WorldWideScience

Sample records for marsh bird communities

  1. Effects of Tide Stage on the Use of Salt Marshes by Wading Birds in Rhode Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    To determine how tide stage affects wading bird abundance, behavior, and foraging in three Narragansett Bay salt marshes (RI), we conducted surveys at 10-min intervals—across the full tidal range—during six days at each marsh in July/September of 2006. The wading bird community ...

  2. Summary of intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting detection probability of marsh birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, C.J.; Gibbs, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    Many species of marsh birds (rails, bitterns, grebes, etc.) rely exclusively on emergent marsh vegetation for all phases of their life cycle, and many organizations have become concerned about the status and persistence of this group of birds. Yet, marsh birds are notoriously difficult to monitor due to their secretive habits. We synthesized the published and unpublished literature and summarized the factors that influence detection probability of secretive marsh birds in North America. Marsh birds are more likely to respond to conspecific than heterospecific calls, and seasonal peak in vocalization probability varies among co-existing species. The effectiveness of morning versus evening surveys varies among species and locations. Vocalization probability appears to be positively correlated with density in breeding Virginia Rails (Rallus limicola), Soras (Porzana carolina), and Clapper Rails (Rallus longirostris). Movement of birds toward the broadcast source creates biases when using count data from callbroadcast surveys to estimate population density. Ambient temperature, wind speed, cloud cover, and moon phase affected detection probability in some, but not all, studies. Better estimates of detection probability are needed. We provide recommendations that would help improve future marsh bird survey efforts and a list of 14 priority information and research needs that represent gaps in our current knowledge where future resources are best directed. ?? Society of Wetland Scientists 2011.

  3. Avian communities in tidal salt marshes of San Francisco Bay: a review of functional groups by foraging guild and habitat association

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takekawa, John Y.; Woo, Isa; Gardiner, Rachel J.; Casazza, Michael L.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Nur, Nadav; Liu, Leonard; Spautz, Hildie; Palaima, Arnas

    2011-01-01

    The San Francisco Bay estuary is highly urbanized, but it supports the largest remaining extent of tidal salt marshes on the west coast of North America as well as a diverse native bird community. San Francisco Bay tidal marshes are occupied by more than 113 bird species that represent 31 families, including five subspecies from three families that we denote as tidal-marsh obligates. To better identify the niche of bird species in tidal marshes, we present a review of functional groups based on foraging guilds and habitat associations. Foraging guilds describe the method by which species obtain food from tidal marshes, while habitat associations describe broad areas within the marsh that have similar environmental conditions. For example, the ubiquitous song sparrows (Alameda Melospiza melodia pusillula, Suisun M. m. maxillaris, and San Pablo M. m. samuelis) are surface-feeding generalists that consume prey from vegetation and the ground, and they are found across the entire marsh plain into the upland–marsh transition. In contrast, surface-feeding California black rails (Laterallus jamaicensis coturniculus) are cryptic, and generally restricted in their distribution to the mid- and high-marsh plain. Although in the same family, the endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) has become highly specialized, foraging primarily on benthic fauna within marsh channels when they are exposed at low tide. Shorebirds such as the black-necked stilt (Himantopus mexicanus) typically probe in mud flats to consume macroinvertebrate prey, and are generally restricted to foraging on salt pans within the marsh plain, in ponds, or on mud flats during transitional stages of marsh evolution. The abundance and distribution of birds varies widely with changing water depths and vegetation colonization during different stages of restoration. Thus, tidal-marsh birds represent a rich and diverse community in bay marshes, with niches that may be distinguished by the

  4. Modeling detection probability to improve marsh bird surveys in southern Canada and the Great Lakes states

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Marsh birds are notoriously elusive, with variation in detection probability across species, regions, seasons, and different times of day and weather. Therefore, it is important to develop regional field survey protocols that maximize detections, but that also produce data for estimating and analytically adjusting for remaining differences in detections. We aimed to improve regional field survey protocols by estimating detection probability of eight elusive marsh bird species throughout two regions that have ongoing marsh bird monitoring programs: the southern Canadian Prairies (Prairie region and the southern portion of the Great Lakes basin and parts of southern Québec (Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region. We accomplished our goal using generalized binomial N-mixture models and data from ~22,300 marsh bird surveys conducted between 2008 and 2014 by Bird Studies Canada's Prairie, Great Lakes, and Québec Marsh Monitoring Programs. Across all species, on average, detection probability was highest in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region from the beginning of May until mid-June, and then fell throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was lowest in the Prairie region in mid-May and then increased throughout the remainder of the season until the end of June; was highest during darkness compared with light; and did not vary significantly according to temperature (range: 0-30°C, cloud cover (0%-100%, or wind (0-20 kph, or during morning versus evening. We used our results to formulate improved marsh bird survey protocols for each region. Our analysis and recommendations are useful and contribute to conservation of wetland birds at various scales from local single-species studies to the continental North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Program.

  5. Coastal salt-marshes in Albania

    OpenAIRE

    JULIAN SHEHU; ALMA IMERI; RUDINA KOCI; ALFRED MULLAJ

    2014-01-01

    The salt marshes of Albania comprise a narrow belt along the Adriatic and Ionian Seas. They have been the subject of a range of human activities causing habitat loss. Enclosure for agricultural use, ports and other infrastructure has reduced many salt marshes to a narrow fringe along estuary shores. Salt marshes are important for a range of interests. In particular they support a range of specialist plant communities and associated animals (especially breeding and wintering birds) and often h...

  6. Coordinating across scales: Building a regional marsh bird monitoring program from national and state Initiatives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shriver, G.W.; Sauer, J.R.

    2008-01-01

    Salt marsh breeding bird populations (rails, bitterns, sparrows, etc.) in eastern North America are high conservation priorities in need of site specific and regional monitoring designed to detect population changes over time. The present status and trends of these species are unknown but anecdotal evidence of declines in many of the species has raised conservation concerns. Most of these species are listed as conservation priorities on comprehensive wildlife plans throughout the eastern U.S. National Wildlife Refuges, National Park Service units, and other wildlife conservation areas provide important salt marsh habitat. To meet management needs for these areas, and to assist regional conservation planning, survey designs are being developed to estimate abundance and population trends for these breeding bird species. The primary purpose of this project is to develop a hierarchical sampling frame for salt marsh birds in Bird Conservation Region (BCR) 30 that will provide the ability to estimate species population abundances on 1) specific sites (i.e. National Parks and National Wildlife Refuges), 2) within states or regions, and 3) within BCR 30. The entire breeding range of Saltmarsh Sharp-tailed and Coastal Plain Swamp sparrows are within BCR 30, providing an opportunity to detect population trends within the entire breeding ranges of two priority species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-15

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

  8. Influence of call broadcast timing within point counts and survey duration on detection probability of marsh breeding birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas C. Tozer

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available The Standardized North American Marsh Bird Monitoring Protocol recommends point counts consisting of a 5-min passive observation period, meant to be free of broadcast bias, followed by call broadcasts to entice elusive species to reveal their presence. Prior to this protocol, some monitoring programs used point counts with broadcasts during the first 5 min of 10-min counts, and have since used 15-min counts with an initial 5-min passive period (P1 followed by 5 min of broadcasts (B and a second 5-min passive period (P2 to ensure consistency across years and programs. Influence of timing of broadcasts within point counts and point count duration, however, have rarely been assessed. Using data from 23,973 broadcast-assisted 15-min point counts conducted throughout the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence region between 2008 and 2016 by Bird Studies Canada's Marsh Monitoring Program and Central Michigan University's Great Lakes Coastal Wetland Monitoring Program, we estimated detection probabilities of individuals for 14 marsh breeding bird species during P1B compared to BP2, P1 compared to P2, and P1B compared to P1BP2. For six broadcast species and American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus, we found no significant difference in detection during P1B compared to BP2, and no significant difference in four of the same seven species during P1 compared to P2. We observed small but significant differences in detection for 7 of 14 species during P1B compared to P1BP2. We conclude that differences in timing of broadcasts causes no bias based on counts from entire 10-minute surveys, although P1B should be favored over BP2 because the same amount of effort in P1B avoids broadcast bias in all broadcast species, and 10-min surveys are superior to 15-min surveys because modest gains in detection of some species does not warrant the additional effort. We recommend point counts consisting of 5 min of passive observation followed by broadcasts, consistent with the standardized

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

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    Lor, S.; Malecki, R.A.

    2006-01-01

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

  10. Marshes on the Move: Testing effects of seawater intrusion on vegetation communities of the salt marsh-upland ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Northeastern United States is a hotspot for sea level rise (SLR), subjecting coastal salt marshes to erosive loss, shifts in vegetation communities, and altered biogeochemistry due to seawater intrusion. Salt marsh plant community zonation is driven by tradeoffs in stress to...

  11. Tidal salt marshes of the southeast Atlantic Coast: A community profile

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiegert, R.G.; Freeman, B.J.

    1990-09-01

    This report is part of a series of community profiles on the ecology of wetland and marine communities. This particular profile considers tidal marshes of the southeastern Atlantic coast, from North Carolina south to northern Florida. Alone among the earth's ecosystems, coastal communities are subjected to a bidirectional flooding sometimes occurring twice each day; this flooding affects successional development, species composition, stability, and productivity. In the tidally influenced salt marsh, salinity ranges from less than 1 ppt to that of seawater. Dominant plant species include cordgrasses (Spartina alterniflora and S. cynosuroides), black needlerush (Juncus romerianus), and salt marsh bulrush (Scirpus robustus). Both terrestrail and aquatic animals occur in salt marshes and include herons, egrets ospreys (Pandion haliaetus), bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus), alligators (Alligator Mississippiensis), manatees (Trichecus manatus), oysters, mussels, and fiddler crabs. Currently, the only significant direct commercial use of the tidal salt marshes is by crabbers seeking the blue crab Callinectes sapidus, but the marshes are quite important recreationally, aesthetically, and educationally. 151 refs., 45 figs., 6 tabs.

  12. Fire helps restore natural disturbance regime to benefit rare and endangered marsh birds endemic to the Colorado River.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conway, Courtney J; Nadeau, Christopher P; Piest, Linden

    2010-10-01

    Large flood events were part of the historical disturbance regime within the lower basin of most large river systems around the world. Large flood events are now rare in the lower basins of most large river systems due to flood control structures. Endemic organisms that are adapted to this historical disturbance regime have become less abundant due to these dramatic changes in the hydrology and the resultant changes in vegetation structure. The Yuma Clapper Rail is a federally endangered bird that breeds in emergent marshes within the lower Colorado River basin in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. We evaluated whether prescribed fire could be used as a surrogate disturbance event to help restore historical conditions for the benefit of Yuma Clapper Rails and four sympatric marsh-dependent birds. We conducted call-broadcast surveys for marsh birds within burned and unburned (control) plots both pre- and post-burn. Fire increased the numbers of Yuma Clapper Rails and Virginia Rails, and did not affect the numbers of Black Rails, Soras, and Least Bitterns. We found no evidence that detection probability of any of the five species differed between burn and control plots. Our results suggest that prescribed fire can be used to set back succession of emergent marshlands and help mimic the natural disturbance regime in the lower Colorado River basin. Hence, prescribed fire can be used to help increase Yuma Clapper Rail populations without adversely affecting sympatric species. Implementing a coordinated long-term fire management plan within marshes of the lower Colorado River may allow regulatory agencies to remove the Yuma Clapper Rail from the endangered species list.

  13. Salt Marsh Bacterial Communities before and after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Engel, Annette Summers; Liu, Chang; Paterson, Audrey T; Anderson, Laurie C; Turner, R Eugene; Overton, Edward B

    2017-10-15

    Coastal salt marshes along the northern Gulf of Mexico shoreline received varied types and amounts of weathered oil residues after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. At the time, predicting how marsh bacterial communities would respond and/or recover to oiling and other environmental stressors was difficult because baseline information on community composition and dynamics was generally unavailable. Here, we evaluated marsh vegetation, physicochemistry, flooding frequency, hydrocarbon chemistry, and subtidal sediment bacterial communities from 16S rRNA gene surveys at 11 sites in southern Louisiana before the oil spill and resampled the same marshes three to four times over 38 months after the spill. Calculated hydrocarbon biomarker indices indicated that oil replaced native natural organic matter (NOM) originating from Spartina alterniflora and marine phytoplankton in the marshes between May 2010 and September 2010. At all the studied marshes, the major class- and order-level shifts among the phyla Proteobacteria , Firmicutes , Bacteroidetes , and Actinobacteria occurred within these first 4 months, but another community shift occurred at the time of peak oiling in 2011. Two years later, hydrocarbon levels decreased and bacterial communities became more diverse, being dominated by Alphaproteobacteria ( Rhizobiales ), Chloroflexi ( Dehalococcoidia ), and Planctomycetes Compositional changes through time could be explained by NOM source differences, perhaps due to vegetation changes, as well as marsh flooding and salinity excursions linked to freshwater diversions. These findings indicate that persistent hydrocarbon exposure alone did not explain long-term community shifts. IMPORTANCE Significant deterioration of coastal salt marshes in Louisiana has been linked to natural and anthropogenic stressors that can adversely affect how ecosystems function. Although microorganisms carry out and regulate most biogeochemical reactions, the diversity of bacterial

  14. Final report: Initial ecosystem response of salt marshes to ditch plugging and pool creation: Experiments at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (Maine)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adamowicz, S.C.; Roman, C.T.

    2002-01-01

    This study evaluates the response of three salt marshes, associated with the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge (Maine), to the practice of ditch plugging. Drainage ditches, originally dug to drain the marsh for mosquito control or to facilitate salt hay farming, are plugged with marsh peat in an effort to impound water upstream of the plug, raise water table levels in the marsh, and increase surface water habitat. At two study sites, Moody Marsh and Granite Point Road Marsh, ditch plugs were installed in spring 2000. Monitoring of hydrology, vegetation, nekton and bird utilization, and marsh development processes was conducted in 1999, before ditch plugging, and then in 2000 and 2001 (all parameters except nekton), after ditch plugging. Each study site had a control marsh that was monitored simultaneously with the plugged marsh, and thus, we employed a BACI study design (before, after, control, impact). A third site, Marshall Point Road Marsh, was plugged in 1998. Monitoring of the plugged and control sites was conducted in 1999 and 2000, with limited monitoring in 2001, thus there was no ?before? plug monitoring. With ditch plugging, water table levels increased toward the marsh surface and the areal extent of standing water increased. Responding to a wetter substrate, a vegetation change from high marsh species (e.g., Spartina patens) to those more tolerant of flooded conditions (e.g., Spartina alterniflora) was noted at two of the three ditch plugged sites. Initial response of the nekton community (fishes and decapod crustaceans) was evaluated by monitoring utilization of salt marsh pools using a 1m2 enclosure trap. In general, nekton species richness, density, and community structure remained unchanged following ditch plugging at the Moody and Granite Point sites. At Marshall Point, species richness and density (number of individuals per m2) were significantly greater in the experimental plugged marsh than the control marsh (<2% of the control marsh was

  15. Moderate livestock grazing of salt, and brackish marshes benefits breeding birds along the mainland coast of the Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, Freek S.; Tinbergen, Joost M.; Ens, Bruno J.; Koffijberg, Kees; Dijkema, Kees S.; Bakker, Jan P.

    Our study investigated how bird species richness and abundance was related to livestock grazing on salt, and brackish marshes, with an emphasis on songbirds, and shorebirds. Survey areas with a high percentage cover of tall vegetation were assumed to have experienced lower livestock grazing

  16. Moderate livestock grazing of salt, and brackish marshes benefits breeding birds along the mainland coast of the Wadden Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mandema, F.S.; Tinbergen, J.M.; Ens, B.J.; Koffijberg, K.; Dijkema, K.S.; Bakker, J.P.

    2015-01-01

    Our study investigated how bird species richness and abundance was related to livestock grazing on salt, and brackish marshes, with an emphasis on songbirds, and shorebirds. Survey areas with a high percentage cover of tall vegetation were assumed to have experienced lower livestock grazing

  17. Mangrove expansion into salt marshes alters associated faunal communities

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    Smee, Delbert L.; Sanchez, James A.; Diskin, Meredith; Trettin, Carl

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is altering the distribution of foundation species, with potential effects on organisms that inhabit these environments and changes to valuable ecosystem functions. In the Gulf of Mexico, black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) are expanding northward into salt marshes dominated by Spartina alterniflora (hereafter Spartina). Salt marshes are essential habitats for many organisms, including ecologically and economically important species such as blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus) and Penaeid shrimp (e.g., Penaeus aztecus), which may be affected by vegetation changes. Black mangroves occupied higher tidal elevations than Spartina, and Spartina was present only at its lowest tidal elevations in sites when mangroves were established. We compared nekton and infaunal communities within monoculture stands of Spartina that were bordered by mangroves to nearby areas where mangroves had not yet become established. Nekton and infaunal communities were significantly different in Spartina stands bordered by mangroves, even though salinity and temperature were not different. Overall abundance and biomass of nekton and infauna was significantly higher in marshes without mangroves, although crabs and fish were more abundant in mangrove areas. Black mangrove expansion as well as other ongoing vegetation shifts will continue in a warming climate. Understanding how these changes affect associated species is necessary for management, mitigation, and conservation.

  18. Geomorphic and ecological effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on coastal Louisiana marsh communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piazza, Sarai C.; Steyer, Gregory D.; Cretini, Kari F.; Sasser, Charles E.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Holm, Guerry O.; Sharp, Leigh A.; Evers, D. Elaine; Meriwether, John R.

    2011-01-01

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita made landfall in 2005, subjecting the coastal marsh communities of Louisiana to various degrees of exposure. We collected data after the storms at 30 sites within fresh (12), brackish/intermediate (12), and saline (6) marshes to document the effects of saltwater storm surge and sedimentation on marsh community dynamics. The 30 sites were comprised of 15 pairs. Most pairs contained one site where data collection occurred historically (that is, prestorms) and one Coastwide Reference Monitoring System site. Data were collected from spring 2006 to fall 2007 on vegetative species composition, percentage of vegetation cover, aboveground and belowground biomass, and canopy reflectance, along with discrete porewater salinity, hourly surface-water salinity, and water level. Where available, historical data acquired before Hurricanes Katrina and Rita were used to compare conditions and changes in ecological trajectories before and after the hurricanes. Sites experiencing direct and indirect hurricane influences (referred to in this report as levels of influence) were also identified, and the effects of hurricane influence were tested on vegetation and porewater data. Within fresh marshes, porewater salinity was greater in directly impacted areas, and this heightened salinity was reflected in decreased aboveground and belowground biomass and increased cover of disturbance species in the directly impacted sites. At the brackish/intermediate marsh sites, vegetation variables and porewater salinity were similar in directly and indirectly impacted areas, but porewater salinity was higher than expected throughout the study. Interestingly, directly impacted saline marsh sites had lower porewater salinity than indirectly impacted sites, but aboveground biomass was greater at the directly impacted sites. Because of the variable and site-specific nature of hurricane influences, we present case studies to help define postdisturbance baseline conditions in

  19. Community Composition of Nitrous Oxide-Related Genes in Salt Marsh Sediments Exposed to Nitrogen Enrichment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angell, John H; Peng, Xuefeng; Ji, Qixing; Craick, Ian; Jayakumar, Amal; Kearns, Patrick J; Ward, Bess B; Bowen, Jennifer L

    2018-01-01

    Salt marshes provide many key ecosystem services that have tremendous ecological and economic value. One critical service is the removal of fixed nitrogen from coastal waters, which limits the negative effects of eutrophication resulting from increased nutrient supply. Nutrient enrichment of salt marsh sediments results in higher rates of nitrogen cycling and, commonly, a concurrent increase in the flux of nitrous oxide, an important greenhouse gas. Little is known, however, regarding controls on the microbial communities that contribute to nitrous oxide fluxes in marsh sediments. To address this disconnect, we generated profiles of microbial communities and communities of micro-organisms containing specific nitrogen cycling genes that encode several enzymes ( amoA, norB, nosZ) related to nitrous oxide flux from salt marsh sediments. We hypothesized that communities of microbes responsible for nitrogen transformations will be structured by nitrogen availability. Taxa that respond positively to high nitrogen inputs may be responsible for the elevated rates of nitrogen cycling processes measured in fertilized sediments. Our data show that, with the exception of ammonia-oxidizing archaea, the community composition of organisms involved in the production and consumption of nitrous oxide was altered under nutrient enrichment. These results suggest that previously measured rates of nitrous oxide production and consumption are likely the result of changes in community structure, not simply changes in microbial activity.

  20. Salt Marsh development studies at Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts: Influence of geomorphology on long-term plant community structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Orson, Richard A.; Howes, Brian L.

    1992-11-01

    Stochastic events relating to beach formation and inlet dynamics have been the major factors influencing the development of the Waquoit Bay tidal marshes. This results from the physical structure of the Waquoit Bay system where tidal exchange is limited to one or two small inlets and is in contrast to marsh development in nearby Barnstable Marsh where direct unrestricted exchange with Cape Cod Bay has smoothed the effects of stochastic events on vegetation development. We contend that vegetation development in salt marshes where connections to adjacent waters are restricted will be dominated by abiotic factors (e.g. storms, sedimentation rates, etc.) while those marshes directly linked to open bodies of water and where alterations to hydrodynamic factors are gradual, autecological processes (e.g. interspecific competition) will dominate long-term plant community development. The results from the five marsh systems within the Waquoit Bay complex suggest that once a vegetation change occurs the new community tended to persist for long periods of time (100's-1000's years). Stability of the 'new' community appeared to depend upon the stability of the physical structure of the system and/or time between perturbations necessary to allow the slower autecological processes to have a discernable effect. In order for the plant community to persist as long as observed, the vegetation must also be exerting an influence on the processes of development. Increased production of roots and rhizomes and growth characteristics (density of culms) are some of the factors which help to maintain long-term species dominance. It is clear from this investigation that the structure of the plant community at any one point in time is dependent upon numerous factors including historical developmental influences. To properly assess changes to the present plant community or determine recent rates of accretion, historic developmental trends must be considered. The factors that have influenced the

  1. Consumer trait variation influences tritrophic interactions in salt marsh communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hughes, Anne Randall; Hanley, Torrance C; Orozco, Nohelia P; Zerebecki, Robyn A

    2015-07-01

    The importance of intraspecific variation has emerged as a key question in community ecology, helping to bridge the gap between ecology and evolution. Although much of this work has focused on plant species, recent syntheses have highlighted the prevalence and potential importance of morphological, behavioral, and life history variation within animals for ecological and evolutionary processes. Many small-bodied consumers live on the plant that they consume, often resulting in host plant-associated trait variation within and across consumer species. Given the central position of consumer species within tritrophic food webs, such consumer trait variation may play a particularly important role in mediating trophic dynamics, including trophic cascades. In this study, we used a series of field surveys and laboratory experiments to document intraspecific trait variation in a key consumer species, the marsh periwinkle Littoraria irrorata, based on its host plant species (Spartina alterniflora or Juncus roemerianus) in a mixed species assemblage. We then conducted a 12-week mesocosm experiment to examine the effects of Littoraria trait variation on plant community structure and dynamics in a tritrophic salt marsh food web. Littoraria from different host plant species varied across a suite of morphological and behavioral traits. These consumer trait differences interacted with plant community composition and predator presence to affect overall plant stem height, as well as differentially alter the density and biomass of the two key plant species in this system. Whether due to genetic differences or phenotypic plasticity, trait differences between consumer types had significant ecological consequences for the tritrophic marsh food web over seasonal time scales. By altering the cascading effects of the top predator on plant community structure and dynamics, consumer differences may generate a feedback over longer time scales, which in turn influences the degree of trait

  2. Effects of marsh pond terracing on coastal wintering waterbirds before and after Hurricane Rita.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Jessica L; Nyman, John A

    2011-11-01

    From February to March 2005-2006, we surveyed wintering waterbirds to test effects of terracing on coastal pond use before and after Hurricane Rita. Marsh terracing is intended to slow coastal marsh loss in the Chenier Plain by slowing marsh erosion and encouraging vegetation expansion. Terraces also increase marsh edge in ponds, possibly benefiting waterbirds. We monitored paired terraced and unterraced ponds in three sites within southwestern Louisiana's Chenier Plain. Waterbirds were 75% more numerous in terraced than unterraced ponds. Waterbird richness was similar among ponds when corrected for number of individuals, suggesting terracing increased bird density but did not provide habitat unique from unterraced ponds. Birds were 93% more numerous following Hurricane Rita, mostly due to an influx of migrating waterfowl. Year round residents were similar in number before and after Hurricane Rita. Resident richness did not differ among years after correcting for number of observed individuals. Wading and dabbling foragers were more abundant in terraced ponds and these two guilds represented 74% of birds observed. We detected no difference among ponds for other guilds, i.e., probing, aerial, and diving foragers. Increasing proportion of mash edge increased bird density disproportionately: On average ponds with 10% edge had 6 birds observed and ponds with 30% edge had 16 birds observed. Terraces increased habitat interspersion and were an effective tool for increasing numbers of wintering waterfowl and wading birds. The extent to which terraces were sustainable following hurricane forces is unknown.

  3. Effects of Marsh Pond Terracing on Coastal Wintering Waterbirds Before and After Hurricane Rita

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, Jessica L.; Nyman, John A.

    2011-11-01

    From February to March 2005-2006, we surveyed wintering waterbirds to test effects of terracing on coastal pond use before and after Hurricane Rita. Marsh terracing is intended to slow coastal marsh loss in the Chenier Plain by slowing marsh erosion and encouraging vegetation expansion. Terraces also increase marsh edge in ponds, possibly benefiting waterbirds. We monitored paired terraced and unterraced ponds in three sites within southwestern Louisiana's Chenier Plain. Waterbirds were 75% more numerous in terraced than unterraced ponds. Waterbird richness was similar among ponds when corrected for number of individuals, suggesting terracing increased bird density but did not provide habitat unique from unterraced ponds. Birds were 93% more numerous following Hurricane Rita, mostly due to an influx of migrating waterfowl. Year round residents were similar in number before and after Hurricane Rita. Resident richness did not differ among years after correcting for number of observed individuals. Wading and dabbling foragers were more abundant in terraced ponds and these two guilds represented 74% of birds observed. We detected no difference among ponds for other guilds, i.e., probing, aerial, and diving foragers. Increasing proportion of mash edge increased bird density disproportionately: On average ponds with 10% edge had 6 birds observed and ponds with 30% edge had 16 birds observed. Terraces increased habitat interspersion and were an effective tool for increasing numbers of wintering waterfowl and wading birds. The extent to which terraces were sustainable following hurricane forces is unknown.

  4. High spatial variability in biogeochemical rates and microbial communities across Louisiana salt marsh landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, B. J.; Chelsky, A.; Bernhard, A. E.; Giblin, A. E.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are important sites for retention and transformation of carbon and nutrients. Much of our current marsh biogeochemistry knowledge is based on sampling at times and in locations that are convenient, most often vegetated marsh platforms during low tide. Wetland loss rates are high in many coastal regions including Louisiana which has the highest loss rates in the US. This loss not only reduces total marsh area but also changes the relative allocation of subhabitats in the remaining marsh. Climate and other anthropogenic changes lead to further changes including inundation patterns, redox conditions, salinity regimes, and shifts in vegetation patterns across marsh landscapes. We present results from a series of studies examining biogeochemical rates, microbial communities, and soil properties along multiple edge to interior transects within Spartina alterniflora across the Louisiana coast; between expanding patches of Avicennia germinans and adjacent S. alterniflora marshes; in soils associated with the four most common Louisiana salt marsh plants species; and across six different marsh subhabitats. Spartina alterniflora marsh biogeochemistry and microbial populations display high spatial variability related to variability in soil properties which appear to be, at least in part, regulated by differences in elevation, hydrology, and redox conditions. Differences in rates between soils associated with different vegetation types were also related to soil properties with S. alterniflora soils often yielding the lowest rates. Biogeochemical process rates vary significantly across marsh subhabitats with individual process rates differing in their hotspot habitat(s) across the marsh. Distinct spatial patterns may influence the roles that marshes play in retaining and transforming nutrients in coastal regions and highlight the importance of incorporating spatial sampling when scaling up plot level measurements to landscape or regional scales.

  5. Functional and phylogenetic structure of island bird communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

  6. Passerine bird communities of Iberian dehesas: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tellería, J. L.

    2001-01-01

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

  7. Marshes on the Move: Testing effects of seawater intrusion on ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Northeastern United States is a hotspot for sea level rise (SLR), subjecting coastal salt marshes to erosive loss, shifts in vegetation communities, and altered biogeochemistry due to seawater intrusion. Salt marsh plant community zonation is driven by tradeoffs in stress tolerance and interspecific interactions. As seawater inundates progressively higher marsh elevations, shifts in marsh vegetation communities landward may herald salt marsh “migration”, which could allow continuity of marsh function and ecosystem service provision. To elucidate possible effects of seawater intrusion on marsh-upland edge plant communities, a space-for-time approach was replicated at two Rhode Island salt marshes. At each site, peat blocks (0.5 m x 0.5 m x 0.5 m, n=6) with intact upland-marsh edge vegetation were transplanted downslope into the regularly-inundated mid-marsh. Procedural controls (n=3) were established at each elevation by removing and replacing peat blocks, and natural controls (n=3) consisted of undisturbed plots. During peak productivity, each plot was assessed for species composition, percent cover and average height. Results demonstrate stunting of marsh-upland edge vegetation in response to increased inundation, and the beginnings of colonization of the transplanted plots by salt marsh species. The extent of colonization differed between the two sites, suggesting that site-specific factors govern vegetation responses to increased inundation.

  8. Long-term hydrologic effects on marsh plant community structure in the southern Everglades

    Science.gov (United States)

    Busch, David E.; Loftus, W.F.; Bass, O.L.

    1998-01-01

    Although large-scale transformation of Everglades landscapes has occurred during the past century, the patterns of association among hydrologic factors and southern Everglades freshwater marsh vegetation have not been well-defined. We used a 10-year data base on the aquatic biota of Shark Slough to classify vegetation and describe plant community change in intermediate- to long-hydroperiod Everglades marshes. Study area marsh vegetation was quantitatively grouped into associations dominated by 1) Cladium jamaicense, 2) a group of emergents including Eleocharis cellulosa, Sagittaria lancifolia, and Rhyncospora tracyi, 3) taxa associated with algal mats (Utricularia spp. and Bacopa caroliniana), and 4) the grasses Panicum hemitomon and Paspalidium geminatum. During the decade evaluated, the range of water depths that characterized our study sites approached both extremes depicted in the 40-year hydrologic record for the region. Water depths were near the long-term average during the mid-1980s, declined sharply during a late 1980s drought, and underwent a prolonged increase from 1991 through 1995. Overall macrophyte cover varied inversely with water depth, while the response of periphyton was more complex. An ordination analysis, based on plant species abundance, revealed that study area vegetation structure was associated with hydrologic patterns. Marsh plant community structure showed evidence of cyclic interannual variation corresponding to hydrologic change over the decade evaluated. Lower water depths, the occurrence of marl substrates, and high periphyton cover were correlated. These factors contributed to reduced macrophyte cover in portions of the study area from which water had been diverted.

  9. Composition of Fish Communities in a European Macrotidal Salt Marsh (the Mont Saint-Michel Bay, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laffaille, P.; Feunteun, E.; Lefeuvre, J.-C.

    2000-10-01

    At least 100 fish species are known to be present in the intertidal areas (estuaries, mudflats and salt marshes) of Mont Saint-Michel Bay. These and other comparable shallow marine coastal waters, such as estuaries and lagoons, play a nursery role for many fish species. However, in Europe little attention has been paid to the value of tidal salt marshes for fishes. Between March 1996 and April 1999, 120 tides were sampled in a tidal creek. A total of 31 species were caught. This community was largely dominated by mullets ( Liza ramada represent 87% of the total biomass) and sand gobies ( Pomatoschistus minutus and P. lozanoi represent 82% of the total numbers). These species and also Gasterosteus aculeatus , Syngnathus rostellatus, Dicentrarchus labrax, Mugil spp., Liza aurata and Sprattus sprattus were the most frequent species (>50% of monthly frequency of occurrence). In Europe, salt marshes and their creeks are flooded only during high spring tides. So, fishes only invade this environment during short immersion periods, and no species can be considered as marsh resident. But, the salt marsh was colonized by fish every time the tide reached the creek, and during the short time of flood, dominant fishes fed actively and exploited the high productivity. Nevertheless, this study shows that there is little interannual variation in the fish community and there are three ' seasons ' in the fish fauna of the marsh. Marine straggler and marine estuarine dependent species colonize marshes between spring (recruitment period in the bay) and autumn before returning into deeper adjacent waters. Estuarine fishes are present all year round with maximum abundances in the end of summer. The presence of fishes confirms that this kind of wetland plays an important trophic and nursery role for these species. Differences in densities and stages distribution of these species into Mont Saint-Michel systems (tidal mudflats, estuaries and tidal salt marshes) can reduce the trophic

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swen C Renner

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

  13. Neotropical Migratory Bird Communities in a Developing Pine Plantation

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Naylien Barreda-Leyva

    2010-09-01

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

  15. Grazing management can counteract the impacts of climate change-induced sea level rise on salt marsh-dependent waterbirds

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann; Stjernholm, Michael; Clausen, Preben

    2013-01-01

    with these changes. In addition, we quantify the areal extent of inadequate salt marsh management in four EU Special Protection Areas for Birds, and demonstrate concurrent population dynamics in four species relying on managed habitats. We conclude by investigating potential compensation for climate change......1) Climate change–induced rises in sea level threaten to drastically reduce the areal extent of important salt marsh habitats for large numbers of waterfowl and waders. Furthermore, recent changes in management practice have rendered existent salt marshes unfavourable to many birds, as lack...... (around 1 cow per hectare) is an important initiative to counteract the accelerating climate change–induced habitat loss in near-coastal areas across the globe, and to secure priority salt marsh habitats that support internationally important populations of breeding, wintering and staging waterfowl...

  16. Marshes as "Mountain Tops": Genetic Analyses of the Critically Endangered São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Aves: Thamnophilidae).

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Camargo, Crisley; Gibbs, H Lisle; Costa, Mariellen C; Del-Rio, Glaucia; Silveira, Luís F; Wasko, Adriane P; Francisco, Mercival R

    2015-01-01

    Small populations of endangered species can be impacted by genetic processes such as drift and inbreeding that reduce population viability. As such, conservation genetic analyses that assess population levels of genetic variation and levels of gene flow can provide important information for managing threatened species. The São Paulo Marsh Antwren (Formicivora paludicola) is a recently-described and critically endangered bird from São Paulo State (Brazil) whose total estimated population is around 250-300 individuals, distributed in only 15 isolated marshes around São Paulo metropolitan region. We used microsatellite DNA markers to estimate the population genetic characteristics of the three largest remaining populations of this species all within 60 km of each other. We detected a high and significant genetic structure between all populations (overall FST = 0.103) which is comparable to the highest levels of differentiation ever documented for birds, (e.g., endangered birds found in isolated populations on the tops of African mountains), but also evidence for first-generation immigrants, likely from small local unsampled populations. Effective population sizes were small (between 28.8-99.9 individuals) yet there are high levels of genetic variability within populations and no evidence for inbreeding. Conservation implications of this work are that the high levels of genetic structure suggests that translocations between populations need to be carefully considered in light of possible local adaptation and that remaining populations of these birds should be managed as conservation units that contain both main populations studied here but also small outlying populations which may be a source of immigrants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karel Poprach

    2015-01-01

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

  20. The marshes in Bogota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garcia Romero, Juan F; Moreno Gutierrez, Vanesa; Villalba Malaver, Juan Carlos

    1998-01-01

    A description is made, a diagnosis and some exits, to their preservation for each one of the 10 marshes that they still exist in Bogota. The marshes defines them the convention of Ramsar: As extensions of swamps, swamps or peat-bogs covered with water, be these of natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, stagnated regime or currents, sweet, salubrious or salted, included those of extensions of marine water whose depth in tide lowers don't exceed six meters. The marshes occupy the space that there are between the humid means and the dry means, and that they possess characteristic of both, for what they cannot be classified categorically as aquatic neither terrestrial. The characteristic of a marsh is the presence of water during sufficiently lingering periods as to alter the soils, their microorganisms and the flora and fauna communities

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-02-01

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

  2. Nests of Marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus L.) as refuges of potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic fungi.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kornillowicz-Kowalska, Teresa; Kitowski, Ignacy

    2018-01-01

    Birds' nests may be refuges for various species of fungi including that which are potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic. Among the 2449 isolates of fungi obtained from nests of Marsh harriers 96.8% belonged to filamentous fungi. In total, 37 genera were identified from 63 fungi species. Within the mycobiotas of the examined nests populations of fungi which are potentially pathogenic for humans, homoiothermous animals and plants dominated. Among 63 species, 46 (72%) were potentially pathogenic fungi of which 18 species were potentially phytopathogenic and 32 species were pathogenic for homoiothermous animals. Inter alia species of fungi were found in the Marsh harriers nests: Aspergillus fumigatus , Aspergillus flavus , Scopulariopsis brevicaulis , Chrysosporium keratinophilum and Fusarium poae , Fusarium sporotrichioides . In terms of numbers, dominant in Marsh harrier nests were fungi pathogenic to birds, other homoiothermous animals and humans. On that basis it was concluded that Marsh harrier nests are both a source of fungal infections for that species and one of the links in the epidemiological cycle of opportunistic fungi for humans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    MAURICIO N. GODOI

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-09-01

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

  5. Balancing habitat delivery for breeding marsh birds and nonbreeding waterfowl: An integrated waterbird management and monitoring approach at Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge, Missouri

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loges, Brian W.; Lyons, James E.; Tavernia, Brian G.

    2017-08-23

    The Clarence Cannon National Wildlife Refuge (CCNWR) in the Mississippi River flood plain of eastern Missouri provides high quality emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat benefitting both nesting marsh birds and migrating waterfowl. Staff of CCNWR manipulate water levels and vegetation in the 17 units of the CCNWR to provide conditions favorable to these two important guilds. Although both guilds include focal species at multiple planning levels and complement objectives to provide a diversity of wetland community types and water regimes, additional decision support is needed for choosing how much emergent marsh and moist-soil habitat should be provided through annual management actions.To develop decision guidance for balanced delivery of high-energy waterfowl habitat and breeding marsh bird habitat, two measureable management objectives were identified: nonbreeding Anas Linnaeus (dabbling duck) use-days and Rallus elegans (king rail) occupancy of managed units. Three different composite management actions were identified to achieve these objectives. Each composite management action is a unique combination of growing season water regime and soil disturbance. The three composite management actions are intense moist-soil management (moist-soil), intermediate moist-soil (intermediate), and perennial management, which idles soils disturbance (perennial). The two management objectives and three management options were used in a multi-criteria decision analysis to indicate resource allocations and inform annual decision making. Outcomes of the composite management actions were predicted in two ways and multi-criteria decision analysis was used with each set of predictions. First, outcomes were predicted using expert-elicitation techniques and a panel of subject matter experts. Second, empirical data from the Integrated Waterbird Management and Monitoring Initiative collected between 2010 and 2013 were used; where data were lacking, expert judgment was used. Also, a

  6. Leucocytozoon spp. infection in Accipitriformes birds in Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rassouli, Maryam; Aghazamani, Ghazaleh; Ardekani, Abbas Oliya

    2017-09-01

    Leucocytozoon spp. (Haemosporida, Leucocytozoidae) are vector-borne parasites of various birds. Leucocytozoon can infect different reticuloendothelial tissues and blood cells of birds. In this study peripheral blood samples were collected from Accipitriformes birds [three marsh harriers ( Circus aeruginosus ) and one tawny eagle ( Aquila rapax )] in one birds' garden in Iran. Blood films were observed for identification of hemoparasites. All samples were infected by different Leucocytozoon species. All of the observed species were first reported in Iran in Accipitriformes birds which one of them was described as a new species.

  7. Salt Marsh Ecosystem Responses to Restored Tidal Connectivity across a 14y Chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Capooci, M.; Spivak, A. C.; Gosselin, K.

    2016-02-01

    Salt marshes support valuable ecosystem services. Yet, human activities negatively impact salt marsh function and contribute to their loss at a global scale. On Cape Cod, MA, culverts and impoundments under roads and railways restricted tidal exchange and resulted in salt marsh conversion to freshwater wetlands. Over the past 14 y, these structures have been removed or replaced, restoring tidal connectivity between marshes and a saltwater bay. We evaluated differences in plant community composition, sediment properties, and pore water chemistry in marshes where tidal connectivity was restored using a space-for-time, or chronosequence approach. Each restored marsh was paired with a nearby, natural salt marsh to control for variability between marshes. In each restored and natural salt marsh we evaluated the plant community by measuring species-specific percent cover and biomass and collected sediment cores for bulk density and pore water analyses. Plant communities responded rapidly: salt-tolerant species, such as Spartina alterniflora, became established while freshwater species, including Phragmites australis, were less abundant within 3 y of restoration. The number of plant species was generally greater in marshes restored within 10 y, compared to older and natural marshes. Sediment bulk density varied with depth and across sites. This likely reflects differences in site history and local conditions. Deeper horizons (24-30cm) generally had higher values in restored sites while surface values (0-3cm) were similar in restored and natural marshes. Porewater pH and sulfide were similar in restored and natural marshes, suggesting rapid microbial responses to seawater reintroduction. Overall, marsh properties and processes reflecting biological communities responded rapidly to tidal restoration. However, variability between study locations underscores the potential importance of site history, local hydrology, and geomorphology in shaping marsh biogeochemistry.

  8. Ecological succession reveals potential signatures of marine-terrestrial transition in salt marsh fungal communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Pylro, Victor Satler; Baldrian, Petr; van Elsas, Jan Dirk; Salles, Joana Falcão

    2016-08-01

    Marine-to-terrestrial transition represents one of the most fundamental shifts in microbial life. Understanding the distribution and drivers of soil microbial communities across coastal ecosystems is critical given the roles of microbes in soil biogeochemistry and their multifaceted influence on landscape succession. Here, we studied the fungal community dynamics in a well-established salt marsh chronosequence that spans over a century of ecosystem development. We focussed on providing high-resolution assessments of community composition, diversity and ecophysiological shifts that yielded patterns of ecological succession through soil formation. Notably, despite containing 10- to 100-fold lower fungal internal transcribed spacer abundances, early-successional sites revealed fungal richnesses comparable to those of more mature soils. These newly formed sites also exhibited significant temporal variations in β-diversity that may be attributed to the highly dynamic nature of the system imposed by the tidal regime. The fungal community compositions and ecophysiological assignments changed substantially along the successional gradient, revealing a clear signature of ecological replacement and gradually transforming the environment from a marine into a terrestrial system. Moreover, distance-based linear modelling revealed soil physical structure and organic matter to be the best predictors of the shifts in fungal β-diversity along the chronosequence. Taken together, our study lays the basis for a better understanding of the spatiotemporally determined fungal community dynamics in salt marshes and highlights their ecophysiological traits and adaptation in an evolving ecosystem.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  10. Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels-The importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, Roel; Nolte, Stefanie; Mandema, Freek; Lagendijk, D. D. Georgette; WallisDeVries, Michiel F.; Bakker, Jan P.; Esselink, Peter; Smit, Christian

    2016-01-01

    European coastal salt marshes are important for the conservation of numerous species of specialist plants, invertebrates, breeding and migratory birds. When these marshes are managed for nature conservation purposes, livestock grazing is often used to counter the dominance of the tall grass

  11. Biosphere 2's Marsh Biome

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molnar, Jennifer; Goodridge, Kelven

    1997-01-01

    The Marsh Biome, which was modeled after the mangroves and marshes of southwest Florida, has an area of 441.2 sq m separated into three hydrologically independent sections: the Freshwater, Oligohaline and Salt Marshes. The divisions are made based on their salinity (approximately 0, 4, and 34 ppt. respectively), but they also contain different biological communities. The Freshwater and Oligohaline Marshes are mostly filled with various grasses and several trees, while the Salt Marsh houses regions of red, black, and white mangroves (Rhizophora mangle, Avicennia germinans, and Languncularia racemosa respectively). Overall, there are an estimated 80 species of plants within the biome. Water in the Salt Marsh follows a meandering stream from the algal turf scrubbers (apparatuses that clean the water of its nutrients and heavy metals while increasing dissolved oxygen levels) which have an outlet in the Salt Marsh section near sites 4 and 5 to the Fringing Red Mangrove section. The sections of the Salt Marsh are separated by walls of concrete with openings to allow the stream to flow through. Throughout this study, conducted through the months of June and July, many conditions within the biome remained fairly constant. The temperature was within a degree or two of 25 C, mostly depending on whether the sample site was in direct sunlight or shaded. The pH throughout the Salt Marsh was 8.0 +/- 0.2, and the lower salinity waters only dropped below this soon after rains. The water rdepth and dissolved oxygen varied, however, between sites.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Wenhong Deng; Wen Liu; Liyuan Yang; Zhen Li

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juan S. Sánchez-Oliver

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-02

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  16. Avifauna of Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, Malawi | Engel | Journal ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Despite having a well-documented avifauna, some areas of Malawi, such as Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve (986 km²), are still poorly known ornithologically. We spent 12 days in October 2009, before the wet season, and two days in November 2009, after the first rains, documenting the birds of Vwaza. We found six new ...

  17. Effects of grazing management on biodiversity across trophic levels – The importance of livestock species and stocking density in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Klink, van Roel; Nolte, Stefanie; Mandema, Freek S.; Lagendijk, D.D.G.; Wallis de Vries, Michiel; Bakker, Jan P.; Esselink, Peter; Smit, Christian

    2016-01-01

    European coastal salt marshes are important for the conservation of numerous species of specialist plants, invertebrates, breeding and migratory birds. When these marshes are managed for nature conservation purposes, livestock grazing is often used to counter the dominance of the tall grass

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Cintra

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

  19. Narora reservoir, U.P. - - a potential bird sanctuary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahmani, A.R.

    1981-01-01

    Narora (28deg 15'N, 78deg 23'E) in Bulandshahr district of Uttar Pradesh is the site of India's fourth atomic power plant. It lies on the main migratory route of the birds of Palaearctic region. Due to damming of the river Ganga, a huge reservoir is formed. About 120 species of birds are found in the reservoir area. Important ones are listed. The potentiality of the reservoir and adjoining marshes for development of a bird sanctuary is assessed. (M.G.B.)

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Smith

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karen Ikin

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jordan M. Casey

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chadwick D Rittenhouse

    2010-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  5. Hydrologic aspects of marsh ponds during winter on the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain, USA: Effects of structural marsh management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolduc, F.; Afton, A.D.

    2004-01-01

    The hydrology of marsh ponds influences aquatic invertebrate and waterbird communities. Hydrologic variables in marsh ponds of the Gulf Coast Chenier Plain are potentially affected by structural marsh management (SMM: levees, water control structures and impoundments) that has been implemented since the 1950s. Assuming that SMM restricts tidal flows and drainage of rainwater, we predicted that SMM would increase water depth, and concomitantly decrease salinity and transparency in impounded marsh ponds. We also predicted that SMM would increase seasonal variability in water depth in impounded marsh ponds because of the potential incapacity of water control structures to cope with large flooding events. In addition, we predicted that SMM would decrease spatial variability in water depth. Finally, we predicted that ponds of impounded freshwater (IF), oligohaline (IO), and mesohaline (IM) marshes would be similar in water depth, temperature, dissolved oxygen (O2), and transparency. Using a priori multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) contrast, we tested these predictions by comparing hydrologic variables within ponds of impounded and unimpounded marshes during winters 1997-1998 to 1999-2000 on Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge, near Grand Chenier, Louisiana. Specifically, we compared hydrologic variables (1) between IM and unimpounded mesohaline marsh ponds (UM); and (2) among IF, IO, and IM marshes ponds. As predicted, water depth was higher and salinity and O2 were lower in IM than in UM marsh ponds. However, temperature and transparency did not differ between IM and UM marsh ponds. Water depth varied more among months in IM marsh ponds than within those of UM marshes, and variances among and within ponds were lower in IM than UM marshes. Finally, all hydrologic variables, except salinity, were similar among IF, IO, and IM marsh ponds. Hydrologic changes within marsh ponds due to SMM should (1) promote benthic invertebrate taxa that tolerate low levels of O2 and

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Lopes Guilherme

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

  9. No evidence for memory interference across sessions in food hoarding marsh tits Poecile palustris under laboratory conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urhan, A Utku; Brodin, Anders

    2015-05-01

    Scatter hoarding birds are known for their accurate spatial memory. In a previous experiment, we tested the retrieval accuracy in marsh tits in a typical laboratory set-up for this species. We also tested the performance of humans in this experimental set-up. Somewhat unexpectedly, humans performed much better than marsh tits. In the first five attempts, humans relocated almost 90 % of the caches they had hidden 5 h earlier. Marsh tits only relocated 25 % in the first five attempts and just above 40 % in the first ten attempts. Typically, in this type of experiment, the birds will be caching and retrieving many times in the same sites in the same experimental room. This is very different from the conditions in nature where hoarding parids only cache once in a caching site. Hence, it is possible that memories from previous sessions will disturb the formation of new memories. If there is such proactive interference, the prediction is that success should decay over sessions. Here, we have designed an experiment to investigate whether there is such memory interference in this type of experiment. We allowed marsh tits and humans to cache and retrieve in three repeated sessions without prior experience of the arena. The performance did not change over sessions, and on average, marsh tits correctly visited around 25 % of the caches in the first five attempts. The corresponding success in humans was constant across sessions, and it was around 90 % on average. We conclude that the somewhat poor performance of the marsh tits did not depend on proactive memory interference. We also discuss other possible reasons for why marsh tits in general do not perform better in laboratory experiments.

  10. Tidal marsh susceptibility to sea-level rise: importance of local-scale models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L.; Takekawa, John Y.

    2015-01-01

    Increasing concern over sea-level rise impacts to coastal tidal marsh ecosystems has led to modeling efforts to anticipate outcomes for resource management decision making. Few studies on the Pacific coast of North America have modeled sea-level rise marsh susceptibility at a scale relevant to local wildlife populations and plant communities. Here, we use a novel approach in developing an empirical sea-level rise ecological response model that can be applied to key management questions. Calculated elevation change over 13 y for a 324-ha portion of San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge, California, USA, was used to represent local accretion and subsidence processes. Next, we coupled detailed plant community and elevation surveys with measured rates of inundation frequency to model marsh state changes to 2100. By grouping plant communities into low, mid, and high marsh habitats, we were able to assess wildlife species vulnerability and to better understand outcomes for habitat resiliency. Starting study-site conditions were comprised of 78% (253-ha) high marsh, 7% (30-ha) mid marsh, and 4% (18-ha) low marsh habitats, dominated by pickleweed Sarcocornia pacifica and cordgrass Spartina spp. Only under the low sea-level rise scenario (44 cm by 2100) did our models show persistence of some marsh habitats to 2100, with the area dominated by low marsh habitats. Under mid (93 cm by 2100) and high sea-level rise scenarios (166 cm by 2100), most mid and high marsh habitat was lost by 2070, with only 15% (65 ha) remaining, and a complete loss of these habitats by 2080. Low marsh habitat increased temporarily under all three sea-level rise scenarios, with the peak (286 ha) in 2070, adding habitat for the endemic endangered California Ridgway’s rail Rallus obsoletus obsoletus. Under mid and high sea-level rise scenarios, an almost complete conversion to mudflat occurred, with most of the area below mean sea level. Our modeling assumed no marsh migration upslope due to human

  11. Salt marsh and seagrass communities of Bakkhali Estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hena, M. K. Abu; Short, F. T.; Sharifuzzaman, S. M.; Hasan, M.; Rezowan, M.; Ali, M.

    2007-10-01

    The species identification, distribution pattern, density and biomass of salt marsh and seagrass plants with some of the ecological parameters were studied in the Bakkhali river estuary, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh during the first half of 2006. Two salt marsh species ( Spartina sp. and Imperata cylindrica) and one seagrass species ( Halophila beccarii) were identified during this investigation, providing the first reports of Spartina sp. and H. beccarii in coastal Bangladesh. Seagrass H. beccarii was found in an accreted area and co-existing with salt marsh, and scattered sparsely in the salt marsh habitat and macroalgae Ulva intestinalis. Flowering and fruiting were recorded from the seagrass H. beccarri during January and February. No flowers and fruits were observed for the salt marsh Spartina sp. during the study period. Results showed that the shoot density of Spartina ranged from 400 to 2875 shoots m -2 with the highest total biomass (165.80 g dry weight (DW) m -2) in March. Shoot density of H. beccarii ranged from 2716 to 14320 shoots m -2 in this estuarine coastal environment. The total biomass of seagrass was higher (17.56 g DW m -2) in March compared to the other months. The highest H. beccarii above ground (AG) biomass and below ground (BG) biomass were 9.59 g DW m -2 and 9.42 g DW m -2, respectively. These parameters are comparable with those generally observed for the salt marsh and seagrass species in the other places of the world.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Ecosystem metabolism in a temporary Mediterranean marsh (Donana National Park, SW Spain)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Geertz-Hansen, O.; Montes, C.; Duarte, C.M.

    2011-01-01

    metabolic balance of the open waters supporting submerged macrophytes of the Donana marsh (SW Spain) was investigated in spring, when community production is highest. The marsh community (benthic + pelagic) was net autotrophic with net community production rates averaging 0.61 g C m(-2) d(-1......), and gross production rates exceeding community respiration rates by, on average, 43%. Net community production increased greatly with increasing irradiance, with the threshold irradiance for communities to become net autotrophic ranging from 42 to 255 mu E m(-2) s(-1), with net heterotrophic at lower...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Swen C Renner

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

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

  18. Bacterial community dynamic associated with autochthonous bioaugmentation for enhanced Cu phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, C Marisa R; Oliveira, Tânia; Reis, Izabela; Gomes, Carlos R; Mucha, Ana P

    2017-12-01

    Autochthonous bioaugmentation for metal phytoremediation is still little explored, particularly its application to estuarine salt marshes, but results obtained so far are promising. Nevertheless, understanding the behaviour of the microbial communities in the process of bioaugmentation and their role in improving metal phytoremediation is very important to fully validate the application of this biological technology. This study aimed to characterize the bacterial community dynamic associated with the application of autochthonous bioaugmentation in an experimentation which showed that Phragmites australis rhizosphere microorganisms could increase this salt marsh plant potential to phytoremediate Cu contaminated sediments. Bacterial communities present in the autochthonous microbial consortium resistant to Cu added to the medium and in the sediment at the beginning and at the end of the experiment were characterized by ARISA. Complementarily, the consortium and the sediment used for its production were characterized by next generation sequencing using the pyrosequencing platform 454. The microbial consortium resistant to Cu obtained from non-vegetated sediment was dominated by the genus Lactococcus (46%), Raoultella (25%), Bacillus (12%) and Acinetobacter (11%), whereas the one obtained form rhizosediment was dominated by the genus Gluconacetobacter (77%), Bacillus (17%) and Dyella (3%). Results clearly showed that, after two months of experiment, Cu caused a shift in the bacterial community structure of sediments, an effect that was observed either with or without addition of the metal resistant microbial consortium. Therefore, bioaugmentation application improved the process of phytoremediation (metal translocation by the plant was increased) without inducing long term changes in the bacterial community structure of the sediments. So, phytoremediation combined with autochthonous bioaugmentation can be a suitable technology for the recovery of estuarine areas

  19. The protective role of coastal marshes: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine C Shepard

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Salt marshes lie between many human communities and the coast and have been presumed to protect these communities from coastal hazards by providing important ecosystem services. However, previous characterizations of these ecosystem services have typically been based on a small number of historical studies, and the consistency and extent to which marshes provide these services has not been investigated. Here, we review the current evidence for the specific processes of wave attenuation, shoreline stabilization and floodwater attenuation to determine if and under what conditions salt marshes offer these coastal protection services. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We conducted a thorough search and synthesis of the literature with reference to these processes. Seventy-five publications met our selection criteria, and we conducted meta-analyses for publications with sufficient data available for quantitative analysis. We found that combined across all studies (n = 7, salt marsh vegetation had a significant positive effect on wave attenuation as measured by reductions in wave height per unit distance across marsh vegetation. Salt marsh vegetation also had a significant positive effect on shoreline stabilization as measured by accretion, lateral erosion reduction, and marsh surface elevation change (n = 30. Salt marsh characteristics that were positively correlated to both wave attenuation and shoreline stabilization were vegetation density, biomass production, and marsh size. Although we could not find studies quantitatively evaluating floodwater attenuation within salt marshes, there are several studies noting the negative effects of wetland alteration on water quantity regulation within coastal areas. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results show that salt marshes have value for coastal hazard mitigation and climate change adaptation. Because we do not yet fully understand the magnitude of this value, we propose that decision

  20. Storm surges and climate change implications for tidal marshes: Insight from the San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Swanson, Kathleen; Takekawa, John Y.

    2013-01-01

    Tidal marshes are dynamic ecosystems, which are influenced by oceanic and freshwater processes and daily changes in sea level. Projected sea-level rise and changes in storm frequency and intensity will affect tidal marshes by altering suspended sediment supply, plant communities, and the inundation duration and depth of the marsh platform. The objective of this research was to evaluate if regional weather conditions resulting in low-pressure storms changed tidal conditions locally within three tidal marshes. We hypothesized that regional storms will increase sea level heights locally, resulting in increased inundation of the tidal marsh platform and plant communities. Using site-level measurements of elevation, plant communities, and water levels, we present results from two storm events in 2010 and 2011 from the San Francisco Bay Estuary (SFBE), California, USA. The January 2010 storm had the lowest recorded sea level pressure in the last 30 years for this region. During the storm episodes, the duration of tidal marsh inundation was 1.8 and 3.1 times greater than average for that time of year, respectively. At peak storm surges, over 65% in 2010 and 93% in 2011 of the plant community was under water. We also discuss the implications of these types of storms and projected sea-level rise on the structure and function of the tidal marshes and how that will impact the hydro-geomorphic processes and marsh biotic communities.

  1. Effects of invasive cordgrass on presence of Marsh Grassbird in an area where it is not native.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Zhijun; Gan, Xiaojing; Choi, Chi-Yeung; Li, Bo

    2014-02-01

    The threatened Marsh Grassbird (Locustella pryeri) first appeared in the salt marsh in east China after the salt marsh was invaded by cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora), a non-native invasive species. To understand the dependence of non-native Marsh Grassbird on the non-native cordgrass, we quantified habitat use, food source, and reproductive success of the Marsh Grassbird at the Chongming Dongtan (CMDT) salt marsh. In the breeding season, we used point counts and radio-tracking to determine habitat use by Marsh Grassbirds. We analyzed basal food sources of the Marsh Grassbirds by comparing the δ(13) C isotope signatures of feather and fecal samples of birds with those of local plants. We monitored the nests through the breeding season and determined the breeding success of the Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT. Density of Marsh Grassbirds was higher where cordgrass occurred than in areas of native reed (Phragmites australis) monoculture. The breeding territory of the Marsh Grassbird was composed mainly of cordgrass stands, and nests were built exclusively against cordgrass stems. Cordgrass was the major primary producer at the base of the Marsh Grassbird food chain. Breeding success of the Marsh Grassbird at CMDT was similar to breeding success within its native range. Our results suggest non-native cordgrass provides essential habitat and food for breeding Marsh Grassbirds at CMDT and that the increase in Marsh Grassbird abundance may reflect the rapid spread of cordgrass in the coastal regions of east China. Our study provides an example of how a primary invader (i.e., cordgrass) can alter an ecosystem and thus facilitate colonization by a second non-native species. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

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

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    Vasiliy Sokolov

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

  3. Bird communities of gambel oak: a descriptive analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  7. Regulation of salt marsh mosquito populations by the 18.6-yr lunar-nodal cycle.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochlin, Ilia; Morris, James T

    2017-08-01

    The 18.6-yr lunar-nodal cycle drives changes in tidal amplitude globally, affecting coastal habitat formation, species and communities inhabiting rocky shores, and salt marsh vegetation. However, the cycle's influence on salt marsh fauna lacked sufficient long-term data for testing its effect. We circumvented this problem by using salt marsh mosquito records obtained over a period of over four decades in two estuaries in the northeastern USA. Salt marsh mosquito habitat is near the highest tide level where the impact of the nodal cycle on flood frequency is greatest. Wavelet spectral and cross-correlation analyses revealed periodicity in salt marsh mosquito abundance that was negatively correlated with tidal amplitude. Tidal amplitude was a significant predictor of salt marsh mosquito abundance with the cycle maxima coinciding with lower mosquito populations, possibly due to access by predatory fish. However, these effects were detected only at the location with extensive salt marsh habitat and astronomical tides and were weakened or lacked significance at the location with small microtidal salt marshes and wind-driven tides. Mosquitoes can serve as proxy indicators for numerous invertebrate species on the salt marsh. These predictable cycles and their effects need to be taken into consideration when investigating, restoring, or managing intertidal communities that are also facing sea-level rise. © 2017 by the Ecological Society of America.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-15

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

  11. Nests of Marsh harrier (Circus aeruginosus L. as refuges of potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic fungi

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Teresa Kornillowicz-Kowalska

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Birds’ nests may be refuges for various species of fungi including that which are potentially phytopathogenic and zoopathogenic. Among the 2449 isolates of fungi obtained from nests of Marsh harriers 96.8% belonged to filamentous fungi. In total, 37 genera were identified from 63 fungi species. Within the mycobiotas of the examined nests populations of fungi which are potentially pathogenic for humans, homoiothermous animals and plants dominated. Among 63 species, 46 (72% were potentially pathogenic fungi of which 18 species were potentially phytopathogenic and 32 species were pathogenic for homoiothermous animals. Inter alia species of fungi were found in the Marsh harriers nests: Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus flavus, Scopulariopsis brevicaulis, Chrysosporium keratinophilum and Fusarium poae, Fusarium sporotrichioides. In terms of numbers, dominant in Marsh harrier nests were fungi pathogenic to birds, other homoiothermous animals and humans. On that basis it was concluded that Marsh harrier nests are both a source of fungal infections for that species and one of the links in the epidemiological cycle of opportunistic fungi for humans.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus

    2012-02-01

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

  13. Coastal Marsh Longevity, Ecological Succession, and Organic Carbon Dynamics During Early Holocene Sea-Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vetter, L.; Schreiner, K. M.; Rosenheim, B. E.; Tornqvist, T. E.

    2016-02-01

    Coastal marsh environments perform essential ecosystem services, including nutrient filtering, soil organic matter storage, and storm surge abatement, yet much is still unknown about their formation and fate under periods of sea-level change. During the early Holocene (7-10 ka), rapid sea-level rise in coastal Louisiana was one of the primary controls over marsh development and longevity. Here, we investigate plant community composition and succession and soil organic matter storage in early Holocene coastal marshes in Louisiana using bulk elemental ratios, lignin phenol biomarkers and stable isotopes from peat layers. Sediment cores were collected in southeastern Louisiana and contain a record of an early Holocene transgressive sea-level sequence 16-25 m below present sea-level. The sedimentary record consists of an immature paleosol overlain by basal peat that accumulated in an estuarine marsh, overlain by marine lagoonal muds. A re-established marsh peat is present 1-4 m above the initial transition to marine conditions, indicating a sequence of marsh development, sea-level rise and onset of marine conditions, and then further marsh development as the rate of relative sea-level rise decelerated. Plant community composition in coastal marshes was determined through cupric oxide oxidation and lignin-phenol and non-lignin-phenol biomarker abundances. The degradation state of soil organic matter and the specific source of stabilized organic matter within the sedimentary peats were determined through lignin-phenol biomarker ratios. Organic matter sources ranged from terrestrial to marine over the course of sea-level rise, and different sites showed different amounts of marine organic matter influence and different levels of terrestrial organic matter degradation. These results have important implications for reconstructing the response of coastal marshes and their plant communities to accelerated rates of sea-level rise projected through 2100.

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

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    Jarwadi Budi Hernowo

    2016-08-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Jaqueline Brummelhaus; Marcia Suelí Bohn; Maria Virginia Petry

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lia C R S Teixeira

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

  20. Plant community structure in an oligohaline tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brewer, J.S.; Grace, J.B.

    1990-01-01

    An oligohaline tidal marsh on the northern shore of Lake Pontchartrain, LA was characterized with respect to the distributions and abundances of plant species over spatial and temporal gradients using Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA). In addition, the species distributions were correlated to several physical environmental factors using Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA). The distributions of species were best correlated with distance from Lake Pontchartrain, and to a lesser extent with elevation and substrate organic matter. They were least correlated with mean soil salinity (referred to here as background salinity). Of the three mid-seasonal dominant species, the perennial grass, Spartina patens, is the most salt tolerant and was found closest to the lake. Further inland the dominant perennial was Sagittaria lancifolia, which has a salt tolerance less than that of Spartina patens. The perennial sedge, Cladium jamaicense, which is the least salt tolerant of the three, was dominant furthest inland. Background salinity levels were generally low (interactions likely also play a role in structuring the plant community. The distributions of several annuals depended on the size and life history of the mid-seasonal dominant perennials. Most of the annuals frequently co-occurred with Sagittaria lancifolia, which was the shortest in stature and had the least persistent canopy of the three mid-seasonal dominant perennials.

  1. Community structure and abundance of benthic infaunal invertebrates in Maine fringing marsh ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard A. MacKenzie; Michele Dionne; Jeremy Miller; Michael Haas; Pamela A. Morgan

    2015-01-01

    Fringing marshes are abundant ecosystems that dominate the New England coastline. Despite their abundance, very little baseline data is available from them and few studies have documented the ecosystems services that they provide. This information is important for conservation efforts as well as for an increased understanding of how fringing marshes function compared...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lacko, Jozef; Topercer, Ján; Súľovský, Marek

    2018-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parejo, Deseada; Avilés, Jesús M

    2011-01-01

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

  5. Where temperate meets tropical: Multi-factorial effects of elevated CO2, nitrogen enrichment, and competition on a mangrove-salt marsh community

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, K.L.; Rooth, J.E.

    2008-01-01

    Our understanding of how elevated CO2 and interactions with other factors will affect coastal plant communities is limited. Such information is particularly needed for transitional communities where major vegetation types converge. Tropical mangroves (Avicennia germinans) intergrade with temperate salt marshes (Spartina alterniflora) in the northern Gulf of Mexico, and this transitional community represents an important experimental system to test hypotheses about global change impacts on critical ecosystems. We examined the responses of A. germinans (C3) and S. alterniflora (C4), grown in monoculture and mixture in mesocosms for 18 months, to interactive effects of atmospheric CO2 and pore water nitrogen (N) concentrations typical of these marshes. A. germinans, grown without competition from S. alterniflora, increased final biomass (35%) under elevated CO2 treatment and higher N availability. Growth of A. germinans was severely curtailed, however, when grown in mixture with S. alterniflora, and enrichment with CO2 and N could not reverse this growth suppression. A field experiment using mangrove seedlings produced by CO2- and N-enriched trees confirmed that competition from S. alterniflora suppressed growth under natural conditions and further showed that herbivory greatly reduced survival of all seedlings. Thus, mangroves will not supplant marsh vegetation due to elevated CO2 alone, but instead will require changes in climate, environmental stress, or disturbance to alter the competitive balance between these species. However, where competition and herbivory are low, elevated CO2 may accelerate mangrove transition from the seedling to sapling stage and also increase above- and belowground production of existing mangrove stands, particularly in combination with higher soil N. ?? 2008 The Authors Journal compilation ?? 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  6. Effects of alien woody plant invasion on the birds of Mountain ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The density, biomass, species richness and composition of birds in plots in two Mountain Fynbos plant-species assemblages (Tall Mixed Fynbos and Restionaceous Tussock Marsh), infested with alien woody plants (mainly Australian Acacia spp.) at the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, South Africa, were compared ...

  7. Assessing wildlife benefits and carbon storage from restored and natural coastal marshes in the Nisqually River Delta: Determining marsh net ecosystem carbon balance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Frank; Bergamaschi, Brian; Windham-Myers, Lisamarie; Woo, Isa; De La Cruz, Susan; Drexler, Judith; Byrd, Kristin; Thorne, Karen M.

    2016-06-24

    Working in partnership since 1996, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Nisqually Indian Tribe have restored 902 acres of tidally influenced coastal marsh in the Nisqually River Delta (NRD), making it the largest estuary-restoration project in the Pacific Northwest to date. Marsh restoration increases the capacity of the estuary to support a diversity of wildlife species. Restoration also increases carbon (C) production of marsh plant communities that support food webs for wildlife and can help mitigate climate change through long-term C storage in marsh soils.In 2015, an interdisciplinary team of U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) researchers began to study the benefits of carbon for wetland wildlife and storage in the NRD. Our primary goals are (1) to identify the relative importance of the different carbon sources that support juvenile chinook (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) food webs and contribute to current and historic peat formation, (2) to determine the net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) in a reference marsh and a restoration marsh site, and (3) to model the sustainability of the reference and restoration marshes under projected sea-level rise conditions along with historical vegetation change. In this fact sheet, we focus on the main C sources and exchanges to determine NECB, including carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake through plant photosynthesis, the loss of CO2 through plant and soil respiration, emissions of methane (CH4), and the lateral movement or leaching loss of C in tidal waters.

  8. Primary production of edaphic algal communities in a Mississippi salt marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sullivan, M.J.; Moncreiff, C.A.

    1988-01-01

    Primary production rates of edaphic algae associated with the sediments beneath four monospecific canopies of vascular plants were determined over an annual cycle in a Mississippi salt marsh. The edaphic algal flora was dominated by small, motile pennate diatoms. Algal production (as measured by 14 C uptake) was generally highest in spring-early summer and lowest in fall. Hourly rates ranged from a low of 1.4 mg C/m 2 in Juncus roemerianus Scheele to a high of 163 mg C/m 2 beneath the Scirpus olneyi Gray canopy. Stepwise multiple regressions identified a soil moisture index and chlorophyll a as the best environmental predictors of hourly production; light energy reaching the marsh surface and sediment and air temperature proved of little value. Adding the relative abundances of 33 diatom taxa to the set of independent variables only slightly increased R 2 ; however, virtually all variables selected were diatom taxa. R 2 was only 0.38 for the Spartina alterniflora Loisel. habitat but ranged from 0.70 to 0.87 for the remaining three vascular plant zones. Annual rates of algal production (g C/m 2 ) were estimated as follows: Juncus (28), Spartina (57), Distichlis spicata (L.) Greene (88), and Scirpus (151). The ratio of annual edaphic algal production to vascular plant net aerial production (EAP/VPP) was 10-12% for the first three habitats and 61% for Scirpus. Chlorophyll a concentrations, annual algal production rates, and EAP/VPP values were comparable to those determined in Texas, Delaware, and Massachusetts salt marshes but lower than those reported for Georgia and particularly California marshes

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luiz Augusto Macedo Mestre

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, Janet; Steadman, David W.

    2010-01-01

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

  11. Evaluation of nekton use and habitat characteristics of restored Louisiana marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thom, C.S.B.; Peyre, M.K.G.L.; Nyman, J.A.

    2004-01-01

    Marsh terracing and coconut fiber mats are two wetland restoration techniques implemented at Sabine National Wildlife Refuge, Louisiana, USA. Using nekton as an indicator of habitat quality, nekton community assemblages were compared between terraced, coconut-matted, unmanaged marsh (restoration goal), and open water (pre-restoration) habitats. Using a throw trap and a 3 m ?? 2 m straight seine, 192 nekton samples were collected over four dates in 2001 and 2002 at all habitats. Nekton abundance was similar at unmanaged marsh (restoration goal), coconut mat, and terrace edge, and significantly higher than at open water (pre-restoration) sites (P Coconut-matted habitat and unmanaged marsh edges had significantly higher numbers of benthic dependent species than terrace edges (P coconut-matted sites. Future restoration projects may evaluate the combined use of coconut mats with terracing projects in order to enhance habitat for benthic dependent nekton.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faris Khoury

    2009-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  14. Effects of migratory geese on plant communities of an Alaskan salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zacheis, Amy B.; Hupp, Jerry W.; Ruess, Roger W.

    2001-01-01

    1. We studied the effects of lesser snow geese (Anser caerulescens caerulescens) and Canada geese (Branta canadensis) on two salt marsh plant communities in Cook Inlet, Alaska, a stopover area used during spring migration. From 1995 to 1997 we compared plant species composition and biomass on plots where geese were excluded from feeding with paired plots where foraging could occur. 2. Foraging intensity was low (650-1930 goose-days km-2) compared to other goose-grazing systems. 3. Canada geese fed mainly on above-ground shoots of Triglochin maritimum, Puccinellia spp. and Carex ramenskii, whereas the majority of the snow goose diet consisted of below-ground tissues of Plantago maritima and Triglochin maritimum. 4. Plant communities responded differently to goose herbivory. In the sedge meadow community, where feeding was primarily on above-ground shoots, there was no effect of grazing on the dominant species Carex ramenskii and Triglochin maritimum. In the herb meadow community, where snow geese fed on Plantago maritima roots and other below-ground tissues, there was a difference in the relative abundance of plant species between treatments. Biomass of Plantago maritima and Potentilla egedii was lower on grazed plots compared with exclosed, whereas biomass of Carex ramenskii was greater on grazed plots. There was no effect of herbivory on total standing crop biomass in either community. The variable effect of herbivory on Carex ramenskii between communities suggests that plant neighbours and competitive interactions are important factors in a species' response to herbivory. In addition, the type of herbivory (above- or below-ground) was important in determining plant community response to herbivory. 5. Litter accumulation was reduced in grazed areas compared with exclosed in both communities. Trampling of the previous year's litter into the soil surface by geese incorporated more litter into soils in grazed areas. 6. This study illustrates that even light herbivore

  15. Final report for sea-level rise response modeling for San Francisco Bay estuary tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.; Buffington, Kevin J.; Spragens, Kyle A.; Swanson, Kathleen M.; Drexler, Judith Z.; Schoellhamer, David H.; Overton, Cory T.; Casazza, Michael L.

    2013-01-01

    The International Panel on Climate Change has identified coastal ecosystems as areas that will be disproportionally affected by climate change. Current sea-level rise projections range widely with 0.57 to 1.9 meters increase in mea sea level by 2100. The expected accelerated rate of sea-level rise through the 21st century will put many coastal ecosystems at risk, especially those in topographically low-gradient areas. We assessed marsh accretion and plant community state changes through 2100 at 12 tidal salt marshes around San Francisco Bay estuary with a sea-level rise response model. Detailed ground elevation, vegetation, and water level data were collected at all sites between 2008 and 2011 and used as model inputs. Sediment cores (taken by Callaway and others, 2012) at four sites around San Francisco Bay estuary were used to estimate accretion rates. A modification of the Callaway and others (1996) model, the Wetland Accretion Rate Model for Ecosystem Resilience (WARMER), was utilized to run sea-level rise response models for all sites. With a mean sea level rise of 1.24 m by 2100, WARMER projected that the vast majority, 95.8 percent (1,942 hectares), of marsh area in our study will lose marsh plant communities by 2100 and to transition to a relative elevation range consistent with mudflat habitat. Three marshes were projected to maintain marsh vegetation to 2100, but they only composed 4.2 percent (85 hectares) of the total marsh area surveyed.

  16. Stress and subsidy effects of seagrass wrack duration, frequency, and magnitude on salt marsh community structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanley, Torrance C; Kimbro, David L; Hughes, Anne Randall

    2017-07-01

    Environmental perturbations can strongly affect community processes and ecosystem functions by acting primarily as a subsidy that increases productivity, a stress that decreases productivity, or both, with the predominant effect potentially shifting from subsidy to stress as the overall intensity of the perturbation increases. While perturbations are often considered along a single axis of intensity, they consist of multiple components (e.g., magnitude, frequency, and duration) that may not have equivalent stress and/or subsidy effects. Thus, different combinations of perturbation components may elicit community and ecosystem responses that differ in strength and/or direction (i.e., stress or subsidy) even if they reflect a similar overall perturbation intensity. To assess the independent and interactive effects of perturbation components, we experimentally manipulated the magnitude, frequency, and duration of wrack deposition, a common stress-subsidy in a variety of coastal systems. The effects of wrack perturbation on salt marsh community and ecosystem properties were assessed both in the short-term (at the end of a 12-week experimental manipulation) and long-term (6 months after the end of the experiment). In the short-term, plants and associated benthic invertebrates exhibited primarily stress-based responses to wrack perturbation. The extent of these stress effects on density of the dominant plant Spartina alterniflora, total plant percent cover, invertebrate abundance, and sediment oxygen availability were largely determined by perturbation duration. Yet, higher nitrogen content of Spartina, which indicates a subsidy effect of wrack, was influenced primarily by perturbation magnitude in the short-term. In the longer term, perturbation magnitude determined the extent of both stress and subsidy effects of wrack perturbation, with lower subordinate plant percent cover and snail density, and higher Spartina nitrogen content in high wrack biomass treatments

  17. Structure and composition of oligohaline marsh plant communities exposed to salinity pulses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.; Mendelssohn, I.A.

    2000-01-01

    The response of two oligohaline marsh macrophyte communities to pulses of increased salinity was studied over a single growing season in a greenhouse experiment. The plant communities were allowed a recovery period in freshwater following the pulse events. The experimental treatments included: (1) salinity influx rate (rate of salinity increase from 0 to 12 gl-1); (2) duration of exposure to elevated salinity; and (3) water depth. The communities both included Sagittaria lancifolia L.; the codominant species were Eleocharis palustris (L.) Roemer and J.A. Schultes in community 1 and Schoenoplectus americanus (Pers.) Volk. ex Schinz and R. Keller in community 2. Effects of the treatments on sediment chemical characteristics (salinity, pH, redox potential, and sulfide and ammonium concentrations) and plant community attributes (aboveground and belowground biomass, stem density, leaf tissue nutrients, and species richness) were examined. The treatment effects often interacted to influence sediment and plant communities characteristics following recovery in fresh water. Salinity influx rate per se, however, had little effect on the abiotic or biotic response variables; significant influx effects were found when the 0 gl-1 (zero influx) treatment was compared to the 12 gl-1 treatments, regardless of the rate salinity was raised. A salinity level of 12 gl-1 had negative effects on plant community structure and composition; these effects were usually associated with 3 months of salinity exposure. Water depth often interacted with exposure duration, but increased water depth did independently decrease the values of some community response measures. Community 1 was affected more than community 2 in the most extreme salinity treatment (3 months exposure/15-cm water depth). Although species richness in both communities was reduced, structural changes were more dramatic in community 1. Biomass and stem density were reduced in community 1 overall and in both dominant species

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2017-01-01

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

  19. Post-mortem ecosystem engineering by oysters creates habitat for a rare marsh plant.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Hongyu; Pennings, Steven C

    2012-11-01

    Oysters are ecosystem engineers in marine ecosystems, but the functions of oyster shell deposits in intertidal salt marshes are not well understood. The annual plant Suaeda linearis is associated with oyster shell deposits in Georgia salt marshes. We hypothesized that oyster shell deposits promoted the distribution of Suaeda linearis by engineering soil conditions unfavorable to dominant salt marsh plants of the region (the shrub Borrichia frutescens, the rush Juncus roemerianus, and the grass Spartina alterniflora). We tested this hypothesis using common garden pot experiments and field transplant experiments. Suaeda linearis thrived in Borrichia frutescens stands in the absence of neighbors, but was suppressed by Borrichia frutescens in the with-neighbor treatment, suggesting that Suaeda linearis was excluded from Borrichia frutescens stands by interspecific competition. Suaeda linearis plants all died in Juncus roemerianus and Spartina alterniflora stands, regardless of neighbor treatments, indicating that Suaeda linearis is excluded from these habitats by physical stress (likely water-logging). In contrast, Borrichia frutescens, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina alterniflora all performed poorly in Suaeda linearis stands regardless of neighbor treatments, probably due to physical stresses such as low soil water content and low organic matter content. Thus, oyster shell deposits play an important ecosystem engineering role in influencing salt marsh plant communities by providing a unique niche for Suaeda linearis, which otherwise would be rare or absent in salt marshes in the southeastern US. Since the success of Suaeda linearis is linked to the success of oysters, efforts to protect and restore oyster reefs may also benefit salt marsh plant communities.

  20. Nutrient enrichment induces dormancy and decreases diversity of active bacteria in salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearns, Patrick J.; Angell, John H.; Howard, Evan M.; Deegan, Linda A.; Stanley, Rachel H. R.; Bowen, Jennifer L.

    2016-09-01

    Microorganisms control key biogeochemical pathways, thus changes in microbial diversity, community structure and activity can affect ecosystem response to environmental drivers. Understanding factors that control the proportion of active microbes in the environment and how they vary when perturbed is critical to anticipating ecosystem response to global change. Increasing supplies of anthropogenic nitrogen to ecosystems globally makes it imperative that we understand how nutrient supply alters active microbial communities. Here we show that nitrogen additions to salt marshes cause a shift in the active microbial community despite no change in the total community. The active community shift causes the proportion of dormant microbial taxa to double, from 45 to 90%, and induces diversity loss in the active portion of the community. Our results suggest that perturbations to salt marshes can drastically alter active microbial communities, however these communities may remain resilient by protecting total diversity through increased dormancy.

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

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    F. Parsaei

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Plathelminth abundance in North Sea salt marshes: environmental instability causes high diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armonies, Werner

    1986-09-01

    Although supralittoral salt marshes are habitats of high environmental instability, the meiofauna is rich in species and abundance is high. The community structure of free-living Plathelminthes (Turbellaria) in these salt marshes is described. On an average, 104 individuals are found below an area of 10 cm2. The average species density in ungrazed salt marshes is 11.3 below 10 cm2 and 45.2 below 100 cm2, indicating strong small-scale heterogenity. The faunal similarity between sediment and the corresponding above-ground vegetation is higher than between adjacent sample sites. Species prefer distinct ranges of salinity. In the lower part of the supralittoral salt marshes, the annual fluctuations of salinity are strongest and highly unpredictable. This region is richest in plathelminth species and abundance; diversity is highest, and the faunal composition of parallel samples is quite similar. In the upper part of the supralittoral salt marshes, the annual variability of salinity is lower, plathelminths are poor in species diversity and abundance. Parallel samples often have no species in common. Thus, those salt marsh regions with the most unstable environment are inhabited by the most diverse species assemblage. Compared to other littoral zones of the North Sea, however, plathelminth diversity in salt marshes is low. The observed plathelminth diversity pattern can apparently be explained by the “dynamic equilibrium model” (Huston, 1979).

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

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    Aronika Kaban

    2017-04-01

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

  5. Will Restored Tidal Marshes Be Sustainable?

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    Michelle Orr

    2003-10-01

    Full Text Available We assess whether or not restored marshes in the San Francisco Estuary are expected to be sustainable in light of future landscape scale geomorphic processes given typical restored marsh conditions. Our assessment is based on a review of the literature, appraisal of monitoring data for restored marshes, and application of vertical accretion modeling of organic and inorganic sedimentation. Vertical accretion modeling suggests that salt marshes in San Pablo Bay will be sustainable for moderate relative sea level rise (3 to 5 mm yr-1 and average sediment supply (c. 100 mg L-1. Accelerated relative sea level rise (above 6 mm yr-1 and/or reduced sediment supply (50 mg L-1 will cause lowering of the marsh surface relative to the tide range and may cause shifts from high to low marsh vegetation by the year 2100. Widespread conversion of marsh to mudflat-"ecological drowning"-is not expected within this time frame. Marshes restored at lower elevations necessary to aid the natural development of channel systems (c. 0.5 m below mean higher high water are predicted to accrete to high marsh elevations by the year 2100 for moderate relative sea level rise and sediment supply conditions. Existing rates of sediment accretion in restored fresh water tidal marshes of the Delta of greater than 9 mm yr-1 and slightly lower drowning elevations suggest that these marshes will be resilient against relatively high rates of sea level rise. Because of higher rates of organic production, fresh water marshes are expected to be less sensitive to reduced sediment availability than salt marshes. The ultimate long-term threat to the sustainability of tidal marshes is the interruption of coastal rollover-the process by which landward marsh expansion in response to sea level rise compensates for shoreline erosion. Bay front development now prevents most landward marsh expansion, while shoreline erosion is expected to accelerate as sea level rises.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-06-01

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

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

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    Leveau Lucas M.

    2017-12-01

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

  8. Winter diet of the Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (Aves, Accipitriformes in the Evros Delta (Greece

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    BIRTSAS Periklis

    Full Text Available The diet of the Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus was studied with the analysis of pellets collected in the Evros Delta. In total, 141 prey items were identified in 86 pellets. In terms of numbers, the diet consisted of 66.7% mammals, 27.7% birds and 5.7% insects. Considering biomass, birds were the most important prey, while mammals made up 36.6% of the diet. The most important species, in terms of biomass, were Sibling Vole (Microtus levis -31.1%-,Teal (Anas crecca -17.7%-, Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus and Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus -11.8% each-. The mean estimated prey weight was 36 g., ranging from 1 to 300 g.

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

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    Pedro Scherer-Neto

    2012-12-01

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

  10. Community composition and activity of anaerobic ammonium oxidation bacteria in the rhizosphere of salt-marsh grass Spartina alterniflora.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zheng, Yanling; Hou, Lijun; Liu, Min; Yin, Guoyu; Gao, Juan; Jiang, Xiaofen; Lin, Xianbiao; Li, Xiaofei; Yu, Chendi; Wang, Rong

    2016-09-01

    Anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox) as an important nitrogen removal pathway has been investigated in intertidal marshes. However, the rhizosphere-driven anammox process in these ecosystems is largely overlooked so far. In this study, the community dynamics and activities of anammox bacteria in the rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere sediments of salt-marsh grass Spartina alterniflora (a widely distributed plant in estuaries and intertidal ecosystems) were investigated using clone library analysis, quantitative PCR assay, and isotope-tracing technique. Phylogenetic analysis showed that anammox bacterial diversity was higher in the non-rhizosphere sediments (Scalindua and Kuenenia) compared with the rhizosphere zone (only Scalindua genus). Higher abundance of anammox bacteria was detected in the rhizosphere (6.46 × 10(6)-1.56 × 10(7) copies g(-1)), which was about 1.5-fold higher in comparison with that in the non-rhizosphere zone (4.22 × 10(6)-1.12 × 10(7) copies g(-1)). Nitrogen isotope-tracing experiments indicated that the anammox process in the rhizosphere contributed to 12-14 % N2 generation with rates of 0.43-1.58 nmol N g(-1) h(-1), while anammox activity in the non-rhizosphere zone contributed to only 4-7 % N2 production with significantly lower activities (0.28-0.83 nmol N g(-1) h(-1)). Overall, we propose that the rhizosphere microenvironment in intertidal marshes might provide a favorable niche for anammox bacteria and thus plays an important role in nitrogen cycling.

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

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    John-André Henden

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

  12. Long-term nutrient addition differentially alters community composition and diversity of genes that control nitrous oxide flux from salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kearns, Patrick J.; Angell, John H.; Feinman, Sarah G.; Bowen, Jennifer L.

    2015-03-01

    Enrichment of natural waters, soils, and sediments by inorganic nutrients, including nitrogen, is occurring at an increasing rate and has fundamentally altered global biogeochemical cycles. Salt marshes are critical for the removal of land-derived nitrogen before it enters coastal waters. This is accomplished via multiple microbially mediated pathways, including denitrification. Many of these pathways, however, are also a source of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O). We used clone libraries and quantative PCR (qPCR) to examine the effect of fertilization on the diversity and abundance of two functional genes associated with denitrification and N2O production (norB and nosZ) in experimental plots at the Great Sippewissett Salt Marsh (Falmouth, MA, USA) that have been enriched with nutrients for over 40 years. Our data showed distinct nosZ and norB community structures at different nitrogen loads, especially at the highest level of fertilization. Furthermore, calculations of the Shannon Diversity Index and Chao1 Richness Estimator indicated that nosZ gene diversity and richness increased with increased nitrogen supply, however no such relationship existed with regard to richness and diversity of the norB gene. Results from qPCR demonstrated that nosZ gene abundance was an order of magnitude lower in the extra-highly fertilized plots compared to the other plots, but the abundance of norB was not affected by fertilization. The majority of sequences obtained from the marsh plots had no close cultured relatives and they were divergent from previously sequenced norB and nosZ fragments. Despite their divergence from any cultured representatives, most of the norB and nosZ sequences appeared to be from members of the Alpha- and Betaproteobacteria, suggesting that these classes are particularly important in salt marsh nitrogen cycling. Our results suggest that both norB and nosZ containing microbes are affected by fertilization and that the Great Sippewissett Marsh may

  13. Ecogeomorphology of Spartina patens-dominated tidal marshes: Soil organic matter accumulation, marsh elevation dynamics, and disturbance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cahoon, D.R.; Ford, M.A.; Hensel, P.F.; Fagherazzi, Sergio; Marani, Marco; Blum, Linda K.

    2004-01-01

    Marsh soil development and vertical accretion in Spartina patens (Aiton) Muhl.-dominated tidal marshes is largely dependent on soil organic matter accumulation from root-rhizome production and litter deposition. Yet there are few quantitative data sets on belowground production and the relationship between soil organic matter accumulation and soil elevation dynamics for this marsh type. Spartina patens marshes are subject to numerous stressors, including sea-level rise, water level manipulations (i.e., flooding and draining) by impoundments, and prescribed burning. These stressors could influence long-term marsh sustainability by their effect on root production, soil organic matter accumulation, and soil elevation dynamics. In this review, we summarize current knowledge on the interactions among vegetative production, soil organic matter accumulation and marsh elevation dynamics, or the ecogeomorphology, of Spartina patens-dominated tidal marshes. Additional studies are needed of belowground production/decomposition and soil elevation change (measured simultaneously) to better understand the links among soil organic matter accumulation, soil elevation change, and disturbance in this marsh type. From a management perspective, we need to better understand the impacts of disturbance stressors, both lethal and sub-lethal, and the interactive effect of multiple stressors on soil elevation dynamics in order to develop better management practices to safeguard marsh sustainability as sea level rises.

  14. Hydrology of Fritchie Marsh, coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuniansky, E.L.

    1985-01-01

    Fritchie Marsh, near Slidell, Louisiana, is being considered as a disposal site for sewage effluent. A two-dimensional, finite element, surface water modeling systems was used to solve the shallow water equations for flow. Factors affecting flow patterns are channel locations, inlets, outlets, islands, marsh vegetation, marsh geometry, stage of the West Pearl River, flooding over the lower Pearl River basin, gravity tides, wind-induced currents, and sewage discharge to the marsh. Four steady-state simulations were performed for two hydrologic events at two rates of sewage discharge. The events, near tide with no wind or rain and neap tide with a tide differential across the marsh, were selected as worst-case events for sewage effluent dispersion and were assumed as steady state events. Because inflows and outflows to the marsh are tidally affected, steady state simulations cannot fully define the hydraulic characteristics of the marsh for all hydrologic events. Model results and field data indicate that, during near tide with little or no rain, large parts of the marsh are stagnant; and sewage effluent, at existing and projected flows, has minimal effect on marsh flows. (USGS)

  15. Regeneration of coastal marsh vegetation impacted by hurricanes Katrina and Rita

    Science.gov (United States)

    Middleton, B.A.

    2009-01-01

    The dynamics of plant regeneration via seed and vegetative spread in coastal wetlands dictate the nature of community reassembly that takes place after hurricanes or sea level rise. The objectives of my project were to evaluate the potential effects of saltwater intrusion and flooding of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita on seedling regeneration in coastal wetlands of the Gulf Coast. Specifically I tested hypotheses to determine for species in fresh, brackish and salt marshes of the Gulf Coast if 1) the pattern of seed germination and seedling recruitment differed with distance from the shoreline, and 2) seed germination and seedling recruitment for various species were reduced in higher levels of water depth and salinity. Regarding Hypothesis 1, seedling densities increased with distance from the shoreline in fresh and brackish water marshes while decreasing with distance from the shoreline in salt marshes. Also to test Hypothesis 1, I used a greenhouse seed bank assay to examine seed germination from seed banks collected at distances from the shoreline in response to various water depths and salinity levels using a nested factorial design. For all marsh types, the influence of water level and salinity on seed germination shifted with distance from the shoreline (i.e., three way interaction of the main effects of distance nested within site, water depth, and salinity). Data from the seed bank assay were also used to test Hypothesis 2. The regeneration of species from fresh, brackish, and salt marshes were reduced in conditions of high salinity and/or water, so that following hurricanes or sea level rise, seedling regeneration could be reduced. Among the species of these coastal marshes, there was some flexibility of response, so that at least some species were able to germinate in either high or low salinity. Salt marshes had a few fresher marsh species in the seed bank that would not germinate without a period of fresh water input (e.g., Sagittaria lancifolia) as well

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. Sea level driven marsh expansion in a coupled model of marsh erosion and migration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L.; Walters, David C.; Reay, William G.; Carr, Joel

    2016-01-01

    Coastal wetlands are among the most valuable ecosystems on Earth, where ecosystem services such as flood protection depend nonlinearly on wetland size and are threatened by sea level rise and coastal development. Here we propose a simple model of marsh migration into adjacent uplands and couple it with existing models of seaward edge erosion and vertical soil accretion to explore how ecosystem connectivity influences marsh size and response to sea level rise. We find that marsh loss is nearly inevitable where topographic and anthropogenic barriers limit migration. Where unconstrained by barriers, however, rates of marsh migration are much more sensitive to accelerated sea level rise than rates of edge erosion. This behavior suggests a counterintuitive, natural tendency for marsh expansion with sea level rise and emphasizes the disparity between coastal response to climate change with and without human intervention.

  18. Influences of Different Halophyte Vegetation on Soil Microbial Community at Temperate Salt Marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaudhary, Doongar R; Kim, Jinhyun; Kang, Hojeong

    2018-04-01

    Salt marshes are transitional zone between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, occupied mainly by halophytic vegetation which provides numerous ecological services to coastal ecosystem. Halophyte-associated microbial community plays an important role in the adaptation of plants to adverse condition and also affected habitat characteristics. To explore the relationship between halophytes and soil microbial community, we studied the soil enzyme activities, soil microbial community structure, and functional gene abundance in halophytes- (Carex scabrifolia, Phragmites australis, and Suaeda japonica) covered and un-vegetated (mud flat) soils at Suncheon Bay, South Korea. Higher concentrations of total, Gram-positive, Gram-negative, total bacterial, and actinomycetes PLFAs (phospholipid fatty acids) were observed in the soil underneath the halophytes compared with mud flat soil and were highest in Carex soil. Halophyte-covered soils had different microbial community composition due to higher abundance of Gram-negative bacteria than mud flat soil. Similar to PLFA concentrations, the increased activities of β-glucosidase, cellulase, phosphatase, and sulfatase enzymes were observed under halophyte soil compared to mud flat soil and Carex exhibited highest activities. The abundance of archaeal 16S rRNA, fungal ITS, and denitrifying genes (nirK, nirS, and nosZ) were not influenced by the halophytes. Abundance bacterial 16S rRNA and dissimilatory (bi)sulfite (dsrA) genes were highest in Carex-covered soil. The abundance of functional genes involved in methane cycle (mcrA and pmoA) was not affected by the halophytes. However, the ratios of mcrA/pmoA and mcrA/dsrA increased in halophyte-covered soils which indicate higher methanogenesis activities. The finding of the study also suggests that halophytes had increased the microbial and enzyme activities, and played a pivotal role in shaping microbial community structure.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  20. Does Avicennia germinans expansion alter salt marsh nitrogen removal capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tatariw, C.; Kleinhuizen, A.; Rajan, S.; Flournoy, N.; Sobecky, P.; Mortazavi, B.

    2017-12-01

    Plant species expansion poses risks to ecosystem services through alterations to plant-microbiome interactions associated with changes to key microbial drivers such as organic carbon (C) substrates, nitrogen (N) availability, and rhizosphere-associated microbial communities. In the northern Gulf of Mexico (GOM), warming winter temperatures associated with climate change have promoted Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) expansion into salt marshes. To date, there is limited knowledge regarding the effects of mangrove expansion on vital ecosystem services such as N cycling in the northern GOM. We designed a field-based study to determine the potential effects of mangrove expansion on salt marsh N biogeochemical cycling in the Spartina alterniflora dominated Chandeleur Islands (LA, USA). We used a combination of process rate measurements and metadata to: 1) Determine the impact of mangrove expansion on salt marsh denitrification and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA), with the goal of quantifying losses or gains in ecosystem services; and 2) identify the mechanisms driving changes in ecosystem services to improve predictions about the impacts of mangrove expansion on salt marsh functional resiliency. The pneumatophore root structure of A. germinans is efficient at delivering oxygen (O2) to sediment, which can promote coupled nitrification-denitrification and decrease sulfide inhibition. We hypothesized that increased sediment O2, when coupled with cooler soil temperatures caused by plant shading, will favor denitrification instead of the DNRA process. An increase in sediment O2, as well as higher N content of A. germinans litter, will also result in a shift in the microbial community. Initial findings indicated that the denitrification pathway dominates over DNRA regardless of vegetation type, with average denitrification rates of 30.1 µmol N kg-1 h-1 versus average DNRA rates of 8.5 µmol N kg-1 h-1. However, neither denitrification nor DNRA rates

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, Tobias; Plattner, Matthias; Amrhein, Valentin

    2014-01-01

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

  2. CO2 and CH4 fluxes in a Spartina salt marsh and brackish Phragmites marsh in Massachusetts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, J.; Wang, F.; Kroeger, K. D.; Gonneea, M. E.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal salt marshes play an important role in global and regional carbon cycling. Tidally restricted marshes reduce salinity and provide a habitat suitable for Phragmites invasion. We measured greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (CO2 and CH4) continuously with the eddy covariance method and biweekly with the static chamber method in a Spartina salt marsh and a Phragmites marsh on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. We did not find significant difference in CO2 fluxes between the two sites, but the CH4 fluxes were much higher in the Phragmites site than the Spartina marsh. Temporally, tidal cycles influence the CO2 and CH4 fluxes in both sites. We found that the salt marsh was a significant carbon sink when CO2 and CH4 fluxes were combined. Restoring tidally restricted marshes will significantly reduce CH4 emissions and provide a strong ecosystem carbon service.

  3. Modeling tidal marsh distribution with sea-level rise: evaluating the role of vegetation, sediment, and upland habitat in marsh resiliency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schile, Lisa M; Callaway, John C; Morris, James T; Stralberg, Diana; Parker, V Thomas; Kelly, Maggi

    2014-01-01

    Tidal marshes maintain elevation relative to sea level through accumulation of mineral and organic matter, yet this dynamic accumulation feedback mechanism has not been modeled widely in the context of accelerated sea-level rise. Uncertainties exist about tidal marsh resiliency to accelerated sea-level rise, reduced sediment supply, reduced plant productivity under increased inundation, and limited upland habitat for marsh migration. We examined marsh resiliency under these uncertainties using the Marsh Equilibrium Model, a mechanistic, elevation-based soil cohort model, using a rich data set of plant productivity and physical properties from sites across the estuarine salinity gradient. Four tidal marshes were chosen along this gradient: two islands and two with adjacent uplands. Varying century sea-level rise (52, 100, 165, 180 cm) and suspended sediment concentrations (100%, 50%, and 25% of current concentrations), we simulated marsh accretion across vegetated elevations for 100 years, applying the results to high spatial resolution digital elevation models to quantify potential changes in marsh distributions. At low rates of sea-level rise and mid-high sediment concentrations, all marshes maintained vegetated elevations indicative of mid/high marsh habitat. With century sea-level rise at 100 and 165 cm, marshes shifted to low marsh elevations; mid/high marsh elevations were found only in former uplands. At the highest century sea-level rise and lowest sediment concentrations, the island marshes became dominated by mudflat elevations. Under the same sediment concentrations, low salinity brackish marshes containing highly productive vegetation had slower elevation loss compared to more saline sites with lower productivity. A similar trend was documented when comparing against a marsh accretion model that did not model vegetation feedbacks. Elevation predictions using the Marsh Equilibrium Model highlight the importance of including vegetation responses to sea

  4. A trophic cascade triggers collapse of a salt-marsh ecosystem with intensive recreational fishing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altieri, Andrew H; Bertness, Mark D; Coverdale, Tyler C; Herrmann, Nicholas C; Angelini, Christine

    2012-06-01

    Overexploitation of predators has been linked to the collapse of a growing number of shallow-water marine ecosystems. However, salt-marsh ecosystems are often viewed and managed as systems controlled by physical processes, despite recent evidence for herbivore-driven die-off of marsh vegetation. Here we use field observations, experiments, and historical records at 14 sites to examine whether the recently reported die-off of northwestern Atlantic salt marshes is associated with the cascading effects of predator dynamics and intensive recreational fishing activity. We found that the localized depletion of top predators at sites accessible to recreational anglers has triggered the proliferation of herbivorous crabs, which in turn results in runaway consumption of marsh vegetation. This suggests that overfishing may be a general mechanism underlying the consumer-driven die-off of salt marshes spreading throughout the western Atlantic. Our findings support the emerging realization that consumers play a dominant role in regulating marine plant communities and can lead to ecosystem collapse when their impacts are amplified by human activities, including recreational fishing.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zuzanna M. Rosin

    2016-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Mosquitoes Associated with Ditch-Plugged and Control Tidal Salt Marshes on the Delmarva Peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paul T. Leisnham

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available A study was conducted during the summer of 2009 (from July to September to characterize mosquito communities among different habitats in five historically ditched tidal salt marshes and three adjacent wooded areas in the E.A. Vaughn Wetland Management Area on the Maryland Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Study marshes are characteristic of Atlantic coastal salt marshes that had undergone grid ditching from the 1930s to 1950s. In the autumn of 2008 (October and November ditches were plugged near their outlets in two (‘experimental’ marshes with the aim to restore their natural tidal hydrology. The three other marshes were not plugged. Marshes were sampled from July to September in 2009 by using standard dip count method. A total of 2,457 mosquito larvae representing six species were collected on 15.4% (86/557 of all sample occasions and 399 adults representing four mosquito species were collected from landing counts. Aedes sollicitans, Anopheles bradleyi and Culex salinarius were the most common species collected in larval habitats, and Ae. sollicitans was the most common adult collected. Wooded habitats had more total mosquitoes, were also more frequently occupied by mosquitoes and had higher densities of mosquitoes than marsh habitats. Almost all larvae collected from marshes were from one experimental and one control site. The majority of larvae at the control site were Ae. sollicitans in marsh pannes while Cx. salinarius, An. bradleyi, Ae. cantator, and Ae. sollicitans were collected in high numbers from ditches at the experimental site. We found a difference in the proportion of marsh pannes occupied by Ae. sollicitans but not total mosquitoes sampled 4–5 days after spring tide events than on other occasions. Salinity measures of 42 larval habitats showed lower median salinity in mosquito-occupied habitats (11.5 ppt than unoccupied habitats (20.1 ppt, and in habitats in wooded areas followed by ditches and pannes in marsh areas. The results of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  12. 75 FR 69123 - Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, Charleston County, SC; Final Comprehensive Conservation...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-11-10

    ... conserving the Bulls Island and Cape Island forests and associated diverse plant communities. Currently, the... waters: ``For use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds..., secretive marsh birds, and plants. Monitoring efforts will be increased with the assistance of additional...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaüzère, Pierre; Jiguet, Frédéric; Devictor, Vincent

    2015-09-01

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

  14. Menopon gaillinae lice in the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos and Marsh harear (Circus aeruginosus in Najaf province, Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Al-Fatlawi M. A. A

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Our study considered as the first work on ectoparasites of the Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos and Marsh harear (Circus aeruginosus in Iraq. Overall, we examined 17 eagles for the period from 01\\Nov\\2016 until 25\\Feb\\2017, out of which 4were found infected (23.5%. All infected birds were female. Aquila was hunted from Najaf sea area. Under the wing and between feathers of Aquila grossly examined for detect any parasites. Lice of genus Menopon gaillinae isolated from 4 eagles, from under the wing area. Infected eagles suffering from skin redness. 38 parasites isolated from infected eagle, we prepared a slide from these louse for spp. classification. This study was on the first hand record of shaft louse (M. gallinae in Golden eagle and Marsh harear in Iraq

  15. Assessment of metal and trace element contamination in water, sediment, plants, macroinvertebrates, and fish in Tavasci Marsh, Tuzigoot National Monument, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paretti, Nicholas V.; Brasher, Anne M.D.; Fuller, Christopher C.; Miller, Matthew P.

    2014-01-01

    Tavasci Marsh is a large freshwater marsh within the Tuzigoot National Monument in central Arizona. It is the largest freshwater marsh in Arizona that is unconnected to the Colorado River and is designated as an Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society. The marsh has been altered significantly by previous land use and the monument’s managers are evaluating the restoration of the marsh. In light of historical mining activities located near the marsh from the first half of the 20th century, evaluations of water, sediment, plant, and aquatic biota in the marsh were conducted. The evaluations were focused on nine metals and trace elements commonly associated with mining and other anthropogenic activities (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, Se, and Zn) together with isotopic analyses to understand the presence, sources and timing of water and sediment contaminants to the marsh and the occurrence in aquatic plants, dragonfly larvae, and fish. Results of water analyses indicate that there were two distinct sources of water contributing to the marsh during the study: one from older high elevation recharge entering the marsh at Shea Spring (as well as a number of unnamed seeps and springs on the northeastern edge of the marsh) and the other from younger low elevation recharge or from Pecks Lake. Water concentrations for arsenic exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency primary drinking water standard of 10 μg/L at all sampling sites. Surface waters at Tavasci Marsh may contain conditions favorable for methylmercury production. All surficial and core sediment samples exceeded or were within sample concentration variability of at least one threshold sediment quality guideline for As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn. Several sediment sites were also above or were within sample concentration variability of severe or probable effect sediment quality guidelines for As, Cd, and Cu. Three sediment cores collected in the marsh have greater metal and trace element concentrations

  16. Organic carbon isotope systematics of coastal marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Middelburg, J.J.; Nieuwenhuize, J.; Lubberts, R.K.; Van de Plassche, O.

    1997-01-01

    Measurements of nitrogen, organic carbon and delta(13)C are presented for Spartina-dominated marsh sediments from a mineral marsh in SW Netherlands and from a peaty marsh in Massachusetts, U.S.A. delta(13)C Of organic carbon in the peaty marsh sediments is similar to that of Spartina material,

  17. Water use characteristics of black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) communities along an ecotone with marsh at a northern geographical limit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krauss, Ken W.; McKee, Karen L.; Hester, Mark W.

    2014-01-01

    Mangroves are expanding into warm temperate-zone salt marsh communities in several locations globally. Although scientists have discovered that expansion might have modest effects on ecosystem functioning, water use characteristics have not been assessed relative to this transition. We measured early growing season sapflow (Js) and leaf transpiration (Tr) in Avicennia germinans at a latitudinal limit along the northern Gulf of Mexico (Louisiana, United States) under both flooded and drained states and used these data to scale vegetation water use responses in comparison with Spartina alterniflora. We discovered strong convergence when using either Js or Tr for determining individual tree water use, indicating tight connection between transpiration and xylem water movement in small Avicennia trees. When Tr data were combined with leaf area indices for the region with the use of three separate approaches, we determined that Avicennia stands use approximately 1·0–1·3 mm d–1 less water than Spartina marsh. Differences were only significant with the use of two of the three approaches, but are suggestive of net conservation of water as Avicennia expands into Spartina marshes at this location. Average Js for Avicennia trees was not influenced by flooding, but maximum Js was greater when sites were flooded. Avicennia and Spartina closest to open water (shoreline) used more water than interior locations of the same assemblages by an average of 1·3 mm d−1. Lower water use by Avicennia may indicate a greater overall resilience to drought relative to Spartina, such that aperiodic drought may interact with warmer winter temperatures to facilitate expansion of Avicennia in some years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-22

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

  19. Road networks predict human influence on Amazonian bird communities

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  20. Hyperspectral Biofilm Classification Analysis for Carrying Capacity of Migratory Birds in the South Bay Salt Ponds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Wei-Chen; Kuss, Amber Jean; Ketron, Tyler; Nguyen, Andrew; Remar, Alex Covello; Newcomer, Michelle; Fleming, Erich; Debout, Leslie; Debout, Brad; Detweiler, Angela; hide

    2011-01-01

    Tidal marshes are highly productive ecosystems that support migratory birds as roosting and over-wintering habitats on the Pacific Flyway. Microphytobenthos, or more commonly 'biofilms' contribute significantly to the primary productivity of wetland ecosystems, and provide a substantial food source for macroinvertebrates and avian communities. In this study, biofilms were characterized based on taxonomic classification, density differences, and spectral signatures. These techniques were then applied to remotely sensed images to map biofilm densities and distributions in the South Bay Salt Ponds and predict the carrying capacity of these newly restored ponds for migratory birds. The GER-1500 spectroradiometer was used to obtain in situ spectral signatures for each density-class of biofilm. The spectral variation and taxonomic classification between high, medium, and low density biofilm cover types was mapped using in-situ spectral measurements and classification of EO-1 Hyperion and Landsat TM 5 images. Biofilm samples were also collected in the field to perform laboratory analyses including chlorophyll-a, taxonomic classification, and energy content. Comparison of the spectral signatures between the three density groups shows distinct variations useful for classification. Also, analysis of chlorophyll-a concentrations show statistically significant differences between each density group, using the Tukey-Kramer test at an alpha level of 0.05. The potential carrying capacity in South Bay Salt Ponds is estimated to be 250,000 birds.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Strong tidal modulation of net ecosystem exchange in a salt marsh in North Inlet, South Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Halloran, T. L.; Smith, E. M.; Bogoev, I.

    2017-12-01

    Along the southeastern US, intertidal salt marshes represent a critical habitat at the interface of the terrestrial and marine environments and perform a variety of ecological functions and services that make them of great economic importance for coastal communities They provide essential fish and shellfish habitat, with a majority of all commercially- and recreationally important fish species being dependent on intertidal marsh habitat during some portion of their life cycle. The penaeid shrimp industry, South Carolina's most economically important fishery, would cease to exist without the critical nursery function provided by intertidal salt marshes. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) is a keystone species in the high salinity marshes of the southeastern U.S., and its functioning is essential to the health and survival of salt marshes under rising sea levels. To better quantify and facilitate prediction of future salt marsh productivity, in May of 2017, we established a new integrated eddy covariance tower system to measure the net ecosystem exchange of carbon in a salt marsh in coastal South Carolina. The tower site is co-located with long-term, ongoing measurements as part of the North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NI-WB NERR). Current sampling conducted within the eddy flux footprint includes: annual measures of the vegetation community at the time of peak biomass; bi-monthly measures of sediment elevation at Sediment Elevation Tables (SETs) located at the upper and lower ends of the flux footprint; monthly sediment porewater salinity and nutrient (ammonium, orthophosphate) and sulfide concentrations; and biannual sediment elevation surveys by RTK-GPS. A suite of water quality measurements are made every 15 minutes in the main creek that floods the marsh platform in the flux footprint. Here we present our first six months of observations investigating the abiotic drivers of productivity on daily (intratidal) to monthly timescales

  3. Sedimentation and response to sea-level rise of a restored marsh with reduced tidal exchange: Comparison with a natural tidal marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vandenbruwaene, W.; Maris, T.; Cahoon, D.R.; Meire, P.; Temmerman, S.

    2011-01-01

    Along coasts and estuaries, formerly embanked land is increasingly restored into tidal marshes in order to re-establish valuable ecosystem services, such as buffering against flooding. Along the Scheldt estuary (Belgium), tidal marshes are restored on embanked land by allowing a controlled reduced tide (CRT) into a constructed basin, through a culvert in the embankment. In this way tidal water levels are significantly lowered (ca. 3 m) so that a CRT marsh can develop on formerly embanked land with a ca. 3 m lower elevation than the natural tidal marshes. In this study we compared the long-term change in elevation (ΔE) within a CRT marsh and adjacent natural tidal marsh. Over a period of 4 years, the observed spatio-temporal variations in ΔE rate were related to variations in inundation depth, and this relationship was not significantly different for the CRT marsh and natural tidal marsh. A model was developed to simulate the ΔE over the next century. (1) Under a scenario without mean high water level (MHWL) rise in the estuary, the model shows that the marsh elevation-ΔE feedback that is typical for a natural tidal marsh (i.e. rising marsh elevation results in decreasing inundation depth and therefore a decreasing increase in elevation) is absent in the basin of the CRT marsh. This is because tidal exchange of water volumes between the estuary and CRT marsh are independent from the CRT marsh elevation but dependent on the culvert dimensions. Thus the volume of water entering the CRT remains constant regardless of the marsh elevation. Consequently the CRT MHWL follows the increase in CRT surface elevation, resulting after 75 years in a 2–2.5 times larger elevation gain in the CRT marsh, and a faster reduction of spatial elevation differences. (2) Under a scenario of constant MHWL rise (historical rate of 1.5 cm a-1), the equilibrium elevation (relative to MHWL) is 0.13 m lower in the CRT marsh and is reached almost 2 times faster. (3) Under a scenario of

  4. Wading bird guano contributes to Hg accumulation in tree island soils in the Florida Everglades

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhu, Yingjia; Gu, Binhe; Irick, Daniel L.; Ewe, Sharon; Li, Yuncong; Ross, Michael S.; Ma, Lena Q.

    2014-01-01

    Tree islands are habitat for wading birds and a characteristic landscape feature in the Everglades. A total of 93 surface soil and 3 soil core samples were collected from 7 degraded/ghost and 34 live tree islands. The mean Hg concentration in surface soils of ghost tree islands was low and similar to marsh soil. For live tree islands, Hg concentrations in the surface head region were considerably greater than those in mid and tail region, and marsh soils. Hg concentrations in bird guano (286 μg kg −1 ) were significantly higher than those in mammal droppings (105 μg kg −1 ) and plant leaves (53 μg kg −1 ). In addition, Hg concentrations and δ 15 N values displayed positive correlation in soils influenced by guano. During 1998–2010, estimated annual Hg deposition by guano was 148 μg m −2 yr −1 and ∼8 times the atmospheric deposition. Highlights: • Hg concentrations in the head region of tree islands were the highest. • Hg concentrations in bird guano (286 μg kg −1 ) were significantly higher than those in mammal droppings and plant leaves. • Hg concentrations and δ 15 N values showed positive correlation in soils influenced by guano. • Estimated annual Hg deposition by guano was 148 μg m −2 yr −1 , ∼8 times the atmospheric deposition. -- The annual Hg deposition by bird guano to tree island soils in the Everglades was ∼8 times the atmospheric deposition

  5. Macroinvertebrate Prey Availability and Fish Diet Selectivity in Relation to Environmental Variables in Natural and Restoring North San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh Channels

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emily R. Howe

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Tidal marsh wetlands provide important foraging habitat for a variety of estuarine fishes. Prey organisms include benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates, neustonic arthropods, and zooplankton. Little is known about the abundance and distribution of interior marsh macroinvertebrate communities in the San Francisco Estuary (estuary. We describe seasonal, regional, and site variation in the composition and abundance of neuston and benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates that inhabit tidal marsh channels, and relate these patterns to environmental conditions. We also describe spatial and temporal variation in diets of marsh-associated inland silverside, yellowfin goby, and western mosquitofish. Fish and invertebrates were sampled quarterly from October 2003 to June 2005 at six marsh sites located in three river systems of the northern estuary: Petaluma River, Napa River, and  the west Delta. Benthic/epibenthic macroinvertebrates and neuston responded to environmental variables related to seasonal changes (i.e., temperature, salinity, as well as those related to marsh structure (i.e., vegetation, channel edge. The greatest variation in abundance occurred seasonally for neuston and spatially for benthic–epibenthic organisms, suggesting that each community responds to different environmental drivers. Benthic/epibenthic invertebrate abundance and diversity was lowest in the west Delta, and increased with increasing salinity. Insect abundance increased during the spring and summer, while Collembolan (springtail abundance increased during the winter. Benthic/epibenthic macroinvertebrates dominated fish diets, supplemented by insects, with zooplankton playing a minor role. Diet compositions of the three fish species overlapped considerably, with strong selection indicated for epibenthic crustaceans—a surprising result given the typical classification of Menidia beryllina as a planktivore, Acanthogobius flavimanus as a benthic predator, and Gambusia

  6. Silver nanoparticles uptake by salt marsh plants - Implications for phytoremediation processes and effects in microbial community dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandes, Joana P; Mucha, Ana P; Francisco, Telmo; Gomes, Carlos Rocha; Almeida, C Marisa R

    2017-06-15

    This study investigated the uptake of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) by a salt marsh plant, Phragmites australis, as well as AgNPs effects on rhizospheric microbial community, evaluating the implications for phytoremediation processes. Experiments were carried out with elutriate solution doped with Ag, either in ionic form or in NP form. Metal uptake was evaluated in plant tissues, elutriate solutions and sediments (by AAS) and microbial community was characterized in terms of bacterial community structure (evaluated by ARISA). Results showed Ag accumulation but only in plant belowground tissues and only in the absence of rhizosediment, the presence of sediment reducing Ag availability. But in plant roots Ag accumulation was higher when Ag was in NP form. Multivariate analysis of ARISA profiles showed significant effect of the absence/presence of Ag either in ionic or NP form on microbial community structure, although without significant differences among bacterial richness and diversity. Overall, P. australis can be useful for phytoremediation of medium contaminated with Ag, including with AgNPs. However, the presence of Ag in either forms affected the microbial community structure, which may cause disturbances in ecosystems function and compromise phytoremediation processes. Such considerations need to be address regarding environmental management strategies applied to the very important estuarine areas. The form in which the metal was added affected metal uptake by Phragmites australis and rhizosediment microbial community structure, which can affect phytoremediation. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. The structure of salt marsh soil mesofauna food webs - The prevalence of disturbance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haynert, Kristin; Kiggen, Mirijam; Klarner, Bernhard; Maraun, Mark; Scheu, Stefan

    2017-01-01

    Mesofauna taxa fill key trophic positions in soil food webs, even in terrestrial-marine boundary habitats characterized by frequent natural disturbances. Salt marshes represent such boundary habitats, characterized by frequent inundations increasing from the terrestrial upper to the marine pioneer zone. Despite the high abundance of soil mesofauna in salt marshes and their important function by facilitating energy and carbon flows, the structure, trophic ecology and habitat-related diet shifts of mesofauna species in natural salt marsh habitats is virtually unknown. Therefore, we investigated the effects of natural disturbance (inundation frequency) on community structure, food web complexity and resource use of soil mesofauna using stable isotope analysis (15N, 13C) in three salt marsh zones. In this intertidal habitat, the pioneer zone is exposed to inundations twice a day, but lower and upper salt marshes are less frequently inundated based on shore height. The mesofauna comprised 86 species / taxa dominated by Collembola, Oribatida and Mesostigmata. Shifts in environmental disturbances influenced the structure of food webs, diversity and density declined strongly from the land to the sea pointing to the importance of increasing levels of inundation frequency. Accordingly, the reduced diversity and density was associated by a simplification of the food web in the pioneer zone as compared to the less inundated lower and upper salt marsh with a higher number of trophic levels. Strong variations in δ15N signatures demonstrated that mesofauna species are feeding at multiple trophic levels. Primary decomposers were low and most mesofauna species functioned as secondary decomposers or predators including second order predators or scavengers. The results document that major decomposer taxa, such as Collembola and Oribatida, are more diverse than previously assumed and predominantly dwell on autochthonous resources of the respective salt marsh zone. The results further

  8. Florida's salt-marsh management issues: 1991-98.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlson, D B; O'Bryan, P D; Rey, J R

    1999-06-01

    During the 1990s, Florida has continued to make important strides in managing salt marshes for both mosquito control and natural resource enhancement. The political mechanism for this progress continues to be interagency cooperation through the Florida Coordinating Council on Mosquito Control and its Subcommittee on Managed Marshes (SOMM). Continuing management experience and research has helped refine the most environmentally acceptable source reduction methods, which typically are Rotational Impoundment Management or Open Marsh Water Management. The development of regional marsh management plans for salt marshes within the Indian River Lagoon by the SOMM has helped direct the implementation of the best management practices for these marshes. Controversy occasionally occurs concerning what management technique is most appropriate for individual marshes. The most common disagreement is over the benefits of maintaining an impoundment in an "open" vs. "closed" condition, with the "closed" condition, allowing for summer mosquito control flooding or winter waterfowl management. New federal initiatives influencing salt-marsh management have included the Indian River Lagoon-National Estuary Program and the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program. A new Florida initiative is the Florida Department of Environmental Protection's Eco-system Management Program with continuing involvement by the Surface Water Improvement and Management program. A developing mitigation banking program has the potential to benefit marsh management but mosquito control interests may suffer if not handled properly. Larvicides remain as an important salt-marsh integrated pest management tool with the greatest acreage being treated with temephos, followed by Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis and methoprene. However, over the past 14 years, use of biorational larvicides has increased greatly.

  9. Macroinvertebrate Prey Availability and Fish Diet Selectivity in Relation to Environmental Variables in Natural and Restoring North San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh Channels

    OpenAIRE

    Emily R. Howe; Charles A. Simenstad; Jason D. Toft; Jeffrey R. Cordell; Stephen M. Bollens

    2014-01-01

    Tidal marsh wetlands provide important foraging habitat for a variety of estuarine fishes. Prey organisms include benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates, neustonic arthropods, and zooplankton. Little is known about the abundance and distribution of interior marsh macroinvertebrate communities in the San Francisco Estuary (estuary). We describe seasonal, regional, and site variation in the composition and abundance of neuston and benthic–epibenthic macroinvertebrates that inhabit tidal marsh ch...

  10. Effects of soil abiotic factors on the plant morphology in an intertidal salt marsh, Yellow River Delta, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Shanze; Cui, Baoshan; Bai, Junhong; Xie, Tian; Yan, Jiaguo; Wang, Qing; Zhang, Shuyan

    2018-02-01

    Plant morphology plays important role in studying biogeography in many ecosystems. Suadea salsa, as a native plant community of northern China and an important habitat for diversity of waterbirds and macrobenthos, has often been overlooked. Nowadays, S. salsa community is facing great loss due to coastal reclamation activities and natural disturbances. To maintain and restore S. salsa community, it's important to address the plant morphology across marsh zones, as well as its relationships with local soil abiotic conditions. In our studied intertidal salt marsh, we found that less flood disturbance frequency, softer soil conditions, rich soil organic matter, total carbon and total nitrogen, lower water depth and water content, less species competition will benefit S. salsa plant in the morphology of high coverage, above-ground biomass, shoot height and leaf length. Lower soil porewater salinity will benefit the below-ground biomass of S. salsa. Thus, we recommend managers help alleviate soil abiotic stresses in the intertidal salt marshes, making the soil conditions more suitable for S. salsa growth and succession.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Hopman, F.

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Seed dispersal by small herbivores and tidal water : are they important filters in the assembly of salt-marsh communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, ER; Zozaya, EL; Kuijper, DPJ; Bakker, JP

    1. Characteristics of internal seed dispersal (endozoochory) by European Brown Hares were compared with similar dispersal by Brent Geese. Hares deposited more seeds of mid-successional, perennial, high-marsh species than did geese, which deposited more seeds of early successional, annual, low-marsh

  14. Seed dispersal by small herbivores and tidal water: Are they important filters in the assembly of salt-marsh communities?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chang, E.R.; Zozaya, E.L.; Kuijper, D.P.J.; Bakker, J.P.

    2005-01-01

    1. Characteristics of internal seed dispersal (endozoochory) by European Brown Hares were compared with similar dispersal by Brent Geese. Hares deposited more seeds of mid-successional, perennial, high-marsh species than did geese, which deposited more seeds of early successional, annual, low-marsh

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claire Guyot

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

  16. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teixeira, Catarina; Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Nunes da Silva, Marta; Bordalo, Adriano A.; Mucha, Ana P.

    2014-01-01

    Microbial assisted phytoremediation is a promising, though yet poorly explored, new remediation technique. The aim of this study was to develop autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that could enhance phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with this metal. The microbial consortia were selectively enriched from rhizosediments colonized by Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis. The obtained consortia presented similar microbial abundance but a fairly different community structure, showing that the microbial community was a function of the sediment from which the consortia were enriched. The effect of the bioaugmentation with the developed consortia on cadmium uptake, and the microbial community structure associated to the different sediments were assessed using a microcosm experiment. Our results showed that the addition of the cadmium resistant microbial consortia increased J. maritimus metal phytostabilization capacity. On the other hand, in P. australis, microbial consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. The addition of the consortia did not alter the bacterial structure present in the sediments at the end of the experiments. This study provides new evidences that the development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium might be a simple, efficient, and environmental friendly remediation procedure. Capsule abstract: Development of autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that enhanced phytoremediation by salt-marsh plants, without a long term effect on sediment bacterial diversity. - Highlights: • Cd resistant microbial consortia were developed and applied to salt-marsh sediments. • In Phragmites australis the consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. • The consortia addition increased Juncus maritimus phytostabilization capacity. • No long term changes on the rhizosediment bacterial structure were observed

  17. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Teixeira, Catarina [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal); Laboratório de Hidrobiologia e Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Almeida, C. Marisa R.; Nunes da Silva, Marta [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal); Bordalo, Adriano A. [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal); Laboratório de Hidrobiologia e Ecologia, Instituto de Ciências Biomédicas Abel Salazar (ICBAS), Universidade do Porto, Rua Jorge Viterbo Ferreira, 228, 4050-313 Porto (Portugal); Mucha, Ana P., E-mail: amucha@ciimar.up.pt [Centro Interdisciplinar de Investigação Marinha e Ambiental (CIIMAR/CIMAR), Universidade do Porto, Rua dos Bragas, 289, 4050-123 Porto (Portugal)

    2014-09-15

    Microbial assisted phytoremediation is a promising, though yet poorly explored, new remediation technique. The aim of this study was to develop autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that could enhance phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with this metal. The microbial consortia were selectively enriched from rhizosediments colonized by Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis. The obtained consortia presented similar microbial abundance but a fairly different community structure, showing that the microbial community was a function of the sediment from which the consortia were enriched. The effect of the bioaugmentation with the developed consortia on cadmium uptake, and the microbial community structure associated to the different sediments were assessed using a microcosm experiment. Our results showed that the addition of the cadmium resistant microbial consortia increased J. maritimus metal phytostabilization capacity. On the other hand, in P. australis, microbial consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. The addition of the consortia did not alter the bacterial structure present in the sediments at the end of the experiments. This study provides new evidences that the development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium might be a simple, efficient, and environmental friendly remediation procedure. Capsule abstract: Development of autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that enhanced phytoremediation by salt-marsh plants, without a long term effect on sediment bacterial diversity. - Highlights: • Cd resistant microbial consortia were developed and applied to salt-marsh sediments. • In Phragmites australis the consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. • The consortia addition increased Juncus maritimus phytostabilization capacity. • No long term changes on the rhizosediment bacterial structure were observed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Andrew B; Winker, Kevin

    2010-11-30

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

  19. Effect of hurricanes and violent storms on salt marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, N.; Ganju, N. K.; Fagherazzi, S.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marsh losses have been documented worldwide because of land use change, wave erosion, and sea-level rise. It is still unclear how resistant salt marshes are to extreme storms and whether they can survive multiple events without collapsing. Based on a large dataset of salt marsh lateral erosion rates collected around the world, here, we determine the general response of salt marsh boundaries to wave action under normal and extreme weather conditions. As wave energy increases, salt marsh response to wind waves remains linear, and there is not a critical threshold in wave energy above which salt marsh erosion drastically accelerates. We apply our general formulation for salt marsh erosion to historical wave climates at eight salt marsh locations affected by hurricanes in the United States. Based on the analysis of two decades of data, we find that violent storms and hurricanes contribute less than 1% to long-term salt marsh erosion rates. In contrast, moderate storms with a return period of 2.5 mo are those causing the most salt marsh deterioration. Therefore, salt marshes seem more susceptible to variations in mean wave energy rather than changes in the extremes. The intrinsic resistance of salt marshes to violent storms and their predictable erosion rates during moderate events should be taken into account by coastal managers in restoration projects and risk management plans.

  20. Syntaxonomy and zonation patterns in coastal salt marshes of the Uilkraals Estuary, Western Cape (South Africa)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mucina, L.; Janssen, J.A.M.; O'Callaghan, M.

    2003-01-01

    Vegetation on salt marshes of the Uilkraals Estuary (near Gansbaai, Western Cape, South Africa) is described and classified into 11 associations and/or rank-less plant communities (further subdivided into a number of sub-units). These communities were grouped into 6 high-rank syntaxa (alliances and

  1. Tidal marsh plant responses to elevated CO2 , nitrogen fertilization, and sea level rise.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adam Langley, J; Mozdzer, Thomas J; Shepard, Katherine A; Hagerty, Shannon B; Patrick Megonigal, J

    2013-05-01

    Elevated CO2 and nitrogen (N) addition directly affect plant productivity and the mechanisms that allow tidal marshes to maintain a constant elevation relative to sea level, but it remains unknown how these global change drivers modify marsh plant response to sea level rise. Here we manipulated factorial combinations of CO2 concentration (two levels), N availability (two levels) and relative sea level (six levels) using in situ mesocosms containing a tidal marsh community composed of a sedge, Schoenoplectus americanus, and a grass, Spartina patens. Our objective is to determine, if elevated CO2 and N alter the growth and persistence of these plants in coastal ecosystems facing rising sea levels. After two growing seasons, we found that N addition enhanced plant growth particularly at sea levels where plants were most stressed by flooding (114% stimulation in the + 10 cm treatment), and N effects were generally larger in combination with elevated CO2 (288% stimulation). N fertilization shifted the optimal productivity of S. patens to a higher sea level, but did not confer S. patens an enhanced ability to tolerate sea level rise. S. americanus responded strongly to N only in the higher sea level treatments that excluded S. patens. Interestingly, addition of N, which has been suggested to accelerate marsh loss, may afford some marsh plants, such as the widespread sedge, S. americanus, the enhanced ability to tolerate inundation. However, if chronic N pollution reduces the availability of propagules of S. americanus or other flood-tolerant species on the landscape scale, this shift in species dominance could render tidal marshes more susceptible to marsh collapse. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  2. Structural Classification of Marshes with Polarimetric SAR Highlighting the Temporal Mapping of Marshes Exposed to Oil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elijah Ramsey

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Empirical relationships between field-derived Leaf Area Index (LAI and Leaf Angle Distribution (LAD and polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR based biophysical indicators were created and applied to map S. alterniflora marsh canopy structure. PolSAR and field data were collected near concurrently in the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 in coastal marshes, and PolSAR data alone were acquired in 2009. Regression analyses showed that LAI correspondence with the PolSAR biophysical indicator variables equaled or exceeded those of vegetation water content (VWC correspondences. In the final six regressor model, the ratio HV/VV explained 49% of the total 77% explained LAI variance, and the HH-VV coherence and phase information accounted for the remainder. HV/HH dominated the two regressor LAD relationship, and spatial heterogeneity and backscatter mechanism followed by coherence information dominated the final three regressor model that explained 74% of the LAD variance. Regression results applied to 2009 through 2012 PolSAR images showed substantial changes in marsh LAI and LAD. Although the direct cause was not substantiated, following a release of freshwater in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the fairly uniform interior marsh structure of 2009 was more vertical and dense shortly after the oil spill cessation. After 2010, marsh structure generally progressed back toward the 2009 uniformity; however, the trend was more disjointed in oil impact marshes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Thomas E.; Maron, John L.

    2012-01-01

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

  5. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Catarina; Almeida, C Marisa R; Nunes da Silva, Marta; Bordalo, Adriano A; Mucha, Ana P

    2014-09-15

    Microbial assisted phytoremediation is a promising, though yet poorly explored, new remediation technique. The aim of this study was to develop autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that could enhance phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with this metal. The microbial consortia were selectively enriched from rhizosediments colonized by Juncus maritimus and Phragmites australis. The obtained consortia presented similar microbial abundance but a fairly different community structure, showing that the microbial community was a function of the sediment from which the consortia were enriched. The effect of the bioaugmentation with the developed consortia on cadmium uptake, and the microbial community structure associated to the different sediments were assessed using a microcosm experiment. Our results showed that the addition of the cadmium resistant microbial consortia increased J. maritimus metal phytostabilization capacity. On the other hand, in P. australis, microbial consortia amendment promoted metal phytoextraction. The addition of the consortia did not alter the bacterial structure present in the sediments at the end of the experiments. This study provides new evidences that the development of autochthonous microbial consortia for enhanced phytoremediation of salt-marsh sediments contaminated with cadmium might be a simple, efficient, and environmental friendly remediation procedure. Development of autochthonous microbial consortia resistant to cadmium that enhanced phytoremediation by salt-marsh plants, without a long term effect on sediment bacterial diversity. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Flow paths of water and sediment in a tidal marsh: relations with marsh developmental stage and tidal inundation height

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Temmerman, S.; Bouma, T.J.; Govers, G.; Lauwaet, D.

    2005-01-01

    This study provides new insights in the relative role of tidal creeks and the marsh edge in supplying water and sediments to and from tidal marshes for a wide range of tidal inundation cycles with different high water levels and for marsh zones of different developmental stage. Net import or export

  7. Galveston Bay Marsh Terracing 2001-2002

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Marsh terracing is used to restore coastal wetlands by converting shallow nonvegetated bottom to intertidal marsh. Terraces are constructed from excavated bottom...

  8. Structural classification of marshes with Polarimetric SAR highlighting the temporal mapping of marshes exposed to oil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.

    2015-01-01

    Empirical relationships between field-derived Leaf Area Index (LAI) and Leaf Angle Distribution (LAD) and polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) based biophysical indicators were created and applied to map S. alterniflora marsh canopy structure. PolSAR and field data were collected near concurrently in the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 in coastal marshes, and PolSAR data alone were acquired in 2009. Regression analyses showed that LAI correspondence with the PolSAR biophysical indicator variables equaled or exceeded those of vegetation water content (VWC) correspondences. In the final six regressor model, the ratio HV/VV explained 49% of the total 77% explained LAI variance, and the HH-VV coherence and phase information accounted for the remainder. HV/HH dominated the two regressor LAD relationship, and spatial heterogeneity and backscatter mechanism followed by coherence information dominated the final three regressor model that explained 74% of the LAD variance. Regression results applied to 2009 through 2012 PolSAR images showed substantial changes in marsh LAI and LAD. Although the direct cause was not substantiated, following a release of freshwater in response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the fairly uniform interior marsh structure of 2009 was more vertical and dense shortly after the oil spill cessation. After 2010, marsh structure generally progressed back toward the 2009 uniformity; however, the trend was more disjointed in oil impact marshes.             

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renato Cintra

    2012-01-01

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

  10. An evaluation of memory accuracy in food hoarding marsh tits Poecile palustris--how accurate are they compared to humans?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brodin, Anders; Urhan, A Utku

    2013-07-01

    Laboratory studies of scatter hoarding birds have become a model system for spatial memory studies. Considering that such birds are known to have a good spatial memory, recovery success in lab studies seems low. In parids (titmice and chickadees) typically ranging between 25 and 60% if five seeds are cached in 50-128 available caching sites. Since these birds store many thousands of food items in nature in one autumn one might expect that they should easily retrieve five seeds in a laboratory where they know the environment with its caching sites in detail. We designed a laboratory set up to be as similar as possible with previous studies and trained wild caught marsh tits Poecile palustris to store and retrieve in this set up. Our results agree closely with earlier studies, of the first ten looks around 40% were correct when the birds had stored five seeds in 100 available sites both 5 and 24h after storing. The cumulative success curve suggests high success during the first 15 looks where after it declines. Humans performed much better, in the first five looks most subjects were 100% correct. We discuss possible reasons for why the birds were not doing better. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Review of the ecosystem service implications of mangrove encroachment into salt marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelleway, Jeffrey J; Cavanaugh, Kyle; Rogers, Kerrylee; Feller, Ilka C; Ens, Emilie; Doughty, Cheryl; Saintilan, Neil

    2017-10-01

    Salt marsh and mangrove have been recognized as being among the most valuable ecosystem types globally in terms of their supply of ecosystem services and support for human livelihoods. These coastal ecosystems are also susceptible to the impacts of climate change and rising sea levels, with evidence of global shifts in the distribution of mangroves, including encroachment into salt marshes. The encroachment of woody mangrove shrubs and trees into herbaceous salt marshes may represent a substantial change in ecosystem structure, although resulting impacts on ecosystem functions and service provisions are largely unknown. In this review, we assess changes in ecosystem services associated with mangrove encroachment. While there is quantitative evidence to suggest that mangrove encroachment may enhance carbon storage and the capacity of a wetland to increase surface elevation in response to sea-level rise, for most services there has been no direct assessment of encroachment impact. On the basis of current understanding of ecosystem structure and function, we theorize that mangrove encroachment may increase nutrient storage and improve storm protection, but cause declines in habitat availability for fauna requiring open vegetation structure (such as migratory birds and foraging bats) as well as the recreational and cultural activities associated with this fauna (e.g., birdwatching and/or hunting). Changes to provisional services such as fisheries productivity and cultural services are likely to be site specific and dependent on the species involved. We discuss the need for explicit experimental testing of the effects of encroachment on ecosystem services in order to address key knowledge gaps, and present an overview of the options available to coastal resource managers during a time of environmental change. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Tidal events and salt-marsh structure influence black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) recruitment across an ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Jennifer M; Bell, Susan S

    2012-07-01

    entrapment of propagules by salt-marsh plants may be facilitative if propagules are dispersed beyond the established tree line by spring or storm tides, and that facilitation may be sustained over time. We conclude that salt-marsh ecotone permeability may modulate landward encroachment by A. germinans, and that interactions among the early life history stages of black mangroves and neighboring plants may direct community responses to climate change.

  13. Impact of cutting and sheep grazing on ground-active spiders and carabids in intertidal salt marshes (Western France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pétillon, J.

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available The aims of this study were to characterize spider (Araneae and ground beetle (Coleoptera Carabidae communities in managed (cutting and sheep grazing and non-managed salt marshes and to assess the efficiency of management regimes in these particular ecosystems. The two groups were studied during 2002 in salt marshes of the Mont Saint-Michel Bay (NW France using pitfall traps. By opening soil and vegetation structures cutting and grazing enhanced the abundances of some halophilic species of spiders and ground beetles. Nevertheless, grazing appeared to be too intensive as spider species richness decreased. We discuss the implications of management practices in terms of nature conservation and their application in the particular area of intertidal salt marshes.

  14. Tidal regimes and salt marshes - the River Hamble analogue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gray, A.J.; Moy, I.L.; Warman, E.A.; Dawson, F.H.; Henville, P.

    1993-01-01

    Construction of estuarine tidal-energy barrages has a potentially major effect on the tidal regime of the estuary, particularly upstream of a barrage. Because tidal regime largely controls the distribution and species composition of intertidal plant and animal communities, it is important to understand how barrages may affect such communities. The main objectives of the research described in this report were to relate recent changes in tidal regime within an embanked area of salt marsh and mudflat to changes in the distribution of plant species. This was to test predictions about tidal control of species' range and to assess the site's suitability as an analogue of post-barrage conditions. (author)

  15. Influence of Black Mangrove Expansion on Salt Marsh Food Web Dynamics in Coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Powell, C.; Baustian, M. M.; Polito, M. J.

    2017-12-01

    The range of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans) is projected to expand in the northern Gulf of Mexico due to reduced winter freeze events and an increased rate of droughts. The colonization of mangroves in salt marshes alters habitat structure and creates a novel basal carbon source for consumers. This addition may modify trophic linkages and the structure of estuarine food webs. To understand the implications of mangrove expansion on food web dynamics of traditional Spartina alterniflora marshes, two sites in coastal Louisiana with three habitat types, marsh-dominated, mangrove-dominated, and a transition or mix of the two, were studied. Community composition of juvenile nekton was sampled using fyke nets, minnow traps, and suction sampling and analyzed for abundance and diversity. Primary carbon sources (emergent vegetation, phytoplankton, macroalgae, benthic microalgae, submerged aquatic vegetation, and soil organic matter) and consumers ((blue crabs (Callinectes sapidus), brown shrimp (Farfantepenaeus aztecus), grass shrimp (Palaemonetes spp.), Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis), periwinkle snails (Littoraria irrorata), eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica), and southern ribbed mussels (Geukensia granosissima)) collected at each habitat type were measured using stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S) to identify trophic level, basal carbon sources, and assess how mangrove carbon is incorporated into salt marsh food webs. While data analysis is ongoing, preliminary results indicate that basal carbon sources supporting some marsh consumers (e.g., periwinkle snails) shift between habitat types, while others remain static (e.g., grass shrimp). This research will further develop our understanding of how climate induced shifts in vegetation influences valued marsh-dependent consumers in the estuarine ecosystems of northern Gulf of Mexico.

  16. Bacterial community shift in the coastal Gulf of Mexico salt-marsh sediment microcosm in vitro following exposure to the Mississippi Canyon Block 252 oil (MC252)

    KAUST Repository

    Koo, Hyunmin; Mojib, Nazia; Huang, Jonathan P.; Donahoe, Rona J.; Bej, Asim K.

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we examined the responses by the indigenous bacterial communities in salt-marsh sediment microcosms in vitro following treatment with Mississippi Canyon Block 252 oil (MC252). Microcosms were constructed of sediment and seawater collected from Bayou La Batre located in coastal Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico. We used an amplicon pyrosequencing approach on microcosm sediment metagenome targeting the V3–V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Overall, we identified a shift in the bacterial community in three distinct groups. The first group was the early responders (orders Pseudomonadales and Oceanospirillales within class Gammaproteobacteria), which increased their relative abundance within 2 weeks and were maintained 3 weeks after oil treatment. The second group was identified as early, but transient responders (order Rhodobacterales within class Alphaproteobacteria; class Epsilonproteobacteria), which increased their population by 2 weeks, but returned to the basal level 3 weeks after oil treatment. The third group was the late responders (order Clostridiales within phylum Firmicutes; order Methylococcales within class Gammaproteobacteria; and phylum Tenericutes), which only increased 3 weeks after oil treatment. Furthermore, we identified oil-sensitive bacterial taxa (order Chromatiales within class Gammaproteobacteria; order Syntrophobacterales within class Deltaproteobacteria), which decreased in their population after 2 weeks of oil treatment. Detection of alkane (alkB), catechol (C2,3DO) and biphenyl (bph) biodegradation genes by PCR, particularly in oil-treated sediment metacommunity DNA, delineates proliferation of the hydrocarbon degrading bacterial community. Overall, the indigenous bacterial communities in our salt-marsh sediment in vitro microcosm study responded rapidly and shifted towards members of the taxonomic groups that are capable of surviving in an MC252 oil-contaminated environment.

  17. Bacterial community shift in the coastal Gulf of Mexico salt-marsh sediment microcosm in vitro following exposure to the Mississippi Canyon Block 252 oil (MC252)

    KAUST Repository

    Koo, Hyunmin

    2014-07-10

    In this study, we examined the responses by the indigenous bacterial communities in salt-marsh sediment microcosms in vitro following treatment with Mississippi Canyon Block 252 oil (MC252). Microcosms were constructed of sediment and seawater collected from Bayou La Batre located in coastal Alabama on the Gulf of Mexico. We used an amplicon pyrosequencing approach on microcosm sediment metagenome targeting the V3–V5 region of the 16S rRNA gene. Overall, we identified a shift in the bacterial community in three distinct groups. The first group was the early responders (orders Pseudomonadales and Oceanospirillales within class Gammaproteobacteria), which increased their relative abundance within 2 weeks and were maintained 3 weeks after oil treatment. The second group was identified as early, but transient responders (order Rhodobacterales within class Alphaproteobacteria; class Epsilonproteobacteria), which increased their population by 2 weeks, but returned to the basal level 3 weeks after oil treatment. The third group was the late responders (order Clostridiales within phylum Firmicutes; order Methylococcales within class Gammaproteobacteria; and phylum Tenericutes), which only increased 3 weeks after oil treatment. Furthermore, we identified oil-sensitive bacterial taxa (order Chromatiales within class Gammaproteobacteria; order Syntrophobacterales within class Deltaproteobacteria), which decreased in their population after 2 weeks of oil treatment. Detection of alkane (alkB), catechol (C2,3DO) and biphenyl (bph) biodegradation genes by PCR, particularly in oil-treated sediment metacommunity DNA, delineates proliferation of the hydrocarbon degrading bacterial community. Overall, the indigenous bacterial communities in our salt-marsh sediment in vitro microcosm study responded rapidly and shifted towards members of the taxonomic groups that are capable of surviving in an MC252 oil-contaminated environment.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verônica S. da M. Gomes

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1998-01-01

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

  20. Assessing the Potential for Inland Migration of a Northeastern Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farron, S.; FitzGerald, D.; Hughes, Z. J.

    2017-12-01

    It is often assumed that as sea level rises, salt marshes will expand inland. If the slope of the upland is relatively flat and sufficient sediment is available, marshes should be able to spread horizontally and grow vertically in order to maintain their areal extent. However, in cases where marshes are backed by steeper slopes, or sediment supply is limited, rising sea level will produce minimal gains along the landward edge insufficient to offset potential losses along the seaward edge. This study uses future sea level rise scenarios to project areal losses for the Great Marsh in Massachusetts, the largest continuous salt marsh in New England. Land area covered by salt marsh is defined by surface elevation. Annual sediment input to the system is estimated based on the areal extent of high and low marsh, historical accretion rates for each, and known organic/inorganic ratios. Unlike other studies, sediment availability is considered to be finite, and future accretion rates are limited based on the assumption that the system is presently receiving the maximum sediment input available. The Great Marsh is dominated by high marsh; as sea level rises, it will convert to low marsh, vastly altering the ecological and sedimentological dynamics of the system. If it is assumed that former high marsh areas will build vertically at the increased rate associated with low marsh, then much of the total marsh area will be maintained. However, this may be an unrealistic assumption due to the low levels of suspended sediment within the Great Marsh system. Modeling the evolution of the Great Marsh by assuming that the current accretion rate is the maximum possible for this system reveals much greater losses than models assuming an unlimited sediment supply would predict (17% less marsh by 2115). In addition, uplands surrounding the Great Marsh have been shaped by glaciation, leaving numerous drumlins and other glacial landforms. Compared to the flat backbarrier, the surrounding

  1. Salt Marshes as Sources and Sinks of Silica

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, J.; Fulweiler, R. W.

    2014-12-01

    The role of salt marshes in controlling silica exchange between terrestrial and marine environments is unclear. In some studies, large quantities of dissolved silica (DSi) appear to be exported from marshes via tidal exchange, potentially fueling future diatom production in adjacent waters. In contrast, other studies report insignificant DSi export and found instead that salt marshes appeared to be Si sinks. Further, few studies examine salt marsh Si export in relation to inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and phosphorus (DIP). We address these uncertainties by quantifying net fluxes of DSi and biogenic Si (BSi), as well as DIN and DIP during the spring and summer in a relatively undisturbed southern New England salt marsh (Narragansett Bay, USA). Our data demonstrates that during the spring, when estuarine waters are deplete in DSi, the marsh serves as a net sink of BSi (132 mol h-1) and a source of DSi (31 mol h-1) to the estuary. The spring DIN:DSi ratios of ebbing water were more than five times lower than flood waters. Most importantly, the DSi export rates (6.5 x103 mol d-1 km-2) are an order of magnitude larger than the export by rivers in the region (115 mol d-1 km-2), indicating the marsh tidal exchange is vital in supplying the Si necessary for spring diatom blooms in the estuary. Conversely, during the summer the marsh served as a net Si sink, importing on average 59 mol DSi h-1 and 39 mol BSi h-1. These data highlight that the role of salt marshes in silica cycling appears to have a strong seasonality. We hypothesize that net import of Si increases the residence time of Si in estuarine systems, providing an important and previously over-looked ecosystem service. In the absence of salt marshes, ~5.1 x 104 kmol of Si would be exported from this system during the growing season, possibly decreasing Si availability and altering phytoplankton species composition in the estuary.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J Michael Day

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-07-01

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

  4. Decline of the Macquarie Marshes ecosystem, Australia, since European arrival recorded by organic geochemical proxies in sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yu, L.; Chivas, A. R.; Garcia, A.; Hu, J.

    2011-12-01

    aquatic macrophytes and more drought-tolerant plants; while the sediments from permanently inundated watercourses show an additional peak in short-chain n-alkanes contributed by aquatic algae and bacteria. It is also indicated by the sterols that the most abundant sterol is C29 sterol (sitosterol), and the composition of C27 and C28 sterols varies slightly depending on the relative contributions of higher terrestrial plants and microalgae. Particularly, in areas where water-bird colonies were established, a fecal biomarker - coprostanol, is detected. The OCPs (e.g. DDT, DDD, endosulfans) used in cotton farming around the Marshes, and PAHs (e.g. chrysene, benzo[e]pyrene) from fires during drought years, were not found above the detection limit of 0.01 μg/g. The results indicate that the presence of colonial birds and various terrestrial/aquatic plants are registered in the sediments and that the Macquarie Marshes are still pristine regarding pesticides. However, the deterioration of the wetlands since Europeans arrival (~130 years agao) is indicated by increasing terrestrial vegetation and diminishing aquatic biota.

  5. Modelling Watershed and Estuarine Controls on Salt Marsh Distributions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yousefi Lalimi, F.; Marani, M.; Murray, A. B.; D'Alpaos, A.

    2017-12-01

    The formation and evolution of tidal platforms have been extensively studied through observations and models, describing landform dynamics as a result of the local interactions and feedbacks among hydrodynamics, vegetation, and sediment transport. However, existing work mainly focuses on individual marsh platforms and, possibly, their immediate surrounding, such that the influence and controls on marsh dynamics of inland areas (through fluvial inputs) and of exchanges with the ocean have not been comprehensively and simultaneously accounted for. Here, we develop and use a process-based model to evaluate the relative role of watershed, estuarine, and ocean controls on salt marsh accretionary and depositional/erosional dynamics and define how these factors interact to determine salt marsh resilience to environmental change at the whole-estuary scale. Our results, in line with previous work, show that no stable equilibrium exists for the erosional dynamics of the marsh/tidal flat boundary. In addition, we find that under some circumstances, vertical accretion/erosion dynamics can lead to transitions between salt marsh and tidal flat equilibrium states that occur much more rapidly than marsh/tidal flat boundary erosion or accretion could. We further define, in the multidimensional space of estuarine-scale morphodynamic forcings, the basins of attractions leading to marsh-dominated and tidal-flat-dominated estuaries. The relatively slow dynamics asymptotically leading to marsh- or tidal-flat- dominance in many cases suggest that estuaries are likely to be found, at any given time, in a transition state dictated by temporal variations in environmental forcings.

  6. Tidal Marshes: The Boundary between Land and Ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosselink, James

    An overview of the ecology of the tidal marshes along the gulf coast of the United States is presented. The following topics are included: (1) the human impact on tidal marshes; (2) the geologic origins of tidal marshes; (3) a description of the physical characteristics and ecosystem of the marshlands; (4) a description of the marshland food chain…

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  8. Biota - 2011 Vegetation Inventory - Marsh Lake, MN

    Data.gov (United States)

    Army Corps of Engineers, Department of the Army, Department of Defense — 2011 Vegetation Classification for Marsh Lake, MN Vegetation Project Report, OMBIL Environmental Stewardship - Level 1 Inventory. Marsh Lake is located on the...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  10. Carbon sequestration by Australian tidal marshes

    KAUST Repository

    Macreadie, Peter I.

    2017-03-10

    Australia\\'s tidal marshes have suffered significant losses but their recently recognised importance in CO2 sequestration is creating opportunities for their protection and restoration. We compiled all available data on soil organic carbon (OC) storage in Australia\\'s tidal marshes (323 cores). OC stocks in the surface 1 m averaged 165.41 (SE 6.96) Mg OC ha-1 (range 14-963 Mg OC ha-1). The mean OC accumulation rate was 0.55 ± 0.02 Mg OC ha-1 yr-1. Geomorphology was the most important predictor of OC stocks, with fluvial sites having twice the stock of OC as seaward sites. Australia\\'s 1.4 million hectares of tidal marshes contain an estimated 212 million tonnes of OC in the surface 1 m, with a potential CO2-equivalent value of $USD7.19 billion. Annual sequestration is 0.75 Tg OC yr-1, with a CO2-equivalent value of $USD28.02 million per annum. This study provides the most comprehensive estimates of tidal marsh blue carbon in Australia, and illustrates their importance in climate change mitigation and adaptation, acting as CO2 sinks and buffering the impacts of rising sea level. We outline potential further development of carbon offset schemes to restore the sequestration capacity and other ecosystem services provided by Australia tidal marshes.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. D. Pozza

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pozza D. D.

    2003-01-01

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

  13. Dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Carnacina, Iacopo; Donatelli, Carmine; Ganju, Neil K.; Plater, Andrew James; Schuerch, Mark; Temmerman, Stijn

    2018-01-01

    This manuscript reviews the progresses made in the understanding of the dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes, including the dissipation of extreme water levels and wind waves across marsh surfaces, the geomorphic impact of storms on salt marshes, the preservation of hurricanes signals and deposits into the sedimentary records, and the importance of storms for the long term survival of salt marshes to sea level rise. A review of weaknesses, and strengths of coastal defences incorporating the use of salt marshes including natural, and hybrid infrastructures in comparison to standard built solutions is then presented.Salt marshes are effective in dissipating wave energy, and storm surges, especially when the marsh is highly elevated, and continuous. This buffering action reduces for storms lasting more than one day. Storm surge attenuation rates range from 1.7 to 25 cm/km depending on marsh and storms characteristics. In terms of vegetation properties, the more flexible stems tend to flatten during powerful storms, and to dissipate less energy but they are also more resilient to structural damage, and their flattening helps to protect the marsh surface from erosion, while stiff plants tend to break, and could increase the turbulence level and the scour. From a morphological point of view, salt marshes are generally able to withstand violent storms without collapsing, and violent storms are responsible for only a small portion of the long term marsh erosion.Our considerations highlight the necessity to focus on the indirect long term impact that large storms exerts on the whole marsh complex rather than on sole after-storm periods. The morphological consequences of storms, even if not dramatic, might in fact influence the response of the system to normal weather conditions during following inter-storm periods. For instance, storms can cause tidal flats deepening which in turn promotes wave energy propagation, and exerts a long term

  14. Dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Carnacina, Iacopo; Donatelli, Carmine; Ganju, Neil Kamal; Plater, Andrew James; Schuerch, Mark; Temmerman, Stijn

    2018-01-01

    This manuscript reviews the progresses made in the understanding of the dynamic interactions between coastal storms and salt marshes, including the dissipation of extreme water levels and wind waves across marsh surfaces, the geomorphic impact of storms on salt marshes, the preservation of hurricanes signals and deposits into the sedimentary records, and the importance of storms for the long term survival of salt marshes to sea level rise. A review of weaknesses, and strengths of coastal defences incorporating the use of salt marshes including natural, and hybrid infrastructures in comparison to standard built solutions is then presented. Salt marshes are effective in dissipating wave energy, and storm surges, especially when the marsh is highly elevated, and continuous. This buffering action reduces for storms lasting more than one day. Storm surge attenuation rates range from 1.7 to 25 cm/km depending on marsh and storms characteristics. In terms of vegetation properties, the more flexible stems tend to flatten during powerful storms, and to dissipate less energy but they are also more resilient to structural damage, and their flattening helps to protect the marsh surface from erosion, while stiff plants tend to break, and could increase the turbulence level and the scour. From a morphological point of view, salt marshes are generally able to withstand violent storms without collapsing, and violent storms are responsible for only a small portion of the long term marsh erosion. Our considerations highlight the necessity to focus on the indirect long term impact that large storms exerts on the whole marsh complex rather than on sole after-storm periods. The morphological consequences of storms, even if not dramatic, might in fact influence the response of the system to normal weather conditions during following inter-storm periods. For instance, storms can cause tidal flats deepening which in turn promotes wave energy propagation, and exerts a long term detrimental

  15. Seasonal comparison of aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblages in a flooded coastal freshwater marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kang, Sung-Ryong; King, Sammy L.

    2013-01-01

    Marsh flooding and drying may be important factors affecting aquatic macroinvertebrate density and distribution in coastal freshwater marshes. Limited availability of water as a result of drying in emergent marsh may decrease density, taxonomic diversity, and taxa richness. The principal objectives of this study are to characterize the seasonal aquatic macroinvertebrate assemblage in a freshwater emergent marsh and compare aquatic macroinvertebrate species composition, density, and taxonomic diversity to that of freshwater marsh ponds. We hypothesize that 1) freshwater emergent marsh has lower seasonal density and taxonomic diversity compared to that of freshwater marsh ponds; and 2) freshwater emergent marsh has lower taxa richness than freshwater marsh ponds. Seasonal aquatic macroinvertebrate density in freshwater emergent marsh ranged from 0 organisms/m2 (summer 2009) to 91.1 ± 20.53 organisms/m2 (mean ± SE; spring 2009). Density in spring was higher than in all other seasons. Taxonomic diversity did not differ and there were no unique species in the freshwater emergent marsh. Our data only partially support our first hypothesis as aquatic macroinvertebrate density and taxonomic diversity between freshwater emergent marsh and ponds did not differ in spring, fall, and winter but ponds supported higher macroinvertebrate densities than freshwater emergent marsh during summer. However, our data did not support our second hypothesis as taxa richness between freshwater emergent marsh and ponds did not statistically differ.

  16. Estuaries and Tidal Marshes. Habitat Pac.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fish and Wildlife Service (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    This educational packet consists of an overview, three lesson plans, student data sheets, and a poster. The overview examines estuaries and tidal or salt marshes by discussing the plants and animals in these habitats, marsh productivity, benefits and management of the habitats, historical aspects, and development and pollution. A glossary and list…

  17. Evaluation of Marsh/Estuarine Water Quality and Ecological Models: An Interim Guide

    Science.gov (United States)

    1982-01-01

    benthic oxygen demand, benthic scour and deposition, photosynthesis and respiration of aquatic plants, and nitrification (Dobbins 1964; O’Connor 1967... photosynthesis , algal respiration, decom- position, and mixing processes play dominant roles, the understanding and characterization of significant pro...Adams, S. M. 1979. "A Mathematical Model of Trophic Dynamics in Estuarine Seagrass Communities," Marsh-Estuarine Systems Simulation, Dame, R. F., ed

  18. Influence of abiotic factors on spider and ground beetle communities in different salt-marsh systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petillon, Julien; Georges, Anita; Canard, Alain; Lefeuvre, Jean-Claude; Bakker, Jan P.; Ysnel, Frederic

    2008-01-01

    Salt marshes are interesting and endangered ecosystems in West-Europe. Nevertheless, their arthropod fauna remains largely unknown and the factors determining assemblages at micro-habitat scale are poorly understood. Few data are also available about the effects of management measures in salt

  19. Salt Marshes as Potential Indicatore of Global Climate Change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kim, Daehyun; Cairens, David; Jung, S.H.

    2011-01-01

    Coastal scientists postulate that salt marshes are significantly affected by dynamics of global climate. However, few studies have explicitly proposed a perspective that regards salt marshes as potential indicators of climate change. This review article evaluates the possibility of salt marshes...... as indicators of global climate change, focusing upon three major aspects: sedimentary, vegetation, and biogeochemical dynamics. The previous literature concerned with these aspects commonly argues that the primary impact of climate change on salt marshes occurs via sea-level variations, because hydrologic...... fluctuations regulate the frequency, duration, and depth of over-marsh flooding events. Sedimentary, floristic, and biogeochemical dynamics prove to be significantly influenced by sealevel changes regardless of climate zones, and hence, undoubtedly possess a potential for indicating climate signatures. However...

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Can salt marshes survive sea level rise ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tambroni, N.; Seminara, G.

    2008-12-01

    Stability of salt marshes is a very delicate issue depending on the subtle interplay among hydrodynamics, morphodynamics and ecology. In fact, the elevation of the marsh platform depends essentially on three effects: i) the production of soil associated with sediments resuspended by tidal currents and wind waves in the adjacent tidal flats, advected to the marsh and settling therein; ii) production of organic sediments by the salt marsh vegetation; iii) soil 'loss' driven by sea level rise and subsidence. In order to gain insight into the mechanics of the process, we consider a schematic configuration consisting of a salt marsh located at the landward end of a tidal channel connected at the upstream end with a tidal sea, under different scenarios of sea level rise. We extend the simple 1D model for the morphodynamic evolution of a tidal channel formulated by Lanzoni and Seminara (2002, Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans, 107, C1) allowing for sediment resuspension in the channel and vegetation growth in the marsh using the depth dependent model of biomass productivity of Spartina proposed by Morris et al. (2002, Ecology, 83, pp. 2869 - 2877). We first focus on the case of a tide dominated salt marsh neglecting wind driven sediment resuspension in the shoal. Results show that the production of biomass plays a crucial role on salt marsh stability and, provided productivity is high enough, it may turn out to be sufficient to counteract the effects of sea level rise even in the absence of significant supply of mineral sediments. The additional effect of wind resuspension is then introduced. Note that the wind action is twofold: on one hand, it generates wind waves the amplitude of which is strongly dependent on shoal depth and wind fetch; on the other hand, it generates currents driven by the surface setup induced by the shear stress acting on the free surface. Here, each contribution is analysed separately. Results show that the values of bottom stress induced by

  2. Assessing Salt Marsh Recovery Utilizing Improved Computer-Aided Tomography Technology (CTT)

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2001 the Padanarum marsh, a small 7.2-acre marsh in Dartmouth, MA, was chosen as a Tidal Hydrology Restoration site. The site was initially characterized as a brackish mostly freshwater deteriorating marsh. In May 2003 the seawater input to this marsh was increased by replacin...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Using Imaging Spectroscopy to Map Changing Distributions of Dominant Species in Oil-Contaminated Salt Marshes of Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beland, M. C.; Roberts, D. A.; Peterson, S.; Biggs, T. W.; Kokaly, R. F.; Piazza, S.; Roth, K. L.; Khanna, S.; Ustin, S.

    2016-12-01

    The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest coastal spill in U.S. history. Monitoring subsequent change in marsh plant community distributions is critical to assess ecosystem impacts and to establish future coastal management priorities. Strategically deployed airborne imaging spectrometers, like the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), offer the spectral and spatial resolution needed to differentiate plant species. However, obtaining satisfactory and consistent classification accuracies over time is a major challenge, particularly in dynamic intertidal landscapes. Here, we develop and evaluate an image classification system for a time series of AVIRIS data for mapping dominant species in a heavily oiled salt marsh ecosystem. Using field-referenced image endmembers and canonical discriminant analysis (CDA), we classified 21 AVIRIS images acquired during the fall of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Classification results were evaluated using ground surveys that were conducted contemporaneously to AVIRIS collection dates. We analyzed changes in dominant species cover from 2010-2012 for oiled and non-oiled shorelines. CDA discriminated dominant species with a high level of accuracy (overall accuracy = 82%, kappa = 0.78) and consistency over three imaging dates (overall2010 = 82%, overall2011 = 82%, overall2012 = 88%). Marshes dominated by Spartina alterniflora were the most spatially abundant in shoreline zones (≤ 28m from shore) for all three dates (2010 = 79%, 2011 = 61%, 2012 = 63%), followed by Juncus roemerianus (2010 = 11%, 2011 = 19%, 2012 = 17%) and Distichlis spicata (2010 = 4%, 2011 = 10%, 2012 = 7%). Marshes that were heavily contaminated with oil exhibited variable responses from 2010-2012. Marsh vegetation classes converted to a subtidal, open water class along oiled and non-oiled shorelines that were similarly situated in the landscape. However, marsh loss along oil-contaminated shorelines doubled that of non

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher J.W. McClure

    2015-07-01

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

  6. Hydrodynamic Modeling of Santa Marta's Big Marsh

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Saldarriaga, Juan

    1991-01-01

    The ecological degradation of Santa Marta's Big Marsh and their next areas it has motivated the realization of diagnosis studies and design by several state and private entities. One of the recommended efforts for international advisory it was to develop an ecological model that allowed the handling of the water body and the economic test of alternative of solution to those ecological problems. The first part of a model of this type is in turn a model that simulates the movement of the water inside the marsh, that is to say, a hydrodynamic model. The realization of this was taken charge to the civil engineering department, on the part of Colciencias. This article contains a general explanation of the hydrodynamic pattern that this being developed by a professors group. The ecological causes are described and antecedent, the parts that conform the complex of the Santa Marta big Marsh The marsh modeling is made and it is explained in qualitative form the model type Hydrodynamic used

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-06-01

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

  9. Unsupervised detection of salt marsh platforms: a topographic method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, Guillaume C. H.; Mudd, Simon M.; Clubb, Fiona J.

    2018-03-01

    Salt marshes filter pollutants, protect coastlines against storm surges, and sequester carbon, yet are under threat from sea level rise and anthropogenic modification. The sustained existence of the salt marsh ecosystem depends on the topographic evolution of marsh platforms. Quantifying marsh platform topography is vital for improving the management of these valuable landscapes. The determination of platform boundaries currently relies on supervised classification methods requiring near-infrared data to detect vegetation, or demands labour-intensive field surveys and digitisation. We propose a novel, unsupervised method to reproducibly isolate salt marsh scarps and platforms from a digital elevation model (DEM), referred to as Topographic Identification of Platforms (TIP). Field observations and numerical models show that salt marshes mature into subhorizontal platforms delineated by subvertical scarps. Based on this premise, we identify scarps as lines of local maxima on a slope raster, then fill landmasses from the scarps upward, thus isolating mature marsh platforms. We test the TIP method using lidar-derived DEMs from six salt marshes in England with varying tidal ranges and geometries, for which topographic platforms were manually isolated from tidal flats. Agreement between manual and unsupervised classification exceeds 94 % for DEM resolutions of 1 m, with all but one site maintaining an accuracy superior to 90 % for resolutions up to 3 m. For resolutions of 1 m, platforms detected with the TIP method are comparable in surface area to digitised platforms and have similar elevation distributions. We also find that our method allows for the accurate detection of local block failures as small as 3 times the DEM resolution. Detailed inspection reveals that although tidal creeks were digitised as part of the marsh platform, unsupervised classification categorises them as part of the tidal flat, causing an increase in false negatives and overall platform

  10. Unsupervised detection of salt marsh platforms: a topographic method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. C. H. Goodwin

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes filter pollutants, protect coastlines against storm surges, and sequester carbon, yet are under threat from sea level rise and anthropogenic modification. The sustained existence of the salt marsh ecosystem depends on the topographic evolution of marsh platforms. Quantifying marsh platform topography is vital for improving the management of these valuable landscapes. The determination of platform boundaries currently relies on supervised classification methods requiring near-infrared data to detect vegetation, or demands labour-intensive field surveys and digitisation. We propose a novel, unsupervised method to reproducibly isolate salt marsh scarps and platforms from a digital elevation model (DEM, referred to as Topographic Identification of Platforms (TIP. Field observations and numerical models show that salt marshes mature into subhorizontal platforms delineated by subvertical scarps. Based on this premise, we identify scarps as lines of local maxima on a slope raster, then fill landmasses from the scarps upward, thus isolating mature marsh platforms. We test the TIP method using lidar-derived DEMs from six salt marshes in England with varying tidal ranges and geometries, for which topographic platforms were manually isolated from tidal flats. Agreement between manual and unsupervised classification exceeds 94 % for DEM resolutions of 1 m, with all but one site maintaining an accuracy superior to 90 % for resolutions up to 3 m. For resolutions of 1 m, platforms detected with the TIP method are comparable in surface area to digitised platforms and have similar elevation distributions. We also find that our method allows for the accurate detection of local block failures as small as 3 times the DEM resolution. Detailed inspection reveals that although tidal creeks were digitised as part of the marsh platform, unsupervised classification categorises them as part of the tidal flat, causing an increase in false negatives

  11. Birds of a central São Paulo woodlot: 1. Censuses 1982-2000

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. O. WILLIS

    Full Text Available Some 263 birds were recorded near and in a 230-ha patch of semideciduous forest in cane fields of central São Paulo, Brazil. Subtracting 67 open-area species, 22 of marshes or creeks, 10 vagrants and 12 recorded later, 152 forest and border species were recorded in 1982-86, much like what was observed in a similar woodlot near Campinas. Both woodlots lost species gradually over the years. Some birds avoided hard cane-field edges, preferring soft bushy edges. Of open-area species, 22 seemed to have disappeared by 1997 due to earlier high El Niño rains or rare permanently open habitats in the sugar cane; 17 new species were mostly nocturnal ones not noted earlier, or occasional visitors. Forest and borders lost 31 species, gaining five of dry regions and one winter visitor. Several migrants from the south appeared only in wet years before recent greenhouse effects, some resident birds were hunted, and canopy hummingbirds were perhaps still present. Dry-forest travel-prone or "metapopulational" species moved their centers of distribution, partly concealing loss of moist-forest diversity.

  12. Natural windbreaks sustain bird diversity in a tea-dominated landscape.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachakonda Sreekar

    Full Text Available Windbreaks often form networks of forest habitats that improve connectivity and thus conserve biodiversity, but little is known of such effects in the tropics. We determined bird species richness and community composition in windbreaks composed of remnant native vegetation amongst tea plantations (natural windbreaks, and compared it with the surrounding primary forests. Fifty-one, ten-minute point counts were conducted in each habitat type over three days. Despite the limited sampling period, our bird inventories in both natural windbreaks and primary forests were nearly complete, as indicated by bootstrap true richness estimator. Bird species richness and abundance between primary forests and windbreaks were similar, however a difference in bird community composition was observed. Abundances of important functional groups such as frugivores and insectivores did not vary between habitat types but nectarivores were more abundant in windbreaks, potentially as a result of the use of windbreaks as traveling routes, foraging and nesting sites. This preliminary study suggests that natural windbreaks may be important habitats for the persistence of bird species in a production landscape. However, a better understanding of the required physical and compositional characteristics for windbreaks to sustain bird communities is needed for effective conservation management.

  13. Salt Marsh Formation in the Lower Hudson River Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merley, Michael; Peteet, Dorothy; Hansen, James E. (Technical Monitor)

    2001-01-01

    Salt marshes are constant depositional environments and as a result contain accurate indicators of past relative sea level rise and salinity. The Hudson River marshes are at least twice as deep when compared to coastal marshes on either side of the mouth of the Hudson. The reason for this difference in sedimentation is unclear. This study uses macrofossil data as well as sediment stratigraphy in order to understand the formation and evolution of these marshes. The composition of seeds, roots, shoots and foraminifera, are used to indicate past sea levels. The four sites involved in this study are, from south to north, the Arthur Kill Marsh in Staten Island (40 36 N, 74 77W), Piermont marsh (N 4100; 73 55W) Croton Point (41 14 N; 73 50W) and Iona Island (41 18N, 73 58W). These are all tidally influenced but with increasing distances from the New York Bight, which gives a good spectrum of tidal influence. AMS-C14 dates on basal macrofossils will document the time of each marsh formation. Basal material from Arthur Kill (8 m) includes freshwater seeds such as Viola, Potomageton and Alnus along with Salix buds. Basal material from Croton Point (10 m) includes fibrous woody material, foraminifera and Zanichellia seeds and other brackish vegetational components. The basal material from Piermont (13.77 m) is lacking any identifiable macrofossils between 150 and 500 microns. The basal material from Iona Island (10 m) has vegetation such as Scirpus and Cyperus seeds, probably implying a brackish environment. The freshwater origin of the Arthur Kill marsh in Staten Island is significant because it predates either sea level rise or the western channel incision. Additional implications for this study include evidence for changes in river channel geomorphology. Reasons for the relatively deeper river marshes include possible basal clay compaction, high production due to river and marine nutrients as well as tectonic activity. This study provides the groundwork for more high

  14. Modelling the long-term vertical dynamics of salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zoccarato, Claudia; Teatini, Pietro

    2017-04-01

    Salt marshes are vulnerable environments hosting complex interactions between physical and biological processes with a strong influence on the dynamics of the marsh evolution. The estimation and prediction of the elevation of a salt-marsh platform is crucial to forecast the marsh growth or regression under different scenarios considering, for example, the potential climate changes. The long-term vertical dynamics of a salt marsh is predicted with the aid of an original finite-element (FE) numerical model accounting for the marsh accretion and compaction and for the variation rates of the relative sea level rise, i.e., land subsidence of the marsh basement and eustatic rise of the sea level. The accretion term considers the vertical sedimentation of organic and inorganic material over the marsh surface, whereas the compaction reflects the progressive consolidation of the porous medium under the increasing load of the overlying younger deposits. The modelling approach is based on a 2D groundwater flow simulator, which provides the pressure evolution within a compacting/accreting vertical cross-section of the marsh assuming that the groundwater flow obeys the relative Darcy's law, coupled to a 1D vertical geomechanical module following Terzaghi's principle of effective intergranular stress. Soil porosity, permeability, and compressibility may vary with the effective intergranular stress according to empirically based relationships. The model also takes into account the geometric non-linearity arising from the consideration of large solid grain movements by using a Lagrangian approach with an adaptive FE mesh. The element geometry changes in time to follow the deposit consolidation and the element number increases in time to follow the sedimentation of new material. The numerical model is tested on different realistic configurations considering the influence of (i) the spatial distribution of the sedimentation rate in relation to the distance from the marsh margin, (ii

  15. Estuaries as filters: the role of tidal marshes in trace metal removal.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Teuchies

    Full Text Available Flux calculations demonstrate that many estuaries are natural filters for trace metals. Yet, the underlying processes are poorly investigated. In the present study, it was hypothesized that intertidal marshes contribute significantly to the contaminant filter function of estuaries. Trace metal concentrations and sediment characteristics were measured along a transect from the subtidal, over an intertidal flat and marsh to a restored marsh with controlled reduced tide. Metal concentrations in the intertidal and restored marsh were found to be a factor two to five higher than values in the subtidal and intertidal flat sediments. High metal concentrations and high accretion rates indicate a high metal accumulation capacity of the intertidal marshes. Overbank sedimentation in the tidal marshes of the entire estuary was calculated to remove 25% to 50% of the riverine metal influx, even though marshes comprise less than 8% of the total surface of the estuary. In addition, the large-scale implementation of planned tidal marsh restoration projects was estimated to almost double the trace metal storage capacity of the present natural tidal marshes in the estuary.

  16. Estuaries as Filters: The Role of Tidal Marshes in Trace Metal Removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teuchies, Johannes; Vandenbruwaene, Wouter; Carpentier, Roos; Bervoets, Lieven; Temmerman, Stijn; Wang, Chen; Maris, Tom; Cox, Tom J. S.; Van Braeckel, Alexander; Meire, Patrick

    2013-01-01

    Flux calculations demonstrate that many estuaries are natural filters for trace metals. Yet, the underlying processes are poorly investigated. In the present study, it was hypothesized that intertidal marshes contribute significantly to the contaminant filter function of estuaries. Trace metal concentrations and sediment characteristics were measured along a transect from the subtidal, over an intertidal flat and marsh to a restored marsh with controlled reduced tide. Metal concentrations in the intertidal and restored marsh were found to be a factor two to five higher than values in the subtidal and intertidal flat sediments. High metal concentrations and high accretion rates indicate a high metal accumulation capacity of the intertidal marshes. Overbank sedimentation in the tidal marshes of the entire estuary was calculated to remove 25% to 50% of the riverine metal influx, even though marshes comprise less than 8% of the total surface of the estuary. In addition, the large-scale implementation of planned tidal marsh restoration projects was estimated to almost double the trace metal storage capacity of the present natural tidal marshes in the estuary. PMID:23950927

  17. Will fluctuations in salt marsh-mangrove dominance alter vulnerability of a subtropical wetland to sea-level rise?

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L; Vervaeke, William C

    2018-03-01

    To avoid submergence during sea-level rise, coastal wetlands build soil surfaces vertically through accumulation of inorganic sediment and organic matter. At climatic boundaries where mangroves are expanding and replacing salt marsh, wetland capacity to respond to sea-level rise may change. To compare how well mangroves and salt marshes accommodate sea-level rise, we conducted a manipulative field experiment in a subtropical plant community in the subsiding Mississippi River Delta. Experimental plots were established in spatially equivalent positions along creek banks in monospecific stands of Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) or Avicennia germinans (black mangrove) and in mixed stands containing both species. To examine the effect of disturbance on elevation dynamics, vegetation in half of the plots was subjected to freezing (mangrove) or wrack burial (salt marsh), which caused shoot mortality. Vertical soil development was monitored for 6 years with the surface elevation table-marker horizon system. Comparison of land movement with relative sea-level rise showed that this plant community was experiencing an elevation deficit (i.e., sea level was rising faster than the wetland was building vertically) and was relying on elevation capital (i.e., relative position in the tidal frame) to survive. Although Avicennia plots had more elevation capital, suggesting longer survival, than Spartina or mixed plots, vegetation type had no effect on rates of accretion, vertical movement in root and sub-root zones, or net elevation change. Thus, these salt marsh and mangrove assemblages were accreting sediment and building vertically at equivalent rates. Small-scale disturbance of the plant canopy also had no effect on elevation trajectories-contrary to work in peat-forming wetlands showing elevation responses to changes in plant productivity. The findings indicate that in this deltaic setting with strong physical influences controlling elevation (sediment accretion

  18. Effects of Spartina alterniflora invasion on the communities of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria in estuarine marsh sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jemaneh eZeleke

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The effect of plant invasion on the microorganisms of soil sediments is very important for estuary ecology. The community structures of methanogens and sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB as a function of Spartina alterniflora invasion in Phragmites australis-vegetated sediments of the Dongtan wetland in the Yangtze River estuary, China, were investigated using 454 pyrosequencing and quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR of the methyl coenzyme M reductase A (mcrA and dissimilatory sulfite-reductase (dsrB genes. Sediment samples were collected from two replicate locations, and each location included three sampling stands each covered by monocultures of P. australis, S. alterniflora and both plants (transition stands, respectively. qPCR analysis revealed higher copy numbers of mcrA genes in sediments from S. alterniflora stands than P. australis stands (5- and 7.5-fold more in the spring and summer, respectively, which is consistent with the higher methane flux rates measured in the S. alterniflora stands (up to 8.01 ± 5.61 mg m-2 h-1. Similar trends were observed for SRB, and they were up to two orders of magnitude higher than the methanogens. Diversity indices indicated a lower diversity of methanogens in the S. alterniflora stands than the P. australis stands. In contrast, insignificant variations were observed in the diversity of SRB with the invasion. Although Methanomicrobiales and Methanococcales, the hydrogenotrophic methanogens, dominated in the salt marsh, Methanomicrobiales displayed a slight increase with the invasion and growth of S. alterniflora, whereas the later responded differently. Methanosarcina, the metabolically diverse methanogens, did not vary with the invasion of, but Methanosaeta, the exclusive acetate utilizers, appeared to increase with S. alterniflora invasion. In SRB, sequences closely related to the families Desulfobacteraceae and Desulfobulbaceae dominated in the salt marsh, although they displayed minimal changes with the S

  19. Immersion in a Hudson Valley Tidal Marsh and Climate Research Community - Lamont-Doherty's Secondary School Field Research Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peteet, D. M.; Newton, R.; Vincent, S.; Sambrotto, R.; Bostick, B. C.; Schlosser, P.; Corbett, J. E.

    2015-12-01

    A primary advantage of place-based research is the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary research that can be applied to a single locale, with a depth of continued study through time. Through the last decade, Lamont-Doherty's Secondary School Field Research Program (SSFRP) has promoted scientific inquiry, mostly among groups under-represented in STEM fields, in Piermont Marsh, a federally protected marsh in the Hudson estuary. At the same time, Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO) scientists have become more involved, through mentoring by researchers, postdocs and graduate students, often paired with high school teachers. The sustained engagement of high school students in a natural environment, experiencing the Hudson River and its tidal cycles, protection of coastline, water quality improvement, native and invasive plant communities, is fundamental to their understanding of the importance of wetlands with their many ecosystem services. In addition, the Program has come to see "place" as inclusive of the Observatory itself. The students' work at Lamont expands their understanding of educational opportunities and career possibilities. Immersing students in a research atmosphere brings a level of serious inquiry and study to their lives and provides them with concrete contributions that they make to team efforts. Students select existing projects ranging from water quality to Phragmites removal, read papers weekly, take field measurements, produce lab results, and present their research at the end of six weeks. Ongoing results build from year to year in studies of fish populations, nutrients, and carbon sequestration, and the students have presented at professional scientific meetings. Through the Program students gain a sense of ownership over both their natural and the academic environments. Challenges include sustained funding of the program; segmenting the research for reproducible, robust results; fitting the projects to PIs' research goals, time

  20. Mapping changing distributions of dominant species in oil-contaminated salt marshes of Louisiana using imaging spectroscopy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beland, Michael; Roberts, Dar A.; Peterson, Seth H.; Biggs, Trent W.; Kokaly, Raymond F.; Piazza, Sarai; Roth, Keely L.; Khanna, Shruti; Ustin, Susan L.

    2016-01-01

    The April 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill was the largest coastal spill in U.S. history. Monitoring subsequent change in marsh plant community distributions is critical to assess ecosystem impacts and to establish future coastal management priorities. Strategically deployed airborne imaging spectrometers, like the Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS), offer the spectral and spatial resolution needed to differentiate plant species. However, obtaining satisfactory and consistent classification accuracies over time is a major challenge, particularly in dynamic intertidal landscapes.Here, we develop and evaluate an image classification system for a time series of AVIRIS data for mapping dominant species in a heavily oiled salt marsh ecosystem. Using field-referenced image endmembers and canonical discriminant analysis (CDA), we classified 21 AVIRIS images acquired during the fall of 2010, 2011 and 2012. Classification results were evaluated using ground surveys that were conducted contemporaneously to AVIRIS collection dates. We analyzed changes in dominant species cover from 2010 to 2012 for oiled and non-oiled shorelines.CDA discriminated dominant species with a high level of accuracy (overall accuracy = 82%, kappa = 0.78) and consistency over three imaging dates (overall2010 = 82%, overall2011 = 82%, overall2012 = 88%). Marshes dominated by Spartina alterniflora were the most spatially abundant in shoreline zones (≤ 28 m from shore) for all three dates (2010 = 79%, 2011 = 61%, 2012 = 63%), followed by Juncus roemerianus (2010 = 11%, 2011 = 19%, 2012 = 17%) and Distichlis spicata (2010 = 4%, 2011 = 10%, 2012 = 7%).Marshes that were heavily contaminated with oil exhibited variable responses from 2010 to 2012. Marsh vegetation classes converted to a subtidal, open water class along oiled and non-oiled shorelines that were similarly situated in the landscape. However, marsh loss along oil-contaminated shorelines

  1. Street trees reduce the negative effects of urbanization on birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pena, João Carlos de Castro; Martello, Felipe; Ribeiro, Milton Cezar; Armitage, Richard A; Young, Robert J; Rodrigues, Marcos

    2017-01-01

    The effects of streets on biodiversity is an important aspect of urban ecology, but it has been neglected worldwide. Several vegetation attributes (e.g. street tree density and diversity) have important effects on biodiversity and ecological processes. In this study, we evaluated the influences of urban vegetation-represented by characteristics of street trees (canopy size, proportion of native tree species and tree species richness)-and characteristics of the landscape (distance to parks and vegetation quantity), and human impacts (human population size and exposure to noise) on taxonomic data and functional diversity indices of the bird community inhabiting streets. The study area was the southern region of Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil), a largely urbanized city in the understudied Neotropical region. Bird data were collected on 60 point count locations distributed across the streets of the landscape. We used a series of competing GLM models (using Akaike's information criterion for small sample sizes) to assess the relative contribution of the different sets of variables to explain the observed patterns. Seventy-three bird species were observed exploiting the streets: native species were the most abundant and frequent throughout this landscape. The bird community's functional richness and Rao's Quadratic Entropy presented values lower than 0.5. Therefore, this landscape was favoring few functional traits. Exposure to noise was the most limiting factor for this bird community. However, the average size of arboreal patches and, especially the characteristics of street trees, were able to reduce the negative effects of noise on the bird community. These results show the importance of adequately planning the urban afforestation process: increasing tree species richness, preserving large trees and planting more native trees species in the streets are management practices that will increase bird species richness, abundance and community functional aspects and

  2. Marsh collapse thresholds for coastal Louisiana estimated using elevation and vegetation index data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Couvillion, Brady R.; Beck, Holly

    2013-01-01

    Forecasting marsh collapse in coastal Louisiana as a result of changes in sea-level rise, subsidence, and accretion deficits necessitates an understanding of thresholds beyond which inundation stress impedes marsh survival. The variability in thresholds at which different marsh types cease to occur (i.e., marsh collapse) is not well understood. We utilized remotely sensed imagery, field data, and elevation data to help gain insight into the relationships between vegetation health and inundation. A Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset was calculated using remotely sensed data at peak biomass (August) and used as a proxy for vegetation health and productivity. Statistics were calculated for NDVI values by marsh type for intermediate, brackish, and saline marsh in coastal Louisiana. Marsh-type specific NDVI values of 1.5 and 2 standard deviations below the mean were used as upper and lower limits to identify conditions indicative of collapse. As marshes seldom occur beyond these values, they are believed to represent a range within which marsh collapse is likely to occur. Inundation depth was selected as the primary candidate for evaluation of marsh collapse thresholds. Elevation relative to mean water level (MWL) was calculated by subtracting MWL from an elevation dataset compiled from multiple data types including light detection and ranging (lidar) and bathymetry. A polynomial cubic regression was used to examine a random subset of pixels to determine the relationship between elevation (relative to MWL) and NDVI. The marsh collapse uncertainty range values were found by locating the intercept of the regression line with the 1.5 and 2 standard deviations below the mean NDVI value for each marsh type. Results indicate marsh collapse uncertainty ranges of 30.7–35.8 cm below MWL for intermediate marsh, 20–25.6 cm below MWL for brackish marsh, and 16.9–23.5 cm below MWL for saline marsh. These values are thought to represent the ranges of

  3. Balanced Sediment Fluxes in Southern California's Mediterranean-climate Zone Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosencranz, J. A.; Dickhudt, P.; Ganju, N. K.; Thorne, K.; Takekawa, J.; Ambrose, R. F.; Guntenspergen, G. R.; Brosnahan, S.; MacDonald, G. M.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marsh elevation and geomorphic stability depends on mineral sedimentation. Many southern California, USA salt marshes import sediment during El Niño storm events, but sediment fluxes and mechanisms during dry weather are also potentially important for marsh stability. We calculated tidal creek sediment fluxes within a sediment starved 1.5 km2 salt marsh (Seal Beach) and a less modified 1 km2 marsh (Mugu) with a watershed sediment supply. We measured salt marsh plain suspended sediment concentration and vertical accretion using single stage samplers and marker horizons. At Seal Beach, a 2014 storm yielded 39 and 28 g/s mean sediment fluxes and imported 12000 and 8800 kg in a western channel. This offset 8700 kg export during two months of dry weather, while landward net fluxes in the eastern channel accounted for 33% of the import. During the storm, suspended sediment concentrations on the marsh plain increased by a factor of four; accretion was 1-2 mm near creek levees. An exceptionally high tide sequence at Mugu yielded 4.4 g/s mean sediment flux, importing 1700 kg, accounting for 20% of dry weather fluxes. Overall, low sediment fluxes were observed, suggesting that these salt marshes are currently geomorphically stable. Our results suggest that storms and exceptionally high lunar tides may play large roles, importing sediment and maintaining dry weather sediment flux balances for southern California salt marshes. However, under future climate change and sea-level rise scenarios, results suggest that balanced sediment fluxes may lead to marsh elevational instability, based on estimated mineral sediment deficits.

  4. Marsh canopy structure changes and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Jones, Cathleen E.

    2016-01-01

    Marsh canopy structure was mapped yearly from 2009 to 2012 in the Barataria Bay, Louisiana coastal region that was impacted by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill. Based on the previously demonstrated capability of NASA's UAVSAR polarimetric synthetic aperture radar (PolSAR) image data to map Spartina alterniflora marsh canopy structure, structure maps combining the leaf area index (LAI) and leaf angle distribution (LAD, orientation) were constructed for yearly intervals that were directly relatable to the 2010 LAI-LAD classification. The yearly LAI-LAD and LAI difference maps were used to investigate causes for the previously revealed dramatic change in marsh structure from prespill (2009) to postspill (2010, spill cessation), and the occurrence of structure features that exhibited abnormal spatial and temporal patterns. Water level and salinity records showed that freshwater releases used to keep the oil offshore did not cause the rapid growth from 2009 to 2010 in marsh surrounding the inner Bay. Photointerpretation of optical image data determined that interior marsh patches exhibiting rapid change were caused by burns and burn recovery, and that the pattern of 2010 to 2011 LAI decreases in backshore marsh and extending along some tidal channels into the interior marsh were not associated with burns. Instead, the majority of 2010 to 2011 shoreline features aligned with vectors displaying the severity of 2010 shoreline oiling from the DWH spill. Although the association is not conclusive of a causal oil impact, the coexistent pattern is a significant discovery. PolSAR marsh structure mapping provided a unique perspective of marsh biophysical status that enhanced detection of change and monitoring of trends important to management effectiveness.

  5. Potential effects of sea-level rise on plant productivity: Species-specific responses in northeast Pacific tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Janousek, Christopher; Buffington, Kevin J.; Thorne, Karen M.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; Takekawa, John Y.; Dugger, Bruce D.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal wetland plants are adapted to varying degrees of inundation. However, functional relationships between inundation and productivity are poorly characterized for most species. Determining species-specific tolerances to inundation is necessary to evaluate sea-level rise (SLR) effects on future marsh plant community composition, quantify organic matter inputs to marsh accretion, and inform predictive modeling of tidal wetland persistence. In 2 macrotidal estuaries in the northeast Pacific we grew 5 common species in experimental mesocosms across a gradient of tidal elevations to assess effects on growth. We also tested whether species abundance distributions along elevation gradients in adjacent marshes matched productivity profiles in the mesocosms. We found parabolic relationships between inundation and total plant biomass and shoot counts in Spartina foliosa and Bolboschoenus maritimus in California, USA, and in Carex lyngbyei in Oregon, USA, with maximum total plant biomass occurring at 38, 28, and 15% time submerged, respectively. However, biomass of Salicornia pacifica and Juncus balticus declined monotonically with increasing inundation. Inundation effects on the ratio of belowground to aboveground biomass varied inconsistently among species. In comparisons of field distributions with mesocosm results, B. maritimus, C. lyngbyei and J. balticus were abundant in marshes at or above elevations corresponding with their maximum productivity; however, S. foliosa and S. pacifica were frequently abundant at lower elevations corresponding with sub-optimal productivity. Our findings show species-level differences in how marsh plant growth may respond to future SLR and highlight the sensitivity of high marsh species such as S. pacifica and J. balticus to increases in flooding.

  6. Loss of 'blue carbon' from coastal salt marshes following habitat disturbance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter I Macreadie

    Full Text Available Increased recognition of the global importance of salt marshes as 'blue carbon' (C sinks has led to concern that salt marshes could release large amounts of stored C into the atmosphere (as CO2 if they continue undergoing disturbance, thereby accelerating climate change. Empirical evidence of C release following salt marsh habitat loss due to disturbance is rare, yet such information is essential for inclusion of salt marshes in greenhouse gas emission reduction and offset schemes. Here we investigated the stability of salt marsh (Spartinaalterniflora sediment C levels following seagrass (Thallasiatestudinum wrack accumulation; a form of disturbance common throughout the world that removes large areas of plant biomass in salt marshes. At our study site (St Joseph Bay, Florida, USA, we recorded 296 patches (7.5 ± 2.3 m(2 mean area ± SE of vegetation loss (aged 3-12 months in a salt marsh meadow the size of a soccer field (7 275 m(2. Within these disturbed patches, levels of organic C in the subsurface zone (1-5 cm depth were ~30% lower than the surrounding undisturbed meadow. Subsequent analyses showed that the decline in subsurface C levels in disturbed patches was due to loss of below-ground plant (salt marsh biomass, which otherwise forms the main component of the long-term 'refractory' C stock. We conclude that disturbance to salt marsh habitat due to wrack accumulation can cause significant release of below-ground C; which could shift salt marshes from C sinks to C sources, depending on the intensity and scale of disturbance. This mechanism of C release is likely to increase in the future due to sea level rise; which could increase wrack production due to increasing storminess, and will facilitate delivery of wrack into salt marsh zones due to higher and more frequent inundation.

  7. Delineation of marsh types and marsh-type change in coastal Louisiana for 2007 and 2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hartley, Stephen B.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Enwright, Nicholas M.

    2017-05-30

    The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management researchers often require detailed information regarding emergent marsh vegetation types (such as fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline) for modeling habitat capacities and mitigation. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management produced a detailed change classification of emergent marsh vegetation types in coastal Louisiana from 2007 and 2013. This study incorporates two existing vegetation surveys and independent variables such as Landsat Thematic Mapper multispectral satellite imagery, high-resolution airborne imagery from 2007 and 2013, bare-earth digital elevation models based on airborne light detection and ranging, alternative contemporary land-cover classifications, and other spatially explicit variables. An image classification based on image objects was created from 2007 and 2013 National Agriculture Imagery Program color-infrared aerial photography. The final products consisted of two 10-meter raster datasets. Each image object from the 2007 and 2013 spatial datasets was assigned a vegetation classification by using a simple majority filter. In addition to those spatial datasets, we also conducted a change analysis between the datasets to produce a 10-meter change raster product. This analysis identified how much change has taken place and where change has occurred. The spatial data products show dynamic areas where marsh loss is occurring or where marsh type is changing. This information can be used to assist and advance conservation efforts for priority natural resources.

  8. Variations in organic carbon chemistry in the Gulf Coast and coastal marshes following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holloway, J. M.; Orem, W. H.; Aiken, G.; Varonka, M. S.; Butler, K.; Kokaly, R. F.

    2011-12-01

    Record volumes of oil released from the Macondo well following the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico significantly impacted coastal marshes in Barataria Bay, Louisiana. Remote sensing and water sampling was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey to evaluate the extent of impact. Water samples were collected offshore from near the spill site July 5-10, 2010 to characterize molecular organic carbon chemistry on unfiltered samples and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) on filtered samples. Three field visits were conducted in July 7-10, August 12-14, and August 24-26, 2010, to collect samples from the soil-water interface in coastal marshes along lower Barataria Bay and the Bird's Foot Delta at the distal end of the Mississippi River Delta. Visible oil in the marsh was observed as thick coatings on vegetation and soil and as sheens at the water surface. Samples were extracted for hydrocarbons with dichloromethane, separated into aliphatic, aromatic and polar compound classes using standard column techniques, and analyzed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. A significant amount of oil was observed "dissolved" in the water column with a hydrocarbon distribution resembling that of the surface oil slick. While oils maintained many of the more volatile lower molecular weight components near the spill site, these were mostly gone in the onshore Barataria Bay samples, leaving mostly higher molecular weight components. Dissolved organic carbon was characterized using concentration, fluorescence index (FI), specific ultratviolet absorbance (SUVA) and excitation/emission fluorescence (EEM). Offshore samples had distinctive EEMs patterns, SUVA and FI. With few exceptions, marsh samples had EEMs patterns more similar to previously extracted organic matter from the Mississippi River than to the offshore oil. In spite of visible oil sheen in unfiltered water from contaminated shorelines and no visible sign of impact on

  9. Tidal Marshes as Pulsing Systems: New Estimates of Marsh-Carbon Export and Fate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Logozzo, L. A.; Neale, P.; Tzortziou, M.; Nelson, N.; Megonigal, P.

    2016-02-01

    We investigated wetland-estuarine exchanges of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), and chlorophyll a (chl a) in the Chesapeake Bay Kirkpatrick wetlands, an ecosystem that is representative of brackish marshes with organic-rich soils in North America. 1 L water samples were collected every hour over multiple semidiurnal tidal cycles (24 h deployments) and the flow was continuously measured every minute over the course of the study. DIC samples were collected and filtered on site. Fluxes were estimated using the measured flow and concentrations of biogeochemical variables (DOC, DIC, and chl a as a measure of algal biomass). aCDOM(300) was used as a proxy for CDOM amount to observe variations over two semidiurnal tidal cycles. Relative to high tide water, low tide water was consistently enriched in DOC, DIC, and CDOM, whereas it was consistently depleted in chl a. Initial estimates of fluxes over the tidal cycle showed net export of DIC and DOC from the marsh, and net import of chl a into the marsh. These results are consistent with DOC flux estimates from previous studies, but our method utilizes high temporal resolution flow measurements, improving flux estimate accuracy. Transect sampling from the marsh into the sub-estuary during ebbing tide indicated a strong negative gradient in a­CDOM­(300) and non-conservative mixing with salinity. The observed gradients in CDOM absorption spectral shape (slope and slope ratios) and the relative changes in the major fluorescence components identified in 3D fluorescence excitation-emission-matrices, indicated strong photochemical degradation in the estuary and a shift from higher to lower molecular-weight organic compounds. The weaker gradients observed for DOC and DIC compared to aCDOM(300) indicate that while microbial degradation does occur, photobleaching is the dominant degradation mechanism for CDOM in the estuary.

  10. Climate change and sustainability of the carbon sink in Maritime salt marshes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chmura, G.L.

    2008-01-01

    Ideal carbon sinks do not emit greenhouse gases (GHGs) and are sustainable with future trends in global warming. This presentation discussed the potential for using Maritime salt marshes as carbon sinks. The marshes are covered with grasses adapted to saline soils. Photosynthesis by the marsh plants and algae fix the carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) directly from the atmosphere. The carbon is then buried by mineral sediment. Wetlands without saline water are known to produce methane. The carbon in salt marsh soils does not significantly decline with depth or time. Salt marshes and mangroves store an average of 210 g of CO 2 per m 2 per year. The tidal floodwaters keep the soils wet, which allows for slow decomposition. Canadian salt marsh soils have increased in thickness at a rate of between 2 to 4 mm per year. Measurement programs have demonstrated the sustainability of inner Bay of Fundy marshes in relation to rising sea levels. Opportunities for carbon sinks also exist in dyked marshes in the region. It was concluded that the salt marshes can account for between 4 to 6 per cent of Canada's targeted reductions under the Kyoto Protocol. tabs., figs.

  11. Herbivory drives the spread of salt marsh die-off.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark D Bertness

    Full Text Available Salt marsh die-off is a Western Atlantic conservation problem that has recently spread into Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island, USA. It has been hypothesized to be driven by: 1 eutrophication decreasing plant investment into belowground biomass causing plant collapse, 2 boat wakes eroding creek banks, 3 pollution or disease affecting plant health, 4 substrate hardness controlling herbivorous crab distributions and 5 trophic dysfunction releasing herbivorous crabs from predator control. To distinguish between these hypotheses we quantified these variables at 14 Narragansett Bay salt marshes where die-off intensity ranged from <5% to nearly 98%. Nitrogen availability, wave intensity and plant growth did not explain any variation in die-off. Herbivory explained 73% of inter-site variation in die-off and predator control of herbivores and substrate hardness also varied significantly with die-off. This suggests that salt marsh die-off is being largely driven by intense herbivory via the release of herbivorous crabs from predator control. Our results and those from other marsh systems suggest that consumer control may not simply be a factor to consider in marsh conservation, but with widespread predator depletion impacting near shore habitats globally, trophic dysfunction and runaway consumption may be the largest and most urgent management challenge for salt marsh conservation.

  12. Carbon Sequestration in Tidal Salt Marshes of the Northeast United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drake, Katherine; Halifax, Holly; Adamowicz, Susan C; Craft, Christopher

    2015-10-01

    Tidal salt marshes provide important ecological services, habitat, disturbance regulation, water quality improvement, and biodiversity, as well as accumulation and sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2) in vegetation and soil organic matter. Different management practices may alter their capacity to provide these ecosystem services. We examined soil properties (bulk density, percent organic C, percent N), C and N pools, C sequestration and N accumulation at four marshes managed with open marsh water management (OMWM) and four marshes that were not at U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Wildlife Refuges (NWRs) on the East Coast of the United States. Soil properties (bulk density, percent organic C, percent N) exhibited no consistent differences among managed and non-OMWM marshes. Soil organic carbon pools (0-60-cm depth) also did not differ. Managed marshes contained 15.9 kg C/m(2) compared to 16.2 kg C/m(2) in non-OMWM marshes. Proportionately, more C (per unit volume) was stored in surface than in subsurface soils. The rate of C sequestration, based on (137)Cs and (210)Pb dating of soil cores, ranged from 41 to 152 g/m(2)/year. Because of the low emissions of CH4 from salt marshes relative to freshwater wetlands and the ability to sequester C in soil, protection and restoration of salt marshes can be a vital tool for delivering key ecosystem services, while at the same time, reducing the C footprint associated with managing these wetlands.

  13. Salt marsh persistence is threatened by predicted sea-level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Sarah C.; Sax, Dov F.; Palmer, Megan E.; Booth, Harriet S.; Deegan, Linda A.; Bertness, Mark D.; Leslie, Heather M.

    2016-11-01

    Salt marshes buffer coastlines and provide critical ecosystem services from storm protection to food provision. Worldwide, these ecosystems are in danger of disappearing if they cannot increase elevation at rates that match sea-level rise. However, the magnitude of loss to be expected is not known. A synthesis of existing records of salt marsh elevation change was conducted in order to consider the likelihood of their future persistence. This analysis indicates that many salt marshes did not keep pace with sea-level rise in the past century and kept pace even less well over the past two decades. Salt marshes experiencing higher local sea-level rise rates were less likely to be keeping pace. These results suggest that sea-level rise will overwhelm most salt marshes' capacity to maintain elevation. Under the most optimistic IPCC emissions pathway, 60% of the salt marshes studied will be gaining elevation at a rate insufficient to keep pace with sea-level rise by 2100. Without mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions this potential loss could exceed 90%, which will have substantial ecological, economic, and human health consequences.

  14. Tidal flushing restores the physiological condition of fish residing in degraded salt marshes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kimberly L Dibble

    Full Text Available Roads, bridges, and dikes constructed across salt marshes can restrict tidal flow, degrade habitat quality for nekton, and facilitate invasion by non-native plants including Phragmites australis. Introduced P. australis contributes to marsh accretion and eliminates marsh surface pools thereby adversely affecting fish by reducing access to intertidal habitats essential for feeding, reproduction, and refuge. Our study assessed the condition of resident fish populations (Fundulus heteroclitus at four tidally restricted and four tidally restored marshes in New England invaded by P. australis relative to adjacent reference salt marshes. We used physiological and morphological indicators of fish condition, including proximate body composition (% lipid, % lean dry, % water, recent daily growth rate, age class distributions, parasite prevalence, female gravidity status, length-weight regressions, and a common morphological indicator (Fulton's K to assess impacts to fish health. We detected a significant increase in the quantity of parasites infecting fish in tidally restricted marshes but not in those where tidal flow was restored to reduce P. australis cover. Using fish length as a covariate, we found that unparasitized, non-gravid F. heteroclitus in tidally restricted marshes had significantly reduced lipid reserves and increased lean dry (structural mass relative to fish residing in reference marshes. Fish in tidally restored marshes were equivalent across all metrics relative to those in reference marshes indicating that habitat quality was restored via increased tidal flushing. Reference marshes adjacent to tidally restored sites contained the highest abundance of young fish (ages 0-1 while tidally restricted marshes contained the lowest. Results indicate that F. heteroclitus residing in physically and hydrologically altered marshes are at a disadvantage relative to fish in reference marshes but the effects can be reversed through ecological

  15. Signatures of Biogeomorphic Feedbacks in Salt-Marsh Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, Andrea; Marani, Marco

    2015-04-01

    Salt-marsh ecosystems which play a large role in the bio-geomorphological evolution of intertidal areas. Dense stands of halophytic vegetations which populate salt marshes largely control the dynamics of these ecosystems influencing marsh hydrodynamics and sediment transport through enhanced flow resistance and settling, and direct particle capture by plant stems. Moreover, plants are also known to increase vertical accretion through direct organic accretion. Field evidence and the results of biomorphodynamic models indeed show that the interplay between physical and biological processes generates some striking biological and morphological patterns at different scales. One such pattern, vegetation zonation, consists in a mosaic of vegetation patches, of approximately uniform composition, displaying sharp transitions in the presence of extremely small topographic gradients. Here we develop a two-dimensional model which describes the mutual interaction and adjustment between tidal flows, sediment transport and morphology mediated by vegetation influence. The model allows us describe the coupled evolution of marsh platforms and channel networks cutting through them. A number of different scenarios were modelled to analyze the changes induced in bio-geomorphic patterns by plants with different characteristics, within marshes characterized by different drainage densities, or subjected to changing environmental forcing such as rates of relative sea level rise and sediment supply. Model results emphasize that zonation patterns are a signature of bio-geomorphic feedbacks with vegetation acting as a landscape constructor which feeds back on, directly alters, and contributes to shape tidal environments. In addition, model results show that biogeomorphic feedbacks critically affect the response and the resilience of salt-marsh landscapes to changes in the environmental forcing.

  16. Growth of common brackish marsh macrophytes under altered hydrology and salinity regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, Rebecca J.; Biagas, Janelda M.; Allain, Larry K.

    2016-01-01

    Coastal marsh plants are increasingly subject to physicochemical stressors under rising sea levels, and the maintenance of marsh ecological functions can depend on the ability of individual species and communities to tolerate or adapt to altered conditions. We conducted a greenhouse experiment to identify hydrology and salinity effects on growth of three common brackish marsh macrophytes of coastal Florida, USA: Distichlis spicata, Juncus roemerianus, and Spartina bakeri. The species were potted as monocultures and exposed to three salinities (0, 15, or 28 psu) and two hydrologic conditions (saturated, tidal) over 22 months. Final stem density of J. roemerianus and S. bakeri did not differ among treatments. In D. spicata, however, stem density was lowest at 28 psu and lower in tidal compared to saturated conditions. Mean stem height of all species was lowest at 28 psu. Aboveground biomass of J. roemerianus was not affected by the treatments, but in D. spicata andS. bakeri it was lowest at 28 psu. Results indicated that J. roemerianus was the most adaptable species and may, therefore, be more resilient to climate-change driven stressors. However, plant-plant interactions such as interspecific competition and facilitation can alter the response of individual species to environmental factors.

  17. Experimentally simulated global warming and nitrogen enrichment effects on microbial litter decomposers in a marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flury, Sabine; Gessner, Mark O

    2011-02-01

    Atmospheric warming and increased nitrogen deposition can lead to changes of microbial communities with possible consequences for biogeochemical processes. We used an enclosure facility in a freshwater marsh to assess the effects on microbes associated with decomposing plant litter under conditions of simulated climate warming and pulsed nitrogen supply. Standard batches of litter were placed in coarse-mesh and fine-mesh bags and submerged in a series of heated, nitrogen-enriched, and control enclosures. They were retrieved later and analyzed for a range of microbial parameters. Fingerprinting profiles obtained by denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) indicated that simulated global warming induced a shift in bacterial community structure. In addition, warming reduced fungal biomass, whereas bacterial biomass was unaffected. The mesh size of the litter bags and sampling date also had an influence on bacterial community structure, with the apparent number of dominant genotypes increasing from spring to summer. Microbial respiration was unaffected by any treatment, and nitrogen enrichment had no clear effect on any of the microbial parameters considered. Overall, these results suggest that microbes associated with decomposing plant litter in nutrient-rich freshwater marshes are resistant to extra nitrogen supplies but are likely to respond to temperature increases projected for this century.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  20. In search of the genetic footprints of Sumerians: a survey of Y-chromosome and mtDNA variation in the Marsh Arabs of Iraq

    OpenAIRE

    Al-Zahery, Nadia; Pala, Maria; Battaglia, Vincenza; Grugni, Viola; Hamod, Mohammed A; Kashani, Baharak Hooshiar; Olivieri, Anna; Torroni, Antonio; Santachiara-Benerecetti, Augusta S; Semino, Ornella

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Background For millennia, the southern part of the Mesopotamia has been a wetland region generated by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers before flowing into the Gulf. This area has been occupied by human communities since ancient times and the present-day inhabitants, the Marsh Arabs, are considered the population with the strongest link to ancient Sumerians. Popular tradition, however, considers the Marsh Arabs as a foreign group, of unknown origin, which arrived in the marshlands when...

  1. Estimating patterns in Spartina alterniflora belowground biomass within salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Connell, J. L.; Mishra, D. R.; Alber, M.; Byrd, K. B.

    2017-12-01

    Belowground biomass of marsh plants, such as Spartina alterniflora, help prevent marsh loss because they promote soil accretion, stabilize soils and add organic matter. However, site-wide estimates of belowground biomass are difficult to obtain because root:shoot ratios vary considerably both within species and across sites. We are working to develop a data fusion tool that can predict key characteristics of S. alterniflora, including belowground biomass and plant canopy N, based on satellite imagery. We used field observations from four salt marsh locations along the Georgia Coast, including one that is studied as part of the Georgia Coastal Ecosystems LTER project. From field and remote-sensing data, we developed a hybrid modeling approach to estimate % foliar N (a surrogate for plant assimilated nutrients). Partial Least squares (PLS) regression analysis of Landsat-8 spectral bands could predict variation in foliar N and belowground biomass, suggesting this public data source might be utilized for site-wide assessment of plant biophysical variables in salt marshes. Spectrally estimated foliar N and aboveground biomass were associated with belowground biomass and root:shoot ratio in S. alterniflora. This mirrors results from a previous study from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, CA, on Scheonoplectus acutus, a marsh plant found in some tidal freshwater marshes. Therefore remote sensing may be a useful tool for measuring whole plant productivity among multiple coastal marsh species.

  2. Bottom-up and top-down human impacts interact to affect a protected coastal Chilean marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fariña, José M; He, Qiang; Silliman, Brian R; Bertness, Mark D

    2016-03-01

    Many ecosystems, even in protected areas, experience multiple anthropogenic impacts. While anthropogenic modification of bottom-up (e.g., eutrophication) and top-down (e.g., livestock grazing) forcing often co-occurs, whether these factors counteract or have additive or synergistic effects on ecosystems is poorly understood. In a Chilean bio-reserve, we examined the interactive impacts of eutrophication and illegal livestock grazing on plant growth with a 4-yr fertilization by cattle exclusion experiment. Cattle grazing generally decreased plant biomass, but had synergistic, additive, and antagonistic interactions with fertilization in the low, middle, and high marsh zones, respectively. In the low marsh, fertilization increased plant biomass by 112%, cattle grazing decreased it by 96%, and together they decreased plant biomass by 77%. In the middle marsh, fertilization increased plant biomass by 47%, cattle grazing decreased it by 37%, and together they did not affect plant biomass. In the high marsh, fertilization and cattle grazing decreased plant biomass by 81% and 92%, respectively, but together they increased plant biomass by 42%. These interactions were also found to be species specific. Different responses of plants to fertilization and cattle grazing were likely responsible for these variable interactions. Thus, common bottom-up and top-down human impacts can interact in different ways to affect communities even within a single ecosystem. Incorporating this knowledge into conservation actions will improve ecosystem management in a time when ecosystems are increasingly challenged by multiple interacting human impacts.

  3. Assessing biomass of diverse coastal marsh ecosystems using statistical and machine learning models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Yu; Kearney, Michael S.; Riter, J. C. Alexis; Zhao, Feng; Tilley, David R.

    2018-06-01

    The importance and vulnerability of coastal marshes necessitate effective ways to closely monitor them. Optical remote sensing is a powerful tool for this task, yet its application to diverse coastal marsh ecosystems consisting of different marsh types is limited. This study samples spectral and biophysical data from freshwater, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes in Louisiana, and develops statistical and machine learning models to assess the marshes' biomass with combined ground, airborne, and spaceborne remote sensing data. It is found that linear models derived from NDVI and EVI are most favorable for assessing Leaf Area Index (LAI) using multispectral data (R2 = 0.7 and 0.67, respectively), and the random forest models are most useful in retrieving LAI and Aboveground Green Biomass (AGB) using hyperspectral data (R2 = 0.91 and 0.84, respectively). It is also found that marsh type and plant species significantly impact the linear model development (P biomass of Louisiana's coastal marshes using various optical remote sensing techniques, and highlights the impacts of the marshes' species composition on the model development and the sensors' spatial resolution on biomass mapping, thereby providing useful tools for monitoring the biomass of coastal marshes in Louisiana and diverse coastal marsh ecosystems elsewhere.

  4. A coupled geomorphic and ecological model of tidal marsh evolution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kirwan, Matthew L; Murray, A Brad

    2007-04-10

    The evolution of tidal marsh platforms and interwoven channel networks cannot be addressed without treating the two-way interactions that link biological and physical processes. We have developed a 3D model of tidal marsh accretion and channel network development that couples physical sediment transport processes with vegetation biomass productivity. Tidal flow tends to cause erosion, whereas vegetation biomass, a function of bed surface depth below high tide, influences the rate of sediment deposition and slope-driven transport processes such as creek bank slumping. With a steady, moderate rise in sea level, the model builds a marsh platform and channel network with accretion rates everywhere equal to the rate of sea-level rise, meaning water depths and biological productivity remain temporally constant. An increase in the rate of sea-level rise, or a reduction in sediment supply, causes marsh-surface depths, biomass productivity, and deposition rates to increase while simultaneously causing the channel network to expand. Vegetation on the marsh platform can promote a metastable equilibrium where the platform maintains elevation relative to a rapidly rising sea level, although disturbance to vegetation could cause irreversible loss of marsh habitat.

  5. Environmental status of the Lake Michigan region. Volume 14. Birds of the Lake Michigan drainage basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wallace, G.J.

    1977-07-01

    This report characterizes the bird life found in 100 counties of the four states peripheral to Lake Michigan. It discusses major habitats (the Lake Michigan shoreline, inland lakes, rivers and streams, marshes, fields and open spaces, and woodlots) and associates specific birds with habitats according to preferences for space and food. It also discusses the special attributes of state parks and lakeshores, refuges and sanctuaries, and other special areas which are attractive to avifauna. Patterns of historical occurrence and abundance, and the influence of pesticides and pollution, disease, and hunting pressure are explored to place present occurrence in a modern perspective. Migration patterns are discussed to explain increases and decreases which occur in nonresident avifauna of the Basin. The distribution and habits of birds that occur regularly in the Basin are described in an annotated list; a more complete list is presented in a table which encapsulates data for rapid and convenient reference. Separate sections deal with extinct, extirpated, and introduced species, and with endangered, threatened, and declining species.

  6. Nutrient cycling in salt marshes: An ecosystem service to reduce eutrophication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lillebø, A. I.; Sousa, A. I.; Flindt, M. R.

    2013-01-01

    and sequestration in salt marshes. This chapter will thus emphasise that salt marsh halophytes have a crucial role on nutrient cycling and sequestration, providing ecological services that contribute to maintain the ecosystem health. © 2012 Nova Science Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.......Salt marshes are classified as sensitive habitat under the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), which aims to promote the maintenance of biodiversity. Worldwide, the reduction of salt marsh areas, as a result of anthropogenic disturbance is of major concern, and several studies on the ecology...

  7. Inorganic Carbon and Oxygen Dynamics in a Marsh-dominated Estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, S. R.; Di Iorio, D.; Cai, W. J.; Hopkinson, C.

    2017-12-01

    A free-water mass balance-based study was conducted to address the rate of metabolism and net carbon exchange for the tidal wetland and estuarine portion of the coastal ocean and the uncertainties associated with this approach were assessed. Open water diurnal O2 and dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were measured seasonally in a salt marsh-estuary in Georgia, U.S.A. with a focus on the marsh-estuary linkage associated with tidal flooding. We observed that the overall estuarine system was a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere and coastal ocean and a net sink for oceanic and atmospheric O2. Rates of metabolism were extremely high, with respiration (43 mol m-2 yr-1) greatly exceeding gross primary production (28 mol m-2 yr-1), such that the overall system was net heterotrophic. Metabolism measured with DIC were higher than with O2, which we attribute to high rates of anaerobic respiration and reduced sulfur storage in salt marsh sediments, and we assume substantial levels of anoxygenic photosynthesis. We found gas exchange from a flooded marsh is substantial, accounting for about 28% of total O2 and CO2 air-water exchange. A significant percentage of the overall estuarine aquatic metabolism is attributable to metabolism of marsh organisms during inundation. Our study suggests not rely on oceanographic stoichiometry to convert from O2to C based measurements when constructing C balances for the coastal ocean. We also suggest eddy covariance measurements of salt marsh net ecosystem exchange underestimate net ecosystem production as they do not account for lateral DIC exchange associated with marsh tidal inundation. With the increase of global temperature and sea level rise, salt marshes are likely to export more inorganic carbon to the atmosphere and the coastal ocean due to the decrease of solubility, the increase of aquatic and benthic metabolic activities and the longer marsh inundation.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sael Hanoi Pérez Báez

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Troy I. Wellicome

    2014-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. A. Atemasov

    2016-10-01

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

  12. Salt-Marsh Landscapes and the Signatures of Biogeomorphic Feedbacks

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Alpaos, A.; Marani, M.

    2014-12-01

    Salt marshes are coastal ecosystems which play a large role in the bio-geomorphological evolution of intertidal areas. The dense stands of halophytic plants which populate salt-marsh systems largely contribute to govern their dynamics, influencing marsh hydrodynamics and sediment transport through enhanced flow resistance and settling, and direct particle capture by plant stems. In addition, plants are known to increase vertical accretion through direct organic accretion. Looking across the salt-marsh landscape can one see the signatures of feedbacks between landscape and biota? Field evidence and the results of biomorphodynamic models indeed show that the interplay between physical and biological processes generates some striking biological and morphological patterns at different scales. One such pattern, vegetation zonation, consists in a mosaic of vegetation patches, of approximately uniform composition, displaying sharp transitions in the presence of extremely small topographic gradients. Here we extend the model proposed by Marani et al. (2013) to a two-dimensional framework, furthermore including the effect of direct capture of sediment particles by plant stems. This allows us to account for the effect of the drainage density of tidal networks on the observed biogeomorphic patterns and to model the coupled evolution of marsh platforms and channel networks cutting through them. A number of different scenarios have been modelled to analyze the changes induced in bio-geomorphic patterns by plants with different characteristics, within marshes characterized by different drainage densities, or subjected to changing environmental forcing such as rates of relative sea level rise and sediment supply. Model results emphasize that zonation patterns are a signature of bio-geomorphic feedbacks with vegetation acting as a landscape constructor which feeds back on, directly alters, and contributes to shape tidal environments. In addition, model results show that

  13. Delineation of marsh types of the Texas coast from Corpus Christi Bay to the Sabine River in 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwright, Nicholas M.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Brasher, Michael G.; Visser, Jenneke M.; Mitchell, Michael K.; Ballard, Bart M.; Parr, Mark W.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Wilson, Barry C.

    2014-01-01

    Coastal zone managers and researchers often require detailed information regarding emergent marsh vegetation types for modeling habitat capacities and needs of marsh-reliant wildlife (such as waterfowl and alligator). Detailed information on the extent and distribution of marsh vegetation zones throughout the Texas coast has been historically unavailable. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation and collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via the Gulf Coast Joint Venture, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, the University of Louisiana-Lafayette, and Ducks Unlimited, Inc., has produced a classification of marsh vegetation types along the middle and upper Texas coast from Corpus Christi Bay to the Sabine River. This study incorporates approximately 1,000 ground reference locations collected via helicopter surveys in coastal marsh areas and about 2,000 supplemental locations from fresh marsh, water, and “other” (that is, nonmarsh) areas. About two-thirds of these data were used for training, and about one-third were used for assessing accuracy. Decision-tree analyses using Rulequest See5 were used to classify emergent marsh vegetation types by using these data, multitemporal satellite-based multispectral imagery from 2009 to 2011, a bare-earth digital elevation model (DEM) based on airborne light detection and ranging (lidar), alternative contemporary land cover classifications, and other spatially explicit variables believed to be important for delineating the extent and distribution of marsh vegetation communities. Image objects were generated from segmentation of high-resolution airborne imagery acquired in 2010 and were used to refine the classification. The classification is dated 2010 because the year is both the midpoint of the multitemporal satellite-based imagery (2009–11) classified and the date of the high-resolution airborne imagery that was used to develop image objects. Overall accuracy corrected for bias (accuracy

  14. Urban and rural habitats differ in number and type of bird feeders and in bird species consuming supplementary food.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tryjanowski, Piotr; Skórka, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H; Biaduń, Waldemar; Brauze, Tomasz; Hetmański, Tomasz; Martyka, Rafał; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Myczko, Łukasz; Kunysz, Przemysław; Kawa, Piotr; Czyż, Stanisław; Czechowski, Paweł; Polakowski, Michał; Zduniak, Piotr; Jerzak, Leszek; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Goławski, Artur; Duduś, Leszek; Nowakowski, Jacek J; Wuczyński, Andrzej; Wysocki, Dariusz

    2015-10-01

    Bird feeding is one of the most widespread direct interactions between man and nature, and this has important social and environmental consequences. However, this activity can differ between rural and urban habitats, due to inter alia habitat structure, human behaviour and the composition of wintering bird communities. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km(2) each) in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 towns and cities across Poland (in each urban area, we surveyed 3 squares and also 3 squares in nearby rural areas). At each count, we noted the number of bird feeders, the number of bird feeders with food, the type of feeders, additional food supplies potentially available for birds (bread offered by people, bins) and finally the birds themselves. In winter, urban and rural areas differ in the availability of food offered intentionally and unintentionally to birds by humans. Both types of food availability are higher in urban areas. Our findings suggest that different types of bird feeder support only those species specialized for that particular food type and this relationship is similar in urban and rural areas.

  15. Balanced sediment fluxes in southern California’s Mediterranean-climate zone salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosencranz, Jordan A.; Ganju, Neil K.; Ambrose, Richard F.; Brosnahan, Sandra M.; Dickhudt, Patrick J.; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.; MacDonald, Glen M.; Takekawa, John Y.; Thorne, Karen M.

    2016-01-01

    Salt marsh elevation and geomorphic stability depends on mineral sedimentation. Many Mediterranean-climate salt marshes along southern California, USA coast import sediment during El Niño storm events, but sediment fluxes and mechanisms during dry weather are potentially important for marsh stability. We calculated tidal creek sediment fluxes within a highly modified, sediment-starved, 1.5-km2 salt marsh (Seal Beach) and a less modified 1-km2marsh (Mugu) with fluvial sediment supply. We measured salt marsh plain suspended sediment concentration and vertical accretion using single stage samplers and marker horizons. At Seal Beach, a 2014 storm yielded 39 and 28 g/s mean sediment fluxes and imported 12,000 and 8800 kg in a western and eastern channel. Western channel storm imports offset 8700 kg exported during 2 months of dry weather, while eastern channel storm imports augmented 9200 kg imported during dry weather. During the storm at Mugu, suspended sediment concentrations on the marsh plain increased by a factor of four; accretion was 1–2 mm near creek levees. An exceptionally high tide sequence yielded 4.4 g/s mean sediment flux, importing 1700 kg: 20 % of Mugu’s dry weather fluxes. Overall, low sediment fluxes were observed, suggesting that these salt marshes are geomorphically stable during dry weather conditions. Results suggest storms and high lunar tides may play large roles, importing sediment and maintaining dry weather sediment flux balances for southern California salt marshes. However, under future climate change and sea level rise scenarios, results suggest that balanced sediment fluxes lead to marsh elevational instability based on estimated mineral sediment deficits.

  16. An example of an interspecific chick rearing in Birds of Prey: the Marsh Harrier grown by the Greater Spotted Eagle in Russia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Igor V. Karyakin

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We visited a breeding territory of the Greater Spotted Eagle (Aquila clanga in Zavyalivskiy Wildlife Preserve of Altai Region on the 1st August, 2014. In the nest, located in a pine tree, we found a fledgling of the Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus and a nestling of the Greater Spotted Eagle in the first juvenile plumage. When we approached the nest, the female GSE flew off, followed by the fledgling of the Harrier, who uttered food-begging calls, but soon returned to the nest. The present situation possibly emerged after the adult eagle caught a nestling of the harrier but failed to kill it. Judging by prey remains near the nest, another nestling of the Marsh Harrier was eaten at the age of 25 days. But the second one survived and begun to call for food. The maternal instinct of the female Greater Spotted Eagle would have prevented her from killing the harrier, instead prompting her to feed it.

  17. Accretion rates in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt, South-west Netherlands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oenema, O.; DeLaune, R.D.

    1988-01-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of 137 Cs in sediment cores, from historic documents, and from artificial white-coloured tracer layers in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt. Salt marsh accretion is related to the steady rise of the mean high tide in the Eastern Scheldt during the last few decades. Mean accretion rates vary from 0.4-0.9 cm year -1 in the St Annaland marsh to 1.0-1.5 cm year -1 in the Rattekaai marsh. Sediment accumulation in accreting marshes exceed the loss of sediment, by retreat of the marsh cliffs, by a factor of 10-20. Short-term spatial and temporal variations in accretion rates are large. Spatial variations are associated with levee and backmarsh sites and the density of marsh vegetation. Temporal variations are mainly related to fluctuations in hydrodynamic conditions. The net vertical accretion rate of organic carbon is 0.4 ± 0.1 kg m -2 year -1 , approximately half this rate is associated with the current deposit, and the other half with net additions from the belowground root biomass. A simple model for the root biomass distribution of Spartina anglica with depth and the depth-dependent fossilization of root biomass in sediments of the Rattekaai marsh is presented. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  19. Interspecific competition and the structure of bird guilds in boreal Europe: the importance of doing fieldwork in the right season.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oksanen, L

    1987-12-01

    Bird studies have gained a central role in the debate on the importance of interspecific competition in nature. Thus, the negative results reported from a breeding bird community in a North American shrubsteppe area have created ripples throughout community ecology. However, the set of coexisting breeding birds might be an inappropriate operational definition of a bird community, because the intensity of interspecific competition can be expected to peak in autumn-winter. A review of North European data on wintering birds suggests that the case for the competition theory remains strong when bird communities are defined on the basis of winter coexistence. Copyright © 1987. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  20. Nitrous oxide emissions could reduce the blue carbon value of marshes on eutrophic estuaries

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roughan, Brittney L.; Kellman, Lisa; Smith, Erin; Chmura, Gail L.

    2018-04-01

    The supply of nitrogen to ecosystems has surpassed the Earth’s Planetary Boundary and its input to the marine environment has caused estuarine waters to become eutrophic. Excessive supply of nitrogen to salt marshes has been associated with shifts in species’ distribution and production, as well as marsh degradation and loss. Our study of salt marshes in agriculturally intensive watersheds shows that coastal eutrophication can have an additional impact. We measured gas fluxes from marsh soils and verified emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) in nitrogen-loaded marshes while the reference marsh was a sink for this gas. Salt marsh soils are extremely efficient carbon sinks, but emissions of N2O, a greenhouse gas 298 times more potent than CO2, reduces the value of the carbon sink, and in some marshes, may counterbalance any value of stored carbon towards mitigation of climate change. Although more research is merited on the nitrogen transformations and carbon storage in eutrophic marshes, the possibility of significant N2O emissions should be considered when evaluating the market value of carbon in salt marshes subject to high levels of nitrogen loading.

  1. Halophyte vegetation influences in salt marsh retention capacity for heavy metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reboreda, Rosa; Cacador, Isabel

    2007-01-01

    We analysed concentrations of Cu, Cd and Pb in above and belowground tissues of the halophyte species Halimione portulacoides and Spartina maritima, as well as in sediments and pore water between the roots in a Tagus estuary salt marsh (Portugal). From these results we calculated the pools of metals in the compartments mentioned above. Relative percentages of accumulation in each pool were also determined. Our aim was to determine how the type of vegetation in the salt marsh affects overall metal retention capacity of the system. It was concluded that areas colonised by H. portulacoides are potential sources of Cu, Cd and Pb to the marsh ecosystem, whereas areas colonised by S. maritima are more effective sinks at least for Cu and Cd. Consequently, S. maritima seems to contribute more effectively to the stabilisation of metals in salt marsh sediments, reducing their availability to the estuarine system. - The type of vegetal cover can affect the overall retention capacity of a salt marsh as well as the functioning of the salt marsh as a sink or source of metals to the estuarine system

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2013-04-16

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

  3. Ecological effects of climate change on salt marsh wildlife: a case study from a highly urbanized estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, Karen M.; Takekawa, John Y.; Elliott-Fisk, Deborah L.

    2012-01-01

    Coastal areas are high-risk zones subject to the impacts of global climate change, with significant increases in the frequencies of extreme weather and storm events, and sea-level rise forecast by 2100. These physical processes are expected to alter estuaries, resulting in loss of intertidal wetlands and their component wildlife species. In particular, impacts to salt marshes and their wildlife will vary both temporally and spatially and may be irreversible and severe. Synergistic effects caused by combining stressors with anthropogenic land-use patterns could create areas of significant biodiversity loss and extinction, especially in urbanized estuaries that are already heavily degraded. In this paper, we discuss current ideas, challenges, and concerns regarding the maintenance of salt marshes and their resident wildlife in light of future climate conditions. We suggest that many salt marsh habitats are already impaired and are located where upslope transgression is restricted, resulting in reduction and loss of these habitats in the future. In addition, we conclude that increased inundation frequency and water depth will have negative impacts on the demography of small or isolated wildlife meta-populations as well as their community interactions. We illustrate our points with a case study on the Pacific Coast of North America at San Pablo Bay National Wildlife Refuge in California, an area that supports endangered wildlife species reliant on salt marshes for all aspects of their life histories.

  4. Biogenic silica in tidal freshwater marsh sediments and vegetation (Schelde estuary, Belgium)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Struyf, E.; van Damme, S.; Gribsholt, B.; Middelburg, J.J.; Meire, P.

    2005-01-01

    To date, estuarine ecosystem research has mostly neglected silica cycling in freshwater intertidal marshes. However, tidal marshes can store large amounts of biogenic silica (BSi) in vegetation and sediment. BSi content of the typical freshwater marsh plants Phragmites australis, Impatiens

  5. Evaluating autonomous acoustic surveying techniques for rails in tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiffler, Lydia L.; Anderson, James T.; Katzner, Todd

    2018-01-01

    There is a growing interest toward the use of autonomous recording units (ARUs) for acoustic surveying of secretive marsh bird populations. However, there is little information on how ARUs compare to human surveyors or how best to use ARU data that can be collected continuously throughout the day. We used ARUs to conduct 2 acoustic surveys for king (Rallus elegans) and clapper rails (R. crepitans) within a tidal marsh complex along the Pamunkey River, Virginia, USA, during May–July 2015. To determine the effectiveness of an ARU in replacing human personnel, we compared results of callback point‐count surveys with concurrent acoustic recordings and calculated estimates of detection probability for both rail species combined. The success of ARUs at detecting rails that human observers recorded decreased with distance (P ≤ 0.001), such that at 75 m, only 34.0% of human‐detected rails were detected by the ARU. To determine a subsampling scheme for continuous ARU data that allows for effective surveying of presence and call rates of rails, we used ARUs to conduct 15 continuous 48‐hr passive surveys, generating 720 hr of recordings. We established 5 subsampling periods of 5, 10, 15, 30, and 45 min to evaluate ARU‐based presence and vocalization detections of rails compared with each of the full 60‐min sampling of ARU‐based detection of rails. All subsampling periods resulted in different (P ≤ 0.001) detection rates and unstandardized vocalization rates compared with the hourly sampling period. However, standardized vocalization counts from the 30‐min subsampling period were not different from vocalization counts of the full hourly sampling period. When surveying rail species in estuarine environments, species‐, habitat‐, and ARU‐specific limitations to ARU sampling should be considered when making inferences about abundances and distributions from ARU data. 

  6. 9 CFR 93.104 - Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Certificate for pet birds, commercial birds, zoological birds, and research birds. 93.104 Section 93.104 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... (INCLUDING POULTRY) AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS IMPORTATION OF CERTAIN ANIMALS, BIRDS, FISH, AND POULTRY, AND CERTAIN...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  8. Successional patterns of key genes and processes involved in the microbial nitrogen cycle in a salt marsh chronosequence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, Joana Falcao; Cassia Pereira e Silva , de Michele; Dini-Andreote, Francisco; Dias, Armando C. F.; Guillaumaud, Nadine; Poly, Franck; van Elsas, Jan Dirk

    Here, we investigated the patterns of microbial nitrogen cycling communities along a chronosequence of soil development in a salt marsh. The focus was on the abundance and structure of genes involved in N fixation (nifH), bacterial and archaeal ammonium oxidation (amoA; AOB and AOA), and the

  9. Virginia ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newmark, William D; Stanley, Thomas R

    2011-07-12

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

  11. Terrestrial liming benefits birds in an acidified forest in the northeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pabian, Sarah E; Brittingham, Margaret C

    2007-12-01

    Studies in Europe have reported negative effects of acid deposition on forest birds, and research in North America has identified links between forest bird abundance and rates of acid deposition. We examined the bird community in an acidified forest in central Pennsylvania (USA) and evaluated the effects of terrestrial lime application on birds. We used a before-after control-impact (BACI) study design, with one year of observation before (2003) and three years after lime application (2004, 2005, and 2006). Between the 2003 and 2004 field seasons, 4500 kg/ha of dolomitic lime were applied to two of four 100-ha watersheds. Each year, we monitored bird abundance and Ovenbird (Seiurus aurocapilla) eggshell thickness and territory size. Soil and snail abundance data were also collected. The bird community and territory size results indicated that the study area may be providing low-quality habitat for forest birds, perhaps as a result of acid deposition. We found lower forest bird abundances than have been found in less acidified areas of Pennsylvania, and larger Ovenbird territory sizes than have been found in other studies. We found a significant positive relationship between soil calcium and bird abundance, indicating that soil calcium may affect bird abundance. Liming increased soil calcium and pH and led to increased snail and bird abundances. After liming, bird abundance was positively related to snail abundance. No significant changes occurred in Ovenbird territory size or eggshell thickness. Our results suggest that acid deposition could be responsible for reduced bird abundance, and that liming is a potential mitigation technique.

  12. Spatial patterns in accretion on barrier-island salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groot, de A.V.; Veeneklaas, R.M.; Kuijper, D.P.J.; Bakker, J.P.

    2011-01-01

    On minerogenic barrier-island salt marshes, sedimentation is spatially heterogeneous. Although the main forcing factors for sedimentation are known, much less is known about the characteristic sizes of this spatial patterning. Such patterning gives information on the spatial component of salt-marsh

  13. Chasing boundaries and cascade effects in a coupled barrier-marsh-lagoon system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorenzo-Trueba, Jorge; Mariotti, Giulio

    2017-08-01

    The long-term dynamic evolution of an idealized barrier-marsh-lagoon system experiencing sea-level rise is studied by coupling two existing numerical models. The barrier model accounts for the interaction between shoreface dynamics and overwash flux, which allows the occurrence of barrier drowning. The marsh-lagoon model includes both a backbarrier marsh and an interior marsh, and accounts for the modification of the wave regime associated with changes in lagoon width and depth. Overwash, the key process that connects the barrier shoreface with the marsh-lagoon ecosystems, is formulated to account for the role of the backbarrier marsh. Model results show that a number of factors that are not typically associated with the dynamics of coastal barriers can enhance the rate of overwash-driven landward migration by increasing backbarrier accommodation space. For instance, lagoon deepening could be triggered by marsh edge retreat and consequent export of fine sediment via tidal dispersion, as well as by an expansion of inland marshes and consequent increase in accommodation space to be filled in with sediment. A deeper lagoon results in a larger fraction of sediment overwash being subaqueous, which coupled with a slow shoreface response sending sediment onshore can trigger barrier drowning. We therefore conclude that the supply of fine sediments to the back-barrier and the dynamics of both the interior and backbarrier marsh can be essential for maintaining the barrier system under elevated rates of sea-level rise. Our results highlight the importance of considering barriers and their associated backbarriers as part of an integrated system in which sediment is exchanged.

  14. Birds of a high-altitude cloud forest in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eisermann, Knut; Schulz, Ulrich

    2005-01-01

    The Northern Central American Highlands have been recognized as endemic bird area, but little is known about bird communities in Guatemalan cloud forests. From 1997 to 2001 a total of 142 bird species were recorded between 2000 and 2400 masl in cloud forest and agricultural clearings on Montaña Caquipec (Alta Verapaz, Guatemala). The bird community is described based on line transect counts within the forest. Pooling census data from undisturbed and disturbed forest, the Gray-breasted Wood-Wren (Henicorhina leucophrys) was found to be the most abundant species, followed in descending order by the Common Bush-Tanager (Chlorospingus ophthalmicus), the Paltry Tyrannulet (Zimmerius vilissimus), the Yellowish Flycatcher (Empidonax flavescens), the Ruddy-capped Nightingale-Thrush (Catharus frantzi), and the Amethyst-throated Hummingbird (Lampornis amethystinus). Bird communities in undisturbed and disturbed forest were found to be similar (Serensen similarity index 0.85), indicating low human impact. Of all recorded species, approximately 27% were Nearctic-Neotropical migratory birds. The most abundant one was the Wilson's Warbler (Wilsonia pusilla). The Montaña Caquipec is an important area for bird conservation, which is indicated by the presence of four species listed in the IUCN Red List (Highland Guan Penelopina nigra, Resplendent Quetzal Pharomachrus mocinno, Pink-headed Warbler Ergaticus versicolor, Golden-cheeked Warbler Dendroica chrysoparia), and 42 Mesoamerican endemics, of which 14 species are endemic to the Central American Highlands. The results presented here will be useful as baseline data for a long-term monitoring.

  15. Coatal salt marshes and mangrove swamps in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Shi-Lun; Chen, Ji-Yu

    1995-12-01

    Based on plant specimen data, sediment samples, photos, and sketches from 45 coastal crosssections, and materials from two recent countrywide comprehensive investigations on Chinese coasts and islands, this paper deals with China’s vegetative tidal-flats: salt marshes and mangrove swamps. There are now 141700 acres of salt marshes and 51000 acres of mangrove swamps which together cover about 30% of the mud-coast area of the country and distribute between 18°N (Southern Hainan Island) and 41 °N (Liaodong Bay). Over the past 45 years, about 1750000 acres of salt marshes and 49400 acres of mangrove swamps have been reclaimed. The 2.0×109 tons of fine sediments input by rivers into the Chinese seas form extensive tidal flats, the soil basis of coastal helophytes. Different climates result in the diversity of vegetation. The 3˜8 m tidal range favors intertidal zone development. Of over 20 plant species in the salt marshes, native Suaeda salsa, Phragmites australis, Aeluropus littoralis, Zoysia maerostachys, Imperata cylindrica and introduced Spartina anglica are the most extensive in distribution. Of the 41 mangrove swamps species, Kandelia candel, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, Excoecaria agallocha and Avicennia marina are much wider in latitudinal distribution than the others. Developing stages of marshes originally relevant to the evolution of tidal flats are given out. The roles of pioneer plants in decreasing flood water energy and increasing accretion rate in the Changjiang River delta are discussed.

  16. Accretion rates in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt, South-West Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O.; DeLaune, R.D.

    1988-04-01

    Vertical accretion and sediment accumulation rates were determined from the distribution of /sup 137/Cs in sediment cores, from historic documents, and from artificial white-coloured tracer layers in salt marshes in the Eastern Scheldt. Salt marsh accretion is related to the steady rise of the mean high tide in the Eastern Scheldt during the last few decades. Mean accretion rates vary from 0.4-0.9 cm year/sup -1/ in the St Annaland marsh to 1.0-1.5 cm year/sup -1/ in the Rattekaai marsh. Sediment accumulation in accreting marshes exceed the loss of sediment, by retreat of the marsh cliffs, by a factor of 10-20. Short-term spatial and temporal variations in accretion rates are large. Spatial variations are associated with levee and backmarsh sites and the density of marsh vegetation. Temporal variations are mainly related to fluctuations in hydrodynamic conditions. The net vertical accretion rate of organic carbon is 0.4 +- 0.1 kg m/sup -2/ year/sup -1/, approximately half this rate is associated with the current deposit, and the other half with net additions from the belowground root biomass. A simple model for the root biomass distribution of Spartina anglica with depth and the depth-dependent fossilization of root biomass in sediments of the Rattekaai marsh is presented.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. A New Approach to Monitoring Coastal Marshes for Persistent Flooding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kalcic, M. T.; Undersood, Lauren W.; Fletcher, Rose

    2012-01-01

    Many areas in coastal Louisiana are below sea level and protected from flooding by a system of natural and man-made levees. Flooding is common when the levees are overtopped by storm surge or rising rivers. Many levees in this region are further stressed by erosion and subsidence. The floodwaters can become constricted by levees and trapped, causing prolonged inundation. Vegetative communities in coastal regions, from fresh swamp forest to saline marsh, can be negatively affected by inundation and changes in salinity. As saltwater persists, it can have a toxic effect upon marsh vegetation causing die off and conversion to open water types, destroying valuable species habitats. The length of time the water persists and the average annual salinity are important variables in modeling habitat switching (cover type change). Marsh type habitat switching affects fish, shellfish, and wildlife inhabitants, and can affect the regional ecosystem and economy. There are numerous restoration and revitalization projects underway in the coastal region, and their effects on the entire ecosystem need to be understood. For these reasons, monitoring persistent saltwater intrusion and inundation is important. For this study, persistent flooding in Louisiana coastal marshes was mapped using MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) time series of a Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI). The time series data were derived for 2000 through 2009, including flooding due to Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike in 2008. Using the NDWI, duration and extent of flooding can be inferred. The Time Series Product Tool (TSPT), developed at NASA SSC, is a suite of software developed in MATLAB(R) that enables improved-quality time series images to be computed using advanced temporal processing techniques. This software has been used to compute time series for monitoring temporal changes in environmental phenomena, (e.g. NDVI times series from MODIS), and was modified and used to

  19. Analysis of change in marsh types of coastal Louisiana, 1978-2001

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linscombe, Robert G.; Hartley, Stephen B.

    2011-01-01

    Scientists and geographers have provided multiple datasets and maps to document temporal changes in vegetation types and land-water relationships in coastal Louisiana. Although these maps provide useful historical information, technological limitations prevented these and other mapping efforts from providing sufficiently detailed calculations of areal changes and shifts in habitat coverage. The current analysis of habitat change draws upon these past mapping efforts but is based on an advanced, geographic information system dataset that was created by using Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper imagery and digital orthophoto quarter quadrangles. The objective of building this dataset was to more specifically define land-water relationships over time in coastal Louisiana, and it provides the most detailed analysis of vegetation shifts to date. In the current study, we have attempted to explain these vegetation shifts by interpreting them in the context of rainfall records, data from the Palmer Drought Severity Index, and salinity data. During the 23 years we analyzed, total marsh acreage decreased, with conversion of marsh to open water. Furthermore, the general trend across coastal Louisiana was a shift to increasingly fresh marsh types. Although fresh marsh remained almost the same during the 1978-88 study period, there were greater increases during the 1988-2001 study periods. Intermediate marsh followed the same pattern, whereas brackish marsh showed a reverse (decreasing) pattern. Changes in saline (saltwater) marsh were minimal. Interpreting shifts in marsh vegetation types by using climate and salinity data provides better understanding of factors influencing these changes and, therefore, can improve our ability to make predictions about future marsh loss related to vegetation changes. Results of our study indicate that precipitation fluctuations prior to vegetation surveys impacted salinities differently across the coast. For example, a wet 6 months prior to the survey

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  1. Avian response to early tidal salt marsh restoration at former commercial salt evaporation ponds in San Francisco Bay, California, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athearn, Nicole D.; Takekawa, John Y.; Shinn, Joel

    2009-01-01

    Restoration of former commercial salt evaporation ponds in the San Francisco Bay estuary is intended to reverse a severe decline (>79%) in tidal salt marshes. San Francisco Bay is a critical migratory stopover site and wintering area for shorebirds and waterfowl, and salt ponds are important high tide roosting and foraging areas. Conservation of past bird abundance is a stated goal of area restoration projects, and early adaptive management will be critical for achieving this objective. However, initial avian response at sites restored to tidal flow may not be indicative of long-term results. For example, winter shorebirds at a 529 ha pond breached in 2002 showed a marked increase in shorebird abundance following breaching. Shorebirds comprised 1% of area totals during 1999-2002 and increased to 46% during 2003-2008. These changes accompanied increased tidal range and sedimentation, but minimal vegetation establishment. Conversely, a fully vegetated, restored 216 ha pond in the same system consistently supported less than 2% of all waterbirds in the region. Early restoration may temporarily increase habitat, but managed ponds will be needed for long-term waterbird abundance within a restored pond-marsh system.

  2. Heat loss may explain bill size differences between birds occupying different habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Russell Greenberg

    Full Text Available Research on variation in bill morphology has focused on the role of diet. Bills have other functions, however, including a role in heat and water balance. The role of the bill in heat loss may be particularly important in birds where water is limiting. Song sparrows localized in coastal dunes and salt marsh edge (Melospiza melodia atlantica are similar in size to, but have bills with a 17% greater surface area than, those that live in mesic habitats (M. m. melodia, a pattern shared with other coastal sparrows. We tested the hypotheses that sparrows can use their bills to dissipate "dry" heat, and that heat loss from the bill is higher in M. m. atlantica than M. m. melodia, which would indicate a role of heat loss and water conservation in selection for bill size.Bill, tarsus, and body surface temperatures were measured using thermal imaging of sparrows exposed to temperatures from 15-37°C and combined with surface area and physical modeling to estimate the contribution of each body part to total heat loss. Song sparrow bills averaged 5-10°C hotter than ambient. The bill of M. m atlantica dissipated up to 33% more heat and 38% greater proportion of total heat than that of M. m. melodia. This could potentially reduce water loss requirements by approximately 7.7%.This >30% higher heat loss in the bill of M. m. atlantica is independent of evaporative water loss and thus could play an important role in the water balance of sparrows occupying the hot and exposed dune/salt marsh environments during the summer. Heat loss capacity and water conservation could play an important role in the selection for bill size differences between bird populations and should be considered along with trophic adaptations when studying variation in bill size.

  3. Comparison of trace metals in South Carolina floodplain and marsh sediments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gardner, L.R.; Chen, H.S.; Settlemyre, J.L.

    1978-01-01

    A comparative study of trace metals (copper, zinc, lead, and molybdenum) in sediment cores from a pristine marsh near North Inlet, S.C., a polluted marsh near Charleston Harbor, S.C., and South Carolina river floodplains indicates that the Charleston Harbor marsh samples have significantly higher concentrations of copper, zinc, and lead than either North Inlet samples or river floodplain samples. It is not clear, however, whether this result can be attributed to industrial contamination because the peak concentrations of copper and zinc in cores from the Charleston Harbor marsh occur at depths between 10 and 60 cm rather than at or near the sediment surface, as is the case for well-documented occurrences of contaminated marine sediments. Also, both marsh areas show similar linear relationships for copper vs. zinc, which suggest that both areas received the same relative inputs of copper and zinc from similar or identical sources and that the differences in concentrations between the two areas are due to differences in the rates of accumulation. Natural mechanisms are suggested to explain the higher content of copper and zinc in Charleston Harbor vs. North Inlet marsh sediments and the variable depth of peak copper and zinc concentrations

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diana Stralberg

    2009-09-01

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

  5. Impacts of Intensified Agriculture Developments on Marsh Wetlands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhaoqing Luan

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available A spatiotemporal analysis on the changes in the marsh landscape in the Honghe National Nature Reserve, a Ramsar reserve, and the surrounding farms in the core area of the Sanjiang Plain during the past 30 years was conducted by integrating field survey work with remote sensing techniques. The results indicated that intensified agricultural development had transformed a unique natural marsh landscape into an agricultural landscape during the past 30 years. Ninety percent of the natural marsh wetlands have been lost, and the areas of the other natural landscapes have decreased very rapidly. Most dry farmland had been replaced by paddy fields during the progressive change of the natural landscape to a farm landscape. Attempts of current Chinese institutions in preserving natural wetlands have achieved limited success. Few marsh wetlands have remained healthy, even after the establishment of the nature reserve. Their ecological qualities have been declining in response to the increasing threats to the remaining wetland habitats. Irrigation projects play a key role in such threats. Therefore, the sustainability of the natural wetland ecosystems is being threatened by increased regional agricultural development which reduced the number of wetland ecotypes and damaged the ecological quality.

  6. Searching for the Source of Salt Marsh Buried Mercury.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooke, C. G.; Nelson, D. C.; Fleming, E. J.

    2016-12-01

    Salt marshes provide a barrier between upstream mercury contamination and coastal ecosystems. Mercury is sorbed, transported, and deposited in estuarine systems. Once the upstream mercury source has been remediated, the downstream mercury contaminated salt marsh sediments should become "capped" or buried by uncontaminated sediments preventing further ecosystem contamination. Downstream from a remediated mercury mine, an estuarine intertidal marsh in Tomales Bay, CA, USA, scavengers/predators (e.g. Pachygrapsus crassipes, Lined Shore Crab) have leg mercury concentrations as high as 5.5 ppm (dry wt./dry wt.), which increase significantly with crab size, a surrogate for trophic level. These elevated mercury concentrations suggests that "buried" mercury is rereleased into the environment. To locate possible sources of mercury release in Walker Marsh, we sampled a transect across the marsh that included diverse micro-environments (e.g. rhizoshere, stratified sediments, faunal burrows). From each location we determined the sediment structure, sediment color, total sediment mercury, total sediment iron, and microbial composition (n = 28). Where flora or fauna had perturbed the sediment, mercury concentrations were 10% less than undisturbed stratified sediments (1025 ppb vs. 1164 ppb, respectively). High-throughput SSU rRNA gene sequencing and subsequent co-occurrence network analysis genera indicated that in flora- or fauna- perturbed sediments there was an increased likelihood that microbial genera contained mercury mobilizing genes (94% vs 57%; in perturbed vs stratified sediments, respectively). Our observations are consistent with findings by others that in perturbed sites mercury mobility increased. We did however identify a microbial and geochemical profile with increased mercury mobility. For future work we plan to quantify the role these micro-environments have on mercury-efflux from salt marshes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santangeli, Andrea; Rajasärkkä, Ari; Lehikoinen, Aleksi

    2017-06-01

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

  8. Elevation dynamics in a restored versus a submerging salt marsh in Long Island Sound

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anisfeld, Shimon C.; Hill, Troy D.; Cahoon, Donald R.

    2016-01-01

    Accelerated sea-level rise (SLR) poses the threat of salt marsh submergence, especially in marshes that are relatively low-lying. At the same time, restoration efforts are producing new low-lying marshes, many of which are thriving and avoiding submergence. To understand the causes of these different fates, we studied two Long Island Sound marshes: one that is experiencing submergence and mudflat expansion, and one that is undergoing successful restoration. We examined sedimentation using a variety of methods, each of which captures different time periods and different aspects of marsh elevation change: surface-elevation tables, marker horizons, sediment cores, and sediment traps. We also studied marsh hydrology, productivity, respiration, nutrient content, and suspended sediment. We found that, despite the expansion of mudflat in the submerging marsh, the areas that remain vegetated have been gaining elevation at roughly the rate of SLR over the last 10 years. However, this elevation gain was only possible thanks to an increase in belowground volume, which may be a temporary response to waterlogging. In addition, accretion rates in the first half of the twentieth century were much lower than current rates, so century-scale accretion in the submerging marsh was lower than SLR. In contrast, at the restored marsh, accretion rates are now averaging about 10 mm yr−1 (several times the rate of SLR), much higher than before restoration. The main cause of the different trajectories at the two marshes appeared to be the availability of suspended sediment, which was much higher in the restored marsh. We considered and rejected alternative hypotheses, including differences in tidal flooding, plant productivity, and nutrient loading. In the submerging marsh, suspended and deposited sediment had relatively high organic content, which may be a useful indicator of sediment starvation.

  9. Numerical modeling of salt marsh morphological change induced by Hurricane Sandy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Kelin; Chen, Qin; Wang, Hongqing; Hartig, Ellen K.; Orton, Philip M.

    2018-01-01

    The salt marshes of Jamaica Bay serve as a recreational outlet for New York City residents, mitigate wave impacts during coastal storms, and provide habitat for critical wildlife species. Hurricanes have been recognized as one of the critical drivers of coastal wetland morphology due to their effects on hydrodynamics and sediment transport, deposition, and erosion processes. In this study, the Delft3D modeling suite was utilized to examine the effects of Hurricane Sandy (2012) on salt marsh morphology in Jamaica Bay. Observed marsh elevation change and accretion from rod Surface Elevation Tables and feldspar Marker Horizons (SET-MH) and hydrodynamic measurements during Hurricane Sandy were used to calibrate and validate the wind-waves-surge-sediment transport-morphology coupled model. The model results agreed well with in situ field measurements. The validated model was then used to detect salt marsh morphological change due to Sandy across Jamaica Bay. Model results indicate that the island-wide morphological changes in the bay's salt marshes due to Sandy were in the range of −30 mm (erosion) to +15 mm (deposition), and spatially complex and heterogeneous. The storm generated paired deposition and erosion patches at local scales. Salt marshes inside the west section of the bay showed erosion overall while marshes inside the east section showed deposition from Sandy. The net sediment amount that Sandy brought into the bay is only about 1% of the total amount of reworked sediment within the bay during the storm. Numerical experiments show that waves and vegetation played a critical role in sediment transport and associated wetland morphological change in Jamaica Bay. Furthermore, without the protection of vegetation, the marsh islands of Jamaica Bay would experience both more erosion and less accretion in coastal storms.

  10. Elders Point East Marsh Island Restoration Monitoring Data Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    2017-09-21

    accounting for more than 90% of the measured biomass on average, indicative of a well-established marsh (Figure 12). For Elders East the data indicated...61 3.3 Other Biological and Physical Measures ...Figure 9. Growth measurements at Elders East and JoCo Marsh. ....................................................... 20 Figure 10. Stem survival at

  11. Resilience and stability in bird guilds across tropical countryside

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karp, Daniel S.; Ziv, Guy; Zook, Jim; Ehrlich, Paul R.; Daily, Gretchen C.

    2011-01-01

    The consequences of biodiversity decline in intensified agricultural landscapes hinge on surviving biotic assemblages. Maintaining crucial ecosystem processes and services requires resilience to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. However, the resilience and stability of surviving biological communities remain poorly quantified. From a 10-y dataset comprising 2,880 bird censuses across a land-use gradient, we present three key findings concerning the resilience and stability of Costa Rican bird communities. First, seed dispersing, insect eating, and pollinating guilds were more resilient to low-intensity land use than high-intensity land use. Compared with forest assemblages, bird abundance, species richness, and diversity were all ∼15% lower in low-intensity land use and ∼50% lower in high-intensity land use. Second, patterns in species richness generally correlated with patterns in stability: guilds exhibited less variation in abundance in low-intensity land use than in high-intensity land use. Finally, interspecific differences in reaction to environmental change (response diversity) and possibly the portfolio effect, but not negative covariance of species abundances, conferred resilience and stability. These findings point to the changes needed in agricultural production practices in the tropics to better sustain bird communities and, possibly, the functional and service roles that they play. PMID:22160726

  12. High Spatial resolution remote sensing for salt marsh change detection on Fire Island National Seashore

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, A.; Wang, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are under increasing pressure due to anthropogenic stressors including sea level rise, nutrient enrichment, herbivory and disturbances. Salt marsh losses risk the important ecosystem services they provide including biodiversity, water filtration, wave attenuation, and carbon sequestration. This study determines salt marsh change on Fire Island National Seashore, a barrier island along the south shore of Long Island, New York. Object-based image analysis was used to classifying Worldview-2, high resolution satellite, and topobathymetric LiDAR. The site was impacted by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012 causing a breach in the Barrier Island and extensive overwash. In situ training data from vegetation plots were used to train the Random Forest classifier. The object-based Worldview-2 classification achieved an overall classification accuracy of 92.75. Salt marsh change for the study site was determined by comparing the 2015 classification with a 1997 classification. The study found a shift from high marsh to low marsh and a reduction in Phragmites on Fire Island. Vegetation losses were observed along the edge of the marsh and in the marsh interior. The analysis agreed with many of the trends found throughout the region including the reduction of high marsh and decline of salt marsh. The reduction in Phragmites could be due to the species shrinking niche between rising seas and dune vegetation on barrier islands. The complex management issues facing salt marsh across the United States including sea level rise and eutrophication necessitate very high resolution classification and change detection of salt marsh to inform management decisions such as restoration, salt marsh migration, and nutrient inputs.

  13. Wave attenuation across a tidal marsh in San Francisco Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster-Martinez, Madeline R.; Lacy, Jessica; Ferner, Matthew C.; Variano, Evan A.

    2018-01-01

    Wave attenuation is a central process in the mechanics of a healthy salt marsh. Understanding how wave attenuation varies with vegetation and hydrodynamic conditions informs models of other marsh processes that are a function of wave energy (e.g. sediment transport) and allows for the incorporation of marshes into coastal protection plans. Here, we examine the evolution of wave height across a tidal salt marsh in San Francisco Bay. Instruments were deployed along a cross-shore transect, starting on the mudflat and crossing through zones dominated by Spartina foliosa and Salicornia pacifica. This dataset is the first to quantify wave attenuation for these vegetation species, which are abundant in the intertidal zone of California estuaries. Measurements were collected in the summer and winter to assess seasonal variation in wave attenuation. Calculated drag coefficients of S. foliosa and S. pacifica were similar, indicating equal amounts of vegetation would lead to similar energy dissipation; however, S. pacifica has much greater biomass close to the bed (<20 cm) and retains biomass throughout the year, and therefore, it causes more total attenuation. S. foliosa dies back in the winter, and waves often grow across this section of the marsh. For both vegetation types, attenuation was greatest for low water depths, when the vegetation was emergent. For both seasons, attenuation rates across S. pacifica were the highest and were greater than published attenuation rates across similar (Spartina alterniflora) salt marshes for the comparable depths. These results can inform designs for marsh restorations and management plans in San Francisco Bay and other estuaries containing these species.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1988-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suparno Suparno

    2018-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

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

  17. Marsh Soil Responses to Nutrients: Belowground Structural and Organic Properties.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coastal marsh responses to nutrient enrichment apparently depend upon soil matrix and whether the system is primarily biogenic or minerogenic. Deteriorating organic rich marshes (Jamaica Bay, NY) receiving wastewater effluent had lower belowground biomass, organic matter, and soi...

  18. Environmental assessment of Al-Hammar Marsh, Southern Iraq

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hind Fadhil Abdullah Al-Gburi

    2017-02-01

    Discussion and conclusions: Decreasing of Tigris and Euphrates discharges during the past decades due to drought conditions and upstream damming, as well as the increasing stress of wastewater effluents from anthropogenic activities, led to degradation of the downstream Al-Hammar Marsh water quality in terms of physical, chemical, and biological properties. As such properties were found to consistently exceed the historical and global quality objectives. However, element concentration decreasing trend at the marsh outlet station compared to other stations indicate that the marsh plays an important role as a natural filtration and bioremediation system. Higher element concentrations in winter were due to runoff from the washing of the surrounding Sabkha during flooding by winter rainstorms. Finally, the high concentrations of heavy metals in fish samples can be attributed to bioaccumulation and biomagnification processes.

  19. Seropositivity and risk factors associated with Toxoplasma gondii infection in wild birds from Spain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Oscar Cabezón

    Full Text Available Toxoplasma gondii is a zoonotic intracellular protozoan parasite of worldwide distribution that infects many species of warm-blooded animals, including birds. To date, there is scant information about the seropositivity of T. gondii and the risk factors associated with T. gondii infection in wild bird populations. In the present study, T. gondii infection was evaluated on sera obtained from 1079 wild birds belonging to 56 species (including Falconiformes (n=610, Strigiformes (n=260, Ciconiiformes (n=156, Gruiformes (n=21, and other orders (n=32, from different areas of Spain. Antibodies to T. gondii (modified agglutination test, MAT titer ≥1:25 were found in 282 (26.1%, IC(95%:23.5-28.7 of the 1079 birds. This study constitute the first extensive survey in wild birds species in Spain and reports for the first time T. gondii antibodies in the griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus, short-toed snake-eagle (Circaetus gallicus, Bonelli's eagle (Aquila fasciata, golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos, bearded vulture (Gypaetus barbatus, osprey (Pandion haliaetus, Montagu's harrier (Circus pygargus, Western marsh-harrier (Circus aeruginosus, peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus, long-eared owl (Asio otus, common scops owl (Otus scops, Eurasian spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia, white stork (Ciconia ciconia, grey heron (Ardea cinerea, common moorhen (Gallinula chloropus; in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN "vulnerable" Spanish imperial eagle (Aquila adalberti, lesser kestrel (Falco naumanni and great bustard (Otis tarda; and in the IUCN "near threatened" red kite (Milvus milvus. The highest seropositivity by species was observed in the Eurasian eagle owl (Bubo bubo (68.1%, 98 of 144. The main risk factors associated with T. gondii seropositivity in wild birds were age and diet, with the highest exposure in older animals and in carnivorous wild birds. The results showed that T. gondii infection is widespread and can be at a high level in many wild

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vashti (Tice) Supplee; Jennie MacFarland

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Gross nitrous oxide production drives net nitrous oxide fluxes across a salt marsh landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Wendy H; Silver, Whendee L

    2016-06-01

    Sea level rise will change inundation regimes in salt marshes, altering redox dynamics that control nitrification - a potential source of the potent greenhouse gas, nitrous oxide (N2 O) - and denitrification, a major nitrogen (N) loss pathway in coastal ecosystems and both a source and sink of N2 O. Measurements of net N2 O fluxes alone yield little insight into the different effects of redox conditions on N2 O production and consumption. We used in situ measurements of gross N2 O fluxes across a salt marsh elevation gradient to determine how soil N2 O emissions in coastal ecosystems may respond to future sea level rise. Soil redox declined as marsh elevation decreased, with lower soil nitrate and higher ferrous iron in the low marsh compared to the mid and high marshes (P production was highest in the low marsh and lowest in the mid-marsh (P = 0.02), whereas gross N2 O consumption did not differ among marsh zones. Thus, variability in gross N2 O production rates drove the differences in net N2 O flux among marsh zones. Our results suggest that future studies should focus on elucidating controls on the processes producing, rather than consuming, N2 O in salt marshes to improve our predictions of changes in net N2 O fluxes caused by future sea level rise. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Ammonium transformation in a nitrogen-rich tidal freshwater marsh

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gribsholt, B.; Andersson, M.; Boschker, H.T.S.

    2006-01-01

    The fate and transport of watershed-derived ammonium in a tidal freshwater marsh fringing the nutrient rich Scheldt River, Belgium, was quantified in a whole ecosystem 15N labeling experiment. In late summer (September) we added 15N-NH4+ to the flood water entering a 3477 m2 tidal freshwater marsh...

  3. Louisiana Marsh Management Plan 1995

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — We sampled experimental research areas in the Barataria Basin of Louisiana during March and May, 1995, to examine the effects of structural marsh management on...

  4. Stratigraphic response of salt marshes to slow rates of sea-level change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daly, J.; Bell, T.

    2006-12-01

    Conventional models of salt-marsh development show an idealized spatial relationship between salt-marsh floral and foraminiferal zones, where the landward margin of the marsh gradually migrates inland in response to sea-level rise. This model predicts that transgression will result in persistent and possibly expanded salt marshes at the surface, depending on a variety of factors including sediment supply, hydrologic conditions, tidal range, and rate of sea-level rise. However, in areas with abundant sediment supply and slow rates of sea- level rise, the extent of back-barrier salt marshes may decline over time as the barrier-spits mature. Sea level around the northeast coast of Newfoundland is rising at a very slow rate during the late Holocene (flora. These transitions are interpreted to reflect the progradation of the spit, decreased tidal exchange in the back-barrier, and increased influence of freshwater streams discharging into the back-barrier setting. Decreased marine influence on the back-barrier environment leads to a floral and faunal shift associated with a regressive stratigraphy in an area experiencing sea-level rise. For studies of Holocene sea-level change requiring salt-marsh stratigraphic records, it is necessary to account for changing micro-environments to locate sites appropriate for study; salt marshes may play an important role in defining the record, but may not exist at the surface to guide investigation.

  5. Alabama ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  6. Maryland ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Greenhouse gas emissions from a created brackish marsh in eastern North Carolina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiau, Yo-Jin; Burchell, Michael R.; Krauss, Ken W.; Birgand, François; Broome, Stephen W.

    2016-01-01

    Tidal marsh creation helps remediate global warming because tidal wetlands are especially proficient at sequestering carbon (C) in soils. However, greenhouse gas (GHG) losses can offset the climatic benefits gained from C storage depending on how these tidal marshes are constructed and managed. This study attempts to determine the GHG emissions from a 4–6 year old created brackish marsh, what environmental factors governed these emissions, and how the magnitude of the fluxes relates to other wetland ecosystems. The static flux chamber method was used to measure GHG fluxes across three distinct plant zones segregated by elevation. The major of soil GHG fluxes from the marsh were from CO2 (−48–192 mg C m-2 h-1), although it was near the lower end of values reported from other wetland types having lower salinities, and would mostly be offset by photosynthetic uptake in this created brackish marsh. Methane flux was also low (−0.33–0.86 mg C m-2 h-1), likely inhibited by the high soil SO42−and soil redox potentials poised above −150 mV in this in this created brackish marsh environment. Low N2O flux (−0.11–0.10 mg N m-2 h-1) was due to low soil NO3− and soil redox conditions favoring complete denitrification. GHG fluxes from this created brackish marsh were generally lower than those recorded from natural marshes, suggesting that C sequestration may not be offset by the radiative forcing from soil GHG emissions if projects are designed properly.

  8. Coastal marsh degradation: modeling the influence of vegetation die-off patterns on flow and sedimentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schepers, Lennert; Wang, Chen; Kirwan, Matthew; Belluco, Enrica; D'Alpaos, Andrea; Temmerman, Stijn

    2014-05-01

    Coastal marshes are vulnerable ecosystems that provide ecosystem functions such as storm protection and carbon sequestration. However, degradation of vegetated marshes into bare tidal flats or open water has been reported as a worldwide phenomenon, threatening their valuable wetland functions. Moreover, tidal marshes and bare flats are considered as alternative stable ecosystem states, which implies that, once vegetated marshes have degraded to bare flats, the (re)conversion from bare flats to marsh vegetation may be very difficult. Recent aerial photo analysis has demonstrated that the degradation or die-off of a marsh area is a spatial process, whereby vegetation is typically replaced by non-vegetated areas in the form of interior marsh pools, also known as ponds or marsh basins. On a small scale, these pools have similar characteristics among different marshes worldwide: pools that are located further away from tidal channels and with broad channel connections to the tidal channel system appear to have low surface elevations and a low probability for marsh recovery (this is re-establishment of vegetation on the surface). Interior pools located closer to, but that are not connected to channels on the other hand, are positioned on higher elevations and are more likely to recover. These findings may have important implications for the restoration potential of degraded marshes and their functions. We hypothesize that bio-geomorphologic interactions are the main mechanisms causing these differences in elevation and recovery potential of interior marsh pools: pools that are not connected to the channel system, are separated from the channel by vegetation, which reduces the flow velocity, increases sedimentation and may explain our observation of higher surface elevation of this type of pools. In contrast, pools that are connected with the channel system are not protected by vegetation and will experience higher flow velocities and lower sedimentation rates or even

  9. Ecosystem engineering effects of Aster tripolium and Salicornia procumbens saltmarsh on macrofaunal community structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Wal, D.; Herman, P.M.J.

    2012-01-01

    This paper examines how perennial Aster tripolium and annual Salicornia procumbens salt marshes alter the biomass, density, taxon diversity, and community structure of benthic macrofauna, and also examines the role of elevation, sediment grain size, plant cover, and marsh age. Core samples were

  10. Tritium kinetics in a freshwater marsh ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adams, L.W.

    1976-01-01

    Ten curies of tritium (as tritiated water, HTO) were applied to a 2-ha enclosed Lake Erie marsh in northwestern Ohio on 29 October 1973. Tritium kinetics in the marsh water, bottom sediment, and selected aquatic plants and animals were determined. Following HTO application, peak tritium levels in the sediment were observed on day 13 in the top 1-cm layer, on day 27 at the 5-cm depth, and on day 64 at the 10-cm depth. Peak levels at 15 and 20 cm were not discernible, although there was some movement of HTO to the 20-cm depth. A model based on diffusion theory described tritium movement through the sediment. Unbound and bound tritium levels in curly-leaf pondweed (Potamogeton crispus), pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata), and smartweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) generally tended to follow tritium levels in marsh water. The unbound tritium:marsh water tritium ratio was significantly larger (P < 0.001) in curly-leaf pondweed than in either of the two emergents. Tritium uptake into the unbound compartments of crayfish (Procambarus blandingi), carp (Cyprinus carpio), and bluegills (Lepomis macrochirus) was rapid. For crayfish, maximum HTO levels were observed on days 3 and 2 for viscera and muscle, respectively. Unbound HTO in carp viscera peaked on day 2, and levels in carp muscle reached a maximum in 4 hours. Maximum levels of unbound HTO in bluegill viscera and muscle were observed on day 1. After peak levels were obtained, unbound HTO paralleled marsh water HTO activity in all species. Tritium uptake into the bound compartments was not as rapid nor were the levels as high as for unbound HTO in any of the species. Peak bound levels in crayfish viscera were observed on day 20 and maximum levels in muscle were noted on day 10. Bound tritium in carp viscera and muscle reached maximum levels on day 20. In bluegills, peaks were reached on days 7 and 5 for viscera and muscle, respectively. Bound tritium in all species decreased following maximum levels

  11. Cicadas impact bird communication in a noisy tropical rainforest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hall, Robert; Ray, William; Beck, Angela; Zook, James

    2015-01-01

    Many animals communicate through acoustic signaling, and “acoustic space” may be viewed as a limited resource that organisms compete for. If acoustic signals overlap, the information in them is masked, so there should be selection toward strategies that reduce signal overlap. The extent to which animals are able to partition acoustic space in acoustically diverse habitats such as tropical forests is poorly known. Here, we demonstrate that a single cicada species plays a major role in the frequency and timing of acoustic communication in a neotropical wet forest bird community. Using an automated acoustic monitor, we found that cicadas vary the timing of their signals throughout the day and that the frequency range and timing of bird vocalizations closely track these signals. Birds significantly avoid temporal overlap with cicadas by reducing and often shutting down vocalizations at the onset of cicada signals that utilize the same frequency range. When birds do vocalize at the same time as cicadas, the vocalizations primarily occur at nonoverlapping frequencies with cicada signals. Our results greatly improve our understanding of the community dynamics of acoustic signaling and reveal how patterns in biotic noise shape the frequency and timing of bird vocalizations in tropical forests. PMID:26023277

  12. Bird Perches Increase Forest Seeds on Puerto Rican Landslides.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aaron B. Shiels; Lawrence R. Walker

    2003-01-01

    Landslides result in the loss of vertical vegetative structure, soil nutrients, and the soil seed bank. These losses impede timely recovery of tropical forest communities. In this study we added bird perches to six Puerto Rican landslides with three types of surfaces (bare, climbing fern, grass) in an effort to facilitate inputs of forest seeds through bird dispersal...

  13. Genetic Structure and Antimicrobial Resistance of Escherichia coli and Cryptic Clades in Birds with Diverse Human Associations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blyton, Michaela D J; Pi, Hongfei; Vangchhia, Belinda; Abraham, Sam; Trott, Darren J; Johnson, James R; Gordon, David M

    2015-08-01

    The manner and extent to which birds associate with humans may influence the genetic attributes and antimicrobial resistance of their commensal Escherichia communities through strain transmission and altered selection pressures. In this study, we determined whether the distribution of the different Escherichia coli phylogenetic groups and cryptic clades, the occurrence of 49 virulence associated genes, and/or the prevalence of resistance to 12 antimicrobials differed between four groups of birds from Australia with contrasting types of human association. We found that birds sampled in suburban and wilderness areas had similar Escherichia communities. The Escherichia communities of backyard domestic poultry were phylogenetically distinct from the Escherichia communities sourced from all other birds, with a large proportion (46%) of poultry strains belonging to phylogenetic group A and a significant minority (17%) belonging to the cryptic clades. Wild birds sampled from veterinary and wildlife rehabilitation centers (in-care birds) carried Escherichia isolates that possessed particular virulence-associated genes more often than Escherichia isolates from birds sampled in suburban and wilderness areas. The Escherichia isolates from both the backyard poultry and in-care birds were more likely to be multidrug resistant than the Escherichia isolates from wild birds. We also detected a multidrug-resistant E. coli strain circulating in a wildlife rehabilitation center, reinforcing the importance of adequate hygiene practices when handling and caring for wildlife. We suggest that the relatively high frequency of antimicrobial resistance in the in-care birds and backyard poultry is due primarily to the use of antimicrobials in these animals, and we recommend that the treatment protocols used for these birds be reviewed. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  14. Greenhouse gas emissions in salt marshes and their response to nitrogen loading

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, J.; Moseman-Valtierra, S.; Kroeger, K. D.; Morkeski, K.; Carey, J.

    2015-12-01

    Salt marshes play an important role in global and regional carbon and nitrogen cycling. Anthropogenic nitrogen loading may alter greenhouse gas (GHG, including CO2, CH4, and N2O) emissions and carbon sequestration in salt marshes. We measured GHG emissions biweekly for two growing seasons across a nitrogen-loading gradient of four Spartina salt marshes in Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts. In addition, we conducted nitrogen addition experiments in a pristine marsh by adding low and high nitrate bi-weekly during the summer. The GHG flux measurements were made in situ with a state-of-the-art mobile gas measurement system using the cavity ring down technology that consists of a CO2/CH4 analyzer (Picarro) and an N2O/CO analyzer (Los Gatos). We observed strong seasonal variations in greenhouse gas emissions. The differences in gas emissions across the nitrogen gradient (between 1 and 10 gN m-2y-1) were not significant, but strong pulse emissions of N2O were observed after nitrogen was artificially added to the marsh. We found that the studied salt marsh was a significant carbon sink (NEP ~ 380 gC m-2y-1). CH4 fluxes are 3 orders of magnitude less than CO2 fluxes in the salt marsh. Carbon fluxes are driven by light, salinity, tide, and temperature. We conclude that restoration or conservation of this carbon sink has a significant social benefit for carbon credit.

  15. The Effect of Nitrogen Enrichment on C1-Cycling Microorganisms and Methane Flux in Salt Marsh Sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irina Catherine Irvine

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Methane (CH4 flux from ecosystems is driven by C1-cycling microorganisms – the methanogens and the methylotrophs. Little is understood about what regulates these communities, complicating predictions about how global change drivers such as nitrogen enrichment will affect methane cycling. Using a nitrogen addition gradient experiment in three Southern California salt marshes, we show that sediment CH4 flux increased linearly with increasing nitrogen addition (1.23 µg CH4 m-2 d-1 for each g N m-2 yr-1 applied after seven months of fertilization. To test the reason behind this increased CH4 flux, we conducted a microcosm experiment altering both nitrogen and carbon availability under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Methanogenesis appeared to be both nitrogen and carbon (acetate limited. N and C each increased methanogenesis by 18%, and together by 44%. In contrast, methanotrophy was stimulated by carbon (methane addition (830%, but was unchanged by nitrogen addition. Sequence analysis of the sediment methylotroph community with the methanol dehydrogenase gene (mxaF revealed three distinct clades that fall outside of known lineages. However, in agreement with the microcosm results, methylotroph abundance (assayed by qPCR and composition (assayed by T-RFLP did not vary across the experimental nitrogen gradient in the field. Together, these results suggest that nitrogen enrichment to salt marsh sediments increases methane flux by stimulating the methanogen community.

  16. Zooming in and out: Scale dependence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors affecting salt marsh erosion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Heng; van der Wal, Daphne; Li, Xiangyu; van Belzen, Jim; Herman, Peter M. J.; Hu, Zhan; Ge, Zhenming; Zhang, Liquan; Bouma, Tjeerd J.

    2017-07-01

    Salt marshes are valuable ecosystems that provide important ecosystem services. Given the global scale of marsh loss due to climate change and coastal squeeze, there is a pressing need to identify the critical extrinsic (wind exposure and foreshore morphology) and intrinsic factors (soil and vegetation properties) affecting the erosion of salt marsh edges. In this study, we quantified rates of cliff lateral retreat (i.e., the eroding edge of a salt marsh plateau) using a time series of aerial photographs taken over four salt marsh sites in the Westerschelde estuary, the Netherlands. In addition, we experimentally quantified the erodibility of sediment cores collected from the marsh edge of these four marshes using wave tanks. Our results revealed the following: (i) at the large scale, wind exposure and the presence of pioneer vegetation in front of the cliff were the key factors governing cliff retreat rates; (ii) at the intermediate scale, foreshore morphology was partially related to cliff retreat; (iii) at the local scale, the erodibility of the sediment itself at the marsh edge played a large role in determining the cliff retreat rate; and (iv) at the mesocosm scale, cliff erodibility was determined by soil properties and belowground root biomass. Thus, both extrinsic and intrinsic factors determined the fate of the salt marsh but at different scales. Our study highlights the importance of understanding the scale dependence of the factors driving the evolution of salt marsh landscapes.

  17. Bird and bat predation services in tropical forests and agroforestry landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maas, Bea; Karp, Daniel S; Bumrungsri, Sara; Darras, Kevin; Gonthier, David; Huang, Joe C-C; Lindell, Catherine A; Maine, Josiah J; Mestre, Laia; Michel, Nicole L; Morrison, Emily B; Perfecto, Ivette; Philpott, Stacy M; Şekercioğlu, Çagan H; Silva, Roberta M; Taylor, Peter J; Tscharntke, Teja; Van Bael, Sunshine A; Whelan, Christopher J; Williams-Guillén, Kimberly

    2016-11-01

    Understanding distribution patterns and multitrophic interactions is critical for managing bat- and bird-mediated ecosystem services such as the suppression of pest and non-pest arthropods. Despite the ecological and economic importance of bats and birds in tropical forests, agroforestry systems, and agricultural systems mixed with natural forest, a systematic review of their impact is still missing. A growing number of bird and bat exclosure experiments has improved our knowledge allowing new conclusions regarding their roles in food webs and associated ecosystem services. Here, we review the distribution patterns of insectivorous birds and bats, their local and landscape drivers, and their effects on trophic cascades in tropical ecosystems. We report that for birds but not bats community composition and relative importance of functional groups changes conspicuously from forests to habitats including both agricultural areas and forests, here termed 'forest-agri' habitats, with reduced representation of insectivores in the latter. In contrast to previous theory regarding trophic cascade strength, we find that birds and bats reduce the density and biomass of arthropods in the tropics with effect sizes similar to those in temperate and boreal communities. The relative importance of birds versus bats in regulating pest abundances varies with season, geography and management. Birds and bats may even suppress tropical arthropod outbreaks, although positive effects on plant growth are not always reported. As both bats and birds are major agents of pest suppression, a better understanding of the local and landscape factors driving the variability of their impact is needed. © 2015 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  18. Physical and Biological Regulation of Carbon Sequestration in Tidal Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morris, J. T.; Callaway, J.

    2017-12-01

    The rate of carbon sequestration in tidal marshes is regulated by complex feedbacks among biological and physical factors including the rate of sea-level rise (SLR), biomass production, tidal amplitude, and the concentration of suspended sediment. We used the Marsh Equilibrium Model (MEM) to explore the effects on C-sequestration across a wide range of permutations of these variables. C-sequestration increased with the rate of SLR to a maximum, then down to a vanishing point at higher SLR when marshes convert to mudflats. An acceleration in SLR will increase C-sequestration in marshes that can keep pace, but at high rates of SLR this is only possible with high biomass and suspended sediment concentrations. We found that there were no feasible solutions at SLR >13 mm/yr for permutations of variables that characterize the great majority of tidal marshes, i.e., the equilibrium elevation exists below the lower vertical limit for survival of marsh vegetation. The rate of SLR resulting in maximum C-sequestration varies with biomass production. C-sequestration rates at SLR=1 mm/yr averaged only 36 g C m-2 yr-1, but at the highest maximum biomass tested (5000 g/m2) the mean C-sequestration reached 399 g C m-2 yr-1 at SLR = 14 mm/yr. The empirical estimate of C-sequestration in a core dated 50-years overestimates the theoretical long-term rate by 34% for realistic values of decomposition rate and belowground production. The overestimate of the empirical method arises from the live and decaying biomass contained within the carbon inventory above the marker horizon, and overestimates were even greater for shorter surface cores.

  19. Vegetation - Suisun Marsh 2000 [ds161

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This vegetation mapping project of Suisun Marsh blends ground-based classification, aerial photo interpretation, and GIS editing and processing. The method is based...

  20. Vegetation - Suisun Marsh 1999 [ds160

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This vegetation mapping project of Suisun Marsh blends ground-based classification, aerial photo interpretation, and GIS editing and processing. The method is based...

  1. Vegetation - Suisun Marsh 2003 [ds162

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — This vegetation mapping project of Suisun Marsh blends ground-based classification, aerial photo interpretation, and GIS editing and processing. The method is based...

  2. DNA Barcoding of Birds at a Migratory Hotspot in Eastern Turkey Highlights Continental Phylogeographic Relationships.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Raşit Bilgin

    Full Text Available The combination of habitat loss, climate change, direct persecution, introduced species and other components of the global environmental crisis has resulted in a rapid loss of biodiversity, including species, population and genetic diversity. Birds, which inhabit a wide spectrum of different habitat types, are particularly sensitive to and indicative of environmental changes. The Caucasus endemic bird area, part of which covers northeastern Turkey, is one of the world's key regions harboring a unique bird community threatened with habitat loss. More than 75% of all bird species native to Turkey have been recorded in this region, in particular along the Kars-Iğdır migratory corridor, stopover, wintering and breeding sites along the Aras River, whose wetlands harbor at least 264 bird species. In this study, DNA barcoding technique was used for evaluating the genetic diversity of land bird species of Aras River Bird Paradise at the confluence of Aras River and Iğdır Plains key biodiversity areas. Seventy three COI sequences from 33 common species and 26 different genera were newly generated and used along with 301 sequences that were retrieved from the Barcoding of Life Database (BOLD. Using the sequences obtained in this study, we made global phylogeographic comparisons to define four categories of species, based on barcoding suitability, intraspecific divergence and taxonomy. Our findings indicate that the landbird community of northeastern Turkey has a genetical signature mostly typical of northern Palearctic bird communities while harboring some unique variations. The study also provides a good example of how DNA barcoding can build upon its primary mission of species identification and use available data to integrate genetic variation investigated at the local scale into a global framework. However, the rich bird community of the Aras River wetlands is highly threatened with the imminent construction of the Tuzluca Dam by the government.

  3. Coupled Wave Energy and Erosion Dynamics along a Salt Marsh Boundary, Hog Island Bay, Virginia, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anthony M. Priestas

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between lateral erosion of salt marshes and wind waves is studied in Hog Island Bay, Virginia USA, with high-resolution field measurements and aerial photographs. Marsh retreat is compared to wave climate calculated in the bay using the spectral wave-model Simulating Waves Nearshore (SWAN. We confirm the existence of a linear relationship between long-term salt marsh erosion and wave energy, and show that wave power can serve as a good proxy for average salt-marsh erosion rates. At each site, erosion rates are consistent across several temporal scales, ranging from months to decades, and are strongly related to wave power. On the contrary, erosion rates vary in space and weakly depend on the spatial distribution of wave energy. We ascribe this variability to spatial variations in geotechnical, biological, and morphological marsh attributes. Our detailed field measurements indicate that at a small spatial scale (tens of meters, a positive feedback between salt marsh geometry and wave action causes erosion rates to increase with boundary sinuosity. However, at the scale of the entire marsh boundary (hundreds of meters, this relationship is reversed: those sites that are more rapidly eroding have a marsh boundary which is significantly smoother than the marsh boundary of sheltered and slowly eroding marshes.

  4. Monitoring coastal marshes biomass with CASI: a comparison of parametric and non-parametric models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mo, Y.; Kearney, M.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal marshes are important carbon sinks that face multiple natural and anthropogenic stresses. Optical remote sensing is a powerful tool for closely monitoring the biomass of coastal marshes. However, application of hyperspectral sensors on assessing the biomass of diverse coastal marsh ecosystems is limited. This study samples spectral and biophysical data from coastal freshwater, intermediate, brackish, and saline marshes in Louisiana, and develops parametric and non-parametric models for using the Compact Airborne Spectrographic Imager (CASI) to retrieve the marshes' biomass. Linear models and random forest models are developed from simulated CASI data (48 bands, 380-1050 nm, bandwidth 14 nm). Linear models are also developed using narrowband vegetation indices computed from all possible band combinations from the blue, red, and near infrared wavelengths. It is found that the linear models derived from the optimal narrowband vegetation indices provide strong predictions for the marshes' Leaf Area Index (LAI; R2 > 0.74 for ARVI), but not for their Aboveground Green Biomass (AGB; R2 > 0.25). The linear models derived from the simulated CASI data strongly predict the marshes' LAI (R2 = 0.93) and AGB (R2 = 0.71) and have 27 and 30 bands/variables in the final models through stepwise regression, respectively. The random forest models derived from the simulated CASI data also strongly predict the marshes' LAI and AGB (R2 = 0.91 and 0.84, respectively), where the most important variables for predicting LAI are near infrared bands at 784 and 756 nm and for predicting ABG are red bands at 684 and 670 nm. In sum, the random forest model is preferable for assessing coastal marsh biomass using CASI data as it offers high R2 for both LAI and AGB. The superior performance of the random forest model is likely to due to that it fully utilizes the full-spectrum data and makes no assumption of the approximate normality of the sampling population. This study offers solutions

  5. Revegetation increase bird diversity in coastal area of Socorejo, Tuban, East Java - Indonesia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lestari, Yeni Indah; Edi, Wasito; Alivvy, Alkautsar; Ibadah, Acib Setia; Sari, Fadina Yuliana; Nuraini, Finda; Yanuar, Ahmad; Satriyono, Agus; Riany, Citra Fitrie; Saptarini, Dian; Muzaki, Farid Kamal

    2017-06-01

    Study to address positive impact of revegetation program to increasing diversity of bird had been conducted in coastal area of Socorejo, Tuban - Indonesia. Field observation conducted during April 2011 (representing pre-revegetation period), April 2015 and May 2016 (representing post-revegetation period). A belt transect (500 meter long and 50 meter width) was used to survey the abundance and species composition of birds community. In general, we identified at least 51 bird species from three observation times. From 2011 to 2016, the numbers of the birds identified are 23, 37 and 37 species; while the Shannon-Wiener diversity indices (H') are 1.865, 2.071 and 2.957, respectively. In addition, there are 11 national or internationally protected species, 3 Indonesian endemic species and 12 migratory species occurred in the area. As a conclusion, the coastal revegetation program provides positive impact by generating habitat function for bird community.

  6. First results on enzymatic activities in two salt marsh soils under different hydromorphic level and vegetation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen Trasar-Cepeda

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Salt-marsh soils are soils characterized by non-permanent hydric saturation that, depending on factors like duration of submersion periods, are dominated by different salt-tolerant plant species. The composition of microbial communities is an essential component in trophic dynamics and biogeochemical processes in salt marshes, and determines the level of enzymatic activities, which catalyze the conversion of complex molecules into simpler ones. Despite of this, the enzymatic activities in marsh-soils has not yet been investigated. The aim of this study was to analyze the enzymatic activities in two soil profiles of marsh-soils under different water saturation level and dominated by different plant species [Juncus maritimus Lam and Spartina maritima (Curtis Fernald (Sp]. In both soils, the enzymatic activities were much lower than the levels typically found in terrestrial ecosystems. The enzymatic activities were measured both in air-dried and in re-moistened and incubated soil samples. In air-dried samples, the enzymatic activities were higher in Juncus than in Spartina soil and tended to decrease with depth, being sharper the decrease in Juncus than in Spartina soil. Re-moistened and pre-incubated soils showed a general increase in all the enzymatic activities and throughout the whole soil profile, especially in Spartina soils. Hydrolase activities showed a strong and positive relationship with organic matter content both in air-dried and in re-moistened soil samples, higher in these latter. In general, oxidoreductase activities only showed this relationship in re-moistened soil samples. More studies, preferably using freshly collected soil samples, are needed to understand the relationship between enzymatic activities and these environmental conditions.

  7. A Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for Management of Coastal Marsh Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sea level rise is causing shoreline erosion, increased coastal flooding, and marsh vulnerability to the impact of storms. Coastal marshes provide flood abatement, carbon and nutrient sequestration, water quality maintenance, and habitat for fish, shellfish, and wildlife, includin...

  8. Effects of nitrogen loading on greenhouse gas emissions in salt marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, J.; Moseman-Valtierra, S.; Kroeger, K. D.; Morkeski, K.; Mora, J.; Chen, X.; Carey, J.

    2014-12-01

    Salt marshes play an important role in global and regional carbon and nitrogen cycling. We tested the hypothesis that anthropogenic nitrogen loading alters greenhouse gas (GHG, including CO2, CH4, and N2O) emissions and carbon sequestration in salt marshes. We measured GHG emissions biweekly for two growing seasons across a nitrogen-loading gradient of four Spartina salt marshes in Waquoit Bay, Massachusetts. In addition, we conducted nitrogen addition experiments in a pristine marsh by adding low and high nitrate to triplicate plots bi-weekly during the summer. The GHG flux measurements were made in situ with a state-of-the-art mobile gas measurement system using the cavity ring down technology that consists of a CO2/CH4 analyzer (Picarro) and an N2O/CO analyzer (Los Gatos). We observed strong seasonal variations in greenhouse gas emissions. The differences in gas emissions across the nitrogen gradient were not significant, but strong pulse emissions of N2O were observed after nitrogen was artificially added to the marsh. Our results will facilitate model development to simulate GHG emissions in coastal wetlands and support methodology development to assess carbon credits in preserving and restoring coastal wetlands.

  9. A linear relationship between wave power and erosion determines salt-marsh resilience to violent storms and hurricanes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Ganju, Neil K.; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2016-01-01

    Salt marsh losses have been documented worldwide because of land use change, wave erosion, and sea-level rise. It is still unclear how resistant salt marshes are to extreme storms and whether they can survive multiple events without collapsing. Based on a large dataset of salt marsh lateral erosion rates collected around the world, here, we determine the general response of salt marsh boundaries to wave action under normal and extreme weather conditions. As wave energy increases, salt marsh response to wind waves remains linear, and there is not a critical threshold in wave energy above which salt marsh erosion drastically accelerates. We apply our general formulation for salt marsh erosion to historical wave climates at eight salt marsh locations affected by hurricanes in the United States. Based on the analysis of two decades of data, we find that violent storms and hurricanes contribute less than 1% to long-term salt marsh erosion rates. In contrast, moderate storms with a return period of 2.5 mo are those causing the most salt marsh deterioration. Therefore, salt marshes seem more susceptible to variations in mean wave energy rather than changes in the extremes. The intrinsic resistance of salt marshes to violent storms and their predictable erosion rates during moderate events should be taken into account by coastal managers in restoration projects and risk management plans.

  10. A linear relationship between wave power and erosion determines salt-marsh resilience to violent storms and hurricanes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leonardi, Nicoletta; Ganju, Neil K; Fagherazzi, Sergio

    2016-01-05

    Salt marsh losses have been documented worldwide because of land use change, wave erosion, and sea-level rise. It is still unclear how resistant salt marshes are to extreme storms and whether they can survive multiple events without collapsing. Based on a large dataset of salt marsh lateral erosion rates collected around the world, here, we determine the general response of salt marsh boundaries to wave action under normal and extreme weather conditions. As wave energy increases, salt marsh response to wind waves remains linear, and there is not a critical threshold in wave energy above which salt marsh erosion drastically accelerates. We apply our general formulation for salt marsh erosion to historical wave climates at eight salt marsh locations affected by hurricanes in the United States. Based on the analysis of two decades of data, we find that violent storms and hurricanes contribute less than 1% to long-term salt marsh erosion rates. In contrast, moderate storms with a return period of 2.5 mo are those causing the most salt marsh deterioration. Therefore, salt marshes seem more susceptible to variations in mean wave energy rather than changes in the extremes. The intrinsic resistance of salt marshes to violent storms and their predictable erosion rates during moderate events should be taken into account by coastal managers in restoration projects and risk management plans.

  11. Bird checklist, Guánica Biosphere Reserve, Puerto Rico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wayne J. Arendt; John Faaborg; Miguel Canals; Jerry Bauer

    2015-01-01

    This research note compiles 43 years of research and monitoring data to produce the first comprehensive checklist of the dry forest avian community found within the Guánica Biosphere Reserve. We provide an overview of the reserve along with sighting locales, a list of 185 birds with their resident status and abundance, and a list of the available bird habitats....

  12. The importance of agricultural lands for Himalayan birds in winter.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsen, Paul R; Kalyanaraman, Ramnarayan; Ramesh, Krishnamurthy; Wilcove, David S

    2017-04-01

    The impacts of land-use change on biodiversity in the Himalayas are poorly known, notwithstanding widespread deforestation and agricultural intensification in this highly biodiverse region. Although intact primary forests harbor many Himalayan birds during breeding, a large number of bird species use agricultural lands during winter. We assessed how Himalayan bird species richness, abundance, and composition during winter are affected by forest loss stemming from agriculture and grazing. Bird surveys along 12 elevational transects within primary forest, low-intensity agriculture, mixed subsistence agriculture, and intensively grazed pastures in winter revealed that bird species richness and abundance were greatest in low-intensity and mixed agriculture, intermediate in grazed pastures, and lowest in primary forest at both local and landscape scales; over twice as many species and individuals were recorded in low-intensity agriculture than in primary forest. Bird communities in primary forests were distinct from those in all other land-use classes, but only 4 species were unique to primary forests. Low-, medium-, and high-intensity agriculture harbored 32 unique species. Of the species observed in primary forest, 80% had equal or greater abundance in low-intensity agricultural lands, underscoring the value of these lands in retaining diverse community assemblages at high densities in winter. Among disturbed landscapes, bird species richness and abundance declined as land-use intensity increased, especially in high-intensity pastures. Our results suggest that agricultural landscapes are important for most Himalayan bird species in winter. But agricultural intensification-especially increased grazing-will likely result in biodiversity losses. Given that forest reserves alone may inadequately conserve Himalayan birds in winter, comprehensive conservation strategies in the region must go beyond protecting intact primary forests and ensure that low-intensity agricultural

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fitzner, R.E.

    1985-02-01

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

  14. Evaluating autonomous acoustic surveying techniques for rails in tidal marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stiffler, Lydia L.; Anderson, James T.; Katzner, Todd

    2018-01-01

    There is a growing interest toward the use of autonomous recording units (ARUs) for acoustic surveying of secretive marsh bird populations. However, there is little information on how ARUs compare to human surveyors or how best to use ARU data that can be collected continuously throughout the day. We used ARUs to conduct 2 acoustic surveys for king (Rallus elegans) and clapper rails (R. crepitans) within a tidal marsh complex along the Pamunkey River, Virginia, USA, during May–July 2015. To determine the effectiveness of an ARU in replacing human personnel, we compared results of callback point‐count surveys with concurrent acoustic recordings and calculated estimates of detection probability for both rail species combined. The success of ARUs at detecting rails that human observers recorded decreased with distance (P ≤ 0.001), such that at of human‐recorded rails also were detected by the ARU, but at >75 m, only 34.0% of human‐detected rails were detected by the ARU. To determine a subsampling scheme for continuous ARU data that allows for effective surveying of presence and call rates of rails, we used ARUs to conduct 15 continuous 48‐hr passive surveys, generating 720 hr of recordings. We established 5 subsampling periods of 5, 10, 15, 30, and 45 min to evaluate ARU‐based presence and vocalization detections of rails compared with each of the full 60‐min sampling of ARU‐based detection of rails. All subsampling periods resulted in different (P ≤ 0.001) detection rates and unstandardized vocalization rates compared with the hourly sampling period. However, standardized vocalization counts from the 30‐min subsampling period were not different from vocalization counts of the full hourly sampling period. When surveying rail species in estuarine environments, species‐, habitat‐, and ARU‐specific limitations to ARU sampling should be considered when making inferences about abundances and distributions from ARU data. 

  15. Mobbing call experiment suggests the enhancement of forest bird movement by tree cover in urban landscapes across seasons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Atsushi Shimazaki

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Local scale movement behavior is an important basis to predict large-scale bird movements in heterogeneous landscapes. Here we conducted playback experiments using mobbing calls to estimate the probability that forest birds would cross a 50-m urban area during three seasons (breeding, dispersal, and wintering seasons with varying amounts of tree cover, building area, and electric wire density. We examined the responses of four forest resident species: Marsh Tit (Poecile palustris, Varied Tit (Sittiparus varius, Japanese Tit (P. minor, and Eurasian Nuthatch (Sitta europaea in central Hokkaido, northern Japan. We carried out and analyzed 250 playback experiments that attracted 618 individuals. Our results showed that tree cover increased the crossing probability of three species other than Varied Tit. Building area and electric wire density had no detectable effect on crossing probability for four species. Seasonal difference in the crossing probability was found only for Varied Tit, and the probability was the highest in the breeding season. These results suggest that the positive effect of tree cover on the crossing probability would be consistent across seasons. We therefore conclude that planting trees would be an effective way to promote forest bird movement within an urban landscape.

  16. Seed bank and established vegetation in the last remnants of the Mexican Central Plateau wetlands: the Lerma marshes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zepeda, Carmen; Lot, Antonio; Nemiga, Xanat Antonio; Manjarrez, Javier

    2014-06-01

    Seed banks play a central role in vegetation dynamics of many wetlands. Therefore, knowledge of seed reservoirs in the soils of aquatic communities should provide useful tools for conservation and restoration efforts. This study was conducted in the Lerma marshes, one of the last remnants of the vast wetlands that were once in the Mexican Central Plateau. The main objective was to determine the composition and abundance of seed bank and its relationship with established vegetation of the three Lerma marshes. In each marsh, we systematically selected 18 to 40 sampling sites. In each site, the composition of vascular plant vegetation was evaluated in two 10m lines perpendicular to the shore. Every 0.5m, we determined the coverage of species by measuring the intercepted length for each plant or group of plants. At each sampling site where we had evaluated the established vegetation, we collected a sample of the top 10cm of sediment; the soil cores were divided into an upper layer (0-5cm) and a lower layer (5-10cm). These samples were used to evaluate the seed bank by the seedling emergence method. All samples were placed in a greenhouse at 20-25 degrees C and remained flooded for 15 weeks. Forty-nine species were recorded in the vegetation. Chiconahuapan had the richest and most diverse flora and the greatest number of perennial species. A life-forms analysis showed that perennial herbs, especially rooted-emergent hydrophytes, dominated in the three wetlands. Sixty-one species were identified in the total seed bank; Chimaliapan had the most diverse total seed bank, whereas the mean seedling density was higher in Chignahuapan. Only two species of the total seed bank of each marsh had a density greater than 10% of the total, and more than half were uncommon. The upper layer of sediment (0-5cm) contained two times more seeds/m2 and species per sample than the lower layer (5-10cm), and there was a significant decrease of seed density with depth. The detrended

  17. Effects of livestock species and stocking density on accretion rates in grazed salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nolte, Stefanie; Esselink, Peter; Bakker, Jan P.; Smit, Christian

    2015-01-01

    Coastal ecosystems, such as salt marshes, are threatened by accelerated sea-level rise (SLR). Salt marshes deliver valuable ecosystem services such as coastal protection and the provision of habitat for a unique flora and fauna. Whether salt marshes in the Wadden Sea area are able to survive

  18. Columbia River ESI: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  19. Greenhouse gas fluxes from salt marshes exposed to chronic nutrient enrichment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chmura, Gail L.; Kellman, Lisa; van Ardenne, Lee; Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2016-01-01

    We assessed the impact of nutrient additions on greenhouse gas fluxes using dark static chambers in a microtidal and a macrotidal marsh along the coast of New Brunswick, Canada approximately monthly over a year. Both were experimentally fertilized for six years with varying levels of N and P. For unfertilized, N and NPK treatments, average yearly CO2 emissions (which represent only respiration) at the microtidal marsh (13, 19, and 28 mmoles CO2 m-2 hr-1, respectively) were higher than at the macrotidal marsh (12, 15, and 19 mmoles m-2 hr-1, respectively, with a flux under the additional high N/low P treatment of 21 mmoles m-2 hr-1). Response of CH4 to fertilization was more variable. At the macrotidal marsh average yearly fluxes were 1.29, 1.26, and 0.77 μmol CH4 m-2 hr-1 with control, N, and NPK treatments, respectively and 1.21 μmol m-2 hr-1 under high N/low P treatment. At the microtidal marsh CH4fluxes were 0.23, 0.16, and -0.24 μmol CH4 m-2 hr-1 in control, N, and NPK and treatments, respectively. Fertilization changed soils from sinks to sources of N2O. Average yearly N2O fluxes at the macrotidal marsh were -0.07, 0.08, and 1.70, μmol N2O m-2 hr-1 in control, N, NPK and treatments, respectively and 0.35 μmol m-2 hr-1 under high N/low P treatment. For the control, N, and NPK treatments at the microtidal marsh N2O fluxes were -0.05, 0.30, and 0.52 μmol N2O m-2 hr-1, respectively. Our results indicate that N2O fluxes are likely to vary with the source of pollutant nutrients but emissions will be lower if N is not accompanied by an adequate supply of P (e.g., atmospheric deposition vs sewage or agricultural runoff). With chronic fertilization the global warming potential of the increased N2O emissions may be enough to offset the global cooling potential of the C sequestered by salt marshes.

  20. The contribution of mangrove expansion to salt marsh loss on the Texas Gulf Coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Armitage, Anna R; Highfield, Wesley E; Brody, Samuel D; Louchouarn, Patrick

    2015-01-01

    Landscape-level shifts in plant species distribution and abundance can fundamentally change the ecology of an ecosystem. Such shifts are occurring within mangrove-marsh ecotones, where over the last few decades, relatively mild winters have led to mangrove expansion into areas previously occupied by salt marsh plants. On the Texas (USA) coast of the western Gulf of Mexico, most cases of mangrove expansion have been documented within specific bays or watersheds. Based on this body of relatively small-scale work and broader global patterns of mangrove expansion, we hypothesized that there has been a recent regional-level displacement of salt marshes by mangroves. We classified Landsat-5 Thematic Mapper images using artificial neural networks to quantify black mangrove (Avicennia germinans) expansion and salt marsh (Spartina alterniflora and other grass and forb species) loss over 20 years across the entire Texas coast. Between 1990 and 2010, mangrove area grew by 16.1 km(2), a 74% increase. Concurrently, salt marsh area decreased by 77.8 km(2), a 24% net loss. Only 6% of that loss was attributable to mangrove expansion; most salt marsh was lost due to conversion to tidal flats or water, likely a result of relative sea level rise. Our research confirmed that mangroves are expanding and, in some instances, displacing salt marshes at certain locations. However, this shift is not widespread when analyzed at a larger, regional level. Rather, local, relative sea level rise was indirectly implicated as another important driver causing regional-level salt marsh loss. Climate change is expected to accelerate both sea level rise and mangrove expansion; these mechanisms are likely to interact synergistically and contribute to salt marsh loss.

  1. Winter Bird Assemblages in Rural and Urban Environments: A National Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tryjanowski, Piotr; Sparks, Tim H; Biaduń, Waldemar; Brauze, Tomasz; Hetmański, Tomasz; Martyka, Rafał; Skórka, Piotr; Indykiewicz, Piotr; Myczko, Łukasz; Kunysz, Przemysław; Kawa, Piotr; Czyż, Stanisław; Czechowski, Paweł; Polakowski, Michał; Zduniak, Piotr; Jerzak, Leszek; Janiszewski, Tomasz; Goławski, Artur; Duduś, Leszek; Nowakowski, Jacek J; Wuczyński, Andrzej; Wysocki, Dariusz

    2015-01-01

    Urban development has a marked effect on the ecological and behavioural traits of many living organisms, including birds. In this paper, we analysed differences in the numbers of wintering birds between rural and urban areas in Poland. We also analysed species richness and abundance in relation to longitude, latitude, human population size, and landscape structure. All these parameters were analysed using modern statistical techniques incorporating species detectability. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km2 each) in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 urban areas across Poland (in each urban area we surveyed 3 squares and 3 squares in nearby rural areas). The influence of twelve potential environmental variables on species abundance and richness was assessed with Generalized Linear Mixed Models, Principal Components and Detrended Correspondence Analyses. Totals of 72 bird species and 89,710 individual birds were recorded in this study. On average (± SE) 13.3 ± 0.3 species and 288 ± 14 individuals were recorded in each square in each survey. A formal comparison of rural and urban areas revealed that 27 species had a significant preference; 17 to rural areas and 10 to urban areas. Moreover, overall abundance in urban areas was more than double that of rural areas. There was almost a complete separation of rural and urban bird communities. Significantly more birds and more bird species were recorded in January compared to December. We conclude that differences between rural and urban areas in terms of winter conditions and the availability of resources are reflected in different bird communities in the two environments.

  2. Winter Bird Assemblages in Rural and Urban Environments: A National Survey.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piotr Tryjanowski

    Full Text Available Urban development has a marked effect on the ecological and behavioural traits of many living organisms, including birds. In this paper, we analysed differences in the numbers of wintering birds between rural and urban areas in Poland. We also analysed species richness and abundance in relation to longitude, latitude, human population size, and landscape structure. All these parameters were analysed using modern statistical techniques incorporating species detectability. We counted birds in 156 squares (0.25 km2 each in December 2012 and again in January 2013 in locations in and around 26 urban areas across Poland (in each urban area we surveyed 3 squares and 3 squares in nearby rural areas. The influence of twelve potential environmental variables on species abundance and richness was assessed with Generalized Linear Mixed Models, Principal Components and Detrended Correspondence Analyses. Totals of 72 bird species and 89,710 individual birds were recorded in this study. On average (± SE 13.3 ± 0.3 species and 288 ± 14 individuals were recorded in each square in each survey. A formal comparison of rural and urban areas revealed that 27 species had a significant preference; 17 to rural areas and 10 to urban areas. Moreover, overall abundance in urban areas was more than double that of rural areas. There was almost a complete separation of rural and urban bird communities. Significantly more birds and more bird species were recorded in January compared to December. We conclude that differences between rural and urban areas in terms of winter conditions and the availability of resources are reflected in different bird communities in the two environments.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. In situ burning of oil in coastal marshes. 1. Vegetation recovery and soil temperature as a function of water depth, oil type, and marsh type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, Qianxin; Mendelssohn, Irving A; Bryner, Nelson P; Walton, William D

    2005-03-15

    In-situ burning of oiled wetlands potentially provides a cleanup technique that is generally consistent with present wetland management procedures. The effects of water depth (+10, +2, and -2 cm), oil type (crude and diesel), and oil penetration of sediment before the burn on the relationship between vegetation recovery and soil temperature for three coastal marsh types were investigated. The water depth over the soil surface during in-situ burning was a key factor controlling marsh plant recovery. Both the 10- and 2-cm water depths were sufficient to protect marsh vegetation from burning impacts, with surface soil temperatures of fire significantly impeded the post-burn recovery of Spartina alterniflora and Sagittaria lancifolia but did not detrimentally affect the recovery of Spartina patens and Distichlis spicata. Oil type (crude vs diesel) and oil applied to the marsh soil surface (0.5 L x m(-2)) before the burn did not significantly affect plant recovery. Thus, recovery is species-specific when no surface water exists. Even water at the soil surface will most likely protect wetland plants from burning impact.

  5. Characteristics of urban woodlands affecting breeding bird diversity and abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    N.G. Tilghman

    1987-01-01

    Breeding bird communities were studied in 32 forest islands surrounded by urban development. These isolated woodlands in Springfield, Massachusetts, provided breeding habitats for a wider variety of birds (77 species) than previously described for other urban habitats (e.g. four times as many species as found in urban residential areas in the same city in a...

  6. DENITRIFICATION ENZYME ACTIVITY OF FRINGE SALT MARSHES IN NEW ENGLAND (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coastal salt marshes are a buffer between the uplands and adjacent coastal waters in New England (USA). With increasing N loads from developed watersheds, salt marshes could play an important role in the water quality maintenance of coastal waters. In this study we examined seaso...

  7. Does vegetation prevent wave erosion of salt marsh edges?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feagin, R A; Lozada-Bernard, S M; Ravens, T M; Möller, I; Yeager, K M; Baird, A H

    2009-06-23

    This study challenges the paradigm that salt marsh plants prevent lateral wave-induced erosion along wetland edges by binding soil with live roots and clarifies the role of vegetation in protecting the coast. In both laboratory flume studies and controlled field experiments, we show that common salt marsh plants do not significantly mitigate the total amount of erosion along a wetland edge. We found that the soil type is the primary variable that influences the lateral erosion rate and although plants do not directly reduce wetland edge erosion, they may do so indirectly via modification of soil parameters. We conclude that coastal vegetation is best-suited to modify and control sedimentary dynamics in response to gradual phenomena like sea-level rise or tidal forces, but is less well-suited to resist punctuated disturbances at the seaward margin of salt marshes, specifically breaking waves.

  8. Nitrogen processing in a tidal freshwater marsh: a whole ecosystem 15N labeling study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gribsholt, B.; Boschker, H.T.S.; Struyf, E.; Andersson, M.G.I.; Tramper, A.; de Brabandere, L.; van Damme, S.; Brion, N.; Meire, P.; Dehairs, F.; Middelburg, J.J.; Heip, C.H.R.

    2005-01-01

    We quantified the fate and transport of watershed-derived ammonium in a tidal freshwater marsh fringing the nutrientrich Scheldt River in a whole-ecosystem 15N labeling experiment. 15N-NH4+ was added to the floodwater entering a 3,477 14 m2 tidal marsh area, and marsh ammonium processing and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huhta, Esa; Sulkava, Pekka

    2014-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huhta, Esa; Sulkava, Pekka

    2014-05-01

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

  11. Salt marsh stability and patterns of sedimentation across a backbarrier platform

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bartholdy, Anders; Bartholdy, Jesper; Kroon, Aart

    2010-01-01

    Long term observations of clay thicknesses from 1949 to 2007 and measurements of the bulk dry density of salt marsh on the backbarrier of Skallingen (west Denmark) formed the basis of constructing a space distributed model of salt marsh deposition. The deposition potential (an empirical constant, ß...

  12. Alternative nitrate reduction pathways in experimentally fertilized New England salt marshes

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Uldahl, Anne; Banta, Gary Thomas; Boegh, Eva

    the ecosystem in the form of gaseous N2, while the last process transforms of NO3- to another biologically available form, NH4+, and thus merely recycles N. Salt marshes are important ecosystems for the cycling, retention and removal of biologically available N transported from land to the oceans. We used...... ongoing ecosystem level nutrient additions experiments in two New England salt marshes, Plum Island Sound (NO3- additions since 2003) and Great Sippewissett Marsh (fertilizer additions since the 1970's) to examine the relative importance of these NO3- reduction pathways in salt marshes. Sediments from...... several experimental (and unmanipulated) sites were collected during the late summer/fall of 2009 and summer 2010 to measure the potential rates of NO3- reduction in sediment slurries enriched with NO3- and 15NO3- added as a tracer. The resulting 15N-labeled products (30N2, 29N2 and 15NH4+) were analyzed...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-11

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

  14. Nitrogen enrichment suppresses other environmental drivers and homogenizes salt marsh leaf microbiome.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daleo, Pedro; Alberti, Juan; Jumpponen, Ari; Veach, Allison; Ialonardi, Florencia; Iribarne, Oscar; Silliman, Brian

    2018-06-01

    Microbial community assembly is affected by a combination of forces that act simultaneously, but the mechanisms underpinning their relative influences remain elusive. This gap strongly limits our ability to predict human impacts on microbial communities and the processes they regulate. Here, we experimentally demonstrate that increased salinity stress, food web alteration and nutrient loading interact to drive outcomes in salt marsh fungal leaf communities. Both salinity stress and food web alterations drove communities to deterministically diverge, resulting in distinct fungal communities. Increased nutrient loads, nevertheless, partially suppressed the influence of other factors as determinants of fungal assembly. Using a null model approach, we found that increased nutrient loads enhanced the relative importance of stochastic over deterministic divergent processes; without increased nutrient loads, samples from different treatments showed a relatively (deterministic) divergent community assembly whereas increased nutrient loads drove the system to more stochastic assemblies, suppressing the effect of other treatments. These results demonstrate that common anthropogenic modifications can interact to control fungal community assembly. Furthermore, our results suggest that when the environmental conditions are spatially heterogeneous (as in our case, caused by specific combinations of experimental treatments), increased stochasticity caused by greater nutrient inputs can reduce the importance of deterministic filters that otherwise caused divergence, thus driving to microbial community homogenization. © 2018 by the Ecological Society of America.

  15. Quantifying Trophic Interactions and Carbon Flow in Louisiana Salt Marshes Using Multiple Biomarkers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polito, M. J.; Lopez-Duarte, P. C.; Olin, J.; Johnson, J. J.; Able, K.; Martin, C. W.; Fodrie, J.; Hooper-Bui, L. M.; Taylor, S.; Stouffer, P.; Roberts, B. J.; Rabalais, N. N.; Jensen, O.

    2017-12-01

    Salt marshes are critical habitats for many species in the northern Gulf of Mexico. However, given their complex nature, quantifying trophic linkages and the flow of carbon through salt marsh food webs is challenging. This gap in our understanding of food web structure and function limits our ability to evaluate the impacts of natural and anthropogenic stressors on salt marsh ecosystems. For example, 2010 Deepwater Horizon (DWH) oil spill had the potential to alter trophic and energy pathways. Even so, our ability to evaluate its effects on Louisiana salt marsh food webs was limited by a poor basis for comparison of the pre-spill baseline food web. To be better equipped to measure significant alterations in salt marsh ecosystems in the future, we quantified trophic interactions at two marsh sites in Barataria Bay, LA in May and October of 2015. Trophic structure and carbon flow across 52 species of saltmarsh primary producers and consumers were examined through a combination of three approaches: bulk tissue stable isotope analysis (δ13C, δ15N, δ34S), dietary fatty acid analysis (FAA), and compound-specific stable isotope analysis of essential amino acids (δ13C EAA). Bulk stable isotope analysis indicated similar trophic diversity between sites and seasons with the use of aquatic resources increasing concomitantly with trophic level. FAA and δ13C EAA biomarkers revealed that marsh organisms were largely divided into two groups: those that primarily derive carbon from terrestrial C4 grasses, and those that predominately derive carbon from a combination of phytoplankton and benthic microalgal sources. Differences in trophic structure and carbon flow were minimal between seasons and sites that were variably impacted by the DWH spill. These data on salt marsh ecosystem structure will be useful to inform future injury assessments and restoration initiatives.

  16. Salt marsh recovery from a crude oil spill: Vegetation, oil weathering, and response

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoff, R.Z.; Shigenaka, G.; Henry, C.B. Jr.

    1993-01-01

    When a spill of Prudhoe Bay crude oil covered a fringing Salicornia virginica marsh in Fidalgo Bay, Washington (northern Puget Sound) in February 1991, response personnel used several low-impact techniques to remove oil from the marsh, and minimized access by cleanup workers. Following the response, a monitoring program was established to track marsh recovery, and to document the effectiveness of the response techniques used and their impacts on the marsh. Through monthly sampling over a 16-month period, vegetative growth was monitored and chemical degradation of remaining oil was tracked. Sampling was conducted along transects located in four areas affected in different ways by the spill, including an oiled, trampled section; an oiled, vacuumed section; and an oiled, washed, and vacuumed section. In addition, a control transect was established in an unoiled adjacent marsh. The study included both biological and chemical components. Biological measurements included percent cover of live vegetation (sampled monthly) and below-ground plant biomass (sampled at the beginning of each growing season in April 1991 and April 1992). Sediment samples included surface sediment (monthly) and core samples collected at the beginning and end of the growing seasons. Sediment samples were analyzed using gas chromatography/mass spectroscopy, and indicator compounds were tracked to determine rates of oil degradation. Results from 16 months of post-spill monitoring show that foot trampling was most detrimental to marsh plants, while washing with vacuuming removed the most oil and minimized adverse impacts to vegetation. Dense clay substrate helped prevent oil from penetrating the sediment, thus minimizing acute toxic effects from oil exposure to marsh plant rootstock. By the second growing season post-spill, Salicornia and other marsh plants were growing in all areas except one heavily oiled patch

  17. Carbon Dioxide and Methane Emissions from Diverse Zones of a California Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, F.; King, J. Y.

    2016-12-01

    With high primary productivity and low organic matter decomposition rates, salt marshes sequester carbon from the atmosphere and contribute to mitigation of climate change. However, the role of wetlands in carbon sequestration is offset by CO2 and CH4 emissions whose magnitudes remain coarsely constrained. To better understand the spatiotemporal dynamics of gaseous carbon fluxes from marsh soils in a Mediterranean climate, we collected air and soil samples over the course of 10 months at Carpinteria Salt Marsh Reserve (CSMR) located in the County of Santa Barbara, California. The CSMR consists of four distinct zones characterized by differences in elevation, tidal regime, and vegetation. Twelve static chambers were deployed among two lower marsh zones, a salt flat, and a marsh-upland transition zone for fortnightly flux measurements from September, 2015 to May, 2016. In August, 2015 and June, 2016, soil cores up to 50 cm deep were extracted near the chambers, segmented by depth, and analyzed for soil moisture, bulk density, EC, pH, organic/inorganic carbon, and total nitrogen content. The gaseous carbon fluxes showed significant spatiotemporal variability, and soil properties differed noticeably by zone and by depth. Integrated over the study period, the marsh-upland transition zone had the highest CO2 fluxes at 292 g C/m2, followed closely by the lower marsh zones (271 g C/m2 and 189 g C/m2), which were one order of magnitude higher than the CO2 fluxes from the salt flat (23 g C/m2). Seasonally, CO2 fluxes were 2.5 to 3.5 times higher during the warmer months (Sept - Oct, Mar - May) than the colder months (Nov - Feb) across all zones. The CH4 fluxes were more temporally heterogeneous, but overall the CH4 emissions from the lower marsh zones (1.37 g C/m2 and 0.41 g C/m2) surpassed those from the salt flat (0.054 g C/m2) by an order of magnitude, and the marsh-upland transition zone was a net methane sink (-0.029 g C/m2). Our results show that soil gaseous carbon

  18. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Marsh, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_fresh_marsh_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) fresh marsh data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which...

  19. Rates and probable causes of freshwater tidal marsh failure, Potomac River Estuary, Northern Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Litwin, Ronald J.; Smoot, Joseph P.; Pavich, Milan J.; Markewich, Helaine Walsh; Oberg, Erik T.; Steury, Brent W.; Helwig, Ben; Santucci, Vincent L.; Sanders, Geoffrey

    2013-01-01

    Dyke Marsh, a distal tidal marsh along the Potomac River estuary, is diminishing rapidly in areal extent. This study documents Dyke Marsh erosion rates from the early-1860s to the present during pre-mining, mining, and post-mining phases. From the late-1930s to the mid-1970s, Dyke Marsh and the adjacent shallow riverbottom were mined for gravel, resulting in a ~55 % initial loss of area. Marsh loss continued during the post-mining phase (1976–2012). Causes of post-mining loss were unknown, but were thought to include Potomac River flooding. Post-mining areal-erosion rates increased from 0.138 ha yr−1 (~0.37 ac yr−1) to 0.516 ha yr−1(~1.67 ac yr−1), and shoreline-erosion rates increased from 0.76 m yr−1 (~2.5 ft yr−1) to 2.60 m yr−1 (~8.5 ft yr−1). Results suggest the accelerating post-mining erosion reflects a process-driven feedback loop, enabled by the marsh's severely-altered geomorphic and hydrologic baseline system; the primary post-mining degradation process is wave-induced erosion from northbound cyclonic storms. Dyke Marsh erosion rates are now comparable to, or exceed, rates for proximal coastal marshes in the same region. Persistent and accelerated erosion of marshland long after cessation of mining illustrates the long-term, and potentially devastating, effects that temporally-restricted, anthropogenic destabilization can have on estuarine marsh systems.

  20. Contribution of Cultural Eutrophication to Marsh Loss in Jamaica Bay (NY)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loss of salt marsh area in the Jamaica Bay Estuary (NY) has accelerated in recent years, with loss rates as high as 45 acres per year. A contributing factor to this acceleration is likely cultural eutrophication due to over 6 decades of sewage effluent inputs. We examined marsh...

  1. Bird diversity and dissimilarity show contrasting patterns along heavy metal pollution gradients in the Urals, Russia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belskii, Eugen A; Mikryukov, Vladimir S

    2018-05-07

    The effects of industrial pollution on bird diversity have been widely studied using traditional diversity measures, which assume all species to be equivalent. We compared species richness and Shannon index with distance-based measures of taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic diversity (the abundance-weighted mean nearest taxon distances), which describe within-community dissimilarity at terminal branches. Analysis of dissimilarity can shed light on the processes underlying community assembly, i.e., environmental filtering decreases dissimilarity whereas competitive exclusion increases it. In the 2-year study near Karabash and Revda copper smelters in Russia, point counts of nesting birds and habitat descriptions were taken at 10 sites (40 plots) along each pollution gradient. The abundance and diversity of birds showed good repeatability in both regions. The total density of birds, number of species per plot, and Shannon diversity decreased at high toxic load in both regions. The taxonomic, functional, and phylogenetic nearest taxon distances showed the same pattern within regions. Species dissimilarity within communities increased with pollution in Karabash (due to loss of functionally similar species), but did not change in Revda (due to mass replacement of forest species by species of open habitats). Pollution-induced changes in bird communities near Karabash were greater due to the stronger deterioration of the forest ecosystems and less favorable natural conditions (more arid climate, lower diversity and vitality of the tree stand and understorey) compared to Revda. This study emphasizes the need for a multi-level approach to the analysis of bird communities using traditional indices of diversity, functional, taxonomic, or phylogenetic distances between species and environmental variables.

  2. Invasion Age and Invader Removal Alter Species Cover and Composition at the Suisun Tidal Marsh, California, USA

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    Sarah Estrella

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Wetland ecosystems are vulnerable to plant species invasions, which can greatly alter species composition and ecosystem functioning. The response of these communities to restoration can vary following invader removal, but few studies have evaluated how recent and long-term invasions can affect the plant community’s restoration potential. Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium has invaded thousands of hectares of marshland in the San Francisco Estuary, California, United States of America, while the effects of invasion and removal of this weed remain poorly studied. In this study, perennial pepperweed was removed along a gradient of invasion age in brackish tidal marshes of Suisun Marsh, within the Estuary. In removal plots, resident plant cover significantly increased during the 2-year study period, particularly in the densest and oldest parts of the perennial pepperweed colonies, while species richness did not change significantly. In bare areas created by removal of perennial pepperweed, recolonization was dominated by three-square bulrush (Schoenoplectus americanus. Ultimately, removal of invasive perennial pepperweed led to reinvasion of the resident plant community within two years. This study illustrates that it is important to consider invasion age, along with exotic species removal, when developing a restoration strategy in wetland ecosystems.

  3. Specificity of salt marsh diazotrophs for vegetation zones and plant hosts

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    Debra Aline Davis

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Salt marshes located on the east coast of temperate North America are highly productive, typically nitrogen-limited, and support diverse assemblages of nitrogen fixing (diazotrophic bacteria. The distributions of these diazotrophs are strongly influenced by plant host and abiotic environmental parameters. Crab Haul Creek Basin, North Inlet, SC, USA is a tidally dominated marsh that displays discrete plant zones distributed along an elevation gradient from the tidal creek bank to the terrestrial forest. These zones are defined by gradients of abiotic environmental variables, particularly salinity and sulfide. DGGE fingerprinting and phylogenetic analyses of recovered sequences demonstrated that the distributions of some diazotrophs indicate plant host specificity and that diazotroph assemblages across the marsh gradient are heavily influenced by edaphic conditions. Broadly distributed diazotrophs capable of maintaining populations in all environmental conditions across the gradient are also present in these assemblages. Parsimony test results confirm that diazotroph assemblages in different plant zones are significantly (p<0.01 different across the marsh landscape. Results also indicated that diazotroph assemblages associated with different plant hosts growing in the same area of the marsh were structurally similar confirming the influence of edaphic parameters on these assemblages. Principal Component Analysis of DGGE gel banding patterns confirmed these results. This article reviews and analyzes data from North Inlet Estuary, addressing diazotroph assemblage structure and the influence of plant host and environmental conditions. New data demonstrate the heterogeneity of salt marsh rhizosphere microenvironments, and corroborate previous findings from different plant hosts growing at several locations within this estuary. These data support the hypothesis that the biogeography of microorganisms is non-random and is partially driven by

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  5. Cavity-nesting bird abundance in thinned versus unthinned Massachusetts oak stands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christopher J.E. Welsh; William M. Healy; Richard M. DeGraaf

    1992-01-01

    Cavity-nesting birds provide significant benefits to forest communities, but timber management techniques may negatively affect cavity-nesting species by reducing the availability of suitable nest and foraging sites. We surveyed cavity-nesting birds from transects in eight Massachusetts oak stands to examine the effect of thinning with retention of snag and wildlife...

  6. In search of the genetic footprints of Sumerians: a survey of Y-chromosome and mtDNA variation in the Marsh Arabs of Iraq

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    Olivieri Anna

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background For millennia, the southern part of the Mesopotamia has been a wetland region generated by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers before flowing into the Gulf. This area has been occupied by human communities since ancient times and the present-day inhabitants, the Marsh Arabs, are considered the population with the strongest link to ancient Sumerians. Popular tradition, however, considers the Marsh Arabs as a foreign group, of unknown origin, which arrived in the marshlands when the rearing of water buffalo was introduced to the region. Results To shed some light on the paternal and maternal origin of this population, Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA variation was surveyed in 143 Marsh Arabs and in a large sample of Iraqi controls. Analyses of the haplogroups and sub-haplogroups observed in the Marsh Arabs revealed a prevalent autochthonous Middle Eastern component for both male and female gene pools, with weak South-West Asian and African contributions, more evident in mtDNA. A higher male than female homogeneity is characteristic of the Marsh Arab gene pool, likely due to a strong male genetic drift determined by socio-cultural factors (patrilocality, polygamy, unequal male and female migration rates. Conclusions Evidence of genetic stratification ascribable to the Sumerian development was provided by the Y-chromosome data where the J1-Page08 branch reveals a local expansion, almost contemporary with the Sumerian City State period that characterized Southern Mesopotamia. On the other hand, a more ancient background shared with Northern Mesopotamia is revealed by the less represented Y-chromosome lineage J1-M267*. Overall our results indicate that the introduction of water buffalo breeding and rice farming, most likely from the Indian sub-continent, only marginally affected the gene pool of autochthonous people of the region. Furthermore, a prevalent Middle Eastern ancestry of the modern population of the marshes of

  7. Spatial Patterns in Biogeochemical Processes During Peak Growing Season in Oiled and Unoiled Louisiana Salt Marshes: A Multi-Year Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chelsky, A.; Marton, J. M.; Bernhard, A. E.; Giblin, A. E.; Setta, S. P.; Hill, T. D.; Roberts, B. J.

    2016-02-01

    Louisiana salt marshes are important sites for carbon and nitrogen cycling because they can mitigate fluxes of nutrients and carbon to the Gulf of Mexico where a large hypoxic zone develops annually. The aim of this study was to investigate spatial and temporal patterns of biogeochemical processes in Louisiana coastal wetlands during peak growing season, and to investigate whether the Deepwater Horizon oil spill resulted in persistent changes to these rates. We measured nitrification potential and sediment characteristics at two pairs of oiled/unoiled marshes in three regions across the Louisiana coast (Terrebonne and east and west Barataria Bay) in July from 2012 to 2015, with plots along a gradient from the salt marsh edge to the interior. Rates of nitrification potential across the coast (overall mean of 901 ± 115 nmol gdw-1 d-1 from 2012-2014) were high compared to other published rates for salt marshes but displayed high variability at the plot level (4 orders of magnitude). Within each region interannual means varied by factors of 2-5. Nitrification potential did not differ with oiling history, but did display consistent spatial patterns within each region that corresponded to changes in relative elevation and inundation, which influence patterns of soil properties and microbial communities. In 2015, we also measured greenhouse gas (CO2, N2O and CH4) production and denitrification enzyme activity rates in addition to nitrification potential across the region to investigate spatial relationships between these processes.

  8. Utilization of invasive tamarisk by salt marsh consumers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitcraft, Christine R; Levin, Lisa A; Talley, Drew; Crooks, Jeffrey A

    2008-11-01

    Plant invasions of coastal wetlands are rapidly changing the structure and function of these systems globally. Alteration of litter dynamics represents one of the fundamental impacts of an invasive plant on salt marsh ecosystems. Tamarisk species (Tamarix spp.), which extensively invade terrestrial and riparian habitats, have been demonstrated to enter food webs in these ecosystems. However, the trophic impacts of the relatively new invasion of tamarisk into marine ecosystem have not been assessed. We evaluated the trophic consequences of invasion by tamarisk for detrital food chains in the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve salt marsh using litter dynamics techniques and stable isotope enrichment experiments. The observations of a short residence time for tamarisk combined with relatively low C:N values indicate that tamarisk is a relatively available and labile food source. With an isotopic (15N) enrichment of tamarisk, we demonstrated that numerous macroinvertebrate taxonomic and trophic groups, both within and on the sediment, utilized 15N derived from labeled tamarisk detritus. Infaunal invertebrate species that took up no or limited 15N from labeled tamarisk (A. californica, enchytraeid oligochaetes, coleoptera larvae) occurred in lower abundance in the tamarisk-invaded environment. In contrast, species that utilized significant 15N from the labeled tamarisk, such as psychodid insects, an exotic amphipod, and an oniscid isopod, either did not change or occurred in higher abundance. Our research supports the hypothesis that invasive species can alter the trophic structure of an environment through addition of detritus and can also potentially impact higher trophic levels by shifting dominance within the invertebrate community to species not widely consumed.

  9. Trophic shift in young-of-the-year Mugilidae during salt-marsh colonization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lebreton, B; Richard, P; Guillou, G; Blanchard, G F

    2013-04-01

    This study investigated the trophic shift of young-of-the-year (YOY) thinlip grey mullet Liza ramada and golden grey mullet Liza aurata during their recruitment in a salt marsh located on the European Atlantic Ocean coast. Stable-isotope signatures (δ(13) C and δ(15) N) of the fishes followed a pattern, having enrichments in (13) C and (15) N with increasing fork length (LF ): δ(13) C in fishes  30 mm δ(13) C ranged from -15.8 to -12.7‰, closer to the level in salt-marsh food resources. Large differences between the δ(15) N values of mugilids and those of food sources (6·0‰ on average) showed that YOY are secondary consumers, similar to older individuals, when feeding in the salt marsh. YOY mugilids shift from browsing on pelagic prey to grazing on benthic resources from the salt marsh before reaching 30 mm LF. The results highlight the role of European salt marshes as nurseries for juvenile mugilids. © 2013 The Authors. Journal of Fish Biology © 2013 The Fisheries Society of the British Isles.

  10. Monitoring for bioremediation efficacy: The marrow marsh experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nadeau, R.; Singhvi, R.; Ryabik, J.; Lin, Yihua; Syslo, J.

    1993-01-01

    The US Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Response Team analyzed samples taken from Marrow Marsh, Galveston Bay, Texas, to assess the efficacy of a bioremediation effort in the marsh following the Apex barges spill on July 28, 1990. Samples from the marsh had been collected over a 96-hour period following the first application of the bioremediation agent and then 25 days after the second application, which occurred 8 days after the first. Results of sample analyses to evaluate changes in the chemical characteristics of spilled oil failed to show evidence of oil degradation during the 96 hours after the initial treatment, but did show evidence of degradation 25 days after the second treatment-although differences between samples from treated and untreated sites were not evident. Because control areas had not been maintained after the second application, contamination by the bioremediation agent of previously untreated (control) areas may have occurred, perhaps negating the possibility of detecting differences between treated and control areas. Better preparedness to implement bioremediation and conduct monitoring might have increased the effectiveness of the monitoring effort

  11. Effects of bryophytes on succession from alkaline marsh to Sphagnum bog

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glime, J.M.; Wetzel, R.G.; Kennedy, B.J.

    1982-10-01

    The alkaline eastern marsh of Lawrence Lake, a marl lake in southwestern Michigan, was sampled by randomly placed line transects to determine the bryophyte cover and corresponding vascular plant zones. Cluster analysis indicated three distinct bryophyte zones which correspond with the recognized vascular plant zones. Mosses occupied over 50% of the surface in some areas. Invasion of Sphagnum, vertical zonation of the mosses on hummocks, zonation with distance from the lake, the abundance of non-Sphagnum moss hummocks, and the ability of the non-Sphagnum species to lower the pH of marsh water during laboratory incubations are evidence that non-Sphagnum mosses facilitate succession from alkaline marsh to Sphagnum bog.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Glenn E.; van Riper, Charles

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Animal-habitat relationships in the Knysna Forest, South Africa: discrimination between forest types by birds and invertebrates.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koen, J H; Crowe, T M

    1987-06-01

    Effects of forest plant species composition and physiognomy on bird and invertebrate communities were investigated in three discrete, relatively undisturbed forest types along a dry-wet soil moisture gradient. Using discriminant function analysis, a 100% floristic and a 78% vegetation structural discrimination were obtained between the three forest types. However, the bird communities of these different forest types were very similar in species composition, and had much lower densities than those normally encountered in other, superficially similar forests. Although an 81% discrimination between forest types was attained through analysis of ground surface invertebrates, measures of litter and aerial invertebrate abundance were also of limited use as discriminators. Historical and biogeographic factors, as well as the low nutritional levels in the soil and vegetation may be the causes of low bird and invertebrate density and diversity. It is concluded that floristics and vegetation structure have, at best, a minor influence on bird community structure, and possibly also on invertebrate community structure in the Knysna Forest.

  14. The U.S. Geological Survey Bird Banding Laboratory: an integrated scientific program supporting research and conservation of North American birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Gregory J.

    2013-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) was established in 1920 after ratification of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act with the United Kingdom in 1918. During World War II, the BBL was moved from Washington, D.C., to what is now the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center (PWRC). The BBL issues permits and bands to permittees to band birds, records bird band recoveries or encounters primarily through telephone and Internet reporting, and manages more than 72 million banding records and more than 4.5 million records of encounters using state-of-the-art technologies. Moreover, the BBL also issues bands and manages banding and encounter data for the Canadian Bird Banding Office (BBO). Each year approximately 1 million bands are shipped from the BBL to banders in the United States and Canada, and nearly 100,000 encounter reports are entered into the BBL systems. Banding data are essential for regulatory programs, especially migratory waterfowl harvest regulations. The USGS BBL works closely with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to develop regulations for the capture, handling, banding, and marking of birds. These regulations are published in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). In 2006, the BBL and the USFWS Division of Migratory Bird Management (DMBM) began a comprehensive revision of the banding regulations. The bird banding community has three major constituencies: Federal and State agency personnel involved in the management and conservation of bird populations that include the Flyway Councils, ornithological research scientists, and avocational banders. With increased demand for banding activities and relatively constant funding, a Federal Advisory Committee (Committee) was chartered and reviewed the BBL program in 2005. The final report of the Committee included six major goals and 58 specific recommendations, 47 of which have been addressed by the BBL. Specifically, the Committee recommended the BBL continue to support science

  15. Effects of Extreme Events on Arsenic Cycling in Salt Marshes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Northrup, Kristy; Capooci, Margaret; Seyfferth, Angelia L.

    2018-03-01

    Extreme events such as storm surges, intense precipitation, and supermoons cause anomalous and large fluctuations in water level in tidal salt marshes, which impacts the sediment biogeochemistry that dictates arsenic (As) cycling. In addition to changes in water level, which impacts soil redox potential, these extreme events may also change salinity due to freshwater inputs from precipitation or saltwater inputs due to surge. It is currently unknown how As mobility in tidal salt marshes will be impacted by extreme events, as fluctuations in salinity and redox potential may act synergistically to mobilize As. To investigate impacts of extreme events on As cycling in tidal salt marshes, we conducted a combined laboratory and field investigation. We monitored pore water and soil samples before, during, and after two extreme events: a supermoon lunar eclipse followed by a storm surge and precipitation induced by Hurricane Joaquin in fall 2015 at the St. Jones Reserve in Dover, Delaware, a representative tidal salt marsh in the Mid-Atlantic United States. We also conducted soil incubations of marsh sediments in batch and in flow-through experiments in which redox potential and/or salinity were manipulated. Field investigations showed that pore water As was inversely proportional to redox potential. During the extreme events, a distinct pulse of As was observed in the pore water with maximum salinity. Combined field and laboratory investigations revealed that this As pulse is likely due to rapid changes in salinity. These results have implications for As mobility in the face of extreme weather variability.

  16. Analysis of Bird Diversity for Supporting Ecotourism Development in Rajegwesi, Meru Betiri National Park

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    Hafid Zain Muttaqien

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Potential ecotourism attraction in Rajegwesi Village, Meru Betiri National Park is high due to its high biodiversity, especially bird diversity, in the form of bird watching activity. This study was aimed to determine the species, level of abundance, and diversity of birds found in the Rajegwesi area. Further, this basic information is important to develop the bird watching track at Rajegwesi. We used Quantum-GIS to create the land classification and observation mapping. Bird observation used point count method in the morning and evening with three periods of hour and three repetitions. The study confirmed about 76 species of 39 bird families was found in Rajegwesi. The highest abundance was Pygnonotus goiavier (E:Yellow-vented Bulbul, at the meadows, village, and rehabilitation land. The diversity index showed that the highest diversity was found at the heterogeneous forest (H’ index 3.745, followed by homogenous forest (H’ index 3.150, rehabilitation land (H’ index 2.845, village (H’ index 2.693, paddy fields (H’ index 2.529, and savanna (H’ index 1.880. The observation track was divided into 3 lines based on the bird’s distribution, the Village – Rehabilitation Land track (6.5 Km, Village track (2.3 Km, and Village – Rafflessia Park track (7.5 Km. Total of 25 bird species were found at the Village – Rehabilitation Land track, 22 species were found at the Village track, and 29 bird species were found at the Village – Rafflessia Park track. For the future of ecotourism development through birding development program, there are several issues that should be promoted: promoting birds conservation in the community through bird watching and birds observation competition (Bird race, training on conservation and ecotourism for the community, and strengthening the capacity and capability of Rajegwesi Ecotourism Society (RES on the ecotourism program management. Keywords: bird watching, conservation, ecotourism development, RES

  17. Below the disappearing marshes of an urban estuary: historic nitrogen trends and soil structure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wigand, Cathleen; Roman, Charles T.; Davey, Earl; Stolt, Mark; Johnson, Roxanne; Hanson, Alana; Watson, Elizabeth B.; Moran, S. Bradley; Cahoon, Donald R.; Lynch, James C.; Rafferty, Patricia

    2014-01-01

    Marshes in the urban Jamaica Bay Estuary, New York, USA are disappearing at an average rate of 13 ha/yr, and multiple stressors (e.g., wastewater inputs, dredging activities, groundwater removal, and global warming) may be contributing to marsh losses. Among these stressors, wastewater nutrients are suspected to be an important contributing cause of marsh deterioration. We used census data, radiometric dating, stable nitrogen isotopes, and soil surveys to examine the temporal relationships between human population growth and soil nitrogen; and we evaluated soil structure with computer-aided tomography, surface elevation and sediment accretion trends, carbon dioxide emissions, and soil shear strength to examine differences among disappearing (Black Bank and Big Egg) and stable marshes (JoCo). Radiometric dating and nitrogen isotope analyses suggested a rapid increase in human wastewater nutrients beginning in the late 1840s, and a tapering off beginning in the 1930s when wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were first installed. Current WWTPs nutrient loads to Jamaica Bay are approximately 13 995 kg N/d and 2767 kg P/d. At Black Bank, the biomass and abundance of roots and rhizomes and percentage of organic matter on soil were significantly lower, rhizomes larger in diameter, carbon dioxide emission rates and peat particle density significantly greater, and soil strength significantly lower compared to the stable JoCo Marsh, suggesting Black Bank has elevated decomposition rates, more decomposed peat, and highly waterlogged peat. Despite these differences, the rates of accretion and surface elevation change were similar for both marshes, and the rates of elevation change approximated the long term relative rate of sea level rise estimated from tide gauge data at nearby Sandy Hook, New Jersey. We hypothesize that Black Bank marsh kept pace with sea level rise by the accretion of material on the marsh surface, and the maintenance of soil volume through production of

  18. Modified Marsh Classification of the Duodenal Biopsies of a Large Database Covering 10 Years

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    Cansu Abayli

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Purpose: Celiac is an autoimmune disease caused by of gluten proteins which can be found in multi-grain food like wheat, barley and oat. The disease affects more than 1% of population and characterized by intestinal inflammation. In celiac disease, mucosal damage is a dynamic process. It is shown that it has autoimmune components. It is also T-Cell mediated and can be categorised as a chronic inflammatory disease. The purpose of this study is to make modified Marsh classification of the duodenal biopsies that came to our department in the 10 years. The study deals with reassessment of all events and uncovering the low graded events that were not diagnosed. Material and Methods: 467 biopsies (diagnosed between 2001 and 2011 at the Cukurova University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Pathology were taken and analyzed by two pathologists. Each sample was reevaluated without taking the previous reports into consideration and scored by using modified Marsh classification. Results: According to Modified Marsh Classification total of 48 cases were diagnosed as Type 1. Total of 6 cases according to Modified Marsh Classification was diagnosed as Type 2. Total of 11 cases according to Modified Marsh Classification was diagnosed as Type 3a. Total of 5 cases, according to Modified Marsh Classification, was diagnosed as Type 3b. Total of 6 cases according to Modified Marsh Classification was diagnosed as Type 3c. Conclusion: As a result of this study, it has been found that Modified Marsh Classification is a very important standardization tool for detection of suspicious duodenal biopsies and for early case examinations.

  19. The Role of Tidal Marsh Restoration in Fish Management in the San Francisco Estuary

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    Bruce Herbold

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available   Tidal marsh restoration is an important management issue in the San Francisco Estuary (estuary. Restoration of large areas of tidal marsh is ongoing or planned in the lower estuary (up to 6,000 ha, Callaway et al. 2011. Large areas are proposed for restoration in the upper estuary under the Endangered Species Act biological opinions (3,237 ha and the Bay Delta Conservation Plan (26,305 ha. In the lower estuary, tidal marsh has proven its value to a wide array of species that live within it (Palaima 2012. In the Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta (Delta, one important function ascribed to restoration of freshwater tidal marshes is that they make large contributions to the food web of fish in open waters (BDCP 2013. The Ecosystem Restoration Program ascribed a suite of ecological functions to tidal marsh restoration, including habitat and food web benefits to native fish (CDFW 2010. This background was the basis for a symposium, Tidal Marshes and Native Fishes in the Delta: Will Restoration Make a Difference? held at the University of California, Davis, on June 10, 2013. This paper summarizes conclusions the authors drew from the symposium. 

  20. Refractory organic matter in coastal salt marshes-effect on C sequestration calculations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leorri, Eduardo; Zimmerman, Andrew R; Mitra, Siddhartha; Christian, Robert R; Fatela, Francisco; Mallinson, David J

    2018-08-15

    The age and ability of salt marshes to accumulate and sequester carbon is often assessed using the carbon isotopic signatures (Δ 14 C and δ 13 C) of sedimentary organic matter. However, transfers of allochthonous refractory carbon (C RF ) from the watershed to marshes would not represent new C sequestration. To better understand how refractory carbon (C RF ) inputs affect assessments of marsh age and C sequestration, Δ 14 C and δ 13 C of both total organic carbon (TOC), C RF , and non-C RF organic matter fractions were measured in salt marshes from four contrasting systems on the North Atlantic coast. To our knowledge, no salt marsh sediment study has considered refractory or allochthonous carbon in carbon budget calculations or the impact on chronologies. Stable and radiogenic isotope data suggest that while TOC was dominated by autochthonous plant inputs, C RF was dominated by locally recycled or allochthonous C, the delivery of which was controlled by the size and slope of each watershed. Steep-gradient rivers analyzed delivered Δ 14 C-depleted C RF to their estuarine marshes, while the site located in the low-gradient river was associated with larger C RF content. Finally, the marsh isolated from riverine input contained the least fraction of TOC as C RF . Laterally transported C RF caused only a small offset in Δ 14 C in relation to TOC in low-gradient systems (average Δ 14 C offset was -44.4 and -24.2‰ at each location). However, the presence of allochthonous Δ 14 C-depleted C RF in sediments of steep-gradient rivers led to large overestimates of the time of organic matter deposition (i.e. apparent age was older than the 'true' time of deposition) (Δ 14 C offset ranged from -170.6 to -528.9‰). Further, reliance on TOC or loss on ignition analyses to calculate C sequestration by marshes might produce overestimates of at least as much as 10 to 20% since neither account for the lateral transport of allochthonous carbon. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B

  1. Import and export fluxes of macrozooplankton are taxa- and season-dependent at Jiuduansha marsh, Yangtze River estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, Haiming; Sheng, Qiang; Chu, Tianjiang; Wang, Sikai; Wu, Jihua

    2015-09-01

    Macrozooplankton may play important roles in influencing nutrient exchange between salt marsh and nearby estuarine ecosystems through predator-prey interactions and their transport by tidal flows. In this study, macrozooplankton transport through year-round monthly sampling was investigated in a salt marsh creek of the Yangtze River estuary. Twenty-one orders of macrozooplankton were captured. Calanoida and Decapoda were dominant and numerically comprised 59.59% and 37.59% respectively of the total captured macrozooplankton throughout the year. Decapoda mainly occurred in April, May and June. In other months, the Calanoida contributed over 90% of the total individuals. The annual Ferrari index (I) for total individual number of macrozooplankton was 0.27, which generally supports the viewpoint that salt marshes are sources of zooplankton. The salt marsh was mainly a source for decapods and mysids, possibly because of larval release in their breeding seasons. The marsh was also a source for amphipods, probably because some benthic forms became transient planktonic forms during tidal water flushing. Copepods and fish larvae exhibited net import into the salt marsh, which may result from predation from salt marsh settlers or retention in the salt marsh. Monthly Ferrari index (I) estimations revealed that the role of the salt marsh as a sink or source of macrozooplankton was time-dependent, which is related to the life history of animals. This study showed that whether the salt marsh zooplankton act as energy importers or exporters is group/taxa-dependent and time-dependent.

  2. Community Structure of Skin Microbiome of Gulf Killifish, Fundulus grandis, Is Driven by Seasonality and Not Exposure to Oiled Sediments in a Louisiana Salt Marsh.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larsen, Andrea M; Bullard, Stephen A; Womble, Matthew; Arias, Covadonga R

    2015-08-01

    Mucus of fish skin harbors complex bacterial communities that likely contribute to fish homeostasis. When the equilibrium between the host and its external bacterial symbionts is disrupted, bacterial diversity decreases while opportunistic pathogen prevalence increases, making the onset of pathogenic bacterial infection more likely. Because of that relationship, documenting temporal and spatial microbial community changes may be predictive of fish health status. The 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a potential stressor to the Gulf of Mexico's coastal ecosystem. Ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis (RISA) and pyrosequencing were used to analyze the bacterial communities (microbiome) associated with the skin and mucus of Gulf killifish (Fundulus grandis) that were collected from oiled and non-oiled salt marsh sites in Barataria Bay, LA. Water samples and fin clips were collected to examine microbiome structure. The microbiome of Gulf killifish was significantly different from that of the surrounding water, mainly attributable to shifts in abundances of Cyanobacteria and Proteobacteria. The Gulf killifish's microbiome was dominated by Gammaproteobacteria, specifically members of Pseudomonas. No significant difference was found between microbiomes of fish collected from oiled and non-oiled sites suggesting little impact of oil contamination on fish bacterial assemblages. Conversely, seasonality significantly influenced microbiome structure. Overall, the high similarity observed between the microbiomes of individual fish observed during this study posits that skin and mucus of Gulf killifish have a resilient core microbiome.

  3. Origins of mineral matter in peat marsh and peat bog deposits, Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lopez-Buendia, A.M. [Unidad Tecnica del Marmol, AIDICO, Cami de Castella, 4, 03660 Novelda, Alicante (Spain); Whateley, M.K.G. [Rio Tinto Technical Services, Castlemead, Lower Castlemead, BS99 7YR Bristol (United Kingdom); Bastida, J.; Urquiola, M.M. [Dpto. Geologia, Univ. Valencia, Dr. Moliner 50. 46100 Burjasot, Valencia (Spain)

    2007-07-02

    The mineralogy of three back-barrier peat marshes (Torreblanca, Benicasim and Moncofar marshes) from Eastern Spain and one peat bog (Orihuela del Tremedal bog) from central east Spain have been investigated, using X-ray diffraction (XRD) and scanning electronic microscope (SEM) techniques. A combination of XRD methods was used to quantify the mineralogy of dried bulk peat samples. The water source in the peat marshes is both continental and marine. Water is highly mineralised. Water flow is both low and slow (accumulative system). The water source in the peat bog is continental, draining from the hill. The higher concentration of ions in the water of the back-barrier peat marshes leads to a higher concentration of authigenic minerals in the peat marshes compared to the peat bog. Three main mineral origins have been recognized, namely: detrital, syngenetic-epigenetic and biogenic. The more important contribution comes from the detrital system. Biogenic and bio-influenced minerals are the main non-detrital minerals in the peatlands. This paper discusses the biogenic origin of halite (and other minor halides and sulphates, such as, sylvite, carnalite, epsomite, glauberite, mirabilite and anhydrite?) from halophytic plants, as well as amorphous silica (opal-A) from sponge spicules and phytoliths of several plants. Pyrite in the peat bog has both syngenetic and epigenetic origins from plant decomposition and sulphur release. In the peat marsh the pyrite has a syngenetic origin from sulphate reduction (S{sub sulphate} {yields} S{sub pyritic}), and an epigenetic origin in the older peat, from plant decomposition (S{sub organic} {yields} S{sub pyritic}). (author)

  4. Ecological drivers of community assembly across taxonomic groups and trophic levels

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Özkan, Korhan

    assembly is a complex phenomenon driven by the interplay between environmental species sorting, ecological interactions between species and dispersal, linking local communities with the surrounding communities as well as with their regional populations. Although the research on community assembly....... Local bird abundance was strongly linked with occupancy across the metacommunity (the bird communities in the Istranca landscape) as well as the species’ regional population and range size across the western Palearctic. Null model analyses showed that bird occupancy was non-randomly related to species...... environmental niche. Furthermore, species abundance and occupancy across both the metacommunity and the whole western Palearctic were significantly related to an independent species specialization index calculated for the French birds. Together these results indicated that forest bird community assembly...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  6. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Brackish Marsh, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_brackish_marsh_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) brackish marshes data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which...

  7. Gulf-Wide Information System, Environmental Sensitivity Index Intermediate Marsh, Geographic NAD83, LDWF (2001) [esi_intermediate_marsh_LDWF_2001

    Data.gov (United States)

    Louisiana Geographic Information Center — This data set contains Environmental Sensitivity Index (ESI) intermediate marshes data of coastal Louisiana. The ESI is a classification and ranking system, which...

  8. The diversity and biogeography of late Pleistocene birds from the lowland Neotropics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steadman, David W.; Oswald, Jessica A.; Rincón, Ascanio D.

    2015-05-01

    The Neotropical lowlands sustain the world's richest bird communities, yet little that we know about their history is based on paleontology. Fossils afford a way to investigate distributional shifts in individual species, and thus improve our understanding of long-term change in Neotropical bird communities. We report a species-rich avian fossil sample from a late Pleistocene tar seep (Mene de Inciarte) in northwestern Venezuela. A mere 175 identified fossils from Mene de Inciarte represent 73 species of birds, among which six are extinct, and eight others no longer occur within 100 km. These 14 species consist mainly of ducks (Anatidae), snipe (Scolopacidae), vultures/condors (Vulturidae), hawks/eagles (Accipitridae), and blackbirds (Icteridae). Neotropical bird communities were richer in the late Pleistocene than today; their considerable extinction may be related to collapse of the large mammal fauna at that time. The species assemblage at Mene de Inciarte suggests that biogeographic patterns, even at continental scales, have been remarkably labile over short geological time frames. Mene de Inciarte is but one of 300 + tar seeps in Venezuela, only two of which have been explored for fossils. We may be on the cusp of an exciting new era of avian paleontology in the Neotropics.

  9. Sources and distribution of sedimentary organic matter along the Andong salt marsh, Hangzhou Bay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Hong-Wei; Chen, Jian-Fang; Ye, Ying; Lou, Zhang-Hua; Jin, Ai-Min; Chen, Xue-Gang; Jiang, Zong-Pei; Lin, Yu-Shih; Chen, Chen-Tung Arthur; Loh, Pei Sun

    2017-10-01

    Lignin oxidation products, δ13C values, C/N ratios and particle size were used to investigate the sources, distribution and chemical stability of sedimentary organic matter (OM) along the Andong salt marsh located in the southwestern end of Hangzhou Bay, China. Terrestrial OM was highest at the upper marshes and decreased closer to the sea, and the distribution of sedimentary total organic carbon (TOC) was influenced mostly by particle size. Terrestrial OM with a C3 signature was the predominant source of sedimentary OM in the Spartina alterniflora-dominated salt marsh system. This means that aside from contributions from the local marsh plants, the Andong salt marsh received input mostly from the Qiantang River and the Changjiang Estuary. Transect C, which was situated nearer to the Qiantang River mouth, was most likely influenced by input from the Qiantang River. Likewise, a nearby creek could be transporting materials from Hangzhou Bay into Transect A (farther east than Transect C), as Transect A showed a signal resembling that of the Changjiang Estuary. The predominance of terrestrial OM in the Andong salt marsh despite overall reductions in sedimentary and terrestrial OM input from the rivers is most likely due to increased contributions of sedimentary and terrestrial OM from erosion. This study shows that lower salt marsh accretion due to the presence of reservoirs upstream may be counterbalanced by increased erosion from the surrounding coastal areas.

  10. Impact of Coastal Development and Marsh Width Variability on Groundwater Quality in Estuarine Tidal Creeks

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanahan, M.; Wilson, A. M.; Smith, E. M.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal upland development has been shown to negatively impact surface water quality in tidal creeks in the southeastern US, but less is known about its impact on groundwater. We sampled groundwater in the upland and along the marsh perimeter of tidal creeks located within developed and undeveloped watersheds. Samples were analyzed for salinity, dissolved organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations. Groundwater samples collected from the upland in developed and undeveloped watersheds were compared to study the impact of development on groundwater entering the marsh. Groundwater samples collected along the marsh perimeter were analyzed to study the impact of marsh width variability on groundwater quality within each creek. Preliminary results suggest a positive correlation between salinity and marsh width in undeveloped watersheds, and a higher concentration of nutrients in developed versus undeveloped watersheds.

  11. Tidal Marsh Outwelling of Dissolved Organic Matter and Resulting Temporal Variability in Coastal Water Optical and Biogeochemical Properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzortziou, Maria; Neale, Patrick J.; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Butterworth, Megan; Jaffe, Rudolf; Yamashita, Youhei

    2010-01-01

    Coastal wetlands are highly dynamic environments at the land-ocean interface where human activities, short-term physical forcings and intense episodic events result in high biological and chemical variability. Long being recognized as among the most productive ecosystems in the world, tidally-influenced coastal marshes are hot spots of biogeochemical transformation and exchange. High temporal resolution observations that we performed in several marsh-estuarine systems of the Chesapeake Bay revealed significant variability in water optical and biogeochemical characteristics at hourly time scales, associated with tidally-driven hydrology. Water in the tidal creek draining each marsh was sampled every hour during several semi-diurnal tidal cycles using ISCO automated samplers. Measurements showed that water leaving the marsh during ebbing tide was consistently enriched in dissolved organic carbon (DOC), frequently by more than a factor of two, compared to water entering the marsh during flooding tide. Estimates of DOC fluxes showed a net DOC export from the marsh to the estuary during seasons of both low and high biomass of marsh vegetation. Chlorophyll amounts were typically lower in the water draining the marsh, compared to that entering the marsh during flooding tide, suggesting that marshes act as transformers of particulate to dissolved organic matter. Moreover, detailed optical and compositional analyses demonstrated that marshes are important sources of optically and chemically distinctive, relatively complex, high molecular weight, aromatic-rich and highly colored dissolved organic compounds. Compared to adjacent estuarine waters, marsh-exported colored dissolved organic matter (CDOM) was characterized by considerably stronger absorption (more than a factor of three in some cases), larger DOC-specific absorption, lower exponential spectral slope, larger fluorescence signal, lower fluorescence per unit absorbance, and higher fluorescence at visible wavelengths

  12. The Effect of Source Suspended Sediment Concentration on the Sediment Dynamics of a Macrotidal Creek and Salt Marsh

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poirier, E.; van Proosdij, D.; Milligan, T. G.

    2017-12-01

    Seasonal variability in the sediment dynamics of a Bay of Fundy tidal creek and salt marsh system was analyzed to better understand the ecomorphodynamics of a high suspended sediment concentration intertidal habitat. Data were collected over 62 tides for velocity, suspended sediment concentration, deposition, and grain size at four stations from the creek thalweg to the marsh surface. Five topographic surveys were also conducted throughout the 14-month study. Deposition rates per tide varied spatially from 56.4 g·m-2 at the creek thalweg to 15.3 g·m-2 at the marsh surface. Seasonal variations in deposition in the creek and marsh surface were from 38.0 g·m-2 to 97.7 g·m-2 and from 12.2 g·m-2 to 19.6 g·m-2 respectively. Deposition and erosion were greatest in late fall and winter. This seasonal change, led by higher suspended sediment concentrations, was observed in the creek and at the marsh bank but notably absent from the marsh edge and marsh surface. Sediments were predominantly deposited in floc form (76-83%). Because of high floc content, higher suspended sediment concentrations led to more rapid loss of sediment from suspension. With increasing sediment concentration, deposition increased in the tidal creek and at the marsh bank but not at the marsh edge or marsh surface. This suggests that in highly flocculated environments the water column clears fast enough that very little sediment remains in suspension when the water reaches the marsh and that the sediment concentration during marsh inundation is independent of the initial concentration in the creek.

  13. Intraspecific variation in growth of marsh macrophytes in response to salinity and soil type: Implications for wetland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, R.J.

    2010-01-01

    Genetic diversity within plant populations can influence plant community structure along environmental gradients. In wetland habitats, salinity and soil type are factors that can vary along gradients and therefore affect plant growth. To test for intraspecific growth variation in response to these factors, a greenhouse study was conducted using common plants that occur in northern Gulf of Mexico brackish and salt marshes. Individual plants of Distichlis spicata, Phragmites australis, Schoenoplectus californicus, and Schoenoplectus robustus were collected from several locations along the coast in Louisiana, USA. Plant identity, based on collection location, was used as a measure of intraspecific variability. Prepared soil mixtures were organic, silt, or clay, and salinity treatments were 0 or 18 psu. Significant intraspecific variation in stem number, total stem height, or biomass was found in all species. Within species, response to soil type varied, but increased salinity significantly decreased growth in all individuals. Findings indicate that inclusion of multiple genets within species is an important consideration for marsh restoration projects that include vegetation plantings. This strategy will facilitate establishment of plant communities that have the flexibility to adapt to changing environmental conditions and, therefore, are capable of persisting over time. ?? Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2009.

  14. The Bird.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannon, Jean

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Marsh dieback, loss, and recovery mapped with satellite optical, airborne polarimetric radar, and field data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramsey, Elijah W.; Rangoonwala, Amina; Chi, Zhaohui; Jones, Cathleen E.; Bannister, Terri

    2014-01-01

    Landsat Thematic Mapper and Satellite Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT) satellite based optical sensors, NASA Uninhabited Aerial Vehicle synthetic aperture radar (UAVSAR) polarimetric SAR (PolSAR), and field data captured the occurrence and the recovery of an undetected dieback that occurred between the summers of 2010, 2011, and 2012 in the Spartina alterniflora marshes of coastal Louisiana. Field measurements recorded the dramatic biomass decrease from 2010 to 2011 and a biomass recovery in 2012 dominated by a decrease of live biomass, and the loss of marsh as part of the dieback event. Based on an established relationship, the near-infrared/red vegetation index (VI) and site-specific measurements delineated a contiguous expanse of marsh dieback encompassing 6649.9 ha of 18,292.3 ha of S. alterniflora marshes within the study region. PolSAR data were transformed to variables used in biophysical mapping, and of this variable suite, the cross-polarization HV (horizontal send and vertical receive) backscatter was the best single indicator of marsh dieback and recovery. HV backscatter exhibited substantial and significant changes over the dieback and recovery period, tracked measured biomass changes, and significantly correlated with the live/dead biomass ratio. Within the context of regional trends, both HV and VI indicators started higher in pre-dieback marshes and exhibited substantially and statistically higher variability from year to year than that exhibited in the non-dieback marshes. That distinct difference allowed the capturing of the S. alterniflora marsh dieback and recovery; however, these changes were incorporated in a regional trend exhibiting similar but more subtle biomass composition changes.

  17. Indirect human impacts reverse centuries of carbon sequestration and salt marsh accretion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coverdale, Tyler C; Brisson, Caitlin P; Young, Eric W; Yin, Stephanie F; Donnelly, Jeffrey P; Bertness, Mark D

    2014-01-01

    Direct and indirect human impacts on coastal ecosystems have increased over the last several centuries, leading to unprecedented degradation of coastal habitats and loss of ecological services. Here we document a two-century temporal disparity between salt marsh accretion and subsequent loss to indirect human impacts. Field surveys, manipulative experiments and GIS analyses reveal that crab burrowing weakens the marsh peat base and facilitates further burrowing, leading to bank calving, disruption of marsh accretion, and a loss of over two centuries of sequestered carbon from the marsh edge in only three decades. Analogous temporal disparities exist in other systems and are a largely unrecognized obstacle in attaining sustainable ecosystem services in an increasingly human impacted world. In light of the growing threat of indirect impacts worldwide and despite uncertainties in the fate of lost carbon, we suggest that estimates of carbon emissions based only on direct human impacts may significantly underestimate total anthropogenic carbon emissions.

  18. Effects of oil on the rate and trajectory of Louisiana marsh shoreline erosion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McClenachan, Giovanna; Eugene Turner, R; Tweel, Andrew W

    2013-01-01

    Oil can have long-term detrimental effects on marsh plant health, both above- and belowground. However, there are few data available that quantify the accelerated rate of erosion that oil may cause to marshes and the trajectory of change. Between November 2010 and August 2012, we collected data on shoreline erosion, soil strength, per cent cover of Spartina alterniflora, and marsh edge overhang at 30 closely spaced low oil and high oil sites in Bay Batiste, Louisiana. Surface oil samples were taken one meter into the marsh in February 2011. All high oiled sites in Bay Batiste were contaminated with Macondo 252 oil (oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 20 April–15 July 2010). The results suggest that there is a threshold where soil parameters change dramatically with a relatively small increase in oil concentration in the soil. Heavy oiling weakens the soil, creating a deeper undercut of the upper 50 cm of the marsh edge, and causing an accelerated rate of erosion that cascades along the shoreline. Our results demonstrate that it could take at least 2 yr to document the effects heavy oiling has had on the marsh shoreline. The presence of aboveground vegetation alone may not be an appropriate indicator of recovery. (letter)

  19. Precision Monitoring of Water Level in a Salt Marsh with Low Cost Tilt Loggers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sheremet, Vitalii A.; Mora, Jordan W.

    2016-04-01

    Several salt pannes and pools in the Sage Lot tidal marsh of Waquoit Bay system, MA were instrumented with newly developed Arm-and-Float water level gauges (utilizing accelerometer tilt logger) permitting to record water level fluctuations with accuracy of 1 mm and submillimeter resolution. The methodology of the instrument calibration, deployment, and elevation control are described. The instrument performance was evaluated. Several month long deployments allowed us to analyze the marsh flooding and draining processes, study differences among the salt pannes. The open channel flow flooding-draining mechanism and slower seepage were distinguished. From the drain curve the seepage rate can be quantified. The seepage rate remains approximately constant for all flooding draining episodes, but varies from panne to panne depending on bottom type and location. Seasonal differences due to the growth of vegetation are also recorded. The analysis of rain events allows us to estimate the catch area of subbasins in the marsh. The implication for marsh ecology and marsh accretion are discussed. The gradual sea level rise coupled with monthly tidal datum variability and storm surges result in migration and development of a salt marsh. The newly developed low cost instrumentation allows us to record and analyze these changes and may provide guidance for the ecological management.

  20. Guide to Common Tidal Marsh Invertebrates of the Northeastern Gulf of Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heard, Richard W.

    The major groups of marine and estuarine macroinvertebrates of the tidal marshes of the northern Gulf of Mexico are described in this guide for students, taxonomists and generalists. Information on the recognition characteristics, distribution, habitat, and biology of salt marsh species from the coelenterate, annelid, mollusk and arthropod phyla…

  1. Assessment of static flood modeling techniques: application to contrasting marshes flooded during Xynthia (western France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. F. Breilh

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to assess the performance of raster-based flood modeling methods on a wide diversity of coastal marshes. These methods are applied to the flooding associated with the storm Xynthia, which severely hit the western coast of France in February 2010. Static and semi-dynamic methods are assessed using a combination of LiDAR data, post-storm delineation of flooded areas and sea levels originating from both tide gauge measurements and storm surge modeling. Static methods are applied to 27 marshes showing a wide geomorphological diversity. It appears that these methods are suitable for marshes with a small distance between the coastline and the landward boundary of the marsh, which causes these marshes to flood rapidly. On the contrary, these methods overpredict flooded areas for large marshes where the distance between the coastline and the landward boundary of the marsh is large, because the flooding cannot be considered as instantaneous. In this case, semi-dynamic methods based on surge overflowing volume calculations can improve the flooding prediction significantly. This study suggests that static and semi-dynamic flood modeling methods can be attractive and quickly deployed to rapidly produce predictive flood maps of vulnerable areas under certain conditions, particularly for small distances between the coastline and the landward boundary of the low-lying coastal area.

  2. Assessing the impact on birds of prey of nine established wind farms in Thrace, NE Greece

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kret, Elzbieta; Carcamo, Beatriz; Zografou, Christina; Vasilakis, Dimitris

    2011-07-01

    Full text: In this study, we evaluate the impact on birds of prey of nine already established wind farms in Thrace, where a large scale wind farm development project of at least 930 MW is under development. Moreover, the area is acknowledged as of high ornithological interest, used for nesting, wintering and passage by rare territorial birds of prey, including the Near Threatened black vultures that use it for foraging. Finally, ca 50% of the wind farm development project area is covered by Natura 2000 sites. During the monitoring (2008-2010), carcass surveys were carried out in order to estimate mortality. In addition, avian space use surveys were carried out, in order to calculate indexes and to establish comparisons with a previous monitoring study run in 2004-05. In total, 14 birds of prey were found dead (one black vulture, four griffon vultures, one booted eagle, two short-toed eagles, one western marsh harrier, one Eurasian sparrow hawk, three common buzzards, one hawk species). The estimated mortality rate was 0.152 birds of prey (including vultures/turbine/year). Griffon vultures, black vultures and common buzzards comprised more than 50% of observations in the study area. Crossing densities between wind turbines were positively correlated with east exposition and the inclination of the slope, and the length of the wind turbines. gaps, while it was negatively correlated with north exposition. The use of the area was more intensive four years after the initial monitoring, but numbers of common buzzard observations drastically decreased. We suggest that during the planning phase of wind farms it is important to avoid steep slopes, east expositions and to take into account the distance between consecutive wind turbines. Our findings indicate that running a post-construction monitoring during only one year may not be enough to properly assess the impact of wind farms on birds of prey. (Author)

  3. Vegetation cover, tidal amplitude and land area predict short-term marsh vulnerability in Coastal Louisiana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schoolmaster, Donald; Stagg, Camille L.; Sharp, Leigh Anne; McGinnis, Tommy S.; Wood, Bernard; Piazza, Sarai

    2018-01-01

    The loss of coastal marshes is a topic of great concern, because these habitats provide tangible ecosystem services and are at risk from sea-level rise and human activities. In recent years, significant effort has gone into understanding and modeling the relationships between the biological and physical factors that contribute to marsh stability. Simulation-based process models suggest that marsh stability is the product of a complex feedback between sediment supply, flooding regime and vegetation response, resulting in elevation gains sufficient to match the combination of relative sea-level rise and losses from erosion. However, there have been few direct, empirical tests of these models, because long-term datasets that have captured sufficient numbers of marsh loss events in the context of a rigorous monitoring program are rare. We use a multi-year data set collected by the Coastwide Reference Monitoring System (CRMS) that includes transitions of monitored vegetation plots to open water to build and test a predictive model of near-term marsh vulnerability. We found that despite the conclusions of previous process models, elevation change had no ability to predict the transition of vegetated marsh to open water. However, we found that the processes that drive elevation change were significant predictors of transitions. Specifically, vegetation cover in prior year, land area in the surrounding 1 km2 (an estimate of marsh fragmentation), and the interaction of tidal amplitude and position in tidal frame were all significant factors predicting marsh loss. This suggests that 1) elevation change is likely better a predictor of marsh loss at time scales longer than we consider in this study and 2) the significant predictive factors affect marsh vulnerability through pathways other than elevation change, such as resistance to erosion. In addition, we found that, while sensitivity of marsh vulnerability to the predictive factors varied spatially across coastal Louisiana

  4. Salt marsh construction costs and shrimp production

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Continuing wetland loss in Galveston Bay, Texas (USA) has led to the development of various salt marsh restoration projects. These constructed wetlands often attempt...

  5. Measuring the Role of Ecological Shift and Environmental Change on Organic Carbon Stocks in Salt Marshes and Mangrove Dominated Wetlands from the Texas Gulf Coast

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norwood, M. J.; Louchouarn, P.; Armitage, A. R.; HighField, W.; Brody, S.; White, N.

    2014-12-01

    Texas coastal wetlands are dynamic marsh-mangrove ecotones that play an important role in fishery recruitment, storm buffering, and carbon storage. Historically, C4 salt marsh plants, such as Spartina alterniflora, have dominated the Texas Gulf Coast. For the past 2-3 decades, some of these ecosystems have experienced community shifts with woody tropical plants (Avicennia germinans) competing for resources. This study presents new results on the carbon sequestration potential following such ecological shifts as well as coastal development and wetland loss along the coast of Texas. The recorded change from native grass-dominated C4 salt marshes to wood-dominated C3 mangroves over the last 20 years (1990-2010: 4,660 km2) leads to a non-significant loss in aboveground organic carbon (OC) stocks (-6.5.106 g OC). The most substantial loss of aboveground OC in Texas coastal salt marshes is due to the transformation of these wetlands into tidal flats and open water (-7.53.108 g OC). Similarly, the largest losses in aboveground OC stocks from mangrove ecosystems (-1.57.107 g OC) are due to replacement by open water. Along with the decrease in aboveground OC stocks, we identified a significant decrease in sedimentary OC inventories due to the loss of salt marsh and mangrove coverage (-3.69.109 g OC and 5.71.107 g OC, respectively). In contrast, mangrove expansion into mudflat and salt marsh environments led to a positive addition in aboveground OC stocks (2.78.108 g OC) and increased OC sedimentary inventories (2.32.109 g OC). Mangrove expansion offsets only 70% of the total calculated OC loss (-4.51.109 g OC) in coastal wetlands along the Texas gulf coast over the 20-year study period. This deficit loss is primarily attributed to environmental pressures on coastal salt marshes (i.e., sea level rise, urban and coastal development, erosion).

  6. Biofilms' contribution to organic carbon in salt marsh sediments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valentine, K.; Quirk, T. E.; Mariotti, G.; Hotard, A.

    2017-12-01

    Coastal salt marshes are productive environments with high potential for carbon (C) accumulation. Organic C in salt marsh sediment is typically attributed to plant biomass. Recent field measurements, however, suggest that biofilms - mainly composed of benthic diatoms and their secretion - also contribute to basal C in these environments and can be important contributors to marsh productivity, C cycling, and potentially, C sequestration. The potential for biofilms to soil organic C and the influence of mineral sedimentation of biofilm-based C accumulation is unknown. We conducted controlled laboratory experiments to test (1) whether biofilms add measurable amounts of organic C to the sediment and (2) the effect of mineral sedimentation rate on the amount of biofilm-based C accumulation. Settled beds of pure bentonite mud were created in 10-cm-wide cylinders. Each cylinder was inoculated with biofilms collected from a marsh in Louisiana. A small amount of mud was added weekly for 11 weeks. Control experiments without biofilms were also performed. Biofilms were grown with a 12/12 hours cycle, with a gentle mixing of the water column that did not cause sediment resuspension, with a nutrient-rich medium that was exchanged weekly, and in the absence of metazoan grazing. At the end of the experiment, the sediment columns were analyzed for depth-integrated chl-a, loss on ignition (LOI), and total organic carbon (TOC). Chl-a values ranged from 26-113 mg/cm2, LOI values ranged from 86-456 g/m2/yr, and TOC values ranged from 31-211 g/m2/yr. All three of these metrics (chl-a, LOI, and TOC) increased with the rate of mineral sedimentation. These results show that biofilms, in the absence of erosion and grazing, can significantly contribute to C accumulation in salt marshes, especially with high rates of mineral sedimentation. Given the short time scale of the experiment, the increase in organic C accumulation with the rate of sedimentation is attributed to stimulated biofilm

  7. Automated Detection of Salt Marsh Platforms : a Topographic Method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodwin, G.; Mudd, S. M.; Clubb, F. J.

    2017-12-01

    Monitoring the topographic evolution of coastal marshes is a crucial step toward improving the management of these valuable landscapes under the pressure of relative sea level rise and anthropogenic modification. However, determining their geometrically complex boundaries currently relies on spectral vegetation detection methods or requires labour-intensive field surveys and digitisation.We propose a novel method to reproducibly isolate saltmarsh scarps and platforms from a DEM. Field observations and numerical models show that saltmarshes mature into sub-horizontal platforms delineated by sub-vertical scarps: based on this premise, we identify scarps as lines of local maxima on a slope*relief raster, then fill landmasses from the scarps upward, thus isolating mature marsh platforms. Non-dimensional search parameters allow batch-processing of data without recalibration. We test our method using lidar-derived DEMs of six saltmarshes in England with varying tidal ranges and geometries, for which topographic platforms were manually isolated from tidal flats. Agreement between manual and automatic segregation exceeds 90% for resolutions of 1m, with all but one sites maintaining this performance for resolutions up to 3.5m. For resolutions of 1m, automatically detected platforms are comparable in surface area and elevation distribution to digitised platforms. We also find that our method allows the accurate detection of local bloc failures 3 times larger than the DEM resolution.Detailed inspection reveals that although tidal creeks were digitised as part of the marsh platform, automatic detection classifies them as part of the tidal flat, causing an increase in false negatives and overall platform perimeter. This suggests our method would benefit from a combination with existing creek detection algorithms. Fallen blocs and pioneer zones are inconsistently identified, particularly in macro-tidal marshes, leading to differences between digitisation and the automated method

  8. Coastal Resources Atlas: Long Island: BIRDS (Bird Polygons)

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  9. Radionuclides transfer into halophytes growing in tidal salt marshes from the Southwest of Spain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luque, Carlos J.; Vaca, Federico; García-Trapote, Ana; Hierro, Almudena; Bolívar, Juan P.; Castellanos, Eloy M.

    2015-01-01

    Estuaries are sinks of materials and substances which are released directly into them or transported from rivers that drain the basin. It is usual to find high organic matter loads and fine particles in the sediments. We analyzed radionuclide concentrations ("2"1"0Po, "2"3"0Th, "2"3"2Th, "2"3"4U, "2"3"8U, "2"2"6Ra, "2"2"8Th, "2"2"8Ra, "4"0K) in sediments and three different organs (roots, stems and leaves) of three species of halophytes plants (Spartina maritima, Spartina densiflora and Sarcocornia perennis). The study was carried out in two tidal salt marshes, one polluted by U-series radionuclides and another nearby that was unpolluted and was used as a control (or reference) area. The Tinto River salt marsh shows high levels of U-series radionuclides coming from mining and industrial discharges. On the contrary, the unperturbed Piedras River salt marsh is located about 25 km from the Tinto marsh, and shows little presence of contaminants and radionuclides. The results of this work have shown that natural radionuclide concentrations (specially the U-isotopes) in the Tinto salt marsh sediments are one order of magnitude higher than those in the Piedras marsh. These radionuclide enhancements are reflected in the different organs of the plants, which have similar concentration increases as the sediments where they have grown. Finally, the transfer factor (TF) of the most polluted radionuclides (U-isotopes and "2"1"0Po) in the Tinto area are one order of magnitude higher than in the Piedras area, indicating that the fraction of each radionuclide in the sediment originating from the pollution is more available for the plants than the indigenous fraction. This means that the plants of the salt marshes are unhelpful as bioindicators or for the phytoremediation of radionuclides. - Highlights: • Radionuclides were analyzed in sediments and plants in unpolluted salt marshes. • Plants uptake radionuclides in all organs in both salt marshes. • The transfer factors

  10. Geostatistical evaluation of integrated marsh management impact on mosquito vectors using before-after-control-impact (BACI) design

    OpenAIRE

    Rochlin, Ilia; Iwanejko, Tom; Dempsey, Mary E; Ninivaggi, Dominick V

    2009-01-01

    Abstract Background In many parts of the world, salt marshes play a key ecological role as the interface between the marine and the terrestrial environments. Salt marshes are also exceedingly important for public health as larval habitat for mosquitoes that are vectors of disease and significant biting pests. Although grid ditching and pesticides have been effective in salt marsh mosquito control, marsh degradation and other environmental considerations compel a different approach. Targeted h...

  11. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrini, Paolo; Brambilla, Mattia; Rolando, Antonio; Girardello, Marco

    2016-01-01

    Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds). For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community. PMID:26966659

  12. Identifying key conservation threats to Alpine birds through expert knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dan E. Chamberlain

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Alpine biodiversity is subject to a range of increasing threats, but the scarcity of data for many taxa means that it is difficult to assess the level and likely future impact of a given threat. Expert opinion can be a useful tool to address knowledge gaps in the absence of adequate data. Experts with experience in Alpine ecology were approached to rank threat levels for 69 Alpine bird species over the next 50 years for the whole European Alps in relation to ten categories: land abandonment, climate change, renewable energy, fire, forestry practices, grazing practices, hunting, leisure, mining and urbanization. There was a high degree of concordance in ranking of perceived threats among experts for most threat categories. The major overall perceived threats to Alpine birds identified through expert knowledge were land abandonment, urbanization, leisure and forestry, although other perceived threats were ranked highly for particular species groups (renewable energy and hunting for raptors, hunting for gamebirds. For groups of species defined according to their breeding habitat, open habitat species and treeline species were perceived as the most threatened. A spatial risk assessment tool based on summed scores for the whole community showed threat levels were highest for bird communities of the northern and western Alps. Development of the approaches given in this paper, including addressing biases in the selection of experts and adopting a more detailed ranking procedure, could prove useful in the future in identifying future threats, and in carrying out risk assessments based on levels of threat to the whole bird community.

  13. Gnezdilke Parka Škocjanske jame (Kras, JZ Slovenija/ The breeding birds of Škocjan Caves Park (Kras, SW Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Figelj Jernej

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of the study done in 2011 and 2012 was to identify the number of breeding bird species, to provide population estimates as well as to evaluate the conservational importance of Škocjan Caves Park for birds. Common bird species were surveyed using the territory mapping method. Rare species and nocturnally active species were surveyed using species-specific methods: observation, the playback method and the line transect method. 81 species were registered, 49 of which bred within the boundaries of the Park. The most abundant breeding species were Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla (260-320 breeding pairs, Robin Erithacus rubecula (250-310 breeding pairs, Blackbird Turdus merula (230-280 breeding pairs, Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs (230-280 breeding pairs and Marsh Tit Poecile palustris (200-240 breeding pairs. Qualifying species for the Special Protected Area (SPA Kras (SI5000023 also bred within the Park: Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus, Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus, Scops Owl Otus scops and Woodlark Lululla arborea. Eagle Owl Bubo bubo was also registered, but breeding attempts during the study period were unsuccessful due to the negative influence of several factors. One of the largest colonies of Alpine Swifts Apus melba, a rare and localized species in Slovenia, is also of conservation concern.

  14. Delineation of marsh types from Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, to Perdido Bay, Alabama, in 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Enwright, Nicholas M.; Hartley, Stephen B.; Couvillion, Brady R.; Michael G. Brasher,; Jenneke M. Visser,; Michael K. Mitchell,; Bart M. Ballard,; Mark W. Parr,; Barry C. Wilson,

    2015-07-23

    Coastal zone managers and researchers often require detailed information regarding emergent marsh vegetation types (that is, fresh, intermediate, brackish, and saline) for modeling habitat capacities and needs of marsh dependent taxa (such as waterfowl and alligator). Detailed information on the extent and distribution of emergent marsh vegetation types throughout the northern Gulf of Mexico coast has been historically unavailable. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with the Gulf Coast Joint Venture, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., and the Texas A&M University-Kingsville, produced a classification of emergent marsh vegetation types from Corpus Christi Bay, Texas, to Perdido Bay, Alabama.

  15. Interagency partnership to assess and restore a degraded urban riverine wetland: Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve, Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steury, Brent W.; Litwin, Ronald J.; Oberg, Erik T.; Smoot, Joseph P.; Pavich, Milan J.; Sanders, Geoffrey; Santucci, Vincent L.

    2014-01-01

    The narrow-leaved cattail wetland known as Dyke Marsh formally became a land holding of George Washington Memorial Parkway (GWMP, a unit of the national park system) in 1959, along with a congressional directive to honor a newly-let 30-year commercial sand and gravel dredge-mining lease at the site. Dredging continued until 1974 when Public Law 93-251 called for the National Park Service and the United States Army Corps of Engineers to “implement restoration of the historical and ecological values of Dyke Marsh.” By that time, about 83 acres of the marsh remained, and no congressional funding accompanied the passage of the law to effect any immediate conservation or restoration. Decades of dredge mining had severely altered the surface area of Dyke Marsh, the extent of its tidal creek system, and the shallow river bottom of the Potomac River abutting the marsh. Further, mining destabilized the marsh, causing persistent erosion, shoreline retreat, and tidal channel widening after mining ceased. Erosion has continued unchecked until the present; approximately 50 acres of the original marsh are now estimated to remain. The specific cause of persistent erosion had been unknown prior to this collaborative study but previously was assumed to be due to flooding by the Potomac River.

  16. An evaluation of rapid methods for monitoring vegetation characteristics of wetland bird habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavernia, Brian G.; Lyons, James E.; Loges, Brian W.; Wilson, Andrew; Collazo, Jaime A.; Runge, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    Wetland managers benefit from monitoring data of sufficient precision and accuracy to assess wildlife habitat conditions and to evaluate and learn from past management decisions. For large-scale monitoring programs focused on waterbirds (waterfowl, wading birds, secretive marsh birds, and shorebirds), precision and accuracy of habitat measurements must be balanced with fiscal and logistic constraints. We evaluated a set of protocols for rapid, visual estimates of key waterbird habitat characteristics made from the wetland perimeter against estimates from (1) plots sampled within wetlands, and (2) cover maps made from aerial photographs. Estimated percent cover of annuals and perennials using a perimeter-based protocol fell within 10 percent of plot-based estimates, and percent cover estimates for seven vegetation height classes were within 20 % of plot-based estimates. Perimeter-based estimates of total emergent vegetation cover did not differ significantly from cover map estimates. Post-hoc analyses revealed evidence for observer effects in estimates of annual and perennial covers and vegetation height. Median time required to complete perimeter-based methods was less than 7 percent of the time needed for intensive plot-based methods. Our results show that rapid, perimeter-based assessments, which increase sample size and efficiency, provide vegetation estimates comparable to more intensive methods.

  17. Dynamics of mangrove-marsh ecotones in subtropical coastal wetlands: fire, sea-level rise, and water levels

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Thomas J.; Foster, Ann M.; Tiling-Range, Ginger; Jones, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Ecotones are areas of sharp environmental gradients between two or more homogeneous vegetation types. They are a dynamic aspect of all landscapes and are also responsive to climate change. Shifts in the position of an ecotone across a landscape can be an indication of a changing environment. In the coastal Everglades of Florida, USA, a dominant ecotone type is that of mangrove forest and marsh. However, there is a variety of plants that can form the marsh component, including sawgrass (Cladium mariscus [L.] Pohl), needlegrass rush (Juncus roemerianus Scheele), and spikerush (Eleocharis spp.). Environmental factors including water depth, soil type, and occurrence of fires vary across these ecotones, influencing their dynamics. Altered freshwater inflows from upstream and increasing sea level over the past 100 years may have also had an impact. We analyzed a time series of historical aerial photographs for a number of sites in the coastal Everglades and measured change in position of mangrove–marsh ecotones. For three sites, detailed maps were produced and the area of marsh, mangrove, and other habitats was determined for five periods spanning the years 1928 to 2004. Contrary to our initial hypothesis on fire, we found that fire did not prevent mangrove expansion into marsh areas but may in fact assist mangroves to invade some marsh habitats, especially sawgrass. Disparate patterns in mangrove–marsh change were measured at two downstream sites, both of which had multiple fires over from 1948 to 2004. No change in mangrove or marsh area was measured at one site. Mangrove area increased and marsh area decreased at the second of these fire-impacted sites. We measured a significant increase in mangrove area and a decline in marsh area at an upstream site that had little occurrence of fire. At this site, water levels have increased significantly as sea level has risen, and this has probably been a factor in the mangrove expansion.

  18. Impact of Non-Native Birds on Native Ecosystems: A Global Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin-Albarracin, Valeria L; Amico, Guillermo C; Simberloff, Daniel; Nuñez, Martin A

    2015-01-01

    Introduction and naturalization of non-native species is one of the most important threats to global biodiversity. Birds have been widely introduced worldwide, but their impacts on populations, communities, and ecosystems have not received as much attention as those of other groups. This work is a global synthesis of the impact of nonnative birds on native ecosystems to determine (1) what groups, impacts, and locations have been best studied; (2) which taxonomic groups and which impacts have greatest effects on ecosystems, (3) how important are bird impacts at the community and ecosystem levels, and (4) what are the known benefits of nonnative birds to natural ecosystems. We conducted an extensive literature search that yielded 148 articles covering 39 species belonging to 18 families -18% of all known naturalized species. Studies were classified according to where they were conducted: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, North America, South America, Islands of the Indian, of the Pacific, and of the Atlantic Ocean. Seven types of impact on native ecosystems were evaluated: competition, disease transmission, chemical, physical, or structural impact on ecosystem, grazing/ herbivory/ browsing, hybridization, predation, and interaction with other non-native species. Hybridization and disease transmission were the most important impacts, affecting the population and community levels. Ecosystem-level impacts, such as structural and chemical impacts were detected. Seven species were found to have positive impacts aside from negative ones. We provide suggestions for future studies focused on mechanisms of impact, regions, and understudied taxonomic groups.

  19. Comparison of Bottomless Lift Nets and Breder Traps for Sampling Salt-Marsh Nekton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vegetated salt-marsh surfaces provide refuge, forage, and spawning habitat for estuarine nekton, yet are threatened by accelerating rates of sea-level rise in southern New England and elsewhere. Nekton responses to ongoing marsh surface changes need to be evaluated with effective...

  20. Maintenance of salt barrens inhibited landward invasion of Spartina species in salt marshes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Qi, Man; Sun, Tao; Zhang, Heyue; Zhu, Meisha; Yang, Ying-Wei; Shao, Dongdong; Voinov, Alexey

    2017-01-01

    Spartina spp. (cordgrasses) often dominates intertidal mudflats and/or low marshes. The landward invasion of these species was typically thought to be restrained by low tidal inundation frequencies and interspecific competition. We noticed that the reported soil salinity levels in some salt marshes

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  2. Habitat utilization by wetland birds of Munderikadavu, a proposed bird sanctuary in northern Kerala, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Roshnath

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Munderikadavu is rich in avifaunal diversity. A total of 82 species of birds from 36 families belonging to 13 orders were recorded in the wetland including wetland dependant species. Lowland vegetation had the highest species richness (46 species followed by upland (41 species, aerial (38 species, emergent vegetation (22 species and paddy fields (21 species.  Open water had the lowest species richness. Upland vegetation had the highest species diversity (H′-3.19 followed by aerial (H′-2.52.  There was more species overlap between emergent and low land vegetations (Cm-0.7.  The threats in Munderikadavu wetland were dumping of waste and conversion of cultivation land into shrimp farming area. Thus land use changes need to be regulated in order to conserve the wetland and bird community.  

  3. Bird on the wire: Landscape planning considering costs and benefits for bird populations coexisting with power lines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amico, Marcello; Catry, Inês; Martins, Ricardo C; Ascensão, Fernando; Barrientos, Rafael; Moreira, Francisco

    2018-02-24

    Power-line grids are increasingly expanding worldwide, as well as their negative impacts on avifauna, namely the direct mortality through collision and electrocution, the reduction of breeding performance, and the barrier effect. On the other hand, some bird species can apparently benefit from the presence of power lines, for example perching for hunting purposes or nesting on electricity towers. In this perspective essay, we reviewed the scientific literature on both costs and benefits for avifauna coexisting with power lines. Overall, we detected a generalized lack of studies focusing on these costs or benefits at a population level. We suggest that a switch in research approach to a larger spatio-temporal scale would greatly improve our knowledge about the actual effects of power lines on bird populations. This research approach would facilitate suitable landscape planning encompassing both mitigation of costs and promotion of benefits for bird populations coexisting with power lines. For example, the strategic route planning of electricity infrastructures would limit collision risk or barrier effects for threatened bird populations. Concurrently, this strategic route planning would promote the range expansion of threatened populations of other bird species, by providing nesting structures in treeless but potentially suitable landscapes. We suggest establishing a collaborative dialogue among the scientific community, governments, and electricity companies, with the aim to produce a win-win scenario in which both biodiversity conservation and infrastructure development are integrated in a common strategy.

  4. How is the chlorophyll count affected by burned and unburned marsh areas?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kendrick, C.

    2017-12-01

    Does marsh burnings, either man made or natural, hinder or help Louisiana's vitally important coastal plant life? Does the carbon produced from the fires have a negative effect on the chlorophyll count of these precious living protective barriers? Or does it help contribute to raising the plants chlorophyll count? Along Louisiana's Gulf Coast, marsh burnings are conducted every 2-4 years to destroy some of the Spartina patens. Fires and smoke may have an effect on the chlorophyll count of the plants found in Louisiana's marshes. Peat burns, root burns, and cover burns are the three types of marsh fires. These burns can be either man made or started by natural causes. Peat burns occur when the soil is dry due to a drained marsh. Root burns occur when plant roots are burned without the soil being consumed. Cover burns occur when several centimeters of water covers the soil. Cover burns are often used by Wildlife and Fisheries personnel to promote preferred plant food growth like Scirpus olneyi rather than the dominant Spartina patens. Our project was conducted by testing marsh plants and obtaining chlorophyll count of both a burned (cover burn) and an unburned area. Approximately one year after the burn, in August 2015, we tested the burned area's site. We retested the same site in December 2016. The results from our testing showed that there was a slightly higher chlorophyll count in the burned area. The chlorophyll count average from the two tes