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Sample records for habitat suitability assessment

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ruoh Juang

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Farm ponds are important habitats for amphibians, birds, and other wildlife. In Taiwan, artificial ponds were originally created on farmlands for irrigation purposes and the needs of the domestic water supply. Although pond creation is a typical farming practice, it also provides habitats for pond-breeding amphibians. Thus, it is essential to understand the current status of habitats and their vulnerability regarding urgent conservation needs for target species. Günther’s frog (Hylarana guentheri, a pond-breeding amphibian, has a high sensitivity towards surrounding environmental changes, and can be used as an indicator species to assess habitat suitability. The purpose of this study is to establish a systematic framework to assess the habitat suitability of pond-breeding amphibians by using Günther’s frog as a pilot-study species. First, we collected frog survey data from Chiayi, Taiwan, from winter 2013 to spring 2015, and investigated the present status of the environmental conditions around the ponds. Next, expert questionnaires and the fuzzy Delphi method were applied to establish the hierarchical evaluation criteria regarding the habitat suitability assessment. Four indicators: the aquatic environments of farm ponds; the terrestrial environments around ponds; landscape connectivity; and the conservation perceptions of the residents, were determined as first-layer factors in the assessment criteria, while ten other indicators were defined as second-layer factors. Based on the established assessment criteria, we performed in situ habitat suitability evaluations on 69 selected sites and surveyed the perceptions of the residents using questionnaires. Results revealed that 19% of locations were rich in frog species with a high habitat suitability. However, 67% of locations showed signs of habitat degradation, which may imply a higher need in practicing habitat improvement or restoration. The Kappa value was 0.6061, which indicated a high

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  3. Smartphone-based distributed data collection enables rapid assessment of shorebird habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thieler, E. Robert; Zeigler, Sara; Winslow, Luke; Hines, Megan K.; Read, Jordan S.; Walker, Jordan I.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding and managing dynamic coastal landscapes for beach-dependent species requires biological and geological data across the range of relevant environments and habitats. It is difficult to acquire such information; data often have limited focus due to resource constraints, are collected by non-specialists, or lack observational uniformity. We developed an open-source smartphone application called iPlover that addresses these difficulties in collecting biogeomorphic information at piping plover (Charadrius melodus) nest sites on coastal beaches. This paper describes iPlover development and evaluates data quality and utility following two years of collection (n = 1799 data points over 1500 km of coast between Maine and North Carolina, USA). We found strong agreement between field user and expert assessments and high model skill when data were used for habitat suitability prediction. Methods used here to develop and deploy a distributed data collection system have broad applicability to interdisciplinary environmental monitoring and modeling.

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shauna-Lee Chai

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

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

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    Laura Cardador

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

  9. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-17

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

  11. Ecological Flow Assessment to Improve the Spawning Habitat for the Four Major Species of Carp of the Yangtze River: A Study on Habitat Suitability Based on Ultrasonic Telemetry

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    Lixiong Yu

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Four major species of Chinese carp, namely black carp (Mylopharyngodon piceus, grass carp (Ctenopharyngodon idellus, silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix and bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, are important economic freshwater fish varieties in China. They primarily inhabit and breed in the Yangtze River. Unfortunately, the construction and operation of the Gezhouba Dam and the Three Gorges Dam have dramatically changed the hydrodynamic conditions in the middle reaches of the Yangtze River, leading to a sharp decline in the reproduction rates of these carp. The egg abundance of the four species of carp downstream from the Three Gorges Dam reached 8.35 billion in 1965, but abundance during 2005–2012 was only 0.25 billion. One of the main reasons was that the hydrodynamic conditions of the spawning ground could not meet the four species’ breeding requirements. However, due to the limitations of traditional detection tools, the spawning characteristics of these four species of carp were still unclear. In this study, the ultrasonic telemetry and a three–dimensional hydrodynamic model were utilized to build the habitat suitability index (HSI curves for the four species of carp. The habitat suitability model was then built based on HSI curves to assess spawning habitat quantity under different flow conditions. Finally, the habitat suitability model in the Yidu spawning ground was validated using 32 groups of sampling data in 2015 and 2017. The statistical results showed that the most suitable velocity ranged from 0.78 m/s to 0.93 m/s. The most suitable water depth ranged from 14.56 m to 16.35 m, and the most suitable Froude number ranged from 0.049 to 0.129. The habitat suitability model simulation results indicated that when the discharge was between 15,000 m3/s and 21,300 m3/s, the weighted usable area (WUA values in both the Yidu and Zhicheng spawning grounds would remain at a high level. The validation results showed that most

  12. Using forest inventory data to assess fisher resting habitat suitability in California.

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    William J. Zielinski; Richard L. Truex; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Tom Gaman

    2006-01-01

    The fisher (Martes pennanti) is a forest-dwelling carnivore whose current distribution and association with late-seral forest conditions make it vulnerable to stand-altering human activities or natural disturbances. Fishers select a variety of structures for daily resting bouts. These habitat elements, together with foraging and reproductive (denning) habitat,...

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

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    Hyeongsik Kang

    2016-11-01

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

  14. Managing Environmental Flows for Impounded Rivers in Semi-Arid Regions- A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Approach for the Assessment of River Habitat for Salmonid Populations

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    Pai, H.; Sivakumaran, K.; Villamizar, S. R.; Flanagan, J.; Guo, Q.; Harmon, T. C.

    2013-12-01

    Balancing ecosystem health in water-scarce, agriculturally dominated river basins remains a challenge. In dry water years, maintaining conditions for restored and sustained indigenous fish populations (a frequently used indicator for ecosystem health) is particularly challenging. Competing human demands include urban and agricultural water supplies, hydropower, and flood control. In many semi-arid regions, increasing drought intensity and frequency under future climate scenarios will combine with population increases to water scarcity. The goal of this work is to better understand how reservoir releases affect fish habitat and overall river aquatic ecosystem quality. Models integrating a diverse array of physical and biological processes and system state are used to forecast the river ecosystem response to changing drivers. We propose a distributed parameter-based Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) approach for assessing fish habitat quality. Our river ecosystem HSI maps are based on a combination of the following: (1) In situ data describing stream flow and water quality conditions; (2) Spatial observations, including surveyed cross-sections, aerial imagery and digital elevation maps (DEM) of the river and its riparian corridor; and (3) Simulated spatially distributed water depths, flow velocities, and temperatures estimated from 1D and 2D river flow and temperature models (HEC-RAS and CE-QUAL-W2, respectively). With respect to (2), image processing schemes are used to classify and map key habitat features, namely riparian edge and shallow underwater vegetation. HSI maps can be modified temporally to address specific life cycle requirements of indicator fish species. Results are presented for several reaches associated with the San Joaquin River Restoration Project, focusing on several components of the Chinook salmon life cycle. HSI maps and interpretations are presented in the context of a range of prescribed reservoir release hydrographs linked to California water

  15. Mapping snags and understory shrubs for LiDAR based assessment of wildlife habitat suitability

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    Sebastian Martinuzzi; Lee A. Vierling; William A. Gould; Michael J. Falkowski; Jeffrey S. Evans; Andrew T. Hudak; Kerri T. Vierling

    2009-01-01

    The lack of maps depicting forest three-dimensional structure, particularly as pertaining to snags and understory shrub species distribution, is a major limitation for managing wildlife habitat in forests. Developing new techniques to remotely map snags and understory shrubs is therefore an important need. To address this, we first evaluated the use of LiDAR data for...

  16. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Yellow-headed blackbird

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    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1982-01-01

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

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

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

    2018-05-01

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

  18. Hydro-power production and fish habitat suitability: Assessing impact and effectiveness of ecological flows at regional scale

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    Ceola, Serena; Pugliese, Alessio; Ventura, Matteo; Galeati, Giorgio; Montanari, Alberto; Castellarin, Attilio

    2018-06-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers may be of major concern for fluvial ecosystems, e.g. abstraction and impoundment of surface water resources may profoundly alter natural streamflow regimes. An established approach aimed at preserving the behavior and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of ecological flows (e-flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. E-flow prescriptions are usually set by basin authorities at regional scale, often without a proper assessment of their impact and effectiveness. On the contrary, we argue that e-flows should be identified on the basis of (i) regional and (ii) quantitative assessments. We focus on central Italy and evaluate the effects on habitat suitability of two near-threatened fish species (i.e. Barbel and Chub) and an existing hydro-power network when shifting from the current time-invariant e-flow policy to a tighter and seasonally-varying soon-to-be-enforced one. Our example clearly shows that: (a) quantitative regional scale assessments are viable even when streamflow observations are entirely missing at study sites; (b) aprioristic e-flows policies may impose releases that exceed natural streamflows for significantly long time intervals (weeks, or months); (c) unduly tightening e-flow policies may heavily impact regional hydro-power productivity (15% and 42% losses on annual and seasonal basis, respectively), yet resulting in either marginal or negligible improvements of fluvial ecosystem.

  19. Elk habitat suitability map for North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Steven G.; Cobb, David T.; Collazo, Jaime A.

    2015-01-01

    Although eastern elk (Cervus elaphus canadensis) were extirpated from the eastern United States in the 19th century, they were successfully reintroduced in the North Carolina portion of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 2000s. The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) is evaluating the prospect of reintroducing the species in other locations in the state to augment recreational opportunities. As a first step in the process, we created a state-wide elk habitat suitability map. We used medium-scale data sets and a two-component approach to iden- tify areas of high biological value for elk and exclude from consideration areas where elk-human conflicts were more likely. Habitats in the state were categorized as 66% unsuitable, 16.7% low, 17% medium, and <1% high suitability for elk. The coastal plain and Piedmont contained the most suitable habitat, but prospective reintroduction sites were largely excluded from consideration due to extensive agricultural activities and pervasiveness of secondary roads. We ranked 31 areas (≥ 500 km2) based on their suitability for reintroduction. The central region of the state contained the top five ranked areas. The Blue Ridge Mountains, where the extant population of elk occurs, was ranked 21st. Our work provides a benchmark for decision makers to evaluate potential consequences and trade-offs associated with the selection of prospective elk reintroduction sites.

  20. Regional prediction of basin-scale brown trout habitat suitability

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    S. Ceola

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study we propose a novel method for the estimation of ecological indices describing the habitat suitability of brown trout (Salmo trutta. Traditional hydrological tools are coupled with an innovative regional geostatistical technique, aiming at the prediction of the brown trout habitat suitability index where partial or totally ungauged conditions occur. Several methods for the assessment of ecological indices are already proposed in the scientific literature, but the possibility of exploiting a geostatistical prediction model, such as Topological Kriging, has never been investigated before. In order to develop a regional habitat suitability model we use the habitat suitability curve, obtained from measured data of brown trout adult individuals collected in several river basins across the USA. The Top-kriging prediction model is then employed to assess the spatial correlation between upstream and downstream habitat suitability indices. The study area is the Metauro River basin, located in the central part of Italy (Marche region, for which both water depth and streamflow data were collected. The present analysis focuses on discharge values corresponding to the 0.1-, 0.5-, 0.9-empirical quantiles derived from flow-duration curves available for seven gauging stations located within the study area, for which three different suitability indices (i.e. ψ10, ψ50 and ψ90 are evaluated. The results of this preliminary analysis are encouraging showing Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies equal to 0.52, 0.65, and 0.69, respectively.

  1. Regional prediction of basin-scale brown trout habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.

    2014-09-01

    In this study we propose a novel method for the estimation of ecological indices describing the habitat suitability of brown trout (Salmo trutta). Traditional hydrological tools are coupled with an innovative regional geostatistical technique, aiming at the prediction of the brown trout habitat suitability index where partial or totally ungauged conditions occur. Several methods for the assessment of ecological indices are already proposed in the scientific literature, but the possibility of exploiting a geostatistical prediction model, such as Topological Kriging, has never been investigated before. In order to develop a regional habitat suitability model we use the habitat suitability curve, obtained from measured data of brown trout adult individuals collected in several river basins across the USA. The Top-kriging prediction model is then employed to assess the spatial correlation between upstream and downstream habitat suitability indices. The study area is the Metauro River basin, located in the central part of Italy (Marche region), for which both water depth and streamflow data were collected. The present analysis focuses on discharge values corresponding to the 0.1-, 0.5-, 0.9-empirical quantiles derived from flow-duration curves available for seven gauging stations located within the study area, for which three different suitability indices (i.e. ψ10, ψ50 and ψ90) are evaluated. The results of this preliminary analysis are encouraging showing Nash-Sutcliffe efficiencies equal to 0.52, 0.65, and 0.69, respectively.

  2. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ofori, Benjamin Y; Stow, Adam J; Baumgartner, John B; Beaumont, Linda J

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  3. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham's skink, Egernia cunninghami.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Y Ofori

    Full Text Available The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming "unlimited" or "no" dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent to assess the extent to which the Cunningham's skink (Egernia cunninghami may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020-2070 and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23-63% at 1 km and 26-64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species' range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change.

  4. Combining dispersal, landscape connectivity and habitat suitability to assess climate-induced changes in the distribution of Cunningham’s skink, Egernia cunninghami

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stow, Adam J.; Baumgartner, John B.; Beaumont, Linda J.

    2017-01-01

    The ability of species to track their climate niche is dependent on their dispersal potential and the connectivity of the landscape matrix linking current and future suitable habitat. However, studies modeling climate-driven range shifts rarely address the movement of species across landscapes realistically, often assuming “unlimited” or “no” dispersal. Here, we incorporate dispersal rate and landscape connectivity with a species distribution model (Maxent) to assess the extent to which the Cunningham’s skink (Egernia cunninghami) may be capable of tracking spatial shifts in suitable habitat as climate changes. Our model was projected onto four contrasting, but equally plausible, scenarios describing futures that are (relative to now) hot/wet, warm/dry, hot/with similar precipitation and warm/wet, at six time horizons with decadal intervals (2020–2070) and at two spatial resolutions: 1 km and 250 m. The size of suitable habitat was projected to decline 23–63% at 1 km and 26–64% at 250 m, by 2070. Combining Maxent output with the dispersal rate of the species and connectivity of the intervening landscape matrix showed that most current populations in regions projected to become unsuitable in the medium to long term, will be unable to shift the distance necessary to reach suitable habitat. In particular, numerous populations currently inhabiting the trailing edge of the species’ range are highly unlikely to be able to disperse fast enough to track climate change. Unless these populations are capable of adaptation they are likely to be extirpated. We note, however, that the core of the species distribution remains suitable across the broad spectrum of climate scenarios considered. Our findings highlight challenges faced by philopatric species and the importance of adaptation for the persistence of peripheral populations under climate change. PMID:28873398

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-20

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

  6. Faecal corticosterone metabolite concentrations are not a good predictor of habitat suitability for common gartersnakes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halliday, William D; Gilmour, Kathleen M; Blouin-Demers, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Measuring habitat suitability is important in conservation and in wildlife management. Measuring the abundance or presence-absence of a species in various habitats is not sufficient to measure habitat suitability because these metrics can be poor predictors of population success. Therefore, having some measure of population success is essential in assessing habitat suitability, but estimating population success is difficult. Identifying suitable proxies for population success could thus be beneficial. We examined whether faecal corticosterone metabolite (fCM) concentrations could be used as a proxy for habitat suitability in common gartersnakes (Thamnophis sirtalis). We conducted a validation study and confirmed that fCM concentrations indeed reflect circulating corticosterone concentrations. We estimated abundance, reproductive output and growth rate of gartersnakes in field and in forest habitat and we also measured fCM concentrations of gartersnakes from these same habitats. Common gartersnakes were more abundant and had higher reproductive outputs and higher growth rates in field habitat than in forest habitat, but fCM concentrations did not differ between the same two habitats. Our results suggest either that fCM concentrations are not a useful metric of habitat suitability in common gartersnakes or that the difference in suitability between the two habitats was too small to induce changes in fCM concentrations. Incorporating fitness metrics in estimates of habitat suitability is important, but these metrics of fitness have to be sensitive enough to vary between habitats.

  7. Development of habitat suitability criteria for Neotropical stream fishes and an assessment of their transferability to streams with different conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Barreto Teresa

    Full Text Available We assessed the preference of 10 fish species for depth and velocity conditions in forested streams from southeastern Brazil using habitat suitability criteria (HSC curves. We also tested whether preference patterns observed in forested streams can be transferred to deforested streams. We used data from fish sampled in 62 five-meter sites in three forested streams to construct preference curves. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii, and Piabina argentea showed a preference for deep slow habitats, whereas Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra, Cetopsorhamdia iheringi, Pseudopimelodus pulcher, and Hypostomus nigromaculatus showed an opposite pattern: preference for shallow fast habitats. Hypostomus ancistroides showed a multimodal pattern of preference for depth and velocity. To evaluate whether patterns observed in forested streams may be transferred to deforested streams, we sampled 64 five-meters sites in three deforested streams using the same methodology. The preference for velocity was more consistent than for depth, as success in the transferability criterion was 86% and 29% of species, respectively. This indicates that velocity is a good predictor of species abundance in streams, regardless of their condition

  8. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red-winged blackbird

    Science.gov (United States)

    Short, Henry L.

    1985-01-01

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

  9. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucie Hemrová

    Full Text Available Field translocation experiments (i.e., the introduction of seeds or seedlings of different species into different localities are commonly used to study habitat associations of species, as well as factors limiting species distributions and local abundances. Species planted or sown in sites where they naturally occur are expected to perform better or equally well compared to sites at which they do not occur or are rare. This, however, contrasts with the predictions of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis and commonly reported intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback. The few previous studies indicating poorer performance of plants at sites where they naturally occur did not explore the mechanisms behind this pattern.In this study, we used field translocation experiments established using both seeds and seedlings to study the determinants of local abundance of four dominant species in grasslands. To explore the possible effects of intraspecific negative plant-soil feedback on our results, we tested the effect of local species abundance on the performance of the plants in the field experiment. In addition, we set up a garden experiment to explore the intensity of intraspecific as well as interspecific feedback between the dominants used in the experiment.In some cases, the distribution and local abundances of the species were partly driven by habitat conditions at the sites, and species performed better at their own sites. However, the prevailing pattern was that the local dominants performed worse at sites where they naturally occur than at any other sites. Moreover, the success of plants in the field experiment was lower in the case of higher intraspecific abundance prior to experimental setup. In the garden feedback experiment, two of the species performed significantly worse in soils conditioned by their species than in soils conditioned by the other species. In addition, the performance of the plants was significantly correlated between the two

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mriganka Shekhar Sarkar

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. Development of habitat suitability criteria for Neotropical stream fishes and an assessment of their transferability to streams with different conservation status

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabrício Barreto Teresa

    Full Text Available We assessed the preference of 10 fish species for depth and velocity conditions in forested streams from southeastern Brazil using habitat suitability criteria (HSC curves. We also tested whether preference patterns observed in forested streams can be transferred to deforested streams. We used data from fish sampled in 62 five-meter sites in three forested streams to construct preference curves. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii, and Piabina argentea showed a preference for deep slow habitats, whereas Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra, Cetopsorhamdia iheringi, Pseudopimelodus pulcher, and Hypostomus nigromaculatus showed an opposite pattern: preference for shallow fast habitats. Hypostomus ancistroides showed a multimodal pattern of preference for depth and velocity. To evaluate whether patterns observed in forested streams may be transferred to deforested streams, we sampled 64 five-meters sites in three deforested streams using the same methodology. The preference for velocity was more consistent than for depth, as success in the transferability criterion was 86% and 29% of species, respectively. This indicates that velocity is a good predictor of species abundance in streams, regardless of their conditionNeste estudo avaliamos a preferência de 10 espécies de peixes por condições de profundidade e fluxo em riachos florestados do sudeste do Brasil por meio do critério de adequabilidade de habitat (habitat suitability criteria - curvas HSC. Testamos também se os padrões de preferência observados nos riachos florestados podem ser transferidos para riachos desmatados. Foram realizadas amostragens da ictiofauna em 62 trechos de cinco metros de extensão em três riachos florestados para a construção das curvas de preferência. Astyanax altiparanae, A. fasciatus, Knodus moenkhausii e Piabina argentea apresentaram preferência por habitats lentos e profundos, enquanto Aspidoras fuscoguttatus, Characidium zebra

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrell, James W.

    1984-01-01

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

  14. Quantitative validation of a habitat suitability index for oyster restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seth eTheuerkauf

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models provide spatially explicit information on the capacity of a given habitat to support a species of interest, and their prevalence has increased dramatically in recent years. Despite caution that the reliability of HSIs must be validated using independent, quantitative data, most HSIs intended to inform terrestrial and marine species management remain unvalidated. Furthermore, of the eight HSI models developed for eastern oyster (Crassostrea virginica restoration and fishery production, none has been validated. Consequently, we developed, calibrated, and validated an HSI for the eastern oyster to identify optimal habitat for restoration in a tributary of Chesapeake Bay, the Great Wicomico River (GWR. The GWR harbors a high density, restored oyster population, and therefore serves as an excellent model system for assessing the validity of the HSI. The HSI was derived from GIS layers of bottom type, salinity, and water depth (surrogate for dissolved oxygen, and was tested using live adult oyster density data from a survey of high vertical relief reefs (HRR and low vertical relief reefs (LRR in the sanctuary network. Live adult oyster density was a statistically-significant sigmoid function of the HSI, which validates the HSI as a robust predictor of suitable oyster reef habitat for rehabilitation or restoration. In addition, HRR had on average 103-116 more adults m^−2 than LRR at a given level of the HSI. For HRR, HSI values ≥0.3 exceeded the accepted restoration target of 50 live adult oysters m^−2. For LRR, the HSI was generally able to predict live adult oyster densities that meet or exceed the target at HSI values ≥0.3. The HSI indicated that there remain large areas of suitable habitat for restoration in the GWR. This study provides a robust framework for HSI model development and validation, which can be refined and applied to other systems and previously developed HSIs to improve the efficacy of

  15. Deep-Sea Soft Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  16. Deep-Sea Stony Coral Habitat Suitability

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Deep-sea corals, also known as cold water corals, create complex communities that provide habitat for a variety of invertebrate and fish species, such as grouper,...

  17. Computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) modelling as an exploratory tool for assessing passability of riverine migratory challenge zones for fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Chelminski, Michael; Dudley, Robert W.

    2015-01-01

    We developed two-dimensional computational fluid hydraulics-habitat suitability index (CFD-HSI) models to identify and qualitatively assess potential zones of shallow water depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five major anadromous fish species in a 2.63-km reach of the main stem Penobscot River, Maine, as a result of a dam removal downstream of the reach. Suitability parameters were based on distribution of fish lengths and body depths and transformed to cruising, maximum sustained and sprint swimming speeds. Zones of potential depth and velocity challenges were calculated based on the hydraulic models; ability of fish to pass a challenge zone was based on the percent of river channel that the contiguous zone spanned and its maximum along-current length. Three river flows (low: 99.1 m3 sec-1; normal: 344.9 m3 sec-1; and high: 792.9 m3 sec-1) were modelled to simulate existing hydraulic conditions and hydraulic conditions simulating removal of a dam at the downstream boundary of the reach. Potential depth challenge zones were nonexistent for all low-flow simulations of existing conditions for deeper-bodied fishes. Increasing flows for existing conditions and removal of the dam under all flow conditions increased the number and size of potential velocity challenge zones, with the effects of zones being more pronounced for smaller species. The two-dimensional CFD-HSI model has utility in demonstrating gross effects of flow and hydraulic alteration, but may not be as precise a predictive tool as a three-dimensional model. Passability of the potential challenge zones cannot be precisely quantified for two-dimensional or three-dimensional models due to untested assumptions and incomplete data on fish swimming performance and behaviours.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. Evaluating timber harvesting impacts on wildlife habitat suitability using FOREX

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris B. LeDoux

    1997-01-01

    Precommercial, commercial, and final harvesting operations can impact wildlife habitat suitability by altering the vegetation composition on a given site. Harvesting operations remove trees and many times provide the necessary perturbation to trigger successional conditions different from those that existed prior to the harvest. Although these new successional changes...

  20. Ecological variables governing habitat suitability and the distribution ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    governed by soil particle size distribution), in combination with the cover provided by trees, as the two ecological factors that best explained habitat suitability for Juliana's golden mole at the three localities. An IndVal analysis failed to identify ...

  1. Transferability of habitat suitability criteria for fishes in warmwater streams

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Mary C.; Bowen, Z.H.; Crance, J.H.

    1997-01-01

    We developed habitat suitability criteria and tested their transferability for nine fishes inhabiting unregulated Piedmont and Coastal Plain streams in Alabama. Cr iteria for optimal habitat were defined as ranges of depth, velocity, substrate type and cover type for which a species' suitability index (proportional abundance divided by proportional habitat availability, scaled from 0 to 1) equalled or exceeded 0.4. We evaluated the transferability of criteria between study sites by testing the null hypothesis that species occurrence in a sample was independent of whether or not the sample was taken in optimal habitat. We also tested criteria transference to a large, flow-regulated river sampled during low flow periods. Depth, velocity and most substrate criteria developed for the bronze darter Percina palmaris successfully transferred between unregulated streams and to the flow-regulated river samples. All criteria developed for a pair of closely related, allopatric darter species, Etheostoma chuckwachattee and E. jordani, transferred sucessfully when applied between species (in the unregulated sites) and to the regulated river samples. In contrast, criteria for the Alabama shiner Cyprinella callistia failed nearly all tests of transferability. Criteria for E. stigmaeum, P. nigrofasciata, an undescribed Percina species, and a pair of related, allopatric Cyprinella species transferred inconsistently. The species with good criteria transference had high suitability indices for shallow depths, fast current velocities and coarse substrates, characteristic of riffle species. We suggest that microhabitat criteria for riffle fishes are more likely to provide a transferable measure of habitat quality than criteria for fishes that, although restricted to fluvial habitats, commonly occupy a variety of pool and riffle habitats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Predicted deep-sea coral habitat suitability for the U.S. West coast.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M Guinotte

    Full Text Available Regional scale habitat suitability models provide finer scale resolution and more focused predictions of where organisms may occur. Previous modelling approaches have focused primarily on local and/or global scales, while regional scale models have been relatively few. In this study, regional scale predictive habitat models are presented for deep-sea corals for the U.S. West Coast (California, Oregon and Washington. Model results are intended to aid in future research or mapping efforts and to assess potential coral habitat suitability both within and outside existing bottom trawl closures (i.e. Essential Fish Habitat (EFH and identify suitable habitat within U.S. National Marine Sanctuaries (NMS. Deep-sea coral habitat suitability was modelled at 500 m×500 m spatial resolution using a range of physical, chemical and environmental variables known or thought to influence the distribution of deep-sea corals. Using a spatial partitioning cross-validation approach, maximum entropy models identified slope, temperature, salinity and depth as important predictors for most deep-sea coral taxa. Large areas of highly suitable deep-sea coral habitat were predicted both within and outside of existing bottom trawl closures and NMS boundaries. Predicted habitat suitability over regional scales are not currently able to identify coral areas with pin point accuracy and probably overpredict actual coral distribution due to model limitations and unincorporated variables (i.e. data on distribution of hard substrate that are known to limit their distribution. Predicted habitat results should be used in conjunction with multibeam bathymetry, geological mapping and other tools to guide future research efforts to areas with the highest probability of harboring deep-sea corals. Field validation of predicted habitat is needed to quantify model accuracy, particularly in areas that have not been sampled.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogol-Prokurat, Melanie

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Identifying Farm Pond Habitat Suitability for the Common Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus: A Conservation-Perspective Approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chun-Hsien Lai

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this study was to establish a habitat-suitability assessment model for Gallinula chloropus, or the Common Moorhen, to be applied to the selection of the most suitable farm pond for habitat conservation in Chiayi County, Taiwan. First, the fuzzy Delphi method was employed to evaluate habitat selection factors and calculate the weights of these factors. The results showed that the eight crucial factors, by importance, in descending order, were (1 area ratio of farmlands within 200 m of the farm pond; (2 pond area; (3 pond perimeter; (4 aquatic plant coverage of the pond surface; (5 drought period; (6 coverage of high and low shrubs around the pond bank; (7 bank type; and (8 water-surface-to-bank distance. Subsequently, field evaluations of 75 farm ponds in Chiayi County were performed. The results indicated that 15 farm ponds had highly-suitable habitats and were inhabited by unusually high numbers of Common Moorhens; these habitats were most in need of conservation. A total of two farm ponds were found to require habitat-environment improvements, and Common Moorhens with typical reproductive capacity could be appropriately introduced into 22 farm ponds to restore the ecosystem of the species. Additionally, the habitat suitability and number of Common Moorhens in 36 farm ponds were lower than average; these ponds could be used for agricultural irrigation, detention basins, or for recreational use by community residents. Finally, the total habitat suitability scores and occurrence of Common Moorhens in each farm pond were used to verify the accuracy of the habitat-suitability assessment model for the Common Moorhen. The overall accuracy was 0.8, and the Kappa value was 0.60, which indicates that the model established in this study exhibited high credibility. To sum up, this is an applicable framework not only to assess the habitat suitability of farm ponds for Common Moorhens, but also to determine whether a particular location may

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Andrew

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

  7. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

  8. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P.; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G. W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+) together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS) to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites) protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered. PMID:28898262

  9. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Dirnböck

    Full Text Available Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses in the species potential distribution, but also N driven nutrient enrichment may threaten these habitats. We applied a dynamic geochemical soil model (VSD+ together with a novel niche-based plant response model (PROPS to 5 forest habitat types (18 forest sites protected under the EU Directive in Austria. We assessed how future climate change and N deposition might affect habitat suitability, defined as the capacity of a site to host its typical plant species. Our evaluation indicates that climate change will be the main driver of a decrease in habitat suitability in the future in Austria. The expected climate change will increase the occurrence of thermophilic plant species while decreasing cold-tolerant species. In addition to these direct impacts, climate change scenarios caused an increase of the occurrence probability of oligotrophic species due to a higher N immobilisation in woody biomass leading to soil N depletion. As a consequence, climate change did offset eutrophication from N deposition, even when no further reduction in N emissions was assumed. Our results show that climate change may have positive side-effects in forest habitats when multiple drivers of change are considered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1996-01-01

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

  11. Hydrologic and water-quality rehabilitation of environments for suitable fish habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Xiang, H.; Liu, C. M.; Zhang, H. T.; Yang, Z. L.; Zhang, Y.; Sun, Y.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-11-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is attracting increasing public and research attention, but without knowledge of the responses of aquatic species to their habitats the success of habitat restoration is uncertain. Thus efficient study of species response to habitat, through which to prioritize the habitat factors influencing aquatic ecosystems, is highly important. However many current models have too high requirement for assemblage information and have great bias in results due to consideration of only the species' attribute of presence/absence, abundance or biomass, thus hindering the wider utility of these models. This paper, using fish as a case, presents a framework for identification of high-priority habitat factors based on the responses of aquatic species to their habitats, using presence/absence, abundance and biomass data. This framework consists of four newly developed sub-models aiming to determine weightings for the evaluation of species' contributions to their communities, to quantitatively calculate an integrated habitat suitability index for multi-species based on habitat factors, to assess the suitable probability of habitat factors and to assess the rehabilitation priority of habitat factors. The framework closely links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. Breakpoint identification techniques based on curvature in cumulated dominance along with a newly developed weighting calculation model based on theory of mass systems were used to help identify the dominant fish, based on which the presence and abundance of multiple fish were normalized to estimate the integrated habitat suitability index along gradients of various factors, based on their variation with principal habitat factors. Then, the appropriate probability of every principal habitat factor was

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. Global habitat suitability for framework-forming cold-water corals.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew J Davies

    Full Text Available Predictive habitat models are increasingly being used by conservationists, researchers and governmental bodies to identify vulnerable ecosystems and species' distributions in areas that have not been sampled. However, in the deep sea, several limitations have restricted the widespread utilisation of this approach. These range from issues with the accuracy of species presences, the lack of reliable absence data and the limited spatial resolution of environmental factors known or thought to control deep-sea species' distributions. To address these problems, global habitat suitability models have been generated for five species of framework-forming scleractinian corals by taking the best available data and using a novel approach to generate high resolution maps of seafloor conditions. High-resolution global bathymetry was used to resample gridded data from sources such as World Ocean Atlas to produce continuous 30-arc second (∼1 km(2 global grids for environmental, chemical and physical data of the world's oceans. The increased area and resolution of the environmental variables resulted in a greater number of coral presence records being incorporated into habitat models and higher accuracy of model predictions. The most important factors in determining cold-water coral habitat suitability were depth, temperature, aragonite saturation state and salinity. Model outputs indicated the majority of suitable coral habitat is likely to occur on the continental shelves and slopes of the Atlantic, South Pacific and Indian Oceans. The North Pacific has very little suitable scleractinian coral habitat. Numerous small scale features (i.e., seamounts, which have not been sampled or identified as having a high probability of supporting cold-water coral habitat were identified in all ocean basins. Field validation of newly identified areas is needed to determine the accuracy of model results, assess the utility of modelling efforts to identify vulnerable marine

  14. An Improved Neural Network for Regional Giant Panda Habitat Suitability Mapping: A Case Study in Ya’an Prefecture

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingwei Song

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Expert knowledge is a combination of prior information and subjective opinions based on long-experience; as such it is often not sufficiently objective to produce convincing results in animal habitat suitability index mapping. In this study, an animal habitat assessment method based on a learning neural network is proposed to reduce the level of subjectivity in animal habitat assessments. Based on two hypotheses, this method substitutes habitat suitability index with apparent density and has advantages over conventional ones such as those based on analytical hierarchy process or multivariate regression approaches. Besides, this method is integrated with a learning neural network and is suitable for building non-linear transferring functions to fit complex relationships between multiple factors influencing habitat suitability. Once the neural network is properly trained, new earth observation data can be integrated for rapid habitat suitability monitoring which could save time and resources needed for traditional data collecting approaches through extensive field surveys. Giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca natural habitat in Ya’an prefecture and corresponding landsat images, DEM and ground observations are tested for validity of using the methodology reported. Results show that the method scores well in key efficiency and performance indicators and could be extended for habitat assessments, particularly of other large, rare and widely distributed animal species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens G Froese

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

  18. Developing user-friendly habitat suitability tools from regional stream fish survey data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zorn, T.G.; Seelbach, P.; Wiley, M.J.

    2011-01-01

    We developed user-friendly fish habitat suitability tools (plots) for fishery managers in Michigan; these tools are based on driving habitat variables and fish population estimates for several hundred stream sites throughout the state. We generated contour plots to show patterns in fish biomass for over 60 common species (and for 120 species grouped at the family level) in relation to axes of catchment area and low-flow yield (90% exceedance flow divided by catchment area) and also in relation to axes of mean and weekly range of July temperatures. The plots showed distinct patterns in fish habitat suitability at each level of biological organization studied and were useful for quantitatively comparing river sites. We demonstrate how these plots can be used to support stream management, and we provide examples pertaining to resource assessment, trout stocking, angling regulations, chemical reclamation of marginal trout streams, indicator species, instream flow protection, and habitat restoration. These straightforward and effective tools are electronically available so that managers can easily access and incorporate them into decision protocols and presentations.

  19. Influence of discharge on fish habitat suitability curves in mountain watercourses in IFIM methodology

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Macura Viliam

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the quality of the aquatic habitats of mountain and piedmont streams was evaluated using the ‘Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM’ decision-making tool. The quality of habitats was interpreted from the behaviour of bioindicators in the form of habitat suitability curves (HSCs. From 1995 until the present, 59 different reaches of 43 mountain streams in Slovakia and 3 validation reaches were evaluated, and the results analysed. The aim of this study was to generalize the parameters of the HSCs for the brown trout. The generalized curves will be useful for water management planning. It is difficult and time-consuming to take hydrometrical and ichthyological measurements at different water levels. Therefore, we developed a methodology for modifying suitability curves based on an ichthyological survey during a low flow and a flow at which fish lose the ability to resist the flow velocity. The study provides the information how such curves can be modified for a wider flow range. In summary, this study shows that generalized HSCs provide representative data that can be used to support both the design of river restoration and the assessment of the impacts of the water use or of climate change on stream habitat quality.

  20. Suitability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bokdam, J.; Braeckel, van A.

    2002-01-01

    The suitability of grazing, burning, mowing and cutting as tools for succession control in peatland was assessed and expressed on a scale from 0 - 1. All management tools are suitable, but their effects are conditional. The suitability depends on the targeted vegetation transition and on their

  1. Habitat suitability and nest survival of white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forests of Oregon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hollenbeck, Jeff P.; Saab, Victoria A.; Frenzel, Richard W.

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated habitat suitability and nest survival of breeding white-headed woodpeckers (Picoides albolarvatus) in unburned forests of central Oregon, USA. Daily nest-survival rate was positively related to maximum daily temperature during the nest interval and to density of large-diameter trees surrounding the nest tree. We developed a niche-based habitat suitability model (partitioned Mahalanobis distance) for nesting white-headed woodpeckers using remotely sensed data. Along with low elevation, high density of large trees, and low slope, our habitat suitability model suggested that interspersion–juxtaposition of low- and high-canopy cover ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) patches was important for nest-site suitability. Cross-validation suggested the model performed adequately for management planning at a scale >1 ha. Evaluation of mapped habitat suitability index (HSI) suggested that the maximum predictive gain (HSI = 0.36), where the number of nest locations are maximized in the smallest proportion of the modeled landscape, provided an objective initial threshold for identification of suitable habitat. However, managers can choose the threshold HSI most appropriate for their purposes (e.g., locating regions of low–moderate suitability that have potential for habitat restoration). Consequently, our habitat suitability model may be useful for managing dry coniferous forests for white-headed woodpeckers in central Oregon; however, model validation is necessary before our model could be applied to other locations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. The areal extent of brown shrimp habitat suitability in Mobile Bay, Alabama, USA: Targeting vegetated habitat restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, L.M.; Nestlerode, J.A.; Harwell, L.C.; Bourgeois, P.

    2010-01-01

    The availability of wetlands and shallow water habitats significantly influences Gulf of Mexico (GOM) penaeid shrimp fishery productivity. However, the GOM region has the highest rate of wetland loss in the USA. Protection and management of these vital GOM habitats are critical to sustainable shrimp fisheries. Brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus) are a major component of GOM fisheries. We present an approach for estimating the areal extent of suitable habitat for post-larval and juvenile brown shrimp in Mobile Bay, Alabama, using an existing habitat suitability index model for the northern GOM calculated from probabilistic survey of water quality and sediment data, land cover data, and submerged aquatic vegetation coverages. This estuarine scale approach is intended to support targeted protection and restoration of these habitats. These analyses indicate that approximately 60% of the area of Mobile Bay is categorized as suitable to near optimal for post-larval and juvenile shrimp and 38% of the area is marginally to minimally suitable. We identify potential units within Mobile Bay for targeted restoration to improve habitat suitability. ?? 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.

  5. Hydrographic influence on the spawning habitat suitability of western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hüssy, K.; Hinrichsen, H.-H.; Huwer, B.

    2012-01-01

    Hydrographic influence on the spawning habitat suitability of western Baltic cod (Gadus morhua) – ICES Journal of Marine Science, 69: 1736–1743.Recruitment variability of marine fish is influenced by the reproductive potential of the stock (i.e. stock characteristics and abundance) and the survival...... of early life stages, mediated by environmental conditions of both a physical (water temperature, salinity and oxygen conditions, ocean currents) and a biological nature (i.e. food, predators). The objective of this study is to assess the importance of variability in environmental conditions within...... allowing survival of western Baltic cod eggs indicates that favourable conditions predominantly occurred during the late spawning season in April/May, while minimum survival rates could be expected from January to March. Unsuitable time periods and habitats exhibiting the highest mortality rates...

  6. Evaluation of osprey habitat suitability and interaction with contaminant exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toschik, P.C.; Christman, M.C.; Rattner, B.A.; Ottinger, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Ospreys (Pandion haliaetus) have been the focus of conservation efforts since their dramatic population decline attributed to dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane and related chemicals in the 1960s. Several recent studies of ospreys nesting in the United States have indicated improved reproduction. However, the density of breeding ospreys varies greatly among locations, with some areas seemingly habitable but not occupied. Because of concerns about pollution in the highly industrialized portions of the Delaware River and Bay, USA, we evaluated contaminant exposure and productivity in ospreys nesting on the Delaware River and Bay in 2002. We characterized habitat in the coastal zone of Delaware, USA, and the area around the river in Pennsylvania, USA, using data we collected as well as extant information provided by state and federal sources. We characterized habitat based on locations of occupied osprey nests in Delaware and Pennsylvania. We evaluated water clarity, water depth, land use and land cover, nest availability, and contaminants in sediment for use in a nest-occupancy model. Our results demonstrated that the presence of occupied nests was associated with water depth, water clarity, distance to an occupied osprey nest, and presence of urban land use, whereas a companion study demonstrated that hatching success was associated with the principal components derived from organochlorine-contaminant concentrations in osprey eggs (total polychlorinated biphenyls, p,p'-dichlorodiphenylethylene, chlordane and metabolites, and heptachlor epoxide). Our study provides guidelines for resource managers and local conservation organizations in management of ospreys and in development of habitat models that are appropriate for other piscivorous and marsh-nesting birds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and 3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog habitat. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Yujun; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Shanghong

    2016-03-01

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

  10. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Montipora Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Montipora in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  11. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Porites in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  12. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  13. Predicted Habitat Suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for Leptoseris in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to create this...

  14. Predicted Habitat Suitability for All Mesophotic Corals in the Au'au Channel Region

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This raster denotes predicted habitat suitability for all mesophotic corals in the Au'au Channel region. Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) modeling software was used to...

  15. Subterranean systems provide a suitable overwintering habitat for Salamandra salamandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monika Balogová

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The fire salamander (Salamandra salamandra has been repeatedly noted to occur in natural and artificial subterranean systems. Despite the obvious connection of this species with underground shelters, their level of dependence and importance to the species is still not fully understood. In this study, we carried out long-term monitoring based on the capture-mark-recapture method in two wintering populations aggregated in extensive underground habitats. Using the POPAN model we found the population size in a natural shelter to be more than twice that of an artificial underground shelter. Survival and recapture probabilities calculated using the Cormack-Jolly-Seber model were very constant over time, with higher survival values in males than in females and juveniles, though in terms of recapture probability, the opposite situation was recorded. In addition, survival probability obtained from Cormack-Jolly-Seber model was higher than survival from POPAN model. The observed bigger population size and the lower recapture rate in the natural cave was probably a reflection of habitat complexity. Our study showed that regular visits are needed to detect the true significance of underground shelters for fire salamanders. The presence of larvae was recorded in both wintering sites, especially in bodies of water near the entrance. On the basis of previous and our observations we incline to the view, that karst areas can induce not only laying in underground shelters but also group wintering in this species. Our study highlights the strong connection of the life cycle of fire salamanders with underground shelters and their essential importance for the persistence of some populations during unfavourable conditions and breeding activity. In addition, the study introduces the POPAN and Cormac-Jolly-Seber models for estimating of population size, survival and recapture probability in wintering populations of the species, which could provide important information

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica habitat suitability and range resource dynamics in the Central Karakorum National Park, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Garee Khan

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available The study investigates Himalayan ibex (Capra ibex sibirica and their range resource condition within the preferred habitat in the Central Karakoram National Park, Pakistan. We apply ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA using 110 ibex sighting data and 6 key biophysical variables describing the habitat conditions and produce habitat suitability and maps with GIS and statistical tool (BioMapper. The modeling results of specialization factor shows some limitation for ibex over the use of slope, elevation, vegetation types and ruggedness. The habitat area selection for the ibex is adjusted to the ibex friendly habitat available conditions. The model results predicted suitable habitat for ibex in certain places, where field observation was never recorded. The range resource dynamics depict a large area that comes under the alpine meadows has the highest seasonal productivity, assessed by remote sensing based fortnightly vegetation condition data of the last 11 years. These meadows are showing browning trend over the years, attributable to grazing practices or climate conditions. At lower elevation, there are limited areas with suitable dry steppes, which may cause stress on ibex, especially during winter.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanette Bragin

    2013-12-01

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

  20. Habitat suitability and movement corridors of grey wolf (Canis lupus) in Northern Pakistan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabir, Muhammad; Hameed, Shoaib; Ali, Hussain; Bosso, Luciano; Din, Jaffar Ud; Bischof, Richard; Redpath, Steve

    2017-01-01

    Habitat suitability models are useful to understand species distribution and to guide management and conservation strategies. The grey wolf (Canis lupus) has been extirpated from most of its historic range in Pakistan primarily due to its impact on livestock and livelihoods. We used non-invasive survey data from camera traps and genetic sampling to develop a habitat suitability model for C. lupus in northern Pakistan and to explore the extent of connectivity among populations. We detected suitable habitat of grey wolf using a maximum entropy approach (Maxent ver. 3.4.0) and identified suitable movement corridors using the Circuitscape 4.0 tool. Our model showed high levels of predictive performances, as seen from the values of area under curve (0.971±0.002) and true skill statistics (0.886±0.021). The main predictors for habitat suitability for C. lupus were distances to road, mean temperature of the wettest quarter and distance to river. The model predicted ca. 23,129 km2 of suitable areas for wolf in Pakistan, with much of suitable habitat in remote and inaccessible areas that appeared to be well connected through vulnerable movement corridors. These movement corridors suggest that potentially the wolf range can expand in Pakistan’s Northern Areas. However, managing protected areas with stringent restrictions is challenging in northern Pakistan, in part due to heavy dependence of people on natural resources. The habitat suitability map provided by this study can inform future management strategies by helping authorities to identify key conservation areas. PMID:29121089

  1. Application of GIS to predict malaria hotspots based on Anopheles arabiensis habitat suitability in Southern Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gwitira, Isaiah; Murwira, Amon; Zengeya, Fadzai M.; Shekede, Munyaradzi Davis

    2018-02-01

    Malaria remains a major public health problem and a principal cause of morbidity and mortality in most developing countries. Although malaria still presents health problems, significant successes have been recorded in reducing deaths resulting from the disease. As malaria transmission continues to decline, control interventions will increasingly depend on the ability to define high-risk areas known as malaria hotspots. Therefore, there is urgent need to use geospatial tools such as geographic information system to detect spatial patterns of malaria and delineate disease hot spots for better planning and management. Thus, accurate mapping and prediction of seasonality of malaria hotspots is an important step towards developing strategies for effective malaria control. In this study, we modelled seasonal malaria hotspots as a function of habitat suitability of Anopheles arabiensis (A. Arabiensis) as a first step towards predicting likely seasonal malaria hotspots that could provide guidance in targeted malaria control. We used Geographical information system (GIS) and spatial statistic methods to identify seasonal hotspots of malaria cases at the country level. In order to achieve this, we first determined the spatial distribution of seasonal malaria hotspots using the Getis Ord Gi* statistic based on confirmed positive malaria cases recorded at health facilities in Zimbabwe over four years (1996-1999). We then used MAXENT technique to model habitat suitability of A. arabiensis from presence data collected from 1990 to 2002 based on bioclimatic variables and altitude. Finally, we used autologistic regression to test the extent to which malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability. Our results show that A. arabiensis habitat suitability consistently and significantly (p < 0.05) predicts malaria hotspots from 1996 to 1999. Overall, our results show that malaria hotspots can be predicted using A. arabiensis habitat suitability, suggesting

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Poor

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

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

  5. Preliminary geological suitability assessment for LILW disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tomse, P.; Mele, I.

    2001-01-01

    Due to the growing need for a final disposal of LILW, the final solution for the short-lived LILW is the key issue of radioactive waste management in Slovenia at the moment. ARAO - the Slovenian Agency for Radwaste Management - is intensely involved in the re-initiated site selection process for a LILW repository. In this new process we are trying to combine as best as possible the technical, geologically-led and the advocacy-site selection processes. By a combination of technical and volunteer approach to the site selection we wish to guarantee high public involvement and sufficient flexibility of the process to adapt to specific conditions or new circumstances while the project is ongoing. In the technical phase, our tendency is to retain a larger number of potential areas/sites. We also keep open the possibility of choosing the type of repository. The decision between the surface and underground option will be made only once the site has been defined. In accordance with the IAEA recommendations the site selection process is divided into four stages: the conceptual and planning stage, area survey stage, site characterisation stage and site confirmation stage. Last year the area survey stage was started. In the preliminary geological suitability assessment the required natural predisposition of Slovene territory was assessed in order to locate geologically suitable formations. The assessment of natural conditions of the system was based on consideration of the main geological, hydro-geological and seismotectonic conditions. It was performed with ARC/INFO technology. The results are compiled in a map, showing potential areas for underground and surface disposal of LILW in Slovenia. It has been established that there is a potential suitability for both surface and underground disposal on about 10 000 km 2 of the Slovenian territory, which represents almost half of the entire Slovenian territory. These preliminary results are now being carefully re-examined. As an

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  7. Habitat Suitability analysis of Koklass (Pucrasia macrolopha) Pheasant in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary of Himachal Pradesh, India using Geospatial Technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eliza, K.; Sarma, K.

    2014-12-01

    Pheasants are at the brink of destruction due to degradation of forests, environmental pollution, climatic changes and extensive hunting of wild floras and faunas.The problem is more acute in the developing countries where wildlife and biodiversity conservation are often less prioritized due to more pressing demands of food security and poverty alleviation. Koklass Pheasant (Pucrasia macrolopha) species is distributed from Afghanistan and Pakistan in the east along the Himalayas to southeastern Tibet, western China and southeastern Mongolia.This species is grouped under endangered species in Red Data Book of Zoological Survey of India and also classified as least concern species according to IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.Conservation biologists and managers need a range of both classical analyses and specific modern tools to face the increasing threats to biodiversity. Among these tools, habitat-suitability modeling has recently emerged as a relevant technique to assess global impacts to define wide conservation priorities.The present study is carried out using remote sensing satellite imagery and GIS modeling technique for assessing habitat suitability of Koklass Pheasants and finding out the habitat factors influencing the Koklass distribution in Churdhar Wildlife Sanctuary, India. Effective management and conservation of wildlife populations and their habitats largely depend on our ability to understand and predict species-habitat interactions. Different thematic maps viz., land use/cover, forest types, drainage buffer, multiple ring buffers of sighting locations and multiple ring buffers of roads have been prepared to support the objective of the study. The Weighted Overlay Analysis model is used for identifying different potential areas of habitat for this endangered species. The most suitable area for Koklass Pheasant within the Wildlife Sanctuary is found to be about 23.8 percent of the total area which is due to favourable habitat conditions for the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ali Haghi Vayghan

    2015-11-01

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

  11. Impact of Alternative Environmental Flow Prescriptions on Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Galeati, G. A.

    2015-12-01

    Anthropogenic activities along streams and rivers are increasingly recognized to be a major concern for fluvial ecosystems. The management of water resources, by means of e.g. flow diversions and dams, for industrial, agricultural, water-supply, hydropower production and flood protection purposes induces significant changes to the natural streamflow regime of a river. Indeed, the river flow regime is known to be a major abiotic factor influencing fluvial ecosystems. An established approach aimed at preserving the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species relies on the definition of minimum streamflow requirements (i.e., environmental flows) downstream of dams and diversion structures. Such environmental flows are normally identified through methodologies that have an empirical nature and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. While the effect of imposing a minimum discharge release is easily predictable in terms of e.g. loss of hydropower production, the advantages in terms of species preferences are often poorly understood and seldom assessed. To analyze the interactions between flow releases and the behaviour and distribution of fluvial species (i.e., from periphyton, to benthic invertebrate and fish), one may use a habitat suitability curve, which is a fundamental tool capable of describing species preferences influenced by any generic environmental variable. The outcomes of a real case study applied to several Italian rivers, located in the Marche administrative district in Central Italy (∽10000km2), in which we quantitatively assess the effects of alternative environmental flow scenarios on the existing hydropower network and on two fish species that are quite abundant in the study area (i.e., Leuciscus cephalus cabeda and Barbus barbus plebejus), will be presented and discussed. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  13. Shifts in the suitable habitat available for brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) under short-term climate change scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Mas, R; Lopez-Nicolas, A; Martínez-Capel, F; Pulido-Velazquez, M

    2016-02-15

    The impact of climate change on the habitat suitability for large brown trout (Salmo trutta L.) was studied in a segment of the Cabriel River (Iberian Peninsula). The future flow and water temperature patterns were simulated at a daily time step with M5 models' trees (NSE of 0.78 and 0.97 respectively) for two short-term scenarios (2011-2040) under the representative concentration pathways (RCP 4.5 and 8.5). An ensemble of five strongly regularized machine learning techniques (generalized additive models, multilayer perceptron ensembles, random forests, support vector machines and fuzzy rule base systems) was used to model the microhabitat suitability (depth, velocity and substrate) during summertime and to evaluate several flows simulated with River2D©. The simulated flow rate and water temperature were combined with the microhabitat assessment to infer bivariate habitat duration curves (BHDCs) under historical conditions and climate change scenarios using either the weighted usable area (WUA) or the Boolean-based suitable area (SA). The forecasts for both scenarios jointly predicted a significant reduction in the flow rate and an increase in water temperature (mean rate of change of ca. -25% and +4% respectively). The five techniques converged on the modelled suitability and habitat preferences; large brown trout selected relatively high flow velocity, large depth and coarse substrate. However, the model developed with support vector machines presented a significantly trimmed output range (max.: 0.38), and thus its predictions were banned from the WUA-based analyses. The BHDCs based on the WUA and the SA broadly matched, indicating an increase in the number of days with less suitable habitat available (WUA and SA) and/or with higher water temperature (trout will endure impoverished environmental conditions ca. 82% of the days). Finally, our results suggested the potential extirpation of the species from the study site during short time spans. Copyright © 2015

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. Guidelines for using the Delphi Technique to develop habitat suitability index curves

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crance, Johnie H.

    1987-01-01

    Habitat Suitability Index (SI) curves are one method of presenting species habitat suitability criteria. The curves are often used with the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) and are necessary components of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM) (Armour et al. 1984). Bovee (1986) described three categories of SI curves or habitat suitability criteria based on the procedures and data used to develop the criteria. Category I curves are based on professional judgment, with 1ittle or no empirical data. Both Category II (utilization criteria) and Category III (preference criteria) curves have as their source data collected at locations where target species are observed or collected. Having Category II and Category III curves for all species of concern would be ideal. In reality, no SI curves are available for many species, and SI curves that require intensive field sampling often cannot be developed under prevailing constraints on time and costs. One alternative under these circumstances is the development and interim use of SI curves based on expert opinion. The Delphi technique (Pill 1971; Delbecq et al. 1975; Linstone and Turoff 1975) is one method used for combining the knowledge and opinions of a group of experts. The purpose of this report is to describe how the Delphi technique may be used to develop expert-opinion-based SI curves.

  16. Evaluating methods to establish habitat suitability criteria: A case study in the upper Delaware River Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galbraith, Heather S.; Blakeslee, Carrie J.; Cole, Jeffrey C.; Talbert, Colin; Maloney, Kelly O.

    2016-01-01

    Defining habitat suitability criteria (HSC) of aquatic biota can be a key component to environmental flow science. HSC can be developed through numerous methods; however, few studies have evaluated the consistency of HSC developed by different methodologies. We directly compared HSC for depth and velocity developed by the Delphi method (expert opinion) and by two primary literature meta-analyses (literature-derived range and interquartile range) to assess whether these independent methods produce analogous criteria for multiple species (rainbow trout, brown trout, American shad, and shallow fast guild) and life stages. We further evaluated how these two independently developed HSC affect calculations of habitat availability under three alternative reservoir management scenarios in the upper Delaware River at a mesohabitat (main channel, stream margins, and flood plain), reach, and basin scale. In general, literature-derived HSC fell within the range of the Delphi HSC, with highest congruence for velocity habitat. Habitat area predicted using the Delphi HSC fell between the habitat area predicted using two literature-derived HSC, both at the basin and the site scale. Predicted habitat increased in shallow regions (stream margins and flood plain) using literature-derived HSC while Delphi-derived HSC predicted increased channel habitat. HSC generally favoured the same reservoir management scenario; however, no favoured reservoir management scenario was the most common outcome when applying the literature range HSC. The differences found in this study lend insight into how different methodologies can shape HSC and their consequences for predicted habitat and water management decisions. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

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

  18. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couce, Elena; Ridgwell, Andy; Hendy, Erica J

    2013-12-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world's tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches (Maximum Entropy and Boosted Regression Trees) with two levels of complexity (one a simplified and reduced environmental variable version of the other). Our models project a marked temperature-driven decline in habitat suitability for many of the most significant and bio-diverse tropical coral regions, particularly in the central Indo-Pacific. This is accompanied by a temperature-driven poleward range expansion of favorable conditions accelerating up to 40-70 km per decade by 2070. We find that ocean acidification is less influential for determining future habitat suitability than warming, and its deleterious effects are centered evenly in both hemispheres between 5° and 20° latitude. Contrary to expectations, the combined impact of ocean surface temperature rise and acidification leads to little, if any, degradation in future habitat suitability across much of the Atlantic and areas currently considered 'marginal' for tropical corals, such as the eastern Equatorial Pacific. These results are consistent with fossil evidence of range expansions during past warm periods. In addition, the simplified models are particularly sensitive to short-term temperature variations and their projections correlate well with reported locations of bleaching events. Our approach offers new insights into the relative impact of two global environmental pressures associated with rising atmospheric CO2 on potential future habitats, but greater understanding of past and current controls on coral

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Untoro

    2017-09-01

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

  20. Hydropower Production and Fish Habitat Suitability: Impact and Effectiveness of Environmental Flow Prescriptions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellarin, A.; Galeati, G.; Ceola, S.; Pugliese, A.; Ventura, M.; Montanari, A.

    2017-12-01

    The anthropogenic alteration of the natural flow regime of a river for hydropower production can significantly modify the processes and functions associated with fluvial ecosystems. In order to preserve the fluvial habitat downstream of dams and diversion structures, environmental flows are commonly defined. Such environmental flows are generally computed from empirical methodologies, which are seldom based on site-specific studies, and may not be representative of local ecological and hydraulic conditions. Here we present the results of a quantitative analysis on the effectiveness of two alternative environmental flow scenarios prescribed in Central Italy (time-invariant experimental and empirically-based flow release versus time-variant hydrogeomorphologically-based flow release) and their impact on hydropower production and fish habitat suitability. The latter is examined by means of several models of habitat suitability curve, which is a well-known approach capable of analysing fluvial species preferences as a function of key eco-hydraulic features, such as water depth, flow velocity and river substrate. The results show an evident loss of hydropower production moving from the time-invariant experimental flow release to the hydrogeomorphological one (nearly 20% at the annual scale). Concerning the effects in terms of fish habitat suitability, our outcomes are less obvious, since they are species- and life stage-specific. The proposed analysis, which can be easily adapted to different riparian habitats and hydrological contexts, is a useful tool to guide the derivation of optimal water resource management strategies in order to ensure both hydropower production and fluvial ecosystem protection.

  1. Future habitat suitability for coral reef ecosystems under global warming and ocean acidification

    OpenAIRE

    Couce, Elena M; Ridgwell, Andy J; Hendy, Erica

    2013-01-01

    Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are placing spatially divergent stresses on the world’s tropical coral reefs through increasing ocean surface temperatures and ocean acidification. We show how these two stressors combine to alter the global habitat suitability for shallow coral reef ecosystems, using statistical Bioclimatic Envelope Models rather than basing projections on any a priori assumptions of physiological tolerances or fixed thresholds. We apply two different modeling approaches...

  2. Habitat suitability and ecological niches of different plankton functional types in the global ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogt, Meike; Brun, Philipp; Payne, Mark R.; O'Brien, Colleen J.; Bednaršek, Nina; Buitenhuis, Erik T.; Doney, Scott C.; Leblanc, Karine; Le Quéré, Corinne; Luo, Yawei; Moriarty, Róisín; O'Brien, Todd D.; Schiebel, Ralf; Swan, Chantal

    2013-04-01

    Marine plankton play a central role in the biogeochemical cycling of important elements such as carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur. While our knowledge about marine ecosystem structure and functioning is still scarce and episodic, several recent observational studies confirm that marine ecosystems have been changing due to recent climate change, overfishing, and coastal eutrophication. In order to better understand marine ecosystem dynamics, the MAREDAT initiative has recently collected abundance and biomass data for 5 autotrophic (diatoms, Phaeocystis, coccolithophores, nitrogen fixers, picophytoplankton), and 6 heterotrophic plankton functional types (PFTs; bacteria, micro-, meso- and macrozooplankton, foraminifera and pteropods). Species distribution models (SDMs) are statistical tools that can be used to derive information about species habitats in space and time. They have been used extensively for a wide range of ecological applications in terrestrial ecosystems, but here we present the first global application in the marine realm, which was made possible by the MAREDAT data synthesis effort. We use a maximum entropy SDM to simulate global habitat suitability, habitat extent and ecological niches for different PFTs in the modern ocean. Present habitat suitability is derived from presence-only MAREDAT data and the observed annual and monthly mean levels of physiologically relevant variables such as SST, nutrient concentration or photosynthetic active radiation received in the mixed layer. This information can then be used to derive ecological niches for different species or taxa within each PFT, and to compare the ecological niches of different PFTs. While these results still need verification because data was not available for all ocean regions for all PFTs, they can give a first indication what present and future plankton habitats may look like, and what consequences we may have to expect for future marine ecosystem functioning and service provision in a warmer

  3. Global Habitat Suitability and Ecological Niche Separation in the Phylum Placozoa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Omid Paknia

    Full Text Available The enigmatic placozoans, which hold a key position in the metazoan Tree of Life, have attracted substantial attention in many areas of biological and biomedical research. While placozoans have become an emerging model system, their ecology and particularly biogeography remain widely unknown. In this study, we use modelling approaches to explore habitat preferences, and distribution pattern of the placozoans phylum. We provide hypotheses for discrete ecological niche separation between genetic placozoan lineages, which may also help to understand biogeography patterns in other small marine invertebrates. We, here, used maximum entropy modelling to predict placozoan distribution using 20 environmental grids of 9.2 km2 resolution. In addition, we used recently developed metrics of niche overlap to compare habitat suitability models of three genetic clades. The predicted distributions range from 55°N to 44°S and are restricted to regions of intermediate to warm sea surface temperatures. High concentrations of salinity and low nutrient concentrations appear as secondary factors. Tests of niche equivalency reveal the largest differences between placozoan clades I and III. Interestingly, the genetically well-separated clades I and V appear to be ecologically very similar. Our habitat suitability models predict a wider latitudinal distribution for placozoans, than currently described, especially in the northern hemisphere. With respect to biogeography modelling, placozoans show patterns somewhere between higher metazoan taxa and marine microorganisms, with the first group usually showing complex biogeographies and the second usually showing "no biogeography."

  4. Present habitat suitability for Anopheles atroparvus (Diptera, Culicidae and its coincidence with former malaria areas in mainland Portugal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    César Capinha

    2009-05-01

    Full Text Available Malaria was a major health problem in the first half of the 20th Century in mainland Portugal. Nowadays, although the disease is no longer endemic, there is still the risk of future endemic infections due to the continuous occurrence of imported cases and the possibility of transmission in the country by Anopheles atroparvus Van Thiel, 1927. Since vector abundance constitute one of the foremost factors in malaria transmission, we have created several habitat suitability models to describe this vector species’ current distribution. Three different correlative models; namely (i a multilayer perceptron artificial neural network (MLP-ANN; (ii binary logistic regression (BLR; and (iii Mahalanobis distance were used to combine the species records with a set of five environmental predictors. Kappa coefficient values from k-fold cross-validation records showed that binary logistic regression produced the best predictions, while the other two models also produced acceptable results. Therefore, in order to reduce uncertainty, the three suitability models were combined. The resulting model identified high suitability for An. atroparvus in the majority of the country with exception of the northern and central coastal areas. Malaria distribution during the last endemic period in the country was also compared with the combined suitability model, and a high degree of spatial agreement was obtained (kappa = 0.62. It was concluded that habitat suitability for malaria vectors can constitute valuable information on the assessment of several spatial attributes of the disease. In addition, the results suggest that the spatial distribution of An. atroparvus in the country remains very similar to the one known about seven decades ago.

  5. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily M York

    Full Text Available Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50% declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total

  6. Global decline in suitable habitat for Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis: the role of climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Emily M; Butler, Christopher J; Lord, Wayne D

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is implicated in the alteration of the ranges of species worldwide. Such shifts in species distributions may introduce parasites/pathogens, hosts, and vectors associated with disease to new areas. The parasite Angiostrongylus ( = Parastrongylus) cantonensis is an invasive species that causes eosinophilic meningitis in humans and neurological abnormalities in domestic/wild animals. Although native to southeastern Asia, A. cantonensis has now been reported from more than 30 countries worldwide. Given the health risks, it is important to describe areas with potentially favorable climate for the establishment of A. cantonensis, as well as areas where this pathogen might become established in the future. We used the program Maxent to develop an ecological niche model for A. cantonensis based on 86 localities obtained from published literature. We then modeled areas of potential A. cantonensis distribution as well as areas projected to have suitable climatic conditions under four Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) scenarios by the 2050s and the 2070s. The best model contained three bioclimatic variables: mean diurnal temperature range, minimum temperature of coldest month and precipitation of warmest quarter. Potentially suitable habitat for A. cantonensis was located worldwide in tropical and subtropical regions. Under all climate change RCP scenarios, the center of the projected distribution shifted away from the equator at a rate of 68-152 km per decade. However, the extent of areas with highly suitable habitat (>50%) declined by 10.66-15.66% by the 2050s and 13.11-16.11% by the 2070s. These results conflict with previous studies, which have generally found that the prevalence of tropical pathogens will increase during the 21st century. Moreover, it is likely that A. cantonensis will continue to expand its current range in the near future due to introductions and host expansion, whereas climate change will reduce the total geographic area of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-15

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A Vélez-Espino

    2006-06-01

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

  10. Upward Altitudinal Shifts in Habitat Suitability of Mountain Vipers since the Last Glacial Maximum.

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    Masoud Yousefi

    Full Text Available We determined the effects of past and future climate changes on the distribution of the Montivipera raddei species complex (MRC that contains rare and endangered viper species limited to Iran, Turkey and Armenia. We also investigated the current distribution of MRC to locate unidentified isolated populations as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of the current network of protected areas for their conservation. Present distribution of MRC was modeled based on ecological variables and model performance was evaluated by field visits. Some individuals at the newly identified populations showed uncommon morphological characteristics. The distribution map of MRC derived through modeling was then compared with the distribution of protected areas in the region. We estimated the effectiveness of the current protected area network to be 10%, which would be sufficient for conserving this group of species, provided adequate management policies and practices are employed. We further modeled the distribution of MRC in the past (21,000 years ago and under two scenarios in the future (to 2070. These models indicated that climatic changes probably have been responsible for an upward shift in suitable habitats of MRC since the Last Glacial Maximum, leading to isolation of allopatric populations. Distribution will probably become much more restricted in the future as a result of the current rate of global warming. We conclude that climate change most likely played a major role in determining the distribution pattern of MRC, restricting allopatric populations to mountaintops due to habitat alterations. This long-term isolation has facilitated unique local adaptations among MRC populations, which requires further investigation. The suitable habitat patches identified through modeling constitute optimized solutions for inclusion in the network of protected areas in the region.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becker, Nina I; Encarnação, Jorge A

    2015-01-01

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

  14. Integrating Larval Dispersal, Permitting, and Logistical Factors Within a Validated Habitat Suitability Index for Oyster Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brandon J. Puckett

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability index (HSI models are increasingly used to guide ecological restoration. Successful restoration is a byproduct of several factors, including physical and biological processes, as well as permitting and logistical considerations. Rarely are factors from all of these categories included in HSI models, despite their combined relevance to common restoration goals such as population persistence. We developed a Geographic Information System (GIS-based HSI for restoring persistent high-relief subtidal oyster (Crassostrea virginica reefs protected from harvest (i.e., sanctuaries in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, USA. Expert stakeholder input identified 17 factors to include in the HSI. Factors primarily represented physical (e.g., salinity and biological (e.g., larval dispersal processes relevant to oyster restoration, but also included several relevant permitting (e.g., presence of seagrasses and logistical (e.g., distance to restoration material stockpile sites considerations. We validated the model with multiple years of oyster density data from existing sanctuaries, and compared HSI output with distributions of oyster reefs from the late 1800's. Of the 17 factors included in the model, stakeholders identified four factors—salinity, larval export from existing oyster sanctuaries, larval import to existing sanctuaries, and dissolved oxygen—most critical to oyster sanctuary site selection. The HSI model provided a quantitative scale over which a vast water body (~6,000 km2 was narrowed down by 95% to a much smaller suite of optimal (top 1% HSI and suitable (top 5% HSI locations for oyster restoration. Optimal and suitable restoration locations were clustered in northeast and southwest Pamlico Sound. Oyster density in existing sanctuaries, normalized for time since reef restoration, was a positive exponential function of HSI, providing validation for the model. Only a small portion (10–20% of historical reef locations

  15. Evaluation of Limiting Climatic Factors and Simulation of a Climatically Suitable Habitat for Chinese Sea Buckthorn.

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    Guoqing Li

    Full Text Available Chinese sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides subsp. sinensis has considerable economic potential and plays an important role in reclamation and soil and water conservation. For scientific cultivation of this species across China, we identified the key climatic factors and explored climatically suitable habitat in order to maximize survival of Chinese sea buckthorn using MaxEnt and GIS tools, based on 98 occurrence records from herbarium and publications and 13 climatic factors from Bioclim, Holdridge life zone and Kria' index variables. Our simulation showed that the MaxEnt model performance was significantly better than random, with an average test AUC value of 0.93 with 10-fold cross validation. A jackknife test and the regularized gain change, which were applied to the training algorithm, showed that precipitation of the driest month (PDM, annual precipitation (AP, coldness index (CI and annual range of temperature (ART were the most influential climatic factors in limiting the distribution of Chinese sea buckthorn, which explained 70.1% of the variation. The predicted map showed that the core of climatically suitable habitat was distributed from the southwest to northwest of Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces, where the most influential climate variables were PDM of 1.0-7.0 mm, AP of 344.0-1089.0 mm, CI of -47.7-0.0°C, and ART of 26.1-45.0°C. We conclude that the distribution patterns of Chinese sea buckthorn are related to the northwest winter monsoon, the southwest summer monsoon and the southeast summer monsoon systems in China.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  17. Coupling habitat suitability and ecosystem health with AEHRA to estimate E-flows under intensive human activities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Zhang, H. T.; Liu, C. M.; Sun, Y.; Yang, Z. Y.; Zhang, Y.; Dong, B. E.; Lim, R. P.

    2017-08-01

    Sustaining adequate environmental flows (e-flows) is a key principle for maintaining river biodiversity and ecosystem health, and for supporting sustainable water resource management in basins under intensive human activities. But few methods could correctly relate river health to e-flows assessment at the catchment scale when they are applied to rivers highly impacted by human activities. An effective method is presented in this study to closely link river health to e-flows assessment for rivers at the catchment scale. Key fish species, as indicators of ecosystem health, were selected by using the foodweb model. A multi-species-based habitat suitability model (MHSI) was improved, and coupled with dominance of the key fish species as well as the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) to enhance its accuracy in determining the fish-preferred key hydrologic habitat variables related to ecosystem health. Taking 5964 fish samples and concurrent hydrological habitat variables as the basis, the combination of key variables of flow-velocity and water-depth were determined and used to drive the Adapted Ecological Hydraulic Radius Approach (AEHRA) to study e-flows in a Chinese urban river impacted by intensive human activities. Results showed that upstream urbanization resulted in abnormal river-course geomorphology and consequently abnormal e-flows under intensive human activities. Selection of key species based on the foodweb and trophic levels of aquatic ecosystems can reflect a comprehensive requirement on e-flows of the whole aquatic ecosystem, which greatly increases its potential to be used as a guidance tool for rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems at large spatial scales. These findings have significant ramifications for catchment e-flows assessment under intensive human activities and for river ecohealth restoration in such rivers globally.

  18. Assessing habitat selection when availability changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arthur, S.; Garner, G.; ,

    1996-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Assessing juvenile salmon rearing habitat and associated predation risk in a lower Snake River reservoir

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Hatten, James R.; Trachtenbarg, David A

    2015-01-01

    Subyearling fall Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Columbia River basin exhibit a transient rearing strategy and depend on connected shoreline habitats during freshwater rearing. Impoundment has greatly reduced the amount of shallow-water rearing habitat that is exacerbated by the steep topography of reservoirs. Periodic dredging creates opportunities to strategically place spoils to increase the amount of shallow-water habitat for subyearlings while at the same time reducing the amount of unsuitable area that is often preferred by predators. We assessed the amount and spatial arrangement of subyearling rearing habitat in Lower Granite Reservoir on the Snake River to guide future habitat improvement efforts. A spatially explicit habitat assessment was conducted using physical habitat data, two-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling and a statistical habitat model in a geographic information system framework. We used field collections of subyearlings and a common predator [smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu)] to draw inferences about predation risk within specific habitat types. Most of the high-probability rearing habitat was located in the upper half of the reservoir where gently sloping landforms created low lateral bed slopes and shallow-water habitats. Only 29% of shorelines were predicted to be suitable (probability >0.5) for subyearlings, and the occurrence of these shorelines decreased in a downstream direction. The remaining, less suitable areas were composed of low-probability habitats in unmodified (25%) and riprapped shorelines (46%). As expected, most subyearlings were found in high-probability habitat, while most smallmouth bass were found in low-probability locations. However, some subyearlings were found in low-probability habitats, such as riprap, where predation risk could be high. Given their transient rearing strategy and dependence on shoreline habitats, subyearlings could benefit from habitat creation efforts in the lower

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  2. Coral Reef Habitat Suitability in Future Climate Scenarios from NCAR CESM1 considering a Suite of Biogeochemical Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, L. A.; Kleypas, J. A.; Miller, A. J.

    2013-12-01

    A maximum entropy species distribution model (Maxent) is used to describe coral reef habitat in current climate conditions and to predict changes to that habitat during the 21st century. Two climate change scenarios (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) from the National Center for Atmospheric Research's Community Earth System Model version 1 (CESM1) were used with Maxent to determine environmental suitability for the family of corals Scleractina in 1° by 1° cells. Input environmental variables most suitable for representing coral habitat limitation are isolated using a principal component analysis and include cumulative thermal stress, salinity, light availability, current speed, phosphate levels and aragonite saturation state. Considering a suite of environmental variables allows for a more synergistic view of future habitat suitability, although individual variables are found to be limiting in certain areas- for example, aragonite saturation state is limiting at higher latitudes. Climate-driven coral reef habitat changes depend strongly on the oceanic region of interest and the region of corals used to train the niche model. Increased global coral habitat loss occurred in both RCP4.5 and RCP8.5 climate projections as time progressed through the 21th century. Maximum suitable habitat loss was 82% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When only Caribbean/Atlantic coral reef environmental data is applied globally, 88% of global habitat was lost by 2100 for RCP8.5. The global runs utilizing only Pacific Ocean reefs' ability to survive showed the most significant worldwide loss, 90% by 2100 for RCP8.5. When Maxent was trained with Indian Ocean reefs, an increase in suitable habitat worldwide was estimated. Habitat suitability was found to increase by 38% in RCP4.5 by 2100 and 28% in RCP8.5 by 2050. This suggests that shallow tropical sites in the Indian Ocean basin experience conditions today that are most similar to future worldwide climate projections. Indian Ocean reefs may be ideal candidate

  3. Spatially explicit feedbacks between seagrass meadow structure, sediment and light: Habitat suitability for seagrass growth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carr, Joel; D'Odorico, Paul; McGlathery, Karen; Wiberg, Patricia L.

    2016-01-01

    In shallow coastal bays where nutrient loading and riverine inputs are low, turbidity, and the consequent light environment are controlled by resuspension of bed sediments due to wind-waves and tidal currents. High sediment resuspension and low light environments can limit benthic primary productivity; however, both currents and waves are affected by the presence of benthic plants such as seagrass. This feedback between the presence of benthic primary producers such as seagrass and the consequent light environment has been predicted to induce bistable dynamics locally. However, these vegetated areas influence a larger area than they footprint, including a barren adjacent downstream area which exhibits reduced shear stresses. Here we explore through modeling how the patchy structure of seagrass meadows on a landscape may affect sediment resuspension and the consequent light environment due to the presence of this sheltered region. Heterogeneous vegetation covers comprising a mosaic of randomly distributed patches were generated to investigate the effect of patch modified hydrodynamics. Actual cover of vegetation on the landscape was used to facilitate comparisons across landscape realizations. Hourly wave and current shear stresses on the landscape along with suspended sediment concentration and light attenuation characteristics were then calculated and spatially averaged to examine how actual cover and mean water depth affect the bulk sediment and light environment. The results indicate that an effective cover, which incorporates the sheltering area, has important controls on the distributions of shear stress, suspended sediment, light environment, and consequent seagrass habitat suitability. Interestingly, an optimal habitat occurs within a depth range where, if actual cover is reduced past some threshold, the bulk light environment would no longer favor seagrass growth.

  4. Marine Benthic Habitats and Seabed Suitability Mapping for Potential Ocean Current Energy Siting Offshore Southeast Florida

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Mulcan

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available This study examines the legal framework for ocean current energy policy and regulation to develop a metric for assessing the biological and geological characteristics of a seabed area with respect to the siting of OCE devices, a framework of criteria by which to assess seabed suitability (seabed suitability framework that can facilitate the siting, and implementation of ocean current energy (OCE projects. Seafloor geology and benthic biological data were analyzed in conjunction with seafloor core sample geostatistical interpolation to locate suitable substrates for OCE anchoring. Existing submarine cable pathways were considered to determine pathways for power transmission cables that circumvent biologically sensitive areas. Suitability analysis indicates that areas east of the Miami Terrace and north of recently identified deep-sea coral mounds are the most appropriate for OCE siting due to abundance of sand/sediment substrate, existing underwater cable route access, and minimal biological presence (i.e., little to no benthic communities. Further reconnaissance requires higher resolution maps of geological substrate and benthic community locations to identify specific OCE development locations, classify benthic conditions, and minimize potentially negative OCE environmental impacts.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

  7. Assessment of Climate Suitability of Maize in South Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hyun, S.; Choi, D.; Seo, B.

    2017-12-01

    Assessing suitable areas for crops would be useful to design alternate cropping systems as an adaptation option to climate change adaptation. Although suitable areas could be identified by using a crop growth model, it would require a number of input parameters including cultivar and soil. Instead, a simple climate suitability model, e.g., EcoCrop model, could be used for an assessment of climate suitability for a major grain crop. The objective of this study was to assess of climate suitability for maize using the EcoCrop model under climate change conditions in Korea. A long term climate data from 2000 - 2100 were compiled from weather data source. The EcoCrop model implemented in R was used to determine climate suitability index at each grid cell. Overall, the EcoCrop model tended to identify suitable areas for maize production near the coastal areas whereas the actual major production areas located in inland areas. It is likely that the discrepancy between assessed and actual crop production areas would result from the socioeconomic aspects of maize production. Because the price of maize is considerably low, maize has been grown in an area where moisture and temperature conditions would be less than optimum. In part, a simple algorithm to predict climate suitability for maize would caused a relatively large error in climate suitability assessment under the present climate conditions. In 2050s, the climate suitability for maize increased in a large areas in southern and western part of Korea. In particular, the plain areas near the coastal region had considerably greater suitability index in the future compared with mountainous areas. The expansion of suitable areas for maize would help crop production policy making such as the allocation of rice production area for other crops due to considerably less demand for the rice in Korea.

  8. Climate Change, Northern Birds of Conservation Concern and Matching the Hotspots of Habitat Suitability with the Reserve Network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virkkala, Raimo; Heikkinen, Risto K.; Fronzek, Stefan; Leikola, Niko

    2013-01-01

    National reserve networks are one of the most important means of species conservation, but their efficiency may be diminished due to the projected climatic changes. Using bioclimatic envelope models and spatial data on habitats and conservation areas, we studied how efficient the reserve network will be in preserving 100 forest, mire, marshland, and alpine bird species of conservation concern in Finland in 2051–2080 under three different climate scenarios. The occurrences of the studied bird species were related to the amount of habitat preferred by each species in the different boreal zones. We employed a novel integrated habitat suitability index that takes into account both the species’ probability of occurrence from the bioclimatic models and the availability of suitable habitat. Using this suitability index, the distribution of the topmost 5% suitability squares (“hotspots”) in the four bird species groups in the period 1971–2000 and under the three scenarios were compared with the location of reserves with the highest amounts of the four habitats to study the efficiency of the network. In species of mires, marshlands, and Arctic mountains, a high proportion of protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots in the scenarios in 2051–2080, showing that protected areas cover a high proportion of occurrences of bird species. In contrast, in forests in the southern and middle boreal zones, only a small proportion of the protected habitat was included in the 5% hotspots, indicating that the efficiency of the protected area network will be insufficient for forest birds in the future. In the northern boreal zone, the efficiency of the reserve network in forests was highly dependent on the strength of climate change varying between the scenarios. Overall, there is no single solution to preserving biodiversity in a changing climate, but several future pathways should be considered. PMID:23700420

  9. Diet, abundance and distribution as indices of turbot ( Psetta maxima L.) release habitat suitability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sparrevohn, Claus Reedtz; Støttrup, Josianne

    2008-01-01

    , natural abundance, and depth distribution within the habitats. A marked difference was found among habitats in the timing of the diet change from the suboptimal exoskeleton carrying prey items such as crustaceans to fish. The habitat where the wild turbot had the lowest occurrence of fish in their diet...

  10. Environmental predictors of habitat suitability and biogeographical range of Franciscana dolphins (Pontoporia blainvillei

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jonatan J. Gomez

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to use species distribution models to estimate the effects of environmental variables on the habitat suitability of river dolphins Pontoporia blainvillei (franciscanas along their overall biogeographical distribution. Based on the literature, we selected six environmental variables to be included in the models; four climatic factors (surface sea temperature, salinity, turbidity and productivity and two biotic factors (prey availability and fishing effort. We determined that the biographic range is under the following limits: temperature less than 19°C, a salinity of 36 psu and a minimal probability of the occurrence of fish C. guatucupa of 0.297. In the discussion, we postulate hypotheses on the behavioural and physiological mechanisms that cause these associations between environmental predictors and Franciscanas distribution. There was a good fit between the distribution predicted by the species distribution model and the one proposed by the experts of the International Union for Conservation of Nature; however, our analysis failed to highlight the fundamental role of bycatch as the main threat to this dolphin species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-26

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. L. Silveira

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

  13. Land Suitability Assessment for Pineapple Production in the A ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    linking land resources assessment to any land use decision-making process. like elsewhere, land ... managers as decision-support tools, for instance, to outline the most suitable land areas for subsidy ...... increase rational decisions. In this ..... essentially dynamic. it is pertinent that land suitability analysis is framed within an ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  15. Relative effects of road risk, habitat suitability, and connectivity on wildlife roadkills: the case of tawny owls (Strix aluco).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Sara M; Lourenço, Rui; Mira, António; Beja, Pedro

    2013-01-01

    Despite its importance for reducing wildlife-vehicle collisions, there is still incomplete understanding of factors responsible for high road mortality. In particular, few empirical studies examined the idea that spatial variation in roadkills is influenced by a complex interplay between road-related factors, and species-specific habitat quality and landscape connectivity. In this study we addressed this issue, using a 7-year dataset of tawny owl (Strix aluco) roadkills recorded along 37 km of road in southern Portugal. We used a multi-species roadkill index as a surrogate of intrinsic road risk, and we used a Maxent distribution model to estimate habitat suitability. Landscape connectivity was estimated from least-cost paths between tawny owl territories, using habitat suitability as a resistance surface. We defined 10 alternative scenarios to compute connectivity, based on variation in potential movement patterns according to territory quality and dispersal distance thresholds. Hierarchical partitioning of a regression model indicated that independent variation in tawny owl roadkills was explained primarily by the roadkill index (70.5%) and, to a much lesser extent, by landscape connectivity (26.2%), while habitat suitability had minor effects (3.3%). Analysis of connectivity scenarios suggested that owl roadkills were primarily related to short range movements (habitat quality and landscape connectivity are globally high for the study species. Nevertheless, the study supported the view that functional connectivity should be incorporated whenever possible in roadkill models, as it may greatly increase their power to predict the location of roadkill hotspots.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeff R. Troy

    2017-10-01

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

  17. Predicting Potential Changes in Suitable Habitat and Distribution by 2100 for Tree Species of the Eastern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louis R Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Mark W. Schwartz; Mark W. Schwartz

    2005-01-01

    We predict current distribution and abundance for tree species present in eastern North America, and subsequently estimate potential suitable habitat for those species under a changed climate with 2 x CO2. We used a series of statistical models (i.e., Regression Tree Analysis (RTA), Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), Bagging Trees (...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Ah Koo

    2015-04-01

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

  20. Integrating animal movement with habitat suitability for estimating dynamic landscape connectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Toor, Mariëlle L.; Kranstauber, Bart; Newman, Scott H.; Prosser, Diann J.; Takekawa, John Y.; Technitis, Georgios; Weibel, Robert; Wikelski, Martin; Safi, Kamran

    2018-01-01

    Context High-resolution animal movement data are becoming increasingly available, yet having a multitude of empirical trajectories alone does not allow us to easily predict animal movement. To answer ecological and evolutionary questions at a population level, quantitative estimates of a species’ potential to link patches or populations are of importance. Objectives We introduce an approach that combines movement-informed simulated trajectories with an environment-informed estimate of the trajectories’ plausibility to derive connectivity. Using the example of bar-headed geese we estimated migratory connectivity at a landscape level throughout the annual cycle in their native range. Methods We used tracking data of bar-headed geese to develop a multi-state movement model and to estimate temporally explicit habitat suitability within the species’ range. We simulated migratory movements between range fragments, and calculated a measure we called route viability. The results are compared to expectations derived from published literature. Results Simulated migrations matched empirical trajectories in key characteristics such as stopover duration. The viability of the simulated trajectories was similar to that of the empirical trajectories. We found that, overall, the migratory connectivity was higher within the breeding than in wintering areas, corroborating previous findings for this species. Conclusions We show how empirical tracking data and environmental information can be fused for meaningful predictions of animal movements throughout the year and even outside the spatial range of the available data. Beyond predicting migratory connectivity, our framework will prove useful for modelling ecological processes facilitated by animal movement, such as seed dispersal or disease ecology.

  1. Climate change and tree-line ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada: Habitat suitability modelling to inform high-elevation forest dynamics monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moore, Peggy E.; Alvarez, Otto; McKinney, Shawn T.; Li, Wenkai; Brooks, Matthew L.; Guo, Qinghua

    2017-01-01

    .Overall, models indicated that suitable habitats for whitebark and foxtail pine are more likely to shift geographically within the parks by 2100 rather than decline precipitously. This implies park managers might focus conservation efforts on stressors other than climate change, working toward species resilience in the face of threats from introduced disease and elevated native insect damage. More specifically, further understanding of the incidence and severity of white pine blister rust and other stressors in high elevation white pines would help assess vulnerability from threats other than climate change.

  2. Invasion establishment and habitat suitability of Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson over time and space in the western Himalayan forests of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gautam Mandal

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Habitat suitability assessment of the invasive species Chromolaena odorata (L. King and Robinson from Himalayan forests reveals some interesting findings and conclusions. At different study sites, 29 of 72 species were exotic and invasive and comprised 21 genera and eight families. Indigenous species accounted for 59% of the total species and comprised 26 genera and 11 families. Perennials outnumbered the annuals in all study sites. Chromolaena odorata and Lantana camara L. were the only invasive species that were common to all sites with high importance value index values. The present work reveals that sites with high biotic pressure, maximum temperature variation, open forest canopy, and free from herbivory are the most suitable habitat for the growth of C. odorata. An elevated level of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, soil organic matter, and nitrogen and acidic soil in all invaded sites are possible reasons for further invasion of C. odorata.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol-Dijkstra, Janet P; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G W

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  5. Climate and air pollution impacts on habitat suitability of Austrian forest ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dirnböck, Thomas; Djukic, Ika; Kitzler, Barbara; Kobler, Johannes; Mol, Janet; Posch, Max; Reinds, Gert Jan; Schlutow, Angela; Starlinger, Franz; Wamelink, Wieger G.W.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change and excess deposition of airborne nitrogen (N) are among the main stressors to floristic biodiversity. One particular concern is the deterioration of valuable habitats such as those protected under the European Habitat Directive. In future, climate-driven shifts (and losses) in the

  6. Using population viability analysis, genomics, and habitat suitability to forecast future population patterns of Little Owl Athene noctua across Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andersen, Line Holm; Sunde, Peter; Pellegrino, Irene; Loeschcke, Volker; Pertoldi, Cino

    2017-12-01

    The agricultural scene has changed over the past decades, resulting in a declining population trend in many species. It is therefore important to determine the factors that the individual species depend on in order to understand their decline. The landscape changes have also resulted in habitat fragmentation, turning once continuous populations into metapopulations. It is thus increasingly important to estimate both the number of individuals it takes to create a genetically viable population and the population trend. Here, population viability analysis and habitat suitability modeling were used to estimate population viability and future prospects across Europe of the Little Owl Athene noctua , a widespread species associated with agricultural landscapes. The results show a high risk of population declines over the coming 100 years, especially toward the north of Europe, whereas populations toward the southeastern part of Europe have a greater probability of persistence. In order to be considered genetically viable, individual populations must count 1,000-30,000 individuals. As Little Owl populations of several countries count <30,000, and many isolated populations in northern Europe count <1,000 individuals, management actions resulting in exchange of individuals between populations or even countries are probably necessary to prevent losing <1% genetic diversity over a 100-year period. At a continental scale, a habitat suitability analysis suggested Little Owl to be affected positively by increasing temperatures and urban areas, whereas an increased tree cover, an increasing annual rainfall, grassland, and sparsely vegetated areas affect the presence of the owl negatively. However, the low predictive power of the habitat suitability model suggests that habitat suitability might be better explained at a smaller scale.

  7. Pan-Arctic sea ice-algal chl a biomass and suitable habitat are largely underestimated for multiyear ice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Benjamin A; Flores, Hauke; Michel, Christine; Beckers, Justin F; Bublitz, Anne; Casey, John Alec; Castellani, Giulia; Hatam, Ido; Reppchen, Anke; Rudolph, Svenja A; Haas, Christian

    2017-11-01

    There is mounting evidence that multiyear ice (MYI) is a unique component of the Arctic Ocean and may play a more important ecological role than previously assumed. This study improves our understanding of the potential of MYI as a suitable habitat for sea ice algae on a pan-Arctic scale. We sampled sea ice cores from MYI and first-year sea ice (FYI) within the Lincoln Sea during four consecutive spring seasons. This included four MYI hummocks with a mean chl a biomass of 2.0 mg/m 2 , a value significantly higher than FYI and MYI refrozen ponds. Our results support the hypothesis that MYI hummocks can host substantial ice-algal biomass and represent a reliable ice-algal habitat due to the (quasi-) permanent low-snow surface of these features. We identified an ice-algal habitat threshold value for calculated light transmittance of 0.014%. Ice classes and coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat were determined from snow and ice surveys. These ice classes and associated coverage of suitable habitat were applied to pan-Arctic CryoSat-2 snow and ice thickness data products. This habitat classification accounted for the variability of the snow and ice properties and showed an areal coverage of suitable ice-algal habitat within the MYI-covered region of 0.54 million km 2 (8.5% of total ice area). This is 27 times greater than the areal coverage of 0.02 million km 2 (0.3% of total ice area) determined using the conventional block-model classification, which assigns single-parameter values to each grid cell and does not account for subgrid cell variability. This emphasizes the importance of accounting for variable snow and ice conditions in all sea ice studies. Furthermore, our results indicate the loss of MYI will also mean the loss of reliable ice-algal habitat during spring when food is sparse and many organisms depend on ice-algae. © 2017 The Authors. Global Change Biology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  8. Bioclimatic predictions of habitat suitability for the biofuel switchgrass in North America under current and future climate scenarios

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barney, Jacob N.; DiTomaso, Joseph M.

    2010-01-01

    Dedicated biofuel crops, while providing economic and other benefits, may adversely impact biodiversity directly via land use conversion, or indirectly via creation of novel invasive species. To mitigate negative impacts bioclimatic envelope models (BEM) can be used to estimate the potential distribution and suitable habitat based on the climate and distribution in the native range. We used CLIMEX to evaluate the regions of North America suitable for agronomic production, as well as regions potentially susceptible to an invasion of switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) under both current and future climate scenarios. Model results show that >8.7 million km 2 of North America has suitable to very favorable habitat, most of which occurs east of the Rocky Mountains. The non-native range of western North America is largely unsuitable to switchgrass as a crop or potential weed unless irrigation or permanent water is available. Under both the CGCM2 and HadCM3 climate models and A2 and B2 emissions scenarios, an overall increase in suitable habitat is predicted over the coming century, although the western US remains unsuitable. Our results suggest that much of North America is suitable for switchgrass cultivation, although this is likely to shift north in the coming century. Our results also agree with field collections of switchgrass outside its native range, which indicate that switchgrass is unlikely to establish unless it has access to water throughout the year (e.g., along a stream). Thus, it is the potential invasion of switchgrass into riparian habitats in the West that requires further investigation. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Ellis-Soto

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

  11. Production of fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitat and manufacturing facilities

    Science.gov (United States)

    1987-01-01

    The production of a fiberglass/metal composite material suitable for building habitats and manufacturing facilities was the project for Clemson. The concept and development of the knowledge necessary to produce glass fibers originated in the spring semester. During the summer, while at Johnson Space Center, fiberglass from a rock composition similar to ones found at the Apollo 16 site on the moon was successfully produced. The project this year was a continuation of last year's studies. We addressed the following problems which emerged as the work progressed: (1) Methods for coating the fibers with a metal were explored. We manufactured composites in two stages: Glass fibers without any coating on them; and fibers coated with metals as they were made. This proved to be a difficult process. Future activities include using a chemical vapor deposition process on fibers which have been made. (2) A glass furnace was developed which relies primarily on solar energy for melting the glass. The temperature of the melted glass is maintained by electrical means. The design is for 250 kg of glass per day. An electrical engineering student developed a scheme for controlling the melting and manufacturing process from the earth. This was done to minimize the human risk. Graphite refractories are relied on to contain the melt. (3) The glass composition chosen for the project is a relatively pure anorthite which is available in the highland regions of the lunar surface. A major problems with this material is that it melts at a comparatively high temperature. This problem will be solved by using graphite refractory materials for the furnace. The advantage of this glass composition is that it is very stable and does not tend to crystallize. (4) We have also refined the experimental furnace and fiber making machinery which we will be using at Johnson Space Center this summer. We believe that we will be able to draw and coat glass fibers in a vacuum for use in composites. We intend to

  12. Present and Future Projections of Habitat Suitability of the Asian Tiger Mosquito, a Vector of Viral Pathogens, from Global Climate Simulations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Proestos, Y.; Christophides, G.; Erguler, K.; Tanarhte, M.; Waldock, J.; Lelieveld, J.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change can influence the transmission of vector borne diseases (VBDs) through altering the habitat suitability of insect vectors. Here we present global climate model simulations and evaluate the associated uncertainties in view of the main meteorological factors that may affect the distribution of the Asian Tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), which can transmit pathogens that cause Chikungunya, Dengue fever, yellow fever and various encephalitides. Using a general circulation model (GCM) at 50 km horizontal resolution to simulate mosquito survival variables including temperature, precipitation and relative humidity, we present both global and regional projections of the habitat suitability up to the middle of the 21st century. The model resolution of 50 km allows evaluation against previous projections for Europe and provides a basis for comparative analyses with other regions. Model uncertainties and performance are addressed in light of the recent CMIP5 ensemble climate model simulations for the RCP8.5 concentration pathway and using meteorological re-analysis data (ERA-Interim/ECMWF) for the recent past. Uncertainty ranges associated with the thresholds of meteorological variables that may affect the distribution of Ae. albopictus are diagnosed using fuzzy-logic methodology, notably to assess the influence of selected meteorological criteria and combinations of criteria that influence mosquito habitat suitability. From the climate projections for 2050, and adopting a habitat suitability index larger than 70%, we estimate that about 2.4 billion individuals in a land area of nearly 20 million square kilometres will potentially be exposed to Ae. albopictus. The synthesis of fuzzy-logic based on mosquito biology and climate change analysis provides new insights into the regional and global spreading of VBDs to support disease control and policy making.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  14. Habitat suitability of Anopheles vector species and association with human malaria in the Atlantic Forest in south-eastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laporta, Gabriel Zorello; Ramos, Daniel Garkauskas; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Sallum, Maria Anice Mureb

    2011-08-01

    Every year, autochthonous cases of Plasmodium vivax malaria occur in low-endemicity areas of Vale do Ribeira in the south-eastern part of the Atlantic Forest, state of São Paulo, where Anopheles cruzii and Anopheles bellator are considered the primary vectors. However, other species in the subgenus Nyssorhynchus of Anopheles (e.g., Anopheles marajoara) are abundant and may participate in the dynamics of malarial transmission in that region. The objectives of the present study were to assess the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to associate the presence of these species with malaria cases in the municipalities of the Vale do Ribeira. Potential habitat suitability modelling was applied to determine both the spatial distribution of An. cruzii, An. bellator and An. marajoara and to establish the density of each species. Poisson regression was utilized to associate malaria cases with estimated vector densities. As a result, An. cruzii was correlated with the forested slopes of the Serra do Mar, An. bellator with the coastal plain and An. marajoara with the deforested areas. Moreover, both An. marajoara and An. cruzii were positively associated with malaria cases. Considering that An. marajoara was demonstrated to be a primary vector of human Plasmodium in the rural areas of the state of Amapá, more attention should be given to the species in the deforested areas of the Atlantic Forest, where it might be a secondary vector.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Assessment of Suitability of Wood Fibres of Four Nigerian Fruit ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Wood fibres of four fruit trees of Nigeria commonly found in Nsukka metropolis were studied and assessed for their suitability for paper-making. These trees include Mangifera indica, Anacardium occidentale, Persea americana and Dacryodes edulis. The parameters used in the study were the fibre dimensions and derived ...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochem Kail

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

  18. Projected future suitable habitat and productivity of Douglas-fir in western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron R. Weiskittel; Nicholas L. Crookston; Gerald E. Rehfeldt

    2012-01-01

    Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii [Mirb.] Franco) is one of the most common and commercially important species in western North America. The species can occupy a range of habitats, is long-lived (up to 500 years), and highly productive. However, the future of Douglas-fir in western North America is highly uncertain due to the expected changes in climate conditions....

  19. Fish habitat simulation models and integrated assessment tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harby, A.; Alfredsen, K.

    1999-01-01

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

  20. Assessing habitat connectivity for ground-dwelling animals in an urban environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braaker, S; Moretti, M; Boesch, R; Ghazoul, J; Obrist, M K; Bontadina, F

    To ensure viable species populations in fragmented landscapes, individuals must be able to move between suitable habitat patches. Despite the increased interest in biodiversity assessment in urban environments, the ecological relevance of habitat connectivity in highly fragmented landscapes remains largely unknown. The first step to understanding the role of habitat connectivity in urban ecology is the challenging task of assessing connectivity in the complex patchwork of contrasting habitats that is found in cities. We developed a data-based framework, minimizing the use of subjective assumptions, to assess habitat connectivity that consists of the following sequential steps: (1) identification of habitat preference based on empirical habitat-use data; (2) derivation of habitat resistance surfaces evaluating various transformation functions; (3) modeling of different connectivity maps with electrical circuit theory (Circuitscape), a method considering all possible pathways across the landscape simultaneously; and (4) identification of the best connectivity map with information-theoretic model selection. We applied this analytical framework to assess habitat connectivity for the European hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus, a model species for ground-dwelling animals, in the city of Zurich, Switzerland, using GPS track points from 40 individuals. The best model revealed spatially explicit connectivity “pinch points,” as well as multiple habitat connections. Cross-validation indicated the general validity of the selected connectivity model. The results show that both habitat connectivity and habitat quality affect the movement of urban hedgehogs (relative importance of the two variables was 19.2% and 80.8%, respectively), and are thus both relevant for predicting urban animal movements. Our study demonstrates that even in the complex habitat patchwork of cities, habitat connectivity plays a major role for ground-dwelling animal movement. Data-based habitat connectivity

  1. Land Suitability Assessment for Sugarcane in "Herois de Caxito" (Angola

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baert, G.

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available The suitability of the soils surrounding the sugarcane plantation at "Herois de Caxito" (7068 ha is assessed. The main goal is to identify land suitability for the enlargement of the present plantation, using FAO land evaluation models (modified to suit Herois de Caxito conditions and GIS. Calculations of the radiationthermal production potential (RPP, land production potential (LPP, irrigation suitability index, and evaluation of the irrigation water quality are done. The water-limited production potential (WPP is found equal to the RPP, because water needs were fully met under irrigation. Maps showing the spatial distribution of the LPP and the suitability for irrigation are generated. The matching of irrigation and fertility indices has shown that, about 40% of the soils with good fertility for sugarcane production present low suitability for irrigation, the main limitations being the very fine texture and the drainage. The available surface water at Herois de Caxito (Dande river is of very good quality for irrigation of sugarcane.

  2. Asian elephants in China: estimating population size and evaluating habitat suitability.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Zhang

    Full Text Available We monitored the last remaining Asian elephant populations in China over the past decade. Using DNA tools and repeat genotyping, we estimated the population sizes from 654 dung samples collected from various areas. Combined with morphological individual identifications from over 6,300 elephant photographs taken in the wild, we estimated that the total Asian elephant population size in China is between 221 and 245. Population genetic structure and diversity were examined using a 556-bp fragment of mitochondrial DNA, and 24 unique haplotypes were detected from DNA analysis of 178 individuals. A phylogenetic analysis revealed two highly divergent clades of Asian elephants, α and β, present in Chinese populations. Four populations (Mengla, Shangyong, Mengyang, and Pu'Er carried mtDNA from the α clade, and only one population (Nangunhe carried mtDNA belonging to the β clade. Moreover, high genetic divergence was observed between the Nangunhe population and the other four populations; however, genetic diversity among the five populations was low, possibly due to limited gene flow because of habitat fragmentation. The expansion of rubber plantations, crop cultivation, and villages along rivers and roads had caused extensive degradation of natural forest in these areas. This had resulted in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and had formed artificial barriers that inhibited elephant migration. Using Geographic Information System, Global Positioning System, and Remote Sensing technology, we found that the area occupied by rubber plantations, tea farms, and urban settlements had dramatically increased over the past 40 years, resulting in the loss and fragmentation of elephant habitats and forming artificial barriers that inhibit elephant migration. The restoration of ecological corridors to facilitate gene exchange among isolated elephant populations and the establishment of cross-boundary protected areas between China and Laos to secure

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Ellenberg's indicator values support prediction of suitable habitat for pre-diapause larvae of endangered butterfly Euphydryas aurinia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Remigiusz Pielech

    Full Text Available In spite of the great popularity of Ellenberg's Indicator Values (EIVs in plant ecology, animal ecologists seldom use EIVs to address ecological questions. In this study we used EIVs to test their potential usefulness for the prediction of suitable habitat for pre-diapause larvae of the endangered butterfly species Euphydryas aurinia. Nine transects crossing grasslands in SW Poland with abundant populations of E. aurinia were designed. We sampled 76 vegetation plots along the transects. In addition, the presence of the larval webs of E. aurinia in sampled plots was also recorded. We then calculated the mean community EIVs of light, nitrogen, soil reaction, moisture and temperature for each sample plots. Generalized linear mixed-effects models (GLMMs were used to assess which factors determine the local occurrence of larval webs of E. aurinia. We found the larval webs only in 12 plots, while the host plant was present in 39 of the examined plots. The presence of the host plant was the most important predictor in both models including all plots or including only plots with host plants. The other significant predictor was the mean EIV of light, and its importance increased in models considering all plots. We attributed the importance of the EIV of light to the site openness and density of the vegetation layer. A positive relationship between this predictor and the presence of larval webs indicates that sites with looser vegetation, a lower contribution of shrubs and tall herbs and better penetration of photosynthetically active radiation to lower vegetation layers are preferred by E. aurinia for oviposition. Moreover, the significance of EIV of light may be linked with management practices. Many light-demanding species decline after cessation of mowing as a result of litter accumulation and the dominance of tall herbs. An absence of light-demanding species decreases the community's mean EIV of light and thus indicates the influence of meadow

  5. EXPERT MODEL OF LAND SUITABILITY ASSESSMENT FOR CROPS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Boris Đurđević

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available A total of 17404 soil samples (2003rd-2009th year were analysed in the eastern Croatia. The largest number of soil samples belongs to the Osijek-Baranya county, which together with both Eastern sugar beet Factories (Osijek and Županja, conduct the soil fertility control (~4200 samples/yr.. Computer model suitability assessment for crops, supported by GIS, proved to be fast, efficient enough reliable in terms of the number of analyzed soil samples. It allows the visualization of the agricultural area and prediction of its production properties for the purposes of analysis, planning and rationalization of agricultural production. With more precise data about the soil (soil, climate and reliable Digital Soil Map of Croatia, the model could be an acceptable, not only to evaluate the suitability for growing different crops but also their need for fertilizer, necessary machinery, repairs (liming, and other measures of organic matter input. The abovementioned aims to eliminate or reduce effects of limiting factors in primary agricultural production. Assessment of the relative benefits of soil presented by computer model for the crops production and geostatistical method kriging in the Osijek-Baranya county showed: 1 Average soil suitability being 60.06 percent. 2 Kriging predicted that 51751 ha (17.16% are of limited resources (N1 for growing crops whereas a 86142 ha (28.57% of land is limited suitably (S3, b 132789 ha (44.04% are moderately suitable (S2 and c 30772 ha (10.28% are of excellent fertility (S1. A large number of eastern Croatian land data showed that the computer-geostatistical model for determination of soil benefits for growing crops was automated, fast and simple to use and suitable for the implementation of GIS and automatically downloading the necessary benefit indicators from the input base (land, analytical and climate as well as data from the digital soil maps able to: a visualize the suitability for soil tillage, b predict the

  6. Habitat suitability mapping of Anopheles darlingi in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant reservoir, Mato Grosso, Central Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miyazaki Rosina D

    2007-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Hydropower plants provide more than 78 % of Brazil's electricity generation, but the country's reservoirs are potential new habitats for main vectors of malaria. In a case study in the surroundings of the Manso hydropower plant in Mato Grosso state, Central Brazil, habitat suitability of Anopheles darlingi was studied. Habitat profile was characterized by collecting environmental data. Remote sensing and GIS techniques were applied to extract additional spatial layers of land use, distance maps, and relief characteristics for spatial model building. Results Logistic regression analysis and ROC curves indicate significant relationships between the environment and presence of An. darlingi. Probabilities of presence strongly vary as a function of land cover and distance from the lake shoreline. Vector presence was associated with spatial proximity to reservoir and semi-deciduous forests followed by Cerrado woodland. Vector absence was associated with open vegetation formations such as grasslands and agricultural areas. We suppose that non-significant differences of vector incidences between rainy and dry seasons are associated with the availability of anthropogenic breeding habitat of the reservoir throughout the year. Conclusion Satellite image classification and multitemporal shoreline simulations through DEM-based GIS-analyses consist in a valuable tool for spatial modeling of A. darlingi habitats in the studied hydropower reservoir area. Vector presence is significantly increased in forested areas near reservoirs in bays protected from wind and wave action. Construction of new reservoirs under the tropical, sub-humid climatic conditions should therefore be accompanied by entomologic studies to predict the risk of malaria epidemics.

  7. Assessing the Amazon Cloud Suitability for CLARREO's Computational Needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goldin, Daniel; Vakhnin, Andrei A.; Currey, Jon C.

    2015-01-01

    In this document we compare the performance of the Amazon Web Services (AWS), also known as Amazon Cloud, with the CLARREO (Climate Absolute Radiance and Refractivity Observatory) cluster and assess its suitability for computational needs of the CLARREO mission. A benchmark executable to process one month and one year of PARASOL (Polarization and Anistropy of Reflectances for Atmospheric Sciences coupled with Observations from a Lidar) data was used. With the optimal AWS configuration, adequate data-processing times, comparable to the CLARREO cluster, were found. The assessment of alternatives to the CLARREO cluster continues and several options, such as a NASA-based cluster, are being considered.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C.

    2003-01-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination

  10. Ecotoxicological suitability of floodplain habitats in The Netherlands for the little owl (Athene noctua vidalli)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brink, N.W. van den; Groen, N.M.; Jonge, J. de; Bosveld, A.T.C

    2003-03-01

    PCBs pose a risk to little owls from floodplain habitats. - This study describes the actual risks of exposure to contaminants, which little owls (Athene noctua vidalli) face in Dutch river floodplains. The results indicate that PCBs pose a risk: not only are levels in little owls from floodplains higher than levels found in little owls from a reference site but the PCB patterns in owls from the floodplains also indicate induction of hepatic cytochrome P450 enzymes by dioxin like compounds, possibly PCBs. Of the heavy metals, only cadmium is thought to pose a risk in certain conditions, for example, when little owls are feeding only on earthworms over a prolonged period of time. The results do not indicate any effects on the occurrence of prey items of the little owl like for instance earthworm, beetles and shrews. Hence, it is not expected that little owls will be affected by diminishing prey availability due to contamination.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Gonzáles-Andrés

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

  13. Land Suitability Assessment And Precision Farming Prospects For ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The soils on the farm were sampled and profiles classified using South African Binomial system of soil classification. The farm was divided into suitability classes of highly suitable (S1), suitable (S2), and unsuitable (N1), and permanently unsuitable (N2) classes. Maize-soybean suitability maps were produced based on soil ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

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

  15. Red list assessment of European habitat types. A feasibility study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rodwell, J.S.; Janssen, J.A.M.; Gubbay, S.; Schaminee, J.H.J.

    2013-01-01

    This report presents an achievable methodology for the Red List assessment of European habitats in terrestrial, freshwater and marine realms, outlines a process that will deliver such evaluations and gives an indication of resources needed. It shows how the EUNIS habitat classification can be

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. P. Singh

    2015-09-01

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

  17. Using maximum entropy to predict suitable habitat for the endangered dwarf wedgemussel in the Maryland Coastal Plain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Cara; Hilderbrand, Robert H.

    2017-01-01

    Species distribution modelling can be useful for the conservation of rare and endangered species. Freshwater mussel declines have thinned species ranges producing spatially fragmented distributions across large areas. Spatial fragmentation in combination with a complex life history and heterogeneous environment makes predictive modelling difficult.A machine learning approach (maximum entropy) was used to model occurrences and suitable habitat for the federally endangered dwarf wedgemussel, Alasmidonta heterodon, in Maryland's Coastal Plain catchments. Landscape-scale predictors (e.g. land cover, land use, soil characteristics, geology, flow characteristics, and climate) were used to predict the suitability of individual stream segments for A. heterodon.The best model contained variables at three scales: minimum elevation (segment scale), percentage Tertiary deposits, low intensity development, and woody wetlands (sub-catchment), and percentage low intensity development, pasture/hay agriculture, and average depth to the water table (catchment). Despite a very small sample size owing to the rarity of A. heterodon, cross-validated prediction accuracy was 91%.Most predicted suitable segments occur in catchments not known to contain A. heterodon, which provides opportunities for new discoveries or population restoration. These model predictions can guide surveys toward the streams with the best chance of containing the species or, alternatively, away from those streams with little chance of containing A. heterodon.Developed reaches had low predicted suitability for A. heterodon in the Coastal Plain. Urban and exurban sprawl continues to modify stream ecosystems in the region, underscoring the need to preserve existing populations and to discover and protect new populations.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentina Lauria

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

  20. Integrating Open Access Geospatial Data to Map the Habitat Suitability of the Declining Corn Bunting (Miliaria calandra

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdulhakim M. Abdi

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of integrating open access geospatial data to produce habitat suitability maps for the corn bunting (Miliaria calandra was investigated. Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+, Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM and Corine (Coordination of Information on the Environment land cover data for the year 2000 (CLC2000 were processed to extract explanatory variables and divided into three sets; Satellite (ETM+, SRTM, CLC2000 and Combined (CLC2000 + Satellite. Presence-absence data for M. calandra, collected during structured surveys for the Catalan Breeding Bird Atlas, were provided by the Catalan Ornithological Institute. The dataset was partitioned into an equal number of presence and absence points by dividing it into five groups, each composed of 88 randomly selected presence points to match the number of absences. A logistic regression model was then built for each group. Models were evaluated using area under the curve (AUC of the receiver operating characteristic (ROC. Results of the five groups were averaged to produce mean Satellite, CLC2000 and Combined models. The mean AUC values were 0.69, 0.81 and 0.90 for the CLC2000, Satellite and the Combined model, respectively. The probability of M. calandra presence had the strongest positive correlation with land surface temperature, modified soil adjusted vegetation index, coefficient of variation for ETM+ band 5 and the fraction of non-irrigated arable land.

  1. Host habitat assessment by a parasitoid using fungal volatiles

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steidle Johannes LM

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The preference – performance hypothesis predicts that oviposition preference of insects should correlate with host suitability for offspring development. Therefore, insect females have to be able to assess not only the quality of a given host but also the environmental conditions of the respective host habitat. Chemical cues are a major source of information used by insects for this purpose. Primary infestation of stored grain by stored product pests often favors the intense growth of mold. This can lead to distinct sites of extreme environmental conditions (hot-spots with increased insect mortality. We studied the influence of mold on chemical orientation, host recognition, and fitness of Lariophagus distinguendus, a parasitoid of beetle larvae developing in stored grain. Results Volatiles of wheat infested by Aspergillus sydowii and A. versicolor repelled female parasitoids in an olfactometer. Foraging L. distinguendus females are known to be strongly attracted to the odor of larval host feces from the granary weevil Sitophilus granarius, which may adhere in remarkable amounts to the surface of the grains. Feces from moldy weevil cultures elicited neutral responses but parasitoids clearly avoided moldy feces when non-moldy feces were offered simultaneously. The common fungal volatile 1-octen-3-ol was the major component of the odor of larval feces from moldy weevil cultures and repelled female parasitoids at naturally occurring doses. In bioassays investigating host recognition behavior of L. distinguendus, females spent less time on grains containing hosts from moldy weevil cultures and showed less drumming and drilling behavior than on non-moldy controls. L. distinguendus had a clearly reduced fitness on hosts from moldy weevil cultures. Conclusion We conclude that L. distinguendus females use 1-octen-3-ol for host habitat assessment to avoid negative fitness consequences due to secondary mold infestation of host

  2. Assessing Impacts of Hydropower Regulation on Salmonid Habitat Connectivity to Guide River Restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buddendorf, Bas; Geris, Josie; Malcolm, Iain; Wilkinson, Mark; Soulsby, Chris

    2016-04-01

    Anthropogenic activity in riverine ecosystems has led to a substantial divergence from the natural state of many rivers globally. Many of Scotland's rivers have been regulated for hydropower with increasing intensity since the 1890s. At the same time they sustain substantial populations of Atlantic Salmon (Salmo salar L.), which have a range of requirements in terms of flow and access to habitat, depending on the different life-stages. River barriers for hydropower regulation can change the spatial and temporal connectivity within river networks, the impacts of which on salmon habitat are not fully understood. Insight into such changes in connectivity, and the link with the distribution and accessibility of suitable habitat and areas of high productivity, are essential to aid restoration and/or conservation efforts. This is because they indicate where such efforts might have a higher chance of being successful in terms of providing suitable habitat and increasing river productivity. In this study we applied a graph theory approach to assess historic (natural) and contemporary (regulated) in-stream habitat connectivity of the River Lyon, an important UK salmon river that is moderately regulated for hydropower. Historic maps and GIS techniques were used to construct the two contrasting river networks (i.e., natural vs. regulated). Subsequently, connectivity metrics were used to assess the impacts of hydropower infrastructure on upstream and downstream migration possibilities for adults and juveniles, respectively. A national juvenile salmon production model was used to weight the importance of reaches for juvenile salmon production. Results indicate that the impact of barriers in the Lyon on the connectivity indices depends on the type of barrier and its location within the network, but is generally low for both adults and juveniles, and that compared to the historic river network the reduction in the amount of suitable habitat and juvenile production is most marked

  3. Variability of Suitable Habitat of Western Winter-Spring Cohort for Neon Flying Squid in the Northwest Pacific under Anomalous Environments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yu

    Full Text Available We developed a habitat suitability index (HSI model to evaluate the variability of suitable habitat for neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii under anomalous environments in the Northwest Pacific Ocean. Commercial fisheries data from the Chinese squid-jigging vessels on the traditional fishing ground bounded by 35°-45°N and 150°-175°E from July to November during 1998-2009 were used for analyses, as well as the environmental variables including sea surface temperature (SST, chlorophyll-a (Chl-a concentration, sea surface height anomaly (SSHA and sea surface salinity (SSS. Two empirical HSI models (arithmetic mean model, AMM; geometric mean model, GMM were established according to the frequency distribution of fishing efforts. The AMM model was found to perform better than the GMM model. The AMM-based HSI model was further validated by the fishery and environmental data in 2010. The predicted HSI values in 1998 (high catch, 2008 (average catch and 2009 (low catch indicated that the squid habitat quality was strongly associated with the ENSO-induced variability in the oceanic conditions on the fishing ground. The La Niña events in 1998 tended to yield warm SST and favorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, resulting in high-quality habitats for O. bartramii. While the fishing ground in the El Niño year of 2009 experienced anomalous cool waters and unfavorable range of Chl-a concentration and SSHA, leading to relatively low-quality squid habitats. Our findings suggest that the La Niña event in 1998 tended to result in more favorable habitats for O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific with the gravity centers of fishing efforts falling within the defined suitable habitat and yielding high squid catch; whereas the El Niño event in 2009 yielded less favorable habitat areas with the fishing effort distribution mismatching the suitable habitat and a dramatic decline of the catch of O. bartramii. This study might provide some potentially

  4. Assessment of Irrigation Water Quality and Suitability for Irrigation in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A number of factors like geology, soil, effluents, sewage disposal and other environmental conditions in which the water stays or moves and interacts are among the factors that affect the quality of irrigation water. This study was conducted to determine the quality and suitability of different water sources for irrigation purpose ...

  5. Assessment in Action : Assessing and Displaying Suitability for Adoptive Parenthood through Text and Talk

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordegraaf, M.

    2008-01-01

    'Assessment in action' is an ethnographical conversation analysis of how suitability for adoptive parenthood is assessed in institutional interaction. It is about talking with clients and transforming this talk into documents. Conversations and texts are submitted to a sentence by sentence analysis

  6. Coastal Assessment Framework - National Assessment of Estuary and Coastal Habitats

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Under the National Fish Habitat Partnership, scientists at the NEFSC, NWFSC, and Silver Spring Headquarters are compiling information on the nation's estuarine and...

  7. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe): the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Andrea G; Alò, Dominique; González, Benito A; Samaniego, Horacio

    2018-01-01

    The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco ( Lama guanicoe ), to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species ( L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe ). We used maximum entropy to model lineage's climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5). We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. We show that: (a) the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b) future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c) a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d) current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution area is expected, this may come with an important

  8. Irrigation Suitability Assessment of Effluents From West Kano Rice ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Choice-Academy

    lake water, and an excess in effluents. The excess nitrates in effluents pollute the lake, but could help as crop .... modelling assessment method proposed in this study can be used to ... economic and environmental impact assessment research ...

  9. Assessing the Effects of Water Right Purchases on Stream Temperatures and Fish Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elmore, L.; Null, S. E.

    2012-12-01

    Warm stream temperature and low flow conditions are limiting factors for native trout species in Nevada's Walker River. Water rights purchases are being considered to increase instream flow and improve habitat conditions. However, the effect of water rights purchases on stream temperatures and fish habitat have yet to be assessed. Manipulating flow conditions affect stream temperatures by altering water depth, velocity, and thermal mass. This study uses the River Modeling System (RMSv4), an hourly, physically-based hydrodynamic and water quality model, to estimate flows and stream temperatures in the Walker River. The model is developed for two wet years (2010-2011). Study results highlight reaches with cold-water habitat that is suitable for native trout species. Previous research on the Walker River has evaluated instream flow changes with water rights purchases. This study incorporates stream temperatures as a proxy for trout habitat, and thus explicitly incorporates water quality and fish habitat into decision-making regarding water rights purchases. Walker River

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Weiwei; Chen, Yuansheng

    2018-04-01

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

  12. Shelf spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus in south-eastern Australia - Implications and suitability for egg-based biomass estimation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neira, Francisco J.; Lyle, Jeremy M.; Keane, John P.

    2009-03-01

    The spawning habitat of Emmelichthys nitidus (Emmelichthyidae) in south-eastern Australia is described from vertical ichthyoplankton samples collected along the shelf region off eastern through to south-western Tasmania during peak spawning in October 2005-06. Surveys covered eastern waters in 2005 (38.8-43.5°S), and both eastern and southern waters in 2006 (40.5°S around to 43.5°S off the south-west). Eggs ( n = 10,393) and larvae ( n = 378) occurred along eastern Tasmania in both years but were rare along southern waters south and westwards of 43.5°S in 2006. Peak egg abundances (1950-2640 per m -2) were obtained off north-eastern Tasmania (40.5-41.5°S) between the shelf break and 2.5 nm inshore from the break. Eggs were up to 5-days old, while nearly 95% of larvae were at the early preflexion stage, i.e. close to newly emerged. Average abundances of aged eggs pooled across each survey declined steadily from day-1 to day-5 eggs both in 2005 (97-18) and 2006 (175-34). Moreover, day-1 egg abundances were significantly greater 2.5 nm at either side of the break, including at the break, than in waters ≥5 nm both inshore and offshore from the break. These results, complemented with egg and larval data obtained in shelf waters off New South Wales (NSW; 35.0-37.7°S) in October 2002-03, indicate that the main spawning area of E. nitidus in south-eastern Australia lies between 35.5°S off southern NSW and 43.5°S off south-eastern Tasmania, and that spawning activity declines abruptly south and westwards of 43.5°S around to the south-west coast. In addition, quotient analyses of day-1 egg abundances point to a preferred spawning habitat contained predominantly within a 5 nm corridor along the shelf break, where waters are 125-325 m deep and median temperatures 13.5-14.0 °C. Spawning off eastern Tasmania is timed with the productivity outburst typical of the region during the austral spring, and the temperature increase from the mixing between the southwards

  13. Assessing Potential Habitat and Carrying Capacity for Reintroduction of Plains Bison (Bison bison bison in Banff National Park.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Steenweg

    Full Text Available Interest in bison (Bison bison, B. bonasus conservation and restoration continues to grow globally. In Canada, plains bison (B. b. bison are threatened, occupying less than 0.5% of their former range. The largest threat to their recovery is the lack of habitat in which they are considered compatible with current land uses. Fences and direct management make range expansion by most bison impossible. Reintroduction of bison into previously occupied areas that remain suitable, therefore, is critical for bison recovery in North America. Banff National Park is recognized as historical range of plains bison and has been identified as a potential site for reintroduction of a wild population. To evaluate habitat quality and assess if there is sufficient habitat for a breeding population, we developed a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI model for the proposed reintroduction and surrounding areas in Banff National Park (Banff. We then synthesize previous studies on habitat relationships, forage availability, bison energetics and snowfall scenarios to estimate nutritional carrying capacity. Considering constraints on nutritional carrying capacity, the most realistic scenario that we evaluated resulted in an estimated maximum bison density of 0.48 bison/km2. This corresponds to sufficient habitat to support at least 600 to 1000 plains bison, which could be one of the largest 10 plains bison populations in North America. Within Banff, there is spatial variation in predicted bison habitat suitability and population size that suggests one potential reintroduction site as the most likely to be successful from a habitat perspective. The successful reintroduction of bison into Banff would represent a significant global step towards conserving this iconic species, and our approach provides a useful template for evaluating potential habitat for other endangered species reintroductions into their former range.

  14. Change of niche in guanaco (Lama guanicoe: the effects of climate change on habitat suitability and lineage conservatism in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea G. Castillo

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Background The main goal of this contribution was to define the ecological niche of the guanaco (Lama guanicoe, to describe potential distributional changes, and to assess the relative importance of niche conservatism and divergence processes between the two lineages described for the species (L.g. cacsilensis and L.g. guanicoe. Methods We used maximum entropy to model lineage’s climate niche from 3,321 locations throughout continental Chile, and developed future niche models under climate change for two extreme greenhouse gas emission scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5. We evaluated changes of the environmental niche and future distribution of the largest mammal in the Southern Cone of South America. Evaluation of niche conservatism and divergence were based on identity and background similarity tests. Results We show that: (a the current geographic distribution of lineages is associated with different climatic requirements that are related to the geographic areas where these lineages are located; (b future distribution models predict a decrease in the distribution surface under both scenarios; (c a 3% decrease of areal protection is expected if the current distribution of protected areas is maintained, and this is expected to occur at the expense of a large reduction of high quality habitats under the best scenario; (d current and future distribution ranges of guanaco mostly adhere to phylogenetic niche divergence hypotheses between lineages. Discussion Associating environmental variables with species ecological niche seems to be an important aspect of unveiling the particularities of, both evolutionary patterns and ecological features that species face in a changing environment. We report specific descriptions of how these patterns may play out under the most extreme climate change predictions and provide a grim outlook of the future potential distribution of guanaco in Chile. From an ecological perspective, while a slightly smaller distribution

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tawanda Manyangadze

    2016-11-01

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

  16. Predicted effects of future climate warming on thermal habitat suitability for Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) in rivers in Wisconsin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyons, John D.; Stewart, Jana S.

    2015-01-01

    The Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens, Rafinesque, 1817) may be threatened by future climate warming. The purpose of this study was to identify river reaches in Wisconsin, USA, where they might be vulnerable to warming water temperatures. In Wisconsin, A. fulvescens is known from 2291 km of large-river habitat that has been fragmented into 48 discrete river-lake networks isolated by impassable dams. Although the exact temperature tolerances are uncertain, water temperatures above 28–30°C are potentially less suitable for this coolwater species. Predictions from 13 downscaled global climate models were input to a lotic water temperature model to estimate amounts of potential thermally less-suitable habitat at present and for 2046–2065. Currently, 341 km (14.9%) of the known habitat are estimated to regularly exceed 28°C for an entire day, but only 6 km (0.3%) to exceed 30°C. In 2046–2065, 685–2164 km (29.9–94.5%) are projected to exceed 28°C and 33–1056 km (1.4–46.1%) to exceed 30°C. Most river-lake networks have cooler segments, large tributaries, or lakes that might provide temporary escape from potentially less suitable temperatures, but 12 short networks in the Lower Fox and Middle Wisconsin rivers totaling 93.6 km are projected to have no potential thermal refugia. One possible adaptation to climate change could be to provide fish passage or translocation so that riverine Lake Sturgeon might have access to more thermally suitable habitats.

  17. Habitat assessment of non-wadeable rivers in Michigan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilhelm, Jennifer G O; Allan, J David; Wessell, Kelly J; Merritt, Richard W; Cummins, Kenneth W

    2005-10-01

    Habitat evaluation of wadeable streams based on accepted protocols provides a rapid and widely used adjunct to biological assessment. However, little effort has been devoted to habitat evaluation in non-wadeable rivers, where it is likely that protocols will differ and field logistics will be more challenging. We developed and tested a non-wadeable habitat index (NWHI) for rivers of Michigan, where non-wadeable rivers were defined as those of order >or=5, drainage area >or=1600 km2, mainstem lengths >or=100 km, and mean annual discharge >or=15 m3/s. This identified 22 candidate rivers that ranged in length from 103 to 825 km and in drainage area from 1620 to 16,860 km2. We measured 171 individual habitat variables over 2-km reaches at 35 locations on 14 rivers during 2000-2002, where mean wetted width was found to range from 32 to 185 m and mean thalweg depth from 0.8 to 8.3 m. We used correlation and principal components analysis to reduce the number of variables, and examined the spatial pattern of retained variables to exclude any that appeared to reflect spatial location rather than reach condition, resulting in 12 variables to be considered in the habitat index. The proposed NWHI included seven variables: riparian width, large woody debris, aquatic vegetation, bottom deposition, bank stability, thalweg substrate, and off-channel habitat. These variables were included because of their statistical association with independently derived measures of human disturbance in the riparian zone and the catchment, and because they are considered important in other habitat protocols or to the ecology of large rivers. Five variables were excluded because they were primarily related to river size rather than anthropogenic disturbance. This index correlated strongly with indices of disturbance based on the riparian (adjusted R2 = 0.62) and the catchment (adjusted R2 = 0.50), and distinguished the 35 river reaches into the categories of poor (2), fair (19), good (13), and

  18. Defining geo-habitats for groundwater ecosystem assessments: an example from England and Wales (UK)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weitowitz, Damiano C.; Maurice, Louise; Lewis, Melinda; Bloomfield, John P.; Reiss, Julia; Robertson, Anne L.

    2017-12-01

    Groundwater ecosystems comprising micro-organisms and metazoans provide an important contribution to global biodiversity. Their complexity depends on geology, which determines the physical habitat available, and the chemical conditions within it. Despite this, methods of classifying groundwater habitats using geological data are not well established and researchers have called for higher resolution habitat frameworks. A novel habitat typology for England and Wales (UK) is proposed, which distinguishes 11 geological habitats (geo-habitats) on hydrogeological principles and maps their distribution. Hydrogeological and hydrochemical data are used to determine the characteristics of each geo-habitat, and demonstrate their differences. Using these abiotic parameters, a new method to determine abiotic habitat quality is then developed. The geo-habitats had significantly different characteristics, validating the classification system. All geo-habitats were highly heterogeneous, containing both high quality habitat patches that are likely to be suitable for fauna, and areas of low quality that may limit faunal distributions. Karstic and porous habitats generally were higher quality than fractured habitats. Overall, 70% of England and Wales are covered by lower quality fractured habitats, with only 13% covered by higher quality habitats. The main areas of high quality habitats occur in central England as north-south trending belts, possibly facilitating dispersal along this axis. They are separated by low quality geo-habitats that may prevent east-west dispersal of fauna. In south-west England and Wales suitable geo-habitats occur as small isolated patches. Overall, this paper provides a new national-scale typology that is adaptable for studies in other geographic areas.

  19. Effect of spatial and temporal scales on habitat suitability modeling: A case study of Ommastrephes bartramii in the northwest pacific ocean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Caixia; Chen, Xinjun; Gao, Feng; Tian, Siquan

    2014-12-01

    Temporal and spatial scales play important roles in fishery ecology, and an inappropriate spatio-temporal scale may result in large errors in modeling fish distribution. The objective of this study is to evaluate the roles of spatio-temporal scales in habitat suitability modeling, with the western stock of winter-spring cohort of neon flying squid ( Ommastrephes bartramii) in the northwest Pacific Ocean as an example. In this study, the fishery-dependent data from the Chinese Mainland Squid Jigging Technical Group and sea surface temperature (SST) from remote sensing during August to October of 2003-2008 were used. We evaluated the differences in a habitat suitability index model resulting from aggregating data with 36 different spatial scales with a combination of three latitude scales (0.5°, 1° and 2°), four longitude scales (0.5°, 1°, 2° and 4°), and three temporal scales (week, fortnight, and month). The coefficients of variation (CV) of the weekly, biweekly and monthly suitability index (SI) were compared to determine which temporal and spatial scales of SI model are more precise. This study shows that the optimal temporal and spatial scales with the lowest CV are month, and 0.5° latitude and 0.5° longitude for O. bartramii in the northwest Pacific Ocean. This suitability index model developed with an optimal scale can be cost-effective in improving forecasting fishing ground and requires no excessive sampling efforts. We suggest that the uncertainty associated with spatial and temporal scales used in data aggregations needs to be considered in habitat suitability modeling.

  20. Transplantation assessment of degraded Posidonia oceanica habitats: site selection and long-term monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. PIRROTTA

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available A model developed for Zostera marina was adapted and used to select suitable areas for Posidonia oceanica transplantation in the Gulf of Palermo, where recent rehabilitation programmes have reduced human pressure. This model consists of three steps: (1 habitat selection, by calculation of the Preliminary Transplant Suitability Index (PTSI; (2 field assessments and test-transplanting, to evaluate the site suitability and to estimate the effects of tearing on transplant units (about 50%; (3 identification of suitable restoration sites, by calculation of the Transplant Suitability Index (TSI. A new parameter was added to the literature model: the number of grids detached, which is linked to factors (hydrodynamic regime, anchoring, fishing that have a potentially great effect on the final outcome of the transplant. Only one site (TSI = 16 in the Gulf of Palermo was indicated as potentially suitable for restoration with P. oceanica. In this site, a transplant of 40 m2 was implemented. From 2008 to 2014, transplant effectiveness was evaluated in terms of establishment, detachment and mortality of cuttings and shoot density. The long-term monitoring (6 years allowed us to detect changes in the structural conditions of the transplanted meadow and to identify the possible turning point in P. oceanica recovery (2 years after transplanting. Moreover, 6 years after transplantation the P. oceanica meadow has exceeded the transplant shoot density of about 16%, with a mean and a maximum value of 11.6 and 17 shoots per cutting, respectively.

  1. 2004 assessment of habitat improvements in Dinosaur Reservoir

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blackman, B.G.; Cowie, D.M.

    2005-01-15

    Formed in 1979 after the completion of the Peace Canyon Dam, Dinosaur Reservoir is 21 km long and backs water up to the tailrace of W.A.C. Bennett Dam. BC Hydro has funded studies to evaluate fish stocking programs and assess habitat limitations and potential enhancements as part of a water licence agreement. The Peace/Williston Fish and Wildlife Compensation Programs (PWFWCP) have undertaken a number of projects to address fish habitat limitations, entrainment and stocking assessments as a result of recommendations stemming from these studies. It was determined that existing baseline fish data was needed in order to evaluate the effectiveness of these activities. A preliminary boat electro-fishing program which was started in October 2001, noted that a propensity for rainbow trout to concentrate near woody debris. In response, a program was started in 2002 to add woody debris to embayment areas throughout the reservoir. These enhanced woody debris structures are located in small sheltered bays and consist of a series of large trees cabled together and anchored to the shore. The area between the cabled trees and the shoreline is filled with woody debris and root wads collected from along the shoreline. The 2004 assessment of habitat improvements in Dinosaur Reservoir presents the findings from a study that compares the number of fish captured using trap nets, angling, and minnow traps, at the woody debris structures to sites with similar physical characteristics where woody debris had not been added. 17 refs., 5 tabs., 4 figs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Satyaranjan BEHERA

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close to Gahirmatha rookery should be monitored efficiently so that future arribada at this rookery should not be troubled due to habitat destruction.

  4. Skipjack Tuna Availability for Purse Seine Fisheries Is Driven by Suitable Feeding Habitat Dynamics in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Noël Druon

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available An Ecological Niche model was developed for skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis, SKJ in the Eastern Central Atlantic Ocean (AO and Western Indian Ocean (IO using an extensive set of presence data collected by the European purse seine fleet (1998–2014. Chlorophyll-a fronts were used as proxy for food availability while mixed layer depth, sea surface temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, current intensity, and height anomaly variables were selected to describe SKJ's abiotic environmental preferences. The resultant ecological niche included both mesoscale eddy-type productive features that displayed latitudinal range in the IO to large scale upwelling systems that shrink and swell seasonally in the AO. Overall, 83% of all free swimming school sets (FSC and 75% of drifting fish aggregating device sets (dFAD that contained SKJ occurred within 25 km of favorable feeding habitat. In the AO, 34% of dFAD sets were made more than 100 km away from this habitat, mostly in the surface chlorophyll-a poor environment of the Guinea Current. These distant sets represent 10% of dFAD sets in the IO and 8% of all FSC sets. Our results suggest that the Mozambique Channel in the IO, with its simultaneously favorable feeding and spawning conditions, may seasonally offer a better SKJ nursery habitat than the Guinea Current which shows a substantially poorer feeding capacity. With the exception of this latter area, our results also suggest that fishing accessibility will be higher in months where the size of the favorable feeding habitats are reduced, likely because this reduction drives a geographical contraction in SKJ populations. The observed relationship between the annual size of favorable feeding habitat and both annual catch rates and total catches in the IO is consistent with the near-full exploitation of this stock that has occurred since the 2000s. Moreover, it suggests that annual habitat size could be used as an indicator of growth capacity for this

  5. Characteristics of meat packaging materials and their environmental suitability assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Šuput Danijela Z.

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available After functional phase, packaging becomes waste that is recycled or disposed of in landfills. Recently, numerus packages have been developed for assessing the packaging risk on the environment. We applied Gabi 4 Education software on polymer product packaging for meat products. The objective of first part of the paper was characterization of materials used for meat and meat products packaging in terms of mechanical and barrier properties. Results show that tested materials are able to keep protective atmosphere and contribute to the quality and sustainability of the product. Air permeability was 3.60 and 26.60 ml/m224h, and water vapor was 6.90 and 9.50 ml/m224h, respectively, for foils 1 and 2, as a result of different film composition. In second part, based on real data, Gabi 4 Education software is applied. The obtained results showed that organic compounds emissions have the highest impact on human health and the most damaging environmental impact observed was the emission of CO2.

  6. Assessment of the suitability of excimer lasers in treating onychomycosis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kymplová, Jaroslava; Dušek, Karel; Jelínek, Miroslav; Urzová, Jana; Mikšovský, Jan; Bauerová, Lenka

    2014-01-01

    Since it is known that UV-C radiation kills fungus, we wanted to verify the hypothesis that the use of excimer laser could be an alternative method for treating onychomycosis - nail fungus. The aim of the first stage of this work was to determine the transmission, reflection and absorption of nails. In the following stage we focused on irradiation of fungi. Our final task is to assess whether it is possible to determine the parameters of radiation (a total dose,a dose per pulse frequency, a repetition rate, a number of pulses) for which the elimination of fungi would be the most effective but without damaging the nail and soft tissue underneath it. The results so far have showed that UV-C radiation does not pass through a fingernail to such an extent that it could damage the soft tissue beneath it. Fungi are destroyed by the application of only small doses of radiation using the excimer laser. Additional measurements will be required to determine the modulation parameters of the excimer laser radiation for the treatment of onychomycosis.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  8. Assessment and management of dead-wood habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan

    2007-01-01

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is in the process of revising its resource management plans for six districts in western and southern Oregon as the result of the settlement of a lawsuit brought by the American Forest Resource Council. A range of management alternatives is being considered and evaluated including at least one that will minimize reserves on O&C lands. In order to develop the bases for evaluating management alternatives, the agency needs to derive a reasonable range of objectives for key issues and resources. Dead-wood habitat for wildlife has been identified as a key resource for which decision-making tools and techniques need to be refined and clarified. Under the Northwest Forest Plan, reserves were to play an important role in providing habitat for species associated with dead wood (U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, 1994). Thus, the BLM needs to: 1) address the question of how dead wood will be provided if reserves are not included as a management strategy in the revised Resource Management Plan, and 2) be able to evaluate the effects of alternative land management approaches. Dead wood has become an increasingly important conservation issue in managed forests, as awareness of its function in providing wildlife habitat and in basic ecological processes has dramatically increased over the last several decades (Laudenslayer et al., 2002). A major concern of forest managers is providing dead wood habitat for terrestrial wildlife. Wildlife in Pacific Northwest forests have evolved with disturbances that create large amounts of dead wood; so, it is not surprising that many species are closely associated with standing (snags) or down, dead wood. In general, the occurrence or abundance of one-quarter to one-third of forest-dwelling vertebrate wildlife species, is strongly associated with availability of suitable dead-wood habitat (Bunnell et al., 1999; Rose et al., 2001). In

  9. Spatial modelling of Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l. (Antunes & Coutinho, 1939 (Diptera: Psychodidae: Phlebotominae habitat suitability in the state of Mato Grosso, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter Zeilhofer

    2008-11-01

    Full Text Available Lutzomyia (Nyssomyia whitmani s.l.is the main vector of cutaneous leishmaniasis in state of Mato Grosso, but little is known about environmental determinants of its spatial distribution on a regional scale. Entomologic surveys of this sand fly species, conducted between 1996 and 2001 in 41 state municipalities, were used to investigate the relationships between environmental factors and the presence of the species, and to develop a spatial model of habitat suitability. The relationship between averaged CDC light trap indexes and 15 environmental and socio-economic factors were tested by logistic regression (LR analysis. Spatial layers of deforestation tax and the Brazilian index of gross net production (IGNP were identified as significant explanatory variables for vector presence in the LR model, and these were then overlaid with habitat maps. The highest habitat suitability in 2001 was obtained for the heavily deforested areas in the Central-North, South, East, and Southwest of Mato Grosso, particularly in municipalities with lower IGNP values.

  10. Nesting Habitat Suitability for Olive Ridley Turtles (Lepidochelys Olivacea) at the Gahirmatha Rookery, Odisha Coast of India

    OpenAIRE

    Satyaranjan BEHERA; Basudev TRIPATHY; Kupuswamy SIVAKUMAR; Binod Chandra CHOUDHURY; Chandrasekhar KAR

    2013-01-01

    The changes in the beach dynamics at Gahirmatha sea turtle rookery along Odisha coast of India have forced the olive ridley turtles to nests in a non-conducive environment. In the recent past, non-availability of nesting beach due to erosion was hypothesized to be one of the major reasons for non-occurrence of arribada at Gahirmatha. This paper reviews the current status of nesting habitat for olive ridley turtles at Gahirmatha and suggests onshore and offshore developmental activities close ...

  11. A presence-only model of suitable roosting habitat for the endangered Indiana bat in the southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.R. Hammond; J.M. O’Keefe; S.P. Aldrich; Susan Loeb

    2016-01-01

    We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA...

  12. Testing Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses in a habitat suitability gradient for roe deer

    Science.gov (United States)

    Escribano-Avila, Gema; Pettorelli, Nathalie; Virgós, Emilio; Lara-Romero, Carlos; Lozano, Jorge; Barja, Isabel; Cuadra, Felipe S.; Puerta, Marisa

    2013-11-01

    According to the Cort-Fitness Hypothesis, higher stress levels (glucocorticoids) in vertebrates are correlated to lower fitness. However, recent studies have failed to validate this hypothesis. A proposed wider framework suggests that reproduction can be perceived as an overload adds up to other environmental challenges that individuals must adjust to. In this case, elevated glucocorticoids could help individuals to allocate resources to reproduction without comprising other functions, leading to the expectation of a positive cort-fitness relationship. This has been proposed as the Cort-Adaptation Hypothesis. Stress levels result from a complex interaction between the environment and the neuroendocrine system of animals. Accounting for physiological functions involved in how animals cope with their environment would help to clarify the relationship between glucocorticoids and animal performance. We used roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) inhabiting diverse habitats in the Iberian Peninsula to: i) test the Cort-Fitness and Cort-Adaptation hypotheses by indexing fitness using a comprehensive physiological approach which takes into account fundamental physiological functions and their trade-offs; and ii) evaluate the link between primary productivity and individuals' condition in a seasonal environment. We evaluated spatial and temporal variation in stress levels, reproductive hormone levels, nutritional status and immune function from fecal samples collected in 2010. Lower stress levels were related to better condition in non-reproductive seasons but not to higher primary productivity. In contrast, stress levels were always positively related to reproductive condition, which was better in most productive habitats. Summer and winter were the less productive seasons and the more challenging for the species in the habitat gradient studied. In winter, reproductive condition traded off against immune function being biased toward immune function in less productive habitats. In

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  14. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for fisher (Martes pennanti) in forests of interior northern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    W.J. Zielinski; J. R. Dunk; J. S. Yaeger; D. W. LaPlante

    2010-01-01

    The fisher is warranted for protection under the Endangered Species Act in the western United States and, as such, it is especially important that conservation and management actions are based on sound scientific information. We developed a landscape-scale suitability model for interior northern California to predict the probability of detecting fishers and to identify...

  15. Land-use change reduces habitat suitability for supporting managed honey bee colonies in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Otto, Clint R.; Roth, Cali; Carlson, Benjamin; Smart, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Human reliance on insect pollination services continues to increase even as pollinator populations exhibit global declines. Increased commodity crop prices and federal subsidies for biofuel crops, such as corn and soybeans, have contributed to rapid land-use change in the US Northern Great Plains (NGP), changes that may jeopardize habitat for honey bees in a part of the country that supports >40% of the US colony stock. We investigated changes in biofuel crop production and grassland land covers surrounding ∼18,000 registered commercial apiaries in North and South Dakota from 2006 to 2014. We then developed habitat selection models to identify remotely sensed land-cover and land-use features that influence apiary site selection by Dakota beekeepers. Our study demonstrates a continual increase in biofuel crops, totaling 1.2 Mha, around registered apiary locations in North and South Dakota. Such crops were avoided by commercial beekeepers when selecting apiary sites in this region. Furthermore, our analysis reveals how grasslands that beekeepers target when selecting commercial apiary locations are becoming less common in eastern North and South Dakota, changes that may have lasting impact on pollinator conservation efforts. Our study highlights how land-use change in the NGP is altering the landscape in ways that are seemingly less conducive to beekeeping. Our models can be used to guide future conservation efforts highlighted in the US national pollinator health strategy by identifying areas that support high densities of commercial apiaries and that have exhibited significant land-use changes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire D Stevenson-Holt

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Artificial dam lakes as suitable habitats for exotic invertebrates: Ostracoda ecology and distribution in reservoirs of the Eastern Iberian Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Escrivà A.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Reservoirs are the most common deep lakes in Spain, as a consequence of water needs and dry climate. Although these aquatic systems can play an important ecological role in such an area with few large natural lakes, they can also provide new habitats for exotic species, which can colonize ecosystems that native species have not explored yet. Here we present our results for a biannual survey of the ostracod fauna from 24 reservoirs in Xúquer River basin. We check which variables affect ostracod presence, test for differences between winter and summer assemblages, and compare our data with previous available ostracod records from the same river drainage network. Our results reveal that ostracod presence is positively related to high diversity of the invertebrate community and reservoir volume, and negatively with phosphorus concentration. Among the 22 species found, it is noteworthy the first Iberian record of Ilyocypris getica and the second European record of Candonocypris novaezelandiae. Ostracod assemblages significantly vary between summer and winter, and strong differences are found between ostracod communities of reservoirs and those from their connected rivers. Remarkably higher frequency of exotic species in the reservoirs confirms previous findings about the facilitation that artificial ecosystems confer to aquatic invasions.

  19. Revised Methods for Characterizing Stream Habitat in the National Water-Quality Assessment Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fitzpatrick, Faith A.; Waite, Ian R.; D'Arconte, Patricia J.; Meador, Michael R.; Maupin, Molly A.; Gurtz, Martin E.

    1998-01-01

    Stream habitat is characterized in the U.S. Geological Survey's National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program as part of an integrated physical, chemical, and biological assessment of the Nation's water quality. The goal of stream habitat characterization is to relate habitat to other physical, chemical, and biological factors that describe water-quality conditions. To accomplish this goal, environmental settings are described at sites selected for water-quality assessment. In addition, spatial and temporal patterns in habitat are examined at local, regional, and national scales. This habitat protocol contains updated methods for evaluating habitat in NAWQA Study Units. Revisions are based on lessons learned after 6 years of applying the original NAWQA habitat protocol to NAWQA Study Unit ecological surveys. Similar to the original protocol, these revised methods for evaluating stream habitat are based on a spatially hierarchical framework that incorporates habitat data at basin, segment, reach, and microhabitat scales. This framework provides a basis for national consistency in collection techniques while allowing flexibility in habitat assessment within individual Study Units. Procedures are described for collecting habitat data at basin and segment scales; these procedures include use of geographic information system data bases, topographic maps, and aerial photographs. Data collected at the reach scale include channel, bank, and riparian characteristics.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Fill

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

  1. Agricultural utilisation and potential suitability of the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area (south-western Slovakia landscape in relation to the habitat requirements of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zemko Martin

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Intensification of land use in an agricultural landscape significantly affects biodiversity also in protected areas. This can be observed in the Sysľovské polia Special Protection Area in relation to the occurrence of the red-footed falcon (Falco vespertinus. The objective of this study was to evaluate the landscape structure and suitability of agrotechnical procedures for the habitat demands of this species in the course of the period from 2004 until 2017. The utilisation was assessed on the basis of four landscape elements representation in 1949 and 2017. The next step was analysis of landscape patches. The aim was to quantify the diversity and the spatial structure of the landscape mosaic using Shannon’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index as well as Simpson’s Diversity Index and Evenness Index and spatial pattern analysis in the Fragstats software programme. Assessment of crop suitability was carried out according to the following criteria: representation of positive/negative agricultural crops, diversity of crops in crop rotation, and (non-observance of crop rotation. It was found that the agricultural landscape use did not change significantly. The study area has been used as an intensively-farmed agricultural landscape for a long time. The landscape elements have remained almost identical, with dominance of arable land. Differences emerged in the analysis of the micropatches, which are represented by natural hedgerows consisting of various species of trees, shrubs and grasses. The results show a decrease in the diversity of patches and changes in the structure of the landscape patches, which may be important in terms of the preservation of the habitat of fauna which form an important part of the F vespertinus diet. On the basis of the evaluation of the suitability of agricultural crop growing, we found that there were some areas showing negative values in all the criteria, and thus they require changes in the crop rotation focusing

  2. Readability and suitability assessment of patient education materials in rheumatic diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rhee, Rennie L; Von Feldt, Joan M; Schumacher, H Ralph; Merkel, Peter A

    2013-10-01

    Web-based patient education materials and printed pamphlets are frequently used by providers to inform patients about their rheumatic disease. Little attention has been given to the readability and appropriateness of patient materials. The objective of this study was to examine the readability and suitability of commonly used patient education materials for osteoarthritis (OA), rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and vasculitis. Five or 6 popular patient resources for each disease were chosen for evaluation. Readability was measured using the Flesch-Kincaid reading grade level and suitability was determined by the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM), a score that considers characteristics such as content, graphics, layout/topography, and cultural appropriateness. Three different reviewers rated the SAM score and means were used in the analysis. Twenty-three resources written on the 4 diseases were evaluated. The education material for all 4 diseases studied had readability above the eighth-grade level and readability did not differ among the diseases. Only 5 of the 23 resources received superior suitability scores, and 3 of these 5 resources were written for OA. All 4 diseases received adequate suitability scores, with OA having the highest mean suitability score. Most patient education materials for rheumatic diseases are written at readability levels above the recommended sixth-grade reading level and have only adequate suitability. Developing more appropriate educational resources for patients with rheumatic diseases may improve patient comprehension. Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Rheumatology.

  3. Development of computational fluid dynamics--habitat suitability (CFD-HSI) models to identify potential passage--Challenge zones for migratory fishes in the Penobscot River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haro, Alexander J.; Dudley, Robert W.; Chelminski, Michael

    2012-01-01

    A two-dimensional computational fluid dynamics-habitat suitability (CFD–HSI) model was developed to identify potential zones of shallow depth and high water velocity that may present passage challenges for five anadromous fish species in the Penobscot River, Maine, upstream from two existing dams and as a result of the proposed future removal of the dams. Potential depth-challenge zones were predicted for larger species at the lowest flow modeled in the dam-removal scenario. Increasing flows under both scenarios increased the number and size of potential velocity-challenge zones, especially for smaller species. This application of the two-dimensional CFD–HSI model demonstrated its capabilities to estimate the potential effects of flow and hydraulic alteration on the passage of migratory fish.

  4. The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS): An iRODS-Based, Cloud-Enabled Decision Support System for Invasive Species Habitat Suitability Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gill, Roger; Schnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    The Invasive Species Forecasting System (ISFS) is an online decision support system that allows users to load point occurrence field sample data for a plant species of interest and quickly generate habitat suitability maps for geographic regions of interest, such as a national park, monument, forest, or refuge. Target customers for ISFS are natural resource managers and decision makers who have a need for scientifically valid, model- based predictions of the habitat suitability of plant species of management concern. In a joint project involving NASA and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ISFS has been used to model the potential distribution of Wavyleaf Basketgrass in Maryland's Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Maximum entropy techniques are used to generate predictive maps using predictor datasets derived from remotely sensed data and climate simulation outputs. The workflow to run a model is implemented in an iRODS microservice using a custom ISFS file driver that clips and re-projects data to geographic regions of interest, then shells out to perform MaxEnt processing on the input data. When the model completes, all output files and maps from the model run are registered in iRODS and made accessible to the user. The ISFS user interface is a web browser that uses the iRODS PHP client to interact with the ISFS/iRODS- server. ISFS is designed to reside in a VMware virtual machine running SLES 11 and iRODS 3.0. The ISFS virtual machine is hosted in a VMware vSphere private cloud infrastructure to deliver the online service.

  5. Suitability of voltage stability study methods for real-time assessment

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Perez, Angel; Jóhannsson, Hjörtur; Vancraeyveld, Pieter

    2013-01-01

    This paper analyzes the suitability of existing methods for long-term voltage stability assessment for real-time operation. An overview of the relevant methods is followed with a comparison that takes into account the accuracy, computational efficiency and characteristics when used for security...... assessment. The results enable an evaluation of the run time of each method with respect to the number of inputs. Furthermore, the results assist in identifying which of the methods is most suitable for realtime operation in future power system with production based on fluctuating energy sources....

  6. California sea cucumber habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Office of National Marine Sanctuary Program (ONMS) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the...

  7. White abalone habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  8. California spiny lobster habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  9. Red sea urchin habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  10. Spot shrimp habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  11. Warty sea cucumber habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  12. Sheep crab habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  13. Ridgeback rock shrimp habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  14. Juvenile thresher shark habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  15. Pacific angel shark habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  16. Adult thresher shark habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  17. California market squid habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  18. Rockcrabs of the genus Cancer habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  19. Giant seabass habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  20. California sheephead habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  1. Red abalone habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The National Marine Sanctuary Program (NMSP) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  2. Black abalone habitat suitability model for Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary Biogeographic Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries (ONMS) updates and revises the management plans for each of its 13 sanctuaries. This process, which is open to the public,...

  3. Clear Creek Watershed Flood Risk Management Habitat Assessments Using Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP): Analyses, Results and Documentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Van der Molen , H. F. P. Van den Boogaard, and H. Van der Klis. 2006. Uncertainty analysis of a spatial habitat suitability model and implications...Brooks 1997, Brown et al. 2000, Store and Jokimaki 2003, Shifley et al. 2006, Van der Lee et al. 2006 and others). The Clear Creek study team made the...nature preserves (Brown et al. 2000, Ortigosa et al. 2000, Store and Kangas 2001, Felix et al. 2004, Ray and Burgman 2006, Van der Lee et al. 2006 and

  4. Prioritizing tropical habitats for long-distance migratory songbirds: an assessment of habitat quality at a stopover site in Colombia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J. Bayly

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Long-distance migratory birds are declining globally and migration has been identified as the primary source of mortality in this group. Despite this, our lack of knowledge of habitat use and quality at stopovers, i.e., sites where the energy for migration is accumulated, remains a barrier to designing appropriate conservation measures, especially in tropical regions. There is therefore an urgent need to assess stopover habitat quality and concurrently identify efficient and cost-effective methods for doing so. Given that fuel deposition rates directly influence stopover duration, departure fuel load, and subsequent speed of migration, they are expected to provide a direct measure of habitat quality and have the advantage of being measurable through body-mass changes. Here, we examined seven potential indicators of quality, including body-mass change, for two ecologically distinct Neotropical migratory landbirds on stopover in shade-coffee plantations and tropical humid premontane forest during spring migration in Colombia: (1 rate of body-mass change; (2 foraging rate; (3 recapture rate; (4 density; (5 flock size; (6 age and sex ratios; and (7 body-mass distribution. We found higher rates of mass change in premontane forest than in shade-coffee in Tennessee Warbler Oreothlypis peregrina, a difference that was mirrored in higher densities and body masses in forest. In Gray-cheeked Thrush Catharus minimus, a lack of recaptures in shade-coffee and higher densities in forest, also suggested that forest provided superior fueling conditions. For a reliable assessment of habitat quality, we therefore recommend using a suite of indicators, taking into account each species' ecology and methodological considerations. Our results also imply that birds stopping over in lower quality habitats may spend a longer time migrating and require more stopovers, potentially leading to important carryover effects on reproductive fitness. Evaluating habitat quality is

  5. Smartphone technologies and Bayesian networks to assess shorebird habitat selection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeigler, Sara; Thieler, E. Robert; Gutierrez, Ben; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Hines, Megan K.; Fraser, James D.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Karpanty, Sarah M.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding patterns of habitat selection across a species’ geographic distribution can be critical for adequately managing populations and planning for habitat loss and related threats. However, studies of habitat selection can be time consuming and expensive over broad spatial scales, and a lack of standardized monitoring targets or methods can impede the generalization of site-based studies. Our objective was to collaborate with natural resource managers to define available nesting habitat for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) throughout their U.S. Atlantic coast distribution from Maine to North Carolina, with a goal of providing science that could inform habitat management in response to sea-level rise. We characterized a data collection and analysis approach as being effective if it provided low-cost collection of standardized habitat-selection data across the species’ breeding range within 1–2 nesting seasons and accurate nesting location predictions. In the method developed, >30 managers and conservation practitioners from government agencies and private organizations used a smartphone application, “iPlover,” to collect data on landcover characteristics at piping plover nest locations and random points on 83 beaches and barrier islands in 2014 and 2015. We analyzed these data with a Bayesian network that predicted the probability a specific combination of landcover variables would be associated with a nesting site. Although we focused on a shorebird, our approach can be modified for other taxa. Results showed that the Bayesian network performed well in predicting habitat availability and confirmed predicted habitat preferences across the Atlantic coast breeding range of the piping plover. We used the Bayesian network to map areas with a high probability of containing nesting habitat on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York, USA, as an example application. Our approach facilitated the collation of evidence-based information on habitat selection

  6. 78 FR 5830 - Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Interim Operations...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-28

    ...-FXES11120800000F2-123-F2] Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the Interim Operations of PacifiCorp's Klamath Hydroelectric Project on the Klamath River, Klamath County, OR, and... environmental assessment and proposed habitat conservation plan; request for comment. SUMMARY: We, the U.S. Fish...

  7. Linking hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat environments for the potential assessment of fish community rehabilitation in a developing city

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, C. S.; Yang, S. T.; Liu, C. M.; Dou, T. W.; Yang, Z. L.; Yang, Z. Y.; Liu, X. L.; Xiang, H.; Nie, S. Y.; Zhang, J. L.; Mitrovic, S. M.; Yu, Q.; Lim, R. P.

    2015-04-01

    Aquatic ecological rehabilitation is increasingly attracting considerable public and research attention. An effective method that requires less data and expertise would help in the assessment of rehabilitation potential and in the monitoring of rehabilitation activities as complicated theories and excessive data requirements on assemblage information make many current assessment models expensive and limit their wide use. This paper presents an assessment model for restoration potential which successfully links hydrologic, physical and chemical habitat factors to fish assemblage attributes drawn from monitoring datasets on hydrology, water quality and fish assemblages at a total of 144 sites, where 5084 fish were sampled and tested. In this model three newly developed sub-models, integrated habitat index (IHSI), integrated ecological niche breadth (INB) and integrated ecological niche overlap (INO), are established to study spatial heterogeneity of the restoration potential of fish assemblages based on gradient methods of habitat suitability index and ecological niche models. To reduce uncertainties in the model, as many fish species as possible, including important native fish, were selected as dominant species with monitoring occurring over several seasons to comprehensively select key habitat factors. Furthermore, a detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) was employed prior to a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) of the data to avoid the "arc effect" in the selection of key habitat factors. Application of the model to data collected at Jinan City, China proved effective reveals that three lower potential regions that should be targeted in future aquatic ecosystem rehabilitation programs. They were well validated by the distribution of two habitat parameters: river width and transparency. River width positively influenced and transparency negatively influenced fish assemblages. The model can be applied for monitoring the effects of fish assemblage restoration

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  9. The use of computer simulation to assess the suitability of RWH ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... which was designed to assess the suitability of RWH technology interventions for any new site. The simulation model is briefly described and typical examples of its use as a tool for agro-technology transfer are presented. The interface is user-friendly and the model itself is designed to work with readily available site data.

  10. 78 FR 26799 - Waterway Suitability Assessment for Expansion of Liquefied Gas Terminals; Beaumont, TX

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-08

    ... Partnership LP has submitted a Letter of Intent and a Waterway Suitability Assessment to the Coast Guard.... Martin Operating Partnership's Stanolind Cut Terminal in Beaumont, Texas submitted an LOI on January 25... the physical nature of the affected waterway and issues of safety and security associated with LNG or...

  11. Suitability assessment of building energy saving technologies for office buildings in cold areas of China based on an assessment framework

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geng, Geng; Wang, Zhaoxia; Zhao, Jing; Zhu, Neng

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • An assessment method considering economy, environment and technology is proposed. • Office buildings are classified into 3 types and weights are calculated respectively. • BESTs were summed up as 3 suitability levels. • Recommendations are proposed for adopting in design stage. - Abstract: Blind application and extensive copy of building energy saving technologies have been found very common through investigation in China. Emphases should be put on the suitability assessment when selecting and optimizing building energy saving technologies. This paper created an assessment method, namely an assessment framework to assess the suitability level of building energy saving technologies from a holistic point of view. Fuzzy analytic hierarchy process was adopted. 3 factors and 8 sub-factors were included in the framework. The office buildings were classified into 3 types to calculate weights of factors and sub-factors. The assessment framework was established for each type of office buildings. 20 energy saving technologies from surveyed cases was selected as case study. Ranks of suitability level of the assessment objects were obtained for each type of office buildings. The assessment results could be referred when selecting building energy saving technologies in the design stage

  12. Assessing the suitability of stream water for five different uses and its aquatic environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulazzaky, Mohamad Ali

    2013-01-01

    Surface water is one of the essential resources for supporting sustainable development. The suitability of such water for a given use depends both on the available quantity and tolerable quality. Temporary status for a surface water quality has been identified extensively. Still the suitability of the water for different purposes needs to be verified. This study proposes a water quality evaluation system to assess the aptitude of the Selangor River water for aquatic biota, drinking water production, leisure and aquatic sport, irrigation use, livestock watering, and aquaculture use. Aptitude of the water has been classified in many parts of the river segment as unsuitable for aquatic biota, drinking water production, leisure and aquatic sport as well as aquaculture use. The water quality aptitude classes of the stream water for nine locations along the river are evaluated to contribute to decision support system. The suitability of the water for five different uses and its aquatic ecosystem are verified.

  13. Habitat quality assessment for the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra on the river Jajrood, Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roohallah Mirzaei

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract There is little information about the status and ecology of the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra in Iran. We assessed the habitat suitability for otters of the River Jajrood, Tehran province, measuring, or visually estimating, 12 environmental parameters along 16 600 m long river stretches (sampling sites. The downstream stretches of the river were found to be more suitable for otters with respect to the upper part of its course. Although the assessments of habitat suitability for the otter may be affected by several limits, the current distribution of the species on the river agrees with the results of this study. The preservation of the otter in Tehran province should involve the restoration of the ecosystem of the River Jajrood in order to improve the length of suitable river stretches.
    Riassunto Stima dell’idoneità ambientale per la lontra (Lutra lutra del fiume Jajrood, Iran. Le informazioni relative alla lontra (Lutra lutra in Iran sono scarse. L’idoneità ambientale per la specie del fiume Jajrood, provincia di Tehran, è stata valutata, misurando o stimando 12 parametri ambientali lungo 16 stazioni di campionamento, coincidenti con tratti di fiume della lunghezza di 600 m. I tratti più a valle sono risultati più idonei rispetto al corso superiore del fiume. Malgrado i numerosi limiti del metodo di stima dell’idoneità ambientale adottato, i risultati sono in accordo con l’attuale distribuzione della lontra lungo il fiume Jajrood. La conservazione della lontra nella provincia di Tehran dovrebbe prevedere miglioramenti ambientali volti a incrementare lo sviluppo lineare degli habitat idonei lungo il fiume Jajrood.

    doi:10.4404/hystrix-20.2-4447

  14. Operational Prediction of the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) Distribution for Neon Flying Squid in Central North Pacific by Using FORA Dataset and a New Data Assimilation System SKUIDS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igarashi, H.; Ishikawa, Y.; Wakamatsu, T.; Tanaka, Y.; Nishikawa, S.; Nishikawa, H.; Kamachi, M.; Kuragano, T.; Takatsuki, Y.; Fujii, Y.; Usui, N.; Toyoda, T.; Hirose, N.; Sakai, M.; Saitoh, S. I.; Imamura, Y.

    2016-02-01

    The neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) has a wide-spread distribution in subtropical and temperate waters in the North Pacific, which plays an important role in the pelagic ecosystem and is one of the major targets in Japanese squid fisheries. The main fishing areas for Japanese commercial vessels are located in the central North Pacific (35-45N, around the date line) in summer. In this study, we have developed several kinds of habitat suitability index (HSI) models of the neon flying squid for investigating the relationship between its potential habitat and the ocean state variations in the target area. For developing HSI models, we have used a new ocean reanalysis dataset FORA (4-dimensional variational Ocean Re-Analysis) produced by JAMSTEC/CEIST and MRI-JMA. The horizontal resolution is 0.1*0.1 degree of latitude and longitude with 54 vertical levels, which can provide realistic fields of 3-dimensional ocean circulation and environmental structures including meso-scale eddies. In addition, we have developed a new 4D-VAR (4-dimensional variational) ocean data assimilation system for predicting ocean environmental changes in the main fishing grounds. We call this system "SKUIDS" (Scalable Kit of Under-sea Information Delivery System). By using these prediction fields of temperature, salinity, sea surface height, horizontal current velocity, we produced daily HSI maps of the neon flying squid, and provided them to the Japanese commercial vessels in operation. Squid fishermen can access the web site for delivering the information of ocean environments in the fishing ground by using Inmarsat satellite communication on board, and show the predicted fields of subsurface temperatures and HSI. Here, we present the details of SKUIDS and the web-delivery system for squid fishery, and some preliminary results of the operational prediction.

  15. Concurrent assessment of fish and habitat in warmwater streams in Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quist, M.C.; Hubert, W.A.; Rahel, F.J.

    2006-01-01

    Fisheries research and management in North America have focused largely on sport fishes, but native non-game fishes have attracted increased attention due to their declines. The Warmwater Stream Assessment (WSA) was developed to evaluate simultaneously both fish and habitat in Wyoming streams by a process that includes three major components: (1) stream-reach selection and accumulation of existing information, (2) fish and habitat sampling and (3) summarisation and evaluation of fish and habitat information. Fish are sampled by electric fishing or seining and habitat is measured at reach and channel-unit (i.e. pool, run, riffle, side channel, or backwater) scales. Fish and habitat data are subsequently summarised using a data-matrix approach. Hierarchical decision trees are used to assess critical habitat requirements for each fish species expected or found in the reach. Combined measurements of available habitat and the ecology of individual species contribute to the evaluation of the observed fish assemblage. The WSA incorporates knowledge of the fish assemblage and habitat features to enable inferences of factors likely influencing both the fish assemblage and their habitat. The WSA was developed for warmwater streams in Wyoming, but its philosophy, process and conceptual basis may be applied to environmental assessments in other geographical areas. ?? 2006 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mariela Domiciano Ribeiro

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Assessment and mapping of tradeoffs land uses in the Orangutan habitat: A case Pongo pygmeus pygmeus habitat of West Kalimantan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siregar, P. G.; Supriatna, J.; Koestoer, R. H.; Harmantyo, D.

    2017-07-01

    This study aims to analyse trade-offs among 6 (six) types of dominant land uses to consider Orangutan livelihood and landscape sustainability. The results of this study assists landscape's planners and policy makers for selecting development scenarios as well as policy within the landscape, especially to reduce human and wildlife conflict as impact of development. This study was conducted in Orangutan sub species Pongo pygmeus pygmeus habitat in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Net present value analysis was applied to identify economic profit of land uses and also perspective of expert judgment was applied to identify suitability of the land uses to Orangutan livelihood. The study shows that palm oil plantation was the dominant land use type in non-forest area category and natural forest is in forest area category within the site. Palm oil contributed highest economic profit (average IDR 11 Million per year) compared to other land use types, and thus the worst land use type for supporting Orangutan conservation; index suitability for Orangutan achieved only 21.8. The development of agroforestry which planted more than 3 valuable economic commodities is used as an alternative in forest buffer area development that can provide better gain for economic and Orangutan conservation with index suitability for Orangutan was 43.5. In achieving sustainability at the landscape level, it needs to consider the sustainability of the umbrella species, such as Orangutan. The existence of the umbrella species would also protect other biodiversity, forest and its environmental services.

  19. Readability, Suitability and Health Content Assessment of Cancer Screening Announcements in Municipal Newspapers in Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okuhara, Tsuyoshi; Ishikawa, Hirono; Okada, Hiroko; Kiuchi, Takahiro

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this study was to assess the readability, suitability, and health content of cancer screening information in municipal newspapers in Japan. Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) and the framework of Health Belief Model (HBM) were used for assessment of municipal newspapers that were published in central Tokyo (23 wards) from January to December 2013. The mean domain SAM scores of content, literacy demand, and layout/typography were considered superior. The SAM scores of interaction with readers, an indication of the models of desirable actions, and elaboration to enhance readers' self-efficacy were low. According to the HBM coding, messages of medical/clinical severity, of social severity, of social benefits, and of barriers of fear were scarce. The articles were generally well written and suitable. However, learning stimulation/motivation was scarce and the HBM constructs were not fully addressed. Articles can be improved to motivate readers to obtain cancer screening by increasing interaction with readers, introducing models of desirable actions and devices to raise readers' self-efficacy, and providing statements of perceived barriers of fear for pain and time constraints, perceived severity, and social benefits and losses.

  20. Guidance for Large-scale Implementation of Alternate Wetting and Drying: A Biophysical Suitability Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sander, B. O.; Wassmann, R.; Nelson, A.; Palao, L.; Wollenberg, E.; Ishitani, M.

    2014-12-01

    The alternate wetting and drying (AWD) technology for rice production does not only save 15-30% of irrigation water, it also reduces methane emissions by up to 70%. AWD is defined by periodic drying and re-flooding of a rice field. Due to its high mitigation potential and its simplicity to execute this practice AWD has gained a lot of attention in recent years. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) has put AWD high on its agenda and funds a project to guide implementation of this technology in Vietnam, Bangladesh and Colombia. One crucial activity is a biophysical suitability assessment for AWD in the three countries. For this, we analyzed rainfall and soil data as well as potential evapotranspiration to assess if the water balance allows practicing AWD or if precipitation is too high for rice fields to fall dry. In my talk I will outline key factors for a successful large-scale implementation of AWD with a focus on the biophysical suitability assessment. The seasonal suitability maps that we generated highlight priority areas for AWD implementation and guide policy makers to informed decisions about meaningful investments in infrastructure and extension work.

  1. THE UNCERTAINTIES ON THE GIS BASED LAND SUITABILITY ASSESSMENT FOR URBAN AND RURAL PLANNING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. Liu

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The majority of the research on the uncertainties of spatial data and spatial analysis focuses on some specific data feature or analysis tool. Few have accomplished the uncertainties of the whole process of an application like planning, making the research of uncertainties detached from practical applications. The paper discusses the uncertainties of the geographical information systems (GIS based land suitability assessment in planning on the basis of literature review. The uncertainties considered range from index system establishment to the classification of the final result. Methods to reduce the uncertainties arise from the discretization of continuous raster data and the index weight determination are summarized. The paper analyzes the merits and demerits of the “Nature Breaks” method which is broadly used by planners. It also explores the other factors which impact the accuracy of the final classification like the selection of class numbers, intervals and the autocorrelation of the spatial data. In the conclusion part, the paper indicates that the adoption of machine learning methods should be modified to integrate the complexity of land suitability assessment. The work contributes to the application of spatial data and spatial analysis uncertainty research on land suitability assessment, and promotes the scientific level of the later planning and decision-making.

  2. [Ecological suitability assessment and optimization of urban land expansion space in Guiyang City].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiu, Cong-hao; Li, Yang-bing; Feng, Yuan-song

    2015-09-01

    Based on the case study of Guiyang City, the minimum cumulative resistance model integrating construction land source, ecological rigid constraints and ecological function type resistance factor, was built by use of cost-distance analysis of urban spatial expansion resistance value through ArcGIS 9.3 software in this paper. Then, the ecological resistance of city spatial expansion of Guiyang from 2010 was simulated dynamically and the ecological suitability classification of city spatial expansion was assessed. According to the conflict between the newly increased city construction land in 2014 and its ecological suitability, the unreasonable city land spatial allocation was discussed also. The results showed that the ecological suitability zonation and the city expansion in the study area were basically consistent during 2010-2014, but the conflict between the new city construction and its land ecological suitability was more serious. The ecological conflict area accounted for 58.2% of the new city construction sites, 35.4% of which happened in the ecological control area, 13.9% in the limited development area and 8.9% in the prohibition development area. The intensification of ecological land use conflict would impair the ecological service function and ecological safety, so this paper put forward the city spatial expansion optimal path to preserve the ecological land and improve the construction land space pattern of Guiyang City so as to ensure its ecological safety.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Assessing the suitability of written stroke materials: an evaluation of the interrater reliability of the suitability assessment of materials (SAM) checklist.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Tammy; Ladner, Yvette

    2012-01-01

    Written materials are frequently used to provide education to stroke patients and their carers. However, poor quality materials are a barrier to effective information provision. A quick and reliable method of evaluating material quality is needed. This study evaluated the interrater reliability of the Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) checklist in a sample of written stroke education materials. Two independent raters evaluated the materials (n = 25) using the SAM, and ratings were analyzed to reveal total percentage agreements and weighted kappa values for individual items and overall SAM rating. The majority of the individual SAM items had high interrater reliability, with 17 of the 22 items achieving substantial, almost perfect, or perfect weighted kappa value scores. The overall SAM rating achieved a weighted kappa value of 0.60, with a percentage total agreement of 96%. Health care professionals should evaluate the content and design characteristics of written education materials before using them with patients. A tool such as the SAM checklist can be used; however, raters should exercise caution when interpreting results from items with more subjective scoring criteria. Refinements to the scoring criteria for these items are recommended. The value of the SAM is that it can be used to identify specific elements that should be modified before education materials are provided to patients.

  5. Assessment of Managed Aquifer Recharge Site Suitability Using a GIS and Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Tess A; Fisher, Andrew T; Lockwood, Brian S

    2015-01-01

    We completed a two-step regional analysis of a coastal groundwater basin to (1) assess regional suitability for managed aquifer recharge (MAR), and (2) quantify the relative impact of MAR activities on groundwater levels and sea water intrusion. The first step comprised an analysis of surface and subsurface hydrologic properties and conditions, using a geographic information system (GIS). Surface and subsurface data coverages were compiled, georeferenced, reclassified, and integrated (including novel approaches for combining related datasets) to derive a spatial distribution of MAR suitability values. In the second step, results from the GIS analysis were used with a regional groundwater model to assess the hydrologic impact of potential MAR placement and operating scenarios. For the region evaluated in this study, the Pajaro Valley Groundwater Basin, California, GIS results suggest that about 7% (15 km2) of the basin may be highly suitable for MAR. Modeling suggests that simulated MAR projects placed near the coast help to reduce sea water intrusion more rapidly, but these projects also result in increased groundwater flows to the ocean. In contrast, projects placed farther inland result in more long-term reduction in sea water intrusion and less groundwater flowing to the ocean. This work shows how combined GIS analysis and modeling can assist with regional water supply planning, including evaluation of options for enhancing groundwater resources. © 2014, National Ground Water Association.

  6. A Bayesian method for assessing multiscalespecies-habitat relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuber, Erica F.; Gruber, Lutz F.; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2017-01-01

    ContextScientists face several theoretical and methodological challenges in appropriately describing fundamental wildlife-habitat relationships in models. The spatial scales of habitat relationships are often unknown, and are expected to follow a multi-scale hierarchy. Typical frequentist or information theoretic approaches often suffer under collinearity in multi-scale studies, fail to converge when models are complex or represent an intractable computational burden when candidate model sets are large.ObjectivesOur objective was to implement an automated, Bayesian method for inference on the spatial scales of habitat variables that best predict animal abundance.MethodsWe introduce Bayesian latent indicator scale selection (BLISS), a Bayesian method to select spatial scales of predictors using latent scale indicator variables that are estimated with reversible-jump Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling. BLISS does not suffer from collinearity, and substantially reduces computation time of studies. We present a simulation study to validate our method and apply our method to a case-study of land cover predictors for ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) abundance in Nebraska, USA.ResultsOur method returns accurate descriptions of the explanatory power of multiple spatial scales, and unbiased and precise parameter estimates under commonly encountered data limitations including spatial scale autocorrelation, effect size, and sample size. BLISS outperforms commonly used model selection methods including stepwise and AIC, and reduces runtime by 90%.ConclusionsGiven the pervasiveness of scale-dependency in ecology, and the implications of mismatches between the scales of analyses and ecological processes, identifying the spatial scales over which species are integrating habitat information is an important step in understanding species-habitat relationships. BLISS is a widely applicable method for identifying important spatial scales, propagating scale uncertainty, and

  7. Suitability assessment of health education brochures in Qassim province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jahan, Saulat; Al-Saigul, Abdullah M; Alharbi, Ali M; Abdelgadir, Muzamil H

    2014-09-01

    Health education is the cornerstone of primary health care. Health education materials distributed to the community should, therefore, be suitable and effective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the health education brochures, designed and disseminated by Ministry of Health institutions in the Qassim province. The study was a cross-sectional review of health education brochures. We used a structured evaluation form, comprising general information on the brochures and a modified Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM) score sheet. The SAM consisting of 22 criteria in six groups, includes content, literacy demands, graphics, layout/typography, learning stimulation/motivation, and cultural appropriateness. SAM criteria categorize written material into "superior," "adequate" and "not suitable." Two qualified consultant family physicians evaluated the brochures. Data were analyzed using Epi Info version 3.4 statistical package. We evaluated 110 brochures, the majority of which addressed chronic health conditions such as mental health, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Seventy-four (67.3%) brochures were evaluated as "adequate," 34 (30.9%) as "not suitable" and 2 (1.8%) as "superior." "Cultural appropriateness" was the highest scoring factor, with 92 (83.6%) brochures falling into either the "superior" or "adequate" category. With regard to "content," 88 (80.0%) brochures fell into either the "superior" or "adequate" category. This was the second highest scoring factor. Graphics was the factor that scored the least. Seventy-five (68.2%) brochures were rated in this factor as "not suitable." Although two-thirds of our brochures were considered "adequate," the majority needed improvement to their graphics and learning stimulation factors. We recommend that guidelines for designing health education brochures should be formulated to improve the quality of health education brochures.

  8. Suitability assessment of health education brochures in Qassim province, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saulat Jahan

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Background: Health education is the cornerstone of primary health care. Health education materials distributed to the community should, therefore, be suitable and effective. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the health education brochures, designed and disseminated by Ministry of Health institutions in the Qassim province. Materials and Methods: The study was a cross-sectional review of health education brochures. We used a structured evaluation form, comprising general information on the brochures and a modified Suitability Assessment of Materials (SAM score sheet. The SAM consisting of 22 criteria in six groups, includes content, literacy demands, graphics, layout/typography, learning stimulation/motivation, and cultural appropriateness. SAM criteria categorize written material into "superior," "adequate" and "not suitable." Two qualified consultant family physicians evaluated the brochures. Data were analyzed using Epi Info version 3.4 statistical package. Results: We evaluated 110 brochures, the majority of which addressed chronic health conditions such as mental health, diabetes mellitus and hypertension. Seventy-four (67.3% brochures were evaluated as "adequate," 34 (30.9% as "not suitable" and 2 (1.8% as "superior." "Cultural appropriateness" was the highest scoring factor, with 92 (83.6% brochures falling into either the "superior" or "adequate" category. With regard to "content," 88 (80.0% brochures fell into either the "superior" or "adequate" category. This was the second highest scoring factor. Graphics was the factor that scored the least. Seventy-five (68.2% brochures were rated in this factor as "not suitable." Conclusions: Although two-thirds of our brochures were considered "adequate," the majority needed improvement to their graphics and learning stimulation factors. We recommend that guidelines for designing health education brochures should be formulated to improve the quality of health education brochures.

  9. NCCOS St. Croix, USVI Rapid Habitat Assessment (RHA) and Monitoring Data (2001 - Present)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This metadata record refers to habitat assessment data collected as part of a larger effort described below. The intent of this work is five fold: 1) To spatially...

  10. Common dolphins in the Alboran Sea: Facing a reduction in their suitable habitat due to an increase in Sea surface temperature

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cañadas, A.; Vázquez, J. A.

    2017-07-01

    The short-beaked common dolphin Mediterranean subpopulation appears to have suffered a steep decline over recent decades and was listed in 2003 as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The Alboran Sea is the last region in the Mediterranean where it is still abundant. In this study, we relate features of this species' ecology to climate change, focusing on distribution and density. This work used a two decades-long dataset on the common dolphin in the Alboran Sea and a time series of environmental changes. Once established, these relationships were used in conjunction with some simulated scenarios of environmental change to predict the potential effects of further change on these species over the next 100 years. Two approaches were used: 1) projection from a regression line from local variation, and 2) a HadCM3 climate model with time-varying anthropogenic effects. Generalized Additive Models were used to model the relationship between density of the animals with SST and other environmental covariates. Results from both approaches were very similar. The predictions of density from the regression line fell within the ranges from the HadCM3 climate model, the first being based on local and locally, point to point, differentiated information, which lead us to consider the first approach as the best for this area. At the small spatial scale of the Alboran Sea and Gulf of Vera, an increase in SST will potentially yield a reduction in suitable habitat for common dolphins, with a progressive reduction in density from east to west.

  11. Constructing Ecological Networks Based on Habitat Quality Assessment: A Case Study of Changzhou, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Yu; Ma, Lei; Liu, Jiaxun; Zhuang, Zhuzhou; Huang, Qiuhao; Li, Manchun

    2017-01-01

    Fragmentation and reduced continuity of habitat patches threaten the environment and biodiversity. Recently, ecological networks are increasingly attracting the attention of researchers as they provide fundamental frameworks for environmental protection. This study suggests a set of procedures to construct an ecological network. First, we proposed a method to construct a landscape resistance surface based on the assessment of habitat quality. Second, to analyze the effect of the resistance surface on corridor simulations, we used three methods to construct resistance surfaces: (1) the method proposed in this paper, (2) the entropy coefficient method, and (3) the expert scoring method. Then, we integrated habitat patches and resistance surfaces to identify potential corridors using graph theory. These procedures were tested in Changzhou, China. Comparing the outputs of using different resistance surfaces demonstrated that: (1) different landscape resistance surfaces contribute to how corridors are identified, but only slightly affect the assessment of the importance of habitat patches and potential corridors; (2) the resistance surface, which is constructed based on habitat quality, is more applicable to corridor simulations; and (3) the assessment of the importance of habitat patches is fundamental for ecological network optimization in the conservation of critical habitat patches and corridors. PMID:28393879

  12. River habitat assessment for ecological restoration of Wei River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Tao; Wang, Shuo; Li, Xiaoping; Wu, Ting; Li, Li; Chen, Jia

    2018-04-11

    As an important composition component of river ecosystems, river habitats must undergo quality assessment to potentially provide scientific basis for river ecological restoration. Substrate composition, habitat complexity, bank erosion degree, river meandering degree, human activity intensity, vegetation buffer width, water quality, and water condition were determined as indicators for river habitat assessment. The comprehensive habitat quality index (CHQI) was established for the Wei River Basin. In addition, the indicator values were determined on the basis of a field investigation at 12 national hydrological stations distributed across the Wei, Jing, and Beiluo Rivers. The analytic hierarchy process was used to determine the indicator weights and thus distinguish the relative importance of the assessment indicator system. Results indicated that the average CHQIs for the Wei, Jing, and Beiluo Rivers were 0.417, 0.508, and 0.304, respectively. The river habitat quality for the three rivers was well. As for the whole river basin, the river habitat quality for 25% of the cross section was very well, the other 25% was well, and the 50% remaining was in critical state. The river habitat quality of the Jing River was better than that of the Wei and Beiluo Rivers.

  13. A novel GIS-based approach to assess beekeeping suitability of Mediterranean lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccali, Paolo; Malacrinò, Antonino; Campolo, Orlando; Laudani, Francesca; Algeri, Giuseppe M; Giunti, Giulia; Strano, Cinzia P; Benelli, Giovanni; Palmeri, Vincenzo

    2017-07-01

    Honeybees are critically important for the environment and to the economy. However, there are in substantial decline worldwide, leading to serious threat to the stability and yield of food crops. Beekeeping is of pivotal importance, combining the wide economical aspect of honey production and the important ecological services provided by honeybees. In this scenario, the prompt identification of beekeeping areas is strategic, since it maximised productivity and lowered the risks of colony losses. Fuzzy logic is an ideal approach for problem-solving tasks, as it is specifically designed to manage problems with a high degree of uncertainty. This research tested a novel GIS-based approach to assess beekeeping suitability of lands located in Calabria (Southern Italy), without relying to Analytic Hierarchy Process - Multiple Criteria Decision Making (AHP-MCDM), thus avoiding the constraints due to the technique and decision makers' influences. Furthermore, the data used here were completely retrieved from open access sources, highlighting that our approach is characterized by low costs and can be easily reproduced for a wide arrays of geographical contexts. Notably, the results obtained by our experiments were validated by the actual beekeeping reality. Besides beekeeping, the use of this system could not only be applied in beekeeping land suitability evaluations, but may be successfully extended to other types of land suitability evaluations.

  14. Customized rating assessment of climate suitability (CRACS): climate satisfaction evaluation based on subjective perception

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Tzu-Ping; Yang, Shing-Ru; Matzarakis, Andreas

    2015-12-01

    Climate not only influences the behavior of people in urban environments but also affects people's schedules and travel plans. Therefore, providing people with appropriate long-term climate evaluation information is crucial. Therefore, we developed an innovative climate assessment system based on field investigations conducted in three cities located in Northern, Central, and Southern Taiwan. The field investigations included the questionnaire surveys and climate data collection. We first analyzed the relationship between the participants and climate parameters comprising physiologically equivalent temperature, air temperature, humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, cloud cover, and precipitation. Second, we established the neutral value, comfort range, and dissatisfied range of each parameter. Third, after verifying that the subjects' perception toward the climate parameters vary based on individual preferences, we developed the customized rating assessment of climate suitability (CRACS) approach, which featured functions such as personalized and default climate suitability information to be used by users exhibiting varying demands. Finally, we performed calculations using the climate conditions of two cities during the past 10 years to demonstrate the performance of the CRACS approach. The results can be used as a reference when planning activities in the city or when organizing future travel plans. The flexibility of the assessment system enables it to be adjusted for varying regions and usage characteristics.

  15. On-site evaluation of the suitability of a wetted instream habitat in the Middle Rio Grande, New Mexico, for the Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Two in-situ exposure studies were conducted with the federally-listed endangered Rio Grande silvery minnow (Hybognathus amarus). One-year-old adults were exposed in cages deployed at three sites in the Middle Rio Grande, N. Mex., for 4 days to assess survival and for 26 days to evaluate survival, growth, overall health, and whole-body elemental composition. The test sites were located on the Pueblo of Isleta in the (1) main channel of the Middle Rio Grande, (2) 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain, and (3) wetted instream habitat created below the outfall of the 240-Wasteway irrigation return drain. During the cage exposures, temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, conductivity, and turbidity were monitored continuously (15-minute intervals) and common constituents, nutrients, carbons, metals, and pesticides were measured at discrete intervals. In both studies, there were statistical differences in several water-quality parameters among sites; and except for turbidity, these differences were small and were not considered to be biologically significant. The cages used in the 4-day exposure study were ineffective at preventing access to the fish by predators, and survival was highly variable (20 percent to 90 percent) across sites. In the 26-day chronic exposure study, weight and condition factor of caged-exposed fish at all sites were significantly lower than those at test initiation. After 26 days of exposure, there were no significant differences in survival, total length, weight, or condition factor of fish across sites, but absolute weight loss and relative reduction in condition factor were significantly greater in fish at the wetted instream habitat site compared to those at the Middle Rio Grande site. There were no statistical differences in health assessment indices, mesenteric fat indices, or prevalence of abnormalities in cage-exposed fish among sites. Cage-exposed fish had higher health assessment indices and prevalence of fin anomalies and a lower mesenteric

  16. Assessing the impacts of river regulation on native bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) habitats in the upper Flathead River, Montana, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Jones, Leslie A.; Kotter, D.; Miller, William J.; Geise, Doran; Tohtz, Joel; Marotz, Brian

    2012-01-01

    Hungry Horse Dam on the South Fork Flathead River, Montana, USA, has modified the natural flow regimen for power generation, flood risk management and flow augmentation for anadromous fish recovery in the Columbia River. Concern over the detrimental effects of dam operations on native resident fishes prompted research to quantify the impacts of alternative flow management strategies on threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) and westslope cutthroat trout (Oncorhynchus clarkii lewisi) habitats. Seasonal and life‐stage specific habitat suitability criteria were combined with a two‐dimensional hydrodynamic habitat model to assess discharge effects on usable habitats. Telemetry data used to construct seasonal habitat suitability curves revealed that subadult (fish that emigrated from natal streams to the river system) bull trout move to shallow, low‐velocity shoreline areas at night, which are most sensitive to flow fluctuations. Habitat time series analyses comparing the natural flow regimen (predam, 1929–1952) with five postdam flow management strategies (1953–2008) show that the natural flow conditions optimize the critical bull trout habitats and that the current strategy best resembles the natural flow conditions of all postdam periods. Late summer flow augmentation for anadromous fish recovery, however, produces higher discharges than predam conditions, which reduces the availability of usable habitat during this critical growing season. Our results suggest that past flow management policies that created sporadic streamflow fluctuations were likely detrimental to resident salmonids and that natural flow management strategies will likely improve the chances of protecting key ecosystem processes and help to maintain and restore threatened bull trout and westslope cutthroat trout populations in the upper Columbia River Basin.

  17. An Assessment of the Population of Cotton-Top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus and Their Habitat in Colombia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne Savage

    Full Text Available Numerous animals have declining populations due to habitat loss, illegal wildlife trade, and climate change. The cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus is a Critically Endangered primate species, endemic to northwest Colombia, threatened by deforestation and illegal trade. In order to assess the current state of this species, we analyzed changes in the population of cotton-top tamarins and its habitat from 2005 to 2012. We used a tailor-made "lure strip transect" method to survey 43 accessible forest parcels that represent 30% of the species' range. Estimated population size in the surveyed region was approximately 2,050 in 2005 and 1,900 in 2012, with a coefficient of variation of approximately 10%. The estimated population change between surveys was -7% (a decline of approximately 1.3% per year suggesting a relatively stable population. If densities of inaccessible forest parcels are similar to those of surveyed samples, the estimated population of cotton-top tamarins in the wild in 2012 was 6,946 individuals. We also recorded little change in the amount of suitable habitat for cotton-top tamarins between sample periods: in 2005, 18% of surveyed forest was preferred habitat for cotton-top tamarins, while in 2012, 17% percent was preferred. We attribute the relatively stable population of this Critically Endangered species to increased conservation efforts of Proyecto Tití, conservation NGOs, and the Colombian government. Due to continued threats to cotton-top tamarins and their habitat such as agriculture and urban expansion, ongoing conservation efforts are needed to ensure the long-term survival of cotton-top tamarins in Colombia.

  18. Integrated and holistic suitability assessment of recycling options for masonry rubble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst, T.; Rübner, K.; Meng, B.

    2012-04-01

    Our industrial society depends on continuous mining and consumption of raw materials and energy. Besides, the building sector causes one of the largest material streams in Germany. On the one hand, the building sector is connected with a high need in material and energetic resources as well as financial expenditures. On the other hand, nearly 50 % of the volume of waste arises from the building industry. During the last years, the limitation of natural resources, increasing negative environmental consequences as well as rising prices and shortages of dump space have led to a change in thinking in the building and waste industry to a closed substance cycle waste management. In consideration of the production figures of the main kinds of masonry units (clay bricks, sand-lime bricks, autoclaved aerated concrete brick, concrete blocks), a not unimportant quantity of masonry rubble (including gypsum plaster boards, renders, mortars and mineral insulating materials) of more than 20 million tons per year is generated in the medium term. With regard to a sustainable closed substance cycle waste management, these rest masses have to be recycled if possible. Processed aggregates made from masonry rubble can be recycled in the production of new masonry units under certain conditions. Even carefully deconstructed masonry units can once more re-used as masonry units, particularly in the area of the preservation of monuments and historical buildings. In addition, masonry rubble in different processing qualities is applied in earth and road construction, horticulture and scenery construction as well as concrete production. The choice of the most suitable recycling option causes technical, economical and ecological questions. At present, a methodology for a comprehensive suitability assessment with a passable scope of work does not exist. Basic structured and structuring information on the recycling of masonry rubble is absent up to now. This as well as the economic and technical

  19. Using forest inventory and analysis data and the forest vegetation simulator to predict and monitor fisher (Martes pennanti) resting habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Zielinski; Andrew N. Gray; Jeffrey R. Dunk; Joseph W. Sherlock; Gary E. Dixon

    2010-01-01

    New knowledge from wildlife-habitat relationship models is often difficult to implement in a management context. This can occur because researchers do not always consider whether managers have access to information about environmental covariates that permit the models to be applied. Moreover, ecosystem management requires knowledge about the condition of habitats over...

  20. Development and management of a radon assessment strategy suitable for underground railway tunnelling projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purnell, C. J.; Frommer, G.; Chan, K.; Auch, A. A.

    2004-01-01

    The construction of underground tunnels through radon-bearing rock poses a radiation health risk to tunnelling workers from exposure to radon gas and its radioactive decay products. This paper presents the development and practical application of a radon assessment strategy suitable for the measurement of radon in tunnelling work environments in Hong Kong. The assessment strategy was successfully evaluated on a number of underground railway tunnelling projects over a 3 y period. Radon measurements were undertaken using a combination of portable radon measurement equipment and track etch detectors (TEDs) deployed throughout the tunnels. The radon gas monitoring results were used to confirm that ventilation rates were adequate or identified, at an early stage, when further action to reduce radon levels was required. Exposure dose estimates based on the TED results showed that the exposure of tunnel workers to radon did not exceed 3 mSv per annum for the duration of each project. (authors)

  1. Digital soil mapping in assessment of land suitability for organic farming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghambashidze, Giorgi; Kentchiashvili, Naira; Tarkhnishvili, Maia; Jolokhava, Tamar; Meskhi, Tea

    2017-04-01

    Digital soil mapping (DSM) is a fast-developing sub discipline of soil science which gets more importance along with increased availability of spatial data. DSM is based on three main components: the input in the form of field and laboratory observational methods, the process used in terms of spatial and non-spatial soil inference systems, and the output in the form of spatial soil information systems, which includes outputs in the form of rasters of prediction along with the uncertainty of prediction. Georgia is one of the countries who are under the way of spatial data infrastructure development, which includes soil related spatial data also. Therefore, it is important to demonstrate the capacity of DSM technics for planning and decision making process, in which assessment of land suitability is a major interest for those willing to grow agricultural crops. In that term land suitability assessment for establishing organic farms is in high demand as market for organically produced commodities is still increasing. It is the first attempt in Georgia to use DSM to predict areas with potential for organic farming development. Current approach is based on risk assessment of soil pollution with toxic elements (As, Hg, Pb, Cd, Cr) and prediction of bio-availability of those elements to plants on example of the region of Western Georgia, where detailed soil survey was conducted and spatial database of soil was created. The results of the study show the advantages of DSM at early stage assessment and depending on availability and quality of the input data, it can achieve acceptable accuracy.

  2. Using a Geographic Information System to Assess Site Suitability for Managed Aquifer Recharge using Stormwater Capture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teo, E. K.; Harmon, R. E.; Beganskas, S.; Young, K. S.; Fisher, A. T.; Weir, W. B.; Lozano, S.

    2015-12-01

    We are completing a regional analysis of Santa Cruz and northern Monterey Counties, CA, to assess the conditions amenable to managed aquifer recharge using stormwater runoff. Communities and water supply agencies across CA are struggling to mitigate the ongoing drought and to develop secure and sustainable water supplies to support long-term municipal, agricultural, environmental and other needs. Enhanced storage of groundwater is an important part of this effort in many basins. This work is especially timely because of the recently enacted "Sustainable Groundwater Management Act" (SGMA), which requires the development of groundwater sustainability agencies and implementation of basin management plans in coming decades. Our analysis focuses specifically on the distributed collection of stormwater runoff, a water source that has typically been treated as a nuisance or waste, from drainages having an area on the order of 40-160 hectares. The first part of this project is a geographic information system (GIS) analysis using surface and subsurface data sets. Developing complete and accurate datasets across the study region required considerable effort to locate, assemble, co-register, patch, and reconcile information from many sources and scales. We have complete spatial coverage for surface data, but subsurface data is more limited in lateral extent. Sites that are most suitable for distributed stormwater capture supporting MAR have high soil infiltration capacity, are well-connected to an underlying aquifer with good transmissive and storage properties, and have space to receive MAR. Additional considerations include method of infiltration, slope, and land use and access. Based on initial consideration of surface data and slope, 7% of the complete study region appears to be "suitable or highly suitable" for MAR (in the top third of the rating system), but there is considerable spatial heterogeneity based on the distribution of shallow soils and bedrock geology.

  3. GIS-based rapid-assessment of bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis (Richardson, 1845) suitability in reservoirs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Long, James M.; Liang, Yu; Shoup, Daniel E.; Dzialowski, Andrew R.; Bidwell, Joseph R.

    2014-01-01

    Broad-scale niche models are good for examining the potential for invasive species occurrences, but can fall short in providing managers with site-specific locations for monitoring. Using Oklahoma as an example, where invasive bighead carp (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) are established in certain reservoirs, but predicted to be widely distributed based on broad-scale niche models, we cast bighead carp reproductive ecology in a site-specific geospatial framework to determine their potential establishment in additional reservoirs. Because bighead carp require large, long free-flowing rivers with suitable hydrology for reproduction but can persist in reservoirs, we considered reservoir tributaries with mean annual daily discharge ≥8.5 cubic meters per second (m3 /s) and quantified the length of their unimpeded portions. In contrast to published broad-scale niche models that identified nearly the entire state as susceptible to invasion, our site-specific models showed that few reservoirs in Oklahoma (N = 9) were suitable for bighead carp establishment. Moreover, this method was rapid and identified sites that could be prioritized for increased study or scrutiny. Our results highlight the importance of considering the environmental characteristics of individual sites, which is often the level at which management efforts are implemented when assessing susceptibility to invasion.

  4. Aporrectodea caliginosa, a suitable earthworm species for field based genotoxicity assessment?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Klobucar, Goeran I.V.; Stambuk, Anamaria; Srut, Maja; Husnjak, Ivana; Merkas, Martina; Traven, Luka; Cvetkovic, Zelimira

    2011-01-01

    There is a growing interest for the application of biomakers to field-collected earthworms. Therefore we have evaluated the usability of native populations of endogeic, widely distributed earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa in the assessment of soil genotoxicity using the Comet assay. Validation of the Comet assay on earthworm coelomocytes has been established using commercially available Eisenia fetida exposed to copper, cadmium, and pentachlorophenol, along with A. caliginosa exposed to copper in a filter paper contact test. Neutral red retention time (NRRT) assay was conducted on copper exposed and field-collected earthworms. Significant DNA and lysosomal damage was measured using Comet and NRRT assays in native populations of A. caliginosa sampled from the polluted soils in the urban area in comparison to the earthworms from the reference site. The results of this study confirm the employment of A. caliginosa as a suitable species for the in situ soil toxicity and genotoxicity field surveys. - Research highlights: → Native A. caliginosa has shown significant biological effect measured by the Comet and NRRT assays. → The Comet assay on A. caliginosa and E. fetida has shown to be of similar sensitivity as the NRRT assay. → A. caliginosa is a suitable species for the in situ soil toxicity and genotoxicity field surveys. - Native populations of endogeic earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa can be successfully applied in the genotoxicity field surveys using Comet assay.

  5. Assessing the suitability of Norway spruce wood as an environmental archive for sulphur

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrelet, T.; Ulrich, A.; Rennenberg, H.; Zwicky, C.N.; Kraehenbuehl, U.

    2008-01-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of Norway spruces (Picea abies L. Karst.) as an environmental archive for sulphur. For this purpose spruce trees were sampled in two distinct regions of Switzerland: the Alps and the Swiss Plateau, which differ significantly with respect to S immission. Wood samples were measured using two methods: LASER Ablation high resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-HR-ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) after acid digestion. Independently corroborated by previous measurements of sulphur in peat bogs, the rise and fall of sulphur dioxide pollution in Switzerland appears to be reflected in spruce wood sulphur content. While the wood sulphur content profile of trees sampled in the Alps is relatively flat, the profiles of trees located on the Swiss Plateau display a characteristic sulphur peak. This corresponds to air pollution data in the different regions and indicates that the trees reacted on the changing S supply and recorded a pollution signal in the wood. - Norway spruce is a suitable archive for sulphur when physiological aspects and limitations are taken into account

  6. Aporrectodea caliginosa, a suitable earthworm species for field based genotoxicity assessment?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klobucar, Goeran I.V., E-mail: gklobuca@zg.biol.pmf.hr [Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Stambuk, Anamaria; Srut, Maja [Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Husnjak, Ivana [Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction, Ulica Republike Austrije 14, Zagreb (Croatia); Merkas, Martina [Croatian Institute for Brain Research, School of Medicine, University of Zagreb, Salata 12, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Traven, Luka [Department of Environmental Medicine, Medical Faculty, University of Rijeka, Brace Branchetta 20a, 51000 Rijeka (Croatia); Teaching Institute of Public Health of the Primorsko-goranska County, Kresimirova 52a, 51000 Rijeka (Croatia); Cvetkovic, Zelimira [Department of Ecology, Institute of Public Health, Mirogojska c. 16, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia)

    2011-04-15

    There is a growing interest for the application of biomakers to field-collected earthworms. Therefore we have evaluated the usability of native populations of endogeic, widely distributed earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa in the assessment of soil genotoxicity using the Comet assay. Validation of the Comet assay on earthworm coelomocytes has been established using commercially available Eisenia fetida exposed to copper, cadmium, and pentachlorophenol, along with A. caliginosa exposed to copper in a filter paper contact test. Neutral red retention time (NRRT) assay was conducted on copper exposed and field-collected earthworms. Significant DNA and lysosomal damage was measured using Comet and NRRT assays in native populations of A. caliginosa sampled from the polluted soils in the urban area in comparison to the earthworms from the reference site. The results of this study confirm the employment of A. caliginosa as a suitable species for the in situ soil toxicity and genotoxicity field surveys. - Research highlights: > Native A. caliginosa has shown significant biological effect measured by the Comet and NRRT assays. > The Comet assay on A. caliginosa and E. fetida has shown to be of similar sensitivity as the NRRT assay. > A. caliginosa is a suitable species for the in situ soil toxicity and genotoxicity field surveys. - Native populations of endogeic earthworm Aporrectodea caliginosa can be successfully applied in the genotoxicity field surveys using Comet assay.

  7. Review and Extension of Suitability Assessment Indicators of Weather Model Output for Analyzing Decentralized Energy Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hans Schermeyer

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Electricity from renewable energy sources (RES-E is gaining more and more influence in traditional energy and electricity markets in Europe and around the world. When modeling RES-E feed-in on a high temporal and spatial resolution, energy systems analysts frequently use data generated by numerical weather models as input since there is no spatial inclusive and comprehensive measurement data available. However, the suitability of such model data depends on the research questions at hand and should be inspected individually. This paper focuses on new methodologies to carry out a performance evaluation of solar irradiation data provided by a numerical weather model when investigating photovoltaic feed-in and effects on the electricity grid. Suitable approaches of time series analysis are researched from literature and applied to both model and measurement data. The findings and limits of these approaches are illustrated and a new set of validation indicators is presented. These novel indicators complement the assessment by measuring relevant key figures in energy systems analysis: e.g., gradients in energy supply, maximum values and volatility. Thus, the results of this paper contribute to the scientific community of energy systems analysts and researchers who aim at modeling RES-E feed-in on a high temporal and spatial resolution using weather model data.

  8. Test plan for suitability assessment of five overcoring stress measurement techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gregory, E.C.; Rundle, T.A.; McCabe, W.M.; Kim, K.

    1982-08-01

    Tests are to be conducted at the Near-Surface Test Facility (NSTF) to assess the suitability of five overcoring techniques for in situ stress determination in a jointed basalt. The overcoring methods to be investigated use the following instrumentation to measure strain relief by overcoring a pilot borehole: USBM borehole deformation gage, CSIRO hollow inclusion stress cell, cast epoxy inclusion, the Lulea triaxial strain cell and the ''doorstopper'' biaxial strain cell. The tests are to provide data regarding the state of stress below the NSTF. This information is to be used in the evaluation of each method of overcoring. During the course of field testing, an attempt is to be made to adapt conventional overcoring techniques and analytical methods to the basalt medium. If overcoring stress determination in basalt is shown suitable, then additional studies will be identified to further adapt a technique for use at depth. In addition to the five overcoring techniques to be tested at the NSTF, stress measurements by Hydrofracturing are to be conducted to provide data for direct comparison with overcoring results. 16 refs., 18 figs

  9. Metal pollution assessment in a Brazilian hydroelectric reservoir: Geophagus brasiliensis as a suitable bioindicator organism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Halina Binde Doria

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Vossoroca is a reservoir in the Brazilian state of Paraná. Although it is located near big cities and can be used as a human water supply, it has remained unstudied. Concentrations of toxic metals and arsenic in sediments, water, liver, gills, and muscle of Geophagus brasiliensis from the reservoir were analyzed using atomic absorption spectrometry. Histological analyses were performed on the gills and the livers using scanning electron microscopy and light microscopy, respectively. The results showed that Vossoroca sediments were moderately polluted by copper, chromium, nickel and arsenic. Cadmium was above legal limits in the water. Histopathological assessment revealed epithelial alterations in the secondary lamella to be the most common abnormality observed in the gills and necrosis, melanomacrophage centers in the livers. In conclusion, although the reservoir is located in an Environmental Protection Area, it is negatively affected by human activity. Further, Geophagus brasiliensis was a suitable bioindicator for metal pollution studies.

  10. Forest Carbon Leakage Quantification Methods and Their Suitability for Assessing Leakage in REDD

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sabine Henders

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper assesses quantification methods for carbon leakage from forestry activities for their suitability in leakage accounting in a future Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD mechanism. To that end, we first conducted a literature review to identify specific pre-requisites for leakage assessment in REDD. We then analyzed a total of 34 quantification methods for leakage emissions from the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM, the Verified Carbon Standard (VCS, the Climate Action Reserve (CAR, the CarbonFix Standard (CFS, and from scientific literature sources. We screened these methods for the leakage aspects they address in terms of leakage type, tools used for quantification and the geographical scale covered. Results show that leakage methods can be grouped into nine main methodological approaches, six of which could fulfill the recommended REDD leakage requirements if approaches for primary and secondary leakage are combined. The majority of methods assessed, address either primary or secondary leakage; the former mostly on a local or regional and the latter on national scale. The VCS is found to be the only carbon accounting standard at present to fulfill all leakage quantification requisites in REDD. However, a lack of accounting methods was identified for international leakage, which was addressed by only two methods, both from scientific literature.

  11. Chapter 1: Assessing pollinator habitat services to optimize conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iovanna, Richard; Ando , Amy W.; Swinton, Scott; Hellerstein, Daniel; Kagan, Jimmy; Mushet, David M.; Otto, Clint R.; Rewa, Charles A.

    2017-01-01

    Pollination services have received increased attention over the past several years, and protecting foraging area is beginning to be reflected in conservation policy. This case study considers the prospects for doing so in a more analytically rigorous manner, by quantifying the pollination services for sites being considered for ecological restoration. The specific policy context is the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), which offers financial and technical assistance to landowners seeking to convert sensitive cropland back to some semblance of the prairie (or, to a lesser extent, forest or wetland) ecosystem that preceded it. Depending on the mix of grasses and wildflowers that are established, CRP enrollments can provide pollinator habitat. Further, depending on their location, they will generate related services, such as biological control of crop pests, recreation, and aesthetics. While offers to enroll in CRP compete based on cost and some anticipated benefits, the eligibility and ranking criteria do not reflect these services to a meaningful degree. Therefore, we develop a conceptual value diagram to identify the sequence of steps and associated models and data necessary to quantify the full range of services, and find that critical data gaps, some of which are artifacts of policy, preclude the application of benefit-relevant indicators (BRIs) or monetization. However, we also find that there is considerable research activity underway to fill these gaps. In addition, a modeling framework has been developed that can estimate field-level effects on services as a function of landscape context. The approach is inherently scalable and not limited in geographic scope, which is essential for a program with a national footprint. The parameters in this framework are sufficiently straightforward that expert judgment could be applied as a stopgap approach until empirically derived estimates are available. While monetization of benefit-relevant indicators of yield

  12. Habitat and hydrology: assessing biological resources of the Suwannee River Estuarine System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raabe, Ellen A.; Edwards, Randy E.; McIvor, Carole C.; Grubbs, Jack W.; Dennis, George D.

    2007-01-01

    hydrologic data identified a range of habitat characteristics and differences in tidal-creek morphology. This endeavor related nearshore benthic habitat and hydrologic conditions with habitat suitability and fish assemblages and provides a template for similar applications in shallow and nearshore estuarine environments.

  13. Assessing the suitability of paste as a medium for plant growth

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feng Yongsheng; Sinclair, L.; Fung, Y.P.

    1999-01-01

    When a polymer is added to the tailings slurry in the extraction process in oil sands refining, it accelerates the release of water and forms a consolidated, dense material known as 'paste.' This material has a solids content of approximately 65% by weight, 30% of which is made up of fine particles. A study was initiated to explore the possibility of using paste as a plant growth medium in which the paste must hold water and nutrients for growth while allowing adequate water movement and aeration. To also attain a favorable soil structure, it was thought that amending the paste with an adequate amount of peat would improve its physical and chemical properties such as to render it a suitable soil environment for plant growth. The study was a growth chamber experiment in which the effects were assessed of peat amendments on seed germination, and a greenhouse experiment in which the growth of three selected plant species were determined, including highlander grass, jack pine, and trembling aspen. Paste has the potential to be modified into a suitable plant growth medium. Adding peat can greatly enhance seed germination, and seedling survival and growth. There seemed to be some improvement in plant performance as the amount of peat included increased from 5% to 10%. Increasing the amount of peat still further to 15% had at best marginal incremental effects. The optimum amount of peat amendment was around 10%. Of the three plant types tested, highlander grass performed the best on the paste material amended with peat, showing performance comparable to the control. Trembling aspen grew relatively well but the survival rate was low. If the seedlings survived the first few weeks, the potential for continued growth seemed good. Jack pine showed signs of stress such as needle damage, stunted growth and low survival rates and seemed unlikely to establish well even on the peat amended paste. 1 ref., 4 tabs., 2 figs

  14. A management-oriented framework for selecting metrics used to assess habitat- and path-specific quality in spatially structured populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nicol, Sam; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Diffendorfer, James E.; Mattsson, Brady; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Laura Lopez-Hoffman,; Norris, Ryan

    2016-01-01

    Mobile species with complex spatial dynamics can be difficult to manage because their population distributions vary across space and time, and because the consequences of managing particular habitats are uncertain when evaluated at the level of the entire population. Metrics to assess the importance of habitats and pathways connecting habitats in a network are necessary to guide a variety of management decisions. Given the many metrics developed for spatially structured models, it can be challenging to select the most appropriate one for a particular decision. To guide the management of spatially structured populations, we define three classes of metrics describing habitat and pathway quality based on their data requirements (graph-based, occupancy-based, and demographic-based metrics) and synopsize the ecological literature relating to these classes. Applying the first steps of a formal decision-making approach (problem framing, objectives, and management actions), we assess the utility of metrics for particular types of management decisions. Our framework can help managers with problem framing, choosing metrics of habitat and pathway quality, and to elucidate the data needs for a particular metric. Our goal is to help managers to narrow the range of suitable metrics for a management project, and aid in decision-making to make the best use of limited resources.

  15. Land Use Suitability Assessment in Low-Slope Hilly Regions under the Impact of Urbanization in Yunnan, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gui Jin

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Nowadays, the conflict between land development and land conservation has become increasingly serious in China. The plan called “town of mountain” is carried out in many nonplain areas to alleviate the conflict. To avoid geological disasters and ecological risks in those areas, land use suitability assessment is of great importance. In this paper, the fuzzy weight of evidence model is applied into land use suitability assessment in low-slope hilly regions in Yunnan, China. Fuzzy weight of evidences is calculated to determine 9 map layers. Finally, posterior probabilities are modified after synthesizing each map layer, which are used to generate a land use suitability map. The results show that 9.33%, 26.18%, 45.98%, and 18.51% of low-slope hilly regions are separately highly suitable, moderately suitable, marginally suitable, and unsuitable for development. Besides, highly and moderately suitable areas are mainly located in towns with excellent natural and socioeconomic conditions. The largest areas which are marginally suitable for development are most widely distributed. Unsuitable areas are mainly distributed far away from towns and water sources. The findings of the research will promote the rational use and scientific management of the land.

  16. Accuracy Assessment Field Data for Benthic Habitat Maps of Palau

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This project is a cooperative effort among the National Ocean Service, National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment; the...

  17. Assessing landscape constraints on species abundance: Does the neighborhood limit species response to local habitat conservation programs?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jorgensen, Christopher F.; Powell, Larkin A.; Lusk, Jeffrey J.; Bishop, Andrew A.; Fontaine, Joseph J.

    2014-01-01

    Landscapes in agricultural systems continue to undergo significant change, and the loss of biodiversity is an ever-increasing threat. Although habitat restoration is beneficial, management actions do not always result in the desired outcome. Managers must understand why management actions fail; yet, past studies have focused on assessing habitat attributes at a single spatial scale, and often fail to consider the importance of ecological mechanisms that act across spatial scales. We located survey sites across southern Nebraska, USA and conducted point counts to estimate Ring-necked Pheasant abundance, an economically important species to the region, while simultaneously quantifying landscape effects using a geographic information system. To identify suitable areas for allocating limited management resources, we assessed land cover relationships to our counts using a Bayesian binomial-Poisson hierarchical model to construct predictive Species Distribution Models of relative abundance. Our results indicated that landscape scale land cover variables severely constrained or, alternatively, facilitated the positive effects of local land management for Ring-necked Pheasants.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Assessing species habitat using Google Street View: a case study of cliff-nesting vultures.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro P Olea

    Full Text Available The assessment of a species' habitat is a crucial issue in ecology and conservation. While the collection of habitat data has been boosted by the availability of remote sensing technologies, certain habitat types have yet to be collected through costly, on-ground surveys, limiting study over large areas. Cliffs are ecosystems that provide habitat for a rich biodiversity, especially raptors. Because of their principally vertical structure, however, cliffs are not easy to study by remote sensing technologies, posing a challenge for many researches and managers working with cliff-related biodiversity. We explore the feasibility of Google Street View, a freely available on-line tool, to remotely identify and assess the nesting habitat of two cliff-nesting vultures (the griffon vulture and the globally endangered Egyptian vulture in northwestern Spain. Two main usefulness of Google Street View to ecologists and conservation biologists were evaluated: i remotely identifying a species' potential habitat and ii extracting fine-scale habitat information. Google Street View imagery covered 49% (1,907 km of the roads of our study area (7,000 km². The potential visibility covered by on-ground surveys was significantly greater (mean: 97.4% than that of Google Street View (48.1%. However, incorporating Google Street View to the vulture's habitat survey would save, on average, 36% in time and 49.5% in funds with respect to the on-ground survey only. The ability of Google Street View to identify cliffs (overall accuracy = 100% outperformed the classification maps derived from digital elevation models (DEMs (62-95%. Nonetheless, high-performance DEM maps may be useful to compensate Google Street View coverage limitations. Through Google Street View we could examine 66% of the vultures' nesting-cliffs existing in the study area (n = 148: 64% from griffon vultures and 65% from Egyptian vultures. It also allowed us the extraction of fine-scale features of

  20. Assessing species habitat using Google Street View: a case study of cliff-nesting vultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olea, Pedro P; Mateo-Tomás, Patricia

    2013-01-01

    The assessment of a species' habitat is a crucial issue in ecology and conservation. While the collection of habitat data has been boosted by the availability of remote sensing technologies, certain habitat types have yet to be collected through costly, on-ground surveys, limiting study over large areas. Cliffs are ecosystems that provide habitat for a rich biodiversity, especially raptors. Because of their principally vertical structure, however, cliffs are not easy to study by remote sensing technologies, posing a challenge for many researches and managers working with cliff-related biodiversity. We explore the feasibility of Google Street View, a freely available on-line tool, to remotely identify and assess the nesting habitat of two cliff-nesting vultures (the griffon vulture and the globally endangered Egyptian vulture) in northwestern Spain. Two main usefulness of Google Street View to ecologists and conservation biologists were evaluated: i) remotely identifying a species' potential habitat and ii) extracting fine-scale habitat information. Google Street View imagery covered 49% (1,907 km) of the roads of our study area (7,000 km²). The potential visibility covered by on-ground surveys was significantly greater (mean: 97.4%) than that of Google Street View (48.1%). However, incorporating Google Street View to the vulture's habitat survey would save, on average, 36% in time and 49.5% in funds with respect to the on-ground survey only. The ability of Google Street View to identify cliffs (overall accuracy = 100%) outperformed the classification maps derived from digital elevation models (DEMs) (62-95%). Nonetheless, high-performance DEM maps may be useful to compensate Google Street View coverage limitations. Through Google Street View we could examine 66% of the vultures' nesting-cliffs existing in the study area (n = 148): 64% from griffon vultures and 65% from Egyptian vultures. It also allowed us the extraction of fine-scale features of cliffs

  1. Suitability of semi-automated tumor response assessment of liver metastases using a dedicated software package

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalkmann, Janine; Ladd, S.C.; Greiff, A. de; Forsting, M.; Stattaus, J.

    2010-01-01

    Purpose: to evaluate the suitability of semi-automated compared to manual tumor response assessment (TRA) of liver metastases. Materials and methods: in total, 32 patients with colorectal cancer and liver metastases were followed by an average of 2.8 contrast-enhanced CT scans. Two observers (O1, O2) measured the longest diameter (LD) of 269 liver metastases manually and semi-automatically using software installed as thin-client on a PACS workstation (LMS-Liver, MEDIAN Technologies). LD and TRA (''progressive'', ''stable'', ''partial remission'') were performed according to RECIST (Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors) and analyzed for between-method, interobserver and intraobserver variability. The time needed for evaluation was compared for both methods. Results: all measurements correlated excellently (r ≥ 0.96). Intraobserver (semi-automated), interobserver (manual) and between-method differences (by O1) in LD of 1.4 ± 2.6 mm, 1.9 ± 1.9 mm and 2.1 ± 2.0 mm, respectively, were not significant. Interobserver (semi-automated) and between-method (by O2) differences in LD of 3.0 ± 3.0 mm and 2.6 ± 2.0 mm, respectively, reflected a significant variability (p < 0.01). The interobserver agreement in manual and semi-automated TRA was 91.4%. The intraobserver agreement in semi-automated TRA was 84.5%. Between both methods a TRA agreement of 86.2% was obtained. Semi-automated evaluation (2.7 min) took slightly more time than manual evaluation (2.3 min). Conclusion: semi-automated and manual evaluation of liver metastases yield comparable results in response assessments and require comparable effort. (orig.)

  2. Guidelines for assessing favourable conservation status of Natura 2000 species and habitat types in Bulgaria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zingstra, H.L.; Kovachev, A.; Kitnaes, K.; Tzonev, R.; Dimova, D.; Tzvetkov, P.

    2009-01-01

    This executive summary describes the methodology for assessing the favourable conservation status of N2000 habitats and species on site level in Bulgaria and gives guidelines for its application. The methodology was developed in the frame of the BBI/Matra project 2006/014 “Favourable Conservation

  3. Assessing Hazard Vulnerability, Habitat Conservation, and Restoration for the Enhancement of Mainland China's Coastal Resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sajjad, Muhammad; Li, Yangfan; Tang, Zhenghong; Cao, Ling; Liu, Xiaoping

    2018-03-01

    Worldwide, humans are facing high risks from natural hazards, especially in coastal regions with high population densities. Rising sea levels due to global warming are making coastal communities' infrastructure vulnerable to natural disasters. The present study aims to provide a coupling approach of vulnerability and resilience through restoration and conservation of lost or degraded coastal natural habitats to reclamation under different climate change scenarios. The integrated valuation of ecosystems and tradeoffs model is used to assess the current and future vulnerability of coastal communities. The model employed is based on seven different biogeophysical variables to calculate a natural hazard index and to highlight the criticality of the restoration of natural habitats. The results show that roughly 25% of the coastline and more than 5 million residents are in highly vulnerable coastal areas of mainland China, and these numbers are expected to double by 2100. Our study suggests that restoration and conservation in recently reclaimed areas have the potential to reduce this vulnerability by 45%. Hence, natural habitats have proved to be a great defense against coastal hazards and should be prioritized in coastal planning and development. The findings confirm that natural habitats are critical for coastal resilience and can act as a recovery force of coastal functionality loss. Therefore, we recommend that the Chinese government prioritizes restoration (where possible) and conservation of the remaining habitats for the sake of coastal resilience to prevent natural hazards from escalating into disasters.

  4. Damage assessment in coastal habitats: Lessons learned from Exxon Valdez

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dean, T.A.; McDonald, L.; Stekoll, M.S.; Rosenthal, R.R.

    1993-01-01

    This paper examines alternative designs for the monitoring and assessment of damages of environmental impacts such as oil spills. The optimal design requires sampling at pairs of impacted (oiled) and control (unoiled) sites both before and after the event. However, this design proved impractical in evaluating impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill on nearshore subtidal communities, and may be impractical for future monitoring. An alternative design is discussed in which sampling is conducted at pairs of control and impact sites only after the impact

  5. Assessment of River Habitat Quality in the Hai River Basin, Northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuekui Ding

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available We applied a river habitat quality (RHQ assessment method to the Hai River Basin (HRB; an important economic centre in China; to obtain baseline information for water quality improvement; river rehabilitation; and watershed management. The results of the assessment showed that the river habitat in the HRB is seriously degraded. Specifically; 42.41% of the sites; accounting for a river length of 3.31 × 104 km; were designated poor and bad. Habitat in the plain areas is seriously deteriorated; and nearly 50% of the sites; accounting for a river length of 1.65 × 104 km; had either poor or bad habitats. River habitat degradation was attributable to the limited width of the riparian zone (≤5 m; lower coverage of riparian vegetation (≤40%; artificial land use patterns (public and industrial land; frequent occurrence of farming on the river banks and high volumes of solid waste (nearly 10 m3; single flow channels; and rare aquatic plants (≤1 category. At the regional scale; intensive artificial land use types caused by urbanization had a significant impact on the RHQ in the HRB. RHQ was significantly and negatively correlated with farmland (r = 1.000; p < 0.01 and urban land (r = 0.998; p < 0.05; and was significantly and positively correlated with grassland and woodland (r = 1.000; p < 0.01. Intensive artificial land use; created through urbanization processes; has led to a loss of the riparian zone and its native vegetation; and has disrupted the lateral connectivity of the rivers. The degradation of the already essentially black rivers is exacerbated by poor longitudinal connectivity (index of connectivity is 2.08–16.56; caused by reservoirs and sluices. For river habitat rehabilitation to be successful; land use patterns need to be changed and reservoirs and sluices will have to be regulated.

  6. Suitability assessment and mapping of Oyo State, Nigeria, for rice cultivation using GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayoade, Modupe Alake

    2017-08-01

    Rice is one of the most preferred food crops in Nigeria. However, local rice production has declined with the oil boom of the 1970s causing demand to outstrip supply. Rice production can be increased through the integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and crop-land suitability analysis and mapping. Based on the key predictor variables that determine rice yield mentioned in relevant literature, data on rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, slope, and soil of Oyo state were obtained. To develop rice suitability maps for the state, two MCE-GIS techniques, namely the Overlay approach and weighted linear combination (WLC), using fuzzy AHP were used and compared. A Boolean land use map derived from a landsat imagery was used in masking out areas currently unavailable for rice production. Both suitability maps were classified into four categories of very suitable, suitable, moderate, and fairly moderate. Although the maps differ slightly, the overlay and WLC (AHP) approach found most parts of Oyo state (51.79 and 82.9 % respectively) to be moderately suitable for rice production. However, in areas like Eruwa, Oyo, and Shaki, rainfall amount received needs to be supplemented by irrigation for increased rice yield.

  7. Land suitability assessment in the catchment area of four Southwestern Atlantic coastal lagoons: multicriteria and optimization modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez-Gallego, Lorena; Achkar, Marcel; Conde, Daniel

    2012-07-01

    In the present study, a land suitability assessment was conducted in the basin of four Uruguayan coastal lagoons (Southwestern Atlantic) to analyze the productive development while minimizing eutrophication, biodiversity loss and conflicts among different land uses. Suitable land for agriculture, forest, livestock ranching, tourism and conservation sectors were initially established based on a multi-attribute model developed using a geographic information system. Experts were consulted to determine the requirements for each land use sector and the incompatibilities among land use types. The current and potential conflicts among incompatible land use sectors were analyzed by overlapping land suitability maps. We subsequently applied a multi-objective model where land (pixels) with similar suitability was clustered into "land suitability groups", using a two-phase cluster analysis and the Akaike Information Criterion. Finally, a linear programming optimization procedure was applied to allocate land use sectors into land suitable groups, maximizing total suitability and minimizing interference among sectors. Results indicated that current land use overlapped by 4.7 % with suitable land of other incompatible sectors. However, the suitable land of incompatible sectors overlapped in 20.3 % of the study area, indicating a high potential for the occurrence of future conflict. The highest competition was between agriculture and conservation, followed by forest and agriculture. We explored scenarios where livestock ranching and tourism intensified, and found that interference with conservation and agriculture notably increased. This methodology allowed us to analyze current and potential land use conflicts and to contribute to the strategic planning of the study area.

  8. A preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for protecting potential Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) habitat in Southern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendoza, Eduardo; Fuller, Trevon L; Thomassen, Henri A; Buermann, Wolfgang; Ramírez-Mejía, Diana; Smith, Thomas B

    2013-03-01

    Baird's tapir (Tapirus bairdii) is one of the most emblematic mammals of Mesoamerica, but like other large-bodied animals, it is facing an increasing risk of extinction due primarily to habitat loss. Mexico's 'ortion of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor (MBC-M) is located in one of the main strongholds for Bairds tapir. To assess the MBC-M's effectiveness for tapir conservation, we estimated the distribution of the species' potential habitat by applying 2 modelling approaches (random forest and Maxent) to a set of uncorrelated environmental variables and a 157-point presence dataset. We calculated the extent of tapir habitat in within the MBC-M and modelled new corridors and conservation areas, which we compared to the MBC-M. Moreover, we assessed deforestation patterns in the region. Twenty-seven percent of highly suitable tapir habitat occurred in protected areas, 15% in corridors and 58.3% was outside the MBC-M and associated reserves. The spatial configuration of the MBC-M was partially concordant with the modelled set of conservation areas and corridors. The main dissimilarity was that the modelled corridors traversed forests in Belize and Guatemala to connect conservation areas. Analyses of deforestation since 1993 and human population density in the vicinity of the MBC-M indicated that future conservation efforts should give particular attention to the Montes Azules-El Triunfo Corridor due to greater habitat threat. The MBC-M has a great potential to play a prominent role in the conservation of tapir habitat but there is an urgent need to implement management plans that reinforce and complement this conservation initiative. © 2012 Wiley Publishing Asia Pty Ltd, ISZS and IOZ/CAS.

  9. Land Suitability Assessment for Camelina (Camelina sativa L. Development in Chile

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Celián Román-Figueroa

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Camelina (Camelina sativa L. is an oilseed with potential for use as a raw material in second-generation biofuels. Camelina has a seed yield of up to 2380 kg·ha−1 and contains around 45% fatty acids. Selection of a suitable site is critical for production optimization. The objective of this study was to determine Chilean agro-climatic suitability for establishing camelina as a productive alternative. Climate and soil requirements and geographical restraints were evaluated for the species, considering the climatological characteristics of its regions of origin, as well as regions where camelina is successfully grown in the rest of the world. The variables considered included factors (maximum temperatures of the warmest month, water deficits, and degree days and limitations (altitude, geomorphology, and current land use, which permitted the evaluation of the national territory for a certain level of suitability. It was determined that 1.3% of the national territory (960,664 ha has some degree of suitability for camelina adoption. Between the Biobío and Los Lagos regions, 49.0% of the land (471,203 ha is in the category of no thermic restrictions, with mild water restrictions, and mild soil restrictions or without information, which can be used for camelina production. The Los Ríos region has 21.4% surface area (321,176 ha with some level of suitability for camelina, the most suitable region to establish this crop in Chile. This research has provided valuable information applicable to new species and geographic areas which facilitate the adaptation of agricultural and forestry production to global changes.

  10. Proceedings of a workshop on the development and evaluation of habitat suitability criteria: A compilation of papers and discussions presented at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado, December 8-12, 1986

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovee, Ken; Zuboy, J.R.

    1988-01-01

    The development of reliable habitat suitability criteria is critical to the successful implementation of the Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM), or any other habitat based evaluation technology. It is also a fascinating topic of research, for several reasons. First, the “science” of habitat quantification is relatively young. Descriptions of habitat use and partitioning can be traced back to Darwin, if not further. Attempts to actually quantify habitat use can be found predominantly during the last two decades, with most of the activity occurring in about the last five years. Second, this work is challenging because we are usually working with fish or some other organism that lives out of sight in an environment that is foreign to humans. Most of the data collection techniques that have been developed for standard fisheries work are unsuited, without modification, for criteria development. These factors make anyone involved in this type of research a pioneer, of sorts. Pioneers often make new and wonderful discoveries, but they also sometimes get lost. In our opinion, however, there is an even more rewarding aspect to criteria development research. It seems that the field of biology has tended to become increasingly clinical over the years. Criteria development demands the unobtrusive observation of organisms in their natural environment, a fact that allows the biological to be a naturalist and still get paid for it. The relative youth and importance of habitat quantification have resulted in rapid advancements in the state of the art. The expansion of methods is vividly demonstrated simply by comparing the two Instream Flow Information Papers written on the subject in 1978 and in 1986. One of the missions of the Aquatic Systems Branch (formerly the Instream Flow Group) is to serve as a clearinghouse for new techniques and methods. In keeping with this role, a workshop was conducted during December 1986 to discuss current and newly evolving methods

  11. Collaborative study to assess the suitability of a candidate International Standard for yellow fever vaccine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferguson, Morag; Heath, Alan

    2004-12-01

    Yellow fever vaccines are routinely assayed by plaque assay. However, the results of these assays are then converted into mouse LD(50) using correlations/conversion factors which, in many cases, were established many years ago. The minimum required potency in WHO Recommendations is 10(3) LD(50)/dose. Thirteen participants from 8 countries participated in a collaborative study whose aim was to assess the suitability of two candidate preparations to serve as an International Standard for yellow fever vaccine. In addition, the study investigated the relationship between the mouse LD(50) test and plaque forming units with a view to updating the WHO recommendations. Plaque assays were more reproducible than mouse assays, as expected. Differences in sensitivities of plaque assays were observed between laboratories but these differences appear to be consistent within a laboratory for all samples and the expression of potency relative to the candidate standard vaccine improved the reproducibility of assays between laboratories. However, the use of potencies had little effect on the between laboratory variability in mouse LD(50) assays. There appears to be a consistent relationship between overall mean LD(50) and plaques titre for all study preparations other than sample E. The slope of the correlation curve is >1 and it would appear that 10(3) LD(50) is approximately equivalent to 10(4) plaque forming units (PFU), based on the overall means of all laboratory results. The First International Standard for yellow fever vaccine, NIBSC Code 99/616, has been established as the First International Standard for yellow fever vaccine by the Expert Committee of Biological Standards of the World Health Organisation. The International Standard has been arbitrarily assigned a potency of 10(4.5) International Units (IU) per ampoule. Manufacturers and National Control Laboratories are including the First International Standard for yellow fever vaccine in routine assays so that the minimum

  12. Assessing the suitability of commercial fisheries data for local-scale ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... are suitable for systematic spatial planning on a local scale and can be used for future spatial management and conservation. Keywords: chokka-squid, conservation planning, demersal trawl, linefish, logbooks, observer data, shark longline, small pelagic, vessel monitoring system. African Journal of Marine Science 2014, ...

  13. Assessment of the suitability of trees for brownfields reuse in the post-mining landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mec, J.; Lokajickova, B.; Sotkova, N.; Svehlakova, H.; Stalmachova, B.

    2017-10-01

    The post-mining landscape of Upper Silesian is deterioration of the original landscape caused by underground coal mining. There are huge ecosystems changes, which have been reclaimed by nature-friendly procedures. The aim of the work is to evaluate the suitability of selected trees for reuse of brownfields in this landscape and proposals for reclamation in the interest areas of Upper Silesian.

  14. Generating alternative alignments in terrain suitability studies for environmental impact assessments of linear developments

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Van Deventer, Heidi

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available (EIA). Though legislation requires a screening or scoping of alternative options prior to the EIA, the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is seldom used in generating alternatives through a Terrain Suitability Study (TSS). The inclusion of a...

  15. [Assessment on the ecological suitability in Zhuhai City, Guangdong, China, based on minimum cumulative resistance model].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Jian-fei; Li, Lin; Guo, Luo; Du, Shi-hong

    2016-01-01

    Urban landscape has the characteristics of spatial heterogeneity. Because the expansion process of urban constructive or ecological land has different resistance values, the land unit stimulates and promotes the expansion of ecological land with different intensity. To compare the effect of promoting and hindering functions in the same land unit, we firstly compared the minimum cumulative resistance value of promoting and hindering functions, and then looked for the balance of two landscape processes under the same standard. According to the ecology principle of minimum limit factor, taking the minimum cumulative resistance analysis method under two expansion processes as the evaluation method of urban land ecological suitability, this research took Zhuhai City as the study area to estimate urban ecological suitability by relative evaluation method with remote sensing image, field survey, and statistics data. With the support of ArcGIS, five types of indicators on landscape types, ecological value, soil erosion sensitivity, sensitivity of geological disasters, and ecological function were selected as input parameters in the minimum cumulative resistance model to compute urban ecological suitability. The results showed that the ecological suitability of the whole Zhuhai City was divided into five levels: constructive expansion prohibited zone (10.1%), constructive expansion restricted zone (32.9%), key construction zone (36.3%), priority development zone (2.3%), and basic cropland (18.4%). Ecological suitability of the central area of Zhuhai City was divided into four levels: constructive expansion prohibited zone (11.6%), constructive expansion restricted zone (25.6%), key construction zone (52.4%), priority development zone (10.4%). Finally, we put forward the sustainable development framework of Zhuhai City according to the research conclusion. On one hand, the government should strictly control the development of the urban center area. On the other hand, the

  16. Suitability Assessment of Printed Dietary Guidelines for Pregnant Women and Parents of Infants and Toddlers From 7 European Countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garnweidner-Holme, Lisa Maria; Dolvik, Stina; Frisvold, Cathrine; Mosdøl, Annhild

    2016-02-01

    To evaluate selected European printed dietary guidelines for pregnant women and parents of infants and toddlers using the suitability assessment of materials (SAM) method. A descriptive study to determine the suitability of 14 printed dietary guidelines from 7 European countries based on deductive quantitative analyses. Materials varied greatly in format and content: 35.7% of materials were rated superior and 64.3% were rated adequate according to the overall SAM score for patient education material. None of the materials were scored not suitable. Among the categories, the highest average scores were for layout and typography and the lowest average scores were for cultural appropriateness and learning stimulation and motivation. Interrater reliability ranged from Cohen's kappa of 0.37 to 0.62 (mean, 0.41), indicating fair to moderate agreement among the 3 investigators. Overall, the suitability of the assessed printed dietary guidelines was adequate. Based on the SAM methodology, printed dietary guidelines may increase in suitability by emphasizing aspects related to health literacy and accommodating the needs of different food cultures within a population. Copyright © 2016 Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Habitat quality assessment of two wetland treatment systems in Mississippi: A pilot study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McAllister, L.S.

    1992-12-01

    The use of wetland treatment systems (WTS), or constructed wetlands, for treating municipal wastewater is increasing in the United States, but little is known about the ability of these systems to duplicate or sustain wetland functions. The pilot study was designed to examine methods and the usefulness of various wetland indicators for assessing the wildlife habitat quality in six WTS sites throughout the United States. The report focusses on two Mississippi sites, one located near Collins, and one near Ocean Springs.

  18. Method for assessment of the technical potential of the plant agricultural waste suitable for energy purposes in Bulgaria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Georgiev, V.

    2004-01-01

    A method for assessment of technical potential of quantitatively important plant agriculture waste; straw from wheat and barley; corn stalks; sunflower stalks and heads; tobacco stalks; orchard prunings and vineyard prunings suitable for energy purposes for Bulgarian conditions is developed. Data for assessment of the technical potential for 2002 using this method are presented. A comparison between technical potential of mentioned wastes, final energy consumption in agriculture and all branches of Bulgarian economy for 2002 is made. (author)

  19. Land suitability assessment on a watershed of Loess Plateau using the analytic hierarchy process.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaobo Yi

    Full Text Available In order to reduce soil erosion and desertification, the Sloping Land Conversion Program has been conducted in China for more than 15 years, and large areas of farmland have been converted to forest and grassland. However, this large-scale vegetation-restoration project has faced some key problems (e.g. soil drying that have limited the successful development of the current ecological-recovery policy. Therefore, it is necessary to know about the land use, vegetation, and soil, and their inter-relationships in order to identify the suitability of vegetation restoration. This study was conducted at the watershed level in the ecologically vulnerable region of the Loess Plateau, to evaluate the land suitability using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP. The results showed that (1 the area unsuitable for crops accounted for 73.3% of the watershed, and the main factors restricting cropland development were soil physical properties and soil nutrients; (2 the area suitable for grassland was about 86.7% of the watershed, with the remaining 13.3% being unsuitable; (3 an area of 3.95 km(2, accounting for 66.7% of the watershed, was unsuitable for forest. Overall, the grassland was found to be the most suitable land-use to support the aims of the Sloping Land Conversion Program in the Liudaogou watershed. Under the constraints of soil water shortage and nutrient deficits, crops and forests were considered to be inappropriate land uses in the study area, especially on sloping land. When selecting species for re-vegetation, non-native grass species with high water requirements should be avoided so as to guarantee the sustainable development of grassland and effective ecological functioning. Our study provides local land managers and farmers with valuable information about the inappropriateness of growing trees in the study area along with some information on species selection for planting in the semi-arid area of the Loess Plateau.

  20. Land suitability assessment on a watershed of Loess Plateau using the analytic hierarchy process.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Xiaobo; Wang, Li

    2013-01-01

    In order to reduce soil erosion and desertification, the Sloping Land Conversion Program has been conducted in China for more than 15 years, and large areas of farmland have been converted to forest and grassland. However, this large-scale vegetation-restoration project has faced some key problems (e.g. soil drying) that have limited the successful development of the current ecological-recovery policy. Therefore, it is necessary to know about the land use, vegetation, and soil, and their inter-relationships in order to identify the suitability of vegetation restoration. This study was conducted at the watershed level in the ecologically vulnerable region of the Loess Plateau, to evaluate the land suitability using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP). The results showed that (1) the area unsuitable for crops accounted for 73.3% of the watershed, and the main factors restricting cropland development were soil physical properties and soil nutrients; (2) the area suitable for grassland was about 86.7% of the watershed, with the remaining 13.3% being unsuitable; (3) an area of 3.95 km(2), accounting for 66.7% of the watershed, was unsuitable for forest. Overall, the grassland was found to be the most suitable land-use to support the aims of the Sloping Land Conversion Program in the Liudaogou watershed. Under the constraints of soil water shortage and nutrient deficits, crops and forests were considered to be inappropriate land uses in the study area, especially on sloping land. When selecting species for re-vegetation, non-native grass species with high water requirements should be avoided so as to guarantee the sustainable development of grassland and effective ecological functioning. Our study provides local land managers and farmers with valuable information about the inappropriateness of growing trees in the study area along with some information on species selection for planting in the semi-arid area of the Loess Plateau.

  1. Landsat TM inventory and assessment of waterbird habitat in the southern altiplano of South America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, T.P.; Caziani, S.M.; Waltermire, R.G.

    2004-01-01

    The diverse set of wetlands in southern altiplano of South America supports a number of endemic and migratory waterbirds. These species include endangered endemic flamingos and shorebirds that nest in North America and winter in the altiplano. This research developed maps from nine Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) images (254,300 km2) to provide an inventory of aquatic waterbird habitats. Image processing software was used to produce a map with a classification of wetlands according to the habitat requirements of different types of waterbirds. A hierarchical procedure was used to, first, isolate the bodies of water within the TM image; second, execute an unsupervised classification on the subsetted image to produce 300 signatures of cover types, which were further subdivided as necessary. Third, each of the classifications was examined in the light of field data and personal experience for relevance to the determination of the various habitat types. Finally, the signatures were applied to the entire image and other adjacent images to yield a map depicting the location of the various waterbird habitats in the southern altiplano. The data sets referenced with a global positioning system receiver were used to test the classification system. Multivariate analysis of the bird communities censused at each lake by individual habitats indicated a salinity gradient, and then the depth of the water separated the birds. Multivariate analysis of the chemical and physical data from the lakes showed that the variation in lakes were significantly associated with difference in depth, transparency, latitude, elevation, and pH. The presence of gravel bottoms was also one of the qualities distinguishing a group of lakes. This information will be directly useful to the Flamingo Census Project and serve as an element for risk assessment for future development.

  2. Assessment of suitability of tree species for the production of biomass on trace element contaminated soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evangelou, Michael W.H.; Deram, Annabelle; Gogos, Alexander; Studer, Björn; Schulin, Rainer

    2012-01-01

    Highlights: ► Birch: lowest metal concentrations in foliage, wood and bark. ► Bark proportion does not have to decline with increasing age of tree. ► Long harvest rotation (>25 y) reduces metal concentrations in stem. ► Birch: most suitable tree for BCL. - Abstract: To alleviate the demand on fertile agricultural land for production of bioenergy, we investigated the possibility of producing biomass for bioenergy on trace element (TE) contaminated land. Soil samples and plant tissues (leaves, wood and bark) of adult willow (Salix sp.), poplar (Populus sp.), and birch (Betula pendula) trees were collected from five contaminated sites in France and Germany and analysed for Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, Ca, and K. Cadmium concentration in tree leaves were correlated with tree species, whereas Zn concentration in leaves was site correlated. Birch revealed significantly lower leaf Cd concentrations (1.2–8.9 mg kg −1 ) than willow and poplar (5–80 mg kg −1 ), thus posing the lowest risk for TE contamination of surrounding areas. Birch displayed the lowest bark concentrations for Ca (2300–6200 mg kg −1 ) and K (320–1250 mg kg −1 ), indicating that it would be the most suitable tree species for fuel production, as high concentrations of K and Ca decrease the ash melting point which results in a reduced plant lifetime. Due to higher TE concentrations in bark compared to wood a small bark proportion in relation to the trunk is desirable. In general the bark proportion was reduced with the tree age. In summary, birch was amongst the investigated species the most suitable for biomass production on TE contaminated land.

  3. Assessment of Habitat Suitability Is Affected by Plant-Soil Feedback: Comparison of Field and Garden Experiment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hemrová, Lucie; Knappová, Jana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 6 (2016), s. 1-26, č. článku 0157800. E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0048 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : dominant species * seedlings * feedback Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  4. The ability of the general male public to assess their suitability to take 50-mg sildenafil: an assessment of the comprehension of patient information materials via internet survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symonds, Tara; Coyne, Karin S; Margolis, Mary Kay; Schnetzler, Gabriel

    2011-07-01

    Erectile dysfunction (ED) is the most common male sexual dysfunction and has a negative impact on masculinity and self-esteem. Phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, including sildenafil, are the first-line treatment option for ED. Providing appropriate information regarding suitability for using sildenafil is important. The purpose of this study was to assess whether a broad spectrum of men could appropriately evaluate their suitability for 50-mg sildenafil after reviewing patient information materials. Patient information (Pack) on appropriate use of 50-mg sildenafil and patient information leaflet (PIL), a Web survey including demographics, self-assessed suitability for sildenafil use, and suitability screener. A randomly selected, population-representative Web-based panel of males in the UK was recruited for this study. Eligible men answered a brief sociodemographic questionnaire and then were presented with the Pack. If a participant desired additional information, he could also review the PIL. The participants then rated the Pack and PIL (if reviewed), self-assessed their suitability for sildenafil use, and completed a previously validated screener for suitability. A total of 1,275 men aged 40 and above were included in these analyses; the mean age was 57.8 ± 9.9 years. A total of 1,054 men reported ED; 517 men (40.5%) deemed themselves suitable for sildenafil; 504 men (39.6%) deemed themselves unsuitable; and 254 (19.9%) were unsure. The concordance rate between screener-assessed suitability and self-assessed suitability was 70.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 68.1-73.7%). When accounting for men who would not take sildenafil even though they were suitable or would seek additional information from a healthcare professional prior to using sildenafil, the concordance rate was 84.2% (95% CI = 82.2-86.2%). The results of this study suggest that men in the general population are capable of using written sildenafil patient education materials to accurately assess

  5. Predicting freshwater habitat integrity using land-use surrogates

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    2007-04-02

    Apr 2, 2007 ... Quantification of potential surrogates of freshwater habitat integrity. We chose a series of land-use variables that might be suitable predictors for assessing freshwater habitat integrity from the land cover map (CSIR 2005) and added separate GIS surfaces for human population density and the distribution of ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate S G Gormley

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

  8. Brief Report: Suitability of the Social Skills Performance Assessment (SSPA) for the Assessment of Social Skills in Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verhoeven, E. W. M.; Smeekens, I.; Didden, R.

    2013-01-01

    The present study aims at examining whether the "Social Skills Performance Assessment" (SSPA; Patterson et al. in "Schizophr Res" 48(2-3):351-360, 2001) is a suitable performance-based measure to assess social skills in adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). For this purpose, social skills of individuals with ASD and…

  9. Assessment of chevron dikes for the enhancement of physical-aquatic habitat within the Middle Mississippi River, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Remo, Jonathan W. F.; Khanal, Anish; Pinter, Nicholas

    2013-09-01

    Blunt-nosed chevron dikes, a new invention now being widely constructed on the Middle Mississippi River (MMR), have been justified as a tool for enhancing physical-aquatic habitat. Chevron dikes were initially designed to concentrate flow, induce channel scour, and thus facilitate river navigation. More recently, these structures have been justified, in part, for promoting habitat heterogeneity. The ability of chevrons to create and diversify physical-aquatic habitat, however, has not been empirically evaluated. To assess the ability of chevrons to create and diversify physical-aquatic habitat, we compiled hydrologic and geospatial data for three channel reference conditions along a 2.0 km (∼140 ha) reach of the MMR where three chevrons were constructed in late 2007. We used the hydrologic and hydraulic data to construct detailed 2-D hydrodynamic models for three reference condition: historic (circa 1890), pre-chevron, and post-chevron channel conditions. These models documented changes in depths and flow dynamics for a wide range of in-channel discharges. Depth-velocity habitat classes were used to assess change in physical-aquatic habitat patches and spatial statistical tools in order to evaluate the reach-scale habitat patch diversity. Comparisons of pre- and post-chevron conditions revealed increases in deep to very deep (>3.0 m) areas of slow moving (3.0 m], low velocity [<0.6 m/s]). Chevron construction also created some (0.8-3.8 ha) shallow-water habitat (0-1.5 m depth with a 0-0.6 m/s velocity) for flows ⩽2.0 × MAF and contributed to an 8-35% increase in physical-aquatic-habitat diversity compared to pre-chevron channel conditions. However, modeling of the historic reference condition (less engineered channel, circa 1890) revealed that the historical physical-aquatic-habitat mosaic consisted of a wider and shallower channel with: 45-390% more shallow-water habitat (2.4-11.0 ha) and 22-83% more physical-aquatic-habitat diversity, but little over

  10. Alien Plant Species in the Agricultural Habitats of Ukraine: Diversity and Risk Assessment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burda Raisa

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper is the first critical review of the diversity of the Ukrainian adventive flora, which has spread in agricultural habitats in the 21st century. The author’s annotated checklist contains the data on 740 species, subspecies and hybrids from 362 genera and 79 families of non-native weeds. The floristic comparative method was used, and the information was generalised into some categories of five characteristic features: climamorphotype (life form, time and method of introduction, level of naturalisation, and distribution into 22 classes of three habitat types according to European Nature Information System (EUNIS. Two assessments of the ecological risk of alien plants were first conducted in Ukraine according to the European methods: the risk of overcoming natural migration barriers and the risk of their impact on the environment. The exposed impact of invasive alien plants on ecosystems has a convertible character; the obtained information confirms a high level of phytobiotic contamination of agricultural habitats in Ukraine. It is necessary to implement European and national documents regarding the legislative and regulative policy on invasive alien species as one of the threats to biotic diversity.

  11. Challenges in Aquatic Physical Habitat Assessment: Improving Conservation and Restoration Decisions for Contemporary Watersheds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jason A. Hubbart

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Attribution of in-stream biological impairment to anthropogenic activities and prioritization for restoration and/or conservation can be challenging in contemporary mixed-land-use watersheds. Critical information necessary to improve decision making can be costly and labor intensive, and thus unobtainable for many municipalities. A reduced cost, rapid stream physical habitat assessment (rPHA can yield information that, when paired with land use data may reveal causal patterns in aquatic physical habitat degradation, and thus assist targeting sites for restoration. However, a great deal of work is needed to reduce associated costs, and validate the potential of rPHA for documenting fine-scale incremental change in physical habitat conditions in complex contemporary watersheds. The following commentary serves to draw attention to rPHA challenges and research needs including (but not limited to field-based validation and optimization of new remote sensing technologies, evaluation of the accuracy and representativeness of rapid vegetation survey methods, refinement of analytical methods, and consideration of legacy land use impacts and hydrologic system evolution in rPHA results interpretation. Considering the value of rPHA-generated data for improvement of watershed resource management, such challenges constitute timely, high-impact research opportunities for investigators wishing to advance complex, contemporary aquatic ecosystem management.

  12. Regional Assessment of Remote Forests and Black Bear Habitat from Forest Resource Surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victor A. Rudis; John B. Tansey

    1995-01-01

    We developed a spatially explicit modeling approach, using a county-scaled remote forest (i.e., forested area reserved from or having no direct human interference) assessment derived from 1984-1990 forest resource inventory data and a 1984 black bear (Ursus americantus) range map for 12 states in the southern United States.We defined minimum suitable and optimal black...

  13. A Multiple Watershed Approach to Assessing the Effects of Habitat Restoration Actions on Anadromous and Resident Fish Populations, Technical Report 2003-2004.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marmorek, David

    2004-03-01

    for future habitat restoration actions. Such designs are being developed concurrently with this project by several other groups in the Columbia Basin (RME Workgroup 2003, NMFS 2003, Hillman and Paulsen 2002, Hillman 2003). By addressing questions about habitat restoration and monitoring (in coordination with other related efforts), we hope that this project will catalyze a shift in the Basin's paradigm of habitat restoration, moving from implementation of individual watershed projects towards rigorously designed and monitored, multiwatershed, adaptive management experiments. The project involved three phases of work, which were closely integrated with various related and ongoing efforts in the region: (1) Scoping - We met with a Core Group of habitat experts and managers to scope out a set of testable habitat restoration hypotheses, identify candidate watersheds and recommend participants for a data evaluation workshop. (2) Data Assembly - We contacted over 80 scientists and managers to help evaluate the suitability of each candidate watershed's historical data for assessing the effectiveness of past restoration actions. We eventually settled on the Yakima, Wenatchee, Clearwater, and Salmon subbasins, and began gathering relevant data for these watersheds at a workshop with habitat experts and managers. Data assembly continued for several months after the workshop. (3) Data Analysis and Synthesis - We explored statistical approaches towards retrospectively analyzing the effects of restoration 'treatments' at nested spatial scales across multiple watersheds (Chapters 2-5 of this report). These analyses provided a foundation for identifying existing constraints to testing restoration hypotheses, and opportunities to overcome these constraints through improved experimental designs, monitoring protocols and project selection strategies (Chapters 6 and 7 of this report). Finally, we developed a set of recommendations to improve the design

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  15. Development and assessment of indices to determine stream fish vulnerability to climate change and habitat alteration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sievert, Nicholas A.; Paukert, Craig P.; Tsang, Yin-Phan; Infante, Dana M.

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the future impacts of climate and land use change are critical for long-term biodiversity conservation. We developed and compared two indices to assess the vulnerability of stream fish in Missouri, USA based on species environmental tolerances, rarity, range size, dispersal ability and on the average connectivity of the streams occupied by each species. These two indices differed in how environmental tolerance was classified (i.e., vulnerability to habitat alteration, changes in stream temperature, and changes to flow regimes). Environmental tolerance was classified based on measured species responses to habitat alteration, and extremes in stream temperatures and flow conditions for one index, while environmental tolerance for the second index was based on species’ traits. The indices were compared to determine if vulnerability scores differed by index or state listing status. We also evaluated the spatial distribution of species classified as vulnerable to habitat alteration, changes in stream temperature, and change in flow regimes. Vulnerability scores were calculated for all 133 species with the trait association index, while only 101 species were evaluated using the species response index, because 32 species lacked data to analyze for a response. Scores from the trait association index were greater than the species response index. This is likely due to the species response index's inability to evaluate many rare species, which generally had high vulnerability scores for the trait association index. The indices were consistent in classifying vulnerability to habitat alteration, but varied in their classification of vulnerability due to increases in stream temperature and alterations to flow regimes, likely because extremes in current climate may not fully capture future conditions and their influence on stream fish communities. Both indices showed higher mean vulnerability scores for listed species than unlisted species, which provided a coarse

  16. Critical analysis of e-health readiness assessment frameworks: suitability for application in developing countries.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mauco, Kabelo Leonard; Scott, Richard E; Mars, Maurice

    2018-02-01

    Introduction e-Health is an innovative way to make health services more effective and efficient and application is increasing worldwide. e-Health represents a substantial ICT investment and its failure usually results in substantial losses in time, money (including opportunity costs) and effort. Therefore it is important to assess e-health readiness prior to implementation. Several frameworks have been published on e-health readiness assessment, under various circumstances and geographical regions of the world. However, their utility for the developing world is unknown. Methods A literature review and analysis of published e-health readiness assessment frameworks or models was performed to determine if any are appropriate for broad assessment of e-health readiness in the developing world. A total of 13 papers described e-health readiness in different settings. Results and Discussion Eight types of e-health readiness were identified and no paper directly addressed all of these. The frameworks were based upon varying assumptions and perspectives. There was no underlying unifying theory underpinning the frameworks. Few assessed government and societal readiness, and none cultural readiness; all are important in the developing world. While the shortcomings of existing frameworks have been highlighted, most contain aspects that are relevant and can be drawn on when developing a framework and assessment tools for the developing world. What emerged is the need to develop different assessment tools for the various stakeholder sectors. This is an area that needs further research before attempting to develop a more generic framework for the developing world.

  17. Review on Suitability of Available LCIA Methodologies for Assessing Environmental Impact of the Food Sector

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pegah Amani

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Production, processing, distribution, and consumption of a wide variety of products in the food sector have different ranges of environmental impacts. Methodologies used in environmental impact assessment differ in which set of impact categories is covered and which models are used to assess them. In the food sector, life cycle assessment results are mostly presented without any clear distinction of the principles applied to selecting the relevant methodology. In this paper, the most relevant life cycle impact assessment methodologies are determined from the list of recommended methodologies published recently in the international reference life cycle data system (ILCD handbook. The range of the relevant impacts covered is considered as the main indicator decisive in selecting a methodology. The selection of the relevant set of impact categories is performed through an overview of more than 50 recent LCA case studies of different products in the sector. The result of the research is a short list of three LCIA methodologies recommended to be used for environmental impact assessment of products in the food sector.

  18. A multi-scale qualitative approach to assess the impact of urbanization on natural habitats and their connectivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scolozzi, Rocco, E-mail: rocco.scolozzi@fmach.it [Sustainable Agro-ecosystems and Bioresources Department, IASMA Research and Innovation Centre, Fondazione Edmund Mach, Via E. Mach 1, 38010 San Michele all& #x27; Adige, (Italy); Geneletti, Davide, E-mail: geneletti@ing.unitn.it [Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Trento, Trento (Italy)

    2012-09-15

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are often concurrent to land conversion and urbanization. Simple application of GIS-based landscape pattern indicators may be not sufficient to support meaningful biodiversity impact assessment. A review of the literature reveals that habitat definition and habitat fragmentation are frequently inadequately considered in environmental assessment, notwithstanding the increasing number of tools and approaches reported in the landscape ecology literature. This paper presents an approach for assessing impacts on habitats on a local scale, where availability of species data is often limited, developed for an alpine valley in northern Italy. The perspective of the methodology is multiple scale and species-oriented, and provides both qualitative and quantitative definitions of impact significance. A qualitative decision model is used to assess ecological values in order to support land-use decisions at the local level. Building on recent studies in the same region, the methodology integrates various approaches, such as landscape graphs, object-oriented rule-based habitat assessment and expert knowledge. The results provide insights into future habitat loss and fragmentation caused by land-use changes, and aim at supporting decision-making in planning and suggesting possible ecological compensation. - Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Many environmental assessments inadequately consider habitat loss and fragmentation. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Species-perspective for defining habitat quality and connectivity is claimed. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Species-based tools are difficult to be applied with limited availability of data. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer We propose a species-oriented and multiple scale-based qualitative approach. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Advantages include being species-oriented and providing value-based information.

  19. A multi-scale qualitative approach to assess the impact of urbanization on natural habitats and their connectivity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Scolozzi, Rocco; Geneletti, Davide

    2012-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are often concurrent to land conversion and urbanization. Simple application of GIS-based landscape pattern indicators may be not sufficient to support meaningful biodiversity impact assessment. A review of the literature reveals that habitat definition and habitat fragmentation are frequently inadequately considered in environmental assessment, notwithstanding the increasing number of tools and approaches reported in the landscape ecology literature. This paper presents an approach for assessing impacts on habitats on a local scale, where availability of species data is often limited, developed for an alpine valley in northern Italy. The perspective of the methodology is multiple scale and species-oriented, and provides both qualitative and quantitative definitions of impact significance. A qualitative decision model is used to assess ecological values in order to support land-use decisions at the local level. Building on recent studies in the same region, the methodology integrates various approaches, such as landscape graphs, object-oriented rule-based habitat assessment and expert knowledge. The results provide insights into future habitat loss and fragmentation caused by land-use changes, and aim at supporting decision-making in planning and suggesting possible ecological compensation. - Highlights: ► Many environmental assessments inadequately consider habitat loss and fragmentation. ► Species-perspective for defining habitat quality and connectivity is claimed. ► Species-based tools are difficult to be applied with limited availability of data. ► We propose a species-oriented and multiple scale-based qualitative approach. ► Advantages include being species-oriented and providing value-based information.

  20. Assessment of suitability of selected rice varieties for production of expanded rice

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Vijayalaxmi Kamaraddi

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Expanded rice, prepared from pre-gelatinized milled rice by sand roasting method, is a popular snack food of India. Five high-yielding rice varieties of Hill zone of Karnataka state, viz., IET-13901, KHP-2, KHP-5, KHP-10, and Intan were screened for puffing quality based on their physicochemical, functional, nutritional and organoleptic parameters with Rajamudi as local check. The effect of varietal differences on expansion/puffing quality parameters, in vitro digestibility of starch and protein as well as bioaccessibility of iron, zinc, and calcium were determined. Results indicated a strong positive correlation between amylose content and expansion ratio and a negative correlation between protein and amylose content, length expansion ratio and volume expansion ratio. Expansion characteristics showed that the varieties suitable for production of puffed rice were KHP-2, IET-13901 and Intan. Nutritional analysis showed following ranges of nutrient content in expanded rice: protein, 6.22–8.17%; fat, 0.06–0.14%; and as mg/100 g calcium, 20.5–23.5; iron, 2.01–2.72; zinc, 1.22–1.82; thiamine, 0.315–0.470; riboflavin, 0.051–0.069; and niacin, 3.18–4.68. Nearly 80.3–80.8% starch and 67.6–83.2% protein was digestible. Among all varieties, KHP-2 had lowest amount of rapidly digestible starch (61.4%. Mineral bioaccessibility ranged from 42.7 to 52.1%. Sensory analysis indicated that Intan and KHP-2 were superior and suited for production of expanded rice.

  1. Assessing the suitability of soft computing approaches for forest fires prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samaher Al_Janabi

    2018-07-01

    Full Text Available Forest fires present one of the main causes of environmental hazards that have many negative results in different aspect of life. Therefore, early prediction, fast detection and rapid action are the key elements for controlling such phenomenon and saving lives. Through this work, 517 different entries were selected at different times for montesinho natural park (MNP in Portugal to determine the best predictor that has the ability to detect forest fires, The principle component analysis (PCA was applied to find the critical patterns and particle swarm optimization (PSO technique was used to segment the fire regions (clusters. In the next stage, five soft computing (SC Techniques based on neural network were used in parallel to identify the best technique that would potentially give more accurate and optimum results in predicting of forest fires, these techniques namely; cascade correlation network (CCN, multilayer perceptron neural network (MPNN, polynomial neural network (PNN, radial basis function (RBF and support vector machine (SVM In the final stage, the predictors and their performance were evaluated based on five quality measures including root mean squared error (RMSE, mean squared error (MSE, relative absolute error (RAE, mean absolute error (MAE and information gain (IG. The results indicate that SVM technique was more effective and efficient than the RBF, MPNN, PNN and CCN predictors. The results also show that the SVM algorithm provides more precise predictions compared with other predictors with small estimation error. The obtained results confirm that the SVM improves the prediction accuracy and suitable for forest fires prediction compared to other methods. Keywords: Forest fires, Soft computing, Prediction, Principle component analysis, Particle swarm optimization, Cascade correlation network, Multilayer perceptron neural network, Polynomial neural networks, Radial basis function, Support vector machine

  2. In vitro thermal profile suitability assessment of acids and bases for thermochemical ablation: underlying principles.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Laura A; Anwer, Bilal; Brady, Ryan P; Smith, Benjamin C; Edelman, Theresa L; Misselt, Andrew J; Cressman, Erik N K

    2010-03-01

    To measure and compare temperature changes in a recently developed gel phantom for thermochemical ablation as a function of reagent strength and concentration with several acids and bases. Aliquots (0.5-1 mL) of hydrochloric acid or acetic acid and sodium hydroxide or aqueous ammonia were injected for 5 seconds into a hydrophobic gel phantom. Stepwise increments in concentration were used to survey the temperature changes caused by these reactions. Injections were performed in triplicate, measured with a thermocouple probe, and plotted as functions of concentration and time. Maximum temperatures were reached almost immediately in all cases, reaching 75 degrees C-110 degrees C at the higher concentrations. The highest temperatures were seen with hydrochloric acid and either base. More concentrated solutions of sodium hydroxide tended to mix incompletely, such that experiments at 9 M and higher were difficult to perform consistently. Higher concentrations for any reagent resulted in higher temperatures. Stronger acid and base combinations resulted in higher temperatures versus weak acid and base combinations at the same concentration. Maximum temperatures obtained are in a range known to cause tissue coagulation, and all combinations tested therefore appeared suitable for further investigation in thermochemical ablation. Because of the loss of the reaction chamber shape at higher concentrations of stronger agents, the phantom does not allow complete characterization under these circumstances. Adequate mixing of reagents to maximize heating potential and avoid systemic exposure to unreacted acid and base must be addressed if the method is to be safely employed in tissues. In addition, understanding factors that control lesion shape in a more realistic tissue model will be critical. Copyright 2010 SIR. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  3. Suitability of different conceptual models for assessing the hydrology of a full scale pilot landfill

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baviskar, S.M.; Heimovaara, T.J.

    2011-01-01

    Leachate emission to the groundwater is considered to be one of the largest longterm impacts related to landfilling. Recently we started a program, partly subsidized by the Dutch Technology foundation STW, aimed towards developing a frame work which allows for a quantitative assessment of the

  4. Preparing suitable climate scenario data to assess impacts on local food safety

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, C.; Hofstra, N.; Leemans, R.

    2015-01-01

    Quantification of climate change impacts on food safety requires food safety assessment with different past and future climate scenario data to compare current and future conditions. This study presents a tool to prepare climate and climate change data for local food safety scenario analysis and

  5. 78 FR 75359 - Waterway Suitability Assessment for Construction and Operation of Liquefied Gas Terminals; Orange...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-11

    ... Assessment for Construction and Operation of Liquefied Gas Terminals; Orange, TX AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS... waterfront facility handling and storing Liquefied Hazardous Gas (LHG) at its Orange, Texas facility. The... LHG marine traffic in the associated waterway. INVISTA, S.a.r.l. located in Orange, Texas submitted an...

  6. Suitability of texture features to assess changes in trabecular bone architecture

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Veenland, JF; Grashuis, JL; Weinans, H

    2002-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of texture features to assess changes in trabecular bone architecture as projected in radiographs. Micro-CT datasets of trabecular bone were processed to simulate different changes in architecture. Radiographs were simulated by projecting the...

  7. Rationale for geological isolation of high-level radioactive waste, and assessment of the suitability of crystalline rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smedes, H.W.

    1980-01-01

    This report summarizes the disposal objective to be met and the requisite geotechnical criteria to meet that objective; evaluates our present ability to determine whether certain criteria can be met and to predict whether they will continue to be met; discusses the consequences of failure to meet certain criteria; assesses what is known about how crystalline rocks meet those criteria; lists important gaps in our knowledge that presently preclude final assessment of suitability; and suggests priority research to fill those gaps. The report presents an elaboration of the above-stated behavior and suitability of crystalline rocks, and a rationale of site-selection in support of the recommended prompt and intensive study of granite and other crystalline rocks as potentially highly suitable candidate media for radioactive waste disposal. An overview is presented on what the rocks are, where they are, and what the critical attributes are of various crystalline-rock terranes in the conterminous United States. This is intended to provide a basis to aid in selecting, first regions, and then sites within those regions, as candidate repository sites

  8. Readability, suitability, and health content assessment of web-based patient education materials on colorectal cancer screening.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tian, Chenlu; Champlin, Sara; Mackert, Michael; Lazard, Allison; Agrawal, Deepak

    2014-08-01

    Colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates in the Unites States are still below target level. Web-based patient education materials are used by patients and providers to provide supplemental information on CRC screening. Low literacy levels and patient perceptions are significant barriers to screening. There are little data on the quality of these online materials from a health literacy standpoint or whether they address patients' perceptions. To evaluate the readability, suitability, and health content of web-based patient education materials on colon cancer screening. Descriptive study. Web-based patient materials. Twelve reputable and popular online patient education materials were evaluated. Readability was measured by using the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Grade Level, and suitability was determined by the Suitability Assessment of Materials, a scale that considers characteristics such as content, graphics, layout/typography, and learning stimulation. Health content was evaluated within the framework of the Health Belief Model, a behavioral model that relates patients' perceptions of susceptibility to disease, severity, and benefits and barriers to their medical decisions. Each material was scored independently by 3 reviewers. Flesch-Kincaid Reading Grade Level score, Suitability Assessment of Materials score, health content score. Readability for 10 of 12 materials surpassed the maximum recommended sixth-grade reading level. Five were 10th grade level and above. Only 1 of 12 materials received a superior suitability score; 3 materials received inadequate scores. Health content analysis revealed that only 50% of the resources discussed CRC risk in the general population and <25% specifically addressed patients at high risk, such as African Americans, smokers, patients with diabetes, and obese patients. For perceived barriers to screening, only 8.3% of resources discussed embarrassment, 25% discussed pain with colonoscopy, 25% addressed cost of colonoscopy, and none

  9. Habitat type-based bioaccumulation and risk assessment of metal and As contamination in earthworms, beetles and woodlice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vermeulen, Frouke; Van den Brink, Nico W.; D'Have, Helga; Mubiana, Valentine K.; Blust, Ronny; Bervoets, Lieven; De Coen, Wim

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the contribution of environmental factors to the accumulation of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in earthworms, beetles and woodlice, and framed within an exposure assessment of the European hedgehog. Soil and invertebrate samples were collected in three distinct habitat types. Results showed habitat-specific differences in soil and invertebrate metal concentrations and bioaccumulation factors when normalized to soil metal concentration. Further multiple regression analysis showed residual variability (habitat differences) in bioaccumulation that could not be fully explained by differences in soil metal contamination, pH or organic carbon (OC). Therefore, the study demonstrated that in bioaccumulation studies involving terrestrial invertebrates or in risk assessment of metals, it is not sufficient to differentiate habitat types on general soil characteristics such as pH and/or OC alone. Furthermore, simple generic soil risk assessments for Cd and Cu showed that risk characterization was more accurate when performed in a habitat-specific way. - Our study provided essential insights into habitat-specific accumulation patterns with respect to factors influencing metal bioaccumulation, BAFs, and site-specific risk assessment.

  10. Habitat type-based bioaccumulation and risk assessment of metal and As contamination in earthworms, beetles and woodlice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vermeulen, Frouke, E-mail: frouke.vermeulen@ua.ac.b [Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Group (U7), University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Van den Brink, Nico W., E-mail: nico.vandenbrink@wur.n [Alterra, Wageningen UR, Box 47, NL6700AA Wageningen (Netherlands); D' Have, Helga [Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Group (U7), University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Mubiana, Valentine K., E-mail: kayawe.mubiana@ua.ac.b [Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Group (U7), University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Blust, Ronny, E-mail: ronny.blust@ua.ac.b [Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Group (U7), University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); Bervoets, Lieven, E-mail: lieven.bervoets@ua.ac.b [Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Group (U7), University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium); De Coen, Wim, E-mail: wim.decoen@ua.ac.b [Ecophysiology, Biochemistry and Toxicology Group (U7), University of Antwerp, Groenenborgerlaan 171, B-2020 Antwerp (Belgium)

    2009-11-15

    The present study investigated the contribution of environmental factors to the accumulation of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in earthworms, beetles and woodlice, and framed within an exposure assessment of the European hedgehog. Soil and invertebrate samples were collected in three distinct habitat types. Results showed habitat-specific differences in soil and invertebrate metal concentrations and bioaccumulation factors when normalized to soil metal concentration. Further multiple regression analysis showed residual variability (habitat differences) in bioaccumulation that could not be fully explained by differences in soil metal contamination, pH or organic carbon (OC). Therefore, the study demonstrated that in bioaccumulation studies involving terrestrial invertebrates or in risk assessment of metals, it is not sufficient to differentiate habitat types on general soil characteristics such as pH and/or OC alone. Furthermore, simple generic soil risk assessments for Cd and Cu showed that risk characterization was more accurate when performed in a habitat-specific way. - Our study provided essential insights into habitat-specific accumulation patterns with respect to factors influencing metal bioaccumulation, BAFs, and site-specific risk assessment.

  11. Suitability Assessment of Satellite-Derived Drought Indices for Mongolian Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sheng Chang

    2017-06-01

    %. The VHI is a combination of constructed VCI and TCI, and can be used instead of them. Finally, the mode method was adopted to identify appropriate drought indices. The best two indices (VHI and NDWI can be utilized to develop a combination drought model for accurately monitoring and quantifying drought in the future. Additionally, the new framework can be adopted to investigate and analyze the suitability of satellite-derived drought indices and determine the most appropriate index/indices for other countries or areas.

  12. A flexible matrix-based human exposure assessment framework suitable for LCA and CAA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jolliet, Olivier; Ernstoff, Alexi; Huang, Lei

    2016-01-01

    are not applicable to all types of near-field chemical releases from consumer products, e.g. direct dermal application. A consistent near-and far-field framework is needed for life cycle assessment (LCA) and chemical alternative assessment (CAA) to inform mitigation of human exposure to harmful chemicals. To close......Humans can be exposed to chemicals via near-field exposure pathways (e.g. through consumer product use) and far-field exposure pathways (e.g. through environmental emissions along product life cycles). Pathways are often complex where chemicals can transfer directly from products to humans during...... use or exchange between near-and far-field compartments until sub -fractions reach humans via inhalation, ingestion or dermal uptake. Currently, however, multimedia exposure models mainly focus on far-field exposure pathways. Metrics and modeling approaches used in far-field, emission-based models...

  13. Are existing outcome instruments suitable for assessment of spinal trauma patients?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stadhouder, Agnita; Buckens, Constantinus F M; Holtslag, Herman R; Oner, F Cumhur

    2010-11-01

    Valid outcome assessment tools specific for spinal trauma patients are necessary to establish the efficacy of different treatment options. So far, no validated specific outcome measures are available for this patient population. The purpose of this study was to assess the current state of outcome measurement in spinal trauma patients and to address the question of whether this group is adequately served by current disease-specific and generic health-related quality-of-life instruments. A number of widely used outcome measures deemed most appropriate were reviewed, and their applicability to spinal trauma outcome discussed. An overview of recent movements in the theoretical foundations of outcome assessment, as it pertains to spinal trauma patients has been attempted, along with a discussion of domains important for spinal trauma. Commonly used outcome measures that are recommended for use in trauma patients were reviewed from the perspective of spinal trauma. The authors further sought to select a number of spine trauma-relevant domains from the WHO's comprehensive International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) as a benchmark for assessing the content coverage of the commonly used outcome measurements reviewed. The study showed that there are no psychometrically validated outcome measurements for the spinal trauma population and there are no commonly used outcome measures that provide adequate content coverage for spinal trauma domains. Spinal trauma patients are currently followed either as a subset of the polytrauma population in the acute and early postacute setting or as a subset of neurological injury in the long-term revalidation medicine setting.

  14. Laboratory assessment of novel oral anticoagulants: method suitability and variability between coagulation laboratories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helin, Tuukka A; Pakkanen, Anja; Lassila, Riitta; Joutsi-Korhonen, Lotta

    2013-05-01

    Laboratory tests to assess novel oral anticoagulants (NOACs) are under evaluation. Routine monitoring is unnecessary, but under special circumstances bioactivity assessment becomes crucial. We analyzed the effects of NOACs on coagulation tests and the availability of specific assays at different laboratories. Plasma samples spiked with dabigatran (Dabi; 120 and 300 μg/L) or rivaroxaban (Riva; 60, 146, and 305 μg/L) were sent to 115 and 38 European laboratories, respectively. International normalized ratio (INR) and activated partial thromboplastin time (APTT) were analyzed for all samples; thrombin time (TT) was analyzed specifically for Dabi and calibrated anti-activated factor X (anti-Xa) activity for Riva. We compared the results with patient samples. Results of Dabi samples were reported by 73 laboratories (13 INR and 9 APTT reagents) and Riva samples by 22 laboratories (5 INR and 4 APTT reagents). Both NOACs increased INR values; the increase was modest, albeit larger, for Dabi, with higher CV, especially with Quick (vs Owren) methods. Both NOACs dose-dependently prolonged the APTT. Again, the prolongation and CVs were larger for Dabi. The INR and APTT results varied reagent-dependently (P laboratories, respectively. The screening tests INR and APTT are suboptimal in assessing NOACs, having high reagent dependence and low sensitivity and specificity. They may provide information, if laboratories recognize their limitations. The variation will likely increase and the sensitivity differ in clinical samples. Specific assays measure NOACs accurately; however, few laboratories applied them. © 2013 American Association for Clinical Chemistry.

  15. Suitability assessment of the urban water management transition in the Indonesian context - A case study of Surabaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sholihah, Mar'atus; Anityasari, Maria; Maftuhah, Diesta Iva

    2017-06-01

    The rapidly growing urban population, the increasing impact of climate change, and the constantly decreasing availability of the good quality water become the major triggers that force urban water professionals to continuously focus on sustainable urban water management (SUWM). The city as a focal point of population growth in the world has become a critical object for its resiliency, not only in terms of the environmental deterioration but also of the water supplies security. As a response to the current condition, the framework of urban water management transition has been introduced as a sort of transformation for a city to achieve SUWM. Water Sensitive City (WSC) is the ultimate goal of this framework which integrates water access and supply security, public health protection, flood prevention, environmental protection and livability, and economic sustainability. Recently, the urban water management transition and WSC concept are going to be implemented in some cities in Indonesia, including Surabaya. However, in addition to provide a wide range of benefits, the implementation of WSC also brings challenges. In terms of geographical and social aspect, public policy, and the citizen behavior, the cities in Indonesia are undoubtedly different with those in Australian where the concept was developed. Hence, assessing the suitability of urban water management transition in the Indonesian context can be perceived as the most important phase in this whole plan. A case study of Surabaya would be identified as a baseline to measure whether the proposed sequence of urban water management transition is suitable for Indonesian local context. The research aimed to assess the suitability of the framework to be implemented in Indonesia and to propose the modified framework which is more suitable for local context in Indonesia.

  16. Using otolith microchemistry and shape to assess the habitat value of oil structures for reef fish.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fowler, Ashley M; Macreadie, Peter I; Bishop, David P; Booth, David J

    2015-05-01

    Over 7500 oil and gas structures (e.g. oil platforms) are installed in offshore waters worldwide and many will require decommissioning within the next two decades. The decision to remove such structures or turn them into reefs (i.e. 'rigs-to-reefs') hinges on the habitat value they provide, yet this can rarely be determined because the residency of mobile species is difficult to establish. Here, we test a novel solution to this problem for reef fishes; the use of otolith (earstone) properties to identify oil structures of residence. We compare the otolith microchemistry and otolith shape of a site-attached coral reef fish (Pseudanthias rubrizonatus) among four oil structures (depth 82-135 m, separated by 9.7-84.2 km) on Australia's North West Shelf to determine if populations developed distinct otolith properties during their residency. Microchemical signatures obtained from the otolith edge using laser ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) differed among oil structures, driven by elements Sr, Ba and Mn, and to a lesser extent Mg and Fe. A combination of microchemical data from the otolith edge and elliptical Fourier (shape) descriptors allowed allocation of individuals to their 'home' structure with moderate accuracy (overall allocation accuracy: 63.3%, range: 45.5-78.1%), despite lower allocation accuracies for each otolith property in isolation (microchemistry: 47.5%, otolith shape: 45%). Site-specific microchemical signatures were also stable enough through time to distinguish populations during 3 separate time periods, suggesting that residence histories could be recreated by targeting previous growth zones in the otolith. Our results indicate that reef fish can develop unique otolith properties during their residency on oil structures which may be useful for assessing the habitat value of individual structures. The approach outlined here may also be useful for determining the residency of reef fish on artificial reefs, which would

  17. Methodology for assessing suitable systems for management of reactor decommissioning wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Davis, J.P.; Barraclough, I.M.; Mobbs, S.F.

    1990-01-01

    This report demonstrates a methodology for comparing quantitatively the options open to decision-makers at various stages of the decommissioning process, taking into account radiological protection and other factors considered to be relevant. In order to compare different decommissioning options, various impacts associated with decommissioning operations and waste disposal were assessed, namely, costs and radiological, environmental and socio-political impact. The post-disposal radiological impact was calculated for four generic concepts (near surface, deep geological, coastal tunnel and deep ocean bed)

  18. Evaluating Presence Data versus Expert Opinions to Assess Occurrence, Habitat Preferences and Landscape Permeability: A Case Study of Butterflies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammad Arfan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available We explored how presence data and expert opinions performed with respect to identifying the ecological preferences and the spatial needs of six butterfly species in the Federal State of Saxony, Germany. We used presence records and a land-cover map. In parallel we used expert responses to evaluate the 40 land-cover types occurring in the map, in terms of both suitability and permeability for the six species. Presence data were translated into preferences through Ivlev’s electivity indices (IEI. Visual analysis of preference maps based on IEI showed a distinct pattern of suitable versus less suitable areas. Similarly, spatial analyses found that presence-points were closer to suitability areas based on IEI than those that were based on expert data. However, in case of mismatches between expert and presence-based evaluations, independent experts identified the expert evaluation as better and considered IEI outcomes as wrong. We found a medium to high correlation between land-cover class suitability and permeability based on expert opinions for all species. This indicates that expert evaluation of permeability is affiliated with habitat suitability. Integration of species-presence data and expert-knowledge about species could enhance our capabilities to understand and potentially map suitability while gathering information about suitability and permeability separately can improve species conservation planning.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta Chambers

    2017-09-01

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

  20. Assessing values of Arctic wildlife and habitat subject to potential petroleum development

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCabe, Thomas R.

    1994-01-01

    The National Wildlife Refuge system of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is predicated on the principle of conserving and perpetuating the natural diversity and abundance of wildlife and wildlands. The prospect of petroleum development on the 1002 area of the 10,000 km 2 pristine coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been a contentious national issue. The FWS assessed the habitat and its constituent wildlife species to determine potential impacts from this development. As part of the assessment effort, research was conducted on the 163,000 member porcupine caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herd, its primary predator at calving, brown bear (Ursus arctos), and the vegetation communities on the coastal plain. We found the traditional calving area within the 1002 area had significantly greater forage species availability and nutrient quality than areas peripheral to the 1002 area. Increased post-perinatal, predator-related mortality has been associated with the foothills and mountains adjacent to the 1002 area. Displacement of the calving caribou from the 1002 area would mean a lesser abundance of high quality forage for calving cows, and calves would be subjected to a potentially higher predation risk. These factors could have a negative impact on the population dynamics of the Porcupine herd. If petroleum development were authorized on the 1002 area of ANWR, the challenge for the FWS will be to assure that the dynamics of the tundra ecosystem are adequately understood and to conserve the abundance and diversity of natural wildlife populations and their habitat

  1. Status of characterization techniques for carbon nanotubes and suggestions towards standards suitable for toxicological assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schweinberger, Florian F; Meyer-Plath, Asmus

    2011-01-01

    Nanotechnologies promise to contribute significantly to major technological challenges of the upcoming century. Despite profound scientific progress in the last decades, only minor advances have been made in the field of nanomaterial toxicology. The International Team in Nanosafety (TITNT) is an international and multidisciplinary group of scientists, which aims at better understanding the risks of nanomaterials. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) account for one of the most promising nanomaterials and have therefore been chosen as representative material for nanoscaled particles. They are currently investigated by the different platforms of TITNT. As a starting point, the present report summarizes a literature-based study on the physico-chemical properties of CNT, as they are closely linked with toxicological properties. A brief introduction to synthesis, purification and material properties is given. Characterization methods for CNT are discussed with respect to their reliability and the information content on chemical properties. Recommendations for a set of standard characterizations mandatory for toxicological assessment are derived.

  2. Status of characterization techniques for carbon nanotubes and suggestions towards standards suitable for toxicological assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schweinberger, Florian F.; Meyer-Plath, Asmus

    2011-07-01

    Nanotechnologies promise to contribute significantly to major technological challenges of the upcoming century. Despite profound scientific progress in the last decades, only minor advances have been made in the field of nanomaterial toxicology. The International Team in Nanosafety (TITNT) is an international and multidisciplinary group of scientists, which aims at better understanding the risks of nanomaterials. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) account for one of the most promising nanomaterials and have therefore been chosen as representative material for nanoscaled particles. They are currently investigated by the different platforms of TITNT. As a starting point, the present report summarizes a literature-based study on the physico-chemical properties of CNT, as they are closely linked with toxicological properties. A brief introduction to synthesis, purification and material properties is given. Characterization methods for CNT are discussed with respect to their reliability and the information content on chemical properties. Recommendations for a set of standard characterizations mandatory for toxicological assessment are derived.

  3. Status of characterization techniques for carbon nanotubes and suggestions towards standards suitable for toxicological assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweinberger, Florian F, E-mail: florian.schweinberger@tum.de [International Team in Nanosafety (TITNT) and Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Catalysis Research Center, Chair of Physical Chemistry, Lichtenbergstr. 4, 85748 Garching (Germany); Meyer-Plath, Asmus [International Team in Nanosafety (TITNT) and BAM - Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing, Division VI.5 - Polymer Surfaces, Unter den Eichen 87, 12205 Berlin (Germany)

    2011-07-06

    Nanotechnologies promise to contribute significantly to major technological challenges of the upcoming century. Despite profound scientific progress in the last decades, only minor advances have been made in the field of nanomaterial toxicology. The International Team in Nanosafety (TITNT) is an international and multidisciplinary group of scientists, which aims at better understanding the risks of nanomaterials. Carbon nanotubes (CNT) account for one of the most promising nanomaterials and have therefore been chosen as representative material for nanoscaled particles. They are currently investigated by the different platforms of TITNT. As a starting point, the present report summarizes a literature-based study on the physico-chemical properties of CNT, as they are closely linked with toxicological properties. A brief introduction to synthesis, purification and material properties is given. Characterization methods for CNT are discussed with respect to their reliability and the information content on chemical properties. Recommendations for a set of standard characterizations mandatory for toxicological assessment are derived.

  4. Critical assessment of suitable methods used for determination of antibacterial properties at photocatalytic surfaces

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krysa, Josef, E-mail: Josef.Krysa@vscht.cz [Institute of Chemical Technology Prague, Department of Water Technology and Environmental Engineering, Technicka 5, CZ-166 28 Prague (Czech Republic); Musilova, Eva [Institute of Chemical Technology Prague, Department of Water Technology and Environmental Engineering, Technicka 5, CZ-166 28 Prague (Czech Republic); Zita, Jiri [Institute of Chemical Technology Prague, Department of Inorganic Technology, Technicka 5, CZ-166 28 Prague (Czech Republic)

    2011-11-15

    Highlights: {yields} Methods for antibacterial activity of irradiated TiO{sub 2} films were critically assessed. {yields} As test bacteria gram negative E. coli and gram positive E. faecalis were employed. {yields} The ISO glass adhesion method is more appropriate than method with bacteria suspension. {yields} Some improvements of the ISO method were suggested. - Abstract: This work describes the development of methods necessary for antibacterial effect evaluation on irradiated TiO{sub 2} layers. Two methods using bacteria suspensions and the glass adhesion method (based on ISO 27447:2009(E)) were critically assessed and compared. As test bacteria gram negative Escherichia coli and gram positive Enterococcus faecalis were employed. The method using 50 cm{sup 3} of bacteria suspension is convenient for testing layers with strong antibacterial effect (prepared from powder photocatalysts). For the evaluation of the antibacterial effect of sol gel layers, the glass adhesion method based on the ISO is more appropriate than the method with 3 cm{sup 3} of bacteria suspension. The reason is that the later does not allow a distinction between the inhibition effect of TiO{sub 2} and UV light itself. Some improvements of the ISO method were suggested, namely the use of gelatinous pills (CCM) of bacteria, using saline solution instead of nutrient broth for bacteria suspension preparation and the application of selective media for bacteria cultivation. Decreasing the light intensity from 0.6 mW cm{sup -2} to 0.2 mW cm{sup -2} (fulfilling the requirements of the ISO) results in almost negligible effect of UV light itself, thus enabling proper testing of the antibacterial properties of TiO{sub 2} thin films.

  5. Critical assessment of suitable methods used for determination of antibacterial properties at photocatalytic surfaces

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krysa, Josef; Musilova, Eva; Zita, Jiri

    2011-01-01

    Highlights: → Methods for antibacterial activity of irradiated TiO 2 films were critically assessed. → As test bacteria gram negative E. coli and gram positive E. faecalis were employed. → The ISO glass adhesion method is more appropriate than method with bacteria suspension. → Some improvements of the ISO method were suggested. - Abstract: This work describes the development of methods necessary for antibacterial effect evaluation on irradiated TiO 2 layers. Two methods using bacteria suspensions and the glass adhesion method (based on ISO 27447:2009(E)) were critically assessed and compared. As test bacteria gram negative Escherichia coli and gram positive Enterococcus faecalis were employed. The method using 50 cm 3 of bacteria suspension is convenient for testing layers with strong antibacterial effect (prepared from powder photocatalysts). For the evaluation of the antibacterial effect of sol gel layers, the glass adhesion method based on the ISO is more appropriate than the method with 3 cm 3 of bacteria suspension. The reason is that the later does not allow a distinction between the inhibition effect of TiO 2 and UV light itself. Some improvements of the ISO method were suggested, namely the use of gelatinous pills (CCM) of bacteria, using saline solution instead of nutrient broth for bacteria suspension preparation and the application of selective media for bacteria cultivation. Decreasing the light intensity from 0.6 mW cm -2 to 0.2 mW cm -2 (fulfilling the requirements of the ISO) results in almost negligible effect of UV light itself, thus enabling proper testing of the antibacterial properties of TiO 2 thin films.

  6. Assess suitability of hydroaeroponic culture to establish tripartite symbiosis between different AMF species, beans, and rhizobia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jansa Jan

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Like other species of the Phaseoleae tribe, common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L. has the potential to establish symbiosis with rhizobia and to fix the atmospheric dinitrogen (N2 for its N nutrition. Common bean has also the potential to establish symbiosis with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF that improves the uptake of low mobile nutrients such as phosphorus, from the soil. Both rhizobial and mycorrhizal symbioses can act synergistically in benefits on plant. Results The tripartite symbiosis of common bean with rhizobia and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF was assessed in hydroaeroponic culture with common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L., by comparing the effects of three fungi spp. on growth, nodulation and mycorrhization of the roots under sufficient versus deficient P supplies, after transfer from initial sand culture. Although Glomus intraradices Schenck & Smith colonized intensely the roots of common bean in both sand and hydroaeroponic cultures, Gigaspora rosea Nicolson & Schenck only established well under sand culture conditions, and no root-colonization was found with Acaulospora mellea Spain & Schenck under either culture conditions. Interestingly, mycorrhization by Glomus was also obtained by contact with mycorrhized Stylosanthes guianensis (Aubl. sw in sand culture under deficient P before transfer into hydroaeroponic culture. The effect of bean genotype on both rhizobial and mycorrhizal symbioses with Glomus was subsequently assessed with the common bean recombinant inbreed line 7, 28, 83, 115 and 147, and the cultivar Flamingo. Significant differences among colonization and nodulation of the roots and growth among genotypes were found. Conclusion The hydroaeroponic culture is a valuable tool for further scrutinizing the physiological interactions and nutrient partitioning within the tripartite symbiosis.

  7. Bioeffects Assessment in Kvichak and Nushagak Bay, Alaska: Characterization of Soft Bottom Benthic Habitats, Fish Body Burdens and Contaminant Baseline Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The goal of this project is to assess habitat conditions that influence biodiversity and distribution of benthic infaunal communities, contaminants, and chemical...

  8. A GIS-based assessment of groundwater suitability for irrigation purposes in flat areas of the wet Pampa plain, Argentina.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romanelli, Asunción; Lima, María Lourdes; Quiroz Londoño, Orlando Mauricio; Martínez, Daniel Emilio; Massone, Héctor Enrique

    2012-09-01

    The Pampa in Argentina is a large plain with a quite obvious dependence on agriculture, water availability and its quality. It is a sensitive environment due to weather changes and slope variations. Supplementary irrigation is a useful practice for compensating the production in the zone. However, potential negative impacts of this type of irrigation in salinization and sodification of soils are evident. Most conventional methodologies for assessing water irrigation quality have difficulties in their application in the region because they do not adjust to the defined assumptions for them. Consequently, a new GIS-based methodology integrating multiparametric data was proposed for evaluating and delineating groundwater suitability zones for irrigation purposes in flat areas. Hydrogeological surveys including water level measurements, groundwater samples for chemical analysis and electrical conductivity (EC) measurements were performed. The combination of EC, sodium adsorption ratio, residual sodium carbonate, slopes and hydraulic gradient parameters generated an irrigation water index (IWI). With the integration of the IWI 1 to 3 classes (categories of suitable waters for irrigation) and the aquifer thickness the restricted irrigation water index (RIWI) was obtained. The IWI's index application showed that 61.3 % of the area has "Very high" to "Moderate" potential for irrigation, while the 31.4 % of it has unsuitable waters. Approximately, 46 % of the tested area has high suitability for irrigation and moderate groundwater availability. This proposed methodology has advantages over traditional methods because it allows for better discrimination in homogeneous areas.

  9. Habitat assessment for giant pandas in the Qinling Mountain region of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Tian-Tian; Van Manen, Frank T.; Zhao, Na-Xun; Li, Ming; Wei, Fu-Wen

    2009-01-01

    Because habitat loss and fragmentation threaten giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), habitat protection and restoration are important conservation measures for this endangered species. However, distribution and value of potential habitat to giant pandas on a regional scale are not fully known. Therefore, we identified and ranked giant panda habitat in Foping Nature Reserve, Guanyinshan Nature Reserve, and adjacent areas in the Qinling Mountains of China. We used Mahalanobis distance and 11 digital habitat layers to develop a multivariate habitat signature associated with 247 surveyed giant panda locations, which we then applied to the study region. We identified approximately 128 km2 of giant panda habitat in Foping Nature Reserve (43.6% of the reserve) and 49 km2 in Guanyinshan Nature Reserve (33.6% of the reserve). We defined core habitat areas by incorporating a minimum patch-size criterion (5.5 km2) based on home-range size. Percentage of core habitat area was higher in Foping Nature Reserve (41.8% of the reserve) than Guanyinshan Nature Reserve (26.3% of the reserve). Within the larger analysis region, Foping Nature Reserve contained 32.7% of all core habitat areas we identified, indicating regional importance of the reserve. We observed a negative relationship between distribution of core areas and presence of roads and small villages. Protection of giant panda habitat at lower elevations and improvement of habitat linkages among core habitat areas are important in a regional approach to giant panda conservation.

  10. Assessment of the suitability of different random number generators for Monte Carlo simulations in gamma-ray spectrometry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cornejo Diaz, N.; Vergara Gil, A.; Jurado Vargas, M.

    2010-01-01

    The Monte Carlo method has become a valuable numerical laboratory framework in which to simulate complex physical systems. It is based on the generation of pseudo-random number sequences by numerical algorithms called random generators. In this work we assessed the suitability of different well-known random number generators for the simulation of gamma-ray spectrometry systems during efficiency calibrations. The assessment was carried out in two stages. The generators considered (Delphi's linear congruential, mersenne twister, XorShift, multiplier with carry, universal virtual array, and non-periodic logistic map based generator) were first evaluated with different statistical empirical tests, including moments, correlations, uniformity, independence of terms and the DIEHARD battery of tests. In a second step, an application-specific test was conducted by implementing the generators in our Monte Carlo program DETEFF and comparing the results obtained with them. The calculations were performed with two different CPUs, for a typical HpGe detector and a water sample in Marinelli geometry, with gamma-rays between 59 and 1800 keV. For the Non-periodic Logistic Map based generator, dependence of the most significant bits was evident. This explains the bias, in excess of 5%, of the efficiency values obtained with this generator. The results of the application-specific assessment and the statistical performance of the other algorithms studied indicate their suitability for the Monte Carlo simulation of gamma-ray spectrometry systems for efficiency calculations.

  11. Assessment of the suitability of different random number generators for Monte Carlo simulations in gamma-ray spectrometry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, N Cornejo; Gil, A Vergara; Vargas, M Jurado

    2010-03-01

    The Monte Carlo method has become a valuable numerical laboratory framework in which to simulate complex physical systems. It is based on the generation of pseudo-random number sequences by numerical algorithms called random generators. In this work we assessed the suitability of different well-known random number generators for the simulation of gamma-ray spectrometry systems during efficiency calibrations. The assessment was carried out in two stages. The generators considered (Delphi's linear congruential, mersenne twister, XorShift, multiplier with carry, universal virtual array, and non-periodic logistic map based generator) were first evaluated with different statistical empirical tests, including moments, correlations, uniformity, independence of terms and the DIEHARD battery of tests. In a second step, an application-specific test was conducted by implementing the generators in our Monte Carlo program DETEFF and comparing the results obtained with them. The calculations were performed with two different CPUs, for a typical HpGe detector and a water sample in Marinelli geometry, with gamma-rays between 59 and 1800 keV. For the Non-periodic Logistic Map based generator, dependence of the most significant bits was evident. This explains the bias, in excess of 5%, of the efficiency values obtained with this generator. The results of the application-specific assessment and the statistical performance of the other algorithms studied indicate their suitability for the Monte Carlo simulation of gamma-ray spectrometry systems for efficiency calculations. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  13. NCCOS Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Photographs, St. Croix, USVI, (2001 - Present)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The habitat photo database provides anecdotal and permanent visual descriptions of benthic organisms, benthic habitat composition, substrate complexity, and other...

  14. NCCOS Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Photographs, St. John, USVI , (2001 - Present)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The habitat photo database provides anecdotal and permanent visual descriptions of benthic organisms, benthic habitat composition, substrate complexity, and other...

  15. NCCOS Habitat Assessment and Monitoring Photographs, La Parguera, Puerto Rico, (2001 - Present)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The habitat photo database provides anecdotal and permanent visual descriptions of benthic organisms, benthic habitat composition, substrate complexity, and other...

  16. Habitat risk assessment for regional ocean planning in the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyatt, Katherine H; Griffin, Robert; Guerry, Anne D; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Fogarty, Michael; Arkema, Katie K

    2017-01-01

    Coastal habitats provide important benefits to people, including habitat for species targeted by fisheries and opportunities for tourism and recreation. Yet, such human activities also can imperil these habitats and undermine the ecosystem services they provide to people. Cumulative risk assessment provides an analytical framework for synthesizing the influence of multiple stressors across habitats and decision-support for balancing human uses and ecosystem health. To explore cumulative risk to habitats in the U.S. Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Ocean Planning regions, we apply the open-source InVEST Habitat Risk Assessment model to 13 habitats and 31 stressors in an exposure-consequence framework. In doing so, we advance the science priorities of EBM and both regional planning bodies by synthesizing the wealth of available data to improve our understanding of human uses and how they affect marine resources. We find that risk to ecosystems is greatest first, along the coast, where a large number of stressors occur in close proximity and secondly, along the continental shelf, where fewer, higher consequence activities occur. Habitats at greatest risk include soft and hard-bottom nearshore areas, tidal flats, soft-bottom shelf habitat, and rocky intertidal zones-with the degree of risk varying spatially. Across all habitats, our results indicate that rising sea surface temperatures, commercial fishing, and shipping consistently and disproportionally contribute to risk. Further, our findings suggest that management in the nearshore will require simultaneously addressing the temporal and spatial overlap as well as intensity of multiple human activities and that management in the offshore requires more targeted efforts to reduce exposure from specific threats. We offer a transparent, generalizable approach to evaluating cumulative risk to multiple habitats and illustrate the spatially heterogeneous nature of impacts along the eastern Atlantic coast and the importance of

  17. The comet assay in Folsomia candida: A suitable approach to assess genotoxicity in collembolans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardoso, Diogo N; Silva, Ana Rita R; Cruz, Andreia; Lourenço, Joana; Neves, Joana; Malheiro, Catarina; Mendo, Sónia; Soares, Amadeu M V M; Loureiro, Susana

    2017-09-01

    The present study shows the comet assay technique being successfully applied for the first time to one of the most widely used soil organisms in standardized ecotoxicological tests, Folsomia candida, providing a step forward in assessing the genotoxicity induced by xenobiotics. Because collembolans have a high content of chitin, a new methodology was developed in which the heads of the collembolans were separated from the rest of the body, allowing the hemolymph to leak out. This procedure allows the cells to be released, and after lysis the genetic material is available for the comet assay. Among other key procedures, the use of 30 organisms (20- to 22-d-old adults) per replicate and the correct amount of cells with genetic material (translated as 10 μL of suspension) applied on the agarose gel were determinants for the success of the results obtained. The methodology was validated by exposing F. candida to a representative metallic element (cadmium) and a representative of organophosphates, the insecticide dimethoate, for a shorter time period of 10 d, compared with the 28 d for the International Organization for Standardization 11267 method. Within this method, the relatively low percentage of DNA damage (30%) observed in controls and the significant increase in terms of percentage of DNA damage for almost all the concentrations of dimethoate and Cd (reaching 52% and 56% of damage in the highest concentrations, respectively) confirmed the genotoxic effect of both compounds and validated this technique. The comet assay proved to be a sensitive technique to detect DNA strand breaks in collembolans' cells. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:2514-2520. © 2017 SETAC. © 2017 SETAC.

  18. The use of urinary proteomics in the assessment of suitability of mouse models for ageing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nkuipou-Kenfack, Esther; Schanstra, Joost P; Bajwa, Seerat; Pejchinovski, Martin; Vinel, Claire; Dray, Cédric; Valet, Philippe; Bascands, Jean-Loup; Vlahou, Antonia; Koeck, Thomas; Borries, Melanie; Busch, Hauke; Bechtel-Walz, Wibke; Huber, Tobias B; Rudolph, Karl L; Pich, Andreas; Mischak, Harald; Zürbig, Petra

    2017-01-01

    Ageing is a complex process characterised by a systemic and progressive deterioration of biological functions. As ageing is associated with an increased prevalence of age-related chronic disorders, understanding its underlying molecular mechanisms can pave the way for therapeutic interventions and managing complications. Animal models such as mice are commonly used in ageing research as they have a shorter lifespan in comparison to humans and are also genetically close to humans. To assess the translatability of mouse ageing to human ageing, the urinary proteome in 89 wild-type (C57BL/6) mice aged between 8-96 weeks was investigated using capillary electrophoresis coupled to mass spectrometry (CE-MS). Using age as a continuous variable, 295 peptides significantly correlated with age in mice were identified. To investigate the relevance of using mouse models in human ageing studies, a comparison was performed with a previous correlation analysis using 1227 healthy subjects. In mice and humans, a decrease in urinary excretion of fibrillar collagens and an increase of uromodulin fragments was observed with advanced age. Of the 295 peptides correlating with age, 49 had a strong homology to the respective human age-related peptides. These ortholog peptides including several collagen (N = 44) and uromodulin (N = 5) fragments were used to generate an ageing classifier that was able to discriminate the age among both wild-type mice and healthy subjects. Additionally, the ageing classifier depicted that telomerase knock-out mice were older than their chronological age. Hence, with a focus on ortholog urinary peptides mouse ageing can be translated to human ageing.

  19. Assessing the link between coastal urbanization and the quality of nekton habitat in mangrove tidal tributaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krebs, Justin M.; Bell, Susan S.; McIvor, Carole C.

    2014-01-01

    To assess the potential influence of coastal development on habitat quality for estuarine nekton, we characterized body condition and reproduction for common nekton from tidal tributaries classified as undeveloped, industrial, urban or man-made (i.e., mosquito-control ditches). We then evaluated these metrics of nekton performance, along with several abundance-based metrics and community structure from a companion paper (Krebs et al. 2013) to determine which metrics best reflected variation in land-use and in-stream habitat among tributaries. Body condition was not significantly different among undeveloped, industrial, and man-made tidal tributaries for six of nine taxa; however, three of those taxa were in significantly better condition in urban compared to undeveloped tributaries. Palaemonetes shrimp were the only taxon in significantly poorer condition in urban tributaries. For Poecilia latipinna, there was no difference in body condition (length–weight) between undeveloped and urban tributaries, but energetic condition was significantly better in urban tributaries. Reproductive output was reduced for both P. latipinna (i.e., fecundity) and grass shrimp (i.e., very low densities, few ovigerous females) in urban tributaries; however a tradeoff between fecundity and offspring size confounded meaningful interpretation of reproduction among land-use classes for P. latipinna. Reproductive allotment by P. latipinna did not differ significantly among land-use classes. Canonical correspondence analysis differentiated urban and non-urban tributaries based on greater impervious surface, less natural mangrove shoreline, higher frequency of hypoxia and lower, more variable salinities in urban tributaries. These characteristics explained 36 % of the variation in nekton performance, including high densities of poeciliid fishes, greater energetic condition of sailfin mollies, and low densities of several common nekton and economically important taxa from urban tributaries

  20. Preliminary assessment of habitat protection needs for West Indian manatees on the east coast of Florida and Georgia. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1988-12-01

    The report assesses information on the status of endangered West Indian manatees (Trichechus manatus) on the east coast of Florida and Georgia in the southeastern United States and recommends actions to improve protection of the species and its habitat in that area. Manatees on the east coast of Florida and Georgia appear to constitute a discrete population numbering perhaps 700 to 900 animals. Based on carcass-salvage data, recent annual mortality rates of between 8% and 10% are indicated. Perhaps 3% to 4% of the population was killed as a result of collisions with boats during 1987, and this threat appears to be increasing. Collisions with boats and destruction of essential habitat are the principal threats to the population. Recommendations include: quadruple the size of the boat-speed regulatory system on the east coast of Florida; limit development in essential manatee habitats; acquire additional manatee habitat as additions to Federal and State refuges and preserves.

  1. Population assessment of Acropora palmata (Scleractinia: Acroporidae: relationship between habitat and reef associated species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Martínez

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Three decades ago, Acropora palmata was one of the main reef-building coral species throughout the Caribbean, forming an essential component of the structural complexity of shallow coral reef habitats. These colonies still provide microhabitats for settlement, food and shelter to many vertebrates and invertebrates. The recent decline of A. palmata has been followed by a significant loss in spatial heterogeneity and possibly in species diversity. Studies addressing whether dead and living stands of Acropora hold different fish and benthic assemblages are scarce. The status of Acropora colonies and their associated species were assessed in October 2012, at two reef zones of Cayo Sombrero, Venezuela. Visual censuses of fish abundance and the number of macrofaunal individuals were recorded for both live and dead zones. Living Acropora colonies had the lowest abundance (˂31%. In both zoned the fish community was dominated by damselfishes (˂53% and wrasses (˂36%, the benthic macrofauna by peracarid crustaceans (˂40% and polychaetes (˂38%. Fish and benthic communities were not correlated with the condition (live or dead of the Acropora habitats; possibly branching structures provide the necessary shelter and protection no matter if they are dead or alive. More replication is necessary to test this unexpected result.

  2. Can Surgeons Assess CT Suitability for Endovascular Repair (EVAR) in Ruptured Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm? Implications for a Ruptured EVAR Trial

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rayt, Harjeet; Lambert, Kelly; Bown, Matthew; Fishwick, Guy; Morgan, Robert; McCarthy, Mark; London, Nick; Sayers, Robert

    2008-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to determine whether surgeons without formal radiological training are able to assess suitability of patients with ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) for EVAR. The CT scans of 20 patients with AAA were reviewed under timed conditions by six vascular surgeons. Twenty minutes was allocated per scan. They were asked to determine if each aneurysm would be treatable by EVAR in the emergency setting and, if so, to measure for device selection. The results were then compared with those of a vascular radiologist. Six surgeons agreed on the suitability of endovascular repair in 45% of cases (95% CI, 23.1-68.5%; 9/20 scans; κ = 0.41 [p = 0.01]) and concurred with the radiologist in eight of these. Individually, agreement ranged from 13 to 16 of the 20 scans, 65-80% between surgeons. The kappa value for agreement between all the surgeons and the radiologist was 0.47 (p = 0.01, moderate agreement). For the individual surgeons, this ranged from 0.3 to 0.6 (p = 0.01). In conclusion, while overall agreement was moderate between the surgeons and the radiologist, it is clear that if surgeons are to assess patients for ruptured EVAR in the future, focused training of surgical trainees is required.

  3. Assessing values of Arctic wildlife and habitat subject to potential petroleum development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCabe, Thomas R. (USFWS, Alaska Fish and Wildlife Research Center, Fairbanks, AK (United States))

    1994-02-01

    The National Wildlife Refuge system of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is predicated on the principle of conserving and perpetuating the natural diversity and abundance of wildlife and wildlands. The prospect of petroleum development on the 1002 area of the 10,000 km[sup 2] pristine coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been a contentious national issue. The FWS assessed the habitat and its constituent wildlife species to determine potential impacts from this development. As part of the assessment effort, research was conducted on the 163,000 member porcupine caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herd, its primary predator at calving, brown bear (Ursus arctos), and the vegetation communities on the coastal plain. We found the traditional calving area within the 1002 area had significantly greater forage species availability and nutrient quality than areas peripheral to the 1002 area. Increased post-perinatal, predator-related mortality has been associated with the foothills and mountains adjacent to the 1002 area. Displacement of the calving caribou from the 1002 area would mean a lesser abundance of high quality forage for calving cows, and calves would be subjected to a potentially higher predation risk. These factors could have a negative impact on the population dynamics of the Porcupine herd. If petroleum development were authorized on the 1002 area of ANWR, the challenge for the FWS will be to assure that the dynamics of the tundra ecosystem are adequately understood and to conserve the abundance and diversity of natural wildlife populations and their habitat

  4. Understanding Existing Salmonid Habitat Availability and Connectivity to Improve River Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffin, J.; Yager, E.; Tonina, D.; Benjankar, R. M.

    2017-12-01

    In the Pacific Northwest river restoration is common for salmon conservation. Mangers need methods to help target restoration to problem areas in rivers to create habitat that meets a species' needs. Hydraulic models and habitat suitability curves provide basic information on habitat availability and overall quality, but these analyses need to be expanded to address habitat quality based on the accessibility of habitats required for multiple life stages. Scientists are starting to use connectivity measurements to understand the longitudinal proximity of habitat patches, which can be used to address the habitat variability of a reach. By evaluating the availability and quality of habitat and calculating the connectivity between complementary habitats, such as spawning and rearing habitats, we aim to identify areas that should be targeted for restoration. To meet these goals, we assessed Chinook salmon habitat on the Lemhi River in Idaho. The depth and velocity outputs from a 2D hydraulic model are used in conjunction with locally created habitat suitability curves to evaluate the availability and quality of habitat for multiple Chinook salmon life stages. To assess the variability of the habitat, connectivity between habitat patches necessary for different life stages is calculated with a proximity index. A spatial representation of existing habitat quality and connectivity between complimentary habitats can be linked to river morphology by the evaluation of local geomorphic characteristics, including sinuosity and channel units. The understanding of the current habitat availability for multiple life stage needs, the connectivity between these habitat patches, and their relationship with channel morphology can help managers better identify restoration needs and direct their limited resources.

  5. A Spatially Explicit Method to Assess the Economic Suitability of a Forest Road Network for Timber Harvest in Steep Terrain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leo Gallus Bont

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Despite relatively high road density in the forests of Switzerland, a large percentage of that road network does not fulfill best practice requirements. Before upgrading or rebuilding the road network, harvesting planners must first determine which areas have insufficient access. Traditional assessment methods tend to only report specific values such as road density. However, those values do not identify the exact parcels or areas that are inaccessible. Here, we present a model that assesses the economic suitability of each timbered parcel for wood-harvesting operations, including tree-felling and processing, and off- and on-road transport (hauling, based on the existing road network. The entire wood supply chain from forest (standing trees to a virtual pile at the border of the planning unit was captured. This method was particularly designed for steep terrain and was tested in the Canton of Grisons in Switzerland. Compared with classical approaches, such as the road density concept, which only deliver average values, this new method enables planners to assess the development of a road network in a spatially explicit manner and to easily identify the reason and the location of shortcomings in the road network. Moreover, while other related spatially explicit approaches focus only on harvesting operations, the assessment method proposed here also includes limitations (road standards of the road network.

  6. Species diversity and qualitative assessment of ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in three riparian habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michels, G J; Carney, V A; Jones, E N; Pollock, D A

    2010-06-01

    In a 3-yr study involving saltcedar-free, saltcedar-infested, and burned habitats in a riparian area at Lake Meredith, TX, the number of carabid species collected, diversity indices, and indicator species varied significantly among habitats. A 3-yr average of 15, 14, and 24 carabid species were collected from the saltcedar-free, saltcedar-infested, and burned habitats, respectively. Values for species richness, Shannon's and Simpson's diversity indices, and evenness index for pooled data collected from 2005 to 2007 were higher in the burned habitat followed by the saltcedar-free habitat and the saltcedar-infested habitat. Within-year parameters across the three habitats generally followed the pooled data results with some variation. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling analyses clearly indicated groups of carabid species preferred specific habitats. Five species in the burned area had indicator species percentage values >50% (Agonum punctiforme, Agonum texanum, Brachinus alternans, Harpalus pensylvanicus, and Poecilus chalcites). In the saltcedar-infested and saltcedar-free habitats, only one species in each habitat had indicator species percentage values that exceeded 50%: Calathus opaculus and Cicindela punctulata punctulata, respectively.

  7. Assessment of Suitable Areas for Home Gardens for Irrigation Potential, Water Availability, and Water-Lifting Technologies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tewodros Assefa

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted in Lake Tana Basin of Ethiopia to assess potentially irrigable areas for home gardens, water availability, and feasibility of water-lifting technologies. A GIS-based Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE technique was applied to access the potential of surface and groundwater sources for irrigation. The factors affecting irrigation practice were identified and feasibility of water-lifting technologies was evaluated. Pairwise method and expert’s opinion were used to assign weights for each factor. The result showed that about 345,000 ha and 135,000 ha of land were found suitable for irrigation from the surface and groundwater sources, respectively. The rivers could address about 1–1.2% of the irrigable land during dry season without water storage structure whereas groundwater could address about 2.2–2.4% of the irrigable land, both using conventional irrigation techniques. If the seven major dams within the basin were considered, surface water potential would be increased and satisfy about 21% of the irrigable land. If rainwater harvesting techniques were used, about 76% of the basin would be suitable for irrigation. The potential of surface and groundwater was evaluated with respect to water requirements of dominant crops in the region. On the other hand, rope pump and deep well piston hand pump were found with relatively the most (26% and the least (9% applicable low-cost water-lifting technologies in the basin.

  8. Water quality evaluation system to assess the status and the suitability of the Citarum river water to different uses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fulazzaky, Mohamad Ali

    2010-09-01

    Water quality degradation in the Citarum river will increase from the year to year due to increasing pollutant loads when released particularly from Bandung region of the upstream areas into the river without treatment. This will be facing the problems on water quality status to use for multi-purposes in the downstream areas. The water quality evaluation system is used to evaluate the available water condition that distinguishes into two categories, i.e., the water quality index (WQI) and water quality aptitude (WQA). The assessment of water quality for the Citarum river from 10 selected stations was found that the WQI situates in the bad category generally and the WQA ranges from the suitable quality for agriculture and livestock watering uses to the unsuitable for biological potential function, drinking water production, and leisure activities and sports in the upstream areas of Saguling dam generally.

  9. Suitability of 239+240Pu and 137Cs as tracers for soil erosion assessment in mountain grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alewell, Christine; Meusburger, Katrin; Juretzko, Gregor; Mabit, Lionel; Ketterer, Michael E

    2014-05-01

    Anthropogenic radionuclides have been distributed globally due to nuclear weapons testing, nuclear accidents, nuclear weapons fabrication, and nuclear fuel reprocessing. While the negative consequences of this radioactive contamination are self-evident, the ubiquitous fallout radionuclides (FRNs) distribution form the basis for the use as tracers in ecological studies, namely for soil erosion assessment. Soil erosion is a major threat to mountain ecosystems worldwide. We compare the suitability of the anthropogenic FRNs, 137Cs and 239+240Pu as soil erosion tracers in two alpine valleys of Switzerland (Urseren Valley, Canton Uri, Central Swiss Alps and Val Piora, Ticino, Southern Alps). We sampled reference and potentially erosive sites in transects along both valleys. 137Cs measurements of soil samples were performed with a Li-drifted Germanium detector and 239+240Pu with ICP-MS. Our data indicates a heterogeneous deposition of the 137Cs, since most of the fallout origins from the Chernobyl April/May 1986 accident, when large parts of the European Alps were still snow-covered. In contrast, 239+240Pu fallout originated mainly from 1950s to 1960s atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, resulting in a more homogenous distribution and thus seems to be a more suitable tracer in mountainous grasslands. Soil erosion assessment using 239+240Pu as a tracer pointed to a huge dynamic and high heterogeneity of erosive processes (between sedimentation of 1.9 and 7 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and erosion of 0.2-16.4 t ha(-1) yr(-1) in the Urseren Valley and sedimentation of 0.4-20.3 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and erosion of 0.1-16.4 t ha(-1) yr(-1) at Val Piora). Our study represents a novel and successful application of 239+240Pu as a tracer of soil erosion in a mountain environment. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  10. Using a risk assessment approach to handle 'hot spot' remediation in an environmentally-sensitive habitat

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    BenKinney, M.T.; Guiseppi-Eli, A.; Novick, N.J.; Naro, P.A.

    1993-01-01

    A number of different approaches have been used to address site restoration following an accidental discharge or spill. Removal of all contamination with subsequent site restoration has been a favored approach. The authors' presentation will focus on a case study where a risk assessment approach was used to establish the criteria for is the restoration. Waste oil from a gasoline service station had leaked, over time, into a swale system in an ecologically-sensitive coastal forested habitat. The initial regulatory recommendation was to excavate all soils and restore the area. Their initial investigations revealed that only a limited area was heavily contaminated, predominantly with paraffinic hydrocarbons. They used a risk assessment approach coupled with sediment elutriate testing to demonstrate that leaving the lightly contaminated material in place would not present an environmental hazard from the waste oil, while causing less damage to the swale bed and forested area. Bioassay tests were conducted on sediments collected along the length of the swale from the areas with the highest remaining hydrocarbon concentrations using fathead minnow and Daphnia magna. The bioassay studies confirmed the results of the risk assessment which determined that no environmental toxicity would be expected from allowing lightly contaminated material to remain in-place at this site

  11. Using Habitat Equivalency Analysis to Assess the Cost Effectiveness of Restoration Outcomes in Four Institutional Contexts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scemama, Pierre; Levrel, Harold

    2016-01-01

    At the national level, with a fixed amount of resources available for public investment in the restoration of biodiversity, it is difficult to prioritize alternative restoration projects. One way to do this is to assess the level of ecosystem services delivered by these projects and to compare them with their costs. The challenge is to derive a common unit of measurement for ecosystem services in order to compare projects which are carried out in different institutional contexts having different goals (application of environmental laws, management of natural reserves, etc.). This paper assesses the use of habitat equivalency analysis (HEA) as a tool to evaluate ecosystem services provided by restoration projects developed in different institutional contexts. This tool was initially developed to quantify the level of ecosystem services required to compensate for non-market impacts coming from accidental pollution in the US. In this paper, HEA is used to assess the cost effectiveness of several restoration projects in relation to different environmental policies, using case studies based in France. Four case studies were used: the creation of a market for wetlands, public acceptance of a port development project, the rehabilitation of marshes to mitigate nitrate loading to the sea, and the restoration of streams in a protected area. Our main conclusion is that HEA can provide a simple tool to clarify the objectives of restoration projects, to compare the cost and effectiveness of these projects, and to carry out trade-offs, without requiring significant amounts of human or technical resources.

  12. Wetland Plant Guide for Assessing Habitat Impacts of Real-Time Salinity Management

    OpenAIRE

    Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Feldmann, Sara A.

    2004-01-01

    This wetland plant guide was developed to aid moist soil plant identification and to assist in the mapping of waterfowl and shorebird habitat in the Grassland Water District and surrounding wetland areas. The motivation for this habitat mapping project was a concern that real-time salinity management of wetland drainage might have long-term consequences for wildfowl habitat health -- changes in wetland drawdown schedules might, over the long term, lead to increased soil salinity and othe...

  13. Assessing the role of conspecific attraction in habitat restoration for Henslow's sparrows in Iowa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vogel, Jennifer A.; Koford, Rolf R.; Otis, David L.

    2011-01-01

    The presence of conspecific individuals may provide important cues about habitat quality for territorial songbirds. We tested the ability of a conspecific song playback system to attract Henslow’s sparrows to previously unoccupied restored habitat. We successfully attracted Heslow’s sparrows to 3 of 7 treatment plots using conspecific song playbacks and we found no Henslow’s sparrows in control plots. The addition of social cues using playback systems in restored grassland habitats may aid conservation efforts of Henslow’s sparrows to available habitat.

  14. Increase in quantity and quality of suitable areas for invasive species as climate changes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertelsmeier, Cleo; Luque, Gloria M; Courchamp, Franck

    2013-12-01

    As climatically suitable range projections become increasingly used to assess distributions of species, we recommend systematic assessments of the quality of habitat in addition to the classical binary classification of habitat. We devised a method to assess occurrence probability, captured by a climatic suitability index, through which we could determine variations in the quality of potential habitat. This relative risk assessment circumvents the use of an arbitrary suitability threshold. We illustrated our method with 2 case studies on invasive ant species. We estimated invasion potential of the destroyer ant (Monomorium destructor) and the European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) on a global scale currently and by 2080 with climate change. We found that 21.1% of the world's landmass currently has a suitable climate for the destroyer ant and 16% has a suitable climate for European fire ant. Our climatic suitability index showed that both ant species would benefit from climate change, but in different ways. The size of the potential distribution increased by 35.8% for the destroyer ant. Meanwhile, the total area of potential distribution remained the same for the European fire ant (>0.05%), but the level of climatic suitability within this range increased greatly and led to an improvement in habitat quality (i.e., of invasive species' establishment likelihood). Either through quantity or quality of suitable areas, both invasive ant species are likely to increase the extent of their invasion in the future, following global climate change. Our results show that species may increase their range if either more areas become suitable or if the available areas present improved suitability. Studies in which an arbitrary suitability threshold was used may overlook changes in area quality within climatically suitable areas and as a result reach incorrect predictions. Incremento de la Cantidad y Calidad de Áreas Idóneas para Especies Invasoras a Medida que Cambia el Clima.

  15. Linking movement and reproductive history of brook trout to assess habitat connectivity in a heterogeneous stream network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoichiro Kanno; Benjamin H. Letcher; Jason A. Coombs; Keith H. Nislow; Andrew R. Whiteley

    2014-01-01

    Defining functional connectivity between habitats in spatially heterogeneous landscapes is a particular challenge for small-bodied aquatic species. Traditional approaches (e.g. mark-recapture studies) preclude an assessment of animal movement over the life cycle (birth to reproduction), and movement of individuals may not represent the degree of gene movement for...

  16. Linking movement and reproductive history of brook trout to assess habitat connectivity in a heterogeneous stream network

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kanno, Yoichiro; Letcher, Benjamin H.; Coombs, Jason A.; Nislow, Keith H.; Whiteley, Andrew R.

    2013-01-01

    1. Defining functional connectivity between habitats in spatially heterogeneous landscapes is a particular challenge for small-bodied aquatic species. Traditional approaches (e.g. mark–recapture studies) preclude an assessment of animal movement over the life cycle (birth to reproduction), and movement of individuals may not represent the degree of gene movement for fecund species.

  17. Impact of habitat diversity on the sampling effort required for the assessment of river fish communities and IBI

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van Liefferinge, C.; Simoens, I.; Vogt, C.; Cox, T.J.S.; Breine, J.; Ercken, D.; Goethals, P.; Belpaire, C.; Meire, P.

    2010-01-01

    The spatial variation in the fish communities of four small Belgian rivers with variable habitat diversity was investigated by electric fishing to define the minimum sampling distance required for optimal fish stock assessment and determination of the Index of Biotic Integrity. This study shows that

  18. Habitat type-based bioaccumulation and risk assessment of metal and As contamination in earthworms, beetles and woodlice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vermeulen, F.; Brink, van den N.W.; Havé, D' H.; Mubiana, V.K.; Blust, R.; Bervoets, L.; Coen, De W.

    2009-01-01

    The present study investigated the contribution of environmental factors to the accumulation of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn in earthworms, beetles and woodlice, and framed within an exposure assessment of the European hedgehog. Soil and invertebrate samples were collected in three distinct habitat types.

  19. Estimating thermal regimes of bull trout and assessing the potential effects of climate warming on critical habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Leslie A.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Marshall, Lucy A.; McGlynn, Brian L.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the vulnerability of aquatic species and habitats under climate change is critical for conservation and management of freshwater systems. Climate warming is predicted to increase water temperatures in freshwater ecosystems worldwide, yet few studies have developed spatially explicit modelling tools for understanding the potential impacts. We parameterized a nonspatial model, a spatial flow-routed model, and a spatial hierarchical model to predict August stream temperatures (22-m resolution) throughout the Flathead River Basin, USA and Canada. Model comparisons showed that the spatial models performed significantly better than the nonspatial model, explaining the spatial autocorrelation found between sites. The spatial hierarchical model explained 82% of the variation in summer mean (August) stream temperatures and was used to estimate thermal regimes for threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) habitats, one of the most thermally sensitive coldwater species in western North America. The model estimated summer thermal regimes of spawning and rearing habitats at <13 C° and foraging, migrating, and overwintering habitats at <14 C°. To illustrate the useful application of such a model, we simulated climate warming scenarios to quantify potential loss of critical habitats under forecasted climatic conditions. As air and water temperatures continue to increase, our model simulations show that lower portions of the Flathead River Basin drainage (foraging, migrating, and overwintering habitat) may become thermally unsuitable and headwater streams (spawning and rearing) may become isolated because of increasing thermal fragmentation during summer. Model results can be used to focus conservation and management efforts on populations of concern, by identifying critical habitats and assessing thermal changes at a local scale.

  20. Economic and environmental assessment of rooftops regarding suitability for photovoltaic systems installation based on remote sensing data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lukač, Niko; Seme, Sebastijan; Dežan, Katarina; Žalik, Borut; Štumberger, Gorazd

    2016-01-01

    Within the last few years, the increase of the world's energy consumption has substantially impacted the environment. Solar energy initiative is more than ever involved to tackle this issue, especially when deploying PV (photovoltaic) systems over large-scale residential areas. However, not all surfaces in these areas are economically suitable, while some surfaces have low CO_2 mitigation. With the availability of high-resolution remote sensing data, the estimation of suitable rooftops for PV systems installation can be performed automatically by estimating the PV potential. This paper presents a novel method for estimating NPV (net present value) of the potential PV systems installed on rooftops by using LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) data and PV systems' nonlinear efficiency characteristics. More importantly, the environmental impact is estimated for each rooftop through EPBT (energy payback time) and GGER (greenhouse gas emission rate), based on the life-cycle of a specific PV system. This is combined with NPV in order to find rooftops that are both economically and environmentally viable candidates for PV systems deployment. Results demonstrate a case study LiDAR data for predicting each building's economical and environmental impact, as well as providing an overall view of resulting cumulative CO_2 mitigation over large residential area. - Highlights: • The method relies on PV potential estimation over LiDAR remote sensing data. • Novel economic assessment of PV systems using remote sensing data is proposed. • Environmental analysis of PV systems based on EPBT and GGER is performed. • Estimation of CO_2 mitigation over LiDAR data by considering national energy network.

  1. Assessment of giant panda habitat based on integration of expert system and neural network

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.; Skidmore, A.K.; Bronsveld, M.C.

    2006-01-01

    To conserve giant panda effectively, it is important to understand the spatial pattern and temporal change of its habitat. Mapping is an effective approach for wildlife habitat evaluation and monitoring. The application of recently developed artificial intelligence tools, including expert systems

  2. 75 FR 60802 - Availability of a Draft Environmental Assessment and Habitat Conservation Plan, and Receipt of...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-01

    ..., road maintenance, utilities construction, water system management, and prairie habitat management... ``take'' is defined under the ESA to mean to harass, harm, pursue, hunt, shoot, wound, kill, trap... significant habitat modification or degradation where it actually kills or injures wildlife by significantly...

  3. An approach to effectiveness monitoring of floodplain channel aquatic habitat: channel condition assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard D. Woodsmith; James R. Noel; Michael L. Dilger

    2005-01-01

    The condition of aquatic habitat and the health of species dependent on that habitat are issues of significant concern to land management agencies, other organizations, and the public at large in southeastern Alaska, as well as along much of the Pacific coastal region of North America. We develop and test a set of effectiveness monitoring procedures for measuring...

  4. Rapid assessment of historic, current and future habitat quality for biodiversity around UK Natura 2000 sites

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vogiatzakis, I.N.; Stirpe, M.T.; Rickebusch, S.; Metzger, M.J.; Xu, G.; Rounsevell, M.D.A.; Bommarco, R.; Potts, S.G.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in landscape composition and structure may impact the conservation and management of protected areas. Species that depend on specific habitats are at risk of extinction when these habitats are degraded or lost. Designing robust methods to evaluate landscape composition will assist decision-

  5. An analysis of the suitability of a low-cost eye tracker for assessing the cognitive load of drivers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Čegovnik, Tomaž; Stojmenova, Kristina; Jakus, Grega; Sodnik, Jaka

    2018-04-01

    This paper presents a driving simulator study in which we investigated whether the Eye Tribe eye tracker (ET) is capable of assessing changes in the cognitive load of drivers through oculography and pupillometry. In the study, participants were asked to drive a simulated vehicle and simultaneously perform a set of secondary tasks with different cognitive complexity levels. We measured changes in eye properties, such as the pupil size, blink rate and fixation time. We also performed a measurement with a Detection Response Task (DRT) to validate the results and to prove a steady increase of cognitive load with increasing secondary task difficulty. The results showed that the ET precisely recognizes an increasing pupil diameter with increasing secondary task difficulty. In addition, the ET shows increasing blink rates, decreasing fixation time and narrowing of the attention field with increasing secondary task difficulty. The results were validated with the DRT method and the secondary task performance. We conclude that the Eye Tribe ET is a suitable device for assessing a driver's cognitive load. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. Assessment of the Suitability of High Resolution Numerical Weather Model Outputs for Hydrological Modelling in Mountainous Cold Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasouli, K.; Pomeroy, J. W.; Hayashi, M.; Fang, X.; Gutmann, E. D.; Li, Y.

    2017-12-01

    The hydrology of mountainous cold regions has a large spatial variability that is driven both by climate variability and near-surface process variability associated with complex terrain and patterns of vegetation, soils, and hydrogeology. There is a need to downscale large-scale atmospheric circulations towards the fine scales that cold regions hydrological processes operate at to assess their spatial variability in complex terrain and quantify uncertainties by comparison to field observations. In this research, three high resolution numerical weather prediction models, namely, the Intermediate Complexity Atmosphere Research (ICAR), Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF), and Global Environmental Multiscale (GEM) models are used to represent spatial and temporal patterns of atmospheric conditions appropriate for hydrological modelling. An area covering high mountains and foothills of the Canadian Rockies was selected to assess and compare high resolution ICAR (1 km × 1 km), WRF (4 km × 4 km), and GEM (2.5 km × 2.5 km) model outputs with station-based meteorological measurements. ICAR with very low computational cost was run with different initial and boundary conditions and with finer spatial resolution, which allowed an assessment of modelling uncertainty and scaling that was difficult with WRF. Results show that ICAR, when compared with WRF and GEM, performs very well in precipitation and air temperature modelling in the Canadian Rockies, while all three models show a fair performance in simulating wind and humidity fields. Representation of local-scale atmospheric dynamics leading to realistic fields of temperature and precipitation by ICAR, WRF, and GEM makes these models suitable for high resolution cold regions hydrological predictions in complex terrain, which is a key factor in estimating water security in western Canada.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Zarei

    2016-03-01

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

  8. A habitat assessment for Florida panther population expansion into central Florida

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thatcher, C.A.; Van Manen, F.T.; Clark, J.D.

    2009-01-01

    One of the goals of the Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) recovery plan is to expand panther range north of the Caloosahatchee River in central Florida. Our objective was to evaluate the potential of that region to support panthers. We used a geographic information system and the Mahalanobis distance statistic to develop a habitat model based on landscape characteristics associated with panther home ranges. We used cross-validation and an independent telemetry data set to test the habitat model. We also conducted a least-cost path analysis to identify potential habitat linkages and to provide a relative measure of connectivity among habitat patches. Variables in our model were paved road density, major highways, human population density, percentage of the area permanently or semipermanently flooded, and percentage of the area in natural land cover. Our model clearly identified habitat typical of that found within panther home ranges based on model testing with recent telemetry data. We identified 4 potential translocation sites that may support a total of approximately 36 panthers. Although we identified potential habitat linkages, our least-cost path analyses highlighted the extreme isolation of panther habitat in portions of the study area. Human intervention will likely be required if the goal is to establish female panthers north of the Caloosahatchee in the near term.

  9. A hierarchical spatial framework and database for the national river fish habitat condition assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, L.; Infante, D.; Esselman, P.; Cooper, A.; Wu, D.; Taylor, W.; Beard, D.; Whelan, G.; Ostroff, A.

    2011-01-01

    Fisheries management programs, such as the National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHAP), urgently need a nationwide spatial framework and database for health assessment and policy development to protect and improve riverine systems. To meet this need, we developed a spatial framework and database using National Hydrography Dataset Plus (I-.100,000-scale); http://www.horizon-systems.com/nhdplus). This framework uses interconfluence river reaches and their local and network catchments as fundamental spatial river units and a series of ecological and political spatial descriptors as hierarchy structures to allow users to extract or analyze information at spatial scales that they define. This database consists of variables describing channel characteristics, network position/connectivity, climate, elevation, gradient, and size. It contains a series of catchment-natural and human-induced factors that are known to influence river characteristics. Our framework and database assembles all river reaches and their descriptors in one place for the first time for the conterminous United States. This framework and database provides users with the capability of adding data, conducting analyses, developing management scenarios and regulation, and tracking management progresses at a variety of spatial scales. This database provides the essential data needs for achieving the objectives of NFHAP and other management programs. The downloadable beta version database is available at http://ec2-184-73-40-15.compute-1.amazonaws.com/nfhap/main/.

  10. Terrestrial mammal fauna and habitat in environmental assessment reports of thermal and nuclear power stations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yatake, Hatsuho; Nashimoto, Makoto; Chiba, Shinji [Central Research Inst. of Electric Power Industry, Abiko, Chiba (Japan). Abiko Research Lab

    2000-04-01

    We analyzed the geological distribution of mammals, relationships between ecological distribution of mammals and land use, and vegetation type in the 49 environmental assessment reports of thermal and nuclear power stations in the coastal area of Japan. Seven orders and 17 families of 66 terrestrial mammal species including subspecies were listed from the reports. This is about 40% of the total species of terrestrial mammals observed in Japan. Mammals were divided into 3 groups: distributed in the nationwide, in limited districts, and in limited area. The geological distributions of Insectivora, Rodentia, Chiroptera and naturalized mammals, of which have not been well known, were arranged in a topographic map at the scale of 1:50,000 in this survey. The characteristics of power station sites were classified into 4 categories as follows: Industrial site, Industrial-agricultural mixed site, Industrial-agricultural-forest mixed site, and forest site. The relationships between site categories and species compositions were analyzed. The listed species were fifteen species in the industrial site, however, there were thirty six species in the forest site. The mammal species were classified into six groups by vegetation types of habitat; forest-dwelling, grassland-dwelling, farmland and orchard-dwelling, wide-dwelling except residential area, wide-dwelling mammals including residential area, and residential area-dwelling mammals. (author)

  11. Terrestrial mammal fauna and habitat in environmental assessment reports of thermal and nuclear power stations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yatake, Hatsuho; Nashimoto, Makoto; Chiba, Shinji

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed the geological distribution of mammals, relationships between ecological distribution of mammals and land use, and vegetation type in the 49 environmental assessment reports of thermal and nuclear power stations in the coastal area of Japan. Seven orders and 17 families of 66 terrestrial mammal species including subspecies were listed from the reports. This is about 40% of the total species of terrestrial mammals observed in Japan. Mammals were divided into 3 groups: distributed in the nationwide, in limited districts, and in limited area. The geological distributions of Insectivora, Rodentia, Chiroptera and naturalized mammals, of which have not been well known, were arranged in a topographic map at the scale of 1:50,000 in this survey. The characteristics of power station sites were classified into 4 categories as follows: Industrial site, Industrial-agricultural mixed site, Industrial-agricultural-forest mixed site, and forest site. The relationships between site categories and species compositions were analyzed. The listed species were fifteen species in the industrial site, however, there were thirty six species in the forest site. The mammal species were classified into six groups by vegetation types of habitat; forest-dwelling, grassland-dwelling, farmland and orchard-dwelling, wide-dwelling except residential area, wide-dwelling mammals including residential area, and residential area-dwelling mammals. (author)

  12. Mesoscale Assessment of CO2 Storage Potential and Geological Suitability for Target Area Selection in the Sichuan Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yujie Diao

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available In China, south of the Yangtze River, there are a large number of carbon sources, while the Sichuan Basin is the largest sedimentary basin; it makes sense to select the targets for CO2 geological storage (CGUS early demonstration. For CO2 enhanced oil and gas, coal bed methane recovery (CO2-EOR, EGR, and ECBM, or storage in these depleted fields, the existing oil, gas fields, or coal seams could be the target areas in the mesoscale. This paper proposed a methodology of GIS superimposed multisource information assessment of geological suitability for CO2 enhanced water recovery (CO2-EWR or only storage in deep saline aquifers. The potential per unit area of deep saline aquifers CO2 storage in Central Sichuan is generally greater than 50 × 104 t/km2 at P50 probability level, with Xujiahe group being the main reservoir. CO2 storage potential of depleted gas fields is 53.73 × 108 t, while it is 33.85 × 108 t by using CO2-EGR technology. This paper recommended that early implementation of CGUS could be carried out in the deep saline aquifers and depleted gas fields in the Sichuan Basin, especially that of the latter because of excellent traps, rich geological data, and well-run infrastructures.

  13. Screening and assessment of solidification/stabilization amendments suitable for soils of lead-acid battery contaminated site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhuo; Guo, Guanlin; Teng, Yanguo; Wang, Jinsheng; Rhee, Jae Seong; Wang, Sen; Li, Fasheng

    2015-05-15

    Lead exposure via ingestion of soil and dust generally occurs at lead-acid battery manufacturing and recycling sites. Screening solidification/stabilization (S/S) amendments suitable for lead contaminated soil in an abandoned lead-acid battery factory site was conducted based on its chemical forms and environmental risks. Twelve amendments were used to immobilize the Pb in soil and assess the solidification/stabilization efficiency by toxicity leaching tests. The results indicated that three amendments, KH₂PO₄ (KP), KH₂PO₄:oyster shell power=1:1 (by mass ratio; SPP), and KH₂PO₄:sintered magnesia=1:1 (by mass ratio; KPM) had higher remediation efficiencies that led to a 92% reduction in leachable Pb with the addition of 5% amendments, while the acid soluble fraction of Pb (AS-Pb) decreased by 41-46% and the residual fraction (RS-Pb) increased by 16-25%. The S/S costs of the three selected amendments KP, SPP, and KPM could be controlled to $22.3 per ton of soil when the Pb concentration in soil ranged from 2000 to 3000 mg/kg. The results of this study demonstrated that KP, SPP, and KPM can effectively decrease bioavailability of Pb. These findings could provide basis for decision-making of S/S remediation of lead-acid battery contaminated sites. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. A synthesis of European seahorse taxonomy, population structure, and habitat use as a basis for assessment, monitoring and conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodall, Lucy C; Otero-Ferrer, Francisco; Correia, Miguel; Curtis, Janelle M R; Garrick-Maidment, Neil; Shaw, Paul W; Koldewey, Heather J

    2018-01-01

    Accurate taxonomy, population demography, and habitat descriptors inform species threat assessments and the design of effective conservation measures. Here we combine published studies with new genetic, morphological and habitat data that were collected from seahorse populations located along the European and North African coastlines to help inform management decisions for European seahorses. This study confirms the presence of only two native seahorse species ( Hippocampus guttulatus and H. hippocampus ) across Europe, with sporadic occurrence of non-native seahorse species in European waters. For the two native species, our findings demonstrate that highly variable morphological characteristics, such as size and presence or number of cirri, are unreliable for distinguishing species. Both species exhibit sex dimorphism with females being significantly larger. Across its range, H. guttulatus were larger and found at higher densities in cooler waters, and individuals in the Black Sea were significantly smaller than in other populations. H. hippocampus were significantly larger in Senegal. Hippocampus guttulatus tends to have higher density populations than H. hippocampus when they occur sympatrically. Although these species are often associated with seagrass beds, data show both species inhabit a wide variety of shallow habitats and use a mixture of holdfasts. We suggest an international mosaic of protected areas focused on multiple habitat types as the first step to successful assessment, monitoring and conservation management of these Data Deficient species.

  15. Alternative approaches to assessing the performance and suitability of Yucca Mountain for spent fuel disposal. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McGuire, R.; Smith, G.; Klos, R.

    1998-11-01

    Significant resources and effort have been expended by EPRI over the past few years in modeling and understanding issues related to high-level radioactive waste disposal. Previous reports have documented the general model used in the EPRI work and specific inputs to that model for examination of the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Modeling of the potential Yucca Mountain site is an on-going process, and new data are being collected with which to evaluate and modify models of physical processes. This report is divided into two parts. The first part presents results from specific calculational cases of repository performance, updated for the most recent data and conceptual models. The second part discusses possible alternatives for the components of the assessment context for a repository at Yucca Mountain. Part 2 also presents additional information on time frames and a interaction matrix method of documenting TSPA model interactions. The main purposes of Part of this report is to describe the subsystem and total system performance models and present results and analysis of the results. Part 1 includes presentation of new models of waste container failure that accounts for new container material, a new model of the effect of hydrothermal activity and heterogeneous groundwater flow in the unsaturated zone on temperatures and the distribution of groundwater capable of dripping into the repository drifts. Part 1 also: identifies the key technical components of the candidate spent fuel and HLW disposal facility at Yucca Mountain using IMARC Phase 4; makes recommendations regarding the prioritization of the technical development work remaining; and provides an assessment of the overall technical suitability of the candidate HLW disposal facility at Yucca Mountain

  16. Niche suitability affects development: skull asymmetry increases in less suitable areas.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renan Maestri

    Full Text Available For conservation purposes, it is important to take into account the suitability of a species to particular habitats; this information may predict the long-term survival of a species. In this sense, morphological measures of developmental stress, such as fluctuating asymmetry, can be proxies for an individual's performance in different regions. In this study, we conducted tests to determine whether areas with different levels of suitability for a species (generated by ecological niche models were congruent with morphological markers that reflect environmental stress and morphological variance. We generated a Maxent niche model and compared the suitability assessments of several areas with the skull morphology data (fluctuating asymmetry and morphological disparity of populations of the Atlantic forest endemic to Brazil rodent Akodon cursor. Our analyses showed a significant negative relationship between suitability levels and fluctuating asymmetry levels, which indicates that in less suitable areas, the individuals experience numerous disturbances during skull ontogeny. We have not found an association between morphological variance and environmental suitability. As expected, these results suggest that in environments with a lower suitability, developmental stress is increased. Such information is helpful in the understanding of the species evolution and in the selection of priority areas for the conservation of species.

  17. Remote Sensing for Threatened and Endangered Species Habitat Assessment on Military Lands: A Literature Review

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Tweddale, Scott A; Melton, Robert H

    2005-01-01

    .... To meet the requirements of the Endangered Species Act, the DoD requires accurate, cost-effective surveying and monitoring methods to characterize and monitor the habitats of TES on military training and testing lands...

  18. Shallow-Water Benthic Habitats of Southwest Puerto Rico: Accuracy Assessment Site Locations

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Shallow-water (<30m) benthic habitat maps of the nearshore marine environment of two areas in Southwest Puerto Rico (PR), including the Guanica Bay/La Parguera...

  19. Invasions by alien plants in the Czech Republic: a quantitative assessment across habitats

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Chytrý, M.; Pyšek, Petr; Tichý, L.; Knollová, I.; Danihelka, Jiří

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 77, - (2005), s. 339-354 ISSN 0032-7786 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : habitat invasibility * alien species * Czech Republic Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.545, year: 2005

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  1. EVALUASI KESESUAIAN LAHAN UNTUK TANAMAN JAGUNG MENGGUNAKAN METODE ANALISIS SPASIAL Land Suitability Assessment Of Corn (Zea mays L. Using Spasial Analysis Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ruslan Wirosoedarmo

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Land suitability assessment was needed to plan productive and sustainable land use. The aim of this research was to de- liver an informative data about land suitability of corn using spatial analysis model. The research was conducted from July 2007 to January 2008, located in Blitar district. The land survey and analysis covered several parameters needed for suitability assessment for corn such as temperature, rainfall, soil drainage, soil texture, pH, effective depth of soil, organic- C, soil content, Cation Exchange Capacity of clay, slope, altitude, and erosion endangered. The land suitability classes were classified into four classes, those were very suitable, suitable, marginally suitable, and not suitable. The data were finally analyzed using Map Calculator in Arc View GIS Software.The results showed that there were three classes of land suitability for corn i.e. very suitable, suitable and marginally suitable which accounted for 85 %, 10 %, and 5 % of 150.96 hectare areas in Blitar. The suitable class mainly located in the northern of Blitar district, while the marginally suitable class mostly located in more than 1200 meters height above sea level covered 10, 117, and 52 hectares area of Wlingi, Gandusari, and Doko county area respectively. ABSTRAK Evaluasi kesesuaian lahan diperlukan untuk perencanaan penggunaan lahan yang produktif dan lestari. Tujuan peneli- tian adalah untuk menyajikan data dan informasi tentang evaluasi kesesuaian lahan bagi tanaman jagung menggunakan model analisa spasial. Penelitian dilaksanakan mulai bulan Juli 2007 sampai bulan Januari 2008. Lokasi penelitian dilaksanakan di Blitar, Jawa Timur. Data yang diperlukan meliputi data spasial berupa peta kontur dan peta jenis tanah skala 1:25000 serta data atribut berupa data klimatologi wilayah dan hasil pengamatan lapangan terhadap sifat fisik, morfologi dan kimia tanah. Parameter kesesuaian untuk tanaman jagung yang ditetapkan meliputi temperatur, curah hujan

  2. Discussion of quantitative assessment index system of suitability of the site for geological disposal repository of high-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Su Rui; Wang Ju

    2014-01-01

    Site selection and suitability assessment of site are one of important tasks of research and development of geological disposal engineering for high-level radioactive waste (HLW). Quantitative assessment of suitability of the site is based on the scientific, reasonable and operational index system. The discussion of index screening of quantitative assessment of suitability of the site is conducted. Principle of index screening is presented and index systems are established for different stages of site selection, including planning stage of site selection, region or area investigation stage, site characterization and site confirmation stage. But the considerations are taken of the complexity of site selection of geological disposal engineering for HLW and itself development of quantitative assessment method, so improvement of the index systems presented above is needed in the further. (authors)

  3. Assessing the most suitable floor system for growing-finishing piggery under tropical conditions using the analytic hierarchy process

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Ribeiro Caldara

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Studies were carried out worldwide for evaluating different types of floor systems for growing-finishing pigs, specifically for assessing their effectiveness on pig performance, health and behaviour, leaving the opportunity for using multi-criteria analysis in decisionmaking towards the selection of flooring type. This study aimed to select the most suitable floor system for growing-finishing pigs under tropical conditions, considering performance traits and farmers management aspects. The analytic hierarchy process was applied for seeking the best solution considering both the farmers’ goals and the pigs’ welfare. Aspects considered in the analysis were: economic feasibility, rearing thermal and aerial ambient, animal behaviour, performance, and health status. The input used in the calculation was based on the results of a field trial using three treatments: whole concrete floor, coffee and rice husk bedding, and wood shavings deepbedding. Rearing conditions and pigs’ physiological parameters, performance, behaviour, and health status were analysed. When the floor system was considered, the most significant criteria were economic feasibility (0.31 and overall pig performance (0.31 leading to a final deep-bedding selection ranking of coffee and rice husks (1st, concrete floor (2nd, and wood shavings (3rd. Conversely, when the animal welfare was considered, the most decisive criterion was health status (0.32, followed by physiological parameters (0.25, and behaviour (0.23 leading to a final bedding selection ranking of coffee and rice husks (1st, wood shavings (2nd, and concrete floor (3rd. Results indicate that the deep-bedding of coffee and rice husks provided the best choice for both the farmer and the growing-finishing pigs.

  4. Assessing future suitability of tree species under climate change by multiple methods: a case study in southern Germany

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helge Walentowski

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available We compared results derived using three different approaches to assess the suitability of common tree species on the Franconian Plateau in southern Germany under projected warmer and drier climate conditions in the period 2061-2080. The study area is currently a relatively warm and dry region of Germany. We calculated species distribution models (SDMs using information on species’ climate envelopes to predict regional species spectra under 63 different climate change scenarios. We complemented this with fine-scale ecological niche analysis using data from 51 vegetation surveys in seven forest reserves in the study area, and tree-ring analysis (TRA from local populations of five tree species to quantify their sensitivity to climatic extreme years. The SDMs showed that predicted future climate change in the region remains within the climate envelope of certain species (e.g. Quercus petraea, whilst for e.g. Fagus sylvatica, future climate conditions in one third of the scenarios are too warm and dry. This was confirmed by the TRA: sensitivity to drought periods is lower for Q. petraea than for F. sylvatica. The niche analysis shows that the local ecological niches of Quercus robur and Fraxinus excelsior are mainly characterized by soils providing favorable water supply than by climate, and Pinus sylvestris (planted is strongly influenced by light availability. The best adapted species for a warmer and potentially drier climate in the study region are Acer campestre, Sorbus torminalis, S. aria, Ulmus minor, and Tilia platyphyllos, which should therefore play a more prominent role in future climate-resilient mixed forest ecosystems.

  5. Assessing the Suitability of Future Multi- and Hyperspectral Satellite Systems for Mapping the Spatial Distribution of Norway Spruce Timber Volume

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sascha Nink

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The availability of accurate and timely information on timber volume is important for supporting operational forest management. One option is to combine statistical concepts (e.g., small area estimates with specifically designed terrestrial sampling strategies to provide estimations also on the level of administrative units such as forest districts. This may suffice for economic assessments, but still fails to provide spatially explicit information on the distribution of timber volume within these management units. This type of information, however, is needed for decision-makers to design and implement appropriate management operations. The German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate is currently implementing an object-oriented database that will also allow the direct integration of Earth observation data products. This work analyzes the suitability of forthcoming multi- and hyperspectral satellite imaging systems for producing local distribution maps for timber volume of Norway spruce, one of the most economically important tree species. In combination with site-specific inventory data, fully processed hyperspectral data sets (HyMap were used to simulate datasets of the forthcoming EnMAP and Sentinel-2 systems to establish adequate models for estimating timber volume maps. The analysis included PLS regression and the k-NN method. Root Mean Square Errors between 21.6% and 26.5% were obtained, where k-NN performed slightly better than PLSR. It was concluded that the datasets of both simulated sensor systems fulfill accuracy requirements to support local forest management operations and could be used in synergy. Sentinel-2 can provide meaningful volume distribution maps in higher geometric resolution, while EnMAP, due to its hyperspectral coverage, can contribute complementary information, e.g., on biophysical conditions.

  6. [Spatiotemporal dynamics of maize water suitability and assessment of agricultural drought in Liaoning Province, China from 1981 to 2010].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Fu; Zhang, Shu-jie; Ji, Rui-peng; Mi, Na; Wu, Jin-wen; Zhang, Yu-shu

    2015-01-01

    Maize water suitability (MWS) model was developed at growth stage scale. Frequency and severity of drought were evaluated by combining MWS estimates and agricultural meteorological drought indexes. The MWS at each growth stage was calculated by using maize observational data and conventional meteorological data at 52 sites in Liaoning during the period from 1981 to 2010. Based on the climatic trend and abrupt change analysis, spatiotemporal dynamics of MWS were investigated. Meanwhile, occurrence of agricultural drought and its severity were also estimated. The results showed that the variation of MWS largely differed at different growth stages. Climatic abrupt change happened in 1994, 1996 and 1999 at the stages of emergence to seven leaves (II), jointing to tasseling (IV) and physiological maturity to maturity (VI). During the past 30 years, MWS showed an obvious increasing trend at the stages of sowing to emergence(I) , seven leaves to jointing(III), IV and tasseling to physiological maturity(V), while it showed a decreasing trend at the stages of II and VI, and that at VI stage was statistically significant. In addition, the climatic trend of MWS showed apparently spatial variability. The frequencies of drought at different severities varied with maize growth stages. Areas of high variability of MWS were located in the Northwest and South of Liaoning at the stages of I , II , III and VI, where were also the regions of high frequency of mid- and severe-drought. At the stages of IV and V, the frequency of drought was low and only light- and mid-drought occurred in few areas. In conclusion, the regional mean MWS could be capable to reasonably assess the agricultural drought in Liaoning at the regional scale.

  7. Impact assessment of ionising radiation on wildlife: meeting the requirements of the EU birds and habitat directives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Copplestone, D.; Wood, M.D.; Bielby, S.; Jones, S.R.; Vives, J.; Beresford, N.A.; Zinger, I.

    2004-01-01

    In the UK, research funded by the Environment Agency/English Nature has provided a tool for calculating doses received by biota in coastal, freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems. The approach uses the reference organism concept where the organism of interest (feature organism) is equated to a particular reference organism (based on its physical geometry and ecology). The exposure of the reference organism, and consequently the feature organism, to different radionuclides and dose rates can be assessed using a spreadsheet-based mathematical tool. This assessment tool was developed in 2001 and provided an internationally recognised starting point from which more refined assessment tools could develop. As the need for conducting specific assessments under the UK Habitat Regulations became apparent, it was recognised that some targeted refinement of the assessment tool was required. One of the major problems with the tool related to a lack of species-specific data and a lack of information on certain radionuclides appearing in discharges that may be impacting on sites/species to be protected. A second research and development project was therefore undertaken to reduce the uncertainties associated with the assessment tool by collating additional species-specific data, developing a mathematical system for ensuring that the most appropriate reference organism was selected and extending the range of radionuclides included in the assessment. This specific expansion to the assessment tool was directed towards ensuring that species at Natura 2000 sites (Special Protection Areas (SPAs) and Special Areas of Conservation (SACs)) were adequately protected. The species targeted (feature species) for this assessment were species protected under the EC Habitats Directive and those that are characteristic of habitats protected under the Directive. The paper will show how typical dimensions of each feature species are collated and each feature species mathematically aligned with the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Assessment of Salmonids and their Habitat Conditions in the Walla Walla River Basin of Washington : 2000 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendel, Glen Wesley; Karl, David; Coyle, Terrence

    2001-11-01

    Concerns about the decline of native salmon and trout populations have increased among natural resource managers and the public in recent years. As a result, a multitude of initiatives have been implemented at the local, state, and federal government levels. These initiatives include management plans and actions intended to protect and restore salmonid fishes and their habitats. In 1998 bull trout were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as ''Threatened'', for the Walla Walla River and its tributaries. Steelhead were listed as ''Threatened'' in 1999 for the mid-Columbia River and its tributaries. These ESA listings emphasize the need for information about the threatened salmonid populations and their habitats. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is entrusted with ''the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of fish and wildlife....[and to] maximize public recreational or commercial opportunities without impairing the supply of fish and wildlife (WAC 77. 12.010).'' In consideration of this mandate, the WDFW submitted a proposal in December 1997 to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for a study to assess salmonid distribution, relative abundance, genetics, and the condition of their habitats in the Walla Walla River basin. The primary purposes of this project are to collect baseline biological and habitat data, to identify major data gaps, and to draw conclusions whenever possible. The study reported herein details the findings of the 2000 field season (March to November, 2000).

  10. Assessment of Salmonids and their Habitat Conditions in the Walla Walla River Basin within Washington, 2001 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mendel, Glen Wesley; Trump, Jeremy; Karl, David

    2002-12-01

    Concerns about the decline of native salmon and trout populations have increased among natural resource managers and the public in recent years. As a result, a multitude of initiatives have been implemented at the local, state, and federal government levels. These initiatives include management plans and actions intended to protect and restore salmonid fishes and their habitats. In 1998 bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as ''Threatened'', for the Walla Walla River and its tributaries. Steelhead (Oncorhynchus mykiss) were listed as ''Threatened'' in 1999 for the mid-Columbia River and its tributaries. These ESA listings emphasize the need for information about these threatened salmonid populations and their habitats. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is entrusted with ''the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of fish and wildlife....[and to] maximize public recreational or commercial opportunities without impairing the supply of fish and wildlife (WAC 77.12.010).'' In consideration of this mandate, the WDFW submitted a proposal in December 1997 to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for a study to assess salmonid distribution, relative abundance, genetics, and the condition of salmonid habitats in the Walla Walla River basin. The primary purposes of this project are to collect baseline biological and habitat data, to identify major data gaps, and to draw conclusions whenever possible. The study reported herein details the findings of the 2001 field season (March to November, 2001).

  11. Assessment of salmonids and their habitat conditions in the Walla Walla River Basin of Washington : 2000 annual report; ANNUAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mendel, Glen Wesley; Karl, David; Coyle, Terrence

    2001-01-01

    Concerns about the decline of native salmon and trout populations have increased among natural resource managers and the public in recent years. As a result, a multitude of initiatives have been implemented at the local, state, and federal government levels. These initiatives include management plans and actions intended to protect and restore salmonid fishes and their habitats. In 1998 bull trout were listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA), as ''Threatened'', for the Walla Walla River and its tributaries. Steelhead were listed as ''Threatened'' in 1999 for the mid-Columbia River and its tributaries. These ESA listings emphasize the need for information about the threatened salmonid populations and their habitats. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) is entrusted with ''the preservation, protection, and perpetuation of fish and wildlife....[and to] maximize public recreational or commercial opportunities without impairing the supply of fish and wildlife (WAC 77.12.010).'' In consideration of this mandate, the WDFW submitted a proposal in December 1997 to the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) for a study to assess salmonid distribution, relative abundance, genetics, and the condition of their habitats in the Walla Walla River basin. The primary purposes of this project are to collect baseline biological and habitat data, to identify major data gaps, and to draw conclusions whenever possible. The study reported herein details the findings of the 2000 field season (March to November, 2000)

  12. Assessing Wild Bee Biodiversity in Cranberry Agroenvironments: Influence of Natural Habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gervais, Amélie; Fournier, Valérie; Sheffield, Cory S; Chagnon, Madeleine

    2017-08-01

    The conservation of bee populations for pollination in agricultural landscapes has attracted a lot of recent research interest, especially for crop industries undergoing expansion to meet increased production demands. In Canada, much growth has been occurring with commercial cranberry production, a field crop which is largely dependent on bee pollination. Wild bee pollinators could be negatively impacted by losses of natural habitat surrounding cranberry fields to accommodate increased production, but growers have little insight on how to manage their lands to maximize the presence of wild bees. Here, we described a 2-yr study where bee diversity and species composition were investigated to better understand the dynamic between natural habitat and cranberry fields. Bees were sampled using pan-traps and hand netting both within cranberry fields and in one of the three adjacent natural habitat types once a week during the crop flowering period. We found that bee community composition among cranberry fields did not differ based on the respective adjacent habitat type, but fields bordered by meadows were marginally less diverse than fields bordered by forest. As one would expect, field and natural habitat communities differed in terms of species composition and species richness. There was no evidence that one type of natural habitat was more favorable for the bees than another. Future agrobiodiversity studies should simultaneously examine bee diversity comprised in both crop fields and adjacent natural environments to better understand the species dynamics essential to the preservation of pollination services. © The Authors 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  13. The development of an approach to assess critical loads of acidity for woodland habitats in Great Britain

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Langan

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available Alongside other countries that are signatories to the UNECE Convention Long Range Transboundary on Air Pollution, the UK is committed to reducing the impact of air pollution on the environment. To advise and guide this policy in relation to atmospheric emissions of sulphur and nitrogen, a critical load approach has been developed. To assess the potential impact of these pollutants on woodland habitats a steady state, simple mass balance model has been parameterised. For mineral soils, a Ca:Al ratio in soil solution has been used as the critical load indicator for potential damage. For peat and organic soils critical loads have been set according to a pH criterion. Together these approaches have been used with national datasets to examine the potential scale of acidification in woodland habitats across the UK. The results can be mapped to show the spatial variability in critical loads of the three principal woodland habitat types (managed coniferous, managed broadleaved/ mixed woodland and unmanaged woodland. The results suggest that there is a wide range of critical loads. The most sensitive (lowest critical loads are associated with managed coniferous followed by unmanaged woodland on peat soils. Calculations indicate that at steady state, acid deposition inputs reported for 1995–1997 result in a large proportion of all the woodland habitats identified receiving deposition loads in excess of their critical load; i.e. critical loads are exceeded. These are discussed in relation to future modelled depositions for 2010. Whilst significant widespread negative impacts of such deposition on UK woodland habitats have not been reported, the work serves to illustrate that if acid deposition inputs were maintained and projected emissions reductions not achieved, the long-term sustainability of large areas of woodland in the UK could be compromised. Keywords: critical loads, acid deposition, acidification, woodland, simple mass balance model

  14. Biodiesel production process optimization and characterization to assess the suitability of the product for varied environmental conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eevera, T.; Rajendran, K.; Saradha, S. [Department of Biotechnology, Periyar Maniammai University, Periyar Nagar, Vallam, Thanjavur, Tamilnadu 613 403 (India)

    2009-03-15

    In this study, both edible (coconut oil, palm oil, groundnut oil, and rice bran oil) and non-edible oils (pongamia, neem and cotton seed oil) were used to optimize the biodiesel production process variables like catalyst concentration, amount of methanol required for reaction, reaction time and reaction temperature. The fuel properties like specific gravity, moisture content, refractive index, acid value, iodine number, saponification value and peroxide value were estimated. Based on the cetane number and iodine value, the methyl esters obtained from palm and coconut oils were not suitable to use as biodiesel in cold weather conditions, but for hot climate condition biodiesel obtained from the remaining oil sources is suitable. (author)

  15. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Survey design, statistical analysis, and basis for statistical inferences in coastal habitat injury assessment: Exxon Valdez oil spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McDonald, L.L.; Erickson, W.P.; Strickland, M.D.

    1995-01-01

    The objective of the Coastal Habitat Injury Assessment study was to document and quantify injury to biota of the shallow subtidal, intertidal, and supratidal zones throughout the shoreline affected by oil or cleanup activity associated with the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The results of these studies were to be used to support the Trustee's Type B Natural Resource Damage Assessment under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA). A probability based stratified random sample of shoreline segments was selected with probability proportional to size from each of 15 strata (5 habitat types crossed with 3 levels of potential oil impact) based on those data available in July, 1989. Three study regions were used: Prince William Sound, Cook Inlet/Kenai Peninsula, and Kodiak/Alaska Peninsula. A Geographic Information System was utilized to combine oiling and habitat data and to select the probability sample of study sites. Quasi-experiments were conducted where randomly selected oiled sites were compared to matched reference sites. Two levels of statistical inferences, philosophical bases, and limitations are discussed and illustrated with example data from the resulting studies. 25 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  17. 77 FR 43350 - Draft Environmental Assessment and Proposed Habitat Conservation Plan for the San Diego Unified...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-07-24

    ... impacts, as described in the applicant's habitat conservation plan (plan). We request data, comments, and..., the Carroll Canyon Preserve on the east and south, and aggregate mining operations on the west. The... compliance with all applicable California Department of Education School Development Guidelines (guidelines...

  18. Assessing urban habitat quality based on specific leaf area and stomatal characteristics of Plantago lanceolata L

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kardel, F.; Wuyts, K.; Babanezhad, M.; Vitharana, U.W.A.; Wuytack, T.; Potters, G.; Samson, R.

    2010-01-01

    This study has evaluated urban habitat quality by studying specific leaf area (SLA) and stomatal characteristics of the common herb Plantago lanceolata L. SLA and stomatal density, pore surface and resistance were measured at 169 locations in the city of Gent (Belgium), distributed over four land use classes, i.e., sub-urban green, urban green, urban and industry. SLA and stomatal density significantly increased from sub-urban green towards more urbanised land use classes, while the reverse was observed for stomatal pore surface. Stomatal resistance increased in the urban and industrial land use class in comparison with the (sub-) urban green, but differences between land use classes were less pronounced. Spatial distribution maps for these leaf characteristics showed a high spatial variation, related to differences in habitat quality within the city. Hence, stomatal density and stomatal pore surface are assumed to be potentially good bio-indicators for urban habitat quality. - Stomatal characteristics of Plantago lanceolata can be used for biomonitoring of urban habitat quality.

  19. Wetland Plant Guide for Assessing Habitat Impacts of Real-Time Salinity Management

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Quinn, Nigel W.T.; Feldmann, Sara A.

    2004-10-15

    This wetland plant guide was developed to aid moist soil plant identification and to assist in the mapping of waterfowl and shorebird habitat in the Grassland Water District and surrounding wetland areas. The motivation for this habitat mapping project was a concern that real-time salinity management of wetland drainage might have long-term consequences for wildfowl habitat health--changes in wetland drawdown schedules might, over the long term, lead to increased soil salinity and other conditions unfavorable to propagation of the most desirable moist soil plants. Hence, the implementation of a program to monitor annual changes in the most common moist soil plants might serve as an index of habitat health and sustainability. Our review of the current scientific and popular literature failed to identify a good, comprehensive field guide that could be used to calibrate and verify high resolution remote sensing imagery, that we had started to use to develop maps of wetland moist soil plants in the Grassland Water District. Since completing the guide it has been used to conduct ground truthing field surveys using the California Native Plant Society methodology in 2004. Results of this survey and a previous wetland plant survey in 2003 are published in a companion LBNL publication summarizing 4 years of fieldwork to advance the science of real-time wetland salinity management.

  20. Agar Sediment Test for Assessing the Suitability of Organic Waste Streams for Recovering Nutrients by the Aquatic Worm Lumbriculus variegatus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Laarhoven, Bob; Elissen, H.J.H.; Temmink, H.; Buisman, C.J.N.

    2016-01-01

    An agar sediment test was developed to evaluate the suitability of organic waste streams from the food industry for recovering nutrients by the aquatic worm Lumbriculus variegatus (Lv). The effects of agar gel, sand, and food quantities in the sediment test on worm growth, reproduction, and water

  1. Population trends, bend use relative to available habitat and within-river-bend habitat use of eight indicator species of Missouri and Lower Kansas River benthic fishes: 15 years after baseline assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildhaber, Mark L.; Yang, Wen-Hsi; Arab, Ali

    2016-01-01

    A baseline assessment of the Missouri River fish community and species-specific habitat use patterns conducted from 1996 to 1998 provided the first comprehensive analysis of Missouri River benthic fish population trends and habitat use in the Missouri and Lower Yellowstone rivers, exclusive of reservoirs, and provided the foundation for the present Pallid Sturgeon Population Assessment Program (PSPAP). Data used in such studies are frequently zero inflated. To address this issue, the zero-inflated Poisson (ZIP) model was applied. This follow-up study is based on PSPAP data collected up to 15 years later along with new understanding of how habitat characteristics among and within bends affect habitat use of fish species targeted by PSPAP, including pallid sturgeon. This work demonstrated that a large-scale, large-river, PSPAP-type monitoring program can be an effective tool for assessing population trends and habitat usage of large-river fish species. Using multiple gears, PSPAP was effective in monitoring shovelnose and pallid sturgeons, sicklefin, shoal and sturgeon chubs, sand shiner, blue sucker and sauger. For all species, the relationship between environmental variables and relative abundance differed, somewhat, among river segments suggesting the importance of the overall conditions of Upper and Middle Missouri River and Lower Missouri and Kansas rivers on the habitat usage patterns exhibited. Shoal and sicklefin chubs exhibited many similar habitat usage patterns; blue sucker and shovelnose sturgeon also shared similar responses. For pallid sturgeon, the primary focus of PSPAP, relative abundance tended to increase in Upper and Middle Missouri River paralleling stocking efforts, whereas no evidence of an increasing relative abundance was found in the Lower Missouri River despite stocking.

  2. Land suitability assessment for wind power plant site selection using ANP-DEMATEL in a GIS environment: case study of Ardabil province, Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azizi, Ali; Malekmohammadi, Bahram; Jafari, Hamid Reza; Nasiri, Hossein; Amini Parsa, Vahid

    2014-10-01

    Wind energy is a renewable energy resource that has increased in usage in most countries. Site selection for the establishment of large wind turbines, called wind farms, like any other engineering project, requires basic information and careful planning. This study assessed the possibility of establishing wind farms in Ardabil province in northwestern Iran by using a combination of analytic network process (ANP) and decision making trial and evaluation laboratory (DEMATEL) methods in a geographical information system (GIS) environment. DEMATEL was used to determine the criteria relationships. The weights of the criteria were determined using ANP and the overlaying process was done on GIS. Using 13 information layers in three main criteria including environmental, technical and economical, the land suitability map was produced and reclassified into 5 equally scored divisions from least suitable to most suitable areas. The results showed that about 6.68% of the area of Ardabil province is most suitable for establishment of wind turbines. Sensitivity analysis shows that significant portions of these most suitable zones coincide with suitable divisions of the input layers. The efficiency and accuracy of the hybrid model (ANP-DEMATEL) was evaluated and the results were compared to the ANP model. The sensitivity analysis, map classification, and factor weights for the two methods showed satisfactory results for the ANP-DEMATEL model in wind power plant site selection.

  3. Assessing the suitability of a partial water reuse system for rearing juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha for stocking in Washington State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Health and welfare of juvenile Chinook salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytsha reared in a pilot circular tank-based partial water reuse system in Washington State were evaluated in comparison to fish from the same spawn reared in a flow-through raceway, in order to assess the suitability of using water reus...

  4. An integrated assessment of Porcupine caribou seasonal distribution, movements, and habitat preferences for regional land use planning in northern Yukon Territory, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John L. Ryder

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available This study was undertaken to improve understanding of Porcupine caribou herd distribution, movements, and habitat preferences to assist with developing a regional land use plan for the North Yukon Planning Region, Yukon Territory. Three different methods were used to identify current and historical patterns of caribou distribution and habitat preferences within the region to prioritize conservation areas. Two of the approaches focused on incorporating information on caribou distribution and migrations from scientific and local knowledge, while the third focused on identifying and mapping habitats suitable for supporting caribou. Local knowledge dating back to the 1930s and two decades of satellite telemetry data confirmed that most of the planning region is used by the Porcupine caribou herd and highlighted areas of concentrated use. Maps of suitable winter habitat derived from expert opinion ratings of habitat use did not agree with the other information sources. The local knowledge and satellite telemetry analyses were used to identify spatially explicit priority areas for caribou conservation and the results were applied to develop conservation recommendations for a draft regional land use plan. The plan will be submitted to government approval bodies for review in the spring of 2007. The success in implementing conservation strategies for the Porcupine caribou herd will be reviewed and evaluated following adoption of a final approved plan.

  5. Sage-grouse habitat selection during winter in Alberta

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  6. Agar Sediment Test for Assessing the Suitability of Organic Waste Streams for Recovering Nutrients by the Aquatic Worm Lumbriculus variegatus.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bob Laarhoven

    Full Text Available An agar sediment test was developed to evaluate the suitability of organic waste streams from the food industry for recovering nutrients by the aquatic worm Lumbriculus variegatus (Lv. The effects of agar gel, sand, and food quantities in the sediment test on worm growth, reproduction, and water quality were studied. Agar gel addition ameliorated growth conditions by reducing food hydrolysis and altering sediment structure. Best results for combined reproduction and growth were obtained with 0.6% agar-gel (20 ml, 10 g. fine sand, 40 g. coarse sand, and 105 mg fish food (Tetramin. With agar gel, ingestion and growth is more the result of addition of food in its original quality. Final tests with secondary potato starch sludge and wheat bran demonstrated that this test is appropriate for the comparison of solid feedstuffs and suspended organic waste streams. This test method is expected to be suitable for organic waste studies using other sediment dwelling invertebrates.

  7. Applying the Delphi method to assess impacts of forest management on biodiversity and habitat preservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Filyushkina, Anna; Strange, Niels; Löf, Magnus

    2018-01-01

    This study applied a structured expert elicitation technique, the Delphi method, to identify the impacts of five forest management alternatives and several forest characteristics on the preservation of biodiversity and habitats in the boreal zone of the Nordic countries. The panel of experts...... as a valuable addition to on-going empirical and modeling efforts. The findings could assist forest managers in developing forest management strategies that generate benefits from timber production while taking into account the trade-offs with biodiversity goals....

  8. Hierarchical faunal filters: An approach to assessing effects of habitat and nonnative species on native fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quist, M.C.; Rahel, F.J.; Hubert, W.A.

    2005-01-01

    Understanding factors related to the occurrence of species across multiple spatial and temporal scales is critical to the conservation and management of native fishes, especially for those species at the edge of their natural distribution. We used the concept of hierarchical faunal filters to provide a framework for investigating the influence of habitat characteristics and normative piscivores on the occurrence of 10 native fishes in streams of the North Platte River watershed in Wyoming. Three faunal filters were developed for each species: (i) large-scale biogeographic, (ii) local abiotic, and (iii) biotic. The large-scale biogeographic filter, composed of elevation and stream-size thresholds, was used to determine the boundaries within which each species might be expected to occur. Then, a local abiotic filter (i.e., habitat associations), developed using binary logistic-regression analysis, estimated the probability of occurrence of each species from features such as maximum depth, substrate composition, submergent aquatic vegetation, woody debris, and channel morphology (e.g., amount of pool habitat). Lastly, a biotic faunal filter was developed using binary logistic regression to estimate the probability of occurrence of each species relative to the abundance of nonnative piscivores in a reach. Conceptualising fish assemblages within a framework of hierarchical faunal filters is simple and logical, helps direct conservation and management activities, and provides important information on the ecology of fishes in the western Great Plains of North America. ?? Blackwell Munksgaard, 2004.

  9. Assessment of Shallow-Water Habitat Availability in Modified Dike Structures, Lower Missouri River, 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, Robert B.; Elliott, Caroline M.; Johnson, Harold E.

    2004-01-01

    This study documented the effects of wing-dike notching on the availabilit of shallow water habitat in the Lower Missouri River. Five wing dikes were surveyed in late May 2004 after they were notched in early May as part of shallow-water habitat (SWH) rehabilitation activities undertaken by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Surveys included high-resolution hydroacoustic depth, velocity, and substrate mapping. Relations of bottom elevations within the wing dike fields to index discharges and water-surface elevations indicate that little habitat meeting the SWH definition was created immediately following notching. This result is not unexpected, as significant geomorphic adjustment may require large flow events. Depth, velocity, and substrate measurements in the post-rehabilitation time period provide baseline data for monitoring ongoing changes. Differences in elevation and substrate were noted at all sites. Most dike fields showed substantial aggradation and replacement of mud substrate with sandier sediment, although the changes did not result in increased availability of SWH at the index discharge. It is not known how much of the elevation and substrate changes can be attributed directly to notching and how much would result from normal sediment transport variation.

  10. Integrated assessment of river health based on the conditions of water quality,aquatic life and physical habitat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    MENG Wei; ZHANG Nan; ZHANG Yuan; ZHENG Binghui

    2009-01-01

    The health conditions of Liao River were assessed using 25 sampling sites in April 2005, with water quality index, biotic index and physical habitat quality index.Based on the method of cluster analysis (CA) for water quality indices, it reveals that heavily polluted sites of Liao River are located at estuary and mainstream.The aquatic species surveyed were attached algae and benthic invertebrates.The result shows that the diversity and biomass of attached algae and benthic index of biotic integrity (B-IBI) are degrading as the chemical and physical quality of water bodies deteriorating.Physiochemical parameters, BOD5, CODCr, TN, TP, NH3-N, DO, petroleum hydrocarbon and conductivity, were statistically analyzed with principal component analysis and correlation analysis.The statistical results were incorporated into the integrated assessing water quality index, combining fecal coliform count, attached algae diversity, B-IBI and physical habitat quality score, a comprehensive integrated assessing system of river ecological health was established.Based on the systimetic assesment, the assessed sites are categorized into 9 "healthy" and "sub-healthy" sites and 8 "sub-sick" and "sick" sites.

  11. Global screening for Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brauneder, Kerstin M; Montes, Chloe; Blyth, Simon; Bennun, Leon; Butchart, Stuart H M; Hoffmann, Michael; Burgess, Neil D; Cuttelod, Annabelle; Jones, Matt I; Kapos, Val; Pilgrim, John; Tolley, Melissa J; Underwood, Emma C; Weatherdon, Lauren V; Brooks, Sharon E

    2018-01-01

    Critical Habitat has become an increasingly important concept used by the finance sector and businesses to identify areas of high biodiversity value. The International Finance Corporation (IFC) defines Critical Habitat in their highly influential Performance Standard 6 (PS6), requiring projects in Critical Habitat to achieve a net gain of biodiversity. Here we present a global screening layer of Critical Habitat in the terrestrial realm, derived from global spatial datasets covering the distributions of 12 biodiversity features aligned with guidance provided by the IFC. Each biodiversity feature is categorised as 'likely' or 'potential' Critical Habitat based on: 1. Alignment between the biodiversity feature and the IFC Critical Habitat definition; and 2. Suitability of the spatial resolution for indicating a feature's presence on the ground. Following the initial screening process, Critical Habitat must then be assessed in-situ by a qualified assessor. This analysis indicates that a total of 10% and 5% of the global terrestrial environment can be considered as likely and potential Critical Habitat, respectively, while the remaining 85% did not overlap with any of the biodiversity features assessed and was classified as 'unknown'. Likely Critical Habitat was determined principally by the occurrence of Key Biodiversity Areas and Protected Areas. Potential Critical Habitat was predominantly characterised by data representing highly threatened and unique ecosystems such as ever-wet tropical forests and tropical dry forests. The areas we identified as likely or potential Critical Habitat are based on the best available global-scale data for the terrestrial realm that is aligned with IFC's Critical Habitat definition. Our results can help businesses screen potential development sites at the early project stage based on a range of biodiversity features. However, the study also demonstrates several important data gaps and highlights the need to incorporate new and

  12. Solid Waste Management in Greater Shillong Planning Area (GSPA) Using Spatial Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for Site Suitability Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mipun, B. S.; Hazarika, R.; Mondal, M.; Mukhopadhyay, S.

    2015-04-01

    In Shillong city the existing solid waste management system is mobile waste bins (72%). About 12 percent burn the waste generated by them. Door to door collection is about 5 percent. Over 2 percent households throw the wastes in the open space. Another 9 percent households throw their wastes into the waste bins located in the neighbourhood. The local headman takes care about half of the household's wastes, while Municipality takes care about 34 percent households. About 10 percent households are ignorant about the collection and disposal of wastes. Some NGO's takes care about 5 percent household's wastes. Awareness about segregation of waste into organic and non-bio degradable waste is 64 percent and a significant numbers do the segregation. In Shillong Municipality Board (SMB) area collects 45.91% (78.42 MT) waste, outside SMB area collection is 32.61% (45.99 MT) and entire GSPA the percentage of garbage collected is 41percent. The only dumping ground in GSPA is Marten, Mawiong, and the capacity to hold garbage is decreasing due to limited landfill. The sanitary landfill site is 5.0 acres that it is not enough to meet the demand. Out of he total area 170.69 sq. km. (GSPA) only 25.67% is most suitable and 18.58% is unsuitable to set up a new landfill area. Eastern part of the GSPA, is most suitable, which fulfils the entire criterion adopted in this study. In this the best-stated criterion are land cover (vacant space), slope (2000m) and elevation (1300-1500m). The eastern part of the GSPA is most suitable landfill location.

  13. Assessment of stress-strain data suitable for finite-element elastic--plastic analysis of shipping containers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rack, H.J.; Knorovsky, G.A.

    1978-09-01

    Stress-strain data which describes the influence of strain rate and temperature on the mechanical response of materials presently being used for light water reactor fuel shipping containers have been assembled. Selection of data has been limited to that which is suitable for use in finite-element elastic--plastic analysis of shipping containers (e.g., they must include complete material history profiles). Based on this information, recommendations have been made for further work which is required to complete the necessary data base

  14. An assessment of the long term suitability of present and proposed methods for the management of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-07-01

    Proposals for safe, long-term containment of conventional tailings include 1) storage under water, 2) storage in active, abandoned or specially created underground mines and, 3) storage in open pits, with subsequent flooding or covering with overburden. The underwater proposal can meet most of the requirements of long term containment; however, extensive study of existing tailings deposits in deep water locations will be needed. Underground mines cannot provide sufficient storage capacity, since the tailings bulk during mill operation can occupy twice the volume of the original ore. It is possible to reduce the hazard by reducing the radium and thorium content of the tailings. Proposals for such an undertaking include ore beneficiation with rejection of the relatively innocuous fraction, radium-thorium removal in the mill, and significant changes in both ore processing and treatment of tailings. It is concluded that surface-stored tailings are vulnerable over the long term to dispersion by leaching and water erosion, and that access to a tailings site cannot be prevented, while only a major climatic or seismic event could disturb tailings stored in suitable underwater or underground mine sites. The criteria for determining suitability for each method, however, will need to be identified, tested, and accepted through the normal process of modeling, pilot plant evaluation, monitoring and evaluation. (author)

  15. Suitability assessment of grey water quality treated with an upflow-downflow siliceous sand/marble waste filtration system for agricultural and industrial purposes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaabane, Safa; Riahi, Khalifa; Hamrouni, Hédi; Thayer, Béchir Ben

    2017-04-01

    The present study examines the suitability assessment of an upflow-downflow siliceous sand/marble waste filtration system for treatment and reuse of grey water collected from bathrooms of the student residential complex at the Higher Institute of Engineering Medjez El Bab (Tunisia). Once the optimization of grey water pre-treatment system has been determined, the filtration system was operated at different hydraulic loading rate and media filter proportions in order to assess the suitability of treated grey water for irrigational purpose according to salinity hazard, sodium hazard, magnesium hazard, permeability index, water infiltration rate, and widely used graphical methods. Suitability of the treated grey water for industrial purpose was evaluated in terms of foaming, corrosion, and scaling. Under optimal operational conditions, results reveals that treated grey water samples with an upflow-downflow siliceous sand/marble waste filtration system may be considered as a good and an excellent water quality suitable for irrigation purpose. However, treated grey water was found not appropriate for industrial purpose due to high concentrations of calcium and sodium that can generate foaming and scaling harm to boilers. These results suggest that treated grey water with an upflow-downflow siliceous sand/marble waste filtration system would support production when used as irrigation water.

  16. Fishery population and habitat assessment in Puerto Rico streams: phase 2 final report

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Thomas J.; Smith, William E.; Buttermore, Elissa N.; Cooney, Patrick B.; Cope, W. Gregory

    2013-01-01

    This document serves as the Final Report for research on Puerto Rico stream fishes and their habitat funded by the Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, in the form of a grant to the North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. This research was also conducted to meet the thesis requirement for a Master of Science degree granted to Elissa Buttermore (Chapters 3–4) and the dissertation requirement for a Doctor of Philospophy degree granted to William Smith (Chapters 5–8). Formatting differs among chapters, as each was developed to target a specific scientific journal and to conform to journal style.

  17. Assessing habitat risk from human activities to inform coastal and marine spatial planning: a demonstration in Belize

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arkema, Katie K; Wood, Spencer A; Ruckelshaus, Mary; Verutes, Gregory; Rosenthal, Amy; Bernhardt, Joanna R; Clarke, Chantalle; Rosado, Samir; Canto, Maritza; McField, Melanie; De Zegher, Joann

    2014-01-01

    Integrated coastal and ocean management requires transparent and accessible approaches for understanding the influence of human activities on marine environments. Here we introduce a model for assessing the combined risk to habitats from multiple ocean uses. We apply the model to coral reefs, mangrove forests and seagrass beds in Belize to inform the design of the country’s first Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) Plan. Based on extensive stakeholder engagement, review of existing legislation and data collected from diverse sources, we map the current distribution of coastal and ocean activities and develop three scenarios for zoning these activities in the future. We then estimate ecosystem risk under the current and three future scenarios. Current levels of risk vary spatially among the nine coastal planning regions in Belize. Empirical tests of the model are strong—three-quarters of the measured data for coral reef health lie within the 95% confidence interval of interpolated model data and 79% of the predicted mangrove occurrences are associated with observed responses. The future scenario that harmonizes conservation and development goals results in a 20% reduction in the area of high-risk habitat compared to the current scenario, while increasing the extent of several ocean uses. Our results are a component of the ICZM Plan for Belize that will undergo review by the national legislature in 2015. This application of our model to marine spatial planning in Belize illustrates an approach that can be used broadly by coastal and ocean planners to assess risk to habitats under current and future management scenarios. (letter)

  18. An empirical assessment and comparison of species-based and habitat-based surrogates: a case study of forest vertebrates and large old trees.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindenmayer, David B; Barton, Philip S; Lane, Peter W; Westgate, Martin J; McBurney, Lachlan; Blair, David; Gibbons, Philip; Likens, Gene E

    2014-01-01

    A holy grail of conservation is to find simple but reliable measures of environmental change to guide management. For example, particular species or particular habitat attributes are often used as proxies for the abundance or diversity of a subset of other taxa. However, the efficacy of such kinds of species-based surrogates and habitat-based surrogates is rarely assessed, nor are different kinds of surrogates compared in terms of their relative effectiveness. We use 30-year datasets on arboreal marsupials and vegetation structure to quantify the effectiveness of: (1) the abundance of a particular species of arboreal marsupial as a species-based surrogate for other arboreal marsupial taxa, (2) hollow-bearing tree abundance as a habitat-based surrogate for arboreal marsupial abundance, and (3) a combination of species- and habitat-based surrogates. We also quantify the robustness of species-based and habitat-based surrogates over time. We then use the same approach to model overall species richness of arboreal marsupials. We show that a species-based surrogate can appear to be a valid surrogate until a habitat-based surrogate is co-examined, after which the effectiveness of the former is lost. The addition of a species-based surrogate to a habitat-based surrogate made little difference in explaining arboreal marsupial abundance, but altered the co-occurrence relationship between species. Hence, there was limited value in simultaneously using a combination of kinds of surrogates. The habitat-based surrogate also generally performed significantly better and was easier and less costly to gather than the species-based surrogate. We found that over 30 years of study, the relationships which underpinned the habitat-based surrogate generally remained positive but variable over time. Our work highlights why it is important to compare the effectiveness of different broad classes of surrogates and identify situations when either species- or habitat-based surrogates are likely

  19. A radioimmunoassay for wheat gliadin to assess the suitability of gluten free foods for patients with coeliac disease

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ciclitira, P.J.; Ellis, H.J.; Evans, D.J.; Lennox, E.S.

    1985-01-01

    Coeliac disease is a clinical condition characterised by malabsorption secondary to abnormalities of the small intestine. The condition is known to be exacerbated by wheat gliadin, rye, barley and possibly oats. The only assays that are available for testing for the presence of wheat gluten in foods are double diffusion against rabbit anti-gliadin antiserum and measurement of Kjeldahl nitrogen in products derived from wheat flour. We have developed a radioimmunoassay for wheat gliadin with a detection limit of 1 ng. Nominally gluten free foods based on wheat starch have been shown to contain up to 1.9x10 -2 % wheat gliadin. Bread made from Nutregen wheat starch which has now been withdrawn contains 6.4 mg gliadin per standard 30 g slice. A radioimmunoassay for wheat gliadin could be used to define standards for the suitability of gluten free products based on wheat starch for patients with coeliac disease. (author)

  20. A radioimmunoassay for wheat gliadin to assess the suitability of gluten free foods for patients with coeliac disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciclitira, P J; Ellis, H J; Evans, D J; Lennox, E S

    1985-03-01

    Coeliac disease is a clinical condition characterised by malabsorption secondary to abnormalities of the small intestine. The condition is known to be exacerbated by wheat gliadin, rye, barley and possibly oats. The only assays that are available for testing for the presence of wheat gluten in foods are double diffusion against rabbit anti-gliadin antiserum and measurement of Kjeldahl nitrogen in products derived from wheat flour. We have developed a radioimmunoassay for wheat gliadin with a detection limit of 1 ng. Nominally gluten free foods based on wheat starch have been shown to contain up to 1.9 X 10(-2)% wheat gliadin. Bread made from Nutregen wheat starch which has now been withdrawn contains 6.4 mg gliadin per standard 30 g slice. A radioimmunoassay for wheat gliadin could be used to define standards for the suitability of gluten free products based on wheat starch for patients with coeliac disease.