-01

    Studies of grasslands on specific soil types suggest that different nutrients can limit biomass production and, hence, species composition and number. The Brazilian cerrado is the major savanna region in America and once covered about 2 million km(2), mainly in the Brazilian Central Plateau, under seasonal climate, with wet summer and dry winter. In view of the importance of soil chemical factors in the distribution of the vegetation forms within the Cerrado domain and which may influence the number of species, we analyzed some soil characteristics in three herbaceous vegetation forms -- hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado, and wet grassland -- in Emas National Park, a core cerrado site, to investigate the relationship between number of species and soil characteristics. We collected vegetation and soil samples in these three vegetation forms and submitted the obtained data to multiple linear regression. We found out that aluminum and pH were the best predictors of species density, the former positively related to species density and the latter negatively related. Since the predictable variation in species density is important in determining areas of conservation, we can postulate that these two soil factors are indicators of high species density areas in tropical grasslands, which could be used in selecting priority sites for conservation.

  18. Weather, not climate, defines distributions of vagile bird species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    April E Reside

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Accurate predictions of species distributions are essential for climate change impact assessments. However the standard practice of using long-term climate averages to train species distribution models might mute important temporal patterns of species distribution. The benefit of using temporally explicit weather and distribution data has not been assessed. We hypothesized that short-term weather associated with the time a species was recorded should be superior to long-term climate measures for predicting distributions of mobile species. METHODOLOGY: We tested our hypothesis by generating distribution models for 157 bird species found in Australian tropical savannas (ATS using modelling algorithm Maxent. The variable weather of the ATS supports a bird assemblage with variable movement patterns and a high incidence of nomadism. We developed "weather" models by relating climatic variables (mean temperature, rainfall, rainfall seasonality and temperature seasonality from the three month, six month and one year period preceding each bird record over a 58 year period (1950-2008. These weather models were compared against models built using long-term (30 year averages of the same climatic variables. CONCLUSIONS: Weather models consistently achieved higher model scores than climate models, particularly for wide-ranging, nomadic and desert species. Climate models predicted larger range areas for species, whereas weather models quantified fluctuations in habitat suitability across months, seasons and years. Models based on long-term climate averages over-estimate availability of suitable habitat and species' climatic tolerances, masking species potential vulnerability to climate change. Our results demonstrate that dynamic approaches to distribution modelling, such as incorporating organism-appropriate temporal scales, improves understanding of species distributions.

  19. 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.

  20. Hyperspectral classification of grassland species: towards a UAS application for semi-automatic field surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopatin, Javier; Fassnacht, Fabian E.; Kattenborn, Teja; Schmidtlein, Sebastian

    2017-04-01

    Grasslands are one of the ecosystems that have been strongly intervened during the past decades due to anthropogenic impacts, affecting their structural and functional composition. To monitor the spatial and/or temporal changes of these environments, a reliable field survey is first needed. As quality relevés are usually expensive and time consuming, the amount of information available is usually poor or not well spatially distributed at the regional scale. In the present study, we investigate the possibility of a semi-automated method used for repeated surveys of monitoring sites. We analyze the applicability of very high spatial resolution hyperspectral data to classify grassland species at the level of individuals. The AISA+ imaging spectrometer mounted on a scaffold was applied to scan 1 m2 grassland plots and assess the impact of four sources of variation on the predicted species cover: (1) the spatial resolution of the scans, (2) the species number and structural diversity, (3) the species cover, and (4) the species functional types (bryophytes, forbs and graminoids). We found that the spatial resolution and the diversity level (mainly structural diversity) were the most important source of variation for the proposed approach. A spatial resolution below 1 cm produced relatively high model performances, while predictions with pixel sizes over that threshold produced non adequate results. Areas with low interspecies overlap reached classification median values of 0.8 (kappa). On the contrary, results were not satisfactory in plots with frequent interspecies overlap in multiple layers. By means of a bootstrapping procedure, we found that areas with shadows and mixed pixels introduce uncertainties into the classification. We conclude that the application of very high resolution hyperspectral remote sensing as a robust alternative or supplement to field surveys is possible for environments with low structural heterogeneity. This study presents the first try of a

  1. 45 CFR 670.25 - Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... native mammals, birds, and plants. 670.25 Section 670.25 Public Welfare Regulations Relating to Public... Protected Species of Mammals, Birds, and Plants § 670.25 Designation of specially protected species of native mammals, birds, and plants. The following species has been designated as Specially Protected...

  2. 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

  3. First records of several bird species for Zacatecas, Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro Pérez-Arteaga

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available We report the first records of five species of birds for the state of Zacatecas, Mexico: Ortalis poliocephala (West Mexican Chachalaca, Progne sinaloae (Sinaloa Martin, Peucaea carpalis (Rufous-winged Sparrow, Melospiza melodia (Song Sparrow and Cyanocompsa parellina (Blue Bunting. Ortalis poliocephala is also a new record for the Western Sierra Madre biogeographic region. These records are ecologically relevant as they extend the known distribution ranges and suggest that the southern Zacatecas region might be more diverse than previously thought.

  4. 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).

  5. Linking root traits and competitive success in grassland species

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ravenek, Janneke M.; Mommer, Liesje; Visser, Eric J.W.; Ruijven, van Jasper; Paauw, van der Jan Willem; Smit-Tiekstra, Annemiek; Caluwe, de Hannie; Kroon, de Hans

    2016-01-01

    Background and aims: Competition is an important force shaping plant communities. Here we test the hypothesis that high overall root length density and selective root placement in nutrient patches, as two alternative strategies, confer competitive advantage in species mixtures. Methods: We

  6. Competition under high and low nutrient levels among three grassland species occupying different positions in a successional sequence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schippers, P.; Snoeijing, I.; Kropff, M.J.

    1999-01-01

    To clarify the role of seasonal change, competitive response and nutrient availability in the competitive asymmetry of grassland species a competition experiment was conducted on Holcus lanatus, Anthoxanthum odoratum and Festuca ovina, which represent a successional sequence of decreasing nutrient

  7. Seedling recruitment of forb species under experimental microhabitats in alpine grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, S. S.; Yu, L.; Lin, W. G.; Pingi, T. F.

    2015-01-01

    Which factors limit plant seedling recruitment in alpine meadow of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), China? This study examined the relative influence of seed mass and microsites (resulted from grazing disturbance) on field seedling emergence and survival of nineteen alpine herbaceous species with a range of traits in QTP. Seed mass had significant effects on seedling emergence and survival eliminating influence of light and nutrient variances among these species. The larger-seed species had more advantageous than the smaller-seed species in seedling survival, but it was disadvatage for seedling emergence, especially under high nutrient availability and low light intensity conditions. Light had obvious effects on seedling survival, but less effects on seedling emergence for these species. Moreover, nutrient and light treatments altered the regression relationships of seed mass and seedling emergence and survival and the order of significances was L25>L50>L100>L10>L4. These results suggested that seed mass may restrict seedling recruitment processes, however, light and nutrient availability all have significant effects on seedling emergence and survival for these alpine species. Moderate light intensity was propitious to seedling emergence and survival in alpine grassland. This suggests that ecological factors in alpine grassland provide a stochastic influence on different seed-mass species. These trends may help to explain why many small-seeded species of Asteraceae and Gramineae tend to be more abundant in disturbed habitats. (author)

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Biomass production in experimental grasslands of different species richness during three years of climate warming

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Boeck, H. J.; Lemmens, C. M. H. M.; Zavalloni, C.; Gielen, B.; Malchair, S.; Carnol, M.; Merckx, R.; van den Berge, J.; Ceulemans, R.; Nijs, I.

    2008-04-01

    Here we report on the single and combined impacts of climate warming and species richness on the biomass production in experimental grassland communities. Projections of a future warmer climate have stimulated studies on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global change. Experiments have likewise addressed the importance of species numbers for ecosystem functioning. There is, however, little knowledge on the interplay between warming and species richness. During three years, we grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers in Wilrijk, Belgium. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures (unheated), while the other half were warmed by 3°C (heated). Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, so that warming would imply drier soils if evapotranspiration was higher. Biomass production was decreased due to warming, both aboveground (-29%) and belowground (-25%), as negative impacts of increased heat and drought stress in summer prevailed. Complementarity effects, likely mostly through both increased aboveground spatial complementarity and facilitative effects of legumes, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  11. The small-scale species mobility in calcareous grasslands - example from southern Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Bąba

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper I use the different measures of species mobility to describe the fine small-scale dynamics of calcareous grassland built mainly by perennial species and developed in the highly heterogeneous habitat of calcareous rocks. The community showed the low dynamics on a plot-scale (100 m2 and a high one on the scale of 1 m2. However, the studied species differed greatly in calculated indices: turnover rate, (T; 6-64, residence time (RT; 0.5-21.8 y and carousel time (CT; 4-420 y as well as the observed tendency to persistence on the spots (PERSIST and their re-colonisation (AGAIN. This allowed to distinguish the three groups of species: (1 "core species" characterized by high frequency and low T and high CT and RT values, which determine the low dynamics of a community on the plot scale, (2 species with intermediate mobility rate and (3 the group with high mobility rate. The observed cumulative frequencies of all the studied species (CFobs were much lower than expected under the random re-assignation model (CFRR. Moreover, they were also lower than those predicted by random immigration model (CFRI. The results showed that the "complex carousel" model rather than "single carousel" one explained better the small-scale dynamics of calcareous grasslands.

  12. Cross-species transmission and emergence of novel viruses from birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chan, Jasper Fuk-Woo; To, Kelvin Kai-Wang; Chen, Honglin; Yuen, Kwok-Yung

    2015-02-01

    Birds, the only living member of the Dinosauria clade, are flying warm-blooded vertebrates displaying high species biodiversity, roosting and migratory behavior, and a unique adaptive immune system. Birds provide the natural reservoir for numerous viral species and therefore gene source for evolution, emergence and dissemination of novel viruses. The intrusions of human into natural habitats of wild birds, the domestication of wild birds as pets or racing birds, and the increasing poultry consumption by human have facilitated avian viruses to cross species barriers to cause zoonosis. Recently, a novel adenovirus was exclusively found in birds causing an outbreak of Chlamydophila psittaci infection among birds and humans. Instead of being the primary cause of an outbreak by jumping directly from bird to human, a novel avian virus can be an augmenter of another zoonotic agent causing the outbreak. A comprehensive avian virome will improve our understanding of birds' evolutionary dynamics. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Base cation depletion, eutrophication and acidification of species-rich grasslands in response to long-term simulated nitrogen deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horswill, Paul [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)], E-mail: paul.horswill@naturalengland.org.uk; O' Sullivan, Odhran; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Lee, John A.; Leake, Jonathan R. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2008-09-15

    Pollutant nitrogen deposition effects on soil and foliar element concentrations were investigated in acidic and limestone grasslands, located in one of the most nitrogen and acid rain polluted regions of the UK, using plots treated for 8-10 years with 35-140 kg N ha{sup -2} y{sup -1} as NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}. Historic data suggests both grasslands have acidified over the past 50 years. Nitrogen deposition treatments caused the grassland soils to lose 23-35% of their total available bases (Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and they became acidified by 0.2-0.4 pH units. Aluminium, iron and manganese were mobilised and taken up by limestone grassland forbs and were translocated down the acid grassland soil. Mineral nitrogen availability increased in both grasslands and many species showed foliar N enrichment. This study provides the first definitive evidence that nitrogen deposition depletes base cations from grassland soils. The resulting acidification, metal mobilisation and eutrophication are implicated in driving floristic changes. - Nitrogen deposition causes base cation depletion, acidification and eutrophication of semi-natural grassland soils.

  14. 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

  15. Use of Hardwood Tree Species by Birds Nesting in Ponderosa Pine Forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kathryn L. Purcell; Douglas A. Drynan

    2008-01-01

    We examined the use of hardwood tree species for nesting by bird species breeding in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) forests in the Sierra National Forest, California. From 1995 through 2002, we located 668 nests of 36 bird species nesting in trees and snags on four 60-ha study sites. Two-thirds of all species nesting in trees or snags used...

  16. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi Lampinen

    Full Text Available Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas.

  17. Sensitive Indicators of Zonal Stipa Species to Changing Temperature and Precipitation in Inner Mongolia Grassland, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Xiaomin; Zhou, Guangsheng; Wang, Yuhui; Song, Xiliang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change often induces shifts in plant functional traits. However, knowledge related to sensitivity of different functional traits and sensitive indicator representing plant growth under hydrothermal change remains unclear. Inner Mongolia grassland is predicted to be one of the terrestrial ecosystems which are most vulnerable to climate change. In this study, we analyzed the response of four zonal Stipa species (S. baicalensis, S. grandis, S. breviflora, and S. bungeana) from Inner Mongolia grassland to changing temperature (control, increased 1.5, 2, 4, and 6°C), precipitation (decreased 30 and 15%, control, increased 15 and 30%) and their combined effects via climate control chambers. The relative change of functional traits in the unit of temperature and precipitation change was regarded as sensitivity coefficient and sensitive indicators were examined by pathway analysis. We found that sensitivity of the four Stipa species to changing temperature and precipitation could be ranked as follows: S. bungeana > S. grandis > S. breviflora > S. baicalensis. In particular, changes in leaf area, specific leaf area and root/shoot ratio could account for 86% of the changes in plant biomass in the four Stipa species. Also these three measurements were more sensitive to hydrothermal changes than the other functional traits. These three functional indicators reflected the combination of plant production capacity (leaf area), adaptive strategy (root/shoot ratio), instantaneous environmental effects (specific leaf area), and cumulative environmental effects (leaf area and root/shoot ratio). Thus, leaf area, specific leaf area and root/shoot ratio were chosen as sensitive indicators in response to changing temperature and precipitation for Stipa species. These results could provide the basis for predicting the influence of climate change on Inner Mongolia grassland based on the magnitude of changes in sensitive indicators. PMID:26904048

  18. 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.

  19. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research.

  20. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  1. Who started first? Bird species visiting novel birdfeeders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tryjanowski, Piotr; Morelli, Federico; Skórka, Piotr; Goławski, Artur; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Pape Møller, Anders; Mitrus, Cezary; Wysocki, Dariusz; Zduniak, Piotr

    2015-07-07

    Adapting to exploit new food sources may be essential, particularly in winter, when the impact of food limitation on survival of individuals is critical. One of the most important additional sources of food for birds in human settlements is birdfeeders. At a large spatial scale, we experimentally provided birdfeeders with four different kinds of food to analyze exploitation and use of a novel food supply provided by humans. Nine species started foraging at the new birdfeeders. The species that exploited the new feeders the fastest was the great tit. Use of novel food sources was faster in urban habitats and the presence of other feeders reduced the time until a new feeder was located. Urbanization may be associated with behavioural skills, technical innovations and neophilia resulting in faster discovery of new food sources. This process is accelerated by the experience of feeder use in the vicinity, with a strong modifying effect of the number of domestic cats.

  2. Nitrogen transfer from forage legumes to nine neighbouring plants in a multi-species grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofer-Walzl, Karin; Rasmussen, Jim; Jensen, Henning Høgh

    2012-01-01

    Legumes play a crucial role in nitrogen supply to grass-legume mixtures for ruminant fodder. To quantify N transfer from legumes to neighbouring plants in multi-species grasslands we established a grass-legume-herb mixture on a loamy-sandy site in Denmark. White clover (Trifolium repens L.), red...... amounts of N from legumes than dicotyledonous plants which generally have taproots. Slurry application mainly increased N transfer from legumes to grasses. During the growing season the three legumes transferred approximately 40 kg N ha-1 to neighbouring plants. Below-ground N transfer from legumes...

  3. Global analysis of threat status reveals higher extinction risk in tropical than in temperate bird sister species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Reif Jiří

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Given increasing pressures upon biodiversity, identification of species’ traits related to elevated extinction risk is useful for more efficient allocation of limited resources for nature conservation. Despite its need, such a global analysis was lacking in the case of birds. Therefore, we performed this exercise for avian sister species using information about their global extinction risk from IUCN Red List. We focused on 113 pairs of sister species, each containing a threatened and an unthreatened species to factor out the effects of common evolutionary history on the revealed relationship. We collected data on five traits with expected relationships to species’ extinction risk based on previous studies performed at regional or national levels: breeding habitat (recognizing forest, grassland, wetland and oceanic species, latitudinal range position (temperate and tropics species, migration strategy (migratory and resident species, diet (carnivorous, insectivorous, herbivorous and omnivorous species and body mass. We related the extinction risk using IUCN threat level categories to species’ traits using generalised linear mixed effects models expecting lower risk for forest, temperate, omnivorous and smaller-bodied species. Our expectation was confirmed only in the case of latitudinal range position, as we revealed higher threat level for tropical than for temperate species. This relationship was robust to different methods of threat level expression and cannot be explained by a simple association of high bird species richness with the tropical zone. Instead, it seems that tropical species are more threatened because of their intrinsic characteristics such as slow life histories, adaptations to stable environments and small geographic ranges. These characteristics are obviously disadvantageous in conditions of current human-induced environmental perturbations. Moreover, given the absence of habitat effects, our study indicates that such

  4. Learning About Bird Species on the Primary Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randler, Christoph

    2009-04-01

    Animal species identification is often emphasized as a basic prerequisite for an understanding of ecology because ecological interactions are based on interactions between species at least as it is taught on the school level. Therefore, training identification skills or using identification books seems a worthwhile task in biology education, and should already start on the primary level. On the primary level, however, complex interactions could not be taught but pupils are often interested in basic knowledge about species. We developed a hands-on, group-based and self-determined learning phase organized in workstations. About 138 pupils (2nd-4th graders) participated in this study. The two groups received an identification treatment with six different bird species. These were presented either as soft toys or as taxidermy specimen. Both groups scored similar prior and after the treatment (posttest 1) and with a delay of 6-8 weeks (posttest 2). More complex general linear modeling revealed a significant influence of prior knowledge, treatment and of grade (2nd, 3rd or 4th grade) on the first posttest while in the retention test gender differences emerged. We suggest that soft toys may be of equal value for teaching species identification on the primary level compared to natural taxidermic specimen, especially when considering pricing, insensitivity to handling, and contamination with agents used for preservation.

  5. 50 CFR 21.44 - Depredation order for designated species of depredating birds in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ... of depredating birds in California. 21.44 Section 21.44 Wildlife and Fisheries UNITED STATES FISH AND..., BARTER, EXPORTATION, AND IMPORTATION OF WILDLIFE AND PLANTS (CONTINUED) MIGRATORY BIRD PERMITS Control of Depredating and Otherwise Injurious Birds § 21.44 Depredation order for designated species of depredating...

  6. Species diversity and richness of wild birds in Dagona-Waterfowl ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The study of bird species diversity and richness in Dagona-Waterfowl Sanctuary was carried out during the midst of both early wet and late dry seasons, to provide comprehensive data on wild birds. Dagona Sanctuary is located within the Bade-Nguru Wetland sector. It is one of the important bird areas marked for the ...

  7. Relationships between spectral and bird species rarefaction curves in a brutian pine forest ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Özdemir, İbrahim; Mert, Ahmet; Özkan, Ulaş Yunus; Aksan, Şengül; Ünal, Yasin

    2017-01-01

    This study aimed at determining the relations betweenspectral and bird species rarefaction curves in a brutian pine forest ecosystemlocated in the Fethiye region, Turkey. Bird species were counted by fieldworkin 40 sample plots with 0.81 ha (90 x 90 m). The NDVITOA values of pixelsbelonging to each plot (pixel numbers are 36, 81 and 324 for Aster, SPOT andRapidEye, respectively) were calculated. Spectral and bird species rarefactioncurves were formed by means of EstimatesS software. The relat...

  8. Likeability of Garden Birds: Importance of Species Knowledge & Richness in Connecting People to Nature.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cox, Daniel T C; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-01-01

    Interacting with nature is widely recognised as providing many health and well-being benefits. As people live increasingly urbanised lifestyles, the provision of food for garden birds may create a vital link for connecting people to nature and enabling them to access these benefits. However, it is not clear which factors determine the pleasure that people receive from watching birds at their feeders. These may be dependent on the species that are present, the abundance of individuals and the species richness of birds around the feeders. We quantitatively surveyed urban households from towns in southern England to determine the factors that influence the likeability of 14 common garden bird species, and to assess whether people prefer to see a greater abundance of individuals or increased species richness at their feeders. There was substantial variation in likeability across species, with songbirds being preferred over non-songbirds. Species likeability increased for people who fed birds regularly and who could name the species. We found a strong correlation between the number of species that a person could correctly identify and how connected to nature they felt when they watched garden birds. Species richness was preferred over a greater number of individuals of the same species. Although we do not show causation this study suggests that it is possible to increase the well-being benefits that people gain from watching birds at their feeders. This could be done first through a human to bird approach by encouraging regular interactions between people and their garden birds, such as through learning the species names and providing food. Second, it could be achieved through a bird to human approach by increasing garden songbird diversity because the pleasure that a person receives from watching an individual bird at a feeder is dependent not only on its species but also on the diversity of birds at the feeder.

  9. Plant species of Okhla Bird Sanctuary: a wetland of Upper Gangetic Plains, India [with erratum

    OpenAIRE

    Manral, Upma; Raha, Angshuman; Solanki, Ridhima; Hussain, Syed; Babu, Mattozbiyil; Mohan, Dhananjai; Veeraswami, Gopi; Sivakumar, K.; Talukdar, Gautam

    2013-01-01

    The Okhla Bird Sanctuary (OBS), a man-modified floodplain wetland having high human impact, is located in an urbanized landscape. Its location in the Central Asian Flyway of migratory birds makes it an ideal transit and wintering ground for birds. This paper describes the vegetation composition and significance of the Sanctuary as a bird habitat. A floristic survey was carried out from winter 2009 to spring 2010 while preparing a management plan for OBS. 192 species of plants belonging to 46 ...

  10. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species: the possible role of soil-borne pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Hoorens, B.; De Goede, R.G.M.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gleichman, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carer

  11. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species : the possible role of soil-borne pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Hoorens, B.; Goede, R.G.M. de; Putten, W.H. van der; Gleichman, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carex

  12. A Comparative Study of Species Diversity of Migrant Birds Between ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    stop migration. Despite Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands (Ramsar site) being an important wintering ground for migratory birds, little is known about the diversity while density is completely lacking. This study assessed the status of migratory birds in the ...

  13. Species Diversity and Botanical Composition of Permanent Grassland as a Response to Different Grazing Management Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Štýbnarová

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of different levels of grazing utilization (two, three and four grazing cycles per year and mineral fertilization (nil-fertilization; N100P30K60 on the botanical composition of permanent grasslands were studied in the locality of Rapotín (Czech Republic, 332 m a.s.l. from 2003–2010. The vegetation of the experimental pasture was classified as Cynosurion. It was found that moderate treatment (three grazing cycles per year without mineral fertilization showed the highest value of diversity index (DI = 6.08, and maximum dominance of legumes (Dmax = 9.1%, particularly Trifolium repens. The highest dominance of grasses (Dmax = 77.7%, mainly Dactylis glomerata and Elytrigia repens, was achieved with the fertilized treatment utilized in two grazing cycles per year. Based on RDA results, tested management treatments explained 26% of species composition variability, where effect of number of grazing cycles per year was five-times higher than effect of fertilization. We recommend grassland utilization in three grazing cycles per year as the most suitable way from the objective of both species diversity and botanical composition of pastures in similar site conditions. Pasture fertilization should be more controlled by careful consideration of individual pasture goals, actual nutrient status of the soil and possible environmental risks.

  14. Fire cue effects on seed germination of six species of northwestern Patagonian grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzalez, S. L.; Ghermandi, L.

    2012-09-01

    Postfire recruitment of seedlings has been attributed to a stimulation of germination by fire-related cues. The germination response to heat shock (80 °C - 5 min), smoke (60 min), the combination of both factors and no heat no smoke (control) was studied in six native species (two dominant grasses, two dominant shrubs and two annual fugitive herbs) of northwestern Patagonian grasslands. Seeds of the grasses Festuca pallescens and Stipa speciosa and the shrub Senecio bracteolatus (Asteraceae) germinated when they were exposed to heat shock, whereas seeds of the other shrub, Mulinum spinosum (Apiaceae), were killed by this fire cue. In grasses, probably the glume of caryopsis protected embryos from heat. Possibly, the seed size could explain the different responses of the two shrubs. Heat combined with smoke reduced seed germination for S. speciosa and S. bracteolatus. The heat could have scarified seeds and the longer exposure to smoke could have been toxic for embryos. The same treatment increased germination of the annual fugitive herb Boopis gracilis (Calyceraceae). We concluded that fire differentially affects the seedling recruitment of the studied species in the northwestern Patagonian grasslands.

  15. 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

  16. Effect of Cutting Pattern and Fertilization Level on Species Diversity and Evaluation of Grassland Quality

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josef Raus

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of fertilization level and cutting pattern on the species diversity and quality of a meadow stand were assessed in 2004–2012 in the small plot trial established in 2003 in Vatín, Vysočina Region, Czech Republic. Four levels of fertilization (none; N0 + P30 + K60 kg∙ha−1; N90 + P30 + K60 kg∙ha−1; N180 + P30 + K60 kg∙ha−1 were combined with four treatments of exploitation intensity (4 cuts per year, first cut on 15th May, every next after 45 days; 3 cuts per year, first cut on 30th May, every next after 60 days; 2 cuts per year, first cut on 15th June, next after 90 days; 2 cuts per year, first cut on 30th June, next after 90 days. Numbers of species, Simpson’s diversity index and evaluation of grassland quality according to Novák (2004 were evaluated. Numbers of species and Simpson’s diversity index were significantly affected by both fertilization level and cutting pattern. Species richness decreased along with increasing fertilization rates from 29.4 (no fertilization to 27.8 (N180PK. When comparing cutting pattern treatments the highest species richness was found in four-cut swards (29.6 in average of fertilization levels and it declines towards late double-cut regime (27.2. The Simpson’s index generally increased from two-cut swards to four-cut and from fertilized treatments to control. Grassland quality was significantly affected by cutting pattern. Values increased from four-cut swards (38.1 to two-cut ones (43.8 and 44.0 in early and late harvest respectively.

  17. Prevalence of Chlamydia psittaci and Other Chlamydia Species in Wild Birds in Poland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawiec, Marta; Piasecki, Tomasz; Wieliczko, Alina

    2015-11-01

    Avian chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease occurring in humans, poultry, and exotic birds. It has been suggested that some wild bird species play an important role as reservoirs for Chlamydia, especially Chlamydia psittaci. Whereas C. psittaci is the predominant chlamydial agent in birds, in the present study we have determined the prevalence of different species of Chlamydia among selected wild bird species in Poland using a rapid and sensitive real-time PCR method. In total, 369 free-living birds from 35 bird species and 15 orders were examined. Samples from 27 birds (7.3%) were positive for chlamydial DNA in the PCR; 22 positive samples (81.5%) belonged to C. psittaci, three to Chlamydia trachomatis (11.1%), and two (7.4%) classified only to the genus Chlamydia. Most of C. psittaci-positive samples belonged to five orders: Anseriformes, Columbiformes, Gruiformes, Phasianiformes, and Passeriformes. All C. trachomatis samples were obtained from Eurasian coots (Gruiformes). Two Chlamydia-positive samples not classified to any Chlamydia species were obtained from a common wood pigeon (Columbiformes) and a common buzzard (Accipitriformes). Detection of C. psittaci and C. trachomatis in free-living bird populations force to think on significance of birds as reservoir of varied Chlamydia species and their epidemiological importance.

  18. Species List of Alaskan Birds, Mammals, Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, and Invertebrates. Alaska Region Report Number 82.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taylor, Tamra Faris

    This publication contains a detailed list of the birds, mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles, and invertebrates found in Alaska. Part I lists the species by geographical regions. Part II lists the species by the ecological regions of the state. (CO)

  19. Species diversity and abundance of wild birds in Dagona-Waterfowl ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    hope&shola

    The study of bird species diversity and richness in Dagona-Waterfowl sanctuary was carried out in early wet and late dry ... conservation of important species that rural inhabitants ... wetland of international importance on waterfowl habitat,.

  20. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity.

  1. Evaluating ecosystem services provided by non-native species: an experimental test in California grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Claudia; Hallett, Lauren M; Harpole, W Stanley; Suding, Katharine N

    2014-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services--the benefits that nature provides to human's society--has gained increasing attention over the past decade. Increasing global abiotic and biotic change, including species invasions, is threatening the secure delivery of these ecosystem services. Efficient evaluation methods of ecosystem services are urgently needed to improve our ability to determine management strategies and restoration goals in face of these new emerging ecosystems. Considering a range of multiple ecosystem functions may be a useful way to determine such strategies. We tested this framework experimentally in California grasslands, where large shifts in species composition have occurred since the late 1700's. We compared a suite of ecosystem functions within one historic native and two non-native species assemblages under different grazing intensities to address how different species assemblages vary in provisioning, regulatory and supporting ecosystem services. Forage production was reduced in one non-native assemblage (medusahead). Cultural ecosystem services, such as native species diversity, were inherently lower in both non-native assemblages, whereas most other services were maintained across grazing intensities. All systems provided similar ecosystem services under the highest grazing intensity treatment, which simulated unsustainable grazing intensity. We suggest that applying a more comprehensive ecosystem framework that considers multiple ecosystem services to evaluate new emerging ecosystems is a valuable tool to determine management goals and how to intervene in a changing ecosystem.

  2. Seasonal Changes in Bird Species and Feeding Guilds along Elevational Gradients of the Central Himalayas, Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katuwal, Hem Bahadur; Basnet, Khadga; Khanal, Bhaiya; Devkota, Shiva; Rai, Sanjeev Kumar; Gajurel, Jyoti Prasad; Scheidegger, Christoph; Nobis, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    The Himalayas are a global hotspot for bird diversity with a large number of threatened species, but little is known about seasonal changes in bird communities along elevational gradients in this region. We studied the seasonality of bird diversity in six valleys of the Central Himalayas, Nepal. Using 318 plots with a 50 m radius, located from 2200 to 3800 m a.s.l., and repeated sampling during different seasons (mainly pre-monsoon, monsoon, and post-monsoon), we analyzed 3642 occurrences of 178 species. Birds classified in the literature as resident were more species-rich than migratory birds (140 vs. 38 species). In all six valleys and within the studied elevation range, species richness of all birds showed a peak at mid-elevation levels of 2600 or 3000 m a.s.l. Similar patterns were found for the most species-rich feeding guilds of insectivores (96 species) and omnivores (24 species), whereas the species richness of herbivores (37 species including frugivores) increased towards higher elevations. Among these feeding guilds, only species richness of insectivores showed pronounced seasonal changes with higher species numbers during post-monsoon season. Similarly, individual bird species showed distinct spatio-temporal distribution patterns, with transitions from species dominated by elevational differences to those characterized by strong seasonal changes. In an era of climate change, the results demonstrate that individual bird species as well as feeding guilds might greatly differ in their responses to climate warming and changes in the seasonality of the precipitation regime, two aspects of climate change which should not be analyzed independently. PMID:27367903

  3. Effects of nitrogen and water addition on trace element stoichiometry in five grassland species

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cai, Jiangping; Weiner, Jacob; Wang, Ruzhen

    2017-01-01

    A 9-year manipulative experiment with nitrogen (N) and water addition, simulating increasing N deposition and changing precipitation regime, was conducted to investigate the bioavailability of trace elements, iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), and zinc (Zn) in soil, and their uptake by plants...... in the organism and the chemical concentration in the growth substrate) and foliar Fe:Mn ratio in each plant was calculated. Our results showed that soil available Fe, Mn and Cu concentrations increased under N addition and were negatively correlated with both soil pH and cation exchange capacity. Water addition...... under the two environmental change factors in a semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia. We measured concentrations of trace elements in soil and in foliage of five common herbaceous species including 3 forbs and 2 grasses. In addition, bioaccumulation factors (BAF, the ratio of the chemical concentration...

  4. Discrimination of grassland species and their classification in botanical families by laboratory scale hyperspectral imaging NIR: preliminary results

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this study was to discriminate by on-line hyperspectral imaging, taxonomic plant families comprised of different grassland species. Plants were collected from semi-natural meadows of the National Apuseni Park, Apuseni Mountains, Gârda area (Romania) according to botanical families. ...

  5. Distribution of dominant arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi among five plant species in undisturbed vegetation of a coastal grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtgrewe-Stukenbrock, Eva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2005-01-01

    Most plant species in mixed grassland vegetation are colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Previous studies have reported differences in host preferences among AM fungi, although the fungi are known to lack host specificity. In the present study, the distribution of phylogenetic groups...... of AM fungi belonging to a clade of Glomus species was studied in five plant species from a coastal grassland in Denmark. The occurrence of the fungi was determined by PCR analyses of fungal large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences amplified from root fragments using a specific primer set. The results...... showed that the dominant Glomus species were able to colonize all the studied plant species, supporting the view that the AM fungi represent a large underground interconnecting mycelial network....

  6. Plastic responses to elevated temperature in low and high elevation populations of three grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frei, Esther R; Ghazoul, Jaboury; Pluess, Andrea R

    2014-01-01

    Local persistence of plant species in the face of climate change is largely mediated by genetic adaptation and phenotypic plasticity. In species with a wide altitudinal range, population responses to global warming are likely to differ at contrasting elevations. In controlled climate chambers, we investigated the responses of low and high elevation populations (1200 and 1800 m a.s.l.) of three nutrient-poor grassland species, Trifolium montanum, Ranunculus bulbosus, and Briza media, to ambient and elevated temperature. We measured growth-related, reproductive and phenological traits, evaluated differences in trait plasticity and examined whether trait values or plasticities were positively related to approximate fitness and thus under selection. Elevated temperature induced plastic responses in several growth-related traits of all three species. Although flowering phenology was advanced in T. montanum and R. bulbosus, number of flowers and reproductive allocation were not increased under elevated temperature. Plasticity differed between low and high elevation populations only in leaf traits of T. montanum and B. media. Some growth-related and phenological traits were under selection. Moreover, plasticities were not correlated with approximate fitness indicating selectively neutral plastic responses to elevated temperature. The observed plasticity in growth-related and phenological traits, albeit variable among species, suggests that plasticity is an important mechanism in mediating plant responses to elevated temperature. However, the capacity of species to respond to climate change through phenotypic plasticity is limited suggesting that the species additionally need evolutionary adaptation to adjust to climate change. The observed selection on several growth-related and phenological traits indicates that the study species have the potential for future evolution in the context of a warming climate.

  7. a comparative study of species diversity of migrant birds between

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A.S RINGIM

    ABSTRACT. Among the most complex and fascinating behaviour in birds is their long, non-stop migration. Despite Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands (Ramsar site) being an important wintering ground for migratory birds, little is known about the diversity while density is completely lacking. This study assessed the status of migratory ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. Birds on the move in the face of climate change: High species turnover in northern Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkkala, Raimo; Lehikoinen, Aleksi

    2017-10-01

    Species richness is predicted to increase in the northern latitudes in the warming climate due to ranges of many southern species expanding northwards. We studied changes in the composition of the whole avifauna and in bird species richness in a period of already warming climate in Finland (in northern Europe) covering 1,100 km in south-north gradient across the boreal zone (over 300,000 km 2 ). We compared bird species richness and species-specific changes (for all 235 bird species that occur in Finland) in range size (number of squares occupied) and range shifts (measured as median of area of occupancy) based on bird atlas studies between 1974-1989 and 2006-2010. In addition, we tested how the habitat preference and migration strategy of species explain species-specific variation in the change of the range size. The study was carried out in 10 km squares with similar research intensity in both time periods. The species richness did not change significantly between the two time periods. The composition of the bird fauna, however, changed considerably with 37.0% of species showing an increase and 34.9% a decrease in the numbers of occupied squares, that is, about equal number of species gained and lost their range. Altogether 95.7% of all species (225/235) showed changes either in the numbers of occupied squares or they experienced a range shift (or both). The range size of archipelago birds increased and long-distance migrants declined significantly. Range loss observed in long-distance migrants is in line with the observed population declines of long-distance migrants in the whole Europe. The results show that there is an ongoing considerable species turnover due to climate change and due to land use and other direct human influence. High bird species turnover observed in northern Europe may also affect the functional diversity of species communities.

  10. Disentangling the Effects of Precipitation Amount and Frequency on the Performance of 14 Grassland Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Didiano, Teresa J.; Johnson, Marc T. J.; Duval, Tim P.

    2016-01-01

    Climate change is causing shifts in the amount and frequency of precipitation in many regions, which is expected to have implications for plant performance. Most research has examined the impacts of the amount of precipitation on plants rather than the effects of both the amount and frequency of precipitation. To understand how climate-driven changes in precipitation can affect grassland plants, we asked: (i) How does the amount and frequency of precipitation affect plant performance? (ii) Do plant functional groups vary in their response to variable precipitation? To answer these questions we grew 14 monocot and eudicot grassland species and conducted a factorial manipulation of the amount (70 vs 90mm/month) and frequency (every 3, 15, or 30 days) of precipitation under rainout shelters. Our results show that both the amount and frequency of precipitation impact plant performance, with larger effects on eudicots than monocots. Above- and below-ground biomass were affected by the amount of precipitation and/or the interaction between the amount and frequency of precipitation. Above-ground biomass increased by 21–30% when the amount of precipitation was increased. When event frequency was decreased from 3 to 15 or 30 days, below-ground biomass generally decreased by 18–34% in the 70 mm treatment, but increased by 33–40% in the 90 mm treatment. Changes in stomatal conductance were largely driven by changes in event frequency. Our results show that it is important to consider changes in both the amount and frequency of precipitation when predicting how plant communities will respond to variable precipitation. PMID:27622497

  11. Species richness and patterns of invasion in plants, birds, and fishes in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas J. Stohlgren; David T. Barnett; Curtis H. Flather; Pam L. Fuller; Bruce G. Peterjohn; John T. Kartesz; Lawrence L. Master

    2006-01-01

    We quantified broad-scale patterns of species richness and species density (mean # species/km2) for native and non-indigenous plants, birds, and fishes in the continental USA and Hawaii. We hypothesized that the species density of native and non-indigenous taxa would generally decrease in northern latitudes and higher elevations following...

  12. Predicting the establishment success of introduced target species in grassland restoration by functional traits.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engst, Karina; Baasch, Annett; Bruelheide, Helge

    2017-09-01

    Species-rich semi-natural grasslands are highly endangered habitats in Central Europe and numerous restoration efforts have been made to compensate for the losses in the last decades. However, some plant species could become more easily established than others. The establishment success of 37 species was analyzed over 6 years at two study sites of a restoration project in Germany where hay transfer and sowing of threshing material in combination with additional sowing were applied. The effects of the restoration method applied, time since the restoration took place, traits related to germination, dispersal, and reproduction, and combinations of these traits on the establishment were analyzed. While the specific restoration method of how seeds were transferred played a subordinate role, the establishment success depended in particular on traits such as flower season or the lifeform. Species flowering in autumn, such as Pastinaca sativa and Serratula tinctoria , became established better than species flowering in other seasons, probably because they could complete their life cycle, resulting in increasingly stronger seed pressure with time. Geophytes, like Allium angulosum and Galium boreale , became established very poorly, but showed an increase with study duration. For various traits, we found significant trait by method and trait by year interactions, indicating that different traits promoted establishment under different conditions. Using a multi-model approach, we tested whether traits acted in combination. For the first years and the last year, we found that models with three traits explained establishment success better than models with a single trait or two traits. While traits had only an additive effect on the establishment success in the first years, trait interactions became important thereafter. The most important trait was the season of flowering, which occurred in all best models from the third year onwards. Overall, our approach revealed the

  13. Composition of Mix Species Foraging Flocks of Birds in Riverstan of Montane Region, Sri Lanka

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.G.D.D.M. Shermila

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Montane zone mixed-species bird flock system is distinct from that of low-land wet zone of SriLanka, although some species are present in both systems. The present study identified the mixed speciesflocks of birds in Riverstan at Knuckles Region, Sri Lanka. Monthly transect counts and opportunisticobservations were made between January and May, 2012. A total of 78 flocks and 27 bird species wereencountered at Riverstan during the study period. The flock size varied between 2 to 13 species and 4 to58 individuals. The mean number of species per flock was 6.03 ± 2.25 and the mean number ofindividuals in a flock was 18.41±9.87. The flock size was positively correlated with the number of speciespresent (r = 0.756, P <0.05. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher was the most abundant species (mean2.68±1.02 birds per flocks while Sri Lanka White-eye was the most frequent species (mean 5.69±3.92birds per flocks. Grey-headed Canary Flycatcher and Sri Lanka Scimitar-babbler were the nuclear speciesin Riverstan. The leading species were Sri Lanka white-eye and Sri Lanka Yellow-eared Bulbul. Differentbird species used different heights within flocks.Keywords: Mixed-species flock, Nuclear species, Abundance, Foraging flocks

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Two new species and new records of chiggers (Acari: Leeuwenhoekiidae,Trombiculidae) from birds in Vietnam

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kalúz, S.; Hung, N. M.; Čapek, Miroslav; Literák, I.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 4061, č. 5 (2016), s. 483-503 ISSN 1175-5326 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : birds * chiggers * taxonomy * Leptotrombidium * Neoschoengastia * Hypogastia * new species Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.972, year: 2016

  17. Species, functional groups, and habitat preferences of birds in five agroforestry classes in Tabasco, Mexico

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der J.C.; Peña-Álvarez, B.; Arriaga-Weiss, S.L.; Hernández-Daumás, S.

    2012-01-01

    We studied species, functional groups, and habitat preferences of birds in five classes of agroforestry systems: agroforests, animal agroforestry, linear agroforestry, sequential agroforestry, and crops under tree cover in Tabasco, Mexico. Sampling sites were >2 km from natural forest fragments.

  18. Biogeographic and conservation implications of revised species limits and distributions of South Asian birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rasmussen, P.C.

    2005-01-01

    Patterns of breeding species richness and endemism of South Asian birds are described and depicted. The impacts of a taxonomic revision on these patterns and on threat levels of the region’s avifauna are discussed.

  19. 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

  20. Bird species diversity and nesting success in mature, clearcut and shelterwood forest in northern New Hampshire, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    David I. King; Richard M. DeGraaf

    2000-01-01

    Bird species distribution and predation rates on natural and artificial nests were compared among unmanaged mature, shelterwood, and clearcut northern hardwoods forest to evaluate the effect of these practices on bird populations. Twenty-three of the 48 bird species detected during the study differed significantly in abundance among unmanaged mature forest,...

  1. Collision risks at sea: species composition and altitude distributions of birds in Danish offshore wind farms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blew, J.; Hoffmann, M.; Nehls, G. [BioConsult SH (Germany)

    2007-07-01

    This study investigates the collision risks of birds in operating offshore wind farms, focussing on all bird species present in the direct vicinity of the wind farms, their altitude distribution and reactions. The project was conducted jointly by BioConsult SH and the University of Hamburg in the two Danish offshore wind farms Horns Rev (North Sea) and Nysted (Baltic Sea) in the framework of a Danish-German cooperation and financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Data were collected between March 2005 and November 2006, using a ship anchored at the edge of the offshore wind farms. In this way, bird species of all sizes could be considered. Daytime observations yielded data on species composition, flight routes and potential reactions of the birds. Radar observations provided altitude distributions inside and outside the wind farm area and also reactions. The results shall help to further describe and assess the collision risk of different species groups. Since data analysis is still running, exemplary results will be presented here. 114 species have been recorded in Nysted and 99 in Horns Rev, approximately 65% of which have been observed inside the wind farm areas. Migrating birds seem to avoid flying into the wind farms, whereas individuals present in the areas for extended time periods utilize areas within the wind farms. While a barrier effect exists for species on migration, resident species probably have a higher collision risk. Raptors migrating during daylight frequently enter the wind farm area on their flight routes, correcting their flight paths in order to avoid collisions. Radar results show that during times of intensive migration, the proportion of birds flying at high altitudes and thus above windmill height is higher than in times of low migration intensity. Consequently, there is a lower proportion of migrating birds flying within the risk area. Data will be further analysed to

  2. Species List and Status of Mammals and Birds in Sambisa Game ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study determined the species list and status of mammals and birds in Sambisa Game Reserve. Species list was determined using direct sighting, animal signs and activities, information from hunters and visits to bush meat processing and selling centers. Results indicate that a total of seventeen (17) species of ...

  3. Can temporal and spatial NDVI predict regional bird-species richness?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sebastián Nieto

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the distribution of the species and its controls over biogeographic scales is still a major challenge in ecology. National Park Networks provide an opportunity to assess the relationship between ecosystem functioning and biodiversity in areas with low human impacts. We tested the productivity–biodiversity hypothesis which states that the number of species increases with the available energy, and the ​variability–biodiversity hypothesis which states that the number of species increases with the diversity of habitats. The available energy and habitat heterogeneity estimated by the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI was shown as a good predictor of bird-species richness for a diverse set of biomes in previously published studies. However, there is not a universal relationship between NDVI and bird-species richness. Here we tested if the NDVI can predict bird species richness in areas with low human impact in Argentina. Using a dataset from the National Park Network of Argentina we found that the best predictor of bird species richness was the minimum value of NDVI per year which explained 75% of total variability. The inclusion of the spatial heterogeneity of NDVI improved the explanation power to 80%. Minimum NDVI was highly correlated with precipitation and winter temperature. Our analysis provides a tool for assessing bird-species richness at scales on which land-use planning practitioners make their decisions for Southern South America.

  4. Co-fluctuation among bird species in their migration timing

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hubálek, Zdeněk

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 54, 1-2 (2005), s. 159-164 ISSN 0139-7893 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60930519 Keywords : migratory birds * phenology * spring arrival Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.585, year: 2005 http://www.ivb.cz/folia/54/1-2/159-164.pdf

  5. a comparative study of species diversity of migrant birds between

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A.S RINGIM

    assessed the status of migratory birds in the wetland's Protected Areas (PAs) and Unprotected. Areas (UPAs). A total of ..... history due to impact of anthropogenic activities ... research. Our sincere gratitude to Harry. Hanson Jr., Ibrahim Dala and Musa Likori for their field ... Impacts of disturbance from construction work on the ...

  6. 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.

  7. Reduced inflammation in expanding populations of a neotropical bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bailly, Juliette; Garnier, Stéphane; Khimoun, Aurélie; Arnoux, Emilie; Eraud, Cyril; Goret, Jean-Yves; Luglia, Thomas; Gaucher, Philippe; Faivre, Bruno

    2016-10-01

    The loss of regulating agents such as parasites is among the most important changes in biotic interactions experienced by populations established in newly colonized areas. Under a relaxed parasite pressure, individuals investing less in costly immune mechanisms might experience a selective advantage and become successful colonizers as they re-allocate resources to other fitness-related traits. Accordingly, a refinement of the evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis proposed that immunity of invasive populations has evolved toward a reduced investment in innate immunity, the most costly component of immunity, and an increased humoral immunity that is less costly. Biogeographical approaches comparing populations between native and expansion ranges are particularly relevant in exploring this issue, but remain very scarce. We conducted a biogeographical comparison between populations of Spectacled Thrush ( Turdus nudigenis ) from the native area (South America) and from the expansion range (Caribbean islands). First, we compared haemosporidian prevalence and circulating haptoglobin (an acute-phase protein produced during inflammation). Second, we challenged captive birds from both ranges with Escherichia coli lipopolysaccharides ( LPS ) and measured postchallenge haptoglobin production and body mass change. Birds from the expansion range showed lower haemosporidian prevalence and lower levels of haptoglobin than birds from the native range. In addition, the inflammation elicited by LPS injection and its associated cost in terms of body mass loss were lower in birds from the expansion range than in birds from the native range. In accordance with the enemy release hypothesis, our results suggest that range expansion is associated with a reduced infection risk. Our study also supports the hypothesis that individuals from newly established populations have evolved mechanisms to dampen the inflammatory response and are in accordance with one prediction

  8. Microsporidian species known to infect humans are present in aquatic birds: implications for transmission via water?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slodkowicz-Kowalska, Anna; Graczyk, Thaddeus K; Tamang, Leena; Jedrzejewski, Szymon; Nowosad, Andrzej; Zduniak, Piotr; Solarczyk, Piotr; Girouard, Autumn S; Majewska, Anna C

    2006-07-01

    Human microsporidiosis, a serious disease of immunocompetent and immunosuppressed people, can be due to zoonotic and environmental transmission of microsporidian spores. A survey utilizing conventional and molecular techniques for examining feces from 570 free-ranging, captive, and livestock birds demonstrated that 21 animals shed microsporidian spores of species known to infect humans, including Encephalitozoon hellem (20 birds; 3.5%) and Encephalitozoon intestinalis (1 bird; 0.2%). Of 11 avian species that shed E. hellem and E. intestinalis, 8 were aquatic birds (i.e., common waterfowl). The prevalence of microsporidian infections in waterfowl (8.6%) was significantly higher than the prevalence of microsporidian infections in other birds (1.1%) (P < 0.03); waterfowl fecal droppings contained significantly more spores (mean, 3.6 x 10(5) spores/g) than nonaquatic bird droppings contained (mean, 4.4 x 10(4) spores/g) (P < 0.003); and the presence of microsporidian spores of species known to infect humans in fecal samples was statistically associated with the aquatic status of the avian host (P < 0.001). We demonstrated that a single visit of a waterfowl flock can introduce into the surface water approximately 9.1 x 10(8) microsporidian spores of species known to infect humans. Our findings demonstrate that waterborne microsporidian spores of species that infect people can originate from common waterfowl, which usually occur in large numbers and have unlimited access to surface waters, including waters used for production of drinking water.

  9. Relative Importance of Current and Past Landscape Structure and Local Habitat Conditions for Plant Species Richness in Dry Grassland-Like Forest Openings

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, I.; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 5 (2014), s. 1-15 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : landscape structure * species richness * dry grassland Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.234, year: 2014

  10. Re-shuffling of species with climate disruption: a no-analog future for California birds?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Stralberg

    2009-09-01

    Full Text Available By facilitating independent shifts in species' distributions, climate disruption may result in the rapid development of novel species assemblages that challenge the capacity of species to co-exist and adapt. We used a multivariate approach borrowed from paleoecology to quantify the potential change in California terrestrial breeding bird communities based on current and future species-distribution models for 60 focal species. Projections of future no-analog communities based on two climate models and two species-distribution-model algorithms indicate that by 2070 over half of California could be occupied by novel assemblages of bird species, implying the potential for dramatic community reshuffling and altered patterns of species interactions. The expected percentage of no-analog bird communities was dependent on the community scale examined, but consistent geographic patterns indicated several locations that are particularly likely to host novel bird communities in the future. These no-analog areas did not always coincide with areas of greatest projected species turnover. Efforts to conserve and manage biodiversity could be substantially improved by considering not just future changes in the distribution of individual species, but including the potential for unprecedented changes in community composition and unanticipated consequences of novel species assemblages.

  11. Spontaneous colonization of restored dry grasslands by target species: restoration proceeds beyond sowing regional seed mixtures

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Johanidesová, E.; Fajmon, K.; Jongepierová, I.; Prach, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 4 (2015), s. 631-638 ISSN 0142-5242 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : restoration * grasslands * spontaneous colonization Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.617, year: 2015

  12. 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...

  13. Effects Of Elevated Ozone On Leaf {delta} {sup 13} C And Leaf Conductance Of Plant Species Grown In Semi-Natural Grassland With Or Without Irrigation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jaeggi, M.; Saurer, M.; Volk, M. [Agroscope-FAL (Switzerland); Fuhrer, J. [Agroscope-FAL (Switzerland)

    2005-03-01

    At the Swiss prealpine site Le Mouret (754 m a.s.l. 46deg 45min N / 7deg 10min E), semi-natural grassland species were kept under ambient or elevated ozone, paired with or without additional irrigation. Two of the four investigated grassland species showed an additive increase in {sup 13}C-values under drought and elevated ozone conditions. (author)

  14. Introduced, Captive, Caged and Escaped Exotic and Native Bird Species in the Littoral Area of Lebanon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramadan -Jradi, G.; Ramadan -Jradi, M.

    2012-01-01

    Some introduced exotic bird species may cause damages to the ecosystem they are introduced to; others may have no effect or can be beneficial to humans and ecosystems.Whatever the case is, the exotic bird species remain an issue in Lebanon, especially that they are not given the appropriate priority at the national level. With the recent intentional or accidental introduction of exotic species,the problem is increasing and therefore necessitating comprehensive evaluation of the status and origin of these species in Lebanon.Since many of the introduced species are escapes from cages, it was necessary to also evaluate both status and origin of all caged birds in order to see whether they are introduced or native to the country. (author)

  15. 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

  16. The influence of habitat structure on bird species composition in lowland malaysian rain forests.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mansor, Mohammad Saiful; Sah, Shahrul Anuar Mohd

    2012-05-01

    Bird surveys were conducted in the Bukit Kepala Gajah limestone area in Lenggong, Perak from July 2010 to January 2011. The study area was divided into three zones: forest edge, forest intermediate and forest interior. A point-count distance sampling method was used in the bird surveys. The study recorded 7789 detections, representing 100 bird species belonging to 28 families. Pycnonotidae, Timaliidae and Nectariniidae were the dominant families overall and showed the highest number of observations recorded in the study area whereas Motacillidae showed the fewest observations. The bird species were grouped into three feeding guilds: insectivores, frugivores and others (omnivores, carnivores, nectarivores and granivores). The species richness of insectivorous birds differed significantly among the forest zones sampled (Kruskal-Wallis: α=0.05, H=10.979, d.f.=2, p=0.004), with more insectivorous birds occurring in the forest interior. No significant differences were found among the zones in the species richness of either the frugivore guild or the composite others guild.

  17. Assessing the impact of revegetation and weed control on urban sensitive bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Archibald, Carla L; McKinney, Matthew; Mustin, Karen; Shanahan, Danielle F; Possingham, Hugh P

    2017-06-01

    Nature in cities is concentrated in urban green spaces, which are key areas for urban biodiversity and also important areas to connect people with nature. To conserve urban biodiversity within these natural refugia, habitat restoration such as weed control and revegetation is often implemented. These actions are expected to benefit biodiversity, although species known to be affected by urbanization may not be interacting with restoration in the ways we anticipate. In this study, we use a case study to explore how urban restoration activities impact different bird species. Birds were grouped into urban sensitivity categories and species abundance, and richness was then calculated using a hierarchical species community model for individual species responses, with "urban class" used as the hierarchical parameter. We highlight variable responses of birds to revegetation and weed control based on their level of urban sensitivity. Revegetation of open grassy areas delivers significant bird conservation outcomes, but the effects of weed control are neutral or in some cases negative. Specifically, the species most reliant on remnant vegetation in cities seem to remain stable or decline in abundance in areas with weed control, which we suspect is the result of a simplification of the understorey. The literature reports mixed benefits of weed control between taxa and between locations. We recommend, in our case study site, that weed control be implemented in concert with replanting of native vegetation to provide the understory structure preferred by urban sensitive birds. Understanding the impacts of revegetation and weed control on different bird species is important information for practitioners to make restoration decisions about the allocation of funds for conservation action. This new knowledge can be used both for threatened species and invasive species management.

  18. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste recycling site in South China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo, Xiao-Jun; Sun, Yu-Xin; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Chen, She-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2015-01-01

    Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are under review by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Currently, limited data are available about SCCPs in terrestrial organisms. In the present study, SCCP concentration in the muscles of seven terrestrial bird species (n = 38) inhabiting an e-waste recycling area in South China was determined. This concentration varied from 620 to 17,000 ng/g lipid. Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP concentrations than migratory birds (p < 0.01). Trophic magnification was observed for migratory bird species but not for resident, which was attributed to high heterogeneity of SCCP in e-waste area. Two different homologue group patterns were observed in avian samples. The first pattern was found in five bird species dominated by C 10 and C 11 congeners, while the second was found in the remains, which show rather equal abundance of homologue groups. This may be caused by two sources of SCCPs (local and e-waste) in the study area. - Highlights: • SCCPs in terrestrial bird species from an e-waste area are first reported. • Elevated SCCP level was found as compared with other regions. • Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP levels than migratory birds. • Trophic magnification was observed for migratory but not for resident bird species. • Two homologue patterns were found among seven bird species. - SCCP concentration in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste site was first reported in this study

  19. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maron, John L; Auge, Harald; Pearson, Dean E; Korell, Lotte; Hensen, Isabell; Suding, Katharine N; Stein, Claudia

    2014-04-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed and undisturbed subplots in and out of rodent exclosures with seeds of native or exotic species in grasslands in Montana, California and Germany. Seed addition enhanced aboveground biomass and species richness compared with no-seeds-added controls, with exotics having disproportionate effects on productivity compared with natives. Disturbance enhanced the effects of seed addition on productivity and species richness, whereas rodents reduced productivity, but only in Germany and California. Our results demonstrate that experimental introduction of novel species can alter ecosystem function and community structure, but that local filters such as competition and herbivory influence the magnitude of these impacts. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  20. Explaining the species richness of birds along a subtropical elevational gradient in the Hengduan Mountains

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wu, Yongjie; Colwell, Robert K.; Rahbek, Carsten

    2013-01-01

    AimTo document the species richness pattern of birds in the Hengduan Mountains and to understand its causes. LocationHengduan Mountains, China. MethodsSpecies richness of 738 breeding bird species was calculated for each 100-m elevational band along a gradient from 100 to 6000m a.s.l. Climate data...... were compiled based on monthly records from 182 meteorological stations in the Hengduan Mountains from 1959 to 2004. We calculated the planimetric area, predicted richness under geometric constraints, three-year average NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) and EVI (enhanced vegetation index...... that climatic and energy factors correlate well with the richness pattern of birds, and that on the surveyed subtropical mountain, the elevational bands with highest seasonality harbour fewer species than areas with less seasonal variation in temperature. The results, however, vary somewhat among taxonomic...

  1. Public support for conserving bird species runs counter to climate change impacts on their distributions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lundhede, Thomas; Jacobsen, Jette Bredahl; Hanley, Nick

    2014-01-01

    believing climate change to be man-made and people more knowledgeable about birds tended to have higher WTP for conservation of native species, relative to other people, whereas their preferences for conserving immigrant species generally resembled those of other people. Conservation investments rely...

  2. Alaskan birds at risk: Widespread beak deformities in resident species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Hemert, Caroline R.

    2007-01-01

    The team creeps silently across a well-tended lawn, eyes drawn to a small wooden box perched several meters up a lone birch tree. The first biologist is armed with a broom in one hand and a bug net in the other. Her partner wields a lunchbox-sized plastic case and a tree-climbing ladder that looks like an oversized radio antenna. A neighbor peers out her window from across the street to watch the unusual spectacle.A small black-and-white bird zips toward the box’s tiny, round opening and both women raise binoculars to their eyes in synchrony. A specific combination of metal and colored plastic bands on the bird’s legs identify this Black-capped Chickadee, which was banded two years earlier as a nestling. “It’s the female,” Colleen Handel whispers, and Lisa Pajot nods as they duck behind the cover of a large spruce tree. The bird - named “Red-white-red”, in reference to her color bands - appeared healthy in the nest as well as the following winter, when she was caught in a mist net set up nearby. The next summer, however, “Red-white-red” appeared at a residential nest box with a severely deformed beak. The overgrowth worsened, and, now, the upper mandible curves down and back toward her breast, while the lower extends up, crossing the upper at a nearly 90-degree angle. The effect is sobering. Even from a distance, this teacup-sized bird carries a conspicuous appendage that more closely resembles a pair of mangled scissors than any recognizable seed-cracking beak.

  3. Species-rich semi-natural grasslands have a higher resistance but a lower resilience than intensively managed agricultural grasslands in response to climate anomalies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keersmaecker, De Wanda; Rooijen, van Nils; Lhermitte, Stef; Tits, Laurent; Schaminée, Joop; Coppin, Pol; Honnay, Olivier; Somers, Ben

    2016-01-01

    The stable delivery of ecosystem services provided by grasslands is strongly dependent on the stability of grassland ecosystem functions such as biomass production. Biomass production is in turn strongly affected by the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The aim of this study is to

  4. Dose reconstruction for birds species exposed to ionizing radiations highlights risk for species reproducing in the Fukushima Prefecture

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Adam-Guillermin, C.; Beaugelin-Seiller, K.; Sternalski, A.; Bonzom, J.M.; Garnier-Laplace, J. [Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire - IRSN (France); Brown, J.E. [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority - NRPA (Norway); Giraudeau, M. [Arizona state university (United States)

    2014-07-01

    The damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station (FDNPS) in Japan following the earthquake in March 2011 led to a massive release of radioactive isotopes into the environment. The atmospheric releases have created a footprint of radioactive contamination in the terrestrial ecosystems around the site, with a hot spot area that extends up to 80-km northwest. Despite some data are available on medium and biota contamination, there is still a lack of knowledge on possible ecological consequences due to the complexity of the exposure situation. Few papers were published using data observed in situ, reporting a reduction of bird and invertebrate abundance (Moeller et al., 2012, 2013) and morphological effects in butterflies (Hiyama et al., 2012). But as for any contaminant, the biological effects are dependent on the dose received, and an accurate dose estimation is needed to be able to correctly predict ecological risk. An early study has published preliminary radiological dose reconstruction from Fukushima wildlife signaling potential ecological consequences, but without using any quantitative data relating to biological samples (Garnier-Laplace et al., 2011). In this general framework, the work presented here aims at refining the first assessment conducted to evaluate possible consequences of the FDNPS radioactive releases, focusing on some bird species, studied in Fukushima but also in Chernobyl. Public data available on bird and soil contamination were used to check the bird contamination model used, showing that radioactive contamination predictions were within the range of variation of measured data. This model was then applied to estimate doses in bird species living in the Fukushima prefecture and known to reproduce during the period just after the nuclear power plant accident, based on ecological maps established for Japan. The influence of life stages and species ecological characteristics was taken into account on the dose estimates. The heterogeneity of

  5. Current status of bird pest species in agroecosystems of Buenos Aires province, central Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Codesido, M.

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available We carried out the first assessment of abundance and distribution of bird pest species (eared dove Zenaida auriculata, monk parakeet Myiopsitta monachus, picazuro pigeon Patagioenas picazuro and spot-winged pigeon P. maculosa in the pampas of Buenos Aires province, Argentina, and analyzed their association with the presence of crops and/or introduced exotic woodlots in the rural landscape. We surveyed 35 transects located along secondary roads. Bird pest abundance was significantly higher at those sites with presence of woodlots (p<0.0001. Species-specific analyses revealed that abundance of both monk parakeet and picazuro pigeon was sensitive to the frequency of woodlots of tall and perennial tree species (Eucalyptus spp.; p<0.001, whereas eared dove abundance increased significantly with the frequency of woodlots composed by short and perennial tree species (Pinus spp., Casuarina spp.; p=0.002. Most bird pest species in the study area are more sensitive to the presence of woodlots rather than to the presence of croplands in the rural landscape. These results have practical implications, suggesting that an effective control of bird pest species in Buenos Aires province could be attained by managing exotic perennial tree species woodlots.

  6. Effects of exurban development and temperature on bird species in the southern Appalachians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lumpkin, Heather A; Pearson, Scott M

    2013-10-01

    Land-use dynamics and climatic gradients have large effects on many terrestrial systems. Exurban development, one of the fastest growing forms of land use in the United States, may affect wildlife through habitat fragmentation and building presence may alter habitat quality. We studied the effects of residential development and temperature gradients on bird species occurrence at 140 study sites in the southern Appalachian Mountains (North Carolina, U.S.A.) that varied with respect to building density and elevation. We used occupancy models to determine 36 bird species' associations with building density, forest canopy cover, average daily mean temperature, and an interaction between building density and mean temperature. Responses varied with habitat requirement, breeding range, and migration distance. Building density and mean temperature were both included in the top occupancy models for 19 of 36 species and a building density by temperature interaction was included in models for 8 bird species. As exurban development expands in the southern Appalachians, interior forest species and Neotropical migrants are likely to decline, but shrubland or edge species are not likely to benefit. Overall, effects of building density were greater than those of forest canopy cover. Exurban development had a greater effect on birds at high elevations due to a greater abundance of sensitive forest-interior species and Neotropical migrants. A warming climate may exacerbate these negative effects. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  7. Traffic noise affects forest bird species in a protected tropical forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Edgardo Arévalo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The construction of roads near protected forest areas alters ecosystem function by creating habitat fragmentation and through several direct and indirect negative effects such as increased pollution, animal mortality through collisions, disturbance caused by excessive noise and wind turbulence. Noise in particular may have strong negative effects on animal groups such as frogs and birds, that rely on sound for communication as it can negatively interfere with vocalizations used for territorial defense or courtship. Thus, birds are expected to be less abundant close to the road where noise levels are high. In this study, we examined the effects of road traffic noise levels on forest bird species in a protected tropical forest in Costa Rica. Data collection was conducted in a forest segment of the Carara National Park adjacent to the Coastal Highway. We carried out 120 ten minute bird surveys and measured road noise levels 192 times from the 19th to the 23rd of April and from the 21st to the 28th of November, 2008. To maximize bird detection for the species richness estimates we operated six 12m standard mist nets simultaneously with the surveys. The overall mist-netting effort was 240net/h. In addition, we estimated traffic volumes by tallying the number of vehicles passing by the edge of the park using 24 one hour counts throughout the study. We found that the relative abundance of birds and bird species richness decreased significantly with the increasing traffic noise in the dry and wet season. Noise decreased significantly and in a logarithmic way with distance from the road in both seasons. However, noise levels at any given distance were significantly higher in the dry compared to the wet season. Our results suggest that noise might be an important factor influencing road bird avoidance as measured by species richness and relative abundance. Since the protected forest in question is located in a national park subjected to tourist visitation

  8. A distribution-oriented approach to support landscape connectivity for ecologically distinct bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrera, José M; Alagador, Diogo; Salgueiro, Pedro; Mira, António

    2018-01-01

    Managing landscape connectivity is a widely recognized overarching strategy for conserving biodiversity in human-impacted landscapes. However, planning the conservation and management of landscape connectivity of multiple and ecologically distinct species is still challenging. Here we provide a spatially-explicit framework which identifies and prioritizes connectivity conservation and restoration actions for species with distinct habitat affinities. Specifically, our study system comprised three groups of common bird species, forest-specialists, farmland-specialists, and generalists, populating a highly heterogeneous agricultural countryside in the southwestern Iberian Peninsula. We first performed a comprehensive analysis of the environmental variables underlying the distributional patterns of each bird species to reveal generalities in their guild-specific responses to landscape structure. Then, we identified sites which could be considered pivotal in maintaining current levels of landscape connectivity for the three bird guilds simultaneously, as well as the number and location of sites that need to be restored to maximize connectivity levels. Interestingly, we found that a small number of sites defined the shortest connectivity paths for the three bird guilds simultaneously, and were therefore considered key for conservation. Moreover, an even smaller number of sites were identified as critical to expand the landscape connectivity at maximum for the regional bird assemblage as a whole. Our spatially-explicit framework can provide valuable decision-making support to conservation practitioners aiming to identify key connectivity and restoration sites, a particularly urgent task in rapidly changing landscapes such as agroecosystems.

  9. Plastic ingestion in aquatic-associated bird species in southern Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicastro, Katy R; Lo Savio, Roberto; McQuaid, Christopher D; Madeira, Pedro; Valbusa, Ugo; Azevedo, Fábia; Casero, Maria; Lourenço, Carla; Zardi, Gerardo I

    2018-01-01

    Excessive use of plastics in daily life and the inappropriate disposal of plastic products are severely affecting wildlife species in both coastal and aquatic environments. Birds are top-predators, exposed to all threats affecting their environments, making them ideal sentinel organisms for monitoring ecosystems change. We set a baseline assessment of the prevalence of marine plastic litter affecting multi-species populations of aquatic birds in southern Portugal. By examining 160 stomach contents from 8 species of aquatic birds, we show that 22.5% were affected by plastic debris. Plastic was found in Ciconia ciconia, Larus fuscus and L. michahellis. Ciconia ciconia ingested the highest amount (number of items and total mass) of plastic debris. Polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS, silicones) was the most abundant polymer and was recorded only in C. ciconia. Plastic ingestion baseline data are of crucial importance to evaluate changes through time and among regions and to define management and conservation strategies. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Monitoring potential geographical distribution of four wild bird species in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dai, S.; Feng, D.; Xu, B.

    2015-12-01

    The outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) of the H5N1 subtype in wild birds and poultry have caught worldwide attention. To explore the association between wild bird migration and avian influenza virus transmission, we monitored potential geographical distribution of four wild bird species that might carry the avian influenza viruses in China. They are Bar-headed geese (Anser indicus), Ruddy Shelduck (Tadorna ferruginea), Whooper Swan (Cygnus cygnus) and Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus). They served as major reservoir of the avian influenza viruses. We used bird watching records with the precise latitude/longitude coordinates from January 2002 to August 2014, and environmental variables with a pixel resolution of 5 km × 5 km from 2002 to 2014. The study utilized maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model based on ecological niche model approaches, and got the following results: 1) MaxEnt model have good discriminatory ability with the area under the curve (AUC) of the receiver operating curve (ROC) of 0.86-0.97; 2) The four wild bird species were estimated to concentrate in the North China Plain, the middle and lower region of the Yangtze River, Qinghai Lake, Tianshan Mountain and Tarim Basin, part of Tibet Plateau, and Hengduan Mountains; 3) Radiation and the minimum temperature were found to provide the most significant information. Our findings will help to understand the spread of avian influenza viruses by wild bird migration in China, which benefits for effective monitoring strategies and prevention measures.

  11. Double keystone bird in a keystone species complex.

    OpenAIRE

    Daily, G C; Ehrlich, P R; Haddad, N M

    1993-01-01

    Species in a Colorado subalpine ecosystem show subtle interdependences. Red-naped sapsuckers play two distinct keystone roles. They excavate nest cavities in fungus-infected aspens that are required as nest sites by two species of swallows, and they drill sap wells into willows that provide abundant nourishment for themselves, hummingbirds, orange-crowned warblers, chipmunks, and an array of other sap robbers. The swallows thus depend on, and the sap robbers benefit from, a keystone species c...

  12. Modeling the Distribution of Rare or Cryptic Bird Species of Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tsai-Yu Wu

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available For the study of the macroecology and conservation of Taiwan’s birds, there was an urgent need to develop distribution models of bird species whose distribution had never before been modeled. Therefore, we here model the distributions of 27 mostly rare and cryptic breeding bird species using a statistical approach which has been shown to be especially reliable for modeling species with a low sample size of presence localities, namely the maximum entropy (Maxent modeling technique. For this purpose, we began with a dedicated attempt to collate as much high-quality distributional data as possible, assembling databases from several scientific reports, contacting individual data recorders and searching publicly accessible database, the internet and the available literature. This effort resulted in 2022 grid cells of 1 × 1 km size being associated with a presence record for one of the 27 species. These records and 10 pre-selected environmental variables were then used to model each species’ probability distribution which we show here with all grid cells below the lowest presence threshold being converted to zeros. We then in detail discuss the interpretation and applicability of these distributions, whereby we pay close attention to habitat requirements, the intactness and fragmentation of their habitat, the general detectability of the species and data reliability. This study is another one in an ongoing series of studies which highlight the usefulness of using large electronic databases and modern analytical methods to help with the monitoring and assessment of Taiwan’s bird species.

  13. Artificial sowing of endangered dry grassland species into disused basalt quarries

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Novák, J.; Prach, Karel

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 205, č. 3 (2010), s. 179-183 ISSN 0367-2530 R&D Projects: GA AV ČR IAA600050702 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : dry grasslands * seedling survival * quarries Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.657, year: 2010

  14. Environmental factors influenting species composition of acidophilous grasslands patches in agricultural landscape

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halas, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 1 (2012), s. 16-27 ISSN 1210-8812 Institutional support: RVO:68145535 Keywords : acidophilous grasslands * hemeroby * patch isolation * patch area * regression trees Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography http://www.geonika.cz/EN/research/ENMgr/MGR_2012_01.pdf

  15. Environmental factors influencing the species composition of acidophilous grassland patches in agricultural lanscapes

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Halas, Petr

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 1 (2012), s. 16-27 ISSN 1210-8812 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z30860518 Keywords : acidophilous grasslands * hemeroby * patch isolation * regression trees * Bohemian-Moravian Highland Subject RIV: DE - Earth Magnetism, Geodesy, Geography http://www.geonika.cz/CZ/CZresearch/CZMgrArchive.html

  16. Phenotypic plasticity is a negative, though weak, predictor of the commonness of 105 grassland species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr; Fischer, M.; Prati, D.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 25, č. 4 (2016), s. 464-474 ISSN 1466-822X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA15-09119S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : niche breadth * temperate grasslands * phenotypic plastic ity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  17. Learning about Bird Species on the Primary Level

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randler, Christoph

    2009-01-01

    Animal species identification is often emphasized as a basic prerequisite for an understanding of ecology because ecological interactions are based on interactions between species at least as it is taught on the school level. Therefore, training identification skills or using identification books seems a worthwhile task in biology education, and…

  18. Interference competition between an invasive parakeet and native bird species at feeding sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Louarn, Marine; Couillens, Bertrand; Deschamps-Cottin, Magali; Clergeau, Philippe

    2016-01-01

    Interference competition has proved to be a factor of successful establishment of invasive species. This type of competition may have a stronger impact when native species have temporal niche overlap with the invasive species. The ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri has been successfully introduced in many countries and its interspecific agonistic behavior has already been reported. The purpose of this study is to analyze the territorial and preemptive interference competition between the ring-necked parakeet and native bird species in a recently colonized area. We used an empirical approach by recording video sequences in gardens equipped with bird feeders in winter. Our results showed that the ring-necked parakeet was the most frequent species at the feeders. Several native species showed temporal niche overlap with the ring-necked parakeet, the highest overlap being with the starling Sturnus vulgaris . The starling was also the species most impacted by interference competition with the parakeet. Our study suggests that, by being most frequently present at the feeders, by demonstrating the most agonistic behavior and by hindering access to food of the other species, the ring-necked parakeet is a superior competitor and may compete with native bird species.

  19. Elevational pattern of bird species richness and its causes along a central Himalaya gradient, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Xinyuan; Ding, Zhifeng; Hu, Yiming; Liang, Jianchao; Wu, Yongjie; Si, Xingfeng; Guo, Mingfang; Hu, Huijian; Jin, Kun

    2016-01-01

    This study examines the relative importance of six variables: area, the mid-domain effect, temperature, precipitation, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity on elevational patterns of species richness for breeding birds along a central Himalaya gradient in the Gyirong Valley, the longest of five canyons in the Mount Qomolangma National Nature Reserve. We conducted field surveys in each of twelve elevational bands of 300 m between 1,800 and 5,400 m asl four times throughout the entire wet season. A total of 169 breeding bird species were recorded and most of the species (74%) were small-ranged. The species richness patterns of overall, large-ranged and small-ranged birds were all hump-shaped, but with peaks at different elevations. Large-ranged species and small-ranged species contributed equally to the overall richness pattern. Based on the bivariate and multiple regression analyses, area and precipitation were not crucial factors in determining the species richness along this gradient. The mid-domain effect played an important role in shaping the richness pattern of large-ranged species. Temperature was negatively correlated with overall and large-ranged species but positively correlated with small-ranged species. Productivity was a strong explanatory factor among all the bird groups, and habitat heterogeneity played an important role in shaping the elevational richness patterns of overall and small-ranged species. Our results highlight the need to conserve primary forest and intact habitat in this area. Furthermore, we need to increase conservation efforts in this montane biodiversity hotspot in light of increasing anthropogenic activities and land use pressure.

  20. Double keystone bird in a keystone species complex.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daily, G C; Ehrlich, P R; Haddad, N M

    1993-01-15

    Species in a Colorado subalpine ecosystem show subtle interdependences. Red-naped sapsuckers play two distinct keystone roles. They excavate nest cavities in fungus-infected aspens that are required as nest sites by two species of swallows, and they drill sap wells into willows that provide abundant nourishment for themselves, hummingbirds, orange-crowned warblers, chipmunks, and an array of other sap robbers. The swallows thus depend on, and the sap robbers benefit from, a keystone species complex comprised of sapsuckers, willows, aspens, and a heartwood fungus. Disappearance of any element of the complex could cause an unanticipated unraveling of the community.

  1. Bird species turnover is related to changing predation risk along a vegetation gradient

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaManna, Joseph A.; Hemenway, Amy B.; Boccadori, Vanna; Martin, Thomas E.

    2015-01-01

    Turnover in animal species along vegetation gradients is often assumed to reflect adaptive habitat preferences that are narrower than the full gradient. Specifically, animals may decline in abundance where their reproductive success is low, and these poor-quality locations differ among species. Yet habitat use does not always appear adaptive. The crucial tests of how abundances and demographic costs of animals vary along experimentally manipulated vegetation gradients are lacking. We examined habitat use and nest predation rates for 16 bird species that exhibited turnover with shifts in deciduous and coniferous vegetation. For most bird species, decreasing abundance was associated with increasing predation rates along both natural and experimentally modified vegetation gradients. This landscape-scale approach strongly supports the idea that vegetation-mediated effects of predation are associated with animal distributions and species turnover.

  2. Records of threatened bird and mammal species in Mato Grosso do Sul State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sylvia Torrecilha

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available We conducted a detailed review of threatened bird and mammal occurrence records obtained from surveys across Mato Grosso do Sul, midwestern region of Brazil which has an extent of 357,145 km2, aiming to support environmental and biodiversity conservation initiatives, as strategic plans to protect threatened species in this region. We included all records of species categorized as threatened by the Brazilian and global red list of threatened species. We collected 760 records of threatened birds and mammals in Mato Grosso do Sul State, with 319 records of 40 bird’s species and 441 records of 24 mammal’s species. The status of the 40 bird species under de Brazilian threat category were as follow: 1 Critically Threatened (CR, 6 Endangered (EN, 11 Vulnerable (VU, 11 Near Threatened (NT, and 11 species only in the IUCN red list. Under the IUCN category for the bird´s species, were as follow: 3 EN, 13 VU, 18 NT, 5 Least Concern (LC and 1 taxon has not yet been assessed for the IUCN Red List. Regarding mammal’s species under the Brazilian threat category were as follow: 2 EN, 18 VU, 2 NT and 1 only in the IUCN red list. Under the IUCN status the species ranged from 2 EN, 6 VU, 10 NT, and 6 LC. Each record identified corresponds to the existence of at least one occurrence of threatened birds or mammals in a particular region. The records of threatened species belongs to the three biomes in the state: 269 mammal’s records and 147 bird’s records from Cerrado (Neotropical Savanna biome, 117 mammal’s records and 162 bird’s records from Pantanal (Wetland biome, and 55 mammal’s records and 10 bird’s records from Atlantic Forest biome. In addition, we also included in the dataset environmental information where each record was obtained. Supplementary Files 1- Records of Threatened Mammals_MS_Brazil and Supplementary File 2. Records of Threatened Birds of_MS_Brazil Keywords: Threatened species, Protected areas, Database, Brazil

  3. Ecological traits influence the phylogenetic structure of bird species co-occurrences worldwide

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Barnagaud, J.-Y.; Kissling, W.D.; Sandel, B.; Eiserhardt, W.L.; Şekercioğlu, Ç.H.; Enquist, B.J.; Tsirogiannis, C.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2014-01-01

    The extent to which species’ ecological and phylogenetic relatedness shape their co-occurrence patterns at large spatial scales remains poorly understood. By quantifying phylogenetic assemblage structure within geographic ranges of >8000 bird species, we show that global co-occurrence patterns are

  4. Carrying capacity for species richness as context for conservation: a case study of North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrew J. Hansen; Linda Bowers Phillips; Curtis H. Flather; Jim Robinson-Cox

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated the leading hypotheses on biophysical factors affecting species richness for Breeding Bird Survey routes from areas with little influence of human activities.We then derived a best model based on information theory, and used this model to extrapolate SK across North America based on the biophysical predictor variables. The predictor variables included the...

  5. Molecular epidemiology of Avian Rotaviruses Group A and D shed by different bird species in Nigeria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pauly, Maude; Oni, Oluwole O; Sausy, Aurélie; Owoade, Ademola A; Adeyefa, Christopher A O; Muller, Claude P; Hübschen, Judith M; Snoeck, Chantal J

    2017-06-12

    Avian rotaviruses (RVs) cause gastrointestinal diseases of birds worldwide. However, prevalence, diversity, epidemiology and phylogeny of RVs remain largely under-investigated in Africa. Fecal samples from 349 birds (158 symptomatic, 107 asymptomatic and 84 birds without recorded health status) were screened by reverse transcription PCR to detect RV groups A and D (RVA and RVD). Partial gene sequences of VP4, VP6, VP7 and NSP4 for RVA, and of VP6 and VP7 for RVD were obtained and analyzed to infer phylogenetic relationship. Fisher's exact test and logistic regression were applied to identify factors potentially influencing virus shedding in chickens. A high prevalence of RVA (36.1%; 126/349) and RVD (31.8%; 111/349) shedding was revealed in birds. In chickens, RV shedding was age-dependent and highest RVD shedding rates were found in commercial farms. No negative health effect could be shown, and RVA and RVD shedding was significantly more likely in asymptomatic chickens: RVA/RVD were detected in 51.9/48.1% of the asymptomatic chickens, compared to 18.9/29.7% of the symptomatic chickens (p epidemiology, diversity and classification of avian RVA and RVD in Nigeria. We show that cross-species transmission of host permissive RV strains occurs when different bird species are mixed.

  6. Multispecies benefits of wetland conservation for marsh birds, frogs, and species at risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tozer, Douglas C; Steele, Owen; Gloutney, Mark

    2018-04-15

    Wetlands conserved using water level manipulation, cattle exclusion, naturalization of uplands, and other techniques under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan ("conservation project wetlands") are important for ducks, geese, and swans ("waterfowl"). However, the assumption that conservation actions for waterfowl also benefit other wildlife is rarely quantified. We modeled detection and occupancy of species at sites within 42 conservation project wetlands compared to sites within 52 similar nearby unmanaged wetlands throughout southern Ontario, Canada, and small portions of the adjacent U.S., using citizen science data collected by Bird Studies Canada's Great Lakes Marsh Monitoring Program, including 2 waterfowl and 13 non-waterfowl marsh-breeding bird species (n = 413 sites) and 7 marsh-breeding frog species (n = 191 sites). Occupancy was significantly greater at conservation project sites compared to unmanaged sites in 7 of 15 (47%) bird species and 3 of 7 (43%) frog species, with occupancy being higher by a difference of 0.12-0.38 across species. Notably, occupancy of priority conservation concern or at-risk Black Tern (Chlidonias niger), Common Gallinule (Gallinula galeata), Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), Sora (Porzana carolina), and Western Chorus Frog (Pseudacris triseriata) was significantly higher at conservation project sites compared to unmanaged sites. The results demonstrate the utility of citizen science to inform wetland conservation, and suggest that actions under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan are effective for conserving non-waterfowl species. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. Birds and Roads: Reduced Transit for Smaller Species over Roads within an Urban Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher D. Johnson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Roads provide humans with a means of mobility between destinations, be it for transportation of goods and services or as a means of connecting with others. However, roads are also known to contribute toward a number of deleterious landscape processes, such as habitat destruction and fragmentation, pollution (e.g., chemical, noise and light and animal mortality. Few studies however have investigated their effects on avifauna. We investigated the influence of road width on movements of nearby bird assemblages in Australia by comparing crossing counts of four species guilds and sizes over roads of varying widths in Southern Brisbane. In addition, we also sought to determine the association of seasonality with species crossing richness and abundance. Species guild affiliations were based on definitions from previous literature: small forest dependent, large forest dependent, honeyeater, and urban tolerant; whereas body size classifications were arbitrarily defined: small (< 20 cm, medium (20–29 cm, and large (>30 cm. Road sites were selected based on their vegetation likeness, both within and between sites, and this was assessed using the Specht classification system. We detected strong, negative correlations between road width and forest species richness, crossing species richness and species crossing abundance. In particular, analysis of species guild classifications revealed species richness and crossing likelihoods of the small forest dependent guild to be consistently lower than those of large forest dependent, honeyeater and urban tolerant guilds. Analysis of species by body size classification yielded similar outcomes: small birds were consistently less likely to be present nearby and cross over roads of all widths compared to medium and large birds. We believe gap permeability, particularly changes in vegetation structure and complexity that may restrict a species ability to access to the gap, as well as competition and predation, play an

  8. 75 FR 606 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Foreign Bird Species in Peru and Bolivia...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-05

    ... Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Foreign Bird Species in Peru and Bolivia as Endangered Throughout... Plants; Listing Foreign Bird Species in Peru and Bolivia as Endangered Throughout Their Range AGENCY...)-- all native to Peru. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant and royal cinclodes are also native to Bolivia. This...

  9. Evident elevation of atmospheric monoterpenes due to degradation-induced species changes in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Hongjun; Wang, Xinming; Zhang, Yanli; Mu, Yujing; Han, Xingguo

    2016-01-15

    Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) emitted from plants have substantial effects on atmospheric chemistry/physics and feedbacks on ecosystem function. The on-going climate change and anthropogenic disturbance have been confirmed to cause the evident degradation of grassland with shift of plant community, and hence BVOCs emissions were suspected to be altered due to the different BOVCs emission potentials of different species. In this study, we investigated BVOCs concentration above ground surface during growing season in a degraded semi-arid grassland (41°2' N-45°6' N, 113°5'-117°8') in Inner Mongolia. The observed monoterpenes' concentrations varied from 0.10 to 215.78 μg m(-3) (34.88 ± 9.73 μg m(-3) in average) across 41 sites. Compared to non-degraded grassland, concentrations of monoterpenes were about 180 times higher at the sites dominated by subshrub--Artemisia frigida, a preponderant species under drought stress and over-grazing. The biomass of A. frigida explained 51.39% of the variation of monoterpenes' concentrations. α-pinene, β-pinene and γ-terpinene dominated in the 10 determined monoterpenes, accounting for 37.72 ± 2.98%, 14.65 ± 2.55% and 10.50 ± 2.37% of the total monoterpenes concentration, respectively. Low isoprene concentrations (≤ 3.25 μg m(-3)) were found and sedge biomass contributed about 51.76% to their spatial variation. α-pinene and isoprene emissions at noon were as high as 515.53 ± 88.34 μg m(-2)h(-1) and 7606.19 ± 1073.94 μg m(-2) h(-1) in A. frigida- and sedge-dominated areas where their biomass were 236.90 g m(-2) and 72.37 g m(-2), respectively. Our results suggested that the expansion of A. frigida and sedge caused by over-grazing and climatic stresses may increase local ambient BVOCs concentration in grassland. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Natural cross chlamydial infection between livestock and free-living bird species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús A Lemus

    Full Text Available The study of cross-species pathogen transmission is essential to understanding the epizootiology and epidemiology of infectious diseases. Avian chlamydiosis is a zoonotic disease whose effects have been mainly investigated in humans, poultry and pet birds. It has been suggested that wild bird species play an important role as reservoirs for this disease. During a comparative health status survey in common (Falco tinnunculus and lesser (Falco naumanni kestrel populations in Spain, acute gammapathies were detected. We investigated whether gammapathies were associated with Chlamydiaceae infections. We recorded the prevalence of different Chlamydiaceae species in nestlings of both kestrel species in three different study areas. Chlamydophila psittaci serovar I (or Chlamydophila abortus, an ovine pathogen causing late-term abortions, was isolated from all the nestlings of both kestrel species in one of the three studied areas, a location with extensive ovine livestock enzootic of this atypical bacteria and where gammapathies were recorded. Serovar and genetic cluster analysis of the kestrel isolates from this area showed serovars A and C and the genetic cluster 1 and were different than those isolated from the other two areas. The serovar I in this area was also isolated from sheep abortions, sheep faeces, sheep stable dust, nest dust of both kestrel species, carrion beetles (Silphidae and Orthoptera. This fact was not observed in other areas. In addition, we found kestrels to be infected by Chlamydia suis and Chlamydia muridarum, the first time these have been detected in birds. Our study evidences a pathogen transmission from ruminants to birds, highlighting the importance of this potential and unexplored mechanism of infection in an ecological context. On the other hand, it is reported a pathogen transmission from livestock to wildlife, revealing new and scarcely investigated anthropogenic threats for wild and endangered species.

  11. N management of European grasslands: can the exchange of gaseous N species be influenced at the operational level?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calanca, P; Neftel, A; Fuhrer, J

    2001-11-30

    Grassland ecosystems can be regarded as biochemical reactors in which large amounts of organic nitrogen (N) are converted into inorganic N, and vice versa. If managed in a sustainable manner, grasslands should operate in a quasi steady state, characterized by an almost perfect balance between total N input and output. As a consequence, the exchange of gaseous N species (NH3, NO, NO2, N2O, and N2) between grasslands and the atmosphere is very small compared to the total N turnover. In this study, the effects of two management options (mowing and fertilization) on production and emission of nitrous oxide (N2O) from a grass/clover crop were examined on the basis of observations and model results referring to an experiment carried out on the Swiss Plateau in late summer of 2000. It was found that production and emission of N2O induced by mowing were of the same order of magnitude as those brought about by fertilization, suggesting a possible transfer of N from clover to the soil after defoliation. Emissions were strongly modulated by precipitation on time scales ranging from 1 day to 1 week. This indicates that effective control of N2O emissions through management on a day-to-day basis requires reliable medium-range weather forecasts. Model calculations were not able to reproduce essential characteristics of the emissions. The model slightly overestimated the background emissions, but severely underestimated the emission peaks following fertilizer application, and largely failed to reproduce emission induced by mowing. Shortfalls in the model used for this study were found in relation to the description of soil-water fluxes, soil organic matter, and the physiology of clover.

  12. N Management of European Grasslands: Can the Exchange of Gaseous N Species Be Influenced at the Operational Level?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Calanca

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems can be regarded as biochemical reactors in which large amounts of organic nitrogen (N are converted into inorganic N, and vice versa. If managed in a sustainable manner, grasslands should operate in a quasi steady state, characterized by an almost perfect balance between total N input and output. As a consequence, the exchange of gaseous N species (NH3, NO, NO2, N2O, and N2 between grasslands and the atmosphere is very small compared to the total N turnover. In this study, the effects of two management options (mowing and fertilization on production and emission of nitrous oxide (N2O from a grass/clover crop were examined on the basis of observations and model results referring to an experiment carried out on the Swiss Plateau in late summer of 2000. It was found that production and emission of N2O induced by mowing were of the same order of magnitude as those brought about by fertilization, suggesting a possible transfer of N from clover to the soil after defoliation. Emissions were strongly modulated by precipitation on time scales ranging from 1 day to 1 week. This indicates that effective control of N2O emissions through management on a day-to-day basis requires reliable medium-range weather forecasts. Model calculations were not able to reproduce essential characteristics of the emissions. The model slightly overestimated the background emissions, but severely underestimated the emission peaks following fertilizer application, and largely failed to reproduce emission induced by mowing. Shortfalls in the model used for this study were found in relation to the description of soil-water fluxes, soil organic matter, and the physiology of clover.

  13. Mobilization and Role of Starch, Protein, and Fat Reserves during Seed Germination of Six Wild Grassland Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Ming; Zhang, Hongxiang; Yan, Hong; Qiu, Lu; Baskin, Carol C

    2018-01-01

    Since seed reserves can influence seed germination, the quantitative and qualitative differences in seed reserves may relate to the germination characteristics of species. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the correlation between germination and seed reserves, as well as their mobilization during germination of six grassland species ( Chloris virgata , Kochia scoparia , Lespedeza hedysaroides , Astragalus adsurgens , Leonurus artemisia , and Dracocephalum moldavica ) and compare the results with domesticated species. We measured starch, protein, and fat content in dry seeds and the initial absorption of water during imbibition. Starch, soluble protein, fat, and soluble sugar content also were determined at five stages during germination. Starch, protein, and fat reserves in dry seeds were not significantly correlated with germination percentage and rate (speed), but soluble sugar and soluble protein contents at different germination stages were positively significantly correlated with germination rate for the six species. Starch was mainly used during seed imbibition, and soluble protein was used from the imbibition stage to the highest germination stage. Fat content for all species remained relatively constant throughout germination for six species, regardless of the proportion of other seed reserves in the seeds. Our results for fat utilization differ from those obtained for cultivated grasses and legumes. These results provide new insight on the role of seed reserves as energy resources in germination for wild species.

  14. Mobilization and Role of Starch, Protein, and Fat Reserves during Seed Germination of Six Wild Grassland Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ming Zhao

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Since seed reserves can influence seed germination, the quantitative and qualitative differences in seed reserves may relate to the germination characteristics of species. The purpose of our study was to evaluate the correlation between germination and seed reserves, as well as their mobilization during germination of six grassland species (Chloris virgata, Kochia scoparia, Lespedeza hedysaroides, Astragalus adsurgens, Leonurus artemisia, and Dracocephalum moldavica and compare the results with domesticated species. We measured starch, protein, and fat content in dry seeds and the initial absorption of water during imbibition. Starch, soluble protein, fat, and soluble sugar content also were determined at five stages during germination. Starch, protein, and fat reserves in dry seeds were not significantly correlated with germination percentage and rate (speed, but soluble sugar and soluble protein contents at different germination stages were positively significantly correlated with germination rate for the six species. Starch was mainly used during seed imbibition, and soluble protein was used from the imbibition stage to the highest germination stage. Fat content for all species remained relatively constant throughout germination for six species, regardless of the proportion of other seed reserves in the seeds. Our results for fat utilization differ from those obtained for cultivated grasses and legumes. These results provide new insight on the role of seed reserves as energy resources in germination for wild species.

  15. Species distribution models for a migratory bird based on citizen science and satellite tracking data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher L. Coxen

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Species distribution models can provide critical baseline distribution information for the conservation of poorly understood species. Here, we compared the performance of band-tailed pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata species distribution models created using Maxent and derived from two separate presence-only occurrence data sources in New Mexico: 1 satellite tracked birds and 2 observations reported in eBird basic data set. Both models had good accuracy (test AUC > 0.8 and True Skill Statistic > 0.4, and high overlap between suitability scores (I statistic 0.786 and suitable habitat patches (relative rank 0.639. Our results suggest that, at the state-wide level, eBird occurrence data can effectively model similar species distributions as satellite tracking data. Climate change models for the band-tailed pigeon predict a 35% loss in area of suitable climate by 2070 if CO2 emissions drop to 1990 levels by 2100, and a 45% loss by 2070 if we continue current CO2 emission levels through the end of the century. These numbers may be conservative given the predicted increase in drought, wildfire, and forest pest impacts to the coniferous forests the species inhabits in New Mexico. The northern portion of the species’ range in New Mexico is predicted to be the most viable through time.

  16. Species distribution models for a migratory bird based on citizen science and satellite tracking data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coxen, Christopher L.; Frey, Jennifer K.; Carleton, Scott A.; Collins, Daniel P.

    2017-01-01

    Species distribution models can provide critical baseline distribution information for the conservation of poorly understood species. Here, we compared the performance of band-tailed pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata) species distribution models created using Maxent and derived from two separate presence-only occurrence data sources in New Mexico: 1) satellite tracked birds and 2) observations reported in eBird basic data set. Both models had good accuracy (test AUC > 0.8 and True Skill Statistic > 0.4), and high overlap between suitability scores (I statistic 0.786) and suitable habitat patches (relative rank 0.639). Our results suggest that, at the state-wide level, eBird occurrence data can effectively model similar species distributions as satellite tracking data. Climate change models for the band-tailed pigeon predict a 35% loss in area of suitable climate by 2070 if CO2 emissions drop to 1990 levels by 2100, and a 45% loss by 2070 if we continue current CO2 emission levels through the end of the century. These numbers may be conservative given the predicted increase in drought, wildfire, and forest pest impacts to the coniferous forests the species inhabits in New Mexico. The northern portion of the species’ range in New Mexico is predicted to be the most viable through time.

  17. Passerine morphology: external measurements of approximately one-quarter of passerine bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ricklefs, Robert E

    2017-05-01

    Studies of community organization and clade diversification that include functional traits have become an important component of the analysis of ecological and evolved systems. Such studies frequently are limited by availability of consistently collected data. Here, I present a data set including eight measurements of the external morphology of 1642 species, roughly one-quarter of all passerine birds (Aves: Order Passeriformes), from all parts of the world, characterizing the relative proportions of the wing, tail, legs, and beak. Specimens were measured opportunistically over the past 40 years in museums in the United States and Europe. Numbers of individuals measured per species vary from one to dozens in some cases. Measurements for males and females of sexually size-dimorphic species are presented separately. The measurements include total length, the lengths of the wing, tail, tarsus, and middle toe, and the length, breadth, and depth of the beak. Particular attention was paid to obtaining a broad representation of passerine higher taxa, with special interest in small families and subfamilies of passerines, as well as species produced by evolutionary radiations of birds in archipelagoes, including the Galapagos, Hawaii, and the Lesser Antilles. Taxonomy follows the Taxonomy in Flux (TIF) checklist as well as the World Bird List of the International Ornithological Council. Geographic distributions are summarized from Edwards's Coded List of Birds of the World. Coverage of taxa and geographic regions varies and reflects the changing interests of the author over the past four decades. North American and South American species are particularly well represented in the sample, as well as species belonging to the families Tyrannidae, Furnariidae, Thamnophilidae, Mimidae, Sturnidae, Fringillidae, Parulidae, Icteridae, Cardinalidae, and Thraupidae. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

  18. 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.

  19. Bird Species and Climate Change. The Global Status Report. A synthesis of current scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change impacts on global bird species now, and projected future effects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wormworth, J.; Mallon, K.

    2006-01-01

    The results of a global analysis of current and future impacts of climate change on birds are presented. The report reviews more than 200 research reports to assemble a clear and consistent picture of climatic risk to this important animal group, illustrated with numerous examples and case studies. It is found that: climate change now affects bird species' behaviour, ranges and population dynamics; some bird species are already experiencing strong negative impacts from climate change; and in future, subject to greenhouse gas emissions levels and climatic response, climate change will put large numbers of bird species at risk of extinction, with estimates of extinction rates varying from 2 to 72%, depending on the region, climate scenario and potential for birds to shift to new habitat

  20. Bird Species and Climate Change. The Global Status Report. A synthesis of current scientific understanding of anthropogenic climate change impacts on global bird species now, and projected future effects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wormworth, J.; Mallon, K. [Climate Risk Pty Limited, Fairlight (Australia)

    2006-07-01

    The results of a global analysis of current and future impacts of climate change on birds are presented. The report reviews more than 200 research reports to assemble a clear and consistent picture of climatic risk to this important animal group, illustrated with numerous examples and case studies. It is found that: climate change now affects bird species' behaviour, ranges and population dynamics; some bird species are already experiencing strong negative impacts from climate change; and in future, subject to greenhouse gas emissions levels and climatic response, climate change will put large numbers of bird species at risk of extinction, with estimates of extinction rates varying from 2 to 72%, depending on the region, climate scenario and potential for birds to shift to new habitat.

  1. Bird species and traits associated with logged and unlogged forest in Borneo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cleary, Daniel F R; Boyle, Timothy J B; Setyawati, Titiek; Anggraeni, Celina D; Van Loon, E Emiel; Menken, Steph B J

    2007-06-01

    The ecological consequences of logging have been and remain a focus of considerable debate. In this study, we assessed bird species composition within a logging concession in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo. Within the study area (approximately 196 km2) a total of 9747 individuals of 177 bird species were recorded. Our goal was to identify associations between species traits and environmental variables. This can help us to understand the causes of disturbance and predict whether species with given traits will persist under changing environmental conditions. Logging, slope position, and a number of habitat structure variables including canopy cover and liana abundance were significantly related to variation in bird composition. In addition to environmental variables, spatial variables also explained a significant amount of variation. However, environmental variables, particularly in relation to logging, were of greater importance in structuring variation in composition. Environmental change following logging appeared to have a pronounced effect on the feeding guild and size class structure but there was little evidence of an effect on restricted range or threatened species although certain threatened species were adversely affected. For example, species such as the terrestrial insectivore Argusianus argus and the hornbill Buceros rhinoceros, both of which are threatened, were rare or absent in recently logged forest. In contrast, undergrowth insectivores such as Orthotomus atrogularis and Trichastoma rostratum were abundant in recently logged forest and rare in unlogged forest. Logging appeared to have the strongest negative effect on hornbills, terrestrial insectivores, and canopy bark-gleaning insectivores while moderately affecting canopy foliage-gleaning insectivores and frugivores, raptors, and large species in general. In contrast, undergrowth insectivores responded positively to logging while most understory guilds showed little pronounced effect

  2. Estimated Mortality of Selected Migratory Bird Species from Mowing and Other Mechanical Operations in Canadian Agriculture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joerg Tews

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Mechanical operations such as mowing, tilling, seeding, and harvesting are well-known sources of direct avian mortality in agricultural fields. However, there are currently no mortality rate estimates available for any species group or larger jurisdiction. Even reviews of sources of mortality in birds have failed to address mechanical disturbance in farm fields. To overcome this information gap we provide estimates of total mortality rates by mechanical operations for five selected species across Canada. In our step-by-step modeling approach we (i quantified the amount of various types of agricultural land in each Bird Conservation Region (BCR in Canada, (ii estimated population densities by region and agricultural habitat type for each selected species, (iii estimated the average timing of mechanical agricultural activities, egg laying, and fledging, (iv and used these values and additional demographical parameters to derive estimates of total mortality by species within each BCR. Based on our calculations the total annual estimated incidental take of young ranged from ~138,000 for Horned Lark (Eremophila alpestris to as much as ~941,000 for Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis. Net losses to the fall flight of birds, i.e., those birds that would have fledged successfully in the absence of mechanical disturbance, were, for example ~321,000 for Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus and ~483,000 for Savannah Sparrow. Although our estimates are subject to an unknown degree of uncertainty, this assessment is a very important first step because it provides a broad estimate of incidental take for a set of species that may be particularly vulnerable to mechanical operations and a starting point for future refinements of model parameters if and when they become available.

  3. Traffic noise affects forest bird species in a protected tropical forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Edgardo Arévalo

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The construction of roads near protected forest areas alters ecosystem function by creating habitat fragmentation and through several direct and indirect negative effects such as increased pollution, animal mortality through collisions, disturbance caused by excessive noise and wind turbulence. Noise in particular may have strong negative effects on animal groups such as frogs and birds, that rely on sound for communication as it can negatively interfere with vocalizations used for territorial defense or courtship. Thus, birds are expected to be less abundant close to the road where noise levels are high. In this study, we examined the effects of road traffic noise levels on forest bird species in a protected tropical forest in Costa Rica. Data collection was conducted in a forest segment of the Carara National Park adjacent to the Coastal Highway. We carried out 120 ten minute bird surveys and measured road noise levels 192 times from the 19th to the 23rd of April and from the 21st to the 28th of November, 2008. To maximize bird detection for the species richness estimates we operated six 12m standard mist nets simultaneously with the surveys. The overall mist-netting effort was 240net/h. In addition, we estimated traffic volumes by tallying the number of vehicles passing by the edge of the park using 24 one hour counts throughout the study. We found that the relative abundance of birds and bird species richness decreased significantly with the increasing traffic noise in the dry and wet season. Noise decreased significantly and in a logarithmic way with distance from the road in both seasons. However, noise levels at any given distance were significantly higher in the dry compared to the wet season. Our results suggest that noise might be an important factor influencing road bird avoidance as measured by species richness and relative abundance. Since the protected forest in question is located in a national park subjected to tourist visitation

  4. Predicting continental-scale patterns of bird species richness with spatially explicit models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Rahbek, Carsten; Gotelli, Nicholas J; Colwell, Robert K

    2007-01-01

    the extraordinary diversity of avian species in the montane tropics, the most species-rich region on Earth. Our findings imply that correlative climatic models substantially underestimate the importance of historical factors and small-scale niche-driven assembly processes in shaping contemporary species-richness......The causes of global variation in species richness have been debated for nearly two centuries with no clear resolution in sight. Competing hypotheses have typically been evaluated with correlative models that do not explicitly incorporate the mechanisms responsible for biotic diversity gradients....... Here, we employ a fundamentally different approach that uses spatially explicit Monte Carlo models of the placement of cohesive geographical ranges in an environmentally heterogeneous landscape. These models predict species richness of endemic South American birds (2248 species) measured...

  5. Phylogenomics and species delimitation of a complex radiation of Neotropical suboscine birds (Pachyramphus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musher, Lukas J; Cracraft, Joel

    2018-01-01

    Phylogeographic studies within the Neotropics continue to uncover hidden diversity, the extent of which remains poorly known. In birds, molecular studies are producing evidence that species-level diversity is substantially underestimated. Many avian taxa comprise large complexes of subspecies that often represent species-level taxa by various criteria. One such group of Neotropical suboscine birds, the becards (Pachyramphus), ranges from Argentina through northern Mexico. Their taxonomic limits have been complex and controversial as the genus has bounced around a number of suboscine families. Additionally, the phylogenetic relationships within Pachyramphus are unresolved due to insufficient sampling of taxa and populations across species' ranges. We used target capture of ultraconserved elements for 62 individuals representing 42 taxa, and sequenced two mitochondrial genes and two nuclear introns covering 265 individuals of 51 taxa, including all recognized species, resulting in the most densely and completely sampled phylogenetic hypothesis for Pachyramphus to date. We delimited species using a traditional taxonomic approach and then tested them under a Bayesian multi-species coalescent framework. In doing so, we provide evidence for multiple young, previously undetected evolutionary lineages within Pachyramphus. Deep, well-supported branches and a high number of intraspecific lineages across the tree suggest that at least 50% of species diversity may be unrecognized. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species: the possible role of soil-borne pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olff, H; Hoorens, B; de Goede, R G M; van der Putten, W H; Gleichman, J M

    2000-10-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carex arenaria locally alternated in abundance, with different sites close together behaving out of phase, resulting in a shifting mosaic. The net effect of killing all soil biota on the growth of these two species was investigated in a greenhouse experiment using gamma radiation, controlling for possible effects of sterilization on soil chemistry. Both plant species showed a strong net positive response to soil sterilization, indicating that pathogens (e.g., nematodes, pathogenic fungi) outweighed the effect of mutualists (e.g., mycorrhizae). This positive growth response towards soil sterilization appeared not be due to effects of sterilization on soil chemistry. Growth of Carex was strongly reduced by soil-borne pathogens (86% reduction relative to its growth on sterilized soil) on soil from a site where this species decreased during the last decade (and Festuca increased), while it was reduced much less (50%) on soil from a nearby site where it increased in abundance during the last decade. Similarly, Festuca was reduced more (67%) on soil from the site where it decreased (and Carex increased) than on soil from the site where it increased (55%, the site where Carex decreased). Plant-feeding nematodes showed high small-scale variation in densities, and we related this variation to the observed growth reductions in both plant species. Carex growth on unsterilized soil was significantly more reduced at higher densities of plant-feeding nematodes, while the growth reduction in Festuca was independent of plant-feeding nematode densities. At high plant-feeding nematode densities, growth of Carex was reduced more than Festuca, while at low nematode densities the opposite was found

  7. Determinants of bird species richness, endemism, and island network roles in Wallacea and the West Indies

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Bo; Carstensen, Daniel Wisbech; Fjeldså, Jon

    2014-01-01

    , and network roles indicates that historical climate had little effects on extinction-immigration dynamics. This is in contrast to the strong effect of historical climate observed on the mainland, possibly because surrounding oceans buffer against strong climate oscillations and because geography is a strong....... Here, we evaluate the potential additional effects of historical climate on breeding land bird richness and endemism in Wallacea and the West Indies. Furthermore, on the basis of species distributions, we identify island biogeographical network roles and examine their association with geography......, current and historical climate, and bird richness/endemism. We found that island geography, especially island area but also isolation and elevation, largely explained the variation in island species richness and endemism. Current and historical climate only added marginally to our understanding...

  8. The influence of study species selection on estimates of pesticide exposure in free-ranging birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borges, Shannon L.; Vyas, Nimish B.; Christman, Mary C.

    2014-01-01

    Field studies of pesticide effects on birds often utilize indicator species with the purpose 16 of extrapolating to other avian taxa. Little guidance exists for choosing indicator species to 17 monitor the presence and/or effects of contaminants that are labile in the environment or body, 18 but are acutely toxic, such as anticholinesterase (anti-ChE) insecticides. Use of an indicator 19 species that does not represent maximum exposure and/or effects could lead to inaccurate risk 20 estimates. Our objective was to test the relevance of a priori selection of indicator species for a 21 study on pesticide exposure to birds inhabiting fruit orchards. We used total plasma 22 cholinesterase (ChE) activity and ChE reactivation to describe the variability in anti-ChE exposure among avian species in two conventionally managed fruit orchards. Of seven 24 species included in statistical analyses, the less common species, chipping sparrow (Spizella 25 passerina), showed the greatest percentage of exposed individuals and the greatest ChE 26 depression, whereas the two most common species, American robins (Turdus migratorius) and 27 grey catbirds (Dumatella carolinensis), did not show significant exposure. Due to their lower 28 abundance, chipping sparrows would have been an unlikely choice for study. Our results show 29 that selection of indicator species using traditionally accepted criteria such as abundance and 30 ease of collection may not identify species that are at greatest risk. Our efforts also demonstrate 31 the usefulness of conducting multiple-species pilot studies prior to initiating detailed studies on 32 pesticide effects. A study such as ours can help focus research and resources on study species 33 that are most appropriate.

  9. Formulated Beta-Cyfluthrin Shows Wide Divergence in Toxicity among Bird Species

    OpenAIRE

    Addy-Orduna, Laura M.; Zaccagnini, María-Elena; Canavelli, Sonia B.; Mineau, Pierre

    2011-01-01

    It is generally assumed that the toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides to birds is negligible, though few species have been tested. The oral acute toxicity of formulated beta-cyfluthrin was determined for canaries (Serinus sp.), shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis), and eared doves (Zenaida auriculata). Single doses were administered to adults by gavage. Approximate lethal doses 50 (LD50) and their confidence intervals were determined by approximate D-optimal design. Canaries were found to be...

  10. 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

  11. Restoration of grasslands on ex-arable land using regional and commercial seed mixtures and spontaneous succession: Successional trajectories and changes in species richness

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Prach, Karel; Jongepierová, I.; Řehounková, Klára; Fajmon, K.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 182, Jan 2014 (2014), s. 131-136 ISSN 0167-8809 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/0256 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : dry grasslands * restoration * target species Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.402, year: 2014

  12. Phenological differences among selected residents and long-distance migrant bird species in central Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartošová, Lenka; Trnka, Miroslav; Bauer, Zdeněk; Možný, Martin; Štěpánek, Petr; Žalud, Zdeněk

    2014-07-01

    The phenological responses to climate of residents and migrants (short- and long-distance) differ. Although few previous studies have focussed on this topic, the agree that changes in phenology are more apparent for residents than for long-distance migrants. We analysed the breeding times of two selected residents ( Sitta europaea, Parus major) and one long-distance migrant ( Ficedula albicollis) from 1961 to 2007 in central Europe. The timing of the phenophases of all three bird species showed a significant advance to earlier times. Nevertheless, the most marked shift was observed for the long-distance migrant (1.9 days per decade on average in mean laying date with linearity at the 99.9 % confidence level). In contrast, the shifts shown by the residents were smaller (1.6 days for S. europaea and 1.5 days for P. major also on average in mean laying date for both, with linearity at the 95 % confidence level). Spearman rank correlation coefficients calculated for pairs of phenophases of given bird species in 20-year subsamples (e.g. 1961-1980, 1962-1981) showed higher phenological separation between the residents and the migrant. This separation is most apparent after the 1980s. Thus, our results indicate that the interconnections between the studied phenological stages of the three bird species are becoming weaker.

  13. Characterization and zoonotic impact of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli in some wild bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hanaa Mohamed Fadel

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Aim: Wild birds are considered silent vectors of some zoonotic water and food borne pathogens of public health significance. Owing to the importance of Shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC as the most pathogenic among the emerging diarrheagenic E. coli groups that can infect man; the present study was designed to detect the occurrence of STEC among wild birds in Egypt. Materials and Methods: A total of 177 intestinal content swab samples originating from five wild bird species were investigated for the presence of E. coli and STEC by standard culture methods. Suspect STEC isolates were further characterized by serotyping, random amplified polymorphic DNA polymerase chain reaction (RAPD PCR, antimicrobial resistance pattern and PCR detection of stx1, stx2, and eae genes. Results: A total of 30 suspect STEC isolates from 30 positive birds' samples were detected and identified on STEC CHROMagar (semi-captive pigeons, 15; house crows, 8; cattle egrets, 3; moorhens, 2; and house teals, 2. 25 isolates were grouped into 13 serogroups (O:20, O:25, O:26, O:27, O:63, O:78, O:111, O:114, O:125, O:128, O:142, O:153, and O:158, while five were rough strains. The distribution of STEC virulence genes among wild birds was as follows: 16 birds carried stx1 gene only (nine pigeons [28.1%], six crows [7.1%], and one cattle egret [5.6%]. stx1 and stx2 genes together were detected in four birds (one cattle egret [5.6%], two moorhens [6.1%], and one house teal, [10%]. Only one pigeon (3.1% possessed the three alleles. Disk diffusion test results showed that cefixime was the most effective against STEC serotypes with (93.3% sensitivity, followed by gentamycin (56.7%, and amoxicillin (50%. On the other hand, all the recovered STEC isolates were resistant to cefotaxime, doxycycline, cephalothin, and sulfisoxazole. RAPD fingerprinting using primers OPA-2 and OPA-9 showed that STEC isolates were heterogeneous; they yielded 30 and 27 different clusters

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Rates of movement of threatened bird species between IUCN red list categories and toward extinction.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, M de L; Butchart, S H M; Garnett, S T; Crowley, G M; Mantilla-Beniers, N B; Stattersfield, A J

    2008-04-01

    In recent centuries bird species have been deteriorating in status and becoming extinct at a rate that may be 2-3 orders of magnitude higher than in prehuman times. We examined extinction rates of bird species designated critically endangered in 1994 and the rate at which species have moved through the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List categories of extinction risk globally for the period 1988-2004 and regionally in Australia from 1750 to 2000. For Australia we drew on historical accounts of the extent and condition of species habitats, spread of invasive species, and changes in sighting frequencies. These data sets permitted comparison of observed rates of movement through the IUCN Red List categories with novel predictions based on the IUCN Red List criterion E, which relates to explicit extinction probabilities determined, for example, by population viability analysis. The comparison also tested whether species listed on the basis of other criteria face a similar probability of moving to a higher threat category as those listed under criterion E. For the rate at which species moved from vulnerable to endangered, there was a good match between observations and predictions, both worldwide and in Australia. Nevertheless, species have become extinct at a rate that, although historically high, is 2 (Australia) to 10 (globally) times lower than predicted. Although the extinction probability associated with the critically endangered category may be too high, the shortfall in realized extinctions can also be attributed to the beneficial impact of conservation intervention. These efforts may have reduced the number of global extinctions from 19 to 3 and substantially slowed the extinction trajectory of 33 additional critically endangered species. Our results suggest that current conservation action benefits species on the brink of extinction, but is less targeted at or has less effect on moderately threatened species.

  17. Leaf injury characteristics of grassland species exposed to ozone in relation to soil moisture condition and vapour pressure deficit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bungener, P.; Balls, G.R.; Nussbaum, S.; Geissmann, M.; Grub, A.; Fuhrer, J.

    1999-01-01

    A range of plant species typical of semi-natural grasslands were tested for their sensitivity to short-term ozone injury under normal and reduced irrigation, and in relationship to air vapour pressure deficit. Potted specimens of 24 herbs, legumes and grasses were exposed during two seasons to four O 3 treatments in open-top chambers. The ozone treatments were: (a) charcoal-filtered air; (b) charcoal-filtered air plus ozone to match ambient levels; (c) charcoal-filtered air plus O 3 to ambient levels 1.5 and (d) charcoal-filtered air with ozone added to twice ambient levels during selected episodes of 7–13 d. During these ozone episodes, half of the plants in each ozone treatment received reduced irrigation (dry treatment) while the rest was kept under full irrigation (wet treatment). Type and date of first occurrence of leaf injury were noted during individual growth periods. Plants were harvested three times per year, and the percentage of injured leaves was recorded. Depending on species, injury symptoms were expressed as flecking (O 3 -specific injury), leaf yellowing or anthocyanin formation. Carum carvi and most species of the Fabaceae family (Onobrychis sativa, Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense) were found to be most responsive to O 3 , injury occurring after only a few days of exposure in treatment (b). An episodic reduction in irrigation tended to reduce the expression of O 3 -specific symptoms, but only in species for which a reduction in soil moisture potential and an associated reduction in stomatal conductance during the dry episodes were observed. In other species, the protection from O 3 injury seemed to be of little importance. Using artificial neural networks the injury response of nine species was analysed in relation to Species, stomatal conductance, ozone as AOT40 (accumulated exposure above a threshold of 0.04 ppm for periods with global radiation ≥ 50 W m −2 (Fuhrer et al., 1997)), mean relative growth rate, air vapour pressure

  18. Habitats and landscapes associated with bird species in a lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edmund J. Zlonis

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Human-induced effects on lowland conifer forests in hemiboreal regions are increasing because of expanded use of these northern ecosystems for raw materials, energy, and minerals as well as the potential effects of climatic changes. These forests support many breeding bird species across the Holarctic and allow the persistence of several boreal bird species in hemiboreal and even temperate regions. These bird species are of particular conservation concern as shifting patterns northward in forest composition caused by climate change will likely affect their populations. However, effective management and conservation options are limited because the specifics of these species' breeding habitats are not well understood. We modeled and mapped habitat suitability for 11 species of boreal birds that breed in the lowland conifer forests of the Agassiz Lowlands Ecological Subsection in northern Minnesota and are likely to have reduced breeding habitat in the future: Spruce Grouse (Falcipennis canadensis, Black-backed Woodpecker (Picoides arcticus, Olive-sided Flycatcher (Contopus cooperi, Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (Empidonax flaviventris, Boreal Chickadee (Poecile hudsonicus, Golden-crowned Kinglet (Regulus satrapa, Ruby-crowned Kinglet (Regulus calendula, Swainson's Thrush (Catharus ustulatus, Connecticut Warbler (Oporornis agilis, Palm Warbler (Setophaga palmarum, and Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis. Sets of 7 to 16 potential environmental covariates, including both stand-level and landscape attributes, were used to develop individual species models. Within this lowland conifer-dominated ecosystem, we found significant selection for specific forest and landscape characteristics by all but one of these species, with the best models including between one and nine variables. Habitat suitability maps were developed from these models and predictions tested with an independent dataset. Model performance depended on species, correctly predicting 56-96% of

  19. The effect of solar UV radiation of four plant species occurring in a coastal grassland vegetation in The Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tosserams, M.; Rozema, J. [Vrije Univ., Dept. of Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Pais, A. de Sa [Univ. de Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real (Portugal)

    1996-09-01

    During the summer of 1992, growth and some physiological parameters of four native plant species occurring in a coastal grassland in The Netherlands, were studied after reduction of solar UV irradiance using different cut-off filters. Biomass production, morphology and photosynthesis of all species tested were unaffected by the different treatments. Litter production of Plantago lanceolata was increased in the absence of the total UV waveband, indicating a possible role for this waveband in plant senescence. Depletion of the total UV waveband from sunlight resulted in alterations in biomass allocation in Calamagrostis epigeios and Urtica dioica while no changes were observed in P. lanceolatata and Verbascum thapsus. In C. epigeios and increase in the specific leaf area was observed, whereas in U. dioica root weight per total plant weight was decreased resulting in an increase in the shoot/root ratio. Both photosynthetic and UV-absorbing pigment concentrations were altered by the different filter applications. When compared to control plants receiving full sunlight, depletion of UV-B resulted in a significant increase in chlorophyll concentration in U. dioica leaves, this however did not affect photosynthetic rate. The presence of UV-B radiation enhanced the UV-absorbance of leaf extract of all species except P. lanceolata. Optical characteristics of the leaves were also changed. Both the quantity (P. lanceolata and U. dioica) and the quality (all species) of radiation transmitted by the leaves was affected by the different treatments. (au) 44 refs.

  20. 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...

  1. Stress Responses to Heat Exposure in Three Species of Australian Desert Birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Shangzhe; Romero, L Michael; Htut, Zaw Win; McWhorter, Todd J

    Birds need to respond to weather changes quickly and appropriately for their own well-being and survival. The inability to respond appropriately to heat waves can be fatal to individual birds and can translate into large-scale mortality events. We investigated corticosterone (CORT) and heterophil∶lymphocyte (H∶L) ratio responses of budgerigars (Melopsittacus undulatus), zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata), and diamond doves (Geopelia cuneata) to heat exposures. The birds were exposed to a temperature similar to what they experience during a typical summer day (35°C) and a higher temperature (45°C) similar to that experienced during a heat wave. There were no significant increases between the CORT concentrations before and after heat exposure in zebra finches and budgerigars at 35° and 45°C, but there was a significant increase in CORT concentrations in diamond doves after exposure to 45°C. The H∶L ratios increased significantly after heat exposure in budgerigars at 35° and 45°C and in diamond doves at 35°C. No significant correlation was found between the changes in CORT and H∶L ratios. The data suggest that there are species differences in birds' stress responses to heat exposure that may reflect their ability to detect and adapt to high temperatures. There appear to be differences between the two types of stress measurements, which may reflect differences in the timescales of these responses.

  2. Changes in the Abundance of Grassland Species in Monocultures versus Mixtures and Their Relation to Biodiversity Effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marquard, Elisabeth; Schmid, Bernhard; Roscher, Christiane; De Luca, Enrica; Nadrowski, Karin; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    Numerous studies have reported positive effects of species richness on plant community productivity. Such biodiversity effects are usually quantified by comparing the performance of plant mixtures with reference monocultures. However, several mechanisms, such as the lack of resource complementarity and facilitation or the accumulation of detrimental agents, suggest that monocultures are more likely than mixtures to deteriorate over time. Increasing biodiversity effects over time could therefore result from declining monocultures instead of reflecting increases in the functioning of mixtures. Commonly, the latter is assumed when positive trends in biodiversity effects occur. Here, we analysed the performance of 60 grassland species growing in monocultures and mixtures over 9 years in a biodiversity experiment to clarify whether their temporal biomass dynamics differed and whether a potential decline of monocultures contributed significantly to the positive net biodiversity effect observed. Surprisingly, individual species’ populations produced, on average, significantly more biomass per unit area when growing in monoculture than when growing in mixture. Over time, productivity of species decreased at a rate that was, on average, slightly more negative in monocultures than in mixtures. The mean net biodiversity effect across all mixtures was continuously positive and ranged between 64–217 g per m2. Short-term increases in the mean net biodiversity effect were only partly due to deteriorating monocultures and were strongly affected by particular species gaining dominance in mixtures in the respective years. We conclude that our species performed, on average, comparably in monocultures and mixtures; monoculture populations being slightly more productive than mixture populations but this trend decreased over time. This suggested that negative feedbacks had not yet affected monocultures strongly but could potentially become more evident in the future. Positive

  3. A new species of Niditinea (Tineidae: Tineinae) with a preference for bird nests and the known larval habitats of the species in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    We describe and illustrate Niditinea sabroskyi new species, a species mostly associated with bird nests. We provide diagnostic information to distinguish the new species from the other two species occurring in the United States, Niditinea fuscella (Linnaeus, 1758) and Niditinea orleansella (Chambers...

  4. Offsets and conservation of the species of the EU habitats and birds directives.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Regnery, Baptiste; Couvet, Denis; Kerbiriou, Christian

    2013-12-01

    Biodiversity offsets are intended to achieve no net loss of biodiversity due to economic and human development. A variety of biodiversity components are addressed by offset policies. It is required that loss of protected species due to development be offset under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives in Europe. We call this type of offset a species-equality offset because the offset pertains to the same species affected by the development project. Whether species equality can be achieved by offset design is unknown. We addressed this gap by reviewing derogation files (i.e., specific files that describe mitigation measures to ensure no net loss under the EU Habitats and Birds Directives) from 85 development projects in France (2009-2010). We collected information on type of effect (reversible vs. irreversible) and characteristics of affected and offset sites (i.e., types of species, total area). We analyzed how the type of effect and the affected-site characteristics influenced the occurrence of offset measures. The proportion of species targeted by offset measures (i.e., offset species) increased with the irreversibility of the effect of development and the conservation status of the species affected by development (i.e., affected species). Not all effects on endangered species (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List) were offset; on average, 82% of affected species would be offset. Twenty-six percent of species of least concern were offset species. Thirty-five percent of development projects considered all affected species in their offset measures. Species richness was much lower in offset sites than in developed sites even after offset proposals. For developed areas where species richness was relatively high before development, species richness at offset sites was 5-10 times lower. The species-equality principle appears to have been applied only partially in offset policies, as in the EU directives. We suggest the application of this principle

  5. Tritium water as a marker for the measurement of body water turnover rates in desert livestock, rodent and bird species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khan, M.S.; Ghosh, P.K.; Bohra, R.C.

    1990-01-01

    Tritiated water has been used for estimating body water turnover rates (BWTRs) in desert livestock, rodent and birds. BWTRs in relation to adaption of these animal species to desert environment have been discussed. (author). 5 refs., 2 tabs

  6. Modeling of the spatial distribution of ten endangered bird species in jurisdiction of Corantioquia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez M, Ana Maria; Alvarez, Esteban

    2006-01-01

    Recently, thanks to advances made in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), techniques have been developed for the construction of models that predict the spatial distribution of species and other attributes of biodiversity. These methods have allowed for the development of objective criteria that are fundamental for making decisions regarding the creation of protected areas systems throughout the world. In this research, the spatial distribution of ten endangered species of birds found within the jurisdiction of CORANTIOQUIA (JDC from here on) was modelled, using GIS techniques. The JDC was divided into 177 squares of 15 x 10 Km and the following variables were quantified within each one: presence or absence of endangered species of birds, rainfall, temperature, sun brightness, relative humidity, day duration, altitude, vegetal cover, slope and primary net productivity. With the help of logistic regression were made predictive models. Based on logistic regressions techniques predictive models were made. These models allow to explain a percentage between 24% and 80% of spatial distribution variability of these species. Those results can help in the identification of valuable zones for the biodiversity conservation. In places where there are neither the time or the economic resources to carry out exhaustive analyses of biodiversity, the models can predict the probable presence of this endangered species

  7. Determinants of bird conservation-action implementation and associated population trends of threatened species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luther, David A; Brooks, Thomas M; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hayward, Matt W; Kester, Marieke E; Lamoreux, John; Upgren, Amy

    2016-12-01

    Conservation actions, such as habitat protection, attempt to halt the loss of threatened species and help their populations recover. The efficiency and the effectiveness of actions have been examined individually. However, conservation actions generally occur simultaneously, so the full suite of implemented conservation actions should be assessed. We used the conservation actions underway for all threatened and near-threatened birds of the world (International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species) to assess which biological (related to taxonomy and ecology) and anthropogenic (related to geoeconomics) factors were associated with the implementation of different classes of conservation actions. We also assessed which conservation actions were associated with population increases in the species targeted. Extinction-risk category was the strongest single predictor of the type of conservation actions implemented, followed by landmass type (continent, oceanic island, etc.) and generation length. Species targeted by invasive nonnative species control or eradication programs, ex situ conservation, international legislation, reintroduction, or education, and awareness-raising activities were more likely to have increasing populations. These results illustrate the importance of developing a predictive science of conservation actions and the relative benefits of each class of implemented conservation action for threatened and near-threatened birds worldwide. © 2016 Society for Conservation Biology.

  8. Bird Surveys at DARHT Before and During Operations: Comparison of Species Abundance and Composition and Trace Element Uptake

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P. R. Fresquez, D. C. Keller, C. D. Hathcock

    2007-11-30

    The Dual-Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Facility Mitigation Action Plan specifies the comparison of baseline conditions in biotic and abiotic media with those collected after operations have started. Operations at DARHT at Los Alamos National Laboratory started in 2000. In this study, the abundance and composition of birds collected near the DARHT facility from 2003 through 2006 were determined and compared to a preoperational period (1999). In addition, the levels of radionuclides and other inorganic chemicals in birds were compared to regional statistical reference levels (RSRLs). The number and diversity of bird species generally increased over preoperational levels with the greatest number of birds (412) and species (46) occurring in 2005. The most common bird species collected regardless of time periods were the chipping sparrow (Spizella passerina), the Virginia's warbler (Vermivora virginiae), the western bluebird (Sialia mexicana), the broad-tailed hummingbird (Selasphorus platycercus), the sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli), and the western tanager (Piranga ludoviciana). Most radionuclides, with the exception of uranium-234 and uranium-238, in (whole body) birds collected after operations began were either not detected or below RSRLs. Uranium-234 and uranium-238 concentrations in a few samples were far below screening levels and do not pose a potential unacceptable dose to the birds. In contrast, many inorganic chemicals, particularly arsenic and silver, in birds collected before and after operations began were in higher concentrations than RSRLs. Because birds (skin plus feathers) collected in the years before operations began contained higher levels of arsenic and silver than RSRLs and because there was no evidence of these metals in soil and sediment directly around the DARHT facility, the elevated levels of these metals in birds during early operations are probably not related to DARHT operations. Arsenic and silver in birds, however

  9. 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...

  10. 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

  11. C4 Photosynthesis Promoted Species Diversification during the Miocene Grassland Expansion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spriggs, Elizabeth L.; Christin, Pascal-Antoine; Edwards, Erika J.

    2014-01-01

    Identifying how organismal attributes and environmental change affect lineage diversification is essential to our understanding of biodiversity. With the largest phylogeny yet compiled for grasses, we present an example of a key physiological innovation that promoted high diversification rates. C4 photosynthesis, a complex suite of traits that improves photosynthetic efficiency under conditions of drought, high temperatures, and low atmospheric CO2, has evolved repeatedly in one lineage of grasses and was consistently associated with elevated diversification rates. In most cases there was a significant lag time between the origin of the pathway and subsequent radiations, suggesting that the ‘C4 effect’ is complex and derives from the interplay of the C4 syndrome with other factors. We also identified comparable radiations occurring during the same time period in C3 Pooid grasses, a diverse, cold-adapted grassland lineage that has never evolved C4 photosynthesis. The mid to late Miocene was an especially important period of both C3 and C4 grass diversification, coincident with the global development of extensive, open biomes in both warm and cool climates. As is likely true for most “key innovations”, the C4 effect is context dependent and only relevant within a particular organismal background and when particular ecological opportunities became available. PMID:24835188

  12. Flesh flies species (Diptera: Sarcophagidae from a grassland and a woodland in a Nature Reserve of Buenos Aires, Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo R Mulieri

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Temporal changes of flesh flies abundance were simultaneously recorded at monthly intervals during a year in a woodland and in a grassland at the "Reserva Ecológica Costanera Sur" (RECS, Buenos Aires city, Argentina. Samples were taken at monthly intervals (February 2004-January 2005. Hourly captures of adult flies (10:00 am - 04:00 pm were taken each sampling date with a hand net. Temperature was recorded at each hourly capture. The baits used were 200 g of rotten cow liver and 200 g of fresh dog faeces. Records of abundance included only species whose abundance was ≥30 individuals accumulated during the whole sampling period. Considering overall abundance, a non-parametric Chi-square test was used to estimate deviations of an expected habitat and bait preference ratios of 1:1. The same criterion was applied to include species in a contingency table to describe their seasonality. The final matrix included four species whose associations to seasons were analyzed by using a Correspondence Analysis. To normalize the data, a log 10(n+1 transformation was applied prior to the analysis of correlation. Pearson product-moment correlations were used to examine the relationship between flesh-fly abundance with temperature and habitat preference. The entire sample accumulated 1 305 individuals and 18 species. The flies were more abundant in the grassland than in the woodland. Microcerella muehni, Oxysarcodexia paulistanensis, O. varia and Tricharaea (Sarcophagula occidua exhibited the higher relative abundance, representing the remaining species less than 8 % of the entire sample. Most of the recorded species showed preference for faces as bait. Concerning the dominant species, all of them but M. muehni, a suggestively termophobic species, prevailed in late spring-summer. The observed species arrangement at both sites indicates low species diversity and equitability and high information per individual in the average. The referred community traits would

  13. Plastic ingestion in marine-associated bird species from the eastern North Pacific.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avery-Gomm, S; Provencher, J F; Morgan, K H; Bertram, D F

    2013-07-15

    In addition to monitoring trends in plastic pollution, multi-species surveys are needed to fully understand the pervasiveness of plastic ingestion. We examined the stomach contents of 20 bird species collected from the coastal waters of the eastern North Pacific, a region known to have high levels of plastic pollution. We observed no evidence of plastic ingestion in Rhinoceros Auklet, Marbled Murrelet, Ancient Murrelet or Pigeon Guillemot, and low levels in Common Murre (2.7% incidence rate). Small sample sizes limit our ability to draw conclusions about population level trends for the remaining fifteen species, though evidence of plastic ingestion was found in Glaucous-Winged Gull and Sooty Shearwater. Documenting levels of plastic ingestion in a wide array of species is necessary to gain a comprehensive understanding about the impacts of plastic pollution. We propose that those working with bird carcasses follow standard protocols to assess the levels of plastic ingestion whenever possible. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Breeding ecology and nesting habitat associations of five marsh bird species in western New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.

    2006-01-01

    Nesting habitats and nest success of five species of marsh birds were studied during 1997 and 1998 at the Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) and the adjacent Oak Orchard and Tonawanda State Wildlife Management Areas (WMA) located in western New York. Nest searches located 18 American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), 117 Least Bittern (Ixobrychus exilis), 189 Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), 23 Sora (Porzana carolina), and 72 Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) nests. Average nest densities in 1998, our best nest searching year, ranged from 0.01/ha for Soras (N = 8) to 0.28/ha for Pied-billed Grebes (N = 160). Mayfield nest success estimates for Least Bittern were 80% (N = 16) in 1997 and 46% (N = 37) in 1998. Nest success estimates were 72% (N = 55) for Pied-billed Grebe, 43% (N = 6) for Sora, and 38% (N = 20) for Virginia Rail. Nests of all five species were located in ???70% emergent vegetation with a mean water depth of 24-56 cm and an average vegetation height that ranged from 69-133 cm. Logistic regression models were developed for each species using habitat variables at nest and random site locations. Each model was ranked with Akaike's Information Criterion for small sample size (AICc). In general, our best models indicated that increased emergent vegetation and horizontal cover with shallow water depths improved the odds of encountering marsh bird nests in the wetlands of western New York. We suggest that managing wetlands as a complex, at different stages of succession, would best benefit marsh bird species.

  15. The role of above-ground competition and nitrogen vs. phosphorus enrichment in seedling survival of common European plant species of semi-natural grasslands.

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    Tobias Ceulemans

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic activities have severely altered fluxes of nitrogen and phosphorus in ecosystems worldwide. In grasslands, subsequent negative effects are commonly attributed to competitive exclusion of plant species following increased above-ground biomass production. However, some studies have shown that this does not fully account for nutrient enrichment effects, questioning whether lowering competition by reducing grassland productivity through mowing or herbivory can mitigate the environmental impact of nutrient pollution. Furthermore, few studies so far discriminate between nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. We performed a full factorial experiment in greenhouse mesocosms combining nitrogen and phosphorus addition with two clipping regimes designed to relax above-ground competition. Next, we studied the survival and growth of seedlings of eight common European grassland species and found that five out of eight species showed higher survival under the clipping regime with the lowest above-ground competition. Phosphorus addition negatively affected seven plant species and nitrogen addition negatively affected four plant species. Importantly, the negative effects of nutrient addition and higher above-ground competition were independent of each other for all but one species. Our results suggest that at any given level of soil nutrients, relaxation of above-ground competition allows for higher seedling survival in grasslands. At the same time, even at low levels of above-ground competition, nutrient enrichment negatively affects survival as compared to nutrient-poor conditions. Therefore, although maintaining low above-ground competition appears essential for species' recruitment, for instance through mowing or herbivory, these management efforts are likely to be insufficient and we conclude that environmental policies aimed to reduce both excess nitrogen and particularly phosphorus inputs are also necessary.

  16. Is the Invasive Species Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (Argentine Stem Weevil) a Threat to New Zealand Natural Grassland Ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barratt, Barbara I P; Barton, Diane M; Philip, Bruce A; Ferguson, Colin M; Goldson, Stephen L

    2016-01-01

    Listronotus bonariensis (Argentine stem weevil) is a stem-boring weevil that has become a major pasture pest in New Zealand, and cool climate turf grass in Australia. This species is also frequently found in native tussock grassland in New Zealand. Laboratory and field trials were established to determine the risk posed to both seedlings and established plants of three native grass species compared to what happens with a common host of this species, hybrid ryegrass (L. perenne X L. multiflorum). Adult weevil feeding damage scores were higher on Poa colensoi and Festuca novae-zelandiae than Chionochloa rigida. Oviposition was lower on P. colensoi than hybrid ryegrass, and no eggs were laid on F. novae-zelandiae. In field trials using the same four species established as spaced plants L. bonariensis laid more eggs per tiller in ryegrass in a low altitude pasture site than in ryegrass in a higher altitude site. No eggs were found on the three native grass species at the tussock sites, and only low numbers were found on other grasses at the low altitude pasture site. Despite this, numbers of adult weevils were extracted from the plants in the field trials. These may have comprised survivors of the original weevils added to the plants, together with new generation weevils that had emerged during the experiment. Irrespective, higher numbers were recovered from the tussock site plants than from those from the pasture site. It was concluded that L. bonariensis is likely to have little overall impact, but a greater impact on native grass seedling survival than on established plants.

  17. SPECIES RICHNESS AND UNIFORMITY CONTRIBUTIONS TO BIRD DIVERSITY IN SHADE COFFEE PLANTATIONS IN THE SOUTHEAST OF MEXICO

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    Marco Antonio Altamirano González Ortega

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the contribution of the richness and uniformity in the diversity of birds, and their relationship with covariates of vegetation in a coffee landscape in southern Mexico. Species richness and abundance was recorded in 2010 and 2011 in evergreen forests and three different types of coffee production systems. Changes in the values of species richness and uniformity were detected by a SHE analysis (S = species richness, H = diversity and E = evenness. True diversity (the actual number of species actually represent the diversity of species in the samples was also estimated. The tree cover, shrub cover and tree height were covariates of vegetation that explained the variation in species richness and abundance. SHE analysis indicated that cumulative values of bird diversity increased in all plots with species richness, while the values of uniformity of species decreased. This condition changed with management activities of coffee and / or the arrival of migratory birds. The true diversity, when all species had a weight proportional to its abundance (q = 1, was higher in all plots when they were given greater weight to the dominant species (q = 2. Management practices of tree cover and shrubs and bird migration could explain changes in species richness and uniformity during the agricultural cycle.

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

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    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.

  19. Fire frequency and tree canopy structure influence plant species diversity in a forest-grassland ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    David W. Peterson; Peter B. Reich

    2008-01-01

    Disturbances and environmental heterogeneity are two factors thought to influence plant species diversity, but their effects are still poorly understood in many ecosystems. We surveyed understory vegetation and measured tree canopy cover on permanent plots spanning an experimental fire frequency gradient to test fire frequency and tree canopy effects on plant species...

  20. Characterization of cholinesterases in plasma of three Portuguese native bird species: application to biomonitoring.

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    Cátia S A Santos

    Full Text Available Over the last decades the inhibition of plasma cholinesterase (ChE activity has been widely used as a biomarker to diagnose organophosphate and carbamate exposure. Plasma ChE activity is a useful and non-invasive method to monitor bird exposure to anticholinesterase compounds; nonetheless several studies had shown that the ChE form(s present in avian plasma may vary greatly among species. In order to support further biomonitoring studies and provide reference data for wildlife risk-assessment, plasma cholinesterase of the northern gannet (Morus bassanus, the white stork (Ciconia ciconia and the grey heron (Ardea cinerea were characterized using three substrates (acetylthiocholine iodide, propionylthiocholine iodide, and S-butyrylthiocholine iodide and three ChE inhibitors (eserine sulphate, BW284C51, and iso-OMPA. Additionally, the range of ChE activity that may be considered as basal levels for non-exposed individuals was determined. The results suggest that in the plasma of the three species studied the main cholinesterase form present is butyrylcholinesterase (BChE. Plasma BChE activity in non-exposed individuals was 0.48±0.11 SD U/ml, 0.39±0.12 SD U/ml, 0.15±0.04 SD U/ml in the northern gannet, white stork and grey heron, respectively. These results are crucial for the further use of plasma BChE activity in these bird species as a contamination bioindicator of anti-cholinesterase agents in both wetland and marine environments. Our findings also underscore the importance of plasma ChE characterization before its use as a biomarker in biomonitoring studies with birds.

  1. Species- and sex-specific connectivity effects of habitat fragmentation in a suite of woodland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amos, Nevil; Harrisson, Katherine A; Radford, James Q; White, Matt; Newell, Graeme; Mac Nally, Ralph; Sunnucks, Paul; Pavlova, Alexandra

    2014-06-01

    Loss of functional connectivity following habitat loss and fragmentation could drive species declines. A comprehensive understanding of fragmentation effects on functional connectivity of an ecological assemblage requires investigation of multiple species with different mobilities, at different spatial scales, for each sex, and in different landscapes. Based on published data on mobility and ecological responses to fragmentation of 10 woodland-dependent birds, and using simulation studies, we predicted that (1) fragmentation would impede dispersal and gene flow of eight "decliners" (species that disappear from suitable patches when landscape-level tree cover falls below species-specific thresholds), but not of two "tolerant" species (whose occurrence in suitable habitat patches is independent of landscape tree cover); and that fragmentation effects would be stronger (2) in the least mobile species, (3) in the more philopatric sex, and (4) in the more fragmented region. We tested these predictions by evaluating spatially explicit isolation-by-landscape-resistance models of gene flow in fragmented landscapes across a 50 x 170 km study area in central Victoria, Australia, using individual and population genetic distances. To account for sex-biased dispersal and potential scale- and configuration-specific effects, we fitted models specific to sex and geographic zones. As predicted, four of the least mobile decliners showed evidence of reduced genetic connectivity. The responses were strongly sex specific, but in opposite directions in the two most sedentary species. Both tolerant species and (unexpectedly) four of the more mobile decliners showed no reduction in gene flow. This is unlikely to be due to time lags because more mobile species develop genetic signatures of fragmentation faster than do less mobile ones. Weaker genetic effects were observed in the geographic zone with more aggregated vegetation, consistent with gene flow being unimpeded by landscape

  2. Metal accumulation and performance of nestlings of passerine bird species at an urban brownfield site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hofer, Charles; Gallagher, Frank J.; Holzapfel, Claus

    2010-01-01

    The use of passerine species as bioindicators of metal bioaccumulation is often underutilized when examining the wildlife habitat value of polluted sites. In this study we tested feathers of nestlings of two common bird species (house wren and American robin) for accumulation of Pb, Zn, As, Cr, Cu, Fe in comparison of a polluted, urban brownfield with a rural, unpolluted site. House wren nestlings at the study site accumulated significantly greater concentrations of all target metals except Zn. At the polluted site we found significant species differences of metal concentrations in feathers, with house wrens accumulating greater concentrations of Pb, Fe, and Zn but slightly lesser accumulations of Cr and Cu than American robins. Although house wren nestlings demonstrated significant accumulation of metals, these concentrations showed little effect on size metrics or fledge rates during the breeding season compared to nestlings from the control site. - Nestlings of birds in an urban brownfield accumulated soil contaminants but did not show signs of reduced breeding success or growth.

  3. Metal accumulation and performance of nestlings of passerine bird species at an urban brownfield site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hofer, Charles; Gallagher, Frank J. [Department of Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, 14 College Farm Rd., New Brunswick, NJ 08901-8551 (United States); Holzapfel, Claus, E-mail: holzapfe@andromeda.rutgers.ed [Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Newark, 195 University Ave., Newark, NJ 07102-1811 (United States)

    2010-05-15

    The use of passerine species as bioindicators of metal bioaccumulation is often underutilized when examining the wildlife habitat value of polluted sites. In this study we tested feathers of nestlings of two common bird species (house wren and American robin) for accumulation of Pb, Zn, As, Cr, Cu, Fe in comparison of a polluted, urban brownfield with a rural, unpolluted site. House wren nestlings at the study site accumulated significantly greater concentrations of all target metals except Zn. At the polluted site we found significant species differences of metal concentrations in feathers, with house wrens accumulating greater concentrations of Pb, Fe, and Zn but slightly lesser accumulations of Cr and Cu than American robins. Although house wren nestlings demonstrated significant accumulation of metals, these concentrations showed little effect on size metrics or fledge rates during the breeding season compared to nestlings from the control site. - Nestlings of birds in an urban brownfield accumulated soil contaminants but did not show signs of reduced breeding success or growth.

  4. Peninsula Effects on Birds in a Coastal Landscape: Are Coves More Species Rich than Lobes?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sam Riffell

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Peninsula effects - decreasing richness with increasing distance along peninsula lobes - have been identified for many taxa on large peninsulas. Peninsula effects are caused by differences in colonization and extinction predicted by island biogeography or by environmental gradients along the peninsula. We compared species-area regressions for cove patches (i.e., mainland to regressions for lobe patches (i.e., on peninsula tips for wet meadow birds along a highly interdigitated shoreline (northern Lake Huron, USA. We conducted analysis both with and without accounting for variation in habitat and landscape characteristics (i.e., environmental gradients of wet meadows. Species-area regressions for coves did not differ from lobes, nor did these results differ when we accounted for gradients. Similarly, few species were more abundant in coves. Peninsula effects may have been lacking because lobe patches were located ≈ 800 m on average from the mainland, and birds are highly mobile and can easily sample patches over these distances. One important caveat was that wet meadow patches > 5 ha were located in coves, so coves would still be important considerations in conservation plans because of the contribution of large patches to reproductive success, dispersal and population dynamics.

  5. Formulated Beta-Cyfluthrin Shows Wide Divergence in Toxicity among Bird Species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura M. Addy-Orduna

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available It is generally assumed that the toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides to birds is negligible, though few species have been tested. The oral acute toxicity of formulated beta-cyfluthrin was determined for canaries (Serinus sp., shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis, and eared doves (Zenaida auriculata. Single doses were administered to adults by gavage. Approximate lethal doses 50 (LD50 and their confidence intervals were determined by approximate D-optimal design. Canaries were found to be substantially more sensitive to formulated beta-cyfluthrin (LD50=(170±41 mg/kg than the other two species tested (LD50=(2234±544 mg/kg and LD50=(2271±433 mg/kg, resp.. The LD50 obtained for canaries was also considerably lower than typical toxicity values available in the literature for pyrethroids. This study emphasizes the need for testing a broader range of species with potentially toxic insecticides, using modern up and down test designs with minimal numbers of birds.

  6. Formulated Beta-Cyfluthrin Shows Wide Divergence in Toxicity among Bird Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Addy-Orduna, Laura M; Zaccagnini, María-Elena; Canavelli, Sonia B; Mineau, Pierre

    2011-01-01

    It is generally assumed that the toxicity of pyrethroid insecticides to birds is negligible, though few species have been tested. The oral acute toxicity of formulated beta-cyfluthrin was determined for canaries (Serinus sp.), shiny cowbirds (Molothrus bonariensis), and eared doves (Zenaida auriculata). Single doses were administered to adults by gavage. Approximate lethal doses 50 (LD(50)) and their confidence intervals were determined by approximate D-optimal design. Canaries were found to be substantially more sensitive to formulated beta-cyfluthrin (LD(50) = (170 ± 41) mg/kg) than the other two species tested (LD(50) = (2234 ± 544) mg/kg and LD(50) = (2271 ± 433) mg/kg, resp.). The LD(50) obtained for canaries was also considerably lower than typical toxicity values available in the literature for pyrethroids. This study emphasizes the need for testing a broader range of species with potentially toxic insecticides, using modern up and down test designs with minimal numbers of birds.

  7. Widespread correlations between climatic niche evolution and species diversification in birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cooney, Christopher R; Seddon, Nathalie; Tobias, Joseph A

    2016-07-01

    The adaptability of species' climatic niches can influence the dynamics of colonization and gene flow across climatic gradients, potentially increasing the likelihood of speciation or reducing extinction in the face of environmental change. However, previous comparative studies have tested these ideas using geographically, taxonomically and ecologically restricted samples, yielding mixed results, and thus the processes linking climatic niche evolution with diversification remain poorly understood. Focusing on birds, the largest and most widespread class of terrestrial vertebrates, we test whether variation in species diversification among clades is correlated with rates of climatic niche evolution and the extent to which these patterns are modified by underlying gradients in biogeography and species' ecology. We quantified climatic niches, latitudinal distribution and ecological traits for 7657 (˜75%) bird species based on geographical range polygons and then used Bayesian phylogenetic analyses to test whether niche evolution was related to species richness and rates of diversification across genus- and family-level clades. We found that the rate of climatic niche evolution has a positive linear relationship with both species richness and diversification rate at two different taxonomic levels (genus and family). Furthermore, this positive association between labile climatic niches and diversification was detected regardless of variation in clade latitude or key ecological traits. Our findings suggest either that rapid adaptation to unoccupied areas of climatic niche space promotes avian diversification, or that diversification promotes adaptation. Either way, we propose that climatic niche evolution is a fundamental process regulating the link between climate and biodiversity at global scales, irrespective of the geographical and ecological context of speciation and extinction. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological Society.

  8. Patterns of plant diversity loss and species turnover resulting from land abandonment and intensification in semi-natural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchida, Kei; Koyanagi, Tomoyo F; Matsumura, Toshikazu; Koyama, Asuka

    2018-07-15

    Land-use changes cause biodiversity loss in semi-natural ecosystems worldwide. Biotic homogenization has led to biodiversity loss, mainly through declines in species composition turnover. Elucidating patterns of turnover in species composition could enhance our understanding of how anthropogenic activities affect community assembly. Here, we focused on whether the decreasing patterns in plant diversity and turnover of species composition resulting from land-use change vary in two regions. We estimated the species diversity and composition of semi-natural grasslands surrounding paddy fields in satoyama landscapes. We examined the differences in species diversity and composition across three land-use types (abandoned, traditional, and intensified) in two regions (Hyogo and Niigata Prefectures, Japan), which were characterized by different climatic conditions. We then assessed alpha-, beta-, and gamma-diversity to compare the patterns of diversity losses in the two regions as a result of land-use changes. In each region, gamma-diversity was consistently higher in the traditional sites compared to abandoned or intensified sites. The analyses revealed that most of the beta-diversity in traditional sites differed significantly from those of abandoned and intensified sites in both regions. However, the beta-diversity of total and perennial species did not differ between traditional and abandoned sites in the Hyogo region. We noted that the beta-diversity of total and perennial species in intensified sites was much lower than that in the traditional sites of the Niigata region. Overall, the patterns of alpha- and gamma-diversity loss were similar in both study regions. Although the biotic homogenization was caused by intensified land-use in the Niigata region, this hypothesis did not completely explain the loss of biodiversity in the abandoned sites in the Hyogo region. The present study contributes to the growing body of work investigating changes in biodiversity as a

  9. [Urbanization mechanisms in bird species: population systems transformations or adaptations at the individual level?].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fridman, V S; Eremkin, G S; Zakharova-Kubareva, N Iu

    2008-01-01

    The present research deals with urbanization of wild bird and mammal species. Forms and mechanisms of population steadiness in the urban landscape have been examined. The urbanization process turned out to be a directed change of the population system forming de novo in the urbolandscape leading to a sustainable organization peculiar for the particular environment. The population organization of different types in urbolandscape is found to provide its stability under conditions of directed and fast changes accompanied with instability and heterogenous structure of habitats. It is shown that the same type of population organization meets the corresponding demands among different species settling in the urban environment. Its features are "openness" and "flowage" of the groups, far order of settlement levels and other units of population system, constant movements of the individuals between the groups as a respond to the signals of urboenvironment significant changes. The "urban" variant of the population system organization turns out to be opposite to that of the same species in the non-urban habitats. After formation of the urban types by the species and successful developing of the town, the urban population becomes separated from the maternal local population and begins to exist independently in the urban landscape. The variety of adaptation aberrations in ecology, behavior, and mode of life of urban birds is the population system stability function in the urban landscape and is not a results of individual selection. It is shown that the urbanization process of the species goes firstly on the population level being the system structure transformation developed by the species towards the most stable state in the town (city) territory. Only after the appearance of stable urban population, the urban individuals show the rapid growth of different changes in ecology, behavior, mode of life that was traditionally described by naturalists as species adaptation to the

  10. Plant species diversity affects infiltration capacity in an experimental grassland through changes in soil properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, C.; Tischer, J.; Roscher, C.; Eisenhauer, N.; Ravenek, J.; Gleixner, G.; Attinger, S.; Jensen, B.; Kroon, de H.; Mommer, L.; Scheu, S.; Hildebrandt, A.

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims Soil hydraulic properties drive water distribution and availability in soil. There exists limited knowledge of how plant species diversity might influence soil hydraulic properties. Methods We quantified the change in infiltration capacity affected by soil structural variables

  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. List of documented bird species from the municipality of Ubatuba, state of São Paulo, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rick Simpson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Although preliminary surveys have been conducted at the Atlantic Forest of Ubatuba, there is no list of documented bird records from this coastline municipality. To organize such a compilation, we searched the literature and a number of different sources for all documented records of birds from Ubatuba, state of São Paulo. We further carried out a 7-year non-systematic bird inventory in different regions and elevations to document the species within the municipality. The total number of documented bird species is 417, 11% of which are endemic to Brazil. Another 26% are Atlantic Forest endemics and as many as 60 species are under threat categories, including near-threatened birds, in the state. Some 49 species of 27 families are reported from the municipality but still lack documentation. Considering historical records, no species have extinguished from the municipality. Ubatuba is one of the most studied regions along Serra do Mar in São Paulo regarding its ornithology, but there are still high-elevational gaps that will yield significant additions of species to the area with increasing surveying efforts.

  13. 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

  14. First molecular characterization of a Hepatozoon species (Apicomplexa: Hepatozoidae) infecting birds and description of a new species infecting storm petrels (Aves: Hydrobatidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merino, Santiago; Martínez, Javier; Masello, Juan F; Bedolla, Yuliana; Quillfeldt, Petra

    2014-06-01

    During a survey of blood parasites in a population of Leach's and black storm petrels ( Oceanodroma leucorhoa and Oceanodroma melania) in Mexico, infection by a Hepatozoon species in erythrocytes of several birds was noted. Here we describe the species as Hepatozoon peircei sp. nov. Some species of Hepatozoon described from birds have been identified as lankesterellids when DNA molecular analyses were conducted. However, a sequence of 1,774 bp of the parasite found infecting storm petrels in this study clearly show the parasite is a species of the genus Hepatozoon. This is the first Hepatozoon species infecting birds to be characterized at the molecular level and the first found infecting erythrocytes and not leucocytes.

  15. Using a systematic approach to select flagship species for bird conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veríssimo, Diogo; Pongiluppi, Tatiana; Santos, Maria Cintia M; Develey, Pedro F; Fraser, Iain; Smith, Robert J; MacMilan, Douglas C

    2014-02-01

    Conservation marketing campaigns that focus on flagship species play a vital role in biological diversity conservation because they raise funds and change people's behavior. However, most flagship species are selected without considering the target audience of the campaign, which can hamper the campaign's effectiveness. To address this problem, we used a systematic and stakeholder-driven approach to select flagship species for a conservation campaign in the Serra do Urubu in northeastern Brazil. We based our techniques on environmental economic and marketing methods. We used choice experiments to examine the species attributes that drive preference and latent-class models to segment respondents into groups by preferences and socioeconomic characteristics. We used respondent preferences and information on bird species inhabiting the Serra do Urubu to calculate a flagship species suitability score. We also asked respondents to indicate their favorite species from a set list to enable comparison between methods. The species' traits that drove audience preference were geographic distribution, population size, visibility, attractiveness, and survival in captivity. However, the importance of these factors differed among groups and groups differed in their views on whether species with small populations and the ability to survive in captivity should be prioritized. The popularity rankings of species differed between approaches, a result that was probably related to the different ways in which the 2 methods measured preference. Our new approach is a transparent and evidence-based method that can be used to refine the way stakeholders are engaged in the design of conservation marketing campaigns. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  16. Galling Insects of the Brazilian Páramos: Species Richness and Composition Along High-Altitude Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcel S; Carneiro, Marco Antônio Alves; Branco, Cristina A; Borges, Rafael Augusto Xavier; Fernandes, G Wilson

    2017-12-08

    In this work, we investigated the factors that determine the distribution of galling insects in high-altitude grasslands, locally called 'campos de altitude' of Mantiqueira Range and tested whether 1) richness of galling insects decreases with altitude, 2) galling insect richness increases with plant richness, 3) variation in galling insect diversity is predominantly a consequence of its β component, and 4) turnover is the main mechanism driving the beta diversity of both galling insects and plants. Galling insect richness did not exhibit a negative relationship with altitude, but it did increase with plant richness. The additive partition of regional richness (γ) into its local and beta components showed that local diversity (α) of galling insects and plants was relatively low in relation to regional diversity; the β component incorporated most of the regional diversity. This pattern was also found in the multiscale analysis of the additive partition for galling insects and plants. The beta diversity of galling insects and plants was driven predominantly by the process of turnover and minimally by nesting. The results reported here point out that the spatial distribution of galling insects is best explained by historical factors, such as the distribution of genera and species of key host plants, as well as their relation to habitat, than ecological effects such as hygrothermal stress - here represented by altitude. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  17. Trophic phylogenetics: evolutionary influences on body size, feeding, and species associations in grassland arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lind, Eric M; Vincent, John B; Weiblen, George D; Cavender-Bares, Jeannine; Borer, Elizabeth T

    2015-04-01

    Contemporary animal-plant interactions such as herbivory are widely understood to be shaped by evolutionary history. Yet questions remain about the role of plant phylogenetic diversity in generating and maintaining herbivore diversity, and whether evolutionary relatedness of producers might predict the composition of consumer communities. We tested for evidence of evolutionary associations among arthropods and the plants on which they were found, using phylogenetic analysis of naturally occurring arthropod assemblages sampled from a plant-diversity manipulation experiment. Considering phylogenetic relationships among more than 900 arthropod consumer taxa and 29 plant species in the experiment, we addressed several interrelated questions. First, our results support the hypothesis that arthropod functional traits such as body size and trophic role are phylogenetically conserved in community ecological samples. Second, herbivores tended to cooccur with closer phylogenetic relatives than would be expected at random, whereas predators and parasitoids did not show phylogenetic association patterns. Consumer specialization, as measured by association through time with monocultures of particular host plant species, showed significant phylogenetic signal, although the. strength of this association varied among plant species. Polycultures of phylogenetically dissimilar plant species supported more phylogenetically dissimilar consumer communities than did phylogenetically similar polycultures. Finally, we separated the effects of plant species richness and relatedness in predicting the phylogenetic distribution of the arthropod assemblages in this experiment. The phylogenetic diversity of plant communities predicted the phylogenetic diversity of herbivore communities even after accounting for plant species richness. The phylogenetic diversity of secondary consumers differed by guild, with predator phylogenetic diversity responding to herbivore relatedness, while parasitoid

  18. Study of Plant Species Composition of Grasslands in Mugla Village Region (Western Rhodopes, South Bulgaria

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    Plamen S. Stoyanov

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available The study presents data on the diversity of grass species in the region of the village of Mugla (the Western Rhodopes. One hundred forty-one species of higher plants belonging to 40families were registered. (Apiaceae, Aspleniaceae, Asteraceae, Boraginaceae, Brassicaceae,Campanulaceae, Caryophyllaceae, Cistaceae, Cyperaceae, Dipsacaceae, Equisetaceae, Ericaceae,Euphorbiaceae, Fabaceae, Gentianaceae, Geraniaceae, Gesneriaceae, Hypericaceae, Juncaceae,Lamiaceae, Lemnaceae, Liliaceae, Linaceae, Menyanthaceae, Oleacea, Onagraceae, Orchidaceae,Parnassiaceae, Plantaginaceae, Plumbaginaceae, Poaceae, Polygalaceae, Primulaceae,Ranunculaceae, Rosaceae, Rubiaceae, Saxifragaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Valerianaceae andViolaceae. Their conservation status was presented, as well as medicinal plants.

  19. Radiocesium in migratory bird species in northern Ireland following the Chernobyl accident

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pearce, J.

    1995-01-01

    Radioactive fallout arising form the nuclear reactor accident at Chernobyl on 26 April 1986 reached Northern Ireland in early May and was deposited in rain. However, the subsequent contamination of food supplies in Northern Ireland were well below national and international levels at which any action would be considered necessary and presented no risks to health. In addition to the direct contamination of food supplies with radionuclides in the form of fallout following the Chernobyl incident another potential source of radioactive contamination entering the human food chain was through the arrival of migratory species of game birds. Each autumn and winter many thousands of birds migrate to Northern Ireland from Northern and Eastern Europe and some of these could have been contaminated as a result of being directly affected by the fallout from Chernobyl. The purpose of this work was to examine the extend of radionuclide contamination in such species and a number of samples were obtained for analyses during the autumn/winter periods in 1986/87 and 1987/88. The results obtained are outlined below. 5 refs., 3 tabs

  20. Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in various bird species from northern China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Da; Zhang Xiulan; Mai Bixian; Sun Quanhui; Song Jie; Luo Xiaojun; Zeng, Eddy Y.; Hale, Robert C.

    2009-01-01

    Little data are available on organochlorine contamination in Chinese terrestrial birds of prey. This study examined the presence of PCBs, DDTs and other organochlorine pesticides in various raptors from northern China. DDE exhibited the highest concentrations among targeted compounds. Greatest levels (23.5-1020 mg/kg lipid weight) were observed in Eurasian sparrowhawks. This may be due to their stopover in southeastern China, where high DDT and dicofol applications have been documented. Residential kestrels exhibited much lower DDE, but similar PCB and HCH concentrations. ΣTEQs and PCB-126/-77 concentration ratios exhibited significant positive correlations with ΣPCB concentrations, respectively. Similar results were also demonstrated by a meta-analysis of previously published data across avian species. Possible hepatic sequestration of coplanar PCB-77, -126, -169 and -118 was observed as liver TEQs increased in Eurasian sparrowhawks. These observations may indicate an induction of CYP1A enzymes, as a result of elevated contamination in some species. - Substantial bioaccumulation of organochlorine contaminants may cause toxic effects (i.e., an induction of Cytochrome P450 enzymes) in birds of prey from the northern China.

  1. Polychlorinated biphenyls and organochlorine pesticides in various bird species from northern China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen Da [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, 1208 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Zhang Xiulan; Mai Bixian [State Key Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Sun Quanhui [Beijing Raptor Rescue Center, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Beijing 100875 (China); Song Jie [Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, College of Life Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875 (China); Luo Xiaojun; Zeng, Eddy Y. [State Key Laboratory of Organic Chemistry, Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Hale, Robert C., E-mail: hale@vims.ed [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, 1208 Greate Road, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States)

    2009-07-15

    Little data are available on organochlorine contamination in Chinese terrestrial birds of prey. This study examined the presence of PCBs, DDTs and other organochlorine pesticides in various raptors from northern China. DDE exhibited the highest concentrations among targeted compounds. Greatest levels (23.5-1020 mg/kg lipid weight) were observed in Eurasian sparrowhawks. This may be due to their stopover in southeastern China, where high DDT and dicofol applications have been documented. Residential kestrels exhibited much lower DDE, but similar PCB and HCH concentrations. SIGMATEQs and PCB-126/-77 concentration ratios exhibited significant positive correlations with SIGMAPCB concentrations, respectively. Similar results were also demonstrated by a meta-analysis of previously published data across avian species. Possible hepatic sequestration of coplanar PCB-77, -126, -169 and -118 was observed as liver TEQs increased in Eurasian sparrowhawks. These observations may indicate an induction of CYP1A enzymes, as a result of elevated contamination in some species. - Substantial bioaccumulation of organochlorine contaminants may cause toxic effects (i.e., an induction of Cytochrome P450 enzymes) in birds of prey from the northern China.

  2. Project Description: DNA Barcodes of Bird Species in the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Schindel

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The Division of Birds, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC, has obtained and released DNA barcodes for 2,808 frozen tissue samples. Of the 1,403 species represented by these samples, 1,147 species have not been barcoded previously. This data release increases the number of bird species with standard barcodes by 91%. These records meet the data standard of the Consortium for the Barcode of Life and they have the reserved keyword BARCODE in GenBank. The data are now available on GenBank and the Barcode of Life Data Systems.

  3. Temporal priority effects on competition are not consistent among intermountain grassland species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuo, Shengpeng; Li, Hongli; Ma, Yongqing; Callaway, Ragan M.

    2016-08-01

    Previous work indicates that priority effects exist, but mechanisms are not well understood. So we explored shifts in competitive outcomes and intensities as a potential general mechanism. In a standard greenhouse experiment the temporal priority effects of the target species Pseudoroegneria spicata and its competitive responses to five receptor species, i.e., Bromus ciliatus, Bromus marginatus, Coreopsis tinctoria, Senecio atratus, and Solidago canadensis were evaluated. P. spicata adults with a high root: shoot ratio had a significant inhibitory priority effect on B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, and C. tinctoria. Compared with the target species, under later and simultaneous sowing, B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, C. tinctoria, and S. atratus exhibited an increasing trend in terms of competition. However, S. canadensis did not display priority effects. In addition, the gram per gram competitive effect of P. spicata depended on the receptor species in the following order: B. marginatus > B. ciliatus > C. tinctoria > S. atratus. There were positive relationships between the relative interaction indices and the root: shoot ratios in B. ciliatus, B. marginatus, and C. tinctoria, thereby suggesting that the early germination or emergence of P. spicata may reduce the root: shoot ratios of these receptors. The results of this study indicate that priority effects occurred in early colonizers with high root: shoot ratios and greater competitive capacities.

  4. Species-rich grassland can persist under nitrogen-rich but phosphorus-limited conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dobben, van Han F.; Wamelink, Wieger; Slim, Pieter A.; Kamiński, Jan; Piórkowski, Hubert

    2017-01-01

    Aim: Deposition of nitrogen is assumed to cause loss of botanical diversity, probably through increased production and exclusion of less competitive species. However, if production is (co-)limited by phosphorus, acceleration of the phosphorus cycle may be responsible for the diversity loss and,

  5. 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.

  6. Conservation Action Based on Threatened Species Capture Taxonomic and Phylogenetic Richness in Breeding and Wintering Populations of Central Asian Birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweizer, Manuel; Ayé, Raffael; Kashkarov, Roman; Roth, Tobias

    2014-01-01

    Although phylogenetic diversity has been suggested to be relevant from a conservation point of view, its role is still limited in applied nature conservation. Recently, the practice of investing conservation resources based on threatened species was identified as a reason for the slow integration of phylogenetic diversity in nature conservation planning. One of the main arguments is based on the observation that threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree. However this argument seems to dismiss the fact that conservation action is a spatially explicit process, and even if threatened species are not evenly distributed over the phylogenetic tree, the occurrence of threatened species could still indicate areas with above average phylogenetic diversity and consequently could protect phylogenetic diversity. Here we aim to study the selection of important bird areas in Central Asia, which were nominated largely based on the presence of threatened bird species. We show that although threatened species occurring in Central Asia do not capture phylogenetically more distinct species than expected by chance, the current spatially explicit conservation approach of selecting important bird areas covers above average taxonomic and phylogenetic diversity of breeding and wintering birds. We conclude that the spatially explicit processes of conservation actions need to be considered in the current discussion of whether new prioritization methods are needed to complement conservation action based on threatened species. PMID:25337861

  7. Temporal variation in population size of European bird species: effects of latitude and marginality of distribution.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José J Cuervo

    Full Text Available In the Northern Hemisphere, global warming has been shown to affect animal populations in different ways, with southern populations in general suffering more from increased temperatures than northern populations of the same species. However, southern populations are also often marginal populations relative to the entire breeding range, and marginality may also have negative effects on populations. To disentangle the effects of latitude (possibly due to global warming and marginality on temporal variation in population size, we investigated European breeding bird species across a latitudinal gradient. Population size estimates were regressed on years, and from these regressions we obtained the slope (a proxy for population trend and the standard error of the estimate (SEE (a proxy for population fluctuations. The possible relationships between marginality or latitude on one hand and slopes or SEE on the other were tested among populations within species. Potentially confounding factors such as census method, sampling effort, density-dependence, habitat fragmentation and number of sampling years were controlled statistically. Population latitude was positively related to regression slopes independent of marginality, with more positive slopes (i.e., trends in northern than in southern populations. The degree of marginality was positively related to SEE independent of latitude, with marginal populations showing larger SEE (i.e., fluctuations than central ones. Regression slopes were also significantly related to our estimate of density-dependence and SEE was significantly affected by the census method. These results are consistent with a scenario in which southern and northern populations of European bird species are negatively affected by marginality, with southern populations benefitting less from global warming than northern populations, thus potentially making southern populations more vulnerable to extinction.

  8. No consistent effect of plant species richness on resistance to simulated climate change for above- or below-ground processes in managed grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dormann, Carsten F; von Riedmatten, Lars; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael

    2017-06-17

    Species richness affects processes and functions in many ecosystems. Since management of temperate grasslands is directly affecting species composition and richness, it can indirectly govern how systems respond to fluctuations in environmental conditions. Our aim in this study was to investigate whether species richness in managed grasslands can buffer the effects of drought and warming manipulations and hence increase the resistance to climate change. We established 45 plots in three regions across Germany, each with three different management regimes (pasture, meadow and mown pasture). We manipulated spring warming using open-top chambers and summer drought using rain-out shelters for 4 weeks. Measurements of species richness, above- and below-ground biomass and soil carbon and nitrogen concentrations showed significant but inconsistent differences among regions, managements and manipulations. We detected a three-way interaction between species richness, management and region, indicating that our study design was sensitive enough to detect even intricate effects. We could not detect a pervasive effect of species richness on biomass differences between treatments and controls, indicating that a combination of spring warming and summer drought effects on grassland systems are not consistently moderated by species richness. We attribute this to the relatively high number of species even at low richness levels, which already provides the complementarity required for positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. A review of the literature also indicates that climate manipulations largely fail to show richness-buffering, while natural experiments do, suggesting that such manipulations are milder than reality or incur treatment artefacts.

  9. Can establishment success be determined through demographic parameters? A case study on five introduced bird species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Sanz-Aguilar

    Full Text Available The dominant criterion to determine when an introduced species is established relies on the maintenance of a self-sustaining population in the area of introduction, i.e. on the viability of the population from a demographic perspective. There is however a paucity of demographic studies on introduced species, and establishment success is thus generally determined by expert opinion without undertaking population viability analyses (PVAs. By means of an intensive five year capture-recapture monitoring program (involving >12,000 marked individuals we studied the demography of five introduced passerine bird species in southern Spain which are established and have undergone a fast expansion over the last decades. We obtained useful estimates of demographic parameters (survival and reproduction for one colonial species (Ploceus melanocephalus, confirming the long-term viability of its local population through PVAs. However, extremely low recapture rates prevented the estimation of survival parameters and population growth rates for widely distributed species with low local densities (Estrilda troglodytes and Amandava amandava but also for highly abundant yet non-colonial species (Estrilda astrild and Euplectes afer. Therefore, determining the establishment success of introduced passerine species by demographic criteria alone may often be troublesome even when devoting much effort to field-work. Alternative quantitative methodologies such as the analysis of spatio-temporal species distributions complemented with expert opinion deserve thus their role in the assessment of establishment success of introduced species when estimates of demographic parameters are difficult to obtain, as is generally the case for non-colonial, highly mobile passerines.

  10. Spotted fever Rickettsia species in Hyalomma and Ixodes ticks infesting migratory birds in the European Mediterranean area

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-01-01

    Background A few billion birds migrate annually between their breeding grounds in Europe and their wintering grounds in Africa. Many bird species are tick-infested, and as a result of their innate migratory behavior, they contribute significantly to the geographic distribution of pathogens, including spotted fever rickettsiae. The aim of the present study was to characterize, in samples from two consecutive years, the potential role of migrant birds captured in Europe as disseminators of Rickettsia-infected ticks. Methods Ticks were collected from a total of 14,789 birds during their seasonal migration northwards in spring 2009 and 2010 at bird observatories on two Mediterranean islands: Capri and Antikythira. All ticks were subjected to RNA extraction followed by cDNA synthesis and individually assayed with a real-time PCR targeting the citrate synthase (gltA) gene. For species identification of Rickettsia, multiple genes were sequenced. Results Three hundred and ninety-eight (2.7%) of all captured birds were tick-infested; some birds carried more than one tick. A total number of 734 ticks were analysed of which 353 ± 1 (48%) were Rickettsia-positive; 96% were infected with Rickettsia aeschlimannii and 4% with Rickettsia africae or unidentified Rickettsia species. The predominant tick taxon, Hyalomma marginatum sensu lato constituted 90% (n = 658) of the ticks collected. The remaining ticks were Ixodes frontalis, Amblyomma sp., Haemaphysalis sp., Rhipicephalus sp. and unidentified ixodids. Most ticks were nymphs (66%) followed by larvae (27%) and adult female ticks (0.5%). The majority (65%) of ticks was engorged and nearly all ticks contained visible blood. Conclusions Migratory birds appear to have a great impact on the dissemination of Rickettsia-infected ticks, some of which may originate from distant locations. The potential ecological, medical and veterinary implications of such Rickettsia infections need further examination. PMID:25011617

  11. Species- and age-related variation in metal exposure and accumulation of two passerine bird species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Berglund, A.M.M., E-mail: asa.berglund@emg.umu.se [Section of Ecology, 20014 University of Turku (Finland); Koivula, M.J.; Eeva, T. [Section of Ecology, 20014 University of Turku (Finland)

    2011-10-15

    We measured the concentration of several elements (arsenic [As], calcium [Ca], cadmium [Cd], copper [Cu], nickel [Ni], lead [Pb], selenium [Se] and zinc [Zn]) in adult and nestling pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) and great tits (Parus major) at different distances to a Cu-Ni smelter in 2009. Feces of nestlings generally failed to correspond with internal element concentrations but reflected the pollution exposure, indicating an increased stress by removal of excess metals. The uptake of Cu and Ni were regulated, but As, Cd, Pb and Se accumulated in liver tissue. Pied flycatchers had generally higher element concentrations than great tits. The higher accumulation of As and Pb in pied flycatcher livers was explained by a more efficient absorption, whereas the higher Cd concentration was primarily due to different intake of food items. Age-related differences occurred between the two species, though both Cd and Se accumulated with age. - Highlights: > We measured metal concentrations in feces and livers of two passerine species. > We examined species- and age-related differences in polluted environments. > Feces was evaluated as a useful non-destructive measure of increased stress. > Generally pied flycatchers accumulated higher concentrations than great tits. > Cadmium and selenium accumulated with age in both species. - Accumulation of metals in liver of two insectivorous passerines reflects inter-specific differences in diet, absorption rate and physiological requirements.

  12. Species- and age-related variation in metal exposure and accumulation of two passerine bird species

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Berglund, A.M.M.; Koivula, M.J.; Eeva, T.

    2011-01-01

    We measured the concentration of several elements (arsenic [As], calcium [Ca], cadmium [Cd], copper [Cu], nickel [Ni], lead [Pb], selenium [Se] and zinc [Zn]) in adult and nestling pied flycatchers (Ficedula hypoleuca) and great tits (Parus major) at different distances to a Cu-Ni smelter in 2009. Feces of nestlings generally failed to correspond with internal element concentrations but reflected the pollution exposure, indicating an increased stress by removal of excess metals. The uptake of Cu and Ni were regulated, but As, Cd, Pb and Se accumulated in liver tissue. Pied flycatchers had generally higher element concentrations than great tits. The higher accumulation of As and Pb in pied flycatcher livers was explained by a more efficient absorption, whereas the higher Cd concentration was primarily due to different intake of food items. Age-related differences occurred between the two species, though both Cd and Se accumulated with age. - Highlights: → We measured metal concentrations in feces and livers of two passerine species. → We examined species- and age-related differences in polluted environments. → Feces was evaluated as a useful non-destructive measure of increased stress. → Generally pied flycatchers accumulated higher concentrations than great tits. → Cadmium and selenium accumulated with age in both species. - Accumulation of metals in liver of two insectivorous passerines reflects inter-specific differences in diet, absorption rate and physiological requirements.

  13. Does mixed-species flocking influence how birds respond to a gradient of land-use intensity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mammides, Christos; Chen, Jin; Goodale, Uromi Manage; Kotagama, Sarath Wimalabandara; Sidhu, Swati; Goodale, Eben

    2015-07-22

    Conservation biology is increasingly concerned with preserving interactions among species such as mutualisms in landscapes facing anthropogenic change. We investigated how one kind of mutualism, mixed-species bird flocks, influences the way in which birds respond to different habitat types of varying land-use intensity. We use data from a well-replicated, large-scale study in Sri Lanka and the Western Ghats of India, in which flocks were observed inside forest reserves, in 'buffer zones' of degraded forest or timber plantations, and in areas of intensive agriculture. We find flocks affected the responses of birds in three ways: (i) species with high propensity to flock were more sensitive to land use; (ii) different flock types, dominated by different flock leaders, varied in their sensitivity to land use and because following species have distinct preferences for leaders, this can have a cascading effect on followers' habitat selection; and (iii) those forest-interior species that remain outside of forests were found more inside flocks than would be expected by chance, as they may use flocks more in suboptimal habitat. We conclude that designing policies to protect flocks and their leading species may be an effective way to conserve multiple bird species in mixed forest and agricultural landscapes. © 2015 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  14. Historical habitat connectivity affects current genetic structure in a grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Münzbergová, Z; Cousins, S A O; Herben, T; Plačková, I; Mildén, M; Ehrlén, J

    2013-01-01

    Many recent studies have explored the effects of present and past landscape structure on species distribution and diversity. However, we know little about the effects of past landscape structure on distribution of genetic diversity within and between populations of a single species. Here we describe the relationship between present and past landscape structure (landscape connectivity and habitat size estimated from historical maps) and current genetic structure in a perennial herb, Succisa pratensis. We used allozymes as co-dominant markers to estimate genetic diversity and deviation from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium in 31 populations distributed within a 5 km(2) agricultural landscape. The results showed that current genetic diversity of populations was related to habitat suitability, habitat age, habitat size and habitat connectivity in the past. The effects of habitat age and past connectivity on genetic diversity were in most cases also significant after taking the current landscape structure into account. Moreover, current genetic similarity between populations was affected by past connectivity after accounting for current landscape structure. In both cases, the oldest time layer (1850) was the most informative. Most populations showed heterozygote excess, indicating disequilibrium due to recent gene flow or selection against homozygotes. These results suggest that habitat age and past connectivity are important determinants of distribution of genetic diversity between populations at a scale of a few kilometres. Landscape history may significantly contribute to our understanding of distribution of current genetic structure within species and the genetic structure may be used to better understand landscape history, even at a small scale. © 2012 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  15. 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

  16. Extreme genetic structure in a social bird species despite high dispersal capacity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morinha, Francisco; Dávila, José A; Bastos, Estela; Cabral, João A; Frías, Óscar; González, José L; Travassos, Paulo; Carvalho, Diogo; Milá, Borja; Blanco, Guillermo

    2017-05-01

    Social barriers have been shown to reduce gene flow and contribute to genetic structure among populations in species with high cognitive capacity and complex societies, such as cetaceans, apes and humans. In birds, high dispersal capacity is thought to prevent population divergence unless major geographical or habitat barriers induce isolation patterns by dispersal, colonization or adaptation limitation. We report that Iberian populations of the red-billed chough, a social, gregarious corvid with high dispersal capacity, show a striking degree of genetic structure composed of at least 15 distinct genetic units. Monitoring of marked individuals over 30 years revealed that long-distance movements over hundreds of kilometres are common, yet recruitment into breeding populations is infrequent and highly philopatric. Genetic differentiation is weakly related to geographical distance, and habitat types used are overall qualitatively similar among regions and regularly shared by individuals of different populations, so that genetic structure is unlikely to be due solely to isolation by distance or isolation by adaptation. Moreover, most population nuclei showed relatively high levels of genetic diversity, suggesting a limited role for genetic drift in significantly differentiating populations. We propose that social mechanisms may underlie this unprecedented level of genetic structure in birds through a pattern of isolation by social barriers not yet described, which may have driven this remarkable population divergence in the absence of geographical and environmental barriers. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  17. Inter- and intraclutch variation in egg mercury levels in marine bird species from the Canadian Arctic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Akearok, Jason A.; Hebert, Craig E.; Braune, Birgit M.; Mallory, Mark L.

    2010-01-01

    Mercury (Hg) is a toxic metal that has been of increasing concern in the Canadian Arctic. We measured total Hg in eggs of three marine birds (Arctic terns Sterna paradisaea, common eiders Somateria mollissima borealis, long-tailed ducks Clangula hyemalis) that breed in the Canadian Arctic, to compare Hg laying order effects from the same clutch and to examine Hg among species. Early-laid eggs of all three species had 24-48% higher Hg concentrations than late laid eggs. Arctic terns had approximately twice the concentration of Hg in their eggs as the two duck species, and Hg in eider eggs from the High Arctic was higher than Hg in eggs from the Low Arctic. Higher Hg in tern eggs was consistent with this species occupying a higher trophic position in marine food webs, as indicated by stable nitrogen isotope (δ 15 N) values. The egg-laying sequence may need to be considered for Hg biomonitoring studies where small samples sizes are planned, and early eggs may be preferable for such studies since early eggs may be more representative of potential maximum levels of Hg in the marine food webs.

  18. New records of three hippoboscid species on newly captured birds from nature in Paraná, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Frederico Fontanelli Vaz

    Full Text Available Abstract The aims of this study was to provide new records of hippoboscid flies collected over an one-year period on newly captured birds from nature in the state of Paraná, Brazil. The birds were received by a wildlife center in Tijucas do Sul and the hippoboscid flies were collect by hand or by tweezers, generating a prevalence of 0.7% (16/2232 of parasitized birds. New information about distribution of hippoboscid flies on Asio clamator, Rupornis magnirostris and Athene cunicularia was reported in the state of Paraná. The Caracara plancus, Falco peregrinus and Penelope obscura are new host species for Ornithoctona erythrocephala in the state of Paraná, and the Asio stygius for Icosta rufiventris and Ornithoica vicina in Brazil. This study provided new information about hosts and distribution of hippoboscid flies in Brazilian birds.

  19. An annotated check list of the birds of Qwaqwa National Park

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Chlamydia in birds - occurrence, new species and zoonotic potential – a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mitura Agata

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Chlamydiales, one of the oldest bacterial orders in evolutionary terms, are widespread among animals. Blinding trachoma, a disease caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, was already known in ancient times, whereas modern reports on psittacosis date from 1879. Though these pathogens have long been known and lead to serious health problems both in human and animals, data on Chlamydiales biology has been limited. It is due to their intracellular life style and complex developmental cycle. New molecular biological methods have been recently developed expanding the possibilities of chlamydial research and diagnosis. This paper reviews data concerning avian chlamydiosis, its aetiological agent C. psittaci, newly proposed species isolated from birds, namely C. ibidis sp. nov., C. avium sp. nov., and C. gallinacea sp. nov., and their zoonotic potential.

  3. Short-chain chlorinated paraffins in terrestrial bird species inhabiting an e-waste recycling site in South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Xiao-Jun; Sun, Yu-Xin; Wu, Jiang-Ping; Chen, She-Jun; Mai, Bi-Xian

    2015-03-01

    Short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) are under review by the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants. Currently, limited data are available about SCCPs in terrestrial organisms. In the present study, SCCP concentration in the muscles of seven terrestrial bird species (n = 38) inhabiting an e-waste recycling area in South China was determined. This concentration varied from 620 to 17,000 ng/g lipid. Resident birds accumulated significantly higher SCCP concentrations than migratory birds (p < 0.01). Trophic magnification was observed for migratory bird species but not for resident, which was attributed to high heterogeneity of SCCP in e-waste area. Two different homologue group patterns were observed in avian samples. The first pattern was found in five bird species dominated by C10 and C11 congeners, while the second was found in the remains, which show rather equal abundance of homologue groups. This may be caused by two sources of SCCPs (local and e-waste) in the study area. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Avian malaria in Hawaiian forest birds: Infection and population impacts across species and elevations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel, Michael D.; Woodworth, Bethany L.; Atkinson, Carter T.; Hart, P. J.; LaPointe, Dennis

    2015-01-01

    Wildlife diseases can present significant threats to ecological systems and biological diversity, as well as domestic animal and human health. However, determining the dynamics of wildlife diseases and understanding the impact on host populations is a significant challenge. In Hawai‘i, there is ample circumstantial evidence that introduced avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) has played an important role in the decline and extinction of many native forest birds. However, few studies have attempted to estimate disease transmission and mortality, survival, and individual species impacts in this distinctive ecosystem. We combined multi-state capture-recapture (longitudinal) models with cumulative age-prevalence (cross-sectional) models to evaluate these patterns in Apapane, Hawai‘i Amakihi, and Iiwi in low-, mid-, and high-elevation forests on the island of Hawai‘i based on four longitudinal studies of 3–7 years in length. We found species-specific patterns of malaria prevalence, transmission, and mortality rates that varied among elevations, likely in response to ecological factors that drive mosquito abundance. Malaria infection was highest at low elevations, moderate at mid elevations, and limited in high-elevation forests. Infection rates were highest for Iiwi and Apapane, likely contributing to the absence of these species in low-elevation forests. Adult malaria fatality rates were highest for Iiwi, intermediate for Amakihi at mid and high elevations, and lower for Apapane; low-elevation Amakihi had the lowest malaria fatality, providing strong evidence of malaria tolerance in this low-elevation population. Our study indicates that hatch-year birds may have greater malaria infection and/or fatality rates than adults. Our study also found that mosquitoes prefer feeding on Amakihi rather than Apapane, but Apapane are likely a more important reservoir for malaria transmission to mosquitoes. Our approach, based on host abundance and infection rates, may be an

  5. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in feathers of colonial water-bird species from Pakistan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Malik, Riffat Naseem, E-mail: r_n_malik2000@yahoo.co.uk [Environmental Biology Laboratory, Department of Plant Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, PO 45320 (Pakistan); Moeckel, Claudia [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Lancaster Environment Centre, Library Avenue, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP (United Kingdom); Jones, Kevin C.; Hughes, David [Centre for Chemicals Management, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Feathers of two colonial water-birds species (Bubulcus ibis, Egretta garzetta) from four heronries in the Punjab province, Pakistan were analysed for 28 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) congeners. Median concentrations of {Sigma}PBDEs were 2.41 and 1.91 ng/g in little and cattle egrets. PBDE-47, -100, -138, -153 were abundant and detected in >70% of feather samples in both species. Species-specific differences based on dietary preferences indicated higher concentration of PBDE-47, -66, -75, -100, -153, -154, and -183 in fish eating little egret. BDE-47 and -100 were more frequent in little egrets and BDE-99 was more dominant in cattle egret which feed on terrestrial habitat. Higher {Sigma}hexa- and hepta-BDEs congeners showed larger concentrations in feathers from heronries close to water bodies which receive urban and industrial effluents whereas lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominated in rural/agricultural regions. Hazard quotients (HQs) indicated that measured {Sigma}PBDEs pose no risk to egret population. - Highlights: > Feathers as non-destructive tool to asses Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) contamination. > PBDE-47 and -100 frequent in feathers of fish eating egrets. > BDE-99 dominant in feathers of egrets feed in terrestrial habitats. > Lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominate in feathers from rural areas. > Greater contents of hexa- and hepta-BDEs in feathers from areas receive urban/industrial effluents. - Feathers are used as a biomonitoring tool for PBDEs contamination.

  6. Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in feathers of colonial water-bird species from Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malik, Riffat Naseem; Moeckel, Claudia; Jones, Kevin C.; Hughes, David

    2011-01-01

    Feathers of two colonial water-birds species (Bubulcus ibis, Egretta garzetta) from four heronries in the Punjab province, Pakistan were analysed for 28 Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) congeners. Median concentrations of ΣPBDEs were 2.41 and 1.91 ng/g in little and cattle egrets. PBDE-47, -100, -138, -153 were abundant and detected in >70% of feather samples in both species. Species-specific differences based on dietary preferences indicated higher concentration of PBDE-47, -66, -75, -100, -153, -154, and -183 in fish eating little egret. BDE-47 and -100 were more frequent in little egrets and BDE-99 was more dominant in cattle egret which feed on terrestrial habitat. Higher Σhexa- and hepta-BDEs congeners showed larger concentrations in feathers from heronries close to water bodies which receive urban and industrial effluents whereas lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominated in rural/agricultural regions. Hazard quotients (HQs) indicated that measured ΣPBDEs pose no risk to egret population. - Highlights: → Feathers as non-destructive tool to asses Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs) contamination. → PBDE-47 and -100 frequent in feathers of fish eating egrets. → BDE-99 dominant in feathers of egrets feed in terrestrial habitats. → Lower-brominated congeners (BDE-47-BDE-100) dominate in feathers from rural areas. → Greater contents of hexa- and hepta-BDEs in feathers from areas receive urban/industrial effluents. - Feathers are used as a biomonitoring tool for PBDEs contamination.

  7. Mobbing calls signal predator category in a kin group-living bird species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesser, Michael

    2009-01-01

    Many prey species gather together to approach and harass their predators despite the associated risks. While mobbing, prey usually utter calls and previous experiments have demonstrated that mobbing calls can convey information about risk to conspecifics. However, the risk posed by predators also differs between predator categories. The ability to communicate predator category would be adaptive because it would allow other mobbers to adjust their risk taking. I tested this idea in Siberian jays Perisoreus infaustus, a group-living bird species, by exposing jay groups to mounts of three hawk and three owl species of varying risks. Groups immediately approached to mob the mount and uttered up to 14 different call types. Jays gave more calls when mobbing a more dangerous predator and when in the presence of kin. Five call types were predator-category-specific and jays uttered two hawk-specific and three owl-specific call types. Thus, this is one of the first studies to demonstrate that mobbing calls can simultaneously encode information about both predator category and the risk posed by a predator. Since antipredator calls of Siberian jays are known to specifically aim at reducing the risk to relatives, kin-based sociality could be an important factor in facilitating the evolution of predator-category-specific mobbing calls. PMID:19474047

  8. Mobbing calls signal predator category in a kin group-living bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griesser, Michael

    2009-08-22

    Many prey species gather together to approach and harass their predators despite the associated risks. While mobbing, prey usually utter calls and previous experiments have demonstrated that mobbing calls can convey information about risk to conspecifics. However, the risk posed by predators also differs between predator categories. The ability to communicate predator category would be adaptive because it would allow other mobbers to adjust their risk taking. I tested this idea in Siberian jays Perisoreus infaustus, a group-living bird species, by exposing jay groups to mounts of three hawk and three owl species of varying risks. Groups immediately approached to mob the mount and uttered up to 14 different call types. Jays gave more calls when mobbing a more dangerous predator and when in the presence of kin. Five call types were predator-category-specific and jays uttered two hawk-specific and three owl-specific call types. Thus, this is one of the first studies to demonstrate that mobbing calls can simultaneously encode information about both predator category and the risk posed by a predator. Since antipredator calls of Siberian jays are known to specifically aim at reducing the risk to relatives, kin-based sociality could be an important factor in facilitating the evolution of predator-category-specific mobbing calls.

  9. Anatomy and histology of the Fibrocartilago humerocapsularis in some species of European wild birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Canova, Marco; Bombardi, Cristiano; De Sordi, Nadia; Clavenzani, Paolo; Grandis, Annamaria

    2014-07-01

    The occurrence and structure of the fibrocartilago humerocapsularis (FHC) in the shoulders of 72 subjects of various species of wild birds were evaluated by gross dissection and histological examination with the purpose of increasing the body of knowledge regarding this structure and verifying the functional hypotheses submitted in the past in other species. The results showed that the FHC has a conical shape with a narrow cavity on the inside. The structure is heterogeneous in the various species and consists of different tissues, such as hyaline cartilage, fibrous cartilage, and bone. From the data obtained in this study, there does not appear to be any correlation between ossification and the weight of the prey lifted, wing shape, and aging. This study also provided interesting preliminary data regarding the ossification of the FHC. In fact, in the Hooded Crow (Corvus cornix), the ossification seemed to be correlated with the mechanical stimulation of flying. Additional studies are necessary to confirm this hypothesis. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  10. Preferred temperature and thermal breadth of birds wintering in peninsular Spain: the limited effect of temperature on species distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis M. Carrascal

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background. The availability of environmental energy, as measured by temperature, is expected to limit the abundance and distribution of endotherms wintering at temperate latitudes. A prediction of this hypothesis is that birds should attain their highest abundances in warmer areas. However, there may be a spatial mismatch between species preferred habitats and species preferred temperatures, so some species might end-up wintering in sub-optimal thermal environments. Methods. We model the influence of minimum winter temperature on the relative abundance of 106 terrestrial bird species wintering in peninsular Spain, at 10 ×10 km2 resolution, using 95%-quantile regressions. We analyze general trends across species on the shape of the response curves, the environmental preferred temperature (at which the species abundance is maximized, the mean temperature in the area of distribution and the thermal breadth (area under the abundance-temperature curve. Results. Temperature explains a low proportion of variation in abundance. The most significant effect is on limiting the maximum potential abundance of species. Considering this upper-limit response, there is a large interspecific variability on the thermal preferences and specialization of species. Overall, there is a preponderance of positive relationships between species abundance and temperature; on average, species attain their maximum abundances in areas 1.9 °C warmer than the average temperature available in peninsular Spain. The mean temperature in the area of distribution is lower than the thermal preferences of the species. Discussion. Many species prefer the warmest areas to overwinter, which suggests that temperature imposes important restrictions to birds wintering in the Iberian Peninsula. However, one third of species overwinter in locations colder than their thermal preferences, probably reflecting the interaction between habitat and thermal requirements. There is a high inter

  11. Potential role of frugivorous birds (Passeriformes) on seed dispersal of six plant species in a restinga habitat, southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomes, Verônica Souza da Mota; Correia, Maria Célia Rodrigues; de Lima, Heloisa Alves; Alves, Maria Alice S

    2008-03-01

    Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation) is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1,680 net-hrs) and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis) in the present study

  12. 77 FR 43433 - Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Foreign Bird Species in Peru and Bolivia...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-24

    ... and Bolivia as Endangered Throughout Their Range; Final Rule #0;#0;Federal Register / Vol. 77 , No... Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Listing Foreign Bird Species in Peru and Bolivia as Endangered... Peru. The ash-breasted tit-tyrant and royal cinclodes are also native to Bolivia. DATES: This rule...

  13. A method to assess the population-level consequences of wind energy facilities on bird and bat species: Chapter

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diffendorfer, James E.; Beston, Julie A.; Merrill, Matthew; Stanton, Jessica C.; Corum, Margo D.; Loss, Scott R.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Erickson, Richard A.; Heist, Kevin W.

    2016-01-01

    For this study, a methodology was developed for assessing impacts of wind energy generation on populations of birds and bats at regional to national scales. The approach combines existing methods in applied ecology for prioritizing species in terms of their potential risk from wind energy facilities and estimating impacts of fatalities on population status and trend caused by collisions with wind energy infrastructure. Methods include a qualitative prioritization approach, demographic models, and potential biological removal. The approach can be used to prioritize species in need of more thorough study as well as to identify species with minimal risk. However, the components of this methodology require simplifying assumptions and the data required may be unavailable or of poor quality for some species. These issues should be carefully considered before using the methodology. The approach will increase in value as more data become available and will broaden the understanding of anthropogenic sources of mortality on bird and bat populations.

  14. The relationship between plant species richness and soil pH vanishes with increasing aridity across Eurasian dry grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Palpurina, S.; Wagner, V.; von Wehrden, H.; Hájek, M.; Horsák, M.; Brinkert, A.; Hölzel, N.; Wesche, K.; Kamp, J.; Hájková, Petra; Danihelka, Jiří; Lustyk, P.; Merunková, K.; Preislerová, Z.; Kočí, M.; Kubešová, S.; Cherosov, M. M.; Ermakov, N.; German, D.; Gogoleva, P. A.; Lashchinsky, N.; Martynenko, V. B.; Chytrý, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2017), s. 425-434 ISSN 1466-822X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : diversity-environment relationship * dry grassland * precipitation * soil pH Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  15. Photosynthetic response of mountain grassland species to drought stress is affected by UV-induced accumulation of epidermal flavonols

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Rapantová, Barbora; Klem, Karel; Holub, Petr; Novotná, Kateřina; Urban, Otmar

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 9, 1-2 (2016), s. 31-40 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Agrostis capillaris * CO2 assimilation * drought stress * flavonols * grassland * Holcus mollis * Hypericum maculatum * precipitation * Rumex obtusifolius * UV radiation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  16. Histomorphology and proteolytic activity in the gastric apparatus of frugivorous, carnivorous and omnivorous species of birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jain, D K

    1976-01-01

    The histomorphology of the gastric apparatus, the pepsin level and the optimum pH for pepsin were investigated in Psittacula krameri (frugivore), Lanius schach (carnivore) and Acridotheres tristis (omnivore) species of birds. The proventricular glands were found to be made up of oxynticopeptic cells. The lobules of the oxynticopeptic cells are polyhedral; they are the largest in P. krameri, and the smallest in A. tristis. However, their greater number in A. tristis enables a higher secretion of hydrochloric acid and pepsin. The villi are more developed in A. tristis than in L. schach and P. krameri. The gizzard is larger in A. tristis than in P. krameri and A. tritis than in the carnivore L. schach. Koilin lining is beset with horny cones, which were well developed in A. tristis, moderately developed in P. krameri and absent in L. schach. The pepsin activity is higher in the proventriculus of the carnivorous L. schach and the omnivorous A. tristis than in the frugivorous P. krameri. Slight pepsin activity was also observed in gizzard tissue extracts in all the three species. The optimum pH for pepsin was found to be 1.5 for P. krameri and 1.8 for both L. schach and A. tristis.

  17. Population expansion of some bird species in the city of Wrocław

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kopij Grzegorz

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available During the years 2002-2010, distribution and numbers of eight bird species were studied in the whole city of Wrocław, SW Poland (293 km2. The estimation for these species are as follow: Streptopelia turtur: 3 breeding pairs, Upupa epops: 1, Cuculus canorus: 49, Emberiza hortulana: 7, Luscinia megarhynchos: 214-286, Phoenicurus phoenicurus: 87-118, Turdus pilaris: 105-150, Hippolais icterina: 136-181. In comparison with 1980‘s and 1990’s, a rapid increase in the numbers P. phoenicurus, and T. pilaris, and a slight increase of L. megarhynchos and Cuculus canorus were documented. T. pilaris began to breed in the city in the end of 1990‘s. The increase may indicate that the habitats in Wrocław improved both in regard to food availability, nesting sites and other environmental requisitions. The increase in the numbers recorded for C. canorus, P. phoe-nicurus, and L. megarhynchos may also be a result of good conditions prevailing in their wintering grounds in sub-Saharan Africa.

  18. 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...

  19. Bird and bat species' global vulnerability to collision mortality at wind farms revealed through a trait-based assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thaxter, Chris B; Buchanan, Graeme M; Carr, Jamie; Butchart, Stuart H M; Newbold, Tim; Green, Rhys E; Tobias, Joseph A; Foden, Wendy B; O'Brien, Sue; Pearce-Higgins, James W

    2017-09-13

    Mitigation of anthropogenic climate change involves deployments of renewable energy worldwide, including wind farms, which can pose a significant collision risk to volant animals. Most studies into the collision risk between species and wind turbines, however, have taken place in industrialized countries. Potential effects for many locations and species therefore remain unclear. To redress this gap, we conducted a systematic literature review of recorded collisions between birds and bats and wind turbines within developed countries. We related collision rate to species-level traits and turbine characteristics to quantify the potential vulnerability of 9538 bird and 888 bat species globally. Avian collision rate was affected by migratory strategy, dispersal distance and habitat associations, and bat collision rates were influenced by dispersal distance. For birds and bats, larger turbine capacity (megawatts) increased collision rates; however, deploying a smaller number of large turbines with greater energy output reduced total collision risk per unit energy output, although bat mortality increased again with the largest turbines. Areas with high concentrations of vulnerable species were also identified, including migration corridors. Our results can therefore guide wind farm design and location to reduce the risk of large-scale animal mortality. This is the first quantitative global assessment of the relative collision vulnerability of species groups with wind turbines, providing valuable guidance for minimizing potentially serious negative impacts on biodiversity. © 2017 The Author(s).

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Molecular identification of birds: performance of distance-based DNA barcoding in three genes to delimit parapatric species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mansour Aliabadian

    Full Text Available DNA barcoding based on the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (cox1 or COI has been successful in species identification across a wide array of taxa but in some cases failed to delimit the species boundaries of closely allied allopatric species or of hybridising sister species.In this study we extend the sample size of prior studies in birds for cox1 (2776 sequences, 756 species and target especially species that are known to occur parapatrically, and/or are known to hybridise, on a Holarctic scale. In order to obtain a larger set of taxa (altogether 2719 species, we include also DNA sequences of two other mitochondrial genes: cytochrome b (cob (4614 sequences, 2087 species and 16S (708 sequences, 498 species. Our results confirm the existence of a wide gap between intra- and interspecies divergences for both cox1 and cob, and indicate that distance-based DNA barcoding provides sufficient information to identify and delineate bird species in 98% of all possible pairwise comparisons. This DNA barcoding gap was not statistically influenced by the number of individuals sequenced per species. However, most of the hybridising parapatric species pairs have average divergences intermediate between intraspecific and interspecific distances for both cox1 and cob.DNA barcoding, if used as a tool for species discovery, would thus fail to identify hybridising parapatric species pairs. However, most of them can probably still assigned to known species by character-based approaches, although development of complementary nuclear markers will be necessary to account for mitochondrial introgression in hybridising species.

  4. Integrating Agricultural and Ecological Goals into the Management of Species-Rich Grasslands: Learning from the Flowering Meadows Competition in France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magda, Danièle; de Sainte Marie, Christine; Plantureux, Sylvain; Agreil, Cyril; Amiaud, Bernard; Mestelan, Philippe; Mihout, Sarah

    2015-11-01

    Current agri-environmental schemes for reconciling agricultural production with biodiversity conservation are proving ineffective Europe-wide, increasing interest in results-based schemes (RBSs). We describe here the French "Flowering Meadows" competition, rewarding the "best agroecological balance" in semi-natural grasslands managed by livestock farmers. This competition, which was entered by about a thousand farmers in 50 regional nature parks between 2007 and 2014, explicitly promotes a new style of agri-environmental scheme focusing on an ability to reach the desired outcome rather than adherence to prescriptive management rules. Building on our experience in the design and monitoring of the competition, we argue that the cornerstone of successful RBSs is a collective learning process in which the reconciliation of agriculture and environment is reconsidered in terms of synergistic relationships between agricultural and ecological functioning. We present the interactive, iterative process by which we defined an original method for assessing species-rich grasslands in agroecological terms. This approach was based on the integration of new criteria, such as flexibility, feeding value, and consistency of use, into the assessment of forage production performance and the consideration of biodiversity conservation through its functional role within the grassland ecosystem, rather than simply noting the presence or abundance of species. We describe the adaptation of this methodology on the basis of competition feedback, to bring about a significant shift in the conventional working methods of agronomists and conservationists (including researchers).The potential and efficacy of RBSs for promoting ecologically sound livestock systems are discussed in the concluding remarks, and they relate to the ecological intensification debate.

  5. Spatial, temporal, and species variation in prevalence of influenza A viruses in wild migratory birds

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    V.J. Munster (Vincent); C. Baas (Chantal); P. Lexmond (Pascal); J. Waldenström (Jonas); A. Wallensten (Anders); T. Fransson (Thord); G.F. Rimmelzwaan (Guus); W.E.Ph. Beyer (Walter); M. Schutten (Martin); B. Olsen (Björn); A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert); R.A.M. Fouchier (Ron)

    2007-01-01

    textabstractAlthough extensive data exist on avian influenza in wild birds in North America, limited information is available from elsewhere, including Europe. Here, molecular diagnostic tools were employed for high-throughput surveillance of migratory birds, as an alternative to classical

  6. Identifying the World's Most Climate Change Vulnerable Species: A Systematic Trait-Based Assessment of all Birds, Amphibians and Corals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foden, Wendy B.; Butchart, Stuart H. M.; Stuart, Simon N.; Vié, Jean-Christophe; Akçakaya, H. Resit; Angulo, Ariadne; DeVantier, Lyndon M.; Gutsche, Alexander; Turak, Emre; Cao, Long; Donner, Simon D.; Katariya, Vineet; Bernard, Rodolphe; Holland, Robert A.; Hughes, Adrian F.; O’Hanlon, Susannah E.; Garnett, Stephen T.; Şekercioğlu, Çagan H.; Mace, Georgina M.

    2013-01-01

    Climate change will have far-reaching impacts on biodiversity, including increasing extinction rates. Current approaches to quantifying such impacts focus on measuring exposure to climatic change and largely ignore the biological differences between species that may significantly increase or reduce their vulnerability. To address this, we present a framework for assessing three dimensions of climate change vulnerability, namely sensitivity, exposure and adaptive capacity; this draws on species’ biological traits and their modeled exposure to projected climatic changes. In the largest such assessment to date, we applied this approach to each of the world’s birds, amphibians and corals (16,857 species). The resulting assessments identify the species with greatest relative vulnerability to climate change and the geographic areas in which they are concentrated, including the Amazon basin for amphibians and birds, and the central Indo-west Pacific (Coral Triangle) for corals. We found that high concentration areas for species with traits conferring highest sensitivity and lowest adaptive capacity differ from those of highly exposed species, and we identify areas where exposure-based assessments alone may over or under-estimate climate change impacts. We found that 608–851 bird (6–9%), 670–933 amphibian (11–15%), and 47–73 coral species (6–9%) are both highly climate change vulnerable and already threatened with extinction on the IUCN Red List. The remaining highly climate change vulnerable species represent new priorities for conservation. Fewer species are highly climate change vulnerable under lower IPCC SRES emissions scenarios, indicating that reducing greenhouse emissions will reduce climate change driven extinctions. Our study answers the growing call for a more biologically and ecologically inclusive approach to assessing climate change vulnerability. By facilitating independent assessment of the three dimensions of climate change vulnerability

  7. Efficiency of playback for assessing the occurrence of five bird species in Brazilian Atlantic Forest fragments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danilo Boscolo

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Playback of bird songs is a useful technique for species detection; however, this method is usually not standardized. We tested playback efficiency for five Atlantic Forest birds (White-browed Warbler Basileuterus leucoblepharus, Giant Antshrike Batara cinerea, Swallow-tailed Manakin Chiroxiphia caudata, Whiteshouldered Fire-eye Pyriglena leucoptera and Surucua Trogon Trogon surrucura for different time of the day, season of the year and species abundance at the Morro Grande Forest Reserve (South-eastern Brazil and at thirteen forest fragments in a nearby landscape. Vocalizations were broadcasted monthly at sunrise, noon and sunset, during one year. For B. leucoblepharus, C. caudata and T. surrucura, sunrise and noon were more efficient than sunset. Batara cinerea presented higher efficiency from July to October. Playback expanded the favourable period for avifaunal surveys in tropical forest, usually restricted to early morning in the breeding season. The playback was efficient in detecting the presence of all species when the abundance was not too low. But only B. leucoblepharus and T. surrucura showed abundance values significantly related to this efficiency. The present study provided a precise indication of the best daily and seasonal periods and a confidence interval to maximize the efficiency of playback to detect the occurrence of these forest species.A técnica de play-back é muito útil para a detecção de aves, mas este método geralmente não é padronizado. Sua eficiência em atestar a ocorrência de cinco espécies de aves da Mata Atlântica (Pula-pula-assobiador Basileuterus leucoblepharus, Batará Batara cinerea, Tangará Chiroxiphia caudata, Olho-de-fogo Pyriglena leucoptera e Surucuá-de-barriga-vermelha Trogon surrucura foi analisada de acordo com o horário do dia, estação do ano e abundância das espécies na Reserva Florestal do Morro Grande (São Paulo, Brasil e em treze fragmentos florestais de uma paisagem adjacente

  8. Concerted evolution of body mass and cell size: similar patterns among species of birds (Galliformes) and mammals (Rodentia)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dragosz-Kluska, Dominika; Pis, Tomasz; Pawlik, Katarzyna; Kapustka, Filip; Kilarski, Wincenty M.; Kozłowski, Jan

    2018-01-01

    ABSTRACT Cell size plays a role in body size evolution and environmental adaptations. Addressing these roles, we studied body mass and cell size in Galliformes birds and Rodentia mammals, and collected published data on their genome sizes. In birds, we measured erythrocyte nuclei and basal metabolic rates (BMRs). In birds and mammals, larger species consistently evolved larger cells for five cell types (erythrocytes, enterocytes, chondrocytes, skin epithelial cells, and kidney proximal tubule cells) and evolved smaller hepatocytes. We found no evidence that cell size differences originated through genome size changes. We conclude that the organism-wide coordination of cell size changes might be an evolutionarily conservative characteristic, and the convergent evolutionary body size and cell size changes in Galliformes and Rodentia suggest the adaptive significance of cell size. Recent theory predicts that species evolving larger cells waste less energy on tissue maintenance but have reduced capacities to deliver oxygen to mitochondria and metabolize resources. Indeed, birds with larger size of the abovementioned cell types and smaller hepatocytes have evolved lower mass-specific BMRs. We propose that the inconsistent pattern in hepatocytes derives from the efficient delivery system to hepatocytes, combined with their intense involvement in supracellular function and anabolic activity. PMID:29540429

  9. Concerted evolution of body mass and cell size: similar patterns among species of birds (Galliformes and mammals (Rodentia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcin Czarnoleski

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Cell size plays a role in body size evolution and environmental adaptations. Addressing these roles, we studied body mass and cell size in Galliformes birds and Rodentia mammals, and collected published data on their genome sizes. In birds, we measured erythrocyte nuclei and basal metabolic rates (BMRs. In birds and mammals, larger species consistently evolved larger cells for five cell types (erythrocytes, enterocytes, chondrocytes, skin epithelial cells, and kidney proximal tubule cells and evolved smaller hepatocytes. We found no evidence that cell size differences originated through genome size changes. We conclude that the organism-wide coordination of cell size changes might be an evolutionarily conservative characteristic, and the convergent evolutionary body size and cell size changes in Galliformes and Rodentia suggest the adaptive significance of cell size. Recent theory predicts that species evolving larger cells waste less energy on tissue maintenance but have reduced capacities to deliver oxygen to mitochondria and metabolize resources. Indeed, birds with larger size of the abovementioned cell types and smaller hepatocytes have evolved lower mass-specific BMRs. We propose that the inconsistent pattern in hepatocytes derives from the efficient delivery system to hepatocytes, combined with their intense involvement in supracellular function and anabolic activity.

  10. The Relationships between Morphological Characteristics and Foraging Behavior in Four Selected Species of Shorebirds and Water Birds Utilizing Tropical Mudflats

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nor Atiqah Norazlimi

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted to investigate the relationship between the physical morphology of shorebirds and water birds (i.e., Lesser adjutant (Leptoptilos javanicus, Common redshank (Tringa totanus, Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus, and Little heron (Butorides striata and their foraging behavior in the mudflats area of Selangor, Peninsular Malaysia, from August 2013 to July 2014 by using direct observation techniques (using binoculars and a video recorder. The actively foraging bird species were watched, and their foraging activities were recorded for at least 30 seconds for up to a maximum of five minutes. A Spearman Rank Correlation highlighted a significant relationship between bill size and foraging time (R=0.443, p<0.05, bill size and prey size (R=-0.052, p<0.05, bill size and probing depth (R=0.42, p=0.003, and leg length and water/mud depth (R=0.706, p<0.005. A Kruskal-Wallis Analysis showed a significant difference between average estimates of real probing depth of the birds (mm and species (H=15.96, p=0.0012. Three foraging techniques were recorded: pause-travel, visual-feeding, and tactile-hunting. Thus, morphological characteristics of bird do influence their foraging behavior and strategies used when foraging.

  11. High Prevalence of West Nile Virus in Domestic Birds and Detection in 2 New Mosquito Species in Madagascar.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maquart, Marianne; Boyer, Sébastien; Rakotoharinome, Vincent Michel; Ravaomanana, Julie; Tantely, Michael Luciano; Heraud, Jean-Michel; Cardinale, Eric

    2016-01-01

    West Nile virus is an arthropod-borne zoonosis transmitted by a large number of mosquito species, and birds play a key role as reservoir of the virus. Its distribution is largely widespread over Africa, Asia, the Americas and Europe. Since 1978, it has frequently been reported in Madagascar. Studies described a high seroprevalence level of the virus in humans in different areas of the island and a human fatal case of WNV infection was reported in 2011. Despite these reports, the epidemiology of WNV in Madagascar, in particular, viral circulation remains unclear. To explore the transmission of WNV in two rural human populations of Madagascar, we investigated local mosquitoes and poultry for evidence of current infections, and determined seroprevalence of candidate sentinel species among the local poultry. These 2 areas are close to lakes where domestic birds, migratory wild birds and humans coexist. Serological analysis revealed WNV antibodies in domestic birds (duck, chicken, goose, turkey and guinea fowl) sampled in both districts (Antsalova 29.4% and Mitsinjo 16.7%). West Nile virus nucleic acid was detected in one chicken and in 8 pools of mosquitoes including 2 mosquito species (Aedeomyia madagascarica and Anopheles pauliani) that have not been previously described as candidate vectors for WNV. Molecular analysis of WNV isolates showed that all viruses detected were part of the lineage 2 that is mainly distributed in Africa, and were most closely matched by the previous Malagasy strains isolated in 1988. Our study showed that WNV circulates in Madagascar amongst domestic birds and mosquitoes, and highlights the utility of poultry as a surveillance tool to detect WNV transmission in a peri-domestic setting.

  12. Population Trends of Central European Montane Birds Provide Evidence for Adverse Impacts of Climate Change on High-Altitude Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiří Flousek

    Full Text Available Climate change is among the most important global threats to biodiversity and mountain areas are supposed to be under especially high pressure. Although recent modelling studies suggest considerable future range contractions of montane species accompanied with increased extinction risk, data allowing to test actual population consequences of the observed climate changes and identifying traits associated to their adverse impacts are very scarce. To fill this knowledge gap, we estimated long-term population trends of montane birds from 1984 to 2011 in a central European mountain range, the Giant Mountains (Krkonoše, where significant warming occurred over this period. We then related the population trends to several species' traits related to the climate change effects. We found that the species breeding in various habitats at higher altitudes had more negative trends than species breeding at lower altitudes. We also found that the species moved upwards as a response to warming climate, and these altitudinal range shifts were associated with more positive population trends at lower altitudes than at higher altitudes. Moreover, long-distance migrants declined more than residents or species migrating for shorter distances. Taken together, these results indicate that the climate change, besides other possible environmental changes, already influences populations of montane birds with particularly adverse impacts on high-altitude species such as water pipit (Anthus spinoletta. It is evident that the alpine species, predicted to undergo serious climatically induced range contractions due to warming climate in the future, already started moving along this trajectory.

  13. 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)

  14. Feather barbs as a good source of mtDNA for bird species identification in forensic wildlife investigations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Speller, Camilla F; Nicholas, George P; Yang, Dongya Y

    2011-07-28

    The ability to accurately identify bird species is crucial for wildlife law enforcement and bird-strike investigations. However, such identifications may be challenging when only partial or damaged feathers are available for analysis. By applying vigorous contamination controls and sensitive PCR amplification protocols, we found that it was feasible to obtain accurate mitochondrial (mt)DNA-based species identification with as few as two feather barbs. This minimally destructive DNA approach was successfully used and tested on a variety of bird species, including North American wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo), Canada goose (Branta canadensis), blue heron (Ardea herodias) and pygmy owl (Glaucidium californicum). The mtDNA was successfully obtained from 'fresh' feathers, historic museum specimens and archaeological samples, demonstrating the sensitivity and versatility of this technique. By applying appropriate contamination controls, sufficient quantities of mtDNA can be reliably recovered and analyzed from feather barbs. This previously overlooked substrate provides new opportunities for accurate DNA species identification when minimal feather samples are available for forensic analysis.

  15. Use of feathers to assess polychlorinated biphenyl and organochlorine pesticide exposure in top predatory bird species of Pakistan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abbasi, Naeem Akhtar; Eulaers, Igor; Jaspers, Veerle L.B.; Chaudhry, Muhammad Jamshed Iqbal; Frantz, Adrien; Ambus, Per Lennart; Covaci, Adrian; Malik, Riffat Naseem

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the levels of organochlorines (OCs) in predatory bird species from Asia or the factors governing their concentrations. This study is the first report on concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in predatory birds of Pakistan. The concentrations of PCBs and OCPs were investigated using tail feathers of ten different species of predatory birds. In addition, concentration differences among body, tail, primary and secondary feathers were investigated for six individuals of black kite (Milvus migrans). Ranges of concentrations were highest for dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE: 0.11–2163 ng g − 1 dry wt.) followed by dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p′-DDT: 0.36–345 ng g − 1 dry wt.), hexachlorobenzene (HCB: 0.02–34 ng g − 1 dry wt.), ∑ PCBs (0.03–16 ng g − 1 dry wt.) and trans-nonachlor (TN; 0.01–0.13 ng g − 1 dry wt.). CB 118, 153, 138, and 180 along with p,p′-DDE were found as the most prevalent compounds. ∑ PCBs and ∑ DDTs were significantly different among species (both p < 0.01) and omnivorous, scavengers, carnivorous and piscivorous trophic guilds (all p < 0.03). Only ∑ PCBs were significantly differentamong different families of birds (p < 0.01). Values of stable isotopes (δ 13 C and δ 15 N) differed significantly (all p < 0.01) among species, families, trophic guilds as well as terrestrial and aquatic habitat but not between nocturnal and diurnal predators (p = 0.22 for δ 13 C; p = 0.50 for δ 15 N). Concentrations of ∑ PCBs, ∑ DDTs and trans-nonachlor, but not HCB (p = 0.86), were significantly different among different feather types (all p < 0.01). Trophic and taxonomic affiliation as well as dietary carbon sources (δ 13 C) for species were identified as the variables best explaining the observed variation in exposure to the studied compounds. The significance of contributing factors responsible for OC contamination differences in

  16. Use of feathers to assess polychlorinated biphenyl and organochlorine pesticide exposure in top predatory bird species of Pakistan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Abbasi, Naeem Akhtar [Environmental Biology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320 (Pakistan); Eulaers, Igor [Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Frederiksborgvej 399, P.O. Box 358, 4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Jaspers, Veerle L.B., E-mail: veerle.jaspers@ntnu.no [Environmental Toxicology, Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim (Norway); Chaudhry, Muhammad Jamshed Iqbal [Environmental Biology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320 (Pakistan); WWF-Pakistan, Ferozpur Road, PO Box 5180, Lahore 54600 (Pakistan); Frantz, Adrien [Sorbonne Universités, UPMC Univ Paris 06, UPEC, Paris 7, CNRS, INRA, IRD, Institut d' Ecologie et des Sciences de l' Environnement de Paris, F-75005 Paris (France); Ambus, Per Lennart [Center for Permafrost, Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, University of Copenhagen, Øster Voldgade 10, 1350 København K (Denmark); Covaci, Adrian [Toxicological Centre, University of Antwerp, Universiteitsplein 1, 2610 Wilrijk (Belgium); Malik, Riffat Naseem, E-mail: r_n_malik2000@yahoo.co.uk [Environmental Biology and Ecotoxicology Laboratory, Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Biological Sciences, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad 45320 (Pakistan)

    2016-11-01

    Little is known about the levels of organochlorines (OCs) in predatory bird species from Asia or the factors governing their concentrations. This study is the first report on concentrations of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and organochlorine pesticides (OCPs) in predatory birds of Pakistan. The concentrations of PCBs and OCPs were investigated using tail feathers of ten different species of predatory birds. In addition, concentration differences among body, tail, primary and secondary feathers were investigated for six individuals of black kite (Milvus migrans). Ranges of concentrations were highest for dichlorodiphenyldichloroethylene (p,p′-DDE: 0.11–2163 ng g{sup −} {sup 1} dry wt.) followed by dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (p,p′-DDT: 0.36–345 ng g{sup −} {sup 1} dry wt.), hexachlorobenzene (HCB: 0.02–34 ng g{sup −} {sup 1} dry wt.), ∑ PCBs (0.03–16 ng g{sup −} {sup 1} dry wt.) and trans-nonachlor (TN; 0.01–0.13 ng g{sup −} {sup 1} dry wt.). CB 118, 153, 138, and 180 along with p,p′-DDE were found as the most prevalent compounds. ∑ PCBs and ∑ DDTs were significantly different among species (both p < 0.01) and omnivorous, scavengers, carnivorous and piscivorous trophic guilds (all p < 0.03). Only ∑ PCBs were significantly differentamong different families of birds (p < 0.01). Values of stable isotopes (δ{sup 13}C and δ{sup 15}N) differed significantly (all p < 0.01) among species, families, trophic guilds as well as terrestrial and aquatic habitat but not between nocturnal and diurnal predators (p = 0.22 for δ{sup 13}C; p = 0.50 for δ{sup 15}N). Concentrations of ∑ PCBs, ∑ DDTs and trans-nonachlor, but not HCB (p = 0.86), were significantly different among different feather types (all p < 0.01). Trophic and taxonomic affiliation as well as dietary carbon sources (δ{sup 13}C) for species were identified as the variables best explaining the observed variation in exposure to the studied compounds. The significance of

  17. A new genus and species of enantiornithine bird from the Early Cretaceous of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ismar de Souza Carvalho

    Full Text Available The fossil record of birds in Gondwana is almost restricted to the Late Cretaceous. Herein we describe a new fossil from the Araripe Basin, Cratoavis cearensis nov. gen et sp., composed of an articulated skeleton with feathers attached to the wings and surrounding the body. The present discovery considerably extends the temporal record of the Enantiornithes birds at South America to the Early Cretaceous. For the first time, an almost complete and articulated skeleton of an Early Cretaceous bird from South America is documented.

  18. Energy crop cultivations of reed canary grass - An inferior breeding habitat for the skylark, a characteristic farmland bird species

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vepsaelaeinen, Ville [Finnish Museum of Natural History, P.O. Box 17, University of Helsinki, FI-00014 Helsinki (Finland)

    2010-07-15

    Here, I present the first comparison of the abundance of farmland birds in energy grass fields and in cereal-dominated conventionally cultivated fields (CCFs). I demonstrate that in boreal farmland, skylark (Alauda arvensis) densities were significantly lower in reed canary grass (RCG) (Phalaris arundinacea) fields than in CCFs. I found that during the early breeding season RCG fields and CCFs are equally good habitats, but over the ensuing couple of weeks RCG rapidly grows too tall and dense for field-nesting species. Consequently, RCG is an inferior habitat for skylark for laying replacement clutches (after failure of first nesting) or for a second clutch after one successful nesting. The results imply that if RCG cultivation is to be expanded, the establishment of large monocultures should be avoided in farmland landscapes; otherwise the novel habitat may affect detrimentally the seriously depleted skylark population, and probably also other field-nesting bird species with similar breeding habitats. (author)

  19. Functional implications of species differences in the size and morphology of the isthmo optic nucleus (ION in birds.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristián Gutiérrez-Ibáñez

    Full Text Available In birds, there is a retinofugal projection from the brain to the retina originating from the isthmo optic nucleus (ION in the midbrain. Despite a large number of anatomical, physiological and histochemical studies, the function of this retinofugal system remains unclear. Several functions have been proposed including: gaze stabilization, pecking behavior, dark adaptation, shifting attention, and detection of aerial predators. This nucleus varies in size and organization among some species, but the relative size and morphology of the ION has not been systematically studied. Here, we present a comparison of the relative size and morphology of the ION in 81 species of birds, representing 17 different orders. Our results show that several orders of birds, besides those previously reported, have a large, well-organized ION, including: hummingbirds, woodpeckers, coots and allies, and kingfishers. At the other end of the spectrum, parrots, herons, waterfowl, owls and diurnal raptors have relatively small ION volumes. ION also appears to be absent or unrecognizable is several taxa, including one of the basal avian groups, the tinamous, which suggests that the ION may have evolved only in the more modern group of birds, Neognathae. Finally, we demonstrate that evolutionary changes in the relative size and the cytoarchitectonic organization of ION have occurred largely independent of phylogeny. The large relative size of the ION in orders with very different lifestyles and feeding behaviors suggest there is no clear association with pecking behavior or predator detection. Instead, our results suggest that the ION is more complex and enlarged in birds that have eyes that are emmetropic in some parts of the visual field and myopic in others. We therefore posit that the ION is involved in switching attention between two parts of the retina i.e. from an emmetropic to a myopic part of the retina.

  20. Changes in potential habitat of 147 North American breeding bird species in response to redistribution of trees and climate following predicted climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Mounting evidence shows that organisms have already begun to respond to global climate change. Advances in our knowledge of how climate shapes species distributional patterns has helped us better understand the response of birds to climate change. However, the distribution of birds across the landscape is also driven by biotic and abiotic components, including habitat...

  1. Species richness and relative abundance of birds in natural and anthropogenic fragments of Brazilian Atlantic forest

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz dos Anjos

    2004-06-01

    Full Text Available Bird communities were studied in two types of fragmented habitat of Atlantic forest in the State of Paraná, southern Brazil; one consisted of forest fragments that were created as a result of human activities (forest remnants, the other consisted of a set of naturally occurring forest fragments (forest patches. Using quantitative data obtained by the point counts method in 3 forest patches and 3 forest remnants during one year, species richness and relative abundance were compared in those habitats, considering species groups according to their general feeding habits. Insectivores, omnivores, and frugivores presented similar general tendencies in both habitats (decrease of species number with decreasing size and increasing isolation of forest fragment. However, these tendencies were different, when considering the relative abundance data: the trunk insectivores presented the highest value in the smallest patch while the lowest relative abundance was in the smallest remnant. In the naturally fragmented landscape, time permitted that the loss of some species of trunk insectivores be compensated for the increase in abundance of other species. In contrast, the remnants essentially represented newly formed islands that are not yet at equilibrium and where future species losses would make them similar to the patches.Comunidades de aves foram estudadas em duas regiões fragmentadas de floresta Atlântica no Estado do Paraná, sul do Brasil; uma região é constituída de fragmentos florestais que foram criados como resultado de atividades humanas (remanescentes florestais e a outra de um conjunto de fragmentos florestais naturais (manchas de floresta. Usando dados quantitativos (o método de contagens pontuais previamente obtidos em 3 manchas de floresta e em 3 remanescentes florestais durante um ano, a riqueza e a abundância relativa de aves foram comparadas naqueles habitats considerando as espécies pelos seus hábitos alimentares. Inset

  2. Total mercury and mercury species in birds and fish in an aquatic ecosystem in the Czech Republic

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Houserova, Pavlina; Kuban, Vlastimil; Kracmar, Stanislav; Sitko, Jilji

    2007-01-01

    Total mercury and mercury species (methylmercury-MeHg, inorganic mercury - Hg 2+ ) were determined in the aquatic ecosystem Zahlinice (Czech Republic). Four tissues (muscle, intestines, liver and kidney) of three bird species - cormorant, great crested grebe and Eurasian buzzard, muscle tissues of common carp, grass carp, northern pike, goldfish, common tench, perch and rudd, aquatic plants (reed mace and common reed), sediments and water were analysed. Relative contents of MeHg (of total Hg) were in the range from 71% to 94% and from 15% up to 62% in the muscle and intestines and in liver, respectively, for all birds. Statistically significant differences were found between contents of MeHg in liver tissues of young and adult cormorant populations (F 4.6 = 56.71, P -5 ). Relative contents of MeHg in muscle tissues of fishes were in the range from 65.1% to 87.9% of total Hg. - The distribution of the mercury species among the organs of the individual birds is discussed

  3. Total mercury and mercury species in birds and fish in an aquatic ecosystem in the Czech Republic

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houserova, Pavlina [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Zemedelska 1, CZ-613 00 Brno (Czech Republic); Kuban, Vlastimil [Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Zemedelska 1, CZ-613 00 Brno (Czech Republic)]. E-mail: kuban@mendelu.cz; Kracmar, Stanislav [Department of Animal Nutrition, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, Zemedelska 1, CZ-613 00 Brno (Czech Republic); Sitko, Jilji [Commenius Museum, Moravian Ornithological Station, Horni nam. 1, Prerov CZ-751 52 (Czech Republic)

    2007-01-15

    Total mercury and mercury species (methylmercury-MeHg, inorganic mercury - Hg{sup 2+}) were determined in the aquatic ecosystem Zahlinice (Czech Republic). Four tissues (muscle, intestines, liver and kidney) of three bird species - cormorant, great crested grebe and Eurasian buzzard, muscle tissues of common carp, grass carp, northern pike, goldfish, common tench, perch and rudd, aquatic plants (reed mace and common reed), sediments and water were analysed. Relative contents of MeHg (of total Hg) were in the range from 71% to 94% and from 15% up to 62% in the muscle and intestines and in liver, respectively, for all birds. Statistically significant differences were found between contents of MeHg in liver tissues of young and adult cormorant populations (F {sub 4.6} = 56.71, P < 10{sup -5}). Relative contents of MeHg in muscle tissues of fishes were in the range from 65.1% to 87.9% of total Hg. - The distribution of the mercury species among the organs of the individual birds is discussed.

  4. Iodine metabolism and thyroid functions in various species of domestic animals and poultry birds. I - Species difference in thyroid status as reflected by triiodothyronine 131I uptake test

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Setia, M.S.; Parshad, Omkar; Varman, P.N.

    1974-01-01

    In vitro triiodothyronine- 131 I uptake, by red blood cells was studied in buffaloes, buffaloe calves, cross-bred calves, rams, goats, piglets and also in pure white leg horn and cross-bred birds. Results revealed that buffalo calves have the lowest uptake values, whereas piglets appeared to have the highest values as compared to other species. Distinct differences in the uptake of T 3 - 131 I by the erythrocytes were observed to exist within as well as amongst the species of farm animals and poultry birds studied. Cross-breds exhibited higher degree of T 3 - 131 I uptake as compared to pure-breds. This test offers promise where more tedious methods may not be possible for conducting the survey on the thyroid status and iodine metabolism on large population of live-stock. (author)

  5. Projected Hg dietary exposure of 3 bird species nesting on a contaminated floodplain (South River, Virginia, USA).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Jincheng; Newman, Michael C

    2013-04-01

    Dietary Hg exposure was modeled for Carolina wren (Thryothorus ludovicianus), Eastern song sparrow (Melospiza melodia), and Eastern screech owl (Otus asio) nesting on the contaminated South River floodplain (Virginia, USA). Parameterization of Monte-Carlo models required formal expert elicitation to define bird body weight and feeding ecology characteristics because specific information was either unavailable in the published literature or too difficult to collect reliably by field survey. Mercury concentrations and weights for candidate food items were obtained directly by field survey. Simulations predicted the probability that an adult bird during breeding season would ingest specific amounts of Hg during daily foraging and the probability that the average Hg ingestion rate for the breeding season of an adult bird would exceed published rates reported to cause harm to other birds (>100 ng total Hg/g body weight per day). Despite the extensive floodplain contamination, the probabilities that these species' average ingestion rates exceeded the threshold value were all <0.01. Sensitivity analysis indicated that overall food ingestion rate was the most important factor determining projected Hg ingestion rates. Expert elicitation was useful in providing sufficiently reliable information for Monte-Carlo simulation. Copyright © 2013 SETAC.

  6. 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.

  7. Potential role of frugivorous birds (Passeriformes on seed dispersal of six plant species in a restinga habitat, southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verônica Souza da Mota Gomes

    2008-03-01

    Full Text Available Restingas are considered stressful habitats associated with the Brazilian Atlantic forest, and their ecological interactions are poorly known. The goal of the present study was to determine the potential role of frugivorous birds as seed dispersers in a restinga habitat. Data were collected in Parque Nacional da Restinga de Jurubatiba, southeastern Brazil, where the main physiognomy (Open Clusia Formation is characterized by the presence of patches of vegetation covering 20 to 48 % of the sandy soil and reaching a height of 5 m. Birds were captured with mist nets (12 x 2.5 m; 36 mm mesh; 1 680 net-hrs and had their fecal and regurgitate samples inspected for seeds. Six plant species found in these bird samples were studied. The germination of seeds obtained from plants was compared to those from the birds. Both groups of seeds were set on Petri dishes at room temperature and washed when infected with fungi. In general, there was no effect on germination rate, and the effect on germination speed was negative. Germination of seeds from Pilosocereus arrabidae treated by the birds seemed to be influenced by storage of defecated seeds, while few Miconia cinnamomifolia seeds both from plants and from birds germinated. Ocotea notata presented a great variation in time to the onset of germination, perhaps an advantage against dissecation. Aechmea nudicaulis, Clusia hilariana and Erythroxylum subsessile probably take advantage of the arrival to favorable microhabitats, not by the gut effect on the seeds. All plant species studied are numerically important for the community and some of them are main actors in the succession of vegetation patches. Among the birds, Mimus gilvus is an important resident species, endemic to restingas in Brazil, while Turdus amaurochalinus is a visitor and may be important for plants that fructify during its passage by the study site. Although the effect of pulp removal was only tested for one species (Achmea nudicaulis in the

  8. Quality of the forage apparently consumed by beef calves in natural grassland under fertilization and oversown with cool season forage species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denise Adelaide Gomes Elejalde

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to evaluate the chemical composition of the forage apparently consumed by steers in a natural grassland on region of Campanha, in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, subjected or not to different inputs: NP - natural pasture without inputs; FNP - fertilized natural pasture and INP - improved natural grassland with fertilization and over-seeded with cultivated winter species. Three Angus steers testers and a variable number of regulator animals per experimental unit were utilized in order to maintain 13 kg of DM/100 kg of live weight (LW as forage allowance. One time at each season, hand plucking samples were performed along the daily grazing time simulating forage harvested by the animals. The collected samples after drying and grind were submitted to chemical analysis to determine the forage quality. Except in winter and spring, the values of neutral detergent fiber were higher than the critical value of 550 g/kg of DM, which could limit forage intake, demonstrating that the values of forage on offer provided (15.6; 13.7; 13.5; 15.8 kg of DM/100 kg of LW/day in summer, autumn, winter and spring, respectively were not restrictive to intake. The oversowing of winter cultivated species or fertilization positively alter the degradable fiber content. The seasons had marked influence on the chemical composition of forage apparently consumed; positively increasing some fractions of forage chemical composition in the seasons in which native or cultivated winter species increased their participation. The forage chemical composition is the determining factor in animal performance in natural pasture.

  9. Relative importance of current and past landscape structure and local habitat conditions for plant species richness in dry grassland-like forest openings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2014-01-01

    In fragmented landscapes, plant species richness may depend not only on local habitat conditions but also on landscape structure. In addition, both present and past landscape structure may be important for species richness. There are, however, only a few studies that have investigated the relative importance of all of these factors. The aim of this study was to examine the effect of current and past landscape structures and habitat conditions on species richness at dry grassland-like forest openings in a forested landscape and to assess their relative importance for species richness. We analyzed information on past and present landscape structures using aerial photographs from 1938, 1973, 1988, 2000 and 2007. We calculated the area of each locality and its isolation in the present and in the past and the continuity of localities in GIS. At each locality, we recorded all vascular plant species (296 species in 110 forest openings) and information on abiotic conditions of the localities. We found that the current species richness of the forest openings was significantly determined by local habitat conditions as well as by landscape structure in the present and in the past. The highest species richness was observed on larger and more heterogeneous localities with rocks and shallow soils, which were already large and well connected to other localities in 1938. The changes in the landscape structure in the past can thus have strong effects on current species richness. Future studies attempting to understand determinants of species diversity in fragmented landscapes should also include data on past landscape structure, as it may in fact be more important than the present structure.

  10. 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.

  11. Climate change will seriously impact bird species dwelling above the treeline: A prospective study for the Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrarini, Alessandro; Alatalo, Juha M; Gustin, Marco

    2017-07-15

    High mountain systems are predicted to be especially vulnerable to the impact of climate change, with the climatically-constrained tree limit rapidly shifted upslope. In turn, the impact of upward treeline migration on mountain-dwelling bird species is expected to significantly reduce habitat suitability. We developed the first projection of the expected climate-driven rise of the whole treeline (19,256km) of the Italian Alps. The study area extends over 20,700km 2 , ranging over 550km in longitude and 320km in latitude. We then investigated how much the expected treeline rise will induce a) shrinking and shifting of the elevation range and b) loss in suitable habitat for the flagship species rock ptarmigan, an alpine bird species dwelling above the treeline and, similarly to many other alpine species, highly vulnerable to treeline rise. We also investigated the potential gain in suitable habitat for rock ptarmigan due to the climate-driven upshift in the uppermost thermal limit. At lower altitudes (1500-1600m a.s.l.), the average expected upshift in the current treeline resulted in 195, 274 and 354m over the short (2010-2039), medium (2040-2069) and long term (2070-2099) respectively. Above 2400m a.s.l., it was less than 30m even in the long term. Overall, during the three climate periods the extent of suitable habitat for rock ptarmigan above the current treeline is projected to decrease by 28.12%, 38.43% and 49.11% respectively. In contrast, the expected gain in suitable habitat due to the shift in the uppermost thermal limit will be severely restrained by the limited surface extension in the top portion of the Italian Alps. The presented approach can promote similar studies elsewhere in the globe, providing a regional perspective to the projection of climate change impact on bird species dwelling above the treeline. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Thyroid hormones correlate with basal metabolic rate but not field metabolic rate in a wild bird species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorg Welcker

    Full Text Available Thyroid hormones (TH are known to stimulate in vitro oxygen consumption of tissues in mammals and birds. Hence, in many laboratory studies a positive relationship between TH concentrations and basal metabolic rate (BMR has been demonstrated whereas evidence from species in the wild is scarce. Even though basal and field metabolic rates (FMR are often thought to be intrinsically linked it is still unknown whether a relationship between TH and FMR exists. Here we determine the relationship between the primary thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3 with both BMR and FMR in a wild bird species, the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla. As predicted we found a strong and positive relationship between plasma concentrations of T3 and both BMR and mass-independent BMR with coefficients of determination ranging from 0.36 to 0.60. In contrast there was no association of T3 levels with either whole-body or mass-independent FMR (R(2 =0.06 and 0.02, respectively. In accordance with in vitro studies our data suggests that TH play an important role in modulating BMR and may serve as a proxy for basal metabolism in wild birds. However, the lack of a relationship between TH and FMR indicates that levels of physical activity in kittiwakes are largely independent of TH concentrations and support recent studies that cast doubt on a direct linkage between BMR and FMR.

  13. Thyroid Hormones Correlate with Basal Metabolic Rate but Not Field Metabolic Rate in a Wild Bird Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Welcker, Jorg; Chastel, Olivier; Gabrielsen, Geir W.; Guillaumin, Jerome; Kitaysky, Alexander S.; Speakman, John R.; Tremblay, Yann; Bech, Claus

    2013-01-01

    Thyroid hormones (TH) are known to stimulate in vitro oxygen consumption of tissues in mammals and birds. Hence, in many laboratory studies a positive relationship between TH concentrations and basal metabolic rate (BMR) has been demonstrated whereas evidence from species in the wild is scarce. Even though basal and field metabolic rates (FMR) are often thought to be intrinsically linked it is still unknown whether a relationship between TH and FMR exists. Here we determine the relationship between the primary thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T3) with both BMR and FMR in a wild bird species, the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla). As predicted we found a strong and positive relationship between plasma concentrations of T3 and both BMR and mass-independent BMR with coefficients of determination ranging from 0.36 to 0.60. In contrast there was no association of T3 levels with either whole-body or mass-independent FMR (R2 = 0.06 and 0.02, respectively). In accordance with in vitro studies our data suggests that TH play an important role in modulating BMR and may serve as a proxy for basal metabolism in wild birds. However, the lack of a relationship between TH and FMR indicates that levels of physical activity in kittiwakes are largely independent of TH concentrations and support recent studies that cast doubt on a direct linkage between BMR and FMR. PMID:23437096

  14. Negative and positive interactions among plants: effects of competitors and litter on seedling emergence and growth of forest and grassland species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loydi, A; Donath, T W; Otte, A; Eckstein, R L

    2015-05-01

    Living plant neighbours, but also their dead aboveground remains (i.e. litter), may individually exert negative or positive effects on plant recruitment. Although living plants and litter co-occur in most ecosystems, few studies have addressed their combined effects, and conclusions are ambivalent. Therefore, we examined the response in terms of seedling emergence and growth of herbaceous grassland and forest species to different litter types and amounts and the presence of competitors. We conducted a pot experiment testing the effects of litter type (grass, oak), litter amount (low, medium, high) and interspecific competition (presence or absence of four Festuca arundinacea individuals) on seedling emergence and biomass of four congeneric pairs of hemicryptophytes from two habitat types (woodland, grassland). Interactions between litter and competition were weak. Litter presence increased competitor biomass. It also had positive effects on seedling emergence at low litter amounts and negative effects at high litter amounts, while competition had no effect on seedling emergence. Seedling biomass was negatively affected by the presence of competitors, and this effect was stronger in combination with high amounts of litter. Litter affected seedling emergence while competition determined the biomass of the emerged individuals, both affecting early stages of seedling recruitment. High litter accumulation also reduced seedling biomass, but this effect seemed to be additive to competitor effects. This suggests that live and dead plant mass can affect species recruitment in natural systems, but the mechanisms by which they operate and their timing differ. © 2014 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

  15. Next remarks to the knowledge of heavy metal concentrations in gravid tapeworm species parasitizing aquatic birds

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Tenora, F.; Baruš, Vlastimil; Prokeš, Miroslav

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 39, č. 3 (2002), s. 143-148 ISSN 0440-6605 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/01/1314; GA AV ČR IAA6093104 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : heavy metal concentrations * Cestoda * aquatic birds Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.646, year: 2002

  16. The role of kopjes in bird species' conservation within an agricultural ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Just west of the Greater Serengeti Ecosystem (GSE), an area defined by movements ... assumed that similar natural savanna habitat found inside the present GRE previously ..... the kopjes attracted Speckled Pigeon Columba guinea and White-fronted Barbet Lybius .... Birds of Africa South of the Sahara: Second Edition.

  17. Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in birds of prey from the Chesapeake Bay region, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen Da, E-mail: chen@vims.ed [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Hale, Robert C. [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Watts, Bryan D. [Center for Conservation Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (United States); La Guardia, Mark J.; Harvey, Ellen [Department of Environmental and Aquatic Animal Health, Virginia Institute of Marine Science, College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, VA 23062 (United States); Mojica, Elizabeth K. [Center for Conservation Biology, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA 23185 (United States)

    2010-05-15

    Compared to organochlorines, little is known about polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) contamination of birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S. This study examined and compared PBDE contamination in eggs of osprey, double-crested cormorant, brown pelican and peregrine falcon from this area. Several legacy persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs and DDE were also investigated. The level of urbanization of the landscape appeared to influence the level of PBDE exposure. PBDE congener distribution patterns varied between piscivorous and terrestrial-feeding birds. This suggests individual congeners may be subject to differences in bioaccumulation, biomagnification or metabolism in the aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Biomagnification of PBDEs was studied in the Bay aquatic food chains for the first time. A biomagnification factor of 25.1 was estimated for SIGMAPBDEs for the fish - osprey egg food chain. Hazard quotients, applied as a preliminary evaluation, indicated that PBDEs may pose a moderate hazard to ospreys and peregrine falcons through impairment of reproductive performance. - Birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay (USA) exhibited species-specific PBDE accumulation patterns.

  18. Species-specific accumulation of polybrominated diphenyl ether flame retardants in birds of prey from the Chesapeake Bay region, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen Da; Hale, Robert C.; Watts, Bryan D.; La Guardia, Mark J.; Harvey, Ellen; Mojica, Elizabeth K.

    2010-01-01

    Compared to organochlorines, little is known about polybrominated diphenyl ether (PBDE) contamination of birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay, the largest estuary in the U.S. This study examined and compared PBDE contamination in eggs of osprey, double-crested cormorant, brown pelican and peregrine falcon from this area. Several legacy persistent organic pollutants such as PCBs and DDE were also investigated. The level of urbanization of the landscape appeared to influence the level of PBDE exposure. PBDE congener distribution patterns varied between piscivorous and terrestrial-feeding birds. This suggests individual congeners may be subject to differences in bioaccumulation, biomagnification or metabolism in the aquatic and terrestrial food webs. Biomagnification of PBDEs was studied in the Bay aquatic food chains for the first time. A biomagnification factor of 25.1 was estimated for ΣPBDEs for the fish - osprey egg food chain. Hazard quotients, applied as a preliminary evaluation, indicated that PBDEs may pose a moderate hazard to ospreys and peregrine falcons through impairment of reproductive performance. - Birds of prey breeding in the Chesapeake Bay (USA) exhibited species-specific PBDE accumulation patterns.

  19. Top-Down-Assisted Bottom-Up Method for Homologous Protein Sequencing: Hemoglobin from 33 Bird Species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Yang; Laskay, Ünige A.; Vilcins, Inger-Marie E.; Barbour, Alan G.; Wysocki, Vicki H.

    2015-11-01

    Ticks are vectors for disease transmission because they are indiscriminant in their feeding on multiple vertebrate hosts, transmitting pathogens between their hosts. Identifying the hosts on which ticks have fed is important for disease prevention and intervention. We have previously shown that hemoglobin (Hb) remnants from a host on which a tick fed can be used to reveal the host's identity. For the present research, blood was collected from 33 bird species that are common in the U.S. as hosts for ticks but that have unknown Hb sequences. A top-down-assisted bottom-up mass spectrometry approach with a customized searching database, based on variability in known bird hemoglobin sequences, has been devised to facilitate fast and complete sequencing of hemoglobin from birds with unknown sequences. These hemoglobin sequences will be added to a hemoglobin database and used for tick host identification. The general approach has the potential to sequence any set of homologous proteins completely in a rapid manner.

  20. Evolutionary rates of mitochondrial genomes correspond to diversification rates and to contemporary species richness in birds and reptiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eo, Soo Hyung; DeWoody, J. Andrew

    2010-01-01

    Rates of biological diversification should ultimately correspond to rates of genome evolution. Recent studies have compared diversification rates with phylogenetic branch lengths, but incomplete phylogenies hamper such analyses for many taxa. Herein, we use pairwise comparisons of confamilial sauropsid (bird and reptile) mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) genome sequences to estimate substitution rates. These molecular evolutionary rates are considered in light of the age and species richness of each taxonomic family, using a random-walk speciation–extinction process to estimate rates of diversification. We find the molecular clock ticks at disparate rates in different families and at different genes. For example, evolutionary rates are relatively fast in snakes and lizards, intermediate in crocodilians and slow in turtles and birds. There was also rate variation across genes, where non-synonymous substitution rates were fastest at ATP8 and slowest at CO3. Family-by-gene interactions were significant, indicating that local clocks vary substantially among sauropsids. Most importantly, we find evidence that mitochondrial genome evolutionary rates are positively correlated with speciation rates and with contemporary species richness. Nuclear sequences are poorly represented among reptiles, but the correlation between rates of molecular evolution and species diversification also extends to 18 avian nuclear genes we tested. Thus, the nuclear data buttress our mtDNA findings. PMID:20610427

  1. The effect of the Sep wind park near Oosterbierum, Friesland, The Netherlands, on birds. De invloed van de Sep-proefwindcentrale te Oosterbierum (Friesland) op vogels; Deel 4: Verstoring

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  2. The bird species of Kumasir lake (Kahramanmaras-Turkey) and a view of environmental ethics on sustainable wetland management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inac, S; Gorucu, O; Pinar, A H

    2008-05-01

    Kumasir lake is located next to towns of Donuklu and Fatih, nine km west of Kahramanmaras city center the region of east Mediterranean, Turkey This lake is of crucial importance from the point of native and immigrant birds. We located 17 birdspecies in this area during our observations carried out in the spring and autumn of 2005-2006. These were Ciconia ciconia L., Anas platyrhynchos L., Accipiter nisus L., Accipiter brevipes L., Fulica atra L., Columba palumbus L., Merops apiaster L., Upupa epops L., Alauda arvensis L., Motacilla flava L., Turdus merula L., Acrocephalus scirpaceus L., Regulus regulus L., Garrulus glandarius L., Corvus corax L., Fringilla coelebs L., Hirundo rustica L.. Among observed 17 species; 6 of them were immigrant and remaining 11 of them were native birds. Kumasir lake is surrounded by wetland of Amik and Gavur lake. Since it was greatly dried, it was transformed to farmland. Consequently the birds lost most of theirnests and settlements. However not taken in the care of environmental ethic values, the wastewaters of the villages drain to lake reservoir; herbicides and insecticides used for agriculture are polluting the water reeds have been burned, the lake's reeds are getting dry by the irrigation for the farmland. So, the wetland ecosystem is being affected negatively by these factors. On the other hand, the birds are exposed to illegal and unlawful hunting. For this reasons, this lake must be taken into a management regime of sustainable wetland (protection profiting balance) and used techniques of participation planning via the process of sustainable natural resources and planning.

  3. A new species of Phrynopus (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae) from upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehr, Edgar; von May, Rudolf; Moravec, Jiří; Cusi, Juan Carlos

    2017-01-01

    We describe a new species of Phrynopus from the upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands (puna) of the Pui Pui Protected Forest and its close surroundings (Región Junín, central Peru) and compare it morphologically and genetically with other species of Phrynopus . Phrynopus inti sp. n. is known from four localities outside and two localities inside the Pui Pui Protected Forest between 3350 and 3890 m a.s.l. Studied specimens of the new species are characterized by a snout-vent length of 27.2-35.2 mm in males (n = 6), and 40.4 mm in a single female, by having the skin on dorsum and flanks smooth with scattered tubercles, venter smooth, by lacking a tympanum, and males without vocal slits and nuptial pads. In life, the dorsum is pale grayish brown with or without dark brown blotches, or dorsum blackish brown with small yellow flecks, throat, chest and venter are pale grayish brown with salmon mottling, groin is pale grayish brown with salmon colored flecks, and the iris is golden orange with fine dark brown reticulations. The new species is morphologically most similar to Phrynopus kauneorum and P. juninensis . For the latter we describe the coloration in life for a specimen obtained at the type locality. A molecular phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences inferred that the new species is most closely related to Phrynopus kauneorum , P. miroslawae , P. tautzorum , and an undescribed species distributed at high elevation in Región Pasco, central Peru.

  4. A new species of Phrynopus (Amphibia, Anura, Craugastoridae from upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands of the Pui Pui Protected Forest in central Peru

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edgar Lehr

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available We describe a new species of Phrynopus from the upper montane forests and high Andean grasslands (puna of the Pui Pui Protected Forest and its close surroundings (Región Junín, central Peru and compare it morphologically and genetically with other species of Phrynopus. Phrynopus inti sp. n. is known from four localities outside and two localities inside the Pui Pui Protected Forest between 3350 and 3890 m a.s.l. Studied specimens of the new species are characterized by a snout-vent length of 27.2–35.2 mm in males (n = 6, and 40.4 mm in a single female, by having the skin on dorsum and flanks smooth with scattered tubercles, venter smooth, by lacking a tympanum, and males without vocal slits and nuptial pads. In life, the dorsum is pale grayish brown with or without dark brown blotches, or dorsum blackish brown with small yellow flecks, throat, chest and venter are pale grayish brown with salmon mottling, groin is pale grayish brown with salmon colored flecks, and the iris is golden orange with fine dark brown reticulations. The new species is morphologically most similar to Phrynopus kauneorum and P. juninensis. For the latter we describe the coloration in life for a specimen obtained at the type locality. A molecular phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences inferred that the new species is most closely related to Phrynopus kauneorum, P. miroslawae, P. tautzorum, and an undescribed species distributed at high elevation in Región Pasco, central Peru.

  5. 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.

  6. Pathogenicity of two recent Western Mediterranean West Nile virus isolates in a wild bird species indigenous to Southern Europe: the red-legged partridge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sotelo Elena

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract West Nile virus (WNV is an emerging zoonotic pathogen whose geographic spread and incidence in humans, horses and birds has increased significantly in recent years. WNV has long been considered a mild pathogen causing self-limiting outbreaks. This notion has changed as WNV is causing large epidemics with a high impact on human and animal health. This has been particularly noteworthy since its introduction into North America in 1999. There, native bird species have been shown to be highly susceptible to WNV infection and disease with high mortalities. For this reason, the effect of WNV infection in North American bird species has been thoroughly studied by means of experimental inoculations in controlled trials. To a lesser extent, European wild birds have been shown to be affected clinically by WNV infection. Yet experimental studies on European wild bird species are lacking. The red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa is a gallinaceous bird indigenous to the Iberian Peninsula, widely distributed in South Western Europe. It plays a key role in the Mediterranean ecosystem and constitutes an economically important game species. As such it is raised intensively in outdoor facilities. In this work, red-legged partridges were experimentally infected with two recent WNV isolates from the Western Mediterranean area: Morocco/2003 and Spain/2007. All inoculated birds became viremic and showed clinical disease, with mortality rates of 70% and 30%, respectively. These results show that Western Mediterranean WNV variants can be pathogenic for some European bird species, such as the red-legged partridge.

  7. Description and identification of four species of plant parasitic nematodes associated with grassland, fruit trees and maize in Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Badi, M; Geraert, E

    2002-01-01

    Three species of plant parasitic nematodes present in two romanian soil samples were described and identified in the present study. The species belong to order tylenchida and to taxonomical families Tylenchidae (Basiria aberrans) and Belonolaimidae (Tylenchorhynchus georgiensis and Merlinius brevidens). The identification of the present specimens was based on the classical taxonomy, following morphological and morphometrical characters in the species specific identification keys.

  8. Abandoned military training sites are an overlooked refuge for at-risk open habitat bird species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Reif, J.; Marhoul, P.; Čížek, O.; Konvička, Martin

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 14 (2011), s. 3645-3662 ISSN 0960-3115 R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073 Grant - others:Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic(CZ) SP/2D3/153/08 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : abundance * bird * disturbance Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.238, year: 2011

  9. Altitudinal patterns in breeding bird species richness and density in relation to climate, habitat heterogeneity, and migration influence in a temperate montane forest (South Korea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Jin-Yong; Lee, Sanghun; Shin, Man-Seok; Lee, Chang-Hoon; Seo, Changwan; Eo, Soo Hyung

    2018-01-01

    Altitudinal patterns in the population ecology of mountain bird species are useful for predicting species occurrence and behavior. Numerous hypotheses about the complex interactions among environmental factors have been proposed; however, these still remain controversial. This study aimed to identify the altitudinal patterns in breeding bird species richness or density and to test the hypotheses that climate, habitat heterogeneity (horizontal and vertical), and heterospecific attraction in a temperate forest, South Korea. We conducted a field survey of 142 plots at altitudes between 200 and 1,400 m a.s.l in the breeding season. A total of 2,771 individuals from 53 breeding bird species were recorded. Altitudinal patterns of species richness and density showed a hump-shaped pattern, indicating that the highest richness and density could be observed at moderate altitudes. Models constructed with 13 combinations of six variables demonstrated that species richness was positively correlated with vertical and horizontal habitat heterogeneity. Density was positively correlated with vertical, but not horizontal habitat heterogeneity, and negatively correlated with migratory bird ratio. No significant relationships were found between spring temperature and species richness or density. Therefore, the observed patterns in species richness support the hypothesis that habitat heterogeneity, rather than climate, is the main driver of species richness. Also, neither habitat heterogeneity nor climate hypotheses fully explains the observed patterns in density. However, vertical habitat heterogeneity does likely help explain observed patterns in density. The heterospecific attraction hypothesis did not apply to the distribution of birds along the altitudinal gradient. Appropriate management of vertical habitat heterogeneity, such as vegetation cover, should be maintained for the conservation of bird diversity in this area.

  10. 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.

  11. Diversification of tanagers, a species rich bird group, from lowlands to montane regions of South America

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fjeldså, Jon; Rahbek, Carsten

    2006-01-01

    in the Atlantic forests of south-eastern Brazil, and moderate densities of widespread species in the tropical lowlands. Contemporary climate explains well the variation in species richness for the 25% most widespread species; for the remaining 75% of species with more restricted distributions, variation can only...

  12. A Modified Thermal Time Model Quantifying Germination Response to Temperature for C3 and C4 Species in Temperate Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongxiang Zhang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Thermal-based germination models are widely used to predict germination rate and germination timing of plants. However, comparison of model parameters between large numbers of species is rare. In this study, seeds of 27 species including 12 C4 and 15 C3 species were germinated at a range of constant temperatures from 5 °C to 40 °C. We used a modified thermal time model to calculate germination parameters at suboptimal temperatures. Generally, the optimal germination temperature was higher for C4 species than for C3 species. The thermal time constant for the 50% germination percentile was significantly higher for C3 than C4 species. The thermal time constant of perennials was significantly higher than that of annuals. However, differences in base temperatures were not significant between C3 and C4, or annuals and perennial species. The relationship between germination rate and seed mass depended on plant functional type and temperature, while the base temperature and thermal time constant of C3 and C4 species exhibited no significant relationship with seed mass. The results illustrate differences in germination characteristics between C3 and C4 species. Seed mass does not affect germination parameters, plant life cycle matters, however.

  13. 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.

  14. Cestodes of the family Dilepididae (Cestoda:Cyclophyllidea) from fish-eating birds in Mexico: a survey of species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, Tomás; Kuchta, Roman; Salgado-Madonado, Guillermo

    2002-07-01

    A survey of adults of dilepidid tapeworms (Cyclophyllidea) from piscivorous birds from Mexico is presented on the basis of the taxonomic evaluation of freshly collected and voucher specimens. The following species are reported (first records from Mexico marked with an asterisk): Cyclustera capito (Rudolphi, 1819); *C. ibisae (Schmidt & Bush, 1972); *Dendrouterina ardeae Rausch, 1955; *D. herodiae Fuhrmann, 1912; *D. papillifera (Fuhrmann, 1908); Glossocercus auritus (Rudolphi, 1819); *Neogryporhynchus cheilancristrotus (Wedl, 1855); Paradilepis caballeroi Rysavy & Macko, 1973; Paradilepis sp.; Parvitaenia cochlearii Coil, 1955; and Valipora mutabilis Linton, 1927. Dendrouteria herodiae is reported from America for the first time. New definitive hosts are Phalacrocorax olivaceus for C. capito, N. cheilancristrotus and P. caballeroi; Casmerodius albus and Egretta thula for G. auritus; and E. thula for D. herodiae. Data on the morphology of the rostellar hooks of all species, their hosts and distribution in Mexico are provided.

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. Is supplementary feeding in gardens a driver of evolutionary change in a migratory bird species?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plummer, Kate E; Siriwardena, Gavin M; Conway, Greg J; Risely, Kate; Toms, Mike P

    2015-12-01

    Human activities are causing rapid environmental change at a global scale. Urbanization is responsible for some of the most extreme human-altered habitats and is a known driver of evolutionary change, but evidence and understanding of these processes is limited. Here, we investigate the potential underlying mechanisms contributing to the contemporary evolution of migration behaviour in the Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla). Blackcaps from central Europe have been wintering in urban areas of Britain with increasing frequency over the past 60 years, rather than migrating south to the Mediterranean. It has been hypothesized that the popularization of providing supplementary foods for wild birds within Britain may have influenced this marked migratory change, but quantifying the selective forces shaping evolutionary changes remains challenging. Using a long-term national scale data set, we examine both the spatial distribution and interannual variation in blackcap wintering behaviour in Britain in relation to supplementary food availability and local climate. Over a 12-year period, we show that blackcaps are becoming increasingly associated with the provision of supplementary foods in British gardens, and that the reliability of bird food supplies is influencing their winter distribution at a national scale. In addition, local climatic temperatures and broader scale weather variation are also important determinants of blackcap wintering patterns once they arrive in Britain. Based on our findings, we conclude that a synergistic effect of increased availability of feeding resources, in the form of garden bird food, coupled with climatic amelioration, has enabled a successful new wintering population to become established in Britain. As global biodiversity is threatened by human-induced environmental change, this study presents new and timely evidence of the role human activities can play in shaping evolutionary trajectories. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Detectability in Audio-Visual Surveys of Tropical Rainforest Birds: The Influence of Species, Weather and Habitat Characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Alexander S.; Marques, Tiago A.; Shoo, Luke P.; Williams, Stephen E.

    2015-01-01

    Indices of relative abundance do not control for variation in detectability, which can bias density estimates such that ecological processes are difficult to infer. Distance sampling methods can be used to correct for detectability, but in rainforest, where dense vegetation and diverse assemblages complicate sampling, information is lacking about factors affecting their application. Rare species present an additional challenge, as data may be too sparse to fit detection functions. We present analyses of distance sampling data collected for a diverse tropical rainforest bird assemblage across broad elevational and latitudinal gradients in North Queensland, Australia. Using audio and visual detections, we assessed the influence of various factors on Effective Strip Width (ESW), an intuitively useful parameter, since it can be used to calculate an estimate of density from count data. Body size and species exerted the most important influence on ESW, with larger species detectable over greater distances than smaller species. Secondarily, wet weather and high shrub density decreased ESW for most species. ESW for several species also differed between summer and winter, possibly due to seasonal differences in calling behavior. Distance sampling proved logistically intensive in these environments, but large differences in ESW between species confirmed the need to correct for detection probability to obtain accurate density estimates. Our results suggest an evidence-based approach to controlling for factors influencing detectability, and avenues for further work including modeling detectability as a function of species characteristics such as body size and call characteristics. Such models may be useful in developing a calibration for non-distance sampling data and for estimating detectability of rare species. PMID:26110433

  19. Topographic heterogeneity and temperature amplitude explain species richness patterns of birds in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Chunlan; Quan, Qing; Wu, Yongjie; Chen, Youhua; He, Peng; Qu, Yanhua; Lei, Fumin

    2017-04-01

    Large-scale patterns of species richness have gained much attention in recent years; however, the factors that drive high species richness are still controversial in local regions, especially in highly diversified montane regions. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) and the surrounding mountains are biodiversity hot spots due to a high number of endemic montane species. Here, we explored the factors underlying this high level of diversity by studying the relationship between species richness and environmental variables. The richness patterns of 758 resident bird species were summarized at the scale of 1°×1° grid cell at different taxonomic levels (order, family, genus, and species) and in different taxonomic groups (Passeriformes, Galliformes, Falconiformes, and Columbiformes). These richness patterns were subsequently analyzed against habitat heterogeneity (topographical heterogeneity and land cover), temperature amplitude (annual temperature, annual precipitation, precipitation seasonality, and temperature seasonality) and a vegetation index (net primary productivity). Our results showed that the highest richness was found in the southeastern part of the QTP, the eastern Himalayas. The lowest richness was observed in the central plateau of the QTP. Topographical heterogeneity and temperature amplitude are the primary factors that explain overall patterns of species richness in the QTP, although the specific effect of each environmental variable varies between the different taxonomic groups depending on their own evolutionary histories and ecological requirements. High species richness in the southeastern QTP is mostly due to highly diversified habitat types and temperature zones along elevation gradients, whereas the low species richness in the central plateau of the QTP may be due to environmental and energetic constraints, as the central plateau is harsh environment.

  20. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: Effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness

    Science.gov (United States)

    John L. Maron; Harald Auge; Dean E. Pearson; Lotte Korell; Isabell Hensen; Katharine N. Suding; Claudia Stein

    2014-01-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed...

  1. Effect of forest fragmentation on bird species richness in Papua New Guinea

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Sam, Kateřina; Koane, B.; Jeppy, S.; Novotný, Vojtěch

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 85, č. 2 (2014), s. 152-167 ISSN 0273-8570 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LH11008; GA ČR GA13-10486S Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) 136/2010/P; GA JU(CZ) 156/2013/P; European Social Fund(CZ) CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0064 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : conservation * food limitation * frugivorous birds Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.988, year: 2014 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jofo.12057/pdf

  2. Landscape Metrics to Assess Habitat Suitability for Conversation Bird Species in the Southeastern United States

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Dove, Linda

    2001-01-01

    .... The degree to which a given species is affected by habitat fragmentation is dependent on the complex interaction of the habitat requirements of the species and the shape, size, and makeup of the fragmented habitat...

  3. Comparison of the effects of temperature and water potential on seed germination of Fabaceae species from desert and subalpine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao Wen; Fan, Yan; Baskin, Carol C; Baskin, Jerry M; Wang, Yan Rong

    2015-05-01

    Temperature and water potential for germination based on the thermal and hydrotime models have been successfully applied in predicting germination requirements of physiologically dormant seeds as well as nondormant seeds. However, comparative studies of the germination requirements of physically dormant seeds from different ecosystems have not been done. Germination of scarified seeds of four legume species collected from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau and of four collected in the Alax Desert in China was compared over a range of temperatures and water potentials based on thermal time and hydrotime models. Seeds of species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau had a lower base temperature (T b) and optimal temperature (T o) for germination than those from the Alax Desert. Seeds of the four species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau germinated to high percentages at 5°C, whereas none of the four desert species did so. Seeds of species from the Alax Desert germinated to a high percentage at 35°C or 40°C, while no seeds of species from the Qing-Tibetan Plateau germinated at 35°C or 40°C. The base median water potential [Ψ b(50)] differed among species but not between the two habitats. The thermal time and hydrotime models accurately predicted the germination time course of scarified seeds of most of the eight species in response to temperature and water potential; thus, they can be useful tools in comparative studies on germination of seeds with physical dormancy. Habitat temperatures but not rainfall is closely related to germination requirements of these species. © 2015 Botanical Society of America, Inc.

  4. Competitive interactions between a nonmycorrhizal invasive plant, Alliaria petiolata, and a suite of mycorrhizal grassland, old field, and forest species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poon, Gary T; Maherali, Hafiz

    2015-01-01

    The widespread invasion of the nonmycorrhizal biennial plant, Alliaria petiolata in North America is hypothesized to be facilitated by the production of novel biochemical weapons that suppress the growth of mycorrhizal fungi. As a result, A. petiolata is expected to be a strong competitor against plant species that rely on mycorrhizal fungi for nutrient uptake services. If A. petiolata is also a strong competitor for soil resources, it should deplete nutrients to levels lower than can be tolerated by weaker competitors. Because the negative effect of losing the fungal symbiont for mycorrhizal plants is greatest when nutrients are low, the ability of A. petiolata to simultaneously suppress fungi and efficiently take up soil nutrients should further strengthen its competitive ability against mycorrhizal plants. To test this hypothesis, we grew 27 mycorrhizal tree, forb and grass species that are representative of invaded habitats in the absence or presence of competition with A. petiolata in soils that had previously been experimentally planted with the invader or left as a control. A history of A. petiolata in soil reduced plant available forms of nitrogen by >50% and phosphorus by 17% relative to control soil. Average mycorrhizal colonization of competitor species was reduced by >50% in A. petiolata history versus control soil. Contrary to expectations, competition between A. petiolata and other species was stronger in control than history soil. The invader suppressed the biomass of 70% of competitor species in control soil but only 26% of species in history soil. In addition, A. petiolata biomass was reduced by 56% in history versus control soil, whereas the average biomass of competitor species was reduced by 15%. Thus, our results suggest that the negative effect of nutrient depletion on A. petiolata was stronger than the negative effect of suppressing mycorrhizal colonization on competitor species. These findings indicate that the inhibitory potential of A

  5. Applying species-energy theory to conservation: A case study for North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Bowers Phillips; Andrew J. Hansen; Curtis H. Flather; Jim Robinson-Cox

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystem energy is now recognized as a primary correlate and potential driver of global patterns of species richness. The increasingly well-tested species-energy relationship is now ripe for application to conservation, and recent advances in satellite technology make this more feasible. While the correlates for the species-energy relationship have been addressed many...

  6. Species-Dependent Effects of the Urban Environment on Fatty Acid Composition and Oxidative Stress in Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline Isaksson

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Ecological impacts of urbanization include the loss of biodiversity and changes in species composition and population densities. However, how the urban environment affects fundamental physiological parameters is largely unknown. Here, we investigated physiological components related to health and nutrition, namely, plasma fatty acids (FA and lipid peroxidation at inter-habitat and interspecific levels. Specifically, we compared four passerine bird species—the great tit (Parus major, the blue tit (Cyanistes caeruleus, the house sparrow (Passer domesticus, and the tree sparrow (P. montanus—from urban and rural environments. Significant interactions between species and habitat were revealed for the majority of the FAs. Interestingly, the observed inter-habitat variation in FAs was frequently in opposite directions when comparing species from the two families (tits, Paridae; sparrows, Passeridae. These patterns suggest that sparrows and tits feed on different food sources, or modulate their FA metabolism differently, across the urban-rural gradient. By using canonical discriminant analyses (CDA, we further demonstrated species-specific signals in FA composition, with misclassification of species being <1% within habitats and <7% between habitats. Finally, the urban-rural FA differences between species and families were manifested in two indices of health. Firstly, urban blue tits had a higher total ω-6/ω-3 polyunsaturated FA ratio than rural conspecifics, which is believed to increase inflammatory responses. Secondly, urban sparrows of both species showed higher lipid peroxidation indices (indicating a higher susceptibility to lipid peroxidation if exposed to pro-oxidants, and consequently, a higher level of lipid peroxidation compared to their rural conspecifics. Collectively, the species- and habitat-specific differences in plasma FA composition, which are linked to nutrition and metabolism, suggest that the urban environment affect tits and

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Understanding the extreme species richness of semi-dry grasslands in east-central Europe: a comparative approach

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Roleček, Jan; Čornej, I. I.; Tokarjuk, A. I.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 86, č. 1 (2014), s. 13-34 ISSN 0032-7786 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GAP504/12/0649 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : species richness * environmental history * disjunct distribution Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 4.104, year: 2014

  10. Iodine metabolism and thyroid functions in various species of domestic animals and poultry birds. II - Distribution of iodine-131 in developing ova in poultry birds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parshad, Omkar; Setia, M.S.; Rattan, P.J.S.; Sodhi, S.P.S.; Varman, P.N.

    1974-01-01

    To study the distribution of iodine in different stages of developing ova in relation to iodine metabolism, twentyfour healthy laying birds were randomly distributed into four groups of 6 birds each. Each bird was injected with 25.26 μCi. of carrier-free iodine-131. Afterwards, birds of group I, II, III and IV were sacrificed at 24, 48, 72 and 96 hours respectively. The results have revealed that : (i) the state of development of ovum may be an important factor in controlling the distribution of iodine in ova; (ii) the iodine may be found distributed in both the lipid as well as non-lipid fractions of the ova; (iii) most of the iodine in the ova may be present in the form of inorganic iodine whereas very minor amount of the iodine may be as butanol-extractable iodine and (iv) the changes in iodine content in different stages of development of ova observed during the present study may be considered to have a direct effect on the overall metabolism of iodine in the poultry birds. (author)

  11. Species turnover drives β-diversity patterns across multiple spatial scales of plant-galling interactions in mountaintop grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, Marcel Serra; Carneiro, Marco Antônio Alves; Branco, Cristina Alves; Borges, Rafael Augusto Xavier; Fernandes, Geraldo Wilson

    2018-01-01

    This study describes differences in species richness and composition of the assemblages of galling insects and their host plants at different spatial scales. Sampling was conducted along altitudinal gradients composed of campos rupestres and campos de altitude of two mountain complexes in southeastern Brazil: Espinhaço Range and Mantiqueira Range. The following hypotheses were tested: i) local and regional richness of host plants and galling insects are positively correlated; ii) beta diversity is the most important component of regional diversity of host plants and galling insects; and iii) Turnover is the main mechanism driving beta diversity of both host plants and galling insects. Local richness of galling insects and host plants increased with increasing regional richness of species, suggesting a pattern of unsaturated communities. The additive partition of regional richness (γ) into local and beta components shows that local richnesses (α) of species of galling insects and host plants are low relative to regional richness; the beta (β) component incorporates most of the regional richness. The multi-scale analysis of additive partitioning showed similar patterns for galling insects and host plants with the local component (α) incorporated a small part of regional richness. Beta diversity of galling insects and host plants were mainly the result of turnover, with little contribution from nesting. Although the species composition of galling insects and host plant species varied among sample sites, mountains and even mountain ranges, local richness remained relatively low. In this way, the addition of local habitats with different landscapes substantially affects regional richness. Each mountain contributes fundamentally to the composition of regional diversity of galling insects and host plants, and so the design of future conservation strategies should incorporate multiple scales.

  12. Nematode parasites of Brazilian pelecaniformes and trogoniformes birds: a general survey with new records for the species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Júlio Vicente

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available This report deals with the identification of one hundred and seventy-one samples of nematodes recovered from Brazilian birds collected by Lauro Travassos and his staff, between 1921-1960. Aprocta travassossi Caballero, 1938, Aprocta sp., Baruscapillaria appendiculata (Freitas, 1933 Moravec, 1982, Contracaecum plagiaticium Lent & Freitas, 1948, C. spiculigerum (Rudolphi, 1809 Railliet & Henry, 1912, Contracaecum sp., Cyrnea (C. semilunaris (Molin, 1860 Seurat, 1914, Oxyspirura sp., Paronchocerca ibanezi (Freitas, Vicente & Pinto, 1970 Anderson &. Bain, 1976, Porrocaecum sp., Procyrnea sp., Skrjabinura spiralis Gnédina, 1933, Subulura acutissima Molin, 1860, S. bentocruzi Barreto, 1919, S. travassossi Barreto, 1919, Subulura sp. and Tetrameres sp. were studied. Contracaecum spiculigerum and Aprocta travassossi are redescribed and referred for the first time in South America. New host records were established for most of the species.

  13. Shyer and larger bird species show more reduced fear of humans when living in urban environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    delBarco-Trillo, Javier

    2018-04-01

    As the natural habitats of many species are degraded or disappear, there is scope for these species to be established in urban habitats. To ease the establishment and maintenance of urban populations of more species we need to better understand what degree of phenotypical change to expect as different species transition into urban environments. During the first stages of urban colonization, behavioural changes such as an increase in boldness are particularly important. A consistent response in urban populations is to decrease the distance at which individuals flee from an approaching human (flight initiation distance, or FID). Performing a phylogenetic generalized least-squares (PGLS) analysis on 130 avian species, I found that the largest changes in FID between rural and urban populations occur in species that are larger-bodied and naturally shy (higher rural FID), two phenotypic traits that are not normally associated with urban colonizers. More unlikely species may thus be able to colonize urban environments, especially if we design cities in ways that promote such urban colonizations. © 2018 The Author(s).

  14. Climate extreme effects on the chemical composition of temperate grassland species under ambient and elevated CO2: a comparison of fructan and non-fructan accumulators.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hamada AbdElgawad

    Full Text Available Elevated CO2 concentrations and extreme climate events, are two increasing components of the ongoing global climatic change factors, may alter plant chemical composition and thereby their economic and ecological characteristics, e.g. nutritional quality and decomposition rates. To investigate the impact of climate extremes on tissue quality, four temperate grassland species: the fructan accumulating grasses Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, and the nitrogen (N fixing legumes Medicago lupulina and Lotus corniculatus were subjected to water deficit at elevated temperature (+3°C, under ambient CO2 (392 ppm and elevated CO2 (620 ppm. As a general observation, the effects of the climate extreme were larger and more ubiquitous in combination with elevated CO2. The imposed climate extreme increased non-structural carbohydrate and phenolics in all species, whereas it increased lignin in legumes and decreased tannins in grasses. However, there was no significant effect of climate extreme on structural carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and mineral contents and stoichiometric ratios. In combination with elevated CO2, climate extreme elicited larger increases in fructan and sucrose content in the grasses without affecting the total carbohydrate content, while it significantly increased total carbohydrates in legumes. The accumulation of carbohydrates in legumes was accompanied by higher activity of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase and ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase. In the legumes, elevated CO2 in combination with climate extreme reduced protein, phosphorus (P and magnesium (Mg contents and the total element:N ratio and it increased phenol, lignin, tannin, carbon (C, nitrogen (N contents and C:N, C:P and N:P ratios. On the other hand, the tissue composition of the fructan accumulating grasses was not affected at this level, in line with recent views that fructans contribute to cellular homeostasis under stress. It is speculated that quality losses will

  15. Climate Extreme Effects on the Chemical Composition of Temperate Grassland Species under Ambient and Elevated CO2: A Comparison of Fructan and Non-Fructan Accumulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zinta, Gaurav; Van den Ende, Wim; Janssens, Ivan A.; Asard, Han

    2014-01-01

    Elevated CO2 concentrations and extreme climate events, are two increasing components of the ongoing global climatic change factors, may alter plant chemical composition and thereby their economic and ecological characteristics, e.g. nutritional quality and decomposition rates. To investigate the impact of climate extremes on tissue quality, four temperate grassland species: the fructan accumulating grasses Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, and the nitrogen (N) fixing legumes Medicago lupulina and Lotus corniculatus were subjected to water deficit at elevated temperature (+3°C), under ambient CO2 (392 ppm) and elevated CO2 (620 ppm). As a general observation, the effects of the climate extreme were larger and more ubiquitous in combination with elevated CO2. The imposed climate extreme increased non-structural carbohydrate and phenolics in all species, whereas it increased lignin in legumes and decreased tannins in grasses. However, there was no significant effect of climate extreme on structural carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and mineral contents and stoichiometric ratios. In combination with elevated CO2, climate extreme elicited larger increases in fructan and sucrose content in the grasses without affecting the total carbohydrate content, while it significantly increased total carbohydrates in legumes. The accumulation of carbohydrates in legumes was accompanied by higher activity of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase and ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase. In the legumes, elevated CO2 in combination with climate extreme reduced protein, phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg) contents and the total element:N ratio and it increased phenol, lignin, tannin, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) contents and C:N, C:P and N:P ratios. On the other hand, the tissue composition of the fructan accumulating grasses was not affected at this level, in line with recent views that fructans contribute to cellular homeostasis under stress. It is speculated that quality losses will be less

  16. Physiological and biochemical stress responses in grassland species are influenced by both early-season ozone exposure and interspecific competition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scebba, Francesca [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Canaccini, Francesca [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Castagna, Antonella [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy); Bender, Juergen [Institute of Agroecology, FAL, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig (Germany); Weigel, Hans-Joachim [Institute of Agroecology, FAL, Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig (Germany); Ranieri, Annamaria [Department of Agricultural Chemistry and Biotechnology, University of Pisa, Via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa (Italy)]. E-mail: aranieri@agr.unipi.it

    2006-08-15

    The effects of two-year early season ozone exposure on physiological and biochemical stress response were investigated in model plant communities. Achillea millefolium and Veronica chamaedrys target plants were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Poa pratensis (phytometer) and exposed in open-top chambers over two years for five weeks to charcoal-filtered (CF) air plus 25 nl l{sup -1} O{sub 3} (control) and non-filtered (NF) air plus 50 nl l{sup -1} O{sub 3}. Significant O{sub 3} effects were detected in different physiological and biochemical parameters, evidencing interspecific differences in metabolic stress responses and a strong influence of the competition factor. O{sub 3} induced strong oxidative effects in Achillea irrespective to the different growth modality. Veronica showed less O{sub 3}-induced effects in monoculture than when grown in competition with the phytometer. Poa exhibited a different behaviour against O{sub 3} depending on the species in competition, showing an overall higher sensitivity to O{sub 3} when in mixture with Achillea. - The competition between species modulates the ozone effect in a short-term.

  17. Physiological and biochemical stress responses in grassland species are influenced by both early-season ozone exposure and interspecific competition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scebba, Francesca; Canaccini, Francesca; Castagna, Antonella; Bender, Juergen; Weigel, Hans-Joachim; Ranieri, Annamaria

    2006-01-01

    The effects of two-year early season ozone exposure on physiological and biochemical stress response were investigated in model plant communities. Achillea millefolium and Veronica chamaedrys target plants were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Poa pratensis (phytometer) and exposed in open-top chambers over two years for five weeks to charcoal-filtered (CF) air plus 25 nl l -1 O 3 (control) and non-filtered (NF) air plus 50 nl l -1 O 3 . Significant O 3 effects were detected in different physiological and biochemical parameters, evidencing interspecific differences in metabolic stress responses and a strong influence of the competition factor. O 3 induced strong oxidative effects in Achillea irrespective to the different growth modality. Veronica showed less O 3 -induced effects in monoculture than when grown in competition with the phytometer. Poa exhibited a different behaviour against O 3 depending on the species in competition, showing an overall higher sensitivity to O 3 when in mixture with Achillea. - The competition between species modulates the ozone effect in a short-term

  18. Experimental test of postfire management in pine forests: impact of salvage logging versus partial cutting and nonintervention on bird-species assemblages.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro, Jorge; Moreno-Rueda, Gregorio; Hódar, José A

    2010-06-01

    There is an intense debate about the effects of postfire salvage logging versus nonintervention policies on regeneration of forest communities, but scant information from experimental studies is available. We manipulated a burned forest area on a Mediterranean mountain to experimentally analyze the effect of salvage logging on bird-species abundance, diversity, and assemblage composition. We used a randomized block design with three plots of approximately 25 ha each, established along an elevational gradient in a recently burned area in Sierra Nevada Natural and National Park (southeastern Spain). Three replicates of three treatments differing in postfire burned wood management were established per plot: salvage logging, nonintervention, and an intermediate degree of intervention (felling and lopping most of the trees but leaving all the biomass). Starting 1 year after the fire, we used point sampling to monitor bird abundance in each treatment for 2 consecutive years during the breeding and winter seasons (720 censuses total). Postfire burned-wood management altered species assemblages. Salvage logged areas had species typical of open- and early-successional habitats. Bird species that inhabit forests were still present in the unsalvaged treatments even though trees were burned, but were almost absent in salvage-logged areas. Indeed, the main dispersers of mid- and late-successional shrubs and trees, such as thrushes (Turdus spp.) and the European Jay (Garrulus glandarius) were almost restricted to unsalvaged treatments. Salvage logging might thus hamper the natural regeneration of the forest through its impact on assemblages of bird species. Moreover, salvage logging reduced species abundance by 50% and richness by 40%, approximately. The highest diversity at the landscape level (gamma diversity) resulted from a combination of all treatments. Salvage logging may be positive for bird conservation if combined in a mosaic with other, less-aggressive postfire

  19. How well do Important Bird Areas represent species and minimize conservation conflict in the tropical Andes?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    O´Dea, Niall; Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Whittaker, Robert J.

    2006-01-01

    to develop an efficient, integrated network of sites to represent priority species. Reserve selection algorithms may serve this end by optimizing complementarity in species representation among selected sites, whether these sites are adopted independently or as a supplement to the existing reserve network....... As tools of site selection, they may be particularly useful in areas such as the tropical Andes where complex patterns of species disjunction and co-occurrence make the development of representative reserve networks particularly difficult. Furthermore, they facilitate making spatially explicit choices...... about how reserve sites are located in relation to human populations. We advocate their use not in replacement of approaches such as the IBA initiative but as an additional, complementary tool in ensuring that such reserve networks are developed as efficiently as practically possible....

  20. Prediction of Dominant Forest Tree Species Using QuickBird and Environmental Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Azadeh Abdollahnejad

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Modelling the spatial distribution of plants is one of the indirect methods for predicting the properties of plants and can be defined based on the relationship between the spatial distribution of vegetation and environmental variables. In this article, we introduce a new method for the spatial prediction of the dominant trees and species, through a combination of environmental and satellite data. Based on the basal area factor (BAF frequency for each tree species in a total of 518 sample plots, the dominant tree species were determined for each plot. Also, topographical maps of primary and secondary properties were prepared using the digital elevation model (DEM. Categories of soil and the climate maps database of the Doctor Bahramnia Forestry Plan were extracted as well. After pre-processing and processing of spectral data, the pixel values at the sample locations in all the independent factors such as spectral and non-spectral data, were extracted. The modelling rates of tree and shrub species diversity using data mining algorithms of 80% of the sampling plots were taken. Assessment of model accuracy was conducted using 20% of samples and evaluation criteria. Random forest (RF, support vector machine (SVM and k-nearest neighbor (k-NN algorithms were used for spatial distribution modelling of dominant species groups using environmental and spectral variables from 80% of the sample plots. Results showed physiographic factors, especially altitude in combination with soil and climate factors as the most important variables in the distribution of species, while the best model was created by the integration of physiographic factors (in combination with soil and climate with an overall accuracy of 63.85%. In addition, the results of the comparison between the algorithms, showed that the RF algorithm was the most accurate in modelling the diversity.

  1. Effect of four plant species on soil 15N-access and herbage yield in temporary agricultural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofter-Walzl, Karin; Eriksen, Jørgen; Rasmussen, Jim

    2013-01-01

    access to greater amounts of soil 15N compared with a shallow-rooting binary mixture, and if leguminous plants affect herbage yield and soil 15N-access. Methods 15N-enriched ammonium-sulphate was placed at three different soil depths (0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 m) to determine the depth dependent soil 15N....... This positive plant diversity effect could not be explained by complementary soil 15N-access of the different plant species from 0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 m soil depths, even though deep-rooting chicory acquired relatively large amounts of deep soil 15N and shallow-rooting perennial ryegrass when grown in a mixture...

  2. A low false negative filter for detecting rare bird species from short video segments using a probable observation data set-based EKF method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Dezhen; Xu, Yiliang

    2010-09-01

    We report a new filter to assist the search for rare bird species. Since a rare bird only appears in front of a camera with very low occurrence (e.g., less than ten times per year) for very short duration (e.g., less than a fraction of a second), our algorithm must have a very low false negative rate. We verify the bird body axis information with the known bird flying dynamics from the short video segment. Since a regular extended Kalman filter (EKF) cannot converge due to high measurement error and limited data, we develop a novel probable observation data set (PODS)-based EKF method. The new PODS-EKF searches the measurement error range for all probable observation data that ensures the convergence of the corresponding EKF in short time frame. The algorithm has been extensively tested using both simulated inputs and real video data of four representative bird species. In the physical experiments, our algorithm has been tested on rock pigeons and red-tailed hawks with 119 motion sequences. The area under the ROC curve is 95.0%. During the one-year search of ivory-billed woodpeckers, the system reduces the raw video data of 29.41 TB to only 146.7 MB (reduction rate 99.9995%).

  3. 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

  4. Bird Species Diversity and Abundance in the Abiriw Sacred Grove in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    L. Kangah-Kesse1 , D. Attuquayefio1*, E. Owusu2, F. Gbogbo1

    attributed to (i) rapid population growth and its attendant problems of urbanization, migration, and resettlement, (ii) .... Species from other vegetation zones such as coastal thickets made up .... Habitat: F = Forest, S = Savanna, FSB = Forest-savanna boundary, FC = Forest clearings, CT = Coastal thicket, CFZ. = Coastal forest ...

  5. 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)

  6. Biomonitoring of heavy metals in feathers of eleven common bird species in urban and rural environments of Tiruchirappalli, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manjula, Menon; Mohanraj, R; Devi, M Prashanthi

    2015-05-01

    Heavy metals continue to remain as a major environmental concern in spite of emission control measures. In this study, we analyzed the concentrations of heavy metals (Fe, Cr, Mn, Ni, Cu, Zn, and Cd) in the feathers of 11 species of birds collected from urban and rural areas of Tiruchirappalli, Southern India. Metal concentrations followed the order: Fe > Cu > Zn > Cr > Mn > Ni > Cd. Irrespective of sample locations, heavy metals such as Fe, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Cu were detected in high concentrations, while Cd and Mn were observed in lower concentrations. In contrary to our assumption, there were no statistically significant intraspecific and urban-rural differences in the metal concentrations except for Zn. Pairwise comparisons among species irrespective of metal type showed significant interspecific differences between Acridotheres tristis and Centropus phasianinus, A. tristis and Milvus migrans, C. phasianinus and M. migrans, M. migrans and Eudynamys scolopaceus, and Psittacula krameri and E. scolopaceus. Principal component analysis carried out for urban data extracted Ni, Mn, Zn, Fe, and Cu accounting for 48% variance implying dietary intake and external contamination as important sources for metals. In the rural, association of Zn, Cd, Ni, and Cr suggests the impact of metal fabrication industries and leather tanning operations.

  7. Land use history, ecosystem type and species composition drive water use efficiency in annual maize and perennial grasslands in a humid temperate climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gelfand, I.; Abraha, M.; Chen, J.; Shao, C.; Su, Y. J.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE), carbon gained per unit water lost, is a fundamental plant and ecosystem function that regulates plant productivity, global hydrology and carbon cycles. We examined ecosystem (E) and intrinsic (i) WUEs derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements and plant carbon isotope discrimination, respectively, to study how WUE is affected by land-use history, ecosystem type, and plants community composition. We measured EWUE and iWUE of three perennial grasslands planted to mixed-prairie, switchgrass and brome grass as compared to a fields planted to corn. Each of studied ecosystems was replicated on two fields with contrasting land-use histories: one field was managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP, planted to bromgrass) and another was in conventional agriculture (AGR) corn/soybean rotation for few decades before start of the experiment. In 2009, all but one CRP field were converted to no-till soybean. In 2010, the converted CRP and AGR fields were planted to mixed-prairie (C3 and C4 grasses), switchgrass (C4 grass), and no-till corn (C4 grass). During 2009-2013, we measured carbon and water exchange over each field using an EC technique and sampled plant tissue for 13C isotopes analysis. Land-use history, ecosystem type, and species composition had large effects on EWUEs. Intrinsic WUE of individual C3 grass species, however, was similar across the study period, despite drought in 2012. Corn and brome grass had the highest and lowest overall mean EWUE, 4.1 and 2.2 g C kg-1 H2O, respectively. Restored prairie on former AGR land had a mean EWUE of 3.0 g C kg-1 H2O, significantly greater than on former CRP land with a EWUE of 2.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Land use history had no effect on interannual variability of EWUE of corn. Prairie and switchgrass established on former CRP land exhibited no change of EWUE, as well. Same ecosystems established on former AGR land, oppositely, increased their WUEs over the study period from ~ 2.5 g C kg-1

  8. Effects of ultraviolet-B radiation (UV-B) on growth and physiology of the dune grassland species Calamagrostis epigeios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tosserams, M.; Rozema, J.

    1995-01-01

    Seedlings of Calamagrostis epigeios were exposed to four levels of UV-B radiation (280-320 nm), simulating up to 44% reduction of stratospheric ozone concentration during summertime in The Netherlands, to determine the response of this plant species to UV-B irradiation. After six weeks of UV-B treatment, total biomass of all UV-B treated plants was higher, compared to plants that had received no UV-B radiation. The increase of biomass did not appear to be the result of a stimulation of net photosynthesis. Also, transpiration rate and water use efficiency were not altered by UV-B at any exposure level. Pigment analysis of leaf extracts showed no effect of enhanced UV-B radiation on chlorophyll content and accumulation of UV absorbing pigments. UV-B irradiance, however, did reduce the transmittance of visible light (400-700 nm) of intact attached leaves, suggesting a change in anatomical characteristics of the leaves. Additionally, the importance of including an ambient UV-B treatment in indoor experiments is discussed

  9. Within season and carry-over effects following exposure of grassland species mixtures to increasing background ozone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hayes, Felicity, E-mail: fhay@ceh.ac.uk [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Mills, Gina; Harmens, Harry; Wyness, Kirsten [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Few studies have investigated effects of increased background ozone in the absence of episodic peaks, despite a predicted increase throughout the northern hemisphere over the coming decades. In this study Leontodon hispidus was grown with Anthoxanthum odoratum or Dactylis glomerata and exposed in the UK to one of eight background ozone concentrations for 20 weeks in solardomes. Seasonal mean ozone concentrations ranged from 21.4 to 102.5 ppb. Ozone-induced senescence of L. hispidus was enhanced when grown with the more open canopy of A. odoratum compared to the denser growing D. glomerata. There was increased cover with increasing ozone exposure for both A. odoratum and D. glomerata, which resulted in an increase in the grass:Leontodon cover ratio in both community types. Carry-over effects of the ozone exposure were observed, including delayed winter die-back of L. hispidus and acceleration in the progression from flowers to seed-heads in the year following ozone exposure. - Highlights: > Increased background ozone concentrations increased the grass:forb cover ratio. > Competing grass species influenced ozone enhanced senescence of Leontodon hispidus. > Ozone delayed winter die-back of leaves of L. hispidus. > Flowering was accelerated for L. hispidus in the year following ozone exposure. - Increased background ozone enhanced leaf senescence and caused carry-over effects including reduced winter die-back and an acceleration in flowering the next year.

  10. Physiological and biochemical stress responses in grassland species are influenced by both early-season ozone exposure and interspecific competition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scebba, Francesca; Canaccini, Francesca; Castagna, Antonella; Bender, Jürgen; Weigel, Hans-Joachim; Ranieri, Annamaria

    2006-08-01

    The effects of two-year early season ozone exposure on physiological and biochemical stress response were investigated in model plant communities. Achillea millefolium and Veronica chamaedrys target plants were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Poa pratensis (phytometer) and exposed in open-top chambers over two years for five weeks to charcoal-filtered (CF) air plus 25 nl l(-1) O3 (control) and non-filtered (NF) air plus 50 nl l(-1) O3. Significant O3 effects were detected in different physiological and biochemical parameters, evidencing interspecific differences in metabolic stress responses and a strong influence of the competition factor. O3 induced strong oxidative effects in Achillea irrespective to the different growth modality. Veronica showed less O3-induced effects in monoculture than when grown in competition with the phytometer. Poa exhibited a different behaviour against O3 depending on the species in competition, showing an overall higher sensitivity to O3 when in mixture with Achillea.

  11. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goijman, Andrea Paula; Conroy, Michael. J.; Bernardos, Jaime Nicolás; Zaccagnini, María Elena

    2015-01-01

    Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow us to continue to

  12. Multi-Season Regional Analysis of Multi-Species Occupancy: Implications for Bird Conservation in Agricultural Lands in East-Central Argentina.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Paula Goijman

    Full Text Available Rapid expansion and intensification of agriculture create challenges for the conservation of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services. In Argentina, the total row crop planted area has increased in recent decades with the expansion of soybean cultivation, homogenizing the landscape. In 2003 we started the first long-term, large-scale bird monitoring program in agroecosystems of central Argentina, in portions of the Pampas and Espinal ecoregions. Using data from this program, we evaluated the effect of land use and cover extent on birds between 2003-2012, accounting for imperfect detection probabilities using a Bayesian hierarchical, multi-species and multi-season occupancy model. We tested predictions that species diversity is positively related to habitat heterogeneity, which in intensified agroecosystems is thought to be mediated by food availability; thus the extent of land use and cover is predicted to affect foraging guilds differently. We also infer about ecosystem services provisioning and inform management recommendations for conservation of birds. Overall our results support the predictions. Although many species within each guild responded differently to land use and native forest cover, we identified generalities for most trophic guilds. For example, granivorous gleaners, ground insectivores and omnivores responded negatively to high proportions of soybean, while insectivore gleaners and aerial foragers seemed more tolerant. Habitat heterogeneity would likely benefit most species in an intensified agroecosystem, and can be achieved with a diversity of crops, pastures, and natural areas within the landscape. Although most studied species are insectivores, potentially beneficial for pest control, some guilds such as ground insectivores are poorly represented, suggesting that agricultural intensification reduces ecological functions, which may be recovered through management. Continuation of the bird monitoring program will allow

  13. [New species of the Rhinonyssid mites (Gamasina: Rhinonyssidae) from birds of Russia and neighboring countries].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Butenko, O M; Staniukovich, M K

    2001-01-01

    Four new species of the nasal mite family Rhinonyssidae collected in different regions of the former USSR are described: Neonyssus (Otocorinyssus) alaudae sp. n. from Alauda arvensis L. (Alaudidae, Passeriformes) from Turkmenistan; Rhinonyssus clangulae sp. n. from Clangula hyemalis (L.) (Anatidae, Anseriformes) from Yakutia; R. marilae sp. n. from Aythya marilae L. (Anatidae, Anseriformes) from the Russian Far East; Locustellonyssus sibiricus sp. n. from Locustella certhiola (Pall.) (Sylviidae, Passeriformes) from Siberia.

  14. Proactive conservation management of an island-endemic bird species in the face of global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrison, S.A.; Sillett, T. Scott; Ghalambor, Cameron K.; Fitzpatrick, J.W.; Graber, D.M.; Bakker, V.J.; Bowman, R.; Collins, C.T.; Collins, P.W.; Delaney, K.S.; Doak, D.F.; Koenig, Walter D.; Laughrin, L.; Lieberman, A.A.; Marzluff, J.M.; Reynolds, M.D.; Scott, J.M.; Stallcup, J.A.; Vickers, W.; Boyce, W.M.

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation in an era of global change and scarce funding benefits from approaches that simultaneously solve multiple problems. Here, we discuss conservation management of the island scrub-jay (Aphelocoma insularis), the only island-endemic passerine species in the continental United States, which is currently restricted to 250-square-kilometer Santa Cruz Island, California. Although the species is not listed as threatened by state or federal agencies, its viability is nonetheless threatened on multiple fronts. We discuss management actions that could reduce extinction risk, including vaccination, captive propagation, biosecurity measures, and establishing a second free-living population on a neighboring island. Establishing a second population on Santa Rosa Island may have the added benefit of accelerating the restoration and enhancing the resilience of that island's currently highly degraded ecosystem. The proactive management framework for island scrub-jays presented here illustrates how strategies for species protection, ecosystem restoration, and adaptation to and mitigation of climate change can converge into an integrated solution. ?? 2011 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved.

  15. 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...

  16. Availability of food resources, distribution of invasive species, and conservation of a Hawaiian bird along a gradient of elevation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Banko, P.C.; Oboyski, P.T.; Slotterback, J.W.; Dougill, Steve J.; Goltz, Dan M.; Johnson, L.; Laut, M.E.; Murray, T.C.

    2002-01-01

    Aim: We evaluated how an elevation gradient affects: (1) the availability of food required by a specialist seed-eater, Loxioides bailleui Oustalet (Drepanidinae), or pallia, and hence the distribution of this endangered Hawaiian bird, and (2) the distribution of alien threats to Loxioides populations, their primary foods, and their dry-forest habitat, and hence strategies for their conservation. Location: We worked throughout the subalpine forest that encircles Mauna Kea Volcano, Hawai'i Island, but we focused our studies mainly on the western slope between 2000 and 3000 m elevation, where the gradient of elevation was greatest and palila were most abundant. Methods: We determined phenology and productivity patterns of the endemic dry-forest tree species, Sophora chrysophylla (Salisb.) Seem. (Fabaceae), or ma??mane, which provides Loxioides with most of their food, and another common endemic tree, Myoporum sandwicense A. Gray (Myoporaceae), or naio, which provides some resources, along a 786-m elevation gradient at monthly intervals for 10 years (Sophora only). We also determined the availability each month of moth larvae (Lepidoptera) for that were important in the diet of nestling and adult palila. In addition, we documented the incidence of parasitism on moth larvae by several wasp (Hymenoptera) and fly (Diptera) species, and we determined the distribution of predatory wasps and ants (Hymenoptera), which potentially threaten insect prey of birds. Percentage cover of alien grass species that pose fire threats in palila habitat and other weeds were assessed during one survey. Small mammal abundance and distribution were determined by trapping during three (rodent) or five (carnivore) surveys. Results: Sophora flower and seed (pod) availability varied predictably along the elevation gradient, with about 4 months separating peaks in reproduction at high and low elevations. This, together with highly variable production of flowers and pods within elevation strata

  17. 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...

  18. On the use of 10-minute point counts and 10-species lists for surveying birds in lowland Atlantic Forests in southeastern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vagner Cavarzere

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Due to rapid and continuous deforestation, recent bird surveys in the Atlantic Forest are following rapid assessment programs to accumulate significant amounts of data during short periods of time. During this study, two surveying methods were used to evaluate which technique rapidly accumulated most species (> 90% of the estimated empirical value at lowland Atlantic Forests in the state of São Paulo, southeastern Brazil. Birds were counted during the 2008-2010 breeding seasons using 10-minute point counts and 10-species lists. Overall, point counting detected as many species as lists (79 vs. 83, respectively, and 88 points (14.7 h detected 90% of the estimated species richness. Forty-one lists were insufficient to detect 90% of all species. However, lists accumulated species faster in a shorter time period, probably due to the nature of the point count method in which species detected while moving between points are not considered. Rapid assessment programs in these forests will rapidly detect more species using 10-species lists. Both methods shared 63% of all forest species, but this may be due to spatial and temporal mismatch between samplings of each method.

  19. When is an "Extinct" Species Really Extinct? Gauging the Search Efforts for Hawaiian Forest Birds and the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Michael. Scott

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Rare species, particularly those in inaccessible habitat, can go years without being observed. If we are to allocate conservation resources appropriately to conserving such species, it is important to be able to distinguish "rare" from "extinct." Criteria for designating extinction, however, tend to be arbitrary or vaguely defined. This designation should not be made unless the search effort has been sufficient to yield a high degree of confidence that the species is in fact absent. We develop models to assess the probability of extinction and the search effort necessary to detect an individual in a small population. We apply these models to searches for nine potentially extinct Hawaiian forest birds and for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis in intensively searched areas in Arkansas. The Hawaiian forest bird survey was extensive, providing excellent information on population sizes and habitat associations of species encountered during the survey. Nonetheless, we conclude that the survey effort was not sufficient to conclude extinction (p > 0.90 for populations of 10 or fewer individuals for those species that were not encountered during surveys. In contrast, our analysis for Ivory-billed Woodpeckers suggests that, unless there were actually two or fewer birds present, the search effort was sufficient to conclude (p > 0.95 that Ivory-billed woodpeckers were not present in the intensively searched area. If one assumes distributions other than uniform, there is a greater chance that Ivory-billed Woodpeckers may persist in the intensively searched areas. Conclusions regarding occupancy of suitable habitat throughout the rest of the former range will require similarly intensive survey efforts. The degree of confidence in the absence of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker depended in part on our assumptions about the distribution of birds in the search area. For species with limited detection distance and small populations, a massive search

  20. The effect of current and historical landscape structure and species life-history traits on species distribution in dry grassland-like forest openings

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Husáková, Iveta; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 27, č. 3 (2016), s. 545-556 ISSN 1100-9233 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA14-21432S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : continuity of habitat * habitat fragmention * species composition Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.924, year: 2016

  1. Next-generation sequencing reveals phylogeographic structure and a species tree for recent bird divergences

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    McCormack, John E.; Maley, James M.; Hird, Sarah M.

    2012-01-01

    divergence in four phylogenetically diverse avian systems using a method for quick and cost-effective generation of primary DNA sequence data using pyrosequencing. NGS data were processed using an analytical pipeline that reduces many reads into two called alleles per locus per individual. Using single...... throughout the genome. Using eight loci found in Zonotrichia and Junco lineages, we were also able to generate a species tree of these sparrow sister genera, demonstrating the potential of this method for generating data amenable to coalescent-based analysis. We discuss improvements that should enhance...

  2. Population Development of Baltic Bird Species: Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo sinensis) - Update with results from 2011

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Herrmann, Christof; Bregnballe, Thomas; Larsson, Kjell

    2011-01-01

    pair numbers started to increase during the second half of the 1970s. During the 1980s, the Cormorant started to expand its range towards the northern and eastern parts of the Baltic. Currently, the species is present in the whole Baltic Sea area, including the northern parts of the Gulf of Bothnia....... After a decade of exponential growth, the breeding population of the Cormorant has stabilized in the south-western Baltic (Denmark and the northern Federal States of Germany - Schleswig-Holstein and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania) in the 1990s, but breeding populations are still growing in the central...

  3. Dark or short nights: differential latitudinal constraints in nestling provisioning patterns of a nocturnally hunting bird species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markéta Zárybnická

    Full Text Available In diurnal bird species, individuals breeding at high latitudes have larger broods than at lower latitudes, which has been linked to differences in the daily time available for foraging. However, it remains unclear how latitude is linked with parental investment in nocturnal species. Here, we investigate nestling provisioning rates of male Tengmalm's owls in two populations at different latitudes (Czech Republic 50 °N; Finland 63 °N with the help of cameras integrated into nest boxes. Clutch sizes were smaller in the Czech population (CZ: 5.1 ± 0.1; FIN: 6.6 ± 0.1, but given the higher nestling mortality in the Finnish population, the number of fledglings did not differ between the two populations (CZ: 3.5 ± 0.3; FIN: 3.9 ± 0.2. Nestling provisioning patterns varied within days, over the reproductive season and between the two sites. Males delivered most food at dusk and dawn, having peak delivery rates at sun angles of -11° to -15° at both sites, and males increased the prey delivery rates with higher nestling requirements. Given the longer nights during summer in the Czech Republic compared to Finland, Czech males only showed a small shift in their delivery peak during the night from -17° in April to -14° in July. In contrast, Finnish males shifted their peak of prey delivery from -11° in April to -1° in July. Consequently, Czech males had a longer hunting time per night around midsummer when feeding young (360 min than Finnish males (270 min. This suggests that nocturnal owl species in northern populations are constrained by the short nights during the breeding season, which can limit the number of young they can raise. Moreover, owls in northern populations are additionally constrained through the unpredictable changes in food availability between years, and both these factors are likely to influence the reproductive investment between populations.

  4. 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.

  5. Taxonomic status of Cyathostoma nematodes (Nematoda: Syngaminae parasitizing respiratory tracts of birds of prey and owls in Europe and North America: how many species are there?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kanarek G.

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available So far, the identity of Cyathostoma (Hovorkonema nematodes collected from respiratory tracts of birds of prey (Accipitriformes, Falconiformes and owls (Strigiformes in Europe and North America is extremely inconsistent. Our results, based on analyses of ITS-2 sequences suggest that the Cyathostoma (Hovorkonema nematodes found in the birds of prey and owls from Central Europe and North America probably belong to the same species, C. (Hovorkonema americana Chapin, 1925. We are convinced, that described in recent literature high ITS-2 divergence among C. (Hovorkonema nematodes collected from Europe, has occurred as a result of invalid synonimisation of some C. (Hovorkonema species. In our opinion C. (Hovorkonema americana (typically parasites of tracheae and air sacs of raptors and C. (Hovorkonema variegatum (Creplin, 1849 (typically parasites of tracheae of cranes and storks are valid molecular and morphologically distinct species.

  6. Experimental infection of nontarget species of rodents and birds with Brucella abortus strain RB51 vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Januszewski, M.C.; Olsen, S.C.; McLean, R.G.; Clark, L.; Rhyan, Jack C.

    2001-01-01

    The Brucella abortus vaccine strain RB51 (SRB51) is being considered for use in the management of bnucellosis in wild bison (Bison bison) and elk (Cervus elaphus) populations in the Greater Yellowstone Area (USA). Evaluation of the vaccines safety in non-target species was considered necessary prior to field use. Between June 1998 and December 1999, ground squirrels (Spermophilus richardsonii, n = 21), deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus, n = 14), prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster, n = 21), and ravens (Corvus corax, n = 13) were orally inoculated with SRB51 or physiologic saline. Oral and rectal swabs and blood samples were collected for bacteriologic evaluation. Rodents were necropsied at 8 to 10 wk and 12 to 21 wk post inoculation (PI), and ravens at 7 and 11 wk PI. Spleen, liver and reproductive tissues were collected for bacteriologic and histopathologic evaluation. No differences in clinical signs, appetite, weight loss or gain, or activity were observed between saline- and SRB51-inoculated animals in all four species. Oral and rectal swabs from all species were negative throughout the study. In tissues obtained from SRB51-inoculated animals, the organism was isolated from six of seven (86%) ground squirrels, one of six (17%) deer mice, none of seven voles, and one of five (20%) ravens necropsied at 8, 8, 10, and 7 wk PI, respectively. Tissues from four of seven (57%) SRB51-inoculated ground squirrels were culture positive for the organism 12 wk PI; SRB51 was not recovered from deer mice, voles. or ravens necropsied 12, 21, or 11 wk, respectively, PI. SRB51 was not recovered from saline-inoculated ground squirrels, deer mice, or voles at any time but was recovered from one saline-inoculated raven at necropsy, 7 wk PI, likely attributable to contact with SRB51-inoculated ravens in an adjacent aviary room. Spleen was time primary tissue site of colonization in ground squirrels, followed by the liver and reproductive organs. The results indicate oral exposure to

  7. Prescribed burning to affect a state transition in a shrub-encroached desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescribed burning is a commonly advocated and historical practice for control of woody species encroachment into grasslands on all continents. However, desert grasslands of the southwestern United States often lack needed herbaceous fuel loads for effective prescriptions, dominant perennial gramin...

  8. A performance comparison of sampling methods in the assessment of species composition patterns and environment–vegetation relationships in species-rich grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Grzegorz Swacha; Zoltán Botta-Dukát; Zygmunt Kącki; Daniel Pruchniewicz; Ludwik Żołnierz

    2017-01-01

    The influence that different sampling methods have on the results and the interpretation of vegetation analysis has been much debated, but little is yet known about how the spatial arrangement of samples affect patterns of species composition and environment–vegetation relationships within the same vegetation type. We compared three data sets of the same sample size obtained by three standard sampling methods: preferential, random, and systematic. These different sampling methods were applied...

  9. Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Contrast the Diet and Explore Pest-Reduction Services of Sympatric Bird Species in Macadamia Orchards in Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Crisol-Martínez

    Full Text Available Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among the latter group, Nezara viridula (Pentatomidae; green vegetable bug, considered a major pest, was present in 23% of all faecal samples collected. Results also showed that resource partitioning in this system is low, as most bird species shared large proportion of their diets by feeding primarily on lepidopteran, dipteran and arachnids. Dietary composition differed between some species, most likely because of differences in foraging behaviour. Overall, this study reached a level of taxonomic resolution never achieved before in the studied species, thus contributing to a significant improvement in the avian ecological knowledge. Our results showed that bird communities prey upon economically important pests in macadamia orchards. This study set a precedent by exploring avian pest-reduction services using next-generation sequencing, which could contribute to the conservation of avian communities and their natural habitats in agricultural systems.

  10. Using Next-Generation Sequencing to Contrast the Diet and Explore Pest-Reduction Services of Sympatric Bird Species in Macadamia Orchards in Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crisol-Martínez, Eduardo; Moreno-Moyano, Laura T; Wormington, Kevin R; Brown, Philip H; Stanley, Dragana

    2016-01-01

    Worldwide, avian communities inhabiting agro-ecosystems are threatened as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Unravelling their ecological role is essential to focus conservation efforts. Dietary analysis can elucidate bird-insect interactions and expose avian pest-reduction services, thus supporting avian conservation. In this study, we used next-generation sequencing to analyse the dietary arthropod contents of 11 sympatric bird species foraging in macadamia orchards in eastern Australia. Across all species and based on arthropod DNA sequence similarities ≥98% with records in the Barcode of Life Database, 257 operational taxonomy units were assigned to 8 orders, 40 families, 90 genera and 89 species. These taxa included 15 insect pests, 5 of which were macadamia pests. Among the latter group, Nezara viridula (Pentatomidae; green vegetable bug), considered a major pest, was present in 23% of all faecal samples collected. Results also showed that resource partitioning in this system is low, as most bird species shared large proportion of their diets by feeding primarily on lepidopteran, dipteran and arachnids. Dietary composition differed between some species, most likely because of differences in foraging behaviour. Overall, this study reached a level of taxonomic resolution never achieved before in the studied species, thus contributing to a significant improvement in the avian ecological knowledge. Our results showed that bird communities prey upon economically important pests in macadamia orchards. This study set a precedent by exploring avian pest-reduction services using next-generation sequencing, which could contribute to the conservation of avian communities and their natural habitats in agricultural systems.

  11. AN ECOLOGICAL RISK ASSESSMENT OF LEAD SHOT EXPOSURE IN NON-WATERFOWL AVIAN SPECIES: UPLAND GAME BIRDS AND RAPTORS

    Science.gov (United States)

    There is increasing concern that birds in terrestrial ecosystems may be exposed to spent lead shot. Evidence exists that upland birds, particularly mourning doves (Zenaida macroura), ingest spent lead shot and that raptors ingest lead shot by consuming wounded game. Mortality, ne...

  12. 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

    1 November 2001. Conservation of bird habitats is a major focus of effort by Partners in Flight, an international coalition of agencies, citizens, and other groups dedicated to 'keeping common birds common'. USGS worked on a planning team to publish a bird conservation plan for the Upper Great Lakes Plain ecoregion (PIF 16), which includes large portions of southern Wisconsin, southern Michigan and parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. The conservation plan outlines specific habitat restoration and bird population objectives for the ecoregion over the next decade. The plan provides a context for on-the-ground conservation implementation by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, the US Forest Service, states, and conservation groups. Citation: Knutson, M. G., G. Butcher, J. Fitzgerald, and J. Shieldcastle. 2001. Partners in Flight Bird Conservation Plan for The Upper Great Lakes Plain (Physiographic Area 16). USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in cooperation with Partners in Flight, La Crosse, Wisconsin. Download from website: http://www.blm.gov/wildlife/pifplans.htm. The Upper Great Lakes Plain covers the southern half of Michigan, northwest Ohio, northern Indiana, northern Illinois, southern Wisconsin, and small portions of southwest Minnesota and northwest Iowa. Glacial moraines and dissected plateaus are characteristic of the topography. Broadleaf forests, oak savannahs, and a variety of prairie communities are the natural vegetation types. A oDriftless Areao was not glaciated during the late Pleistocene and emerged as a unique area of great biological diversity. Priority bird species for the area include the Henslow's Sparrow, Sedge Wren, Bobolink, Golden-winged Warbler, Cerulean Warbler, Black-billed Cuckoo, and Red-headed Woodpecker. There are many large urban centers in this area whose growth and sprawl will continue to consume land. The vast majority of the presettlement forest and

  13. 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.

  14. Egg laying sequence influences egg mercury concentrations and egg size in three bird species: Implications for contaminant monitoring programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T.; Eagles-Smith, Collin A.; Herzog, Mark P.; Yee, Julie L.; Hartman, C. Alex

    2016-01-01

    Bird eggs are commonly used in contaminant monitoring programs and toxicological risk assessments, but intra-clutch variation and sampling methodology could influence interpretability. We examined the influence of egg laying sequence on egg mercury concentrations and burdens in American avocets, black-necked stilts, and Forster's terns. The average decline in mercury concentrations between the first and last egg laid was 33% for stilts, 22% for terns, and 11% for avocets, and most of this decline occurred between the first and second eggs laid (24% for stilts, 18% for terns, and 9% for avocets). Trends in egg size with egg laying order were inconsistent among species and overall differences in egg volume, mass, length, and width were mercury concentrations generally declined by 16% between the first and second eggs laid. Despite the strong effect of egg laying sequence, most of the variance in egg mercury concentrations still occurred among clutches (75%-91%) rather than within clutches (9%-25%). Using simulations, we determined that to accurately estimate a population's mean egg mercury concentration using only a single random egg from a subset of nests, it would require sampling >60 nests to represent a large population (10% accuracy) or ≥14 nests to represent a small colony that contained <100 nests (20% accuracy).

  15. 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.

  16. Organochlorine residue levels in livers of birds of prey from Spain: Inter-species comparison in relation with diet and migratory patterns

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Drooge, Barend van [Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Mateo, Rafael [Instituto de Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos, IREC (CSIC-UCLM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real (Spain); Vives, Ingrid [Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Cardiel, Iris [Instituto de Investigacion en Recursos Cinegeticos, IREC (CSIC-UCLM), Ronda de Toledo s/n, 13071 Ciudad Real (Spain); Guitart, Raimon [Laboratory of Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra (Spain)], E-mail: raimon.guitart@uab.cat

    2008-05-15

    Livers from 130 specimens corresponding to 18 species of raptors from Spain were analysed for persistent organochlorine (OC) residues. In all species, p,p'-DDE was the most abundant individual OC compound detected, with geometric means ranging from 61 to 40,086 ng/g ww. The geometric mean for {sigma}PCB ranged from 225 to 9184 ng/g ww. Migration to Africa, south of Sahara, where p,p'-DDT is still in use, was not associated with higher liver concentrations of its metabolite, p,p'-DDE. The presence of birds in the diet of the species was an important species-specific factor determining the mean liver concentrations of p,p'-DDE and {sigma}PCB. The effect of the diet on OC concentrations in liver is explained by the lower metabolising capacity of OC compounds in birds, especially for p,p'-DDE. - The contribution of bird biomass in the diet is a determining factor for the accumulation of organochlorines in raptors.

  17. Organochlorine residue levels in livers of birds of prey from Spain: Inter-species comparison in relation with diet and migratory patterns

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drooge, Barend van; Mateo, Rafael; Vives, Ingrid; Cardiel, Iris; Guitart, Raimon

    2008-01-01

    Livers from 130 specimens corresponding to 18 species of raptors from Spain were analysed for persistent organochlorine (OC) residues. In all species, p,p'-DDE was the most abundant individual OC compound detected, with geometric means ranging from 61 to 40,086 ng/g ww. The geometric mean for ΣPCB ranged from 225 to 9184 ng/g ww. Migration to Africa, south of Sahara, where p,p'-DDT is still in use, was not associated with higher liver concentrations of its metabolite, p,p'-DDE. The presence of birds in the diet of the species was an important species-specific factor determining the mean liver concentrations of p,p'-DDE and ΣPCB. The effect of the diet on OC concentrations in liver is explained by the lower metabolising capacity of OC compounds in birds, especially for p,p'-DDE. - The contribution of bird biomass in the diet is a determining factor for the accumulation of organochlorines in raptors

  18. The extending of ranges of some bird species at the north-eastern border of their distribution due to intra-century climate changes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oleg V. Glushenkov

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents an overview of the phenomenon of range expanding of birds located at the northeastern limit of their range. The study area is located in the Volga-Kama Krai in the Chuvash Republic, adjacent to the River Volga. It is situated northwards and southwards of 56° N, and westwards and eastwards of 49° E, in a band of about 400 km. The problem is considered in aspect of the intra-century changes of climatic conditions in the region and in European Russia as a whole. The analysis of the relationship between the range expansion of some bird species and the intra-century climate changes was based on ornithological and climatological material available for the study area. We have used material on climate change in the Chuvashian Republic and Volga-Kama Krai since 1926, taking into account recent data of Roshydromet and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The idea of this study was based on the theory of climatic cycles of different periodicity, the theory of recent global climate change and the hypothesis of cyclic dynamics of the ranges of waterfowl in the context of centuries-old and intra-century climate change in Northern Eurasia. In the framework of the problem, we have studied ornithological material dated from the late 19th till the early 21st century, authored by Bogdanov, Ruzsky, Zhitkov, Buturlin, Artobolevsky, Volchanetsky, Pershakov, Popov, Glushenkov and others. As shown the intra-century climate changes do quite likely affect the northward and northeastward range expansion of such bird species as Cygnus olor, Anas strepera, Aythya ferina, Hieraaetus pennatus, Aquila heliaca, and Fulica atra. Climate changes can also be judged on the base of the shift in the arrival timing to earlier dates for some birds. It is most clearly manifested for early arriving species (Grus grus, Ardea cinerea, Actitis hypoleucos. It is also true for the later arriving Pernis apivorus and Merops apiaster whose existence depends on the

  19. X-ray investigations of lead shot pellets in the tissues of various species of birds found dead in Northern Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Averbeck, C.; Kempen, E.; Petermann, S.; Prueter, J.; Vaur, G.; Visse, C.

    1990-01-01

    Within the period 1985-1988 467 specimens of dead or moribund birds including 51 species were collected in northern Germany, and x-rayed to ascertain lead pellet damage. In 15.8% of the cases evidence of lead bullets was found in the tissues. In over 80% of the cases lead pellets were found, and in 11 (14.9%) of the animals air rifle ammunition was discovered. Along with wood cock, greylag geese, and eider ducks several species of sea gulls were especially affected. The exact causes of death of the lead damaged birds could usually not be determined. The problems with lead pellet ammunition are presented and a legally designated maximum shooting distance is recommended. The replacement of lead pellets with small caliber ammunition for hunting from blinds is also discussed. Bullets are considered more effective for the hunting of knob-billed swans

  20. Egg-laying sequence influences egg mercury concentrations and egg size in three bird species: Implications for contaminant monitoring programs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ackerman, Joshua T; Eagles-Smith, Collin A; Herzog, Mark P; Yee, Julie L; Hartman, C Alex

    2016-06-01

    Bird eggs are commonly used in contaminant monitoring programs and toxicological risk assessments, but intraclutch variation and sampling methodology could influence interpretability. The authors examined the influence of egg-laying sequence on egg mercury concentrations and burdens in American avocets, black-necked stilts, and Forster's terns. The average decline in mercury concentrations between the first and last eggs laid was 33% for stilts, 22% for terns, and 11% for avocets, and most of this decline occurred between the first and second eggs laid (24% for stilts, 18% for terns, and 9% for avocets). Trends in egg size with egg-laying order were inconsistent among species, and overall differences in egg volume, mass, length, and width were eggs laid. Despite the strong effect of egg-laying sequence, most of the variance in egg mercury concentrations still occurred among clutches (75-91%) rather than within clutches (9%-25%). Using simulations, the authors determined that accurate estimation of a population's mean egg mercury concentration using only a single random egg from a subset of nests would require sampling >60 nests to represent a large population (10% accuracy) or ≥14 nests to represent a small colony that contained <100 nests (20% accuracy). Environ Toxicol Chem 2016;35:1458-1469. Published 2015 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America. Published 2015 Wiley Periodicals Inc. on behalf of SETAC. This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

  1. Linking Above- and Belowground Responses to 16 Years of Fertilization, Mowing, and Removal of the Dominant Species in a Temperate Grassland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kotas, Petr; Chroma, M.; Šantrůčková, H.; Lepš, Jan; Tříska, Jan; Kaštovská, E.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 2 (2017), s. 354-367 ISSN 1432-9840 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA13-17118S Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:60077344 Keywords : dominant removal * fertilization * grassland * microbial community structure * mowing * pH * PLFA Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EG - Zoology (ENTU-I) OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7); Entomology (ENTU-I) Impact factor: 4.198, year: 2016

  2. Application of CHD1 Gene and EE0.6 Sequences to Identify Sexes of Several Protected Bird Species in Taiwan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.-C. Lin

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available Many bird species, for example: Crested Serpent Eagle (Spilornis cheela hoya, Collared Scops (Owl Otus bakkamoena, Tawny Fish Owl (Ketupa flavipes, Crested Goshawk (Accipiter trivirgatus, and Grass Owl (Tyto longimembris... etc, are monomorphic, which is difficult to identify their sex simply by their outward appearance. Especially for those monomorphic endangered species, finding an effective tool to identify their sex beside outward appearance is needed for further captive breeding programs or other conservation plans. In this study, we collected samples of Black Swan (Cygmus atratus and Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica, two aviaries introduced monomorphic species served as control group, and Crested Serpent Eagle, Collared Scops Owl, Tawny Fish Owl, Crested Goshawk, and Grass Owl, five protected monomorphic species in Taiwan. We used sex-specific primers of avian CHD1 (chromo-helicase-DNA-binding gene and EE0.6 (EcoRI 0.6-kb fragment sequences to identify the sex of these birds. The results showed that CHD1 gene primers could be used to correctly identify the sex of Black Swans, Nicobar Pigeons and Crested Serpent Eagles, but it could not be used to correctly identify sex in Collared Scops Owls, Tawny Fish Owls, and Crested Goshawks. In the sex identification using EE0.6 sequence fragment, A, C, D and E primer sets could be used for sexing Black Swans; A, B, C, and D primer sets could be used for sexing Crested Serpent Eagles; and E primer set could be used for sexing Nicobar Pigeons and the two owl species. Correct determination of sex is the first step if a captive breeding measure is required. We have demonstrated that several of the existing primer sets can be used for sex determination of several captive breeding and indigenous bird species.

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  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

    communities. This project involved parks within three NPS Inventory and Monitoring Program (I&M) networks, Mid-Atlantic, National Capital, and Eastern Rivers and Mountains. Five parks were selected for the initial focus of this study, all of which maintain open landscapes for interpreting historic events. Most parks were selected because they contain the most extensive grassland habitats within their networks, although some also support shrubby successional habitats. The five parks included in this study are Antietam National Battlefield, Fort Necessity National Battlefield, Gettysburg National Battlefield, Manassas National Battlefield, and Monocacy National Battlefield. This conceptual ecological model is one product of this project. The information presented below allows NPS network coordinators to understand which factors should be considered when making decisions concerning shrubland management within their networks. This model provides park resource managers with information on shrubland ecology in the Mid-Atlantic Region, the ecological requirements of shrubland birds likely to occur in their parks, and management issues influencing whether significant breeding populations can occupy shrublands created and maintained in the parks. Resource managers can then make informed decisions concerning their ability to create and maintain shrubland habitats. The emphasis of this conceptual model is restricted to management of breeding shrubland birds. Additional species occur during migration and winter, and habitat requirements of shrubland birds during nonbreeding seasons may differ from those described for the breeding season.

  6. 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

  7. Resilience and stability of the grasslands of the Transkei | B | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In spite of very high stocking rates the grasslands of Transkei still have in many areas a high cover and many climax species. The concepts of resilience and stability are used in an attempt to explain dynamics of the grasslands. Keywords: resiliences|stabilities|grasslands|Transkei|stocking rates|basal covers|grass ...

  8. Voluntary intake and in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinenberg, M.H.; Valk, H.; Struik, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    To study in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands two experiments were carried out. In the first experiment lactating dairy cows were offered three different silage-based diets. Silage originated from intensively managed grassland (IM), extensively managed species-poor grassland

  9. Temporal trends of perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in eggs of coastal and offshore birds: Increasing PFAS levels associated with offshore bird species breeding on the Pacific coast of Canada and wintering near Asia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Aroha; Elliott, John E; Elliott, Kyle H; Lee, Sandi; Cyr, Francois

    2015-08-01

    Perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) such as perfluoroalkyl carboxylates (PFCAs) and perfluoroalkyl sulfonates (PFSAs) have become virtually ubiquitous throughout the environment, and, based on laboratory studies, have known toxicological consequences. Various national and international voluntary phase-outs and restrictions on these compounds have been implemented over the last 10 to 15 years. In the present study, we examine trends (1990/1991-2010/2011) in aquatic birds (ancient murrelet, Synthliboramphus antiquus [2009 only]; Leach's storm-petrels, Oceanodroma leucorhoa; rhinoceros auklets, Cerorhinca monocerata; double-crested cormorants, Phalacrocorax auritus; and great blue herons, Ardea herodias). The PFCA, PFSA, and stable isotope (δ(15) N and δ(13) C) data collected from these species from the Pacific coast of Canada, ranging over 20 to 30 years, were used to investigate temporal changes in PFAS coupled to dietary changes. Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS), the dominant PFSA compound in all 4 species, increased and subsequently decreased in auklet and cormorant eggs in line with the manufacturing phase-out of PFOS and perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), but concentrations continuously increased in petrel eggs and remained largely unchanged in heron eggs. Dominant PFCA compounds varied between the offshore and coastal species, with increases seen in the offshore species and little or variable changes seen in the coastal species. Little temporal change was seen in stable isotope values, indicating that diet alone is not driving observed PFAS concentrations. © 2015 SETAC.

  10. Evaluating release alternatives for a long-lived bird species under uncertainty about long-term demographic rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Clinton T.; Converse, Sarah J.; Folk, Martin J.; Runge, Michael C.; Nesbitt, Stephen A.

    2012-01-01

    The release of animals to reestablish an extirpated population is a decision problem that is often attended by considerable uncertainty about the probability of success. Annual releases of captive-reared juvenile Whooping Cranes (Grus americana) were begun in 1993 in central Florida, USA, to establish a breeding, non-migratory population. Over a 12-year period, 286 birds were released, but by 2004, the introduced flock had produced only four wild-fledged birds. Consequently, releases were halted over managers' concerns about the performance of the released flock and uncertainty about the efficacy of further releases. We used data on marked, released birds to develop predictive models for addressing whether releases should be resumed, and if so, under what schedule. To examine the outcome of different release scenarios, we simulated the survival and productivity of individual female birds under a baseline model that recognized age and breeding-class structure and which incorporated empirically estimated stochastic elements. As data on wild-fledged birds from captive-reared parents were sparse, a key uncertainty that confronts release decision-making is whether captive-reared birds and their offspring share the same vital rates. Therefore, we used data on the only population of wild Whooping Cranes in existence to construct two alternatives to the baseline model. The probability of population persistence was highly sensitive to the choice of these three models. Under the baseline model, extirpation of the population was nearly certain under any scenario of resumed releases. In contrast, the model based on estimates from wild birds projected a high probability of persistence under any release scenario, including cessation of releases. Therefore, belief in either of these models suggests that further releases are an ineffective use of resources. In the third model, which simulated a population Allee effect, population persistence was sensitive to the release decision

  11. The seasonal role of field characteristics on seed-eating bird abundances in agricultural landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Codesido, Mariano; Abba, Agustín M.; Bilenca, David

    2017-01-01

    Abstract In temperate agroecosystems, avian responses in abundance and distribution to landscape attributes may be exacerbated by the coupling of natural seasons and farming practices. We assessed the seasonal roles of field type, field use in the surroundings, and distance from a field to the nearest woodlot on the abundance of seed-eating birds in a 225,000 km2 study area in the Pampas of central Argentina. During spring-summer and autumn of 2011–2013, we randomly selected 392 fields and used transect samples to collect data on abundance and presence of seed-eating bird species. We recorded a total of 11,579 individuals belonging to 15 seed-eating bird species. We used generalized lineal mixed models to relate bird abundance to field type, field use in the surroundings, and distance to the nearest woodlot. In spring-summer (breeding season) most bird responses were associated with their nesting requirements. Species that build their nests in trees, such as eared doves Zenaida auriculata, picazuro pigeons Patagioenas picazuro, and monk parakeets Myiopsitta monachus, were more abundant in fields closer to woodlots, whereas grassland yellow-finches Sicalis luteola, which nest at areas with tall grasses, were more abundant in fields with livestock use patches in the field surroundings. In autumn (non-breeding season), most bird responses were associated with foraging and refuge needs. The high abundance of eared doves in crop stubbles and the association of pigeons at field surroundings dominated by croplands or at crop stubbles surrounded by livestock use fields revealed the intimate association of these species to sites with high availability of food resources. In addition, both picazuro pigeons and spot-winged pigeons Patagioenas maculosa were associated with woodlots, which provide suitable roosting sites. Our results show that in temperate agroecosystems, the relationships between field characteristics and seed-eating bird abundances vary with season. PMID

  12. Molecular epidemiology of Newcastle disease in Mexico and the potential spillover of viruses from poultry into wild bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardenas Garcia, Stivalis; Navarro Lopez, Roberto; Morales, Romeo; Olvera, Miguel A; Marquez, Miguel A; Merino, Ruben; Miller, Patti J; Afonso, Claudio L

    2013-08-01

    Newcastle disease, one of the most important health problems that affects the poultry industry around the world, is caused by virulent strains of Newcastle disease virus. Newcastle disease virus is considered to be endemic in several countries in the Americas, including Mexico. In order to control Newcastle disease outbreaks and spread, intensive vaccination programs, which include vaccines formulated with strains isolated at least 60 years ago, have been established. These vaccines are dissimilar in genotype to the virulent Newcastle disease viruses that had been circulating in Mexico until 2008. Here, 28 isolates obtained between 2008 and 2011 from different regions of Mexico from free-living wild birds, captive wild birds, and poultry were phylogenetically and biologically characterized in order to study the recent epidemiology of Newcastle disease viruses in Mexico. Here we demonstrate that, until recently, virulent viruses from genotype V continued to circulate and evolve in the country. All of the Newcastle disease viruses of low virulence, mostly isolated from nonvaccinated free-living wild birds and captive wild birds, were highly similar to LaSota (genotype II) and PHY-LMV42 (genotype I) vaccine strains. These findings, together with the discovery of two virulent viruses at the Mexican zoo, suggest that Newcastle disease viruses may be escaping from poultry into the environment.

  13. Population trends of central European montane birds provide evidence for adverse impacts of climate change on high-altitude species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Flousek, J.; Telenský, Tomáš; Hanzelka, J.; Reif, J.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 10 (2015), č. článku e0139465. E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : Elevational range shifts * Life-history traits * Arrival date * Boreal birds * Habitat loss * Biodiversity * Declines Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

  14. Cestodes of the family Dilepididae (Cestoda: Cyclophyllidea) from fish-eating birds in Mexico: a survey of species

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Scholz, Tomáš; Kuchta, R.; Salgado-Maldonado, G.

    2002-01-01

    Roč. 52, č. 3 (2002), s. 171-182 ISSN 0165-5752 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA524/01/1314 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6022909 Keywords : cestodes * parasites of birds * taxonomy Subject RIV: EG - Zoology Impact factor: 0.640, year: 2002

  15. 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....

  16. 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.

  17. Population trends of Goričko agricultural landscape birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Denac Katarina

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Due to numerous bird surveys in the past 20 years, the avifauna of Goričko is relatively well known. For some species, the very first national ecological researches were conducted in this area. The article summarizes all bird surveys so far. It presents population trends of farmland species which is one of the most threatened bird groups in Europe. Most of the qualifying species of this habitat that are protected within the Natura 2000 network have suffered a decline a