WorldWideScience

Sample records for modeling potential habitat

  1. A spatial model of potential jaguar habitat in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, J.R.; Averill-Murray, A.; van Pelt, W.E.

    2005-01-01

    The jaguar (Panthera onca) is an endangered species that occasionally visits the southwestern United States from Mexico. The number of jaguar sightings per decade has declined over the last 100 years in Arizona, USA, raising conservation concerns for the species at a local and national level. In 1997, state, federal, and local governments with land-management responsibilities agreed to characterize and identify potential jaguar habitat in Arizona and New Mexico. Specifically, the objectives of our analysis were 2-fold: (1) characterize potential jaguar habitat in Arizona from historic sighting records and (2) create a statewide habitat suitability map. We used a Geographic Information System (GIS) to characterize potential jaguar habitat by overlaying historic jaguar sightings (25) on landscape and habitat features believed important (e.g., vegetation biomes and series, elevation, terrain ruggedness, proximity to perennial or intermittent water sources, human density). The amount of Arizona (%) identified as potential jaguar habitat ranged from 21% to 30% depending on the input variables. Most jaguar sightings were in scrub grasslands between 1,220 and 1,829-m elevation in southeastern Arizona, in intermediately to extremely rugged terrain, and within 10 km of a water source. Conservation efforts should focus on protecting the most suitable jaguar habitat in southeastern Arizona (i.e., Santa Cruz, Pima, Cochise, Pinal, Graham counties), travel corridors within and outside Arizona, and jaguar habitat in the Sierra Madres of Sonora, Mexico.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. Geospatial interface and model for predicting potential seagrass habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restoration of ecosystem services provided by seagrass habitats in estuaries requires a clear understanding of the modes of action of multiple interacting stressors including nutrients, climate change, coastal land-use change, and habitat modification. We have developed a geos...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M Fill

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

  5. Macrobenthos habitat potential mapping using GIS-based artificial neural network models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Saro; Park, Inhye; Koo, Bon Joo; Ryu, Joo-Hyung; Choi, Jong-Kuk; Woo, Han Jun

    2013-02-15

    This paper proposes and tests a method of producing macrobenthos habitat potential maps in Hwangdo tidal flat, Korea based on an artificial neural network. Samples of macrobenthos were collected during field work, and eight control factors were compiled as a spatial database from remotely sensed data and GIS analysis. The macrobenthos habitat potential maps were produced using an artificial neural network model. Macrobenthos habitat potential maps were made for Macrophthalmus dilatatus, Cerithideopsilla cingulata, and Armandia lanceolata. The maps were validated by compared with the surveyed habitat locations. A strong correlation between the potential maps and species locations was revealed. The validation result showed average accuracies of 74.9%, 78.32%, and 73.27% for M. dilatatus, C. cingulata, and A. lanceolata, respectively. A GIS-based artificial neural network model combined with remote sensing techniques is an effective tool for mapping the areas of macrobenthos habitat potential in tidal flats.

  6. Modeling potential habitats for alien species Dreissena polymorpha in continental USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mingyang, Li; Yunwei, Ju; Kumar, Sunil; Stohlgren, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    The effective measure to minimize the damage of invasive species is to block the potential invasive species to enter into suitable areas. 1864 occurrence points with GPS coordinates and 34 environmental variables from Daymet datasets were gathered, and 4 modeling methods, i.e., Logistic Regression (LR), Classification and Regression Trees (CART), Genetic Algorithm for Rule-Set Prediction (GARP), and maximum entropy method (Maxent), were introduced to generate potential geographic distributions for invasive species Dreissena polymorpha in Continental USA. Then 3 statistical criteria of the area under the Receiver Operating Characteristic curve (AUC), Pearson correlation (COR) and Kappa value were calculated to evaluate the performance of the models, followed by analyses on major contribution variables. Results showed that in terms of the 3 statistical criteria, the prediction results of the 4 ecological niche models were either excellent or outstanding, in which Maxent outperformed the others in 3 aspects of predicting current distribution habitats, selecting major contribution factors, and quantifying the influence of environmental variables on habitats. Distance to water, elevation, frequency of precipitation and solar radiation were 4 environmental forcing factors. The method suggested in the paper can have some reference meaning for modeling habitats of alien species in China and provide a direction to prevent Mytilopsis sallei on the Chinese coast line.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Rahmati

    2015-06-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.S. Stensgaard

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Geographic information system (GIS-based modeling of an intermediate host snail species’ environmental requirements using known occurrence records can provide estimates of its spatial distribution. When other data are lacking, this can be used as a rough spatial prediction of potential snail-borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make “masks” based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail species, indicating a large potential for disease transmission. The lack of parasitological data still makes it difficult to determine the magnitude of actual disease transmission, but the predicted snail distributions might be used as indicators of potential present and future risk areas. Some of the predicted snail distribution maps were furthermore combined with temperature masks delineating suitable temperature regimes of the parasites they host. This revealed the coinciding suitable areas for snail and parasite, but also areas suitable for host snails, but apparently not for the parasites. Assuming that the developed models correctly reflect areas suitable for transmission, the applied approach could prove useful for targeting control interventions.

  10. Modelization of the Current and Future Habitat Suitability of Rhododendron ferrugineum Using Potential Snow Accumulation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Benjamin Komac

    Full Text Available Mountain areas are particularly sensitive to climate change. Species distribution models predict important extinctions in these areas whose magnitude will depend on a number of different factors. Here we examine the possible impact of climate change on the Rhododendron ferrugineum (alpenrose niche in Andorra (Pyrenees. This species currently occupies 14.6 km2 of this country and relies on the protection afforded by snow cover in winter. We used high-resolution climatic data, potential snow accumulation and a combined forecasting method to obtain the realized niche model of this species. Subsequently, we used data from the high-resolution Scampei project climate change projection for the A2, A1B and B1 scenarios to model its future realized niche model. The modelization performed well when predicting the species's distribution, which improved when we considered the potential snow accumulation, the most important variable influencing its distribution. We thus obtained a potential extent of about 70.7 km(2 or 15.1% of the country. We observed an elevation lag distribution between the current and potential distribution of the species, probably due to its slow colonization rate and the small-scale survey of seedlings. Under the three climatic scenarios, the realized niche model of the species will be reduced by 37.9-70.1 km(2 by the end of the century and it will become confined to what are today screes and rocky hillside habitats. The particular effects of climate change on seedling establishment, as well as on the species' plasticity and sensitivity in the event of a reduction of the snow cover, could worsen these predictions.

  11. Modelization of the Current and Future Habitat Suitability of Rhododendron ferrugineum Using Potential Snow Accumulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Komac, Benjamin; Esteban, Pere; Trapero, Laura; Caritg, Roger

    2016-01-01

    Mountain areas are particularly sensitive to climate change. Species distribution models predict important extinctions in these areas whose magnitude will depend on a number of different factors. Here we examine the possible impact of climate change on the Rhododendron ferrugineum (alpenrose) niche in Andorra (Pyrenees). This species currently occupies 14.6 km2 of this country and relies on the protection afforded by snow cover in winter. We used high-resolution climatic data, potential snow accumulation and a combined forecasting method to obtain the realized niche model of this species. Subsequently, we used data from the high-resolution Scampei project climate change projection for the A2, A1B and B1 scenarios to model its future realized niche model. The modelization performed well when predicting the species’s distribution, which improved when we considered the potential snow accumulation, the most important variable influencing its distribution. We thus obtained a potential extent of about 70.7 km2 or 15.1% of the country. We observed an elevation lag distribution between the current and potential distribution of the species, probably due to its slow colonization rate and the small-scale survey of seedlings. Under the three climatic scenarios, the realized niche model of the species will be reduced by 37.9–70.1 km2 by the end of the century and it will become confined to what are today screes and rocky hillside habitats. The particular effects of climate change on seedling establishment, as well as on the species’ plasticity and sensitivity in the event of a reduction of the snow cover, could worsen these predictions. PMID:26824847

  12. Modelling the liquid-water vein system within polar ice sheets as a potential microbial habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dani, K. G. Srikanta; Mader, Heidy M.; Wolff, Eric W.; Wadham, Jemma L.

    2012-06-01

    Based on the fundamental and distinctive physical properties of polycrystalline ice Ih, the chemical and temperature profiles within the polar ice sheets, and the observed selective partitioning of bacteria into liquid water filled veins in the ice, we consider the possibility that microbial life could survive and be sustained within glacial systems. Here, we present a set of modelled vertical profiles of vein diameter, vein chemical concentration, and vein water volume variability across a range of polar ice sheets using their ice core chemical profiles. A sensitivity analysis of VeinsInIce1.0, the numerical model used in this study shows that the ice grain size and the local borehole temperature are the most significant factors that influence the intergranular liquid vein size and the amount of freeze-concentrated impurities partitioned into the veins respectively. Model results estimate the concentration and characteristics of the chemical broth in the veins to be a potential extremophilic microbial medium. The vein sizes are estimated to vary between 0.3 μm to 8 μm across the vertical length of many polar ice sheets and they may contain up to 2 μL of liquid water per litre of solid ice. The results suggest that these veins in polar ice sheets could accommodate populations of psychrophilic and hyperacidophilic ultra-small bacteria and in some regions even support the habitation of unicellular eukaryotes. This highlights the importance of understanding the potential impact of englacial microbial metabolism on polar ice core chemical profiles and provides a model for similar extreme habitats elsewhere in the universe.

  13. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    -friendly and have flexible data needs. They can easily be implemented in new regions using expert information or different types of local data. Furthermore, they are easily presentable to stakeholders and have the potential to be applied over large spatial scales. Integral care must be taken in the use...... and disadvantages as management tools for member states in relation to the requirements of the WFD, but due to their different model structures they are distinct in their data needs, transferability, user-friendliness and presentable outputs. Water resource managers need information on what approaches will best...... management tools, but require large amounts of data and the model structure is complex. It is concluded that the use of habitat suitability indices (HSIs) and fuzzy rules in hydraulic-habitat modelling are the most ready model types to satisfy WFD demands. These models are well documented, transferable, user...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levin, G.; Jepsen, Martin Rudbeck

    2010-01-01

    In intensively farmed regions, habitat fragmentation represents a major pressure on biodiversity. Depending on its spatial setting, set-aside land can increase size and connectivity of habitats and thus counteract fragmentation. In 2008, the EU-wide set-aside obligation was suspended and a large...... proportion of set-aside land was re-cultivated. With Denmark as case we apply an indicator to measure the effect of set-aside land on spatial structure of semi-natural habitats in term of habitat size and connectivity. Furthermore, we model effects of a hypothetical spatial regulation, where set-aside land...... with the greatest benefit for habitat structure is retained as uncultivated, while set-aside land with the least effect is re-cultivated. The model is applied to individual farms and to farm agglomerations of increasing sizes, enabling us to explore potential effects of cross-farm regulation. The novelty of our...

  15. Predictive Seagrass Habitat Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restoration of ecosystem services provided by seagrass habitats in estuaries requires a firm understanding of the modes of action of multiple interacting stressors including nutrients, climate change, coastal land-use change, and habitat modification. We explored the application...

  16. Habitat modeling for biodiversity conservation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce G. Marcot

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  18. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    management tools, but require large amounts of data and the model structure is complex. It is concluded that the use of habitat suitability indices (HSIs) and fuzzy rules in hydraulic-habitat modelling are the most ready model types to satisfy WFD demands. These models are well documented, transferable, user-friendly...... and disadvantages as management tools for member states in relation to the requirements of the WFD, but due to their different model structures they are distinct in their data needs, transferability, user-friendliness and presentable outputs. Water resource managers need information on what approaches will best...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongkyun IM

    2011-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Eastern wild turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, Richard L.

    1985-01-01

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

  2. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Swamp rabbit

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1985-01-01

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

  3. Models of the potential distribution and habitat preferences of the genus Pipiza (Syrphidae: Diptera on the Balkan peninsula

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nikolić Tijana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Seven species of the genus Pipiza, collected throughout the southern and western Balkans, were used for the analysis of habitat preferences and potential geographical distribution on the Balkan Peninsula. The analyzed species show a wide and uneven distribution across the delineated geographical-biogeographical regions. The highest number of species noted is from two regions - the Dinaric mountain chain and the Pannonian and subpannonian regions (seven and six. Land cover patch analysis revealed that forests dominate the landscape surroundings of the analyzed species. “Presenceonly models” developed by Maxent support the understanding of the distribution and ecology of each analyzed species. The low probability values of current potential distribution correspond to large non-forested and fragmented forest areas, where, on the other hand, relatively high probabilities overlap with areas of deciduous forests across the peninsula. Results confirm species preference to forest landscapes and emphasize the need for local scale analysis. The studies are of importance in developing regional monitoring schemes and conservation strategies.

  4. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Red king crab

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jewett, Stephen C.; Onuf, Christopher P.

    1988-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for evaluating habitat of different life stages of red king crab (Paralithodes camtschatica). A model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) and 1.0 (optimum habitat) in Alaskan coastal waters, especially in the Gulf of Alaska and the southeastern Bering Sea. HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  5. Ensemble forecasting of potential habitat for three invasive fishes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poulos, Helen M.; Chernoff, Barry; Fuller, Pam L.; Butman, David

    2012-01-01

    Aquatic invasive species pose major ecological and economic threats to aquatic ecosystems worldwide via displacement, predation, or hybridization with native species and the alteration of aquatic habitats and hydrologic cycles. Modeling the habitat suitability of alien aquatic species through spatially explicit mapping is an increasingly important risk assessment tool. Habitat modeling also facilitates identification of key environmental variables influencing invasive species distributions. We compared four modeling methods to predict the potential continental United States distributions of northern snakehead Channa argus (Cantor, 1842), round goby Neogobius melanostomus (Pallas, 1814), and silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Valenciennes, 1844) using maximum entropy (Maxent), the genetic algorithm for rule set production (GARP), DOMAIN, and support vector machines (SVM). We used inventory records from the USGS Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database and a geographic information system of 20 climatic and environmental variables to generate individual and ensemble distribution maps for each species. The ensemble maps from our study performed as well as or better than all of the individual models except Maxent. The ensemble and Maxent models produced significantly higher accuracy individual maps than GARP, one-class SVMs, or DOMAIN. The key environmental predictor variables in the individual models were consistent with the tolerances of each species. Results from this study provide insights into which locations and environmental conditions may promote the future spread of invasive fish in the US.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    observations showed that juvenile trout in stream Ledreborg prefered lower water depths and water velocities than juvenile trout in larger Danish streams, e.g. River Gudenå. Repeated electrofishing in the stream revealed big differences in temporal and spatial distribution of the trouts on the four reaches...... and abundance of trout on the reaches. • Comparison of reference condition minimum run-off and WUA curves suggested that summer low flow were not a limiting factor on the physical habitat quality for juvenile trout under reference conditions. • Habitat hydraulic modelling suggested that stream Ledreborg had...... the best potential physical habitat quality for trout fry and juvenile trout and the lowest potential physical habitat quality for adult trout. This finding supports previous evaluations of the stream as a trout habitat, concluding that stream Ledreborg has very few suitable habitats for adult trout...

  7. Integrating distributional, spatial prioritization, and individual-based models to evaluate potential critical habitat networks: A case study using the Northern Spotted Owl

    Science.gov (United States)

    As part of the northern spotted owl recovery planning effort, we evaluated a series of alternative critical habitat scenarios using a species-distribution model (MaxEnt), a conservation-planning model (Zonation), and an individual-based population model (HexSim). With this suite ...

  8. GROWTH POTENTIALS OF TARAXACUM MICROSPECIES FROM DIFFERENT HABITATS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    HOMMELS, CH; WINTERDAAL, J; VANDERHARING, E; TANCZOS, OG

    1991-01-01

    Various Taraxacum microspecies from different fertile habitats were cultured at near optimal conditions in order to study the relationship between growth potential and habitat as a factor in their distribution, taking a high growth rate as essential for the occupation of fertile sites. Differences i

  9. Growth potentials of Taraxacum microspecies from different habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    HOMMELS, CH; WINTERDAAL, J; VANDERHARING, E; Tanczos, Otto

    1991-01-01

    Various Taraxacum microspecies from different fertile habitats were cultured at near optimal conditions in order to study the relationship between growth potential and habitat as a factor in their distribution, taking a high growth rate as essential for the occupation of fertile sites. Differences i

  10. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Mink

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Arthur W.

    1983-01-01

    The mink (Mustela vison) is a predatory, semiaquatic mammal that is generally associated with stream and river banks, lake shores, fresh and saltwater marshes, and marine shore habitats (Gerell 1970).  Mink are chiefly nocturnal and remain active throughout the year (Marshall 1936); Gerell 1969; Burgess 1978).  The species is adaptable in its use of habitat, modifying daily habits according to environmental conditions, particularly prey availability (Wise et al. 1981; Linn and Birds 1981; Birks and Linn 1982).  The species is tolerant of human activity and will inhabit suboptimum habitats as long as an adequate food source is available; however, mink will be more mobile and change home ranges more frequently under such conditions (Linn pers. comm.).

  11. Potential effects of direct transfer payments on farmland habitat diversity in a marginal European landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reger, Birgit; Sheridan, Patrick; Simmering, Dietmar; Otte, Annette; Waldhardt, Rainer

    2009-06-01

    Farmland habitat diversity in marginal European landscapes changed significantly in the past decades. Further changes toward homogenization are expected, particularly in the course of European agricultural policy. Based on three alternative transfer payment schemes, we modeled spatially explicit potential effects on the farmland habitat diversity in a marginal European landscape. We defined (1) a scenario with direct transfer payments coupled to production, (2) a scenario with direct transfer payments decoupled from production, and (3) a scenario phasing out all direct transfer payments. We characterized habitat diversity with three indices: habitat richness, evenness, and rarity. The habitat pattern in 1995 served as reference for comparison. All scenarios predicted a general trend of homogenization of the farmland habitat pattern, yet to a differing extent. Transfer payments coupled to production (Scenario 1) favored the abandonment of agricultural production, particularly in low-productive areas and arable land use in more productive areas. Habitat richness and habitat evenness had intermediate values in this scenario. Decoupling transfer payments from production (Scenario 2) supported grassland as most profitable farming system. This led to a grassland-dominated landscape with low values of all habitat diversity indices. Phasing out transfer payments (Scenario 3) resulted in complete abandonment or afforestation of agricultural land and extremely low values in all habitat diversity indices. Scenario results indicate that transfer payments may prevent cessation of agricultural production, but may not counteract homogenization in marginal landscapes. Conserving high farmland habitat diversity in such landscapes may require support schemes, e.g., Pillar Two of EU Common Agricultural Policy.

  12. Potential Kittlitz's Murrelet Nesting Habitat in North America

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Using nest records and locations to identify landscape-scale parameters (distance to coast, elevation, slope, and land cover) that provide potential nesting habitat,...

  13. Wildlife Habitat Models for Terrestrial Vertebrates

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The project developed habitat capability models for representative wildlife species. It was part of a project led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst to...

  14. Modeling habitat dynamics accounting for possible misclassification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veran, Sophie; Kleiner, Kevin J.; Choquet, Remi; Collazo, Jaime; Nichols, James D.

    2012-01-01

    Land cover data are widely used in ecology as land cover change is a major component of changes affecting ecological systems. Landscape change estimates are characterized by classification errors. Researchers have used error matrices to adjust estimates of areal extent, but estimation of land cover change is more difficult and more challenging, with error in classification being confused with change. We modeled land cover dynamics for a discrete set of habitat states. The approach accounts for state uncertainty to produce unbiased estimates of habitat transition probabilities using ground information to inform error rates. We consider the case when true and observed habitat states are available for the same geographic unit (pixel) and when true and observed states are obtained at one level of resolution, but transition probabilities estimated at a different level of resolution (aggregations of pixels). Simulation results showed a strong bias when estimating transition probabilities if misclassification was not accounted for. Scaling-up does not necessarily decrease the bias and can even increase it. Analyses of land cover data in the Southeast region of the USA showed that land change patterns appeared distorted if misclassification was not accounted for: rate of habitat turnover was artificially increased and habitat composition appeared more homogeneous. Not properly accounting for land cover misclassification can produce misleading inferences about habitat state and dynamics and also misleading predictions about species distributions based on habitat. Our models that explicitly account for state uncertainty should be useful in obtaining more accurate inferences about change from data that include errors.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  16. Dynamic habitat models: using telemetry data to project fisheries bycatch.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zydelis, Ramūnas; Lewison, Rebecca L; Shaffer, Scott A; Moore, Jeffrey E; Boustany, Andre M; Roberts, Jason J; Sims, Michelle; Dunn, Daniel C; Best, Benjamin D; Tremblay, Yann; Kappes, Michelle A; Halpin, Patrick N; Costa, Daniel P; Crowder, Larry B

    2011-11-01

    Fisheries bycatch is a recognized threat to marine megafauna. Addressing bycatch of pelagic species however is challenging owing to the dynamic nature of marine environments and vagility of these organisms. In order to assess the potential for species to overlap with fisheries, we propose applying dynamic habitat models to determine relative probabilities of species occurrence for specific oceanographic conditions. We demonstrate this approach by modelling habitats for Laysan (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) using telemetry data and relating their occurrence probabilities to observations of Hawaii-based longline fisheries in 1997-2000. We found that modelled habitat preference probabilities of black-footed albatrosses were high within some areas of the fishing range of the Hawaiian fleet and such preferences were important in explaining bycatch occurrence. Conversely, modelled habitats of Laysan albatrosses overlapped little with Hawaii-based longline fisheries and did little to explain the bycatch of this species. Estimated patterns of albatross habitat overlap with the Hawaiian fleet corresponded to bycatch observations: black-footed albatrosses were more frequently caught in this fishery despite being 10 times less abundant than Laysan albatrosses. This case study demonstrates that dynamic habitat models based on telemetry data may help to project interactions with pelagic animals relative to environmental features and that such an approach can serve as a tool to guide conservation and management decisions.

  17. Habitat Analysis - Trinity River Restoration Potential

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The goal of the Trinity River project is to identify the potential positive effects of large-scale restoration actions in a 63 kilometer reach of the Trinity River...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2004-01-01

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

  19. Potential Habitat of Acropora spp. on Reefs of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine E. Wirt

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Elkhorn and staghorn corals (Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis were listed in 2006 as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The goal of this study was to create model potential-habitat maps for A. palmata and A. cervicornis, while identifying areas for possible re-establishment. These maps were created using a database of reported field observations in combination with existing benthic habitat maps. The mapped coral reef and hardbottom classifications throughout Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Island reef tracts were used to generate potential-habitat polygons using buffers that incorporated 95% and 99% of reported observations of Acropora spp. Locations of 92% of A. palmata observations and 84% of A. cervicornis observations coincided with mapped coral reef or hard-bottom habitat throughout the study area. These results indicate that potential habitat for A. palmata is currently well defined throughout this region, but that potential habitat for A. cervicornis is more variable and has a wider range than that for A. palmata. This study provides a novel method of combining data sets at various geographic spatial scales and may be used to inform and refine the current National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration critical habitat map.

  20. Potential Habitat of Acropora spp. on Reefs of Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands

    OpenAIRE

    Katherine E. Wirt; Pamela Hallock; David Palandro; Kathleen Semon Lunz

    2015-01-01

    Elkhorn and staghorn corals (Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis) were listed in 2006 as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The goal of this study was to create model potential-habitat maps for A. palmata and A. cervicornis, while identifying areas for possible re-establishment. These maps were created using a database of reported field observations in combination with existing benthic habitat maps. The mapped coral reef and hardbottom classifications throughout Florida, Puerto R...

  1. Global habitat suitability models of terrestrial mammals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rondinini, Carlo; Di Marco, Moreno; Chiozza, Federica; Santulli, Giulia; Baisero, Daniele; Visconti, Piero; Hoffmann, Michael; Schipper, Jan; Stuart, Simon N.; Tognelli, Marcelo F.; Amori, Giovanni; Falcucci, Alessandra; Maiorano, Luigi; Boitani, Luigi

    2011-01-01

    Detailed large-scale information on mammal distribution has often been lacking, hindering conservation efforts. We used the information from the 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a baseline for developing habitat suitability models for 5027 out of 5330 known terrestrial mammal species, based on their habitat relationships. We focused on the following environmental variables: land cover, elevation and hydrological features. Models were developed at 300 m resolution and limited to within species' known geographical ranges. A subset of the models was validated using points of known species occurrence. We conducted a global, fine-scale analysis of patterns of species richness. The richness of mammal species estimated by the overlap of their suitable habitat is on average one-third less than that estimated by the overlap of their geographical ranges. The highest absolute difference is found in tropical and subtropical regions in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia that are not covered by dense forest. The proportion of suitable habitat within mammal geographical ranges correlates with the IUCN Red List category to which they have been assigned, decreasing monotonically from Least Concern to Endangered. These results demonstrate the importance of fine-resolution distribution data for the development of global conservation strategies for mammals. PMID:21844042

  2. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  3. Predictive modeling of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lesley H Thorne

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

  4. Predicting and mapping potential Whooping Crane stopover habitat to guide site selection for wind energy projects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belaire, J Amy; Kreakie, Betty J; Keitt, Timothy; Minor, Emily

    2014-04-01

    Migratory stopover habitats are often not part of planning for conservation or new development projects. We identified potential stopover habitats within an avian migratory flyway and demonstrated how this information can guide the site-selection process for new development. We used the random forests modeling approach to map the distribution of predicted stopover habitat for the Whooping Crane (Grus americana), an endangered species whose migratory flyway overlaps with an area where wind energy development is expected to become increasingly important. We then used this information to identify areas for potential wind power development in a U.S. state within the flyway (Nebraska) that minimize conflicts between Whooping Crane stopover habitat and the development of clean, renewable energy sources. Up to 54% of our study area was predicted to be unsuitable as Whooping Crane stopover habitat and could be considered relatively low risk for conflicts between Whooping Cranes and wind energy development. We suggest that this type of analysis be incorporated into the habitat conservation planning process in areas where incidental take permits are being considered for Whooping Cranes or other species of concern. Field surveys should always be conducted prior to construction to verify model predictions and understand baseline conditions.

  5. Assessment of potential plastic-degrading fungi in Jordanian habitats

    OpenAIRE

    IBRAHIM, Ibrahim N.; MARAQA, Anwar; Hameed, Khalid M.

    2011-01-01

    Out of 70 fungal isolates recovered from soil, wall paints (Latex), and pieces of plastic debris from different habitats in Jordan and plastic shields of street light posts on campus, 35 isolates showed varied potential to degrade polyester-polyurethane (PS-PUR). Six of these isolates (Fusarium solani, Alternaria solani, Spicaria spp., Aspergillus fumigatus, Aspergillus terreus, and Aspergillus flavus) were selected on the basis of their growth rates on basal salt media amended with PS-PUR as...

  6. An ecohydraulic model to identify and monitor moapa dace habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, James R.; Batt, Thomas R.; Scoppettone, Gayton G.; Dixon, Christopher J.

    2013-01-01

    Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea) is a critically endangered thermophilic minnow native to the Muddy River ecosystem in southeastern Nevada, USA. Restricted to temperatures between 26.0 and 32.0°C, these fish are constrained to the upper two km of the Muddy River and several small tributaries fed by warm springs. Habitat alterations, nonnative species invasion, and water withdrawals during the 20th century resulted in a drastic decline in the dace population and in 1979 the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) was created to protect them. The goal of our study was to determine the potential effects of reduced surface flows that might result from groundwater pumping or water diversions on Moapa dace habitat inside the Refuge. We accomplished our goal in several steps. First, we conducted snorkel surveys to determine the locations of Moapa dace on three warm-spring tributaries of the Muddy River. Second, we conducted hydraulic simulations over a range of flows with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. Third, we developed a set of Moapa dace habitat models with logistic regression and a geographic information system. Fourth, we estimated Moapa dace habitat over a range of flows (plus or minus 30% of base flow). Our spatially explicit habitat models achieved classification accuracies between 85% and 91%, depending on the snorkel survey and creek. Water depth was the most significant covariate in our models, followed by substrate, Froude number, velocity, and water temperature. Hydraulic simulations showed 2-11% gains in dace habitat when flows were increased by 30%, and 8-32% losses when flows were reduced by 30%. To ensure the health and survival of Moapa dace and the Muddy River ecosystem, groundwater and surface-water withdrawals and diversions need to be carefully monitored, while fully implementing a proactive conservation strategy.

  7. Global warming and prairie wetlands: potential consequences for waterfowl habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poiani, Karen A.; Johnson, W. Carter

    1991-01-01

    precipitation and runoff from melting snow on frozen or saturated soils (Figure 2). Annual water levels fluctuate widely due to climate variability in the Great Plains (Borchert 1950, Kantrud et al. 1989b). Climate affects the quality of habitat for breeding waterfowl by controlling regional water conditions--water depth, areal extent, and length of wet/dry cycles (Cowardin et al. 1988)--and vegetation patterns such as the cover ration (the ratio of emergent plant cover to open water). With increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, climate models project warmer and, in some cases, drier conditions for the northern Great Plains (Karl et al. 1991, Manabe and Wetherald 1986, Mitchell 1983, Rind and Lebedeff 1984). In general, a warmer, drier climate could lower waterfowl production directly by increasing the frequency of dry basins and indirectly by producing less favorable cover rations (i.e., heavy emergent cover with few or no open-water areas). The possibility of diminished waterfowl production in a greenhouse climate comes at a time when waterfowl numbers have sharply declined for other reasons (Johnson and Shaffer 1987). Breeding habitat continues to be lost or altered by agriculture, grazing, burning, mowing, sedimentation, and drainage (Kantrud et al. 1989b). For example, it has been estimated that 60% of the wetland area in North Dakota has been drained (Tiner 1984). Pesticides entering wetlands from adjacent agricultural fields have been destructive to aquatic invertebrate populations and have significantly lowered duckling survival (Grue et al. 1988). In this article, we discuss current understanding and projections of global warming; review wetland vegetation dynamics to establish the strong relationship among climate, wetland hydrology, vegetation patterns, and waterflow habitat; discuss the potential effects of a greenhouse warming on these relationships; and illustrate the potential effects of climate change on wetland habitat by using a simulation model. The

  8. Availability, usage and expected contribution of potential nursery habitats for the California halibut

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fodrie, F. Joel; Mendoza, Guillermo

    2006-06-01

    Coastal ecosystems have been identified as important nursery habitats for many of the world's fishery species. Beyond this, there remain many questions about what exactly constitutes high-value, even critical, habitat for juvenile fish. A first step in investigating nursery habitat value should be to catalogue the spatial coverage (availability) of all potential nursery habitats as well as the distribution (usage) of juvenile fish within those habitats. We conducted two years of fall surveys in the nearshore areas of San Diego County, CA, examining the spatial distribution of 0-group California halibut, Paralichthys californicus. The database generated by 527 otter trawls and block-net seine collections was used to produce a series of models employing regression trees to study the abiotic factors (water column and bottom features) that affect juvenile distributions. Along the exposed coast, highest 0-group densities (0.002-0.008 individuals/m 2 (indiv/m 2)) occurred where temperatures exceeded 21.5 °C (2003), and at depths between 3.3 and 5.2 m (2004). Within protected embayments, densities were higher at depths less than 1.5 m (0.054-0.430 indiv/m 2) and, in 2004, inside channeled marsh estuaries (0.156 indiv/m 2). The spatial coverage of potential nursery habitats was calculated using a Geographic Information System (GIS) database, and the total number of resident 0-group halibut within each site was estimated (habitat area × juvenile halibut density) as a proxy for expected contribution of halibut advancing to the adult stock from each nursery. Although 85% of the potential nursery habitat area occurred along the exposed coastline, 69% (2003) to 58% (2004) of 0-group halibut resided in protected embayments. Embayment contribution is much greater in the southern half of the study region, largely due to Mission and San Diego bays. We conclude that all nursery habitat types demonstrate the potential to contribute significantly to stock fitness, and that in

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cloern, J.E.

    2007-01-01

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

  10. Lidar: shedding new light on habitat characterization and modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerri T. Vierling; Lee A. Vierling; William A. Gould; Sebastian Martinuzzi; Rick M. Clawges

    2008-01-01

    Ecologists need data on animal–habitat associations in terrestrial and aquatic environments to design and implement effective conservation strategies. Habitat characteristics used in models typically incorporate (1) field data of limited spatial extent and/or (2) remote sensing data that do not characterize the vertical habitat structure. Remote sensing tools that...

  11. Predicted riparian vegetation - Potential for Habitat Improvement in the Columbia River Basin

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Basin-wide analysis of potential to improve tributary habitats in the Columbia River basin through restoration of habitat-forming processes. Identification of...

  12. Predicted channel types - Potential for Habitat Improvement in the Columbia River Basin

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Basin-wide analysis of potential to improve tributary habitats in the Columbia River basin through restoration of habitat-forming processes. Identification of...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilse Storch

    2002-06-01

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

  14. Modeling Impacts of Climate Change on Giant Panda Habitat

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melissa Songer

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca are one of the most widely recognized endangered species globally. Habitat loss and fragmentation are the main threats, and climate change could significantly impact giant panda survival. We integrated giant panda habitat information with general climate models (GCMs to predict future geographic distribution and fragmentation of giant panda habitat. Results support a major general prediction of climate change—a shift of habitats towards higher elevation and higher latitudes. Our models predict climate change could reduce giant panda habitat by nearly 60% over 70 years. New areas may become suitable outside the current geographic range but much of these areas is far from the current giant panda range and only 15% fall within the current protected area system. Long-term survival of giant pandas will require the creation of new protected areas that are likely to support suitable habitat even if the climate changes.

  15. Habitat fragmentation and reproductive success: a structural equation modelling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Tortorec, Eric; Helle, Samuli; Käyhkö, Niina; Suorsa, Petri; Huhta, Esa; Hakkarainen, Harri

    2013-09-01

    1. There is great interest on the effects of habitat fragmentation, whereby habitat is lost and the spatial configuration of remaining habitat patches is altered, on individual breeding performance. However, we still lack consensus of how this important process affects reproductive success, and whether its effects are mainly due to reduced fecundity or nestling survival. 2. The main reason for this may be the way that habitat fragmentation has been previously modelled. Studies have treated habitat loss and altered spatial configuration as two independent processes instead of as one hierarchical and interdependent process, and therefore have not been able to consider the relative direct and indirect effects of habitat loss and altered spatial configuration. 3. We investigated how habitat (i.e. old forest) fragmentation, caused by intense forest harvesting at the territory and landscape scales, is associated with the number of fledged offspring of an area-sensitive passerine, the Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia familiaris). We used structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the complex hierarchical associations between habitat loss and altered spatial configuration on the number of fledged offspring, by controlling for individual condition and weather conditions during incubation. 4. Against generally held expectations, treecreeper reproductive success did not show a significant association with habitat fragmentation measured at the territory scale. Instead, our analyses suggested that an increasing amount of habitat at the landscape scale caused a significant increase in nest predation rates, leading to reduced reproductive success. This effect operated directly on nest predation rates, instead of acting indirectly through altered spatial configuration. 5. Because habitat amount and configuration are inherently strongly collinear, particularly when multiple scales are considered, our study demonstrates the usefulness of a SEM approach for hierarchical partitioning

  16. Uncertainty in Various Habitat Suitability Models and Its Impact on Habitat Suitability Estimates for Fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yu-Pin Lin

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Species distribution models (SDMs are extensively used to project habitat suitability of species in stream ecological studies. Owing to complex sources of uncertainty, such models may yield projections with varying degrees of uncertainty. To better understand projected spatial distributions and the variability between habitat suitability projections, this study uses five SDMs that are based on the outputs of a two-dimensional hydraulic model to project the suitability of habitats and to evaluate the degree of variability originating from both differing model types and the split-sample procedure. The habitat suitability index (HSI of each species is based on two stream flow variables, including current velocity (V, water depth (D, as well as the heterogeneity of these flow conditions as quantified by the information entropy of V and D. The six SDM approaches used to project fish abundance, as represented by HSI, included two stochastic models: the generalized linear model (GLM and the generalized additive model (GAM; as well as three machine learning models: the support vector machine (SVM, random forest (RF and the artificial neural network (ANN, and an ensemble model (where the latter is the average of the preceding five models. The target species Sicyopterus japonicas was found to prefer habitats with high current velocities. The relationship between mesohabitat diversity and fish abundance was indicated by the trends in information entropy and weighted usable area (WUA over the study area. This study proposes a method for quantifying habitat suitability, and for assessing the uncertainties in HSI and WUA that are introduced by the various SDMs and samples. This study also demonstrated both the merits of the ensemble modeling approach and the necessity of addressing model uncertainty.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jochem Kail

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

  18. Estimating thermal regimes of bull trout and assessing the potential effects of climate warming on critical habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Leslie A.; Muhlfeld, Clint C.; Marshall, Lucy A.; McGlynn, Brian L.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.

    2013-01-01

    Understanding the vulnerability of aquatic species and habitats under climate change is critical for conservation and management of freshwater systems. Climate warming is predicted to increase water temperatures in freshwater ecosystems worldwide, yet few studies have developed spatially explicit modelling tools for understanding the potential impacts. We parameterized a nonspatial model, a spatial flow-routed model, and a spatial hierarchical model to predict August stream temperatures (22-m resolution) throughout the Flathead River Basin, USA and Canada. Model comparisons showed that the spatial models performed significantly better than the nonspatial model, explaining the spatial autocorrelation found between sites. The spatial hierarchical model explained 82% of the variation in summer mean (August) stream temperatures and was used to estimate thermal regimes for threatened bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) habitats, one of the most thermally sensitive coldwater species in western North America. The model estimated summer thermal regimes of spawning and rearing habitats at <13 C° and foraging, migrating, and overwintering habitats at <14 C°. To illustrate the useful application of such a model, we simulated climate warming scenarios to quantify potential loss of critical habitats under forecasted climatic conditions. As air and water temperatures continue to increase, our model simulations show that lower portions of the Flathead River Basin drainage (foraging, migrating, and overwintering habitat) may become thermally unsuitable and headwater streams (spawning and rearing) may become isolated because of increasing thermal fragmentation during summer. Model results can be used to focus conservation and management efforts on populations of concern, by identifying critical habitats and assessing thermal changes at a local scale.

  19. Two-dimensional hydrologic modeling to evaluate aquatic habitat conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamela Edwards; Frederica Wood; Michael Little; Peter Vila; Peter Vila

    2006-01-01

    We describe the modeling and mapping procedures used to examine aquatic habitat conditions and habitat suitability of a small river in north- central West Virginia where fish survival and reproduction in specific reaches are poor. The study includes: (1) surveying cross sections of streambed reaches and measuring discharges and corresponding water-surface elevations,...

  20. Modelling climate change impacts on stream habitat conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boegh, Eva; Conallin, John; Karthikeyan, Matheswaran;

    , climate impacts on stream ecological conditions were quantified by combining a heat and mass stream flow with a habitat suitability modelling approach. Habitat suitability indices were developed for stream velocity, water depth, water temperature and substrate. Generally, water depth was found...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  2. Preliminary study of waterfowl habitat development potentials as related to inundated waterfowl habitat by the proposed Rampart Canyon Dam Project, Alaska

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report is a preliminary study of waterfowl habitat development potentials as related to inundated waterfowl habitat by the proposed Rampart Canyon dam project...

  3. Range expansion potential of two co-occurring invasive vines to marginal habitats in Turkey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farooq, Shahid; Tad, Sonnur; Onen, Huseyin; Gunal, Hikmet; Caldiran, Ugur; Ozaslan, Cumali

    2017-10-01

    Niche distribution models accurately predict the potential distribution range of invasive plants into new habitats based on their climatic requirements in the native regions. However, these models usually ignore the marginal habitats which can limit the distribution of exotic plants. We therefore tested the seedling survival, growth and nutrient acquisition capabilities of two co-occurring invasive vines [Persicaria perfoliata (L.) H. Gross and Sicyos angulatus L.] in three different manipulative greenhouse experiments to infer their range expansion potential to marginal habitats in Turkey. First experiment included five different moisture availability regimes (100, 75, 50, 25 and 12.5% available water), second experiment consisted of four different salinity levels (0, 3, 6 and 12 dSm-1 soil salinity) and third experiment had four different soil textures (clay-1, clay-2, sandy loam and silt-clay-loam). Seedling mortality was only observed under extreme moisture deficiency in both plant species, while most of the transplanted seedlings of both species did not survive under 6 and 12 dSm-1 salinity levels. Soil textures had no effect on seedling survival. POLPE better tolerated low moisture availability and high salinity compared to SIYAN. Biomass production in both plant species was linearly reduced with increasing salinity and moisture deficiency. SIYAN invested more resources towards shoot, accumulated higher K and P, whereas POLPE maintained higher root-to-shoot ratio under all experimental conditions. Both plant species employed different strategies to cope with adverse environmental conditions, but failed to persist under high soil salinity and moisture deficiency. Our study suggest that both plant species have limited potential of range expansion to marginal habitats and will be limited to moist and humid areas only. Therefore, further research activities should be concentrated in these regions to develop effective management strategies against both species.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin Steenweg

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steenweg, Robin; Hebblewhite, Mark; Gummer, David; Low, Brian; Hunt, Bill

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Calcareous Bio-Concretions in the Northern Adriatic Sea: Habitat Types, Environmental Factors that Influence Habitat Distributions, and Predictive Modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Falace, Annalisa; Kaleb, Sara; Curiel, Daniele; Miotti, Chiara; Galli, Giovanni; Querin, Stefano; Ballesteros, Enric; Solidoro, Cosimo; Bandelj, Vinko

    2015-01-01

    Habitat classifications provide guidelines for mapping and comparing marine resources across geographic regions. Calcareous bio-concretions and their associated biota have not been exhaustively categorized. Furthermore, for management and conservation purposes, species and habitat mapping is critical. Recently, several developments have occurred in the field of predictive habitat modeling, and multiple methods are available. In this study, we defined the habitats constituting northern Adriatic biogenic reefs and created a predictive habitat distribution model. We used an updated dataset of the epibenthic assemblages to define the habitats, which we verified using the fuzzy k-means (FKM) clustering method. Redundancy analysis was employed to model the relationships between the environmental descriptors and the FKM membership grades. Predictive modelling was carried out to map habitats across the basin. Habitat A (opportunistic macroalgae, encrusting Porifera, bioeroders) characterizes reefs closest to the coastline, which are affected by coastal currents and river inputs. Habitat B is distinguished by massive Porifera, erect Tunicata, and non-calcareous encrusting algae (Peyssonnelia spp.). Habitat C (non-articulated coralline, Polycitor adriaticus) is predicted in deeper areas. The onshore-offshore gradient explains the variability of the assemblages because of the influence of coastal freshwater, which is the main driver of nutrient dynamics. This model supports the interpretation of Habitat A and C as the extremes of a gradient that characterizes the epibenthic assemblages, while Habitat B demonstrates intermediate characteristics. Areas of transition are a natural feature of the marine environment and may include a mixture of habitats and species. The habitats proposed are easy to identify in the field, are related to different environmental features, and may be suitable for application in studies focused on other geographic areas. The habitat model outputs

  7. Calcareous Bio-Concretions in the Northern Adriatic Sea: Habitat Types, Environmental Factors that Influence Habitat Distributions, and Predictive Modeling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annalisa Falace

    Full Text Available Habitat classifications provide guidelines for mapping and comparing marine resources across geographic regions. Calcareous bio-concretions and their associated biota have not been exhaustively categorized. Furthermore, for management and conservation purposes, species and habitat mapping is critical. Recently, several developments have occurred in the field of predictive habitat modeling, and multiple methods are available. In this study, we defined the habitats constituting northern Adriatic biogenic reefs and created a predictive habitat distribution model. We used an updated dataset of the epibenthic assemblages to define the habitats, which we verified using the fuzzy k-means (FKM clustering method. Redundancy analysis was employed to model the relationships between the environmental descriptors and the FKM membership grades. Predictive modelling was carried out to map habitats across the basin. Habitat A (opportunistic macroalgae, encrusting Porifera, bioeroders characterizes reefs closest to the coastline, which are affected by coastal currents and river inputs. Habitat B is distinguished by massive Porifera, erect Tunicata, and non-calcareous encrusting algae (Peyssonnelia spp.. Habitat C (non-articulated coralline, Polycitor adriaticus is predicted in deeper areas. The onshore-offshore gradient explains the variability of the assemblages because of the influence of coastal freshwater, which is the main driver of nutrient dynamics. This model supports the interpretation of Habitat A and C as the extremes of a gradient that characterizes the epibenthic assemblages, while Habitat B demonstrates intermediate characteristics. Areas of transition are a natural feature of the marine environment and may include a mixture of habitats and species. The habitats proposed are easy to identify in the field, are related to different environmental features, and may be suitable for application in studies focused on other geographic areas. The habitat

  8. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Modeling predator habitat to enhance reintroduction planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shiloh M. Halsey; William J. Zielinski; Robert M. Scheller

    2015-01-01

    Context The success of species reintroduction often depends on predation risk and spatial estimates of predator habitat. The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a species of conservation concern and populations in the western United States have declined substantially in the last century. Reintroduction plans are underway, but the ability...

  10. Multivariate model of female black bear habitat use for a Geographic Information System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clark, Joseph D.; Dunn, James E.; Smith, Kimberly G.

    1993-01-01

    Simple univariate statistical techniques may not adequately assess the multidimensional nature of habitats used by wildlife. Thus, we developed a multivariate method to model habitat-use potential using a set of female black bear (Ursus americanus) radio locations and habitat data consisting of forest cover type, elevation, slope, aspect, distance to roads, distance to streams, and forest cover type diversity score in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. The model is based on the Mahalanobis distance statistic coupled with Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. That statistic is a measure of dissimilarity and represents a standardized squared distance between a set of sample variates and an ideal based on the mean of variates associated with animal observations. Calculations were made with the GIS to produce a map containing Mahalanobis distance values within each cell on a 60- × 60-m grid. The model identified areas of high habitat use potential that could not otherwise be identified by independent perusal of any single map layer. This technique avoids many pitfalls that commonly affect typical multivariate analyses of habitat use and is a useful tool for habitat manipulation or mitigation to favor terrestrial vertebrates that use habitats on a landscape scale.

  11. Interfacing models of wildlife habitat and human development to predict the future distribution of puma habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burdett, Christopher L.; Crooks, Kevin R.; Theobald, David M.; Wilson, Kenneth R.; Boydston, Erin E.; Lyren, Lisa A.; Fisher, Robert N.; Vickers, T. Winston; Morrison, Scott A.; Boyce, Walter M.

    2010-01-01

    The impact of human land uses on ecological systems typically differ relative to how extensively natural conditions are modified. Exurban development is intermediate-intensity residential development that often occurs in natural landscapes. Most species-habitat models do not evaluate the effects of such intermediate levels of human development and even fewer predict how future development patterns might affect the amount and configuration of habitat. We addressed these deficiencies by interfacing a habitat model with a spatially-explicit housing-density model to study the effect of human land uses on the habitat of pumas (Puma concolor) in southern California. We studied the response of pumas to natural and anthropogenic features within their home ranges and how mortality risk varied across a gradient of human development. We also used our housing-density model to estimate past and future housing densities and model the distribution of puma habitat in 1970, 2000, and 2030. The natural landscape for pumas in our study area consisted of riparian areas, oak woodlands, and open, conifer forests embedded in a chaparral matrix. Pumas rarely incorporated suburban or urban development into their home ranges, which is consistent with the hypothesis that the behavioral decisions of individuals can be collectively manifested as population-limiting factors at broader spatial scales. Pumas incorporated rural and exurban development into their home ranges, apparently perceiving these areas as modified, rather than non-habitat. Overall, pumas used exurban areas less than expected and showed a neutral response to rural areas. However, individual pumas that selected for or showed a neutral response to exurban areas had a higher risk of mortality than pumas that selected against exurban habitat. Exurban areas are likely hotspots for puma-human conflict in southern California. Approximately 10% of our study area will transform from exurban, rural, or undeveloped areas to suburban or

  12. The search for life on Europa: limiting environmental factors, potential habitats, and Earth analogues.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marion, Giles M; Fritsen, Christian H; Eicken, Hajo; Payne, Meredith C

    2003-01-01

    The putative ocean of Europa has focused considerable attention on the potential habitats for life on Europa. By generally clement Earth standards, these Europan habitats are likely to be extreme environments. The objectives of this paper were to examine: (1) the limits for biological activity on Earth with respect to temperature, salinity, acidity, desiccation, radiation, pressure, and time; (2) potential habitats for life on Europa; and (3) Earth analogues and their limitations for Europa. Based on empirical evidence, the limits for biological activity on Earth are: (1) the temperature range is from 253 to 394 K; (2) the salinity range is a(H2O) = 0.6-1.0; (3) the desiccation range is from 60% to 100% relative humidity; (4) the acidity range is from pH 0 to 13; (5) microbes such as Deinococcus are roughly 4,000 times more resistant to ionizing radiation than humans; (6) the range for hydrostatic pressure is from 0 to 1,100 bars; and (7) the maximum time for organisms to survive in the dormant state may be as long as 250 million years. The potential habitats for life on Europa are the ice layer, the brine ocean, and the seafloor environment. The dual stresses of lethal radiation and low temperatures on or near the icy surface of Europa preclude the possibility of biological activity anywhere near the surface. Only at the base of the ice layer could one expect to find the suitable temperatures and liquid water that are necessary for life. An ice layer turnover time of 10 million years is probably rapid enough for preserving in the surface ice layers dormant life forms originating from the ocean. Model simulations demonstrate that hypothetical oceans could exist on Europa that are too cold for biological activity (T salinities are high, which would restrict life to extreme halophiles. An acidic ocean (if present) could also potentially limit life. Pressure, per se, is unlikely to directly limit life on Europa. But indirectly, pressure plays an important role in

  13. Suitable environmental ranges for potential coral reef habitats in the tropical ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guan, Yi; Hohn, Sönke; Merico, Agostino

    2015-01-01

    Coral reefs are found within a limited range of environmental conditions or tolerance limits. Estimating these limits is a critical prerequisite for understanding the impacts of climate change on the biogeography of coral reefs. Here we used the diagnostic model ReefHab to determine the current environmental tolerance limits for coral reefs and the global distribution of potential coral reef habitats as a function of six factors: temperature, salinity, nitrate, phosphate, aragonite saturation state, and light. To determine these tolerance limits, we extracted maximum and minimum values of all environmental variables in corresponding locations where coral reefs are present. We found that the global, annually averaged tolerance limits for coral reefs are 21.7-29.6 °C for temperature, 28.7-40.4 psu for salinity, 4.51 μmol L-1 for nitrate, 0.63 μmol L-1 for phosphate, and 2.82 for aragonite saturation state. The averaged minimum light intensity in coral reefs is 450 μmol photons m-2 s-1. The global area of potential reef habitats calculated by the model is 330.5 × 103 km2. Compared with previous studies, the tolerance limits for temperature, salinity, and nutrients have not changed much, whereas the minimum value of aragonite saturation in coral reef waters has decreased from 3.28 to 2.82. The potential reef habitat area calculated with ReefHab is about 121×103 km2 larger than the area estimated from the charted reefs, suggesting that the growth potential of coral reefs is higher than currently observed.

  14. Improving wildlife habitat model performance: Sensitivity to the scale and detail of vegetation measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Lance Jay, Jr.

    Monitoring the impacts of resource use and landscape change on wildlife habitat over large areas is a daunting assignment. Forest land managers could benefit from linking the frequent decisions of resource use (timber harvesting) with a system of wildlife habitat accounting, but to date these tools are not widely available. I examined aspects of wildlife habitat modeling that: (in Chapter 2) could potentially lead to the establishment of wildlife habitat accounting within a resource decision support tool, (in Chapter 3) improve our theoretical understanding and methods to interpret the accuracy of wildlife habitat models, (in Chapter 4) explore the effects of vegetation classification systems on wildlife habitat model results, and (in Chapter 5) show that forest structural estimates from satellite imagery can improve potential habitat distribution models (GAP) for forest bird species. The majority of the analyses in this dissertation were done using a forest resource inventory developed by the State of Michigan (IFMAP). Paired with field vegetation and bird samples from sites across the lower peninsula of Michigan, we compared the relative accuracy of wildlife habitat relationship models built with plot-scale vegetation samples and stand-scale forest inventory maps. Recursive partitioning trees were used to build wildlife habitat models for 30 bird species. The habitat distribution maps from the Michigan Gap Analysis (MIGAP) were used as a baseline for comparison of model accuracy results. Both the plot and stand-scale measurements achieved high accuracy and there were few large differences between plot and stand-scale models for any individual species. Where the plot and stand-scale models were different, they tended to be species associated with mixed habitats. This may be evidence that scale of vegetation measurement has a larger influence on species associated with edges and ecotones. Habitat models that were built solely with land cover data were less accurate

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffery L. Larkin

    2004-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gogol-Prokurat, Melanie

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Correlated percolation models of structured habitat in ecology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huth, Géraldine; Lesne, Annick; Munoz, François; Pitard, Estelle

    2014-12-01

    Percolation offers acknowledged models of random media when the relevant medium characteristics can be described as a binary feature. However, when considering habitat modeling in ecology, a natural constraint comes from nearest-neighbor correlations between the suitable/unsuitable states of the spatial units forming the habitat. Such constraints are also relevant in the physics of aggregation where underlying processes may lead to a form of correlated percolation. However, in ecology, the processes leading to habitat correlations are in general not known or very complex. As proposed by Hiebeler (2000), these correlations can be captured in a lattice model by an observable aggregation parameter q, supplementing the density p of suitable sites. We investigate this model as an instance of correlated percolation. We analyze the phase diagram of the percolation transition and compute the cluster size distribution, the pair-connectedness function C(r) and the correlation function g(r). We find that while g(r) displays a power-law decrease associated with long-range correlations in a wide domain of parameter values, critical properties are compatible with the universality class of uncorrelated percolation. We contrast the correlation structures obtained respectively for the correlated percolation model and for the Ising model, and show that the diversity of habitat configurations generated by the Hiebeler model is richer than the archetypal Ising model. We also find that emergent structural properties are peculiar to the implemented algorithm, leading to questioning the notion of a well-defined model of aggregated habitat. We conclude that the choice of model and algorithm has strong consequences on what insights ecological studies can get using such models of species habitat.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene D. Alabia

    2016-11-01

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

  20. Challenges of predicting the potential distribution of a slow-spreading invader: a habitat suitability map for an invasive riparian tree

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Reynolds, Lindsay V.

    2011-01-01

    Understanding the potential spread of invasive species is essential for land managers to prevent their establishment and restore impacted habitat. Habitat suitability modeling provides a tool for researchers and managers to understand the potential extent of invasive species spread. Our goal was to use habitat suitability modeling to map potential habitat of the riparian plant invader, Russian olive (Elaeagnus angustifolia). Russian olive has invaded riparian habitat across North America and is continuing to expand its range. We compiled 11 disparate datasets for Russian olive presence locations (n = 1,051 points and 139 polygons) in the western US and used Maximum entropy (Maxent) modeling to develop two habitat suitability maps for Russian olive in the western United States: one with coarse-scale water data and one with fine-scale water data. Our models were able to accurately predict current suitable Russian olive habitat (Coarse model: training AUC = 0.938, test AUC = 0.907; Fine model: training AUC = 0.923, test AUC = 0.885). Distance to water was the most important predictor for Russian olive presence in our coarse-scale water model, but it was only the fifth most important variable in the fine-scale model, suggesting that when water bodies are considered on a fine scale, Russian olive does not necessarily rely on water. Our model predicted that Russian olive has suitable habitat further west from its current distribution, expanding into the west coast and central North America. Our methodology proves useful for identifying potential future areas of invasion. Model results may be influenced by locations of cultivated individuals and sampling bias. Further study is needed to examine the potential for Russian olive to invade beyond its current range. Habitat suitability modeling provides an essential tool for enhancing our understanding of invasive species spread.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin E Poor

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

  2. Comparing Habitat Suitability and Connectivity Modeling Methods for Conserving Pronghorn Migrations

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Terrestrial long-distance migrations are declining globally: in North America, nearly 75% have been lost. Yet there has been limited research comparing habitat suitability and connectivity models to identify migration corridors across increasingly fragmented landscapes. Here we use pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) migrations in prairie habitat to compare two types of models that identify habitat suitability: maximum entropy (Maxent) and expert-based (Analytic Hierarchy Process). We used distance to wells, distance to water, NDVI, land cover, distance to roads, terrain shape and fence presence to parameterize the models. We then used the output of these models as cost surfaces to compare two common connectivity models, least-cost modeling (LCM) and circuit theory. Using pronghorn movement data from spring and fall migrations, we identified potential migration corridors by combining each habitat suitability model with each connectivity model. The best performing model combination was Maxent with LCM corridors across both seasons. Maxent out-performed expert-based habitat suitability models for both spring and fall migrations. However, expert-based corridors can perform relatively well and are a cost-effective alternative if species location data are unavailable. Corridors created using LCM out-performed circuit theory, as measured by the number of pronghorn GPS locations present within the corridors. We suggest the use of a tiered approach using different corridor widths for prioritizing conservation and mitigation actions, such as fence removal or conservation easements. PMID:23166656

  3. Potential Impacts and Management Implications of Climate Change on Tampa Bay Estuary Critical Coastal Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherwood, Edward T.; Greening, Holly S.

    2014-02-01

    The Tampa Bay estuary is a unique and valued ecosystem that currently thrives between subtropical and temperate climates along Florida's west-central coast. The watershed is considered urbanized (42 % lands developed); however, a suite of critical coastal habitats still persists. Current management efforts are focused toward restoring the historic balance of these habitat types to a benchmark 1950s period. We have modeled the anticipated changes to a suite of habitats within the Tampa Bay estuary using the sea level affecting marshes model under various sea level rise (SLR) scenarios. Modeled changes to the distribution and coverage of mangrove habitats within the estuary are expected to dominate the overall proportions of future critical coastal habitats. Modeled losses in salt marsh, salt barren, and coastal freshwater wetlands by 2100 will significantly affect the progress achieved in "Restoring the Balance" of these habitat types over recent periods. Future land management and acquisition priorities within the Tampa Bay estuary should consider the impending effects of both continued urbanization within the watershed and climate change. This requires the recognition that: (1) the Tampa Bay estuary is trending towards a mangrove-dominated system; (2) the current management paradigm of "Restoring the Balance" may no longer provide realistic, attainable goals; (3) restoration that creates habitat mosaics will prove more resilient in the future; and (4) establishing subtidal and upslope "refugia" may be a future strategy in this urbanized estuary to allow sensitive habitat types (e.g., seagrass and salt barren) to persist under anticipated climate change and SLR impacts.

  4. A Method to Analyze the Potential of Optical Remote Sensing for Benthic Habitat Mapping

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo A. Garcia

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Quantifying the number and type of benthic classes that are able to be spectrally identified in shallow water remote sensing is important in understanding its potential for habitat mapping. Factors that impact the effectiveness of shallow water habitat mapping include water column turbidity, depth, sensor and environmental noise, spectral resolution of the sensor and spectral variability of the benthic classes. In this paper, we present a simple hierarchical clustering method coupled with a shallow water forward model to generate water-column specific spectral libraries. This technique requires no prior decision on the number of classes to output: the resultant classes are optically separable above the spectral noise introduced by the sensor, image based radiometric corrections, the benthos’ natural spectral variability and the attenuating properties of a variable water column at depth. The modeling reveals the effect reducing the spectral resolution has on the number and type of classes that are optically distinct. We illustrate the potential of this clustering algorithm in an analysis of the conditions, including clustering accuracy, sensor spectral resolution and water column optical properties and depth that enabled the spectral distinction of the seagrass Amphibolis antartica from benthic algae.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  6. Modifying climate change habitat models using tree species-specific assessments of model uncertainty and life history-factors

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) to evaluate trees' potential responses to climate change are essential for developing appropriate forest management strategies. However, there is a great need to better understand these models' limitations and evaluate their uncertainties. We have previously developed statistical models of suitable habitat, based on both...

  7. Predicting Potential Habitat of Conifer and Broad-leaved Tree Using Environmental Variables and Seed Dispersal Ability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heo, H. K.; Lee, D. K.; Mo, Y.; Kim, H. G.

    2016-12-01

    Research into predicting potential species distribution within forests is ongoing in relation to forest management. Conifer and broad-leaved tree, two main distinctive components in forests which are important concerning the management of forest, are used to predict potential forest distribution. Regarding prediction of potential tree species habitat distribution, environmental variables are commonly used to determine conditions that species can inhabit. However, seed dispersal ability was not used in species distribution model because it reflects succession process which is difficult to use.In this research, in addition to environmental variables, distance value was used to represent seed dispersal ability to predict tree distribution. Research was done in Namsan (Mt.) Sangju-si, Gyeongsangbuk-do, Korea, where few tree species exist according to detailed vegetation map, as a case study. To analyze the suitable environmental conditions and dispersal ability of conifer and broad-leaved trees, past distribution changing patterns were used. Past forest distribution maps (1984, 1995, 2005 and 2014) were used which was classified by Landsat images. Using these results, potential habitats of conifer and broad-leaved trees were predicted for 2024 and 2034. Furthermore, to quantify the uncertainty of prediction, monte carlo simulation was proceeded. As a result, it was possible to predict potential habitats using environmental variables and seed dispersal ability. Moreover, the dispersal ability turned out to be an important variable to predict change of potential habitat.

  8. Potential Marine Benthic Habitat Map of Elkhorn Slough, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walton, K.; Garcia-Garcia, A.; Endris, C.

    2015-12-01

    While marine benthic habitat maps have been created for a big portion of California's coastline, the Elkhorn Slough Reserve lacks one. We have tentatively mapped its types of seafloor using a well-known classification system, which includes various types of large-scale and small-scale features, bottom induration, vegetation, surface texture, and slope. Seismic lines and sediment cores were collected to create the map. CSUMB's Seafloor Mapping Lab as well as the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve provided bathymetry, raster files, and shapefiles to be incorporated into the project. We divided the Slough into three main sections: the Lower, Central, and Upper Slough. Sand sediments were found in the Lower Slough, which is a high-energy environment, whilst mud or silt sediments dominated the rest of the Slough. Five classification categories were used to describe the Slough's seafloor: flat sand sediments, sloped sand sediments, flat mud sediments, sloped mud sediments, and eelgrass on sandy sediment. Bathymetry data was used to discuss the Slough's sediment erosion and accretion. This preliminary map can be used to understand the location of various marine habitats, which is important for the wildlife conservation and planning efforts in the Slough. Acknowledgments: CSUMB (chirp), Ron Eby (ESNEER), Geoff (Triton Imaging Inc.). The Non-Senate Faculty Professional Development Award 19900-433332-ESGARC and ONR grant N00014-14-1-0172 supported this research.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  10. Assessment of the impact of water power developments on fish habitat using a 2-dimensional hydrodynamic model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhou, R.D.; King, L.; Donnelly, C.R. [Hatch Acres, Niagara Falls, ON (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    Any work in river and lake systems must satisfy the Ontario Lakes and Rivers Act requirements for protecting fisheries habitat and related resources. Impacts must be assessed and mitigation measures identified to remediate the potential adverse impacts to fish passage or habitat. One popular methodology for evaluating and predicting the potential impacts that a water power facility may have on fish habitat is a procedure called Instream Flow Incremental Methodology (IFIM). IFIM is based on the understanding that fish have specific habitat preferences that vary for different species of fish and their different life stages. In order to investigate changes in physical fish habitat, a Physical Habitat Simulation Model (PHABSIM) was developed within the framework of IFIM. The model produces weighted usable area as a habitat measure. The fish habitat component of River-2D applies the same principles used by the PHABSIM model. An application of the River-2D model is described to allow for a transparent and scientifically defensible simulation of the changes that might occur to fish habitat following the construction of a new facility. Model results were then used to assess the need for and the design of mitigation measures for a proposed development in Ontario. The two-dimensional model was used to identify resting habitat areas within the affected river reach and predict the expected changes to fish habitat under operating conditions. It was concluded that a two-dimensional model has specific advantages over one-dimensional models, because of the ability to solve problems related to flow velocity and depth in specific areas that are not resolvable by one-dimensional models. 8 refs., 7 figs.

  11. Mosquito habitat and dengue risk potential in Kenya: alternative methods to traditional risk mapping techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David F. Attaway

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Outbreaks, epidemics and endemic conditions make dengue a disease that has emerged as a major threat in tropical and sub-tropical countries over the past 30 years. Dengue fever creates a growing burden for public health systems and has the potential to affect over 40% of the world population. The problem being investigated is to identify the highest and lowest areas of dengue risk. This paper presents “Similarity Search”, a geospatial analysis aimed at identifying these locations with- in Kenya. Similarity Search develops a risk map by combining environmental susceptibility analysis and geographical infor- mation systems, and then compares areas with dengue prevalence to all other locations. Kenya has had outbreaks of dengue during the past 3 years, and we identified areas with the highest susceptibility to dengue infection using bioclimatic variables, elevation and mosquito habitat as input to the model. Comparison of the modelled risk map with the reported dengue epi- demic cases obtained from the open source reporting ProMED and Government news reports from 1982-2013 confirmed the high-risk locations that were used as the Similarity Search presence cells. Developing the risk model based upon the bio- climatic variables, elevation and mosquito habitat increased the efficiency and effectiveness of the dengue fever risk mapping process.

  12. Mosquito habitat and dengue risk potential in Kenya: alternative methods to traditional risk mapping techniques.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Attaway, David F; Jacobsen, Kathryn H; Falconer, Allan; Manca, Germana; Rosenshein Bennett, Lauren; Waters, Nigel M

    2014-11-01

    Outbreaks, epidemics and endemic conditions make dengue a disease that has emerged as a major threat in tropical and sub-tropical countries over the past 30 years. Dengue fever creates a growing burden for public health systems and has the potential to affect over 40% of the world population. The problem being investigated is to identify the highest and lowest areas of dengue risk. This paper presents "Similarity Search", a geospatial analysis aimed at identifying these locations within Kenya. Similarity Search develops a risk map by combining environmental susceptibility analysis and geographical information systems, and then compares areas with dengue prevalence to all other locations. Kenya has had outbreaks of dengue during the past 3 years, and we identified areas with the highest susceptibility to dengue infection using bioclimatic variables, elevation and mosquito habitat as input to the model. Comparison of the modelled risk map with the reported dengue epidemic cases obtained from the open source reporting ProMED and Government news reports from 1982-2013 confirmed the high-risk locations that were used as the Similarity Search presence cells. Developing the risk model based upon the bioclimatic variables, elevation and mosquito habitat increased the efficiency and effectiveness of the dengue fever risk mapping process.

  13. Potential climate change effects on the habitat of antarctic krill in the weddell quadrant of the southern ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Simeon L Hill

    Full Text Available Antarctic krill is a cold water species, an increasingly important fishery resource and a major prey item for many fish, birds and mammals in the Southern Ocean. The fishery and the summer foraging sites of many of these predators are concentrated between 0° and 90°W. Parts of this quadrant have experienced recent localised sea surface warming of up to 0.2°C per decade, and projections suggest that further widespread warming of 0.27° to 1.08°C will occur by the late 21(st century. We assessed the potential influence of this projected warming on Antarctic krill habitat with a statistical model that links growth to temperature and chlorophyll concentration. The results divide the quadrant into two zones: a band around the Antarctic Circumpolar Current in which habitat quality is particularly vulnerable to warming, and a southern area which is relatively insensitive. Our analysis suggests that the direct effects of warming could reduce the area of growth habitat by up to 20%. The reduction in growth habitat within the range of predators, such as Antarctic fur seals, that forage from breeding sites on South Georgia could be up to 55%, and the habitat's ability to support Antarctic krill biomass production within this range could be reduced by up to 68%. Sensitivity analysis suggests that the effects of a 50% change in summer chlorophyll concentration could be more significant than the direct effects of warming. A reduction in primary production could lead to further habitat degradation but, even if chlorophyll increased by 50%, projected warming would still cause some degradation of the habitat accessible to predators. While there is considerable uncertainty in these projections, they suggest that future climate change could have a significant negative effect on Antarctic krill growth habitat and, consequently, on Southern Ocean biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  14. Linking Fish Habitat Modelling and Sediment Transport in Running Waters

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Andreas; EISNER; Silke; WIEPRECHT; Matthias; SCHNEIDER

    2005-01-01

    The assessment of ecological status for running waters is one of the major issues within an integrated river basin management and plays a key role with respect to the implementation of the European Water Frame- work Directive (WFD).One of the tools supporting the development of sustainable river management is physi- cal habitat modeling,e.g.,for fish,because fish population are one of the most important indicators for the e- colngical integrity of rivers.Within physical habitat models hydromorphological ...

  15. Remote sensing for predicting potential habitats of Oncomelania hupensis in Hongze, Baima and Gaoyou lakes in Jiangsu province, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Guo-Jing; Vounatsou, Penelope; Tanner, Marcel; Zhou, Xiao-Nong; Utzinger, Jürg

    2006-11-01

    Political and health sector reforms, along with demographic, environmental and socio-economic transformations in the face of global warming, could cause the re-emergence of schistosomiasis in areas where transmission has been successfully interrupted and its emergence in previously non-endemic areas in China. In the present study, we used geographic information systems and remote sensing techniques to predict potential habitats of Oncomelania hupensis, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma japonicum. Focussing on the Hongze, Baima and Gaoyou lakes in Jiangsu province in eastern China, we developed a model using the normalized difference vegetation index, a tasseled-cap transformed wetness index, and flooding areas to predict snail habitats at a small scale. Data were extracted from two Landsat images, one taken during a typical dry year and the other obtained three years later during a flooding event. An area of approximately 163.6 km2 was predicted as potential O. hupensis habitats around the three lakes, which accounts for 4.3% of the estimated snail habitats in China. In turn, these predicted snail habitats are risk areas for transmission of schistosomiasis, and hence illustrate the scale of the possible impact of climate change and other ecological transformations. The generated risk map can be used by health policy makers to guide mitigation policies targetting the possible spread of O. hupensis, and with the aim of containing the transmission of S. japonicum.

  16. Remote sensing for predicting potential habitats of Oncomelania hupensis in Hongze, Baima and Gaoyou lakes in Jiangsu province, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Guo-Jing Yang

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Political and health sector reforms, along with demographic, environmental and socio-economic transformations in the face of global warming, could cause the re-emergence of schistosomiasis in areas where transmission has been successfully interrupted and its emergence in previously non-endemic areas in China. In the present study, we used geographic information systems and remote sensing techniques to predict potential habitats of Oncomelania hupensis, the intermediate host snail of Schistosoma japonicum. Focussing on the Hongze, Baima and Gaoyou lakes in Jiangsu province in eastern China, we developed a model using the normalized difference vegetation index, a tasseled-cap transformed wetness index, and flooding areas to predict snail habitats at a small scale. Data were extracted from two Landsat images, one taken during a typical dry year and the other obtained three years later during a flooding event. An area of approximately 163.6 km2 was predicted as potential O. hupensis habitats around the three lakes, which accounts for 4.3% of the estimated snail habitats in China. In turn, these predicted snail habitats are risk areas for transmission of schistosomiasis, and hence illustrate the scale of the possible impact of climate change and other ecological transformations. The generated risk map can be used by health policy makers to guide mitigation policies targetting the possible spread of O. hupensis, and with the aim of containing the transmission of S. japonicum.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Vanderwel

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laura Cardador

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

  19. Predictive Habitat Modelling as a Tool to Assess the Change in Distribution and Extent of an OSPAR Priority Habitat under an Increased Ocean Temperature Scenario: Consequences for Marine Protected Area Networks and Management

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    The aims of this study were to determine the extent and distribution of an OSPAR priority habitat under current baseline ocean temperatures; to illustrate the prospect for habitat loss under a changing ocean temperature scenario; and to demonstrate the potential application of predictive habitat mapping in "future-proofing" conservation and biodiversity management. Maxent modelling and GIS environmental envelope analysis of the biogenic bed forming species, Modiolus modiolus was carried out. ...

  20. Landscape models of brook trout abundance and distribution in lotic habitat with field validation

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKenna, James E.; Johnson, James H.

    2011-01-01

    Brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis are native fish in decline owing to environmental changes. Predictions of their potential distribution and a better understanding of their relationship to habitat conditions would enhance the management and conservation of this valuable species. We used over 7,800 brook trout observations throughout New York State and georeferenced, multiscale landscape condition data to develop four regionally specific artificial neural network models to predict brook trout abundance in rivers and streams. Land cover data provided a general signature of human activity, but other habitat variables were resistant to anthropogenic changes (i.e., changing on a geological time scale). The resulting models predict the potential for any stream to support brook trout. The models were validated by holding 20% of the data out as a test set and by comparison with additional field collections from a variety of habitat types. The models performed well, explaining more than 90% of data variability. Errors were often associated with small spatial displacements of predicted values. When compared with the additional field collections (39 sites), 92% of the predictions were off by only a single class from the field-observed abundances. Among “least-disturbed” field collection sites, all predictions were correct or off by a single abundance class, except for one where brown trout Salmo trutta were present. Other degrading factors were evident at most sites where brook trout were absent or less abundant than predicted. The most important habitat variables included landscape slope, stream and drainage network sizes, water temperature, and extent of forest cover. Predicted brook trout abundances were applied to all New York streams, providing a synoptic map of the distribution of brook trout habitat potential. These fish models set benchmarks of best potential for streams to support brook trout under broad-scale human influences and can assist with planning and

  1. Simulated Spatial Distribution of the Yunnan Snub-nosed Monkey’s Potential Habitat using SPOT5 image in Laojun Mountain Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Li

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available The Yunnan snub-nosed monkey is one of the world’s 25 most endangered primate species and it is endemic to China. The Laojun Mountain Area (LMA provides significant habitat for the monkey and “corridor” in the whole distribution area, but it is suffering from loss of habitat and shrinking population size. The spatial distribution pattern of the potential habitat distribution is very important for designing biological corridors. Despite the fact that it has been existence for many years, little is know about the potential habitat distribution in the study site. To get the distribution pattern of the potential habitat, this study is based on the “3S” (GIS-Geography Information System, RS-Remote Sensing, GPS-Global Positioning Systemtechniques and multiple group discriminant analysis(MGDA in SAS to develop a spatial model in the Laojun Mountain Area (about 7,231 km2 to simulate the Yunnan snub-nosed monkey’s potential habitat situation. The study results indicated that a significant difference was found when comparing the predicated potential suitable habitat with existing. The predicated area was 6,226 km2, accounting for 86.59% of the total area, was much greater than the existing one of 2,802 km2, accounting for 38.74% of the total area, and the connectivity of the predicated one was also much stronger.

  2. Potential impacts of climate change on flow regime and fish habitat in mountain rivers of the south-western Balkans.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadaki, Christina; Soulis, Konstantinos; Muñoz-Mas, Rafael; Martinez-Capel, Francisco; Zogaris, Stamatis; Ntoanidis, Lazaros; Dimitriou, Elias

    2016-01-01

    The climate change in the Mediterranean area is expected to have significant impacts on the aquatic ecosystems and particular in the mountain rivers and streams that often host important species such as the Salmo farioides, Karaman 1938. These impacts will most possibly affect the habitat availability for various aquatic species resulting to an essential alteration of the water requirements, either for dams or other water abstractions, in order to maintain the essential levels of ecological flow for the rivers. The main scope of this study was to assess potential climate change impacts on the hydrological patterns and typical biota for a south-western Balkan mountain river, the Acheloos. The altered flow regimes under different emission scenarios of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) were estimated using a hydrological model and based on regional climate simulations over the study area. The Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) methodology was then used to assess the potential streamflow alterations in the studied river due to predicted climate change conditions. A fish habitat simulation method integrating univariate habitat suitability curves and hydraulic modeling techniques were used to assess the impacts on the relationships between the aquatic biota and hydrological status utilizing a sentinel species, the West Balkan trout. The most prominent effects of the climate change scenarios depict severe flow reductions that are likely to occur especially during the summer flows, changing the duration and depressing the magnitude of the natural low flow conditions. Weighted Usable Area-flow curves indicated the limitation of suitable habitat for the native trout. Finally, this preliminary application highlighted the potential of science-based hydrological and habitat simulation approaches that are relevant to both biological quality elements (fish) and current EU Water policy to serve as efficient tools for the estimation of possible climate

  3. Identifying potential habitat for the endangered Aleutian shield fern using topographical characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duarte, Adam; Wolcott, Daniel M.; Chow, T. Edwin

    2012-01-01

    The Aleutian shield fern Polystichum aleuticum is endemic to the Aleutian archipelago of Alaska and is listed as endangered pursuant to the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Despite numerous efforts to discover new populations of this species, only four known populations are documented to date, and information is needed to prioritize locations for future surveys. Therefore, we incorporated topographical habitat characteristics (elevation, slope, aspect, distance from coastline, and anthropogenic footprint) found at known Aleutian shield fern locations into a Geographical Information System (GIS) model to create a habitat suitability map for the entirety of the Andreaonof Islands. A total of 18 islands contained 489.26 km2 of highly suitable and moderately suitable habitat when weighting each factor equally. This study reports a habitat suitability map for the endangered Aleutian shield fern using topographical characteristics, which can be used to assist current and future recovery efforts for the species.

  4. Effects of Changes in Lugu Lake Water Quality on Schizothorax Yunnansis Ecological Habitat Based on HABITAT Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Wei; Mynnet, Arthur

    Schizothorax Yunnansis is an unique fish species only existing in Lugu Lake, which is located in the southwestern China. The simulation and research on Schizothorax Yunnansis habitat environment have a vital significance to protect this rare fish. With the development of the tourism industry, there bring more pressure on the environmental protection. The living environment of Schizothorax Yunnansis is destroyed seriously because the water quality is suffering the sustaining pollution of domestic sewage from the peripheral villages. This paper analyzes the relationship between water quality change and Schizothorax Yunnansis ecological habitat and evalutes Schizothorax Yunnansis's ecological habitat impact based on HABITAT model. The results show that when the TP concentration in Lugu Lake does not exceed Schizothorax Yunnansis's survival threshold, Schizothorax Yunnansis can get more nutrients and the suitable habitat area for itself is increased. Conversely, it can lead to TP toxicity in the Schizothorax Yunnansis and even death. Therefore, unsuitable habitat area for Schizothorax Yunnansis is increased. It can be seen from the results that HABITAT model can assist in ecological impact assessment studies by translating results of hydrological, water quality models into effects on the natural environment and human society.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  6. Modeling the Geography of Migratory Pathways and Stopover Habitats for Neotropical Migratory Birds

    OpenAIRE

    Roger Tankersley, Jr.; Kenneth Orvis

    2003-01-01

    Intact migratory routes are critical for the stability of forest-dwelling, neotropical, migratory bird populations, and mortality along migratory pathways may be significant. Yet we know almost nothing about the geography of available stopovers or the possible migratory pathways that connect optimal stopovers. We undertake a spatial analysis of stopover habitat availability and then model potential migratory pathways between optimal stopovers in the eastern United States. Using models of fixe...

  7. Synergistic impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on model ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartlett, Lewis J; Newbold, Tim; Purves, Drew W; Tittensor, Derek P; Harfoot, Michael B J

    2016-09-28

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity, yet separating their effects is challenging. We use a multi-trophic, trait-based, and spatially explicit general ecosystem model to examine the independent and synergistic effects of these processes on ecosystem structure. We manipulated habitat by removing plant biomass in varying spatial extents, intensities, and configurations. We found that emergent synergistic interactions of loss and fragmentation are major determinants of ecosystem response, including population declines and trophic pyramid shifts. Furthermore, trait-mediated interactions, such as a disproportionate sensitivity of large-sized organisms to fragmentation, produce significant effects in shaping responses. We also show that top-down regulation mitigates the effects of land use on plant biomass loss, suggesting that models lacking these interactions-including most carbon stock models-may not adequately capture land-use change impacts. Our results have important implications for understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change, and assessing the impacts of habitat fragmentation. © 2016 The Authors.

  8. Virtual Construction of Space Habitats: Connecting Building Information Models (BIM) and SysML

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polit-Casillas, Raul; Howe, A. Scott

    2013-01-01

    Current trends in design, construction and management of complex projects make use of Building Information Models (BIM) connecting different types of data to geometrical models. This information model allow different types of analysis beyond pure graphical representations. Space habitats, regardless their size, are also complex systems that require the synchronization of many types of information and disciplines beyond mass, volume, power or other basic volumetric parameters. For this, the state-of-the-art model based systems engineering languages and processes - for instance SysML - represent a solid way to tackle this problem from a programmatic point of view. Nevertheless integrating this with a powerful geometrical architectural design tool with BIM capabilities could represent a change in the workflow and paradigm of space habitats design applicable to other aerospace complex systems. This paper shows some general findings and overall conclusions based on the ongoing research to create a design protocol and method that practically connects a systems engineering approach with a BIM architectural and engineering design as a complete Model Based Engineering approach. Therefore, one hypothetical example is created and followed during the design process. In order to make it possible this research also tackles the application of IFC categories and parameters in the aerospace field starting with the application upon the space habitats design as way to understand the information flow between disciplines and tools. By building virtual space habitats we can potentially improve in the near future the way more complex designs are developed from very little detail from concept to manufacturing.

  9. Virtual Construction of Space Habitats: Connecting Building Information Models (BIM) and SysML

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polit-Casillas, Raul; Howe, A. Scott

    2013-01-01

    Current trends in design, construction and management of complex projects make use of Building Information Models (BIM) connecting different types of data to geometrical models. This information model allow different types of analysis beyond pure graphical representations. Space habitats, regardless their size, are also complex systems that require the synchronization of many types of information and disciplines beyond mass, volume, power or other basic volumetric parameters. For this, the state-of-the-art model based systems engineering languages and processes - for instance SysML - represent a solid way to tackle this problem from a programmatic point of view. Nevertheless integrating this with a powerful geometrical architectural design tool with BIM capabilities could represent a change in the workflow and paradigm of space habitats design applicable to other aerospace complex systems. This paper shows some general findings and overall conclusions based on the ongoing research to create a design protocol and method that practically connects a systems engineering approach with a BIM architectural and engineering design as a complete Model Based Engineering approach. Therefore, one hypothetical example is created and followed during the design process. In order to make it possible this research also tackles the application of IFC categories and parameters in the aerospace field starting with the application upon the space habitats design as way to understand the information flow between disciplines and tools. By building virtual space habitats we can potentially improve in the near future the way more complex designs are developed from very little detail from concept to manufacturing.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Saki

    2013-03-01

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

  11. Synergistic impacts of habitat loss and fragmentation on model ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Purves, Drew W.; Tittensor, Derek P.; Harfoot, Michael B. J.

    2016-01-01

    Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity, yet separating their effects is challenging. We use a multi-trophic, trait-based, and spatially explicit general ecosystem model to examine the independent and synergistic effects of these processes on ecosystem structure. We manipulated habitat by removing plant biomass in varying spatial extents, intensities, and configurations. We found that emergent synergistic interactions of loss and fragmentation are major determinants of ecosystem response, including population declines and trophic pyramid shifts. Furthermore, trait-mediated interactions, such as a disproportionate sensitivity of large-sized organisms to fragmentation, produce significant effects in shaping responses. We also show that top-down regulation mitigates the effects of land use on plant biomass loss, suggesting that models lacking these interactions—including most carbon stock models—may not adequately capture land-use change impacts. Our results have important implications for understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change, and assessing the impacts of habitat fragmentation. PMID:27655763

  12. Assessing and modeling moose (Alces alces) habitats with airborne laser scanning data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melin, M.; Packalén, P.; Matala, J.; Mehtätalo, L.; Pusenius, J.

    2013-08-01

    In the analysis of forest resources, the use of ALS (airborne laser scanning) enables detailed three dimensional (3D) descriptions of forests and their vegetation. Simultaneously, ecologists have recognized that 3D information on vegetation is highly important in analyzing the habitat suitability of a given site. Recently, animals’ habitat preferences have been analyzed, for example, with GPS-collared animals. This has resulted in detailed knowledge about the animals’ movements both spatially and temporally. This study combines 3D information on vegetation obtained from ALS data with information about animal locations from GPS data. The aim was to map and analyze the habitat preferences of moose. The study area was located on the west coast of Finland. The data consisted of 18 GPS-collared moose (monitored from 2009 to 2010) and ALS data collected in 2010. We investigated how habitat structure changes as a function of distance to observed moose locations and how observed moose locations differ from randomly selected locations in terms of 3D structure. We also created a model-based habitat suitability map and tested it against moose occurrences. The results suggested that there are clear differences between the areas occupied and not occupied by moose and that these differences can be detected from ALS data. More importantly, ALS proved its potential in linking 3D descriptions of vegetation directly to observed moose locations without any proxy variables. These observations strongly support future studies.

  13. Conserving intertidal habitats: What is the potential of ecological engineering to mitigate impacts of coastal structures?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkins, Matthew J.; Ng, Terence P. T.; Dudgeon, David; Bonebrake, Timothy C.; Leung, Kenneth M. Y.

    2015-12-01

    and services, prohibits quantification of absolute and relative magnitudes of ecological impacts due to coastal structures or effectiveness of mitigation interventions. This knowledge deficit restricts evaluation of the potential of ecological engineering to contribute to conservation policies for intertidal habitats. To improve mitigation design and effectiveness, a greater focus on in-situ research is needed, requiring stronger and timely collaboration between government agencies, construction partners and research scientists.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-05-05

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. Evaluate the Restoration Potential of Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon Spawning Habitat, Status Report 2006.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanrahan, T.P. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    2009-01-08

    The Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) Project 2003-038-00, Evaluate the restoration potential of Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat, began in FY04 (15 December 2003) and continues into FY06. This status report is intended to summarize accomplishments during FY04 and FY05. Accomplishments are summarized by Work Elements, as detailed in the Statement of Work (see BPA's project management database PISCES). This project evaluates the restoration potential of mainstem habitats for fall Chinook salmon. The studies address two research questions: 'Are there sections not currently used by spawning fall Chinook salmon within the impounded lower Snake River that possess the physical characteristics for potentially suitable fall Chinook spawning habitat?' and 'Can hydrosystem operations affecting these sections be adjusted such that the sections closely resemble the physical characteristics of current fall Chinook salmon spawning areas in similar physical settings?' Efforts are focused at two study sites: (1) the Ice Harbor Dam tailrace downstream to the Columbia River confluence, and (2) the Lower Granite Dam tailrace. Our previous studies indicated that these two areas have the highest potential for restoring Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat. The study sites will be evaluated under existing structural configurations at the dams (i.e., without partial removal of a dam structure), and alternative operational scenarios (e.g., varying forebay/tailwater elevations). The areas studied represent tailwater habitat (i.e., riverine segments extending from a dam downstream to the backwater influence from the next dam downstream). We are using a reference site, indicative of current fall Chinook salmon spawning areas in tailwater habitat, against which to compare the physical characteristics of each study site. The reference site for tailwater habitats is the section extending downstream from the Wanapum Dam tailrace on the

  17. Bacterial Community Composition and Potential Driving Factors in Different Reef Habitats of the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hauke F. Kegler

    2017-04-01

    Full Text Available Coastal eutrophication is a key driver of shifts in bacterial communities on coral reefs. With fringing and patch reefs at varying distances from the coast the Spermonde Archipelago in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia offers ideal conditions to study the effects of coastal eutrophication along a spatially defined gradient. The present study investigated bacterial community composition of three coral reef habitats: the water column, sediments, and mucus of the hard coral genus Fungia, along that cross-shelf environmental and water quality gradient. The main research questions were: (1 How do water quality and bacterial community composition change along a coastal shelf gradient? (2 Which water quality parameters influence bacterial community composition? (3 Is there a difference in bacterial community composition among the investigated habitats? For this purpose, a range of key water parameters were measured at eight stations in distances from 2 to 55 km from urban Makassar. This was supplemented by sampling of bacterial communities of important microbial habitats using 454 pyrosequencing. Findings revealed that the population center Makassar had a strong effect on the concentrations of Chlorophyll a, suspended particulate matter (SPM, and transparent exopolymer particles (TEP, which were all significantly elevated at the inshore compared the other seven sites. Shifts in the bacterial communities were specific to each sampled habitat. Two OTUs, belonging to the genera Escherichia/Shigella (Gammaproteobacteria and Ralstonia (Betaproteobacteria, respectively, both dominated the bacterial community composition of the both size fractions of the water column and coral mucus. The sampled reef sediments were more diverse, and no single OTUs was dominant. There was no gradual shift in bacterial classes or OTUs within the sampled habitats. In addition, we observed very distinct communities between the investigated habitats. Our data show strong changes in the

  18. Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in southwest Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  19. Remote identification of potential polar bear maternal denning habitat in northern Alaska using airborne LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, B. M.; Durner, G. M.; Stoker, J.; Shideler, R.; Perham, C.; Liston, G. E.

    2013-12-01

    Polar bear (Ursus maritimus) populations throughout the Arctic are being threatened by reductions in critical sea ice habitat. Throughout much of their range, polar bears give birth to their young in winter dens that are excavated in snowdrifts. New-born cubs, which are unable to survive exposure to Arctic winter weather, require 2-3 months of the relatively warm, stable, and undisturbed environment of the den for their growth. In the southern Beaufort Sea (BS), polar bears may den on the Alaskan Arctic Coastal Plain (ACP).The proportion of dens occurring on land has increased because of reductions in stable multi-year ice, increases in unconsolidated ice, and lengthening of the fall open-water period. Large portions of the ACP are currently being used for oil and gas activities and proposed projects will likely expand this footprint in the near future. Since petroleum exploration and development activities increase during winter there is the potential for human activities to disturb polar bears in maternal dens. Thus, maps showing the potential distribution of terrestrial denning habitat can help to mitigate negative interactions. Prior remote sensing efforts have consisted of manual interpretation of vertical aerial photography and automated classification of Interferometric Synthetic Aperture (IfSAR) derived digital terrain models (DTM) (5-m spatial resolution) focused on the identification of snowdrift forming landscape features. In this study, we assess the feasibility of airborne Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data (2-m spatial resolution) for the automated classification of potential polar bear maternal denning habitat in a 1,400 km2 area on the central portion of the ACP. The study region spans the BS coast from the Prudhoe Bay oilfield in the west to near Point Thompson in the east and extends inland from 10 to 30 km. Approximately 800 km2 of the study area contains 19 known den locations, 51 field survey sites with information on bank height and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stephenson, N. M.

    2016-12-01

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

  1. Roosting behaviour and habitat selection of Pteropus giganteus reveals potential links to Nipah virus epidemiology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Micah B; Epstein, Jonathan H; Gurley, Emily S; Islam, Mohammad S; Luby, Stephen P; Daszak, Peter; Patz, Jonathan A

    2014-04-01

    1. Flying foxes Pteropus spp. play a key role in forest regeneration as seed dispersers and are also the reservoir of many viruses, including Nipah virus in Bangladesh. Little is known about their habitat requirements, particularly in South Asia. Identifying Pteropus habitat preferences could assist in understanding the risk of zoonotic disease transmission broadly, and in Bangladesh, could help explain the spatial distribution of human Nipah virus cases. 2. We analysed characteristics of Pteropus giganteus roosts and constructed an ecological niche model to identify suitable habitat in Bangladesh. We also assessed the distribution of suitable habitat in relation to the location of human Nipah virus cases. 3. Compared to non-roost trees, P. giganteus roost trees are taller with larger diameters, and are more frequently canopy trees. Colony size was larger in densely forested regions and smaller in flood-affected areas. Roosts were located in areas with lower annual precipitation and higher human population density than non-roost sites. 4. We predicted that 2-17% of Bangladesh's land area is suitable roosting habitat. Nipah virus outbreak villages were 2.6 times more likely to be located in areas predicted as highly suitable habitat for P. giganteus compared to non-outbreak villages. 5. Synthesis and applications. Habitat suitability modelling may help identify previously undocumented Nipah outbreak locations and improve our understanding of Nipah virus ecology by highlighting regions where there is suitable bat habitat but no reported human Nipah virus. Conservation and public health education is a key component of P. giganteus management in Bangladesh due to the general misunderstanding and fear of bats that are a reservoir of Nipah virus. Affiliation between Old World fruit bats (Pteropodidae) and people is common throughout their range, and in order to conserve these keystone bat species and prevent emergence of zoonotic viruses, it is imperative that we

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Western Monarch and Milkweed Habitat Suitability Modeling Project- MaxEnt Model Outputs

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Products include relative habitat suitability models of five milkweed species thought to be important to western monarchs that enough data points to allow for...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. The Importance of Supratidal Habitats for Wintering Shorebirds and the Potential Impacts of Shrimp Aquaculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yasué, M.; Dearden, P.

    2009-06-01

    Intensive black tiger shrimp ( Penaeus monodon) aquaculture ponds have replaced significant areas of coastal wetlands throughout tropical Asia. Few studies have assessed potential impacts on avian foraging habitats. At Khao Sam Roi Yod National Park, Thailand, seminatural wetlands have been converted to either shrimp ponds or to salinization ponds that provide saline water for shrimp aquaculture. Although shorebirds cannot feed in aquaculture ponds, hypersaline ponds can provide productive foraging areas. Thus, the overall impact of the shrimp industry on shorebirds depends partly on the relative quality of the salt ponds compared to seminatural wetlands. In this study, we examined wintering shorebird use of tidal ( N = 5 sites) and supratidal areas (four wetland sites, four salt pond sites) and compared the shorebird community (14 species), prey availability, profitability, and disturbance rates between wetlands and salt ponds. Two shorebird species fed in higher densities in wetlands, whereas seven species were more abundant in salt ponds. Large juvenile fish and dragonfly larvae were more abundant in wetlands, whereas there were more small Chironomid midge and fly larvae in salt ponds. We conclude that salt ponds might provide higher-quality foraging habitats compared to wetlands for small shorebirds species because of the abundance of small larvae. However, the shrimp aquaculture industry reduces habitat availability for shorebirds feeding on larger prey. This study demonstrates a comprehensive, multispecies approach to assess the impacts of a large-scale change in coastal habitats for wintering shorebirds.

  7. GIS-based niche modeling for mapping species' habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotenberry, John T; Preston, Kristine L; Knick, Steven T

    2006-06-01

    Ecological "niche modeling" using presence-only locality data and large-scale environmental variables provides a powerful tool for identifying and mapping suitable habitat for species over large spatial extents. We describe a niche modeling approach that identifies a minimum (rather than an optimum) set of basic habitat requirements for a species, based on the assumption that constant environmental relationships in a species' distribution (i.e., variables that maintain a consistent value where the species occurs) are most likely to be associated with limiting factors. Environmental variables that take on a wide range of values where a species occurs are less informative because they do not limit a species' distribution, at least over the range of variation sampled. This approach is operationalized by partitioning Mahalanobis D2 (standardized difference between values of a set of environmental variables for any point and mean values for those same variables calculated from all points at which a species was detected) into independent components. The smallest of these components represents the linear combination of variables with minimum variance; increasingly larger components represent larger variances and are increasingly less limiting. We illustrate this approach using the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica Brewster) and provide SAS code to implement it.

  8. Modeling Protected Species Habitat and Assigning Risk to Inform Regulatory Decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Montgomery, Robert A.; Rubeck-Schurtz, C. Nichole; Millenbah, Kelly F.; Roloff, Gary J.; Whalon, Mark E.; Olsen, Larry G.

    2009-07-01

    In the United States, environmental regulatory agencies are required to use “best available” scientific information when making decisions on a variety of issues. However, agencies are often hindered by coarse or incomplete data, particularly as it pertains to threatened and endangered species protection. Stakeholders often agree that more resolute and integrated processes for decision-making are desirable. We demonstrate a process that uses species occurrence data for a federally endangered insect (Karner blue butterfly), a readily available habitat modeling tool, and spatially explicit information about an important Michigan commodity (tart cherries). This case study has characteristics of many protected species regulatory decisions in that species occurrence data were sparse and unequally distributed; regulatory decisions (on pesticide use) were required with potentially significant impacts on a viable agricultural industry; and stakeholder relations were diverse, misinformed, and, in some situations, unjustly contentious. Results from our process include a large-scale, empirically derived habitat suitability map for the focal species and a risk ranking of tart cherry orchards with risk based on the likelihood that pesticide applications will influence the focal protected species. Although the majority (77%) of pesticide-influence zones overlapped Karner blue butterfly habitat, risk scores associated with each orchard were low. Through our process we demonstrated that spatially explicit models can help stakeholders visualize and quantify potential protected species effects. In addition, model outputs can serve to guide field activities (e.g., species surveys and implementation of pesticide buffer zones) that help minimize future effects.

  9. Predicting extinction risks under climate change: coupling stochastic population models with dynamic bioclimatic habitat models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keith, David A; Akçakaya, H Resit; Thuiller, Wilfried; Midgley, Guy F; Pearson, Richard G; Phillips, Steven J; Regan, Helen M; Araújo, Miguel B; Rebelo, Tony G

    2008-10-23

    Species responses to climate change may be influenced by changes in available habitat, as well as population processes, species interactions and interactions between demographic and landscape dynamics. Current methods for assessing these responses fail to provide an integrated view of these influences because they deal with habitat change or population dynamics, but rarely both. In this study, we linked a time series of habitat suitability models with spatially explicit stochastic population models to explore factors that influence the viability of plant species populations under stable and changing climate scenarios in South African fynbos, a global biodiversity hot spot. Results indicate that complex interactions between life history, disturbance regime and distribution pattern mediate species extinction risks under climate change. Our novel mechanistic approach allows more complete and direct appraisal of future biotic responses than do static bioclimatic habitat modelling approaches, and will ultimately support development of more effective conservation strategies to mitigate biodiversity losses due to climate change.

  10. Flow and sediment-transport modeling of Kootenai River White Sturgeon Spawning Habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonald, R. R.; Nelson, J.; Barton, G.; Paragamian, V.

    2004-12-01

    The population of White Sturgeon in the Kootenai River downstream of Libby Dam in Montana and Idaho has declined since the construction of the dam in 1972. The White Sturgeon was listed as endangered in 1994 and an 11.2 mile reach of the river, downstream of Bonners Ferry, Idaho was designated as Critical Habitat in 2001. It is hypothesized that hydro-electric and flood control operations have contributed to poor spawning habitat and recruitment of juvenile fish. The successful incubation of eggs requires a stable and coarse bed material. Currently the sturgeon are spawning in a reach of poor substrate consisting of dunes up to 2 meters in amplitude and composed of fine sand while a short distance upstream there is suitable substrate of coarse gravel. We present here the preliminary results of a flow and sediment-transport modeling effort to aid in an understanding of both the current spawning habitat of the White Sturgeon and the potential to artificially enhance the current spawning habitat or to influence the sturgeon to move upstream to more suitable habitat. A 2.5 dimensional flow model was constructed for an 8-kilometer reach of the designated Critical Habitat. The modeled reach consists of several broad meanders and a mid channel island. The substrate is composed of fine sand with a median grain size of 0.22mm and has large dunes up to 2m in amplitude at relatively lows flows of 200 cms that wash out to a plane bed at around 600 cms. The model has been calibrated to a range of historical flow conditions from 170 cms to 1709 cms and verified against 16 ADCP velocity cross-section profiles collected during a period of steady flow at 554 cms. The model predicts well most of the salient features of the velocity field including the magnitude and location of the secondary flow, using a simple constant value for roughness. However for a few reaches of the river the bed forms and their spatial variability in size are shown to significantly affect the flow and the

  11. Two-dimensional habitat modeling in the Yellowstone/Upper Missouri River system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, T. J.; Bovee, K.D.; Bowen, Z.H.

    1997-01-01

    This study is being conducted to provide the aquatic biology component of a decision support system being developed by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation. In an attempt to capture the habitat needs of Great Plains fish communities we are looking beyond previous habitat modeling methods. Traditional habitat modeling approaches have relied on one-dimensional hydraulic models and lumped compositional habitat metrics to describe aquatic habitat. A broader range of habitat descriptors is available when both composition and configuration of habitats is considered. Habitat metrics that consider both composition and configuration can be adapted from terrestrial biology. These metrics are most conveniently accessed with spatially explicit descriptors of the physical variables driving habitat composition. Two-dimensional hydrodynamic models have advanced to the point that they may provide the spatially explicit description of physical parameters needed to address this problem. This paper reports progress to date on applying two-dimensional hydraulic and habitat models on the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers and uses examples from the Yellowstone River to illustrate the configurational metrics as a new tool for assessing riverine habitats.

  12. Cetacean occurrence and spatial distribution: Habitat modelling for offshore waters in the Portuguese EEZ (NE Atlantic)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Correia, Ana M.; Tepsich, Paola; Rosso, Massimiliano; Caldeira, Rui; Sousa-Pinto, Isabel

    2015-03-01

    In the Portuguese Economic Exclusive Zone (EEZ) (NE Atlantic), little survey effort dedicated to cetacean species has been carried out in offshore waters. As a consequence, data on their occurrence, distribution and habitat preferences is scarce. In this area, 48 sea surveys along fixed transects within Continental Portugal and Madeira Island were performed in 2012 and 2013, from July to October, using platforms of opportunity. We used an environmental envelope approach and GAM habitat models to identify the role of oceanographic, topographic and geographical variables in shaping cetacean distribution. Results demonstrate the richness of offshore waters in this area as in 10,668 nmi sampled, we recorded 218 sightings from at least nine cetacean species, resulting in an overall ER of 2.04 sightings/100 nmi. The interaction of topographic and oceanographic features was shown to influence the distribution of the species/groups along the routes. Among the sighted species, only common dolphin showed a preference for coastal waters, while for all the other species high seas proved to be determinant. This result reinforces the need to address conservation issues in open ocean. This preliminary assessment showed the importance of the entire area for the distribution of different cetacean species and allowed the identification of several species/group specific potential suitable habitats. Considering the Habitats Directive resolutions, ACCOBAMS priorities, EEZ extension for the area and Maritime Spatial Planning Directive, and the urgent need for management plans, we suggest that the sampling strategy here presented is a cost-effective method to gather valuable data, to be used to improve cetacean habitat models in the area.

  13. GIS-based niche modeling for mapping species' habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotenberry, J.T.; Preston, K.L.; Knick, S.

    2006-01-01

    Ecological a??niche modelinga?? using presence-only locality data and large-scale environmental variables provides a powerful tool for identifying and mapping suitable habitat for species over large spatial extents. We describe a niche modeling approach that identifies a minimum (rather than an optimum) set of basic habitat requirements for a species, based on the assumption that constant environmental relationships in a species' distribution (i.e., variables that maintain a consistent value where the species occurs) are most likely to be associated with limiting factors. Environmental variables that take on a wide range of values where a species occurs are less informative because they do not limit a species' distribution, at least over the range of variation sampled. This approach is operationalized by partitioning Mahalanobis D2 (standardized difference between values of a set of environmental variables for any point and mean values for those same variables calculated from all points at which a species was detected) into independent components. The smallest of these components represents the linear combination of variables with minimum variance; increasingly larger components represent larger variances and are increasingly less limiting. We illustrate this approach using the California Gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica Brewster) and provide SAS code to implement it.

  14. Modeling the Geography of Migratory Pathways and Stopover Habitats for Neotropical Migratory Birds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roger Tankersley, Jr.

    2003-07-01

    Full Text Available Intact migratory routes are critical for the stability of forest-dwelling, neotropical, migratory bird populations, and mortality along migratory pathways may be significant. Yet we know almost nothing about the geography of available stopovers or the possible migratory pathways that connect optimal stopovers. We undertake a spatial analysis of stopover habitat availability and then model potential migratory pathways between optimal stopovers in the eastern United States. Using models of fixed orientation and fixed nightly flight distance between stopovers during spring migration, we explore whether a simple endogenous migratory program is sufficient to ensure successful migration across the modern landscape. Our model runs suggest that the modern distribution of optimum stopovers in the eastern United States can be adequately exploited by birds following migratory pathways defined by fixed-orientation and fixed-distance nightly flights. Longer flight distances may increase the chances of success by enabling migrants to bypass locales offering little habitat. Our results also suggest that most southwest-northeast migratory pathways through the Appalachian mountains are intact. Lack of optimal habitat at key locations in the Southeast causes many modeled pathways to fail. We present a speculative view of regional migration patterns implied by predominant ideas found in stopover ecology literature, and demonstrate the need for broad-scale migration research, in the hope that our approach will foster other continental- and regional-scale projects.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abecassis, Melanie; Senina, Inna; Lehodey, Patrick; Gaspar, Philippe; Parker, Denise; Balazs, George; Polovina, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

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

  16. A Model of Loggerhead Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) Habitat and Movement in the Oceanic North Pacific

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abecassis, Melanie; Senina, Inna; Lehodey, Patrick; Gaspar, Philippe; Parker, Denise; Balazs, George; Polovina, Jeffrey

    2013-01-01

    Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s−1), smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s−1) than bigger ones (0.5 bl s−1). Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies. PMID:24039901

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melanie Abecassis

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

  18. Psychrophilic yeasts from worldwide glacial habitats: diversity, adaptation strategies and biotechnological potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buzzini, Pietro; Branda, Eva; Goretti, Marta; Turchetti, Benedetta

    2012-11-01

    Glacial habitats (cryosphere) include some of the largest unexplored and extreme biospheres on Earth. These habitats harbor a wide diversity of psychrophilic prokaryotic and eukaryotic microorganisms. These highly specialized microorganisms have developed adaptation strategies to overcome the direct and indirect life-endangering influence of low temperatures. For many years Antarctica has been the geographic area preferred by microbiologists for studying the diversity of psychrophilic microorganisms (including yeasts). However, there have been an increasing number of studies on psychrophilic yeasts sharing the non-Antarctic cryosphere. The present paper provides an overview of the distribution and adaptation strategies of psychrophilic yeasts worldwide. Attention is also focused on their biotechnological potential, especially on their exploitation as a source of cold-active enzymes and for bioremediation purposes.

  19. Potential habitat distribution for the freshwater diatom Didymosphenia geminata in the continental US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kumar, S.; Spaulding, S.A.; Stohlgren, T.J.; Hermann, K.A.; Schmidt, T.S.; Bahls, L.L.

    2009-01-01

    The diatom Didymosphenia geminata is a single-celled alga found in lakes, streams, and rivers. Nuisance blooms of D geminata affect the diversity, abundance, and productivity of other aquatic organisms. Because D geminata can be transported by humans on waders and other gear, accurate spatial prediction of habitat suitability is urgently needed for early detection and rapid response, as well as for evaluation of monitoring and control programs. We compared four modeling methods to predict D geminata's habitat distribution; two methods use presence-absence data (logistic regression and classification and regression tree [CART]), and two involve presence data (maximum entropy model [Maxent] and genetic algorithm for rule-set production [GARP]). Using these methods, we evaluated spatially explicit, bioclimatic and environmental variables as predictors of diatom distribution. The Maxent model provided the most accurate predictions, followed by logistic regression, CART, and GARP. The most suitable habitats were predicted to occur in the western US, in relatively cool sites, and at high elevations with a high base-flow index. The results provide insights into the factors that affect the distribution of D geminata and a spatial basis for the prediction of nuisance blooms. ?? The Ecological Society of America.

  20. Development of a Habitat Suitability Index Model for the Sage Sparrow on the Hanford Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duberstein, Corey A.; Simmons, Mary Ann; Sackschewsky, Michael R.; Becker, James M.

    2008-01-01

    Mitigation threshold guidelines for the Hanford Site are based on habitat requirements of the sage sparrow (Amphispiza belli) and only apply to areas with a mature sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) overstory and a native understory. The sage sparrow habitat requirements are based on literature values and are not specific to the Hanford Site. To refine these guidelines for the Site, a multi-year study was undertaken to quantify habitat characteristics of sage sparrow territories. These characteristics were then used to develop a habitat suitability index (HSI) model which can be used to estimate the habitat value of specific locations on the Site.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  5. Factors influencing behavior and transferability of habitat models for a benthic stream fish

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin N. Leftwich; Paul L. Angermeier; C. Andrew Dolloff

    1997-01-01

    The authors examined the predictive power and transferability of habitat-based models by comparing associations of tangerine darter Percina aurantiaca and stream habitat at local and regional scales in North Fork Holston River (NFHR) and Little River, VA. The models correctly predicted the presence or absence of tangerine darters in NFHR for 64 percent (local model)...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlos Roberto Fonseca

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

  7. Diet, Food Intake of Phrynocephalus frontalis (Agamidae) and Its Potential Role in Desert Habitat

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Chunwang LI; Xue LIAN; Songhua TANG; Junhuai BI; and Zhigang JIANG

    2013-01-01

    We examined the dietary diversity and food intake of Phrynocephalus frontalis, compared the difference of insect diversity in the natural habitats with different lizard densities, and discussed the potential role of this lizard in the desert ecosystem. The results show that:(1) arthropodans of the orders Coleoptera, Hymenoptera and Hemiptera were major dietary components of P. frontalis;(2) coleoptera larvae always formed the predominant component of lizard diets;(3) dietary diversities of P. frontalis were not significantly different between summer and autumn or between the two sexes;(4) the similarity in trophic niches between seasons was 0.756, whereas the similarity in trophic niches between sexes was 0.994;(5) stomach content weight of lizards varied signiifcantly among different seasons, but there was no signiifcant difference in stomach content weight between sexes;(6) insect diversity differed signiifcantly among the groups of the habitat with different degrees of lizard density, and the habitat with moderate lizards density had the highest insect diversity. We infer that P. frontalis prey mainly on insects and change their diet and food intake with season;males and females consumed similar preys in types and weights. As an important predator, P. frontalis could affect the insect community in the arid ecosystem of Hunshandak Desert on the Mongolian Plateau.

  8. Species persistence in landscapes with spatial variation in habitat quality: a pair approximation model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liao, Jinbao; Li, Zhenqing; Hiebeler, David E; Iwasa, Yoh; Bogaert, Jan; Nijs, Ivan

    2013-10-21

    Habitat degradation has become a major threat to species persistence. Although several models have explicitly integrated habitat quality into metapopulation dynamics, we still lack knowledge of the spatial variability of species persistence which may result from the clustering of habitat patches of differing quality. Here we construct both pair approximation (PA) and cellular automaton (CA) models for species persistence in homogeneous versus heterogeneous landscapes. Heterogeneous landscapes are generated by varying the orthogonal-neighbour correlation between two different-quality habitats. In our simulations, the PA model exhibits similar population dynamics to the CA model, though it overestimates species persistence due to the doublet approximation neglecting correlation beyond nearest neighbours. Generally, landscape heterogeneity enhances species persistence relative to landscape homogeneity, especially with enlarging habitat-quality difference. This indicates that models based on homogeneous landscapes may overestimate species extinction rate. In heterogeneous landscapes, habitat clumping does not influence global dispersers because of random establishment, although it does promote the persistence of local dispersers, especially under severe habitat degradation. However, habitat configurational fragmentation improves the persistence of global dispersers that are highly sensitive to local crowding, probably by reducing density dependence, but this positive fragmentation effect on local dispersers is overshadowed by the stronger negative border effect on impeding local extension. Furthermore, increasing density dependence promotes the extinction risk of local dispersers, while global dispersers are not influenced. For conservation and habitat management, our results suggest that minimising random anthropogenic disturbance should take priority over increasing the connectivity of good-quality habitat, as random habitat degradation poses a more serious threat to

  9. Conceptual Model Development for Sea Turtle Nesting Habitat: Support for USACE Navigation Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. ERDC TN-DOER-R23 August 2015 Conceptual Model Development for Sea Turtle Nesting...value range schemes to include in a spatially explicit ecological model for sea turtle nesting habitat. INTRODUCTION: Much of the Atlantic and Gulf...of Mexico coastlines are designated as critical habitat for loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) conservation. The terrestrial critical habitat

  10. The role of 3D-hydraulics in habitat modelling of hydropeaking events.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pisaturo, Giuseppe Roberto; Righetti, Maurizio; Dumbser, Michael; Noack, Markus; Schneider, Matthias; Cavedon, Valentina

    2017-01-01

    One way to study ecological implications induced by hydropeaking represents the coupling of hydrodynamic models with habitat suitability models, in which hydrodynamic parameters are typically used to describe the physical habitat of indicator species. This article discusses the differences in habitat suitability assessment between 2D and 3D CFD modelling as input for the habitat simulation tool CASiMiR. In the first part of the article, the accuracy of the hydraulic model is evaluated by comparing the model results with laboratory (model of a laboratory channel with erodible bed) and field measurements (Valsura River, Bolzano, Italy). In the second part, the habitat suitability for the Valsura River case study (affected by hydropeaking), is analyzed comparing different approaches for the reconstruction of the velocity field (depth-averaged velocities from 2D modelling, bottom velocity field reconstruction with log-law approach from 2D modelling and bottom velocity field from 3D modelling). The results show that the habitat suitability index (HSI) using 2D or 3D hydrodynamic models can be significantly different. These differences can be ascribed to a higher capability to depict the features of the flow field with highly variable and heterogeneous boundary conditions and to the possibility to simulate the near bed hydrodynamic parameters, which are relevant for certain target species. In particular, the HSI-values using 3D hydraulics lead to larger areas of highly suitable habitats compared to 2D simulations. Moreover, considering the entire flow range of hydropeaking events, the habitat simulations with bottom flow velocities from 3D modelling provide suitable habitats over the entire flow range representing the availability of stable suitable habitats, while the habitat availability of 2D modelled flow velocity is continuously decreasing with increasing flow rates. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanette Bragin

    2013-12-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín

    2006-01-01

    ) environmental variables (climate and habitat type), and (2) potential aoudad landscape avoidance and human disturbance variables. We compared both niche descriptions to study the impact of human interference on niche selection of the species. ENFA models were calibrated using data on the population expanded...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. Object-Based Classification as an Alternative Approach to the Traditional Pixel-Based Classification to Identify Potential Habitat of the Grasshopper Sparrow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobin, Benoît; Labrecque, Sandra; Grenier, Marcelle; Falardeau, Gilles

    2008-01-01

    The traditional method of identifying wildlife habitat distribution over large regions consists of pixel-based classification of satellite images into a suite of habitat classes used to select suitable habitat patches. Object-based classification is a new method that can achieve the same objective based on the segmentation of spectral bands of the image creating homogeneous polygons with regard to spatial or spectral characteristics. The segmentation algorithm does not solely rely on the single pixel value, but also on shape, texture, and pixel spatial continuity. The object-based classification is a knowledge base process where an interpretation key is developed using ground control points and objects are assigned to specific classes according to threshold values of determined spectral and/or spatial attributes. We developed a model using the eCognition software to identify suitable habitats for the Grasshopper Sparrow, a rare and declining species found in southwestern Québec. The model was developed in a region with known breeding sites and applied on other images covering adjacent regions where potential breeding habitats may be present. We were successful in locating potential habitats in areas where dairy farming prevailed but failed in an adjacent region covered by a distinct Landsat scene and dominated by annual crops. We discuss the added value of this method, such as the possibility to use the contextual information associated to objects and the ability to eliminate unsuitable areas in the segmentation and land cover classification processes, as well as technical and logistical constraints. A series of recommendations on the use of this method and on conservation issues of Grasshopper Sparrow habitat is also provided.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    2015-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Effects of Hydroelectric Dam Operations on the Restoration Potential of Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) Spawning Habitat Final Report, October 2005 - September 2007.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanrahan, Timothy P.; Richmond, Marshall C.; Arntzen, Evan V. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    2007-11-13

    This report describes research conducted by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as part of the Fish and Wildlife Program directed by the Northwest Power and Conservation Council. The study evaluated the restoration potential of Snake River fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat within the impounded lower Snake River. The objective of the research was to determine if hydroelectric dam operations could be modified, within existing system constraints (e.g., minimum to normal pool levels; without partial removal of a dam structure), to increase the amount of available fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the lower Snake River. Empirical and modeled physical habitat data were used to compare potential fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat in the Snake River, under current and modified dam operations, with the analogous physical characteristics of an existing fall Chinook salmon spawning area in the Columbia River. The two Snake River study areas included the Ice Harbor Dam tailrace downstream to the Highway 12 bridge and the Lower Granite Dam tailrace downstream approximately 12 river kilometers. These areas represent tailwater habitat (i.e., riverine segments extending from a dam downstream to the backwater influence from the next dam downstream). We used a reference site, indicative of current fall Chinook salmon spawning areas in tailwater habitat, against which to compare the physical characteristics of each study site. The reference site for tailwater habitats was the section extending downstream from the Wanapum Dam tailrace on the Columbia River. Fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat use data, including water depth, velocity, substrate size and channelbed slope, from the Wanapum reference area were used to define spawning habitat suitability based on these variables. Fall Chinook salmon spawning habitat suitability of the Snake River study areas was estimated by applying the Wanapum reference reach habitat

  18. Modelling divergence in luminance and chromatic detection performance across measured divergence in surfperch (Embiotocidae) habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cummings, Molly E

    2004-05-01

    This study predicts target detection performance in species-specific habitats for six surfperch (Embiotocidae) living in optically variable California kelp forests. Using species-specific measurements of habitat irradiance and photoreceptor absorbance in a simple dichromatic model for luminance and chromatic detection, the estimated performance of species' measured photopigments was compared to the theoretical maximum for each habitat. Modelling results suggest that changes in peak photoreceptor absorbance (lambda(max)), photoreceptor optical density, and photic environment may affect detection performance. Estimated performances for luminance detection were consistently high, while chromatic detection varied by habitat and demonstrated substantial improvements with increasing optical density differences between cone classes.

  19. Evaluating habitat suitability models for nesting white-headed woodpeckers in unburned forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Kim Mellen-Mclean; Jonathan G. Dudley

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability models can provide guidelines for species conservation by predicting where species of interest are likely to occur. Presence-only models are widely used but typically provide only relative indices of habitat suitability (HSIs), necessitating rigorous evaluation often using independently collected presence-absence data. We refined and evaluated...

  20. Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii Potential Habitat Mapping Using Aerial Orthophotographic Imagery and Object Based Classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Douglas J. King

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii is a threatened species under Canada’s Species at Risk Act. In southern Québec, field based inventories are ongoing to determine its abundance and potential habitat. The goal of this research was to develop means for mapping of potential habitat based on primary habitat attributes that can be detected with high-resolution remotely sensed imagery. Using existing spring leaf-off 20 cm resolution aerial orthophotos of a portion of Gatineau Park where some Blanding’s turtle observations had been made, habitat attributes were mapped at two scales: (1 whole wetlands; (2 within wetland habitat features of open water, vegetation (used for camouflage and thermoregulation, and logs (used for spring sun-basking. The processing steps involved initial pixel-based classification to eliminate most areas of non-wetland, followed by object-based segmentations and classifications using a customized rule sequence to refine the wetland map and to map the within wetland habitat features. Variables used as inputs to the classifications were derived from the orthophotos and included image brightness, texture, and segmented object shape and area. Independent validation using field data and visual interpretation showed classification accuracy for all habitat attributes to be generally over 90% with a minimum of 81.5% for the producer’s accuracy of logs. The maps for each attribute were combined to produce a habitat suitability map for Blanding’s turtle. Of the 115 existing turtle observations, 92.3% were closest to a wetland of the two highest suitability classes. High-resolution imagery combined with object-based classification and habitat suitability mapping methods such as those presented provide a much more spatially explicit representation of detailed habitat attributes than can be obtained through field work alone. They can complement field efforts to document and track turtle activities and can contribute to

  1. Modeling the effects of anthropogenic habitat change on savanna snake invasions into African rainforest.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freedman, Adam H; Buermann, Wolfgang; Lebreton, Matthew; Chirio, Laurent; Smith, Thomas B

    2009-02-01

    We used a species-distribution modeling approach, ground-based climate data sets, and newly available remote-sensing data on vegetation from the MODIS and Quick Scatterometer sensors to investigate the combined effects of human-caused habitat alterations and climate on potential invasions of rainforest by 3 savanna snake species in Cameroon, Central Africa: the night adder (Causus maculatus), olympic lined snake (Dromophis lineatus), and African house snake (Lamprophis fuliginosus). Models with contemporary climate variables and localities from native savanna habitats showed that the current climate in undisturbed rainforest was unsuitable for any of the snake species due to high precipitation. Limited availability of thermally suitable nest sites and mismatches between important life-history events and prey availability are a likely explanation for the predicted exclusion from undisturbed rainforest. Models with only MODIS-derived vegetation variables and savanna localities predicted invasion in disturbed areas within the rainforest zone, which suggests that human removal of forest cover creates suitable microhabitats that facilitate invasions into rainforest. Models with a combination of contemporary climate, MODIS- and Quick Scatterometer-derived vegetation variables, and forest and savanna localities predicted extensive invasion into rainforest caused by rainforest loss. In contrast, a projection of the present-day species-climate envelope on future climate suggested a reduction in invasion potential within the rainforest zone as a consequence of predicted increases in precipitation. These results emphasize that the combined responses of deforestation and climate change will likely be complex in tropical rainforest systems.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-03-01

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

  3. Cross-scale assessment of potential habitat shifts in a rapidly changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jarnevich, Catherine S.; Holcombe, Tracy R.; Bella, Elizabeth S.; Carlson, Matthew L.; Graziano, Gino; Lamb, Melinda; Seefeldt, Steven S.; Morisette, Jeffrey T.

    2014-01-01

    We assessed the ability of climatic, environmental, and anthropogenic variables to predict areas of high-risk for plant invasion and consider the relative importance and contribution of these predictor variables by considering two spatial scales in a region of rapidly changing climate. We created predictive distribution models, using Maxent, for three highly invasive plant species (Canada thistle, white sweetclover, and reed canarygrass) in Alaska at both a regional scale and a local scale. Regional scale models encompassed southern coastal Alaska and were developed from topographic and climatic data at a 2 km (1.2 mi) spatial resolution. Models were applied to future climate (2030). Local scale models were spatially nested within the regional area; these models incorporated physiographic and anthropogenic variables at a 30 m (98.4 ft) resolution. Regional and local models performed well (AUC values > 0.7), with the exception of one species at each spatial scale. Regional models predict an increase in area of suitable habitat for all species by 2030 with a general shift to higher elevation areas; however, the distribution of each species was driven by different climate and topographical variables. In contrast local models indicate that distance to right-of-ways and elevation are associated with habitat suitability for all three species at this spatial level. Combining results from regional models, capturing long-term distribution, and local models, capturing near-term establishment and distribution, offers a new and effective tool for highlighting at-risk areas and provides insight on how variables acting at different scales contribute to suitability predictions. The combinations also provides easy comparison, highlighting agreement between the two scales, where long-term distribution factors predict suitability while near-term do not and vice versa.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jones, Jason; Jansen, Erik; Friedel, Robert

    2011-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-11-15

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

  6. A Habitat Model for Fish Communities in Large Streams and Small Rivers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark B. Bain

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Habitat has become one of the fundamentals for managing the environment. We report on synthesis of 30 habitat models for fish species that inhabit large streams and small rivers. Our protocol for integration of many species-level habitat models was to form a robust, general model that reflected the most common characteristics of the reviewed models. Eleven habitat variables were most commonly used in habitat models, and they were grouped by water quality, reproduction, and food and cover. The developed relations defined acceptable and optimal conditions for each habitat variable. Water quality variables were mid-summer water temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, and turbidity. Other structural habitat variables were identified: riffle and pool velocity, riffle depth, and percent of the stream area with cover and pools. We conclude that it is feasible to consolidate species-level habitat models for fish that inhabit the same waterway type. Given the similarity among species models, our specification set will closely approximate the needs and optimal conditions of many species. These eleven variables can serve as design specifications for rehabilitating streams and small rivers in human dominated settings.

  7. Present and future potential habitat distribution of Carcharhinus falciformis and Canthidermis maculata by-catch species in the tropical tuna purse-seine fishery under climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nerea eLezama Ochoa

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available By-catch species from tropical tuna purse seine fishery have been affected by fishery pressures since the last century; however, the habitat distribution and the climate change impacts on these species are poorly known. With the objective of predicting the potential suitable habitat for a shark (Carcharhinus falciformis and a teleost (Canthidermis maculata in the Indian, Atlantic and Eastern Pacific Oceans, a MaxEnt species distribution model (SDM was developed using data collected by observers in tuna purse seiners. The relative percentage of contribution of some environmental variables (depth, sea surface temperature, salinity and primary production and the potential impact of climate change on species habitat by the end of the century under the A2 scenario (scenario with average concentrations of carbon dioxide of 856 ppm by 2100 were also evaluated. Results showed that by-catch species can be correctly modelled using observed occurrence records and few environmental variables with SDM. Results from projected maps showed that the equatorial band and some coastal upwelling regions were the most suitable areas for both by-catch species in the three oceans in concordance with the main fishing grounds. Sea surface temperature was the most important environmental variable which contributed to explain the habitat distribution of the two species in the three oceans in general. Under climate change scenarios, the largest change in present habitat suitability is observed in the Atlantic Ocean (around 16% of the present habitat suitability area of Carcharhinus falciformis and Canthidermis maculata, respectively whereas the change is less in the Pacific (around 10% and 8% and Indian Oceans (around 3% and 2 %. In some regions such as Somalia, the Atlantic equatorial band or Peru’s coastal upwelling areas, these species could lose potential habitat whereas in the south of the equator in the Indian Ocean, the Benguela System and in the Pacific coast of

  8. HOW ARE PLANT SPECIES IN CENTRAL EUROPEAN BEECH (FAGUS SYLVATICA L. FORESTS AFFECTED BY TEMPERATURE CHANGES? SHIFT OF POTENTIAL SUITABLE HABITATS UNDER GLOBAL WARMING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. C. Jantsch

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available This study reveals which temperature range is favoured or avoided by 156 forest plant species and how the distribution of potential suitable habitats of species in beech forests may change in the future. We performed 140 phytosociological relevés along a temperature gradient (4.1 to 9.8 °C in Bavaria, southern Germany, on south exposed slopes. One half of the plots were located on acidic substrate, the other half on base-rich substrate. Generalized linear models (GLM were used to analyse species occurrence along the temperature gradient and to model habitats for species in beech forests under a present (1971-2000 and a future climate (2071-2100 scenario assuming a temperature increase of 1.8 °C. Herb species of beech forests are more adapted to lower temperatures and tree species more to higher temperatures. Current habitats will clearly change under increasing temperatures. We found large habitat losses for Luzula sylvatica (Huds. Gaudin, Maianthemum bifolium (L. F. W. Schmidt, Picea abies (L. H. Karst., Prenanthes purpurea L. and large habitat gains for Carpinus betulus L., Impatiens parviflora DC., Prunus avium (L. L. and Quercus petraea (Matt. Liebl. on both substrates. Forestry will be affected positively as well as negatively with a change in tree cultivation. Losses in biodiversity might be strong for mountainous forests and must also be considered in future conservation plans.

  9. Bay Scallop Habitat Suitability Models: Predictions over Space and Time

    Science.gov (United States)

    A survey of Lagoon Pond, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, USA was conducted in September 2005 to determine the combination of habitat factors most highly correlated with bay scallop (Argopecten irradians) abundance.

  10. Potential of Pigeon Creek, San Salvador, Bahamas, as Nursery Habitat for Juvenile Reef Fish

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conboy, Ian Christopher

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available This project assessed the significance of Pigeon Creek, San Salvador, Bahamas as a nursery habitat for coral reef fishes. Pigeon Creek’s perimeter is lined with mangrove and limestone bedrock. The bottom is sand or seagrass and ranges in depth from exposed at low tide to a 3-m deep, tide-scoured channel. In June 2006 and January 2007, fish were counted and their maturity was recorded while sampling 112 of 309 possible 50-m transects along the perimeter of the Pigeon Creek. Excluding silversides (Atherinidae, 52% of fish counted, six families each comprised >1% of the total abundance (Scaridae/parrotfishes, 35.3%; Lutjanidae/snappers, 23.9%; Haemulidae/grunts, 21.0%; Gerreidae/mojarras, 8.5%; Pomacentridae/damselfishes, 6.1%; Labridae/wrasses, 2.4%. There were few differences in effort-adjusted counts among habitats (mangrove, bedrock, mixed, sections (north, middle, southwest and seasons (summer 2006 and winter 2007. Red Mangrove (Rhizophora mangle, covering 68% of the perimeter was where 62% of the fish were counted. Snappers, grunts and parrotfishes are important food fishes and significant families in terms of reef ecology around San Salvador. Mangrove was the most important habitat for snappers and grunts; bedrock was most important for parrotfishes. The southwest section was important for snappers, grunts and parrotfishes, the north section for grunts and parrotfishes, and the middle section for snappers. Among the non-silverside fish counted, 91.2% were juveniles. These results suggest that Pigeon Creek is an important nursery for the coral reefs surrounding San Salvador and should be protected from potential disturbances.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Diversity and Habitat Niche Modeling of Candidate Archaeal Phylum Aigarchaeota

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alba, T. W.; Goertz, G.; Williams, A. J.; Cole, J. K.; Murugapiran, S. K.; Dodsworth, J. A.; Hedlund, B. P.

    2013-12-01

    ';Aigarchaeota' (formerly known as pSL4 and Hot Water Crenarchaeotic Group I (HWCGI)) is a candidate phylum of Archaea known only by 16S rRNA gene fragments from cultivation-independent microbial surveys and a single composite genome from Candidatus ';Caldiarchaeum subterraneum', an inhabitant of a subterranean gold mine in Japan. Sequences reported in various publications are found exclusively in geothermal settings, but a comprehensive assessment has not yet been performed. We mined public databases for 16S rRNA gene sequences related to known ';Aigarchaeota' and used a combination of approaches to rigorously define the phylogenetic boundaries of the phylum. The analyses supported the proposed relationship between ';Aigarchaeota', Thaumarchaeota, Crenarchaeota, and Korarchaeota in the so-called 'TACK superphylum' and identified ~200 16S rRNA genes and gene fragments belonging to ';Aigarchaeota', including those recovered from terrestrial geothermal systems on several continents (North America, Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceania) and marine geothermal and subsurface samples in both the Atlantic and Pacific. ';Aigarchaeota' belonged to at least three family- to order-level groups and at least seven genus-level groups. All genus-level groups were recovered from geographically distant locations, suggesting a global distribution within amenable habitats. ';Aigarchaeota'-specific primers for the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification of 16S rRNA genes were designed using SP-Designer and reviewed using the Ribosomal Database Project Probe Match tool. The primers will be used to determine the presence and abundance of ';Aigarchaeota' in a wide variety of samples from terrestrial geothermal systems in the western U.S. and Asia. These phylogenetic data, along with a large geochemical database, will be analyzed using multivariate statistics to develop biogeographic and habitat niche models for ';Aigarchaeota'. This study offers the first coherent view of the

  13. An iterative and targeted sampling design informed by habitat suitability models for detecting focal plant species over extensive areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Ophelia; Zachmann, Luke J; Sesnie, Steven E; Olsson, Aaryn D; Dickson, Brett G

    2014-01-01

    Prioritizing areas for management of non-native invasive plants is critical, as invasive plants can negatively impact plant community structure. Extensive and multi-jurisdictional inventories are essential to prioritize actions aimed at mitigating the impact of invasions and changes in disturbance regimes. However, previous work devoted little effort to devising sampling methods sufficient to assess the scope of multi-jurisdictional invasion over extensive areas. Here we describe a large-scale sampling design that used species occurrence data, habitat suitability models, and iterative and targeted sampling efforts to sample five species and satisfy two key management objectives: 1) detecting non-native invasive plants across previously unsampled gradients, and 2) characterizing the distribution of non-native invasive plants at landscape to regional scales. Habitat suitability models of five species were based on occurrence records and predictor variables derived from topography, precipitation, and remotely sensed data. We stratified and established field sampling locations according to predicted habitat suitability and phenological, substrate, and logistical constraints. Across previously unvisited areas, we detected at least one of our focal species on 77% of plots. In turn, we used detections from 2011 to improve habitat suitability models and sampling efforts in 2012, as well as additional spatial constraints to increase detections. These modifications resulted in a 96% detection rate at plots. The range of habitat suitability values that identified highly and less suitable habitats and their environmental conditions corresponded to field detections with mixed levels of agreement. Our study demonstrated that an iterative and targeted sampling framework can address sampling bias, reduce time costs, and increase detections. Other studies can extend the sampling framework to develop methods in other ecosystems to provide detection data. The sampling methods

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kate S G Gormley

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  18. A modelling framework to assess the effect of pressures on river abiotic habitat conditions and biota

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kail, Jochem; Guse, Björn; Radinger, Johannes; Schröder, Maria; Kiesel, Jens; Kleinhans, Maarten; Schuurman, Filip; Fohrer, Nicola; Hering, Daniel; Wolter, Christian

    2015-01-01

    River biota are affected by global reach-scale pressures, but most approaches for predicting biota of rivers focus on river reach or segment scale processes and habitats. Moreover, these approaches do not consider long-term morphological changes that affect habitat conditions. In this study, a model

  19. Predictive habitat modelling of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae) and Antarctic minke (Balaenoptera bonaerensis) whales in the Southern Ocean as a planning tool for seismic surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bombosch, Annette; Zitterbart, Daniel P.; Van Opzeeland, Ilse; Frickenhaus, Stephan; Burkhardt, Elke; Wisz, Mary S.; Boebel, Olaf

    2014-09-01

    Seismic surveys are frequently a matter of concern regarding their potentially negative impacts on marine mammals. In the Southern Ocean, which provides a critical habitat for several endangered cetacean species, seismic research activities are undertaken at a circumpolar scale. In order to minimize impacts of these surveys, pre-cruise planning requires detailed, spatio-temporally resolved knowledge on the likelihood of encountering these species in the survey area. In this publication we present predictive habitat modelling as a potential tool to support decisions for survey planning. We associated opportunistic sightings (2005-2011) of humpback (Megaptera novaeangliae, N=93) and Antarctic minke whales (Balaenoptera bonaerensis, N=139) with a range of static and dynamic environmental variables. A maximum entropy algorithm (Maxent) was used to develop habitat models and to calculate daily basinwide/circumpolar prediction maps to evaluate how species-specific habitat conditions evolved throughout the spring and summer months. For both species, prediction maps revealed considerable changes in habitat suitability throughout the season. Suitable humpback whale habitat occurred predominantly in ice-free areas, expanding southwards with the retreating sea ice edge, whereas suitable Antarctic minke whale habitat was consistently predicted within sea ice covered areas. Daily, large-scale prediction maps provide a valuable tool to design layout and timing of seismic surveys as they allow the identification and consideration of potential spatio-temporal hotspots to minimize potential impacts of seismic surveys on Antarctic cetacean species.

  20. Modelling the habitat suitability of cetaceans: Example of the sperm whale in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Praca, Emilie; Gannier, Alexandre; Das, Krishna; Laran, Sophie

    2009-04-01

    Cetaceans are mobile and spend long periods underwater. Because of this, modelling their habitat could be subject to a serious problem of false absence. Furthermore, extensive surveys at sea are time and money consuming, and presence-absence data are difficult to apply. This study compares the ability of two presence-absence and two presence-only habitat modelling methods and uses the example of the sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The data consist of summer visual and acoustical detections of sperm whales, compiled between 1998 and 2005. Habitat maps were computed using topographical and hydrological eco-geographical variables. Four methods were compared: principal component analysis (PCA), ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA), generalized linear model (GLM) and multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS). The evaluation of the models was achieved by calculating the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) of the models and their respective area under the curve (AUC). Presence-absence methods (GLM, AUC=0.70, and MARS, AUC=0.79) presented better AUC than presence-only methods (PCA, AUC=0.58, and ENFA, AUC=0.66), but this difference was not statistically significant, except between the MARS and the PCA models. The four models showed an influence of both topographical and hydrological factors, but the resulting habitat suitability maps differed. The core habitat on the continental slope was well highlighted by the four models, while GLM and MARS maps also showed a suitable habitat in the offshore waters. Presence-absence methods are therefore recommended for modelling the habitat suitability of cetaceans, as they seem more accurate to highlight complex habitat. However, the use of presence-only techniques, in particular ENFA, could be very useful for a first model of the habitat range or when important surveys at sea are not possible.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizabeth A. Becker

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  3. Modelling suitable estuarine habitats for Zostera noltii , using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis and Bathymetric LiDAR

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valle, Mireia; Borja, Ángel; Chust, Guillem; Galparsoro, Ibon; Garmendia, Joxe Mikel

    2011-08-01

    Predicting species distribution and habitat suitability is of considerable use in supporting the implementation of environmental legislation, protection and conservation of marine waters and ecosystem-based management. As other seagrasses, Zostera noltii has declined worldwide, mainly due to human pressures, such as eutrophication and habitat loss. In the case of the Basque Country (northern Spain), the species is present only in 3 out of 12 estuaries. From the literature, it is known that at least 6 of these estuaries were formerly vegetated by this seagrass. Consequently, efforts to monitor and restore (potential) habitats have been enhanced. Therefore, we aim: (i) to determine the main environmental variables explaining Zostera noltii distribution, within the Basque estuaries based upon the Oka estuary; (ii) to model habitat suitability for this species, as a wider applicable management-decision tool for seagrass restoration; and (iii) to assess the applicability and predicted accuracy of the model by using internal and external validation methods. For this purpose, Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) has been used to model habitat suitability, based upon topographical variables, obtained from bathymetric Light Detection And Ranging (LiDAR); sediment characteristics variables; and hydrodynamic variables. The results obtained from the ecological factors of the ENFA (Marginality: 1.00; Specialization: 2.59) indicate that the species habitat differs considerably from the mean environmental conditions over the study area; likewise, that the species is restrictive in the selection of the range of conditions within which it dwells. The main environmental variables relating to the species distribution, in order of importance, are: mean grain size; redox potential; intertidal height; sediment sorting; slope of intertidal flat; percentage of gravels; and percentage of organic matter content. The model has a high predicted accuracy (Boyce index: 0.92). Model

  4. Potential utilization of algal protein concentrate as a food ingredient in space habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nakhost, Z.; Karel, M.

    1989-01-01

    Green alga Scenedesmus obliquus was studied as one of the potential sources of macronutrients in a space habitat. Algal protein concentrate (70.5% protein) was incorporated into a variety of food products such as bran muffins, fettuccine (spinach noodle imitation) and chocolate chip cookies. Food products containing 20 to 40% of incorporated algal proteins were considered. In the sensory analysis the greenish color of the bran muffins and cookies was not found to be objectional. The mild spinachy flavor (algae flavor) was less detectable in chocolate chip cookies than in bran muffins. The color and taste of the algae noodles were found to be pleasant and compared well with commercially available spinach noodles. Commercially available spray-dried Spirulina algae was also incorporated so the products can be compared with those containing Scenedesmus obliquus concentrate. Food products containing commercial algae had a dark green color and a "burnt after taste" and were less acceptable to the panelists.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    observations and "site-specific" habitat suitability indices (HSI) are constructed. "Site-specific" HSI's are compared to other HSI's for Danish streams (Søholm and Jensen, 2003) and general HSI's used in other habitat hydraulic modelling projects (Lund, 1996; Fjordback et al. 2002; Thorn and Conallin, 2004...... and hydromorphological and chemical characteristics has to be enlightened (EUROPA, 2005). This study links catchment hydrology, stream discharge and physical habitat in a small Danish stream, the stream Ledreborg, and discusses the utility of habitat hydraulic models in relation to the present criteria and methods used...... groundwater abstraction upon stream discharge is assessed and in relation to this the relative importance of variations in precipitation, evaporation/temperature and groundwater abstraction are discussed. Physical habitat preferences for trout in the stream Ledreborg are assessed through a series of field...

  6. Assessing values of Arctic wildlife and habitat subject to potential petroleum development

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCabe, Thomas R. (USFWS, Alaska Fish and Wildlife Research Center, Fairbanks, AK (United States))

    1994-02-01

    The National Wildlife Refuge system of the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is predicated on the principle of conserving and perpetuating the natural diversity and abundance of wildlife and wildlands. The prospect of petroleum development on the 1002 area of the 10,000 km[sup 2] pristine coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has been a contentious national issue. The FWS assessed the habitat and its constituent wildlife species to determine potential impacts from this development. As part of the assessment effort, research was conducted on the 163,000 member porcupine caribou (Rangifer tarandus) herd, its primary predator at calving, brown bear (Ursus arctos), and the vegetation communities on the coastal plain. We found the traditional calving area within the 1002 area had significantly greater forage species availability and nutrient quality than areas peripheral to the 1002 area. Increased post-perinatal, predator-related mortality has been associated with the foothills and mountains adjacent to the 1002 area. Displacement of the calving caribou from the 1002 area would mean a lesser abundance of high quality forage for calving cows, and calves would be subjected to a potentially higher predation risk. These factors could have a negative impact on the population dynamics of the Porcupine herd. If petroleum development were authorized on the 1002 area of ANWR, the challenge for the FWS will be to assure that the dynamics of the tundra ecosystem are adequately understood and to conserve the abundance and diversity of natural wildlife populations and their habitat

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan Marcin Węsławski

    2013-02-01

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

  8. Habitat-based cetacean density models for the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Jason J.; Best, Benjamin D.; Mannocci, Laura; Fujioka, Ei; Halpin, Patrick N.; Palka, Debra L.; Garrison, Lance P.; Mullin, Keith D.; Cole, Timothy V. N.; Khan, Christin B.; McLellan, William A.; Pabst, D. Ann; Lockhart, Gwen G.

    2016-03-01

    Cetaceans are protected worldwide but vulnerable to incidental harm from an expanding array of human activities at sea. Managing potential hazards to these highly-mobile populations increasingly requires a detailed understanding of their seasonal distributions and habitats. Pursuant to the urgent need for this knowledge for the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, we integrated 23 years of aerial and shipboard cetacean surveys, linked them to environmental covariates obtained from remote sensing and ocean models, and built habitat-based density models for 26 species and 3 multi-species guilds using distance sampling methodology. In the Atlantic, for 11 well-known species, model predictions resembled seasonal movement patterns previously suggested in the literature. For these we produced monthly mean density maps. For lesser-known taxa, and in the Gulf of Mexico, where seasonal movements were less well described, we produced year-round mean density maps. The results revealed high regional differences in small delphinoid densities, confirmed the importance of the continental slope to large delphinoids and of canyons and seamounts to beaked and sperm whales, and quantified seasonal shifts in the densities of migratory baleen whales. The density maps, freely available online, are the first for these regions to be published in the peer-reviewed literature.

  9. Spatial analyses of benthic habitats to define coral reef ecosystem regions and potential biogeographic boundaries along a latitudinal gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brian K Walker

    Full Text Available Marine organism diversity typically attenuates latitudinally from tropical to colder climate regimes. Since the distribution of many marine species relates to certain habitats and depth regimes, mapping data provide valuable information in the absence of detailed ecological data that can be used to identify and spatially quantify smaller scale (10 s km coral reef ecosystem regions and potential physical biogeographic barriers. This study focused on the southeast Florida coast due to a recognized, but understudied, tropical to subtropical biogeographic gradient. GIS spatial analyses were conducted on recent, accurate, shallow-water (0-30 m benthic habitat maps to identify and quantify specific regions along the coast that were statistically distinct in the number and amount of major benthic habitat types. Habitat type and width were measured for 209 evenly-spaced cross-shelf transects. Evaluation of groupings from a cluster analysis at 75% similarity yielded five distinct regions. The number of benthic habitats and their area, width, distance from shore, distance from each other, and LIDAR depths were calculated in GIS and examined to determine regional statistical differences. The number of benthic habitats decreased with increasing latitude from 9 in the south to 4 in the north and many of the habitat metrics statistically differed between regions. Three potential biogeographic barriers were found at the Boca, Hillsboro, and Biscayne boundaries, where specific shallow-water habitats were absent further north; Middle Reef, Inner Reef, and oceanic seagrass beds respectively. The Bahamas Fault Zone boundary was also noted where changes in coastal morphologies occurred that could relate to subtle ecological changes. The analyses defined regions on a smaller scale more appropriate to regional management decisions, hence strengthening marine conservation planning with an objective, scientific foundation for decision making. They provide a framework

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altmoos, Michael; Henle, Klaus

    2010-11-01

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

  11. EcologicHabitat_WLH

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — The Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis uses landscape scale data to identify or predict the location of potentially significant wildlife linkage habitats (WLH)...

  12. Habitat distribution for non-native Amazona viridigenalis within San Diego County using Maxent predictive model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meseck, Kristin April

    Human propagated changes to the environment have adversely affected certain species while advantaging other species. Psittacines, or species that fall within the parrot family, have been found to be well adapted to modified environments. Over time, transportation of various parrot species for use in the exotic pet trade has caused accidental releases of individual parrots, resulting in species groups forming and colonizing in new, non-native environments, specifically urban and suburban ones. Amazona viridigenalis, the Red-crowned parrot, is a species that has adapted to living in several regions within the United States including Texas, Florida, and California. This species is endangered within its native range in the lowlands of eastern Mexico, yet has the largest population of any other psittacine species in California. Despite this interesting dichotomy this species remains severely understudied in its new range. Using geographic information systems and Maxent predictive model, this research aims to achieve a greater understanding of the extent of habitat suitable to the Amazona viridigenalis within San Diego County and the habitat variables that enable its establishment success. Presence locations where individuals of the species were using habitat were collected along with 12 important variables that represent Red-crowned parrot habitat elements. These were used in the creation of a predictive habitat model utilizing Maxent machine-learning technique. Three models were created using three different background extents from which the pseudo-absence points were generated. These models were tested for statistical significance and predictive accuracy. It was found that model performance significantly decreased with a decrease in size of model extent. The largest extent was chosen to model habitat using the five variables that were found to be the least correlated, achieved the most gain, and had the most explanatory power for the earlier models. The final model

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Radinger

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Radinger, Johannes; Wolter, Christian; Kail, Jochem

    2015-01-01

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

  15. Current state, habitat and potential invasiveness of Montia linearis (Douglas ex Hook. Greene in Poland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iwona Dembicz

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Montia linearis is a vascular plant originating from western North America. The expansion of this species has been observed for several decades. For the first time M. linearis was found in Europe in 1989. Further six populations were documented by 2004 within the continent: three in Poland, two in Denmark and one in Hungary. Apart from discovering a new population of M. linearis, we confirmed two out of the three previously known localities of the species in Poland. All the currently known populations of M. linearis occupied predominantly meadow habitats, especially intensively managed sites. Some individuals were also found in disturbed sites with bare soil. The studied species inhabited soils of various types with broad range of fertility as well as humidity. Montia linearis populations reached densities up to 87 individuals per 0.04 m2. The number of seeds produced by an individual was between 10 and 55 in 90% of the studied specimens, however much more fertile specimens were also observed. As the previously presented hypothesis of M. linearis dispersal with rail transport seemed not to be well supported, the connection between the M. linearis presence and cattle husbandry is considered. It is possible that the species can be transferred with living animals or manure. The species was able to survive for at least 26 years within once inhabited site. Further spread of M. linearis within Europe is highly probable. The aim of the study is to: (i describe the current state of populations of M. linearis in Poland, (ii provide information on habitat preferences and biology of the species, (iii assess the invasiveness potential of M. linearis in Poland.

  16. An Analysis of Potential Stream Fish and Fish Habitat Monitoring Procedures for the Inland Northwest: Annual Report 1999.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peterson, James T.; Wollrab, Sherry P.

    1999-09-01

    Recent concerns over the rapid declines of native stream-fish populations in the inland Northwest have prompted the USDA Forest Service to institute interim land management practices intended to stop further declines in fish habitat quality and protect existing high quality habitat. Natural resource managers in the Inland Northwest need tools for assessing the success or failure of conservation policies and the impacts of management actions on fish and fish habitats. Effectiveness monitoring is one such potential tool, but there are currently no established monitoring protocols. Since 1991, US Forest Service biologists have used the standardized R1/R4 inventory procedures to measure fish and fish habitats on agency lands throughout the Intermountain West. The widespread use and acceptance of these standardized procedures and the large amount of data collected suggest that the R1/R4 procedures might provide the basis for an effectiveness monitoring protocol. Using fish and fish habitat data collected by Forest Service biologists, the authors assessed the efficiency of the R1/R4 procedures for monitoring stream fish and fish habitats.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Annual Report: Connecticut River Pilot - Modeling Migratory Landbird Stopover Habitat Using Nanotags

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This project will identify, document and model important habitat in the Connecticut River Watershed (CRW) as part of a broader Conservation Design Pilot Project led...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Feeding habitat quality and behavioral trade-offs in chimpanzees: a case for species distribution models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foerster, Steffen; Zhong, Ying; Pintea, Lilian; Murray, Carson M; Wilson, Michael L; Mjungu, Deus C; Pusey, Anne E

    2016-01-01

    The distribution and abundance of food resources are among the most important factors that influence animal behavioral strategies. Yet, spatial variation in feeding habitat quality is often difficult to assess with traditional methods that rely on extrapolation from plot survey data or remote sensing. Here, we show that maximum entropy species distribution modeling can be used to successfully predict small-scale variation in the distribution of 24 important plant food species for chimpanzees at Gombe National Park, Tanzania. We combined model predictions with behavioral observations to quantify feeding habitat quality as the cumulative dietary proportion of the species predicted to occur in a given location. This measure exhibited considerable spatial heterogeneity with elevation and latitude, both within and across main habitat types. We used model results to assess individual variation in habitat selection among adult chimpanzees during a 10-year period, testing predictions about trade-offs between foraging and reproductive effort. We found that nonswollen females selected the highest-quality habitats compared with swollen females or males, in line with predictions based on their energetic needs. Swollen females appeared to compromise feeding in favor of mating opportunities, suggesting that females rather than males change their ranging patterns in search of mates. Males generally occupied feeding habitats of lower quality, which may exacerbate energetic challenges of aggression and territory defense. Finally, we documented an increase in feeding habitat quality with community residence time in both sexes during the dry season, suggesting an influence of familiarity on foraging decisions in a highly heterogeneous landscape.

  2. Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lang, Jennifer M; Erb, Racheal; Pechal, Jennifer L; Wallace, John R; McEwan, Ryan W; Benbow, Mark Eric

    2016-01-04

    Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI) of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses) and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles) communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context.

  3. Microbial Biofilm Community Variation in Flowing Habitats: Potential Utility as Bioindicators of Postmortem Submersion Intervals

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer M. Lang

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Biofilms are a ubiquitous formation of microbial communities found on surfaces in aqueous environments. These structures have been investigated as biomonitoring indicators for stream heath, and here were used for the potential use in forensic sciences. Biofilm successional development has been proposed as a method to determine the postmortem submersion interval (PMSI of remains because there are no standard methods for estimating the PMSI and biofilms are ubiquitous in aquatic habitats. We sought to compare the development of epinecrotic (biofilms on Sus scrofa domesticus carcasses and epilithic (biofilms on unglazed ceramic tiles communities in two small streams using bacterial automated ribosomal intergenic spacer analysis. Epinecrotic communities were significantly different from epilithic communities even though environmental factors associated with each stream location also had a significant influence on biofilm structure. All communities at both locations exhibited significant succession suggesting that changing communities throughout time is a general characteristic of stream biofilm communities. The implications resulting from this work are that epinecrotic communities have distinctive shifts at the first and second weeks, and therefore the potential to be used in forensic applications by associating successional changes with submersion time to estimate a PMSI. The influence of environmental factors, however, indicates the lack of a successional pattern with the same organisms and a focus on functional diversity may be more applicable in a forensic context.

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

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    Ali Haghi Vayghan

    2015-11-01

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

  5. Environmental variables and definitive host distribution: a habitat suitability modelling for endohelminth parasites in the marine realm

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Thomas; Cunze, Sarah; Kochmann, Judith; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-08-01

    Marine nematodes of the genus Anisakis are common parasites of a wide range of aquatic organisms. Public interest is primarily based on their importance as zoonotic agents of the human Anisakiasis, a severe infection of the gastro-intestinal tract as result of consuming live larvae in insufficiently cooked fish dishes. The diverse nature of external impacts unequally influencing larval and adult stages of marine endohelminth parasites requires the consideration of both abiotic and biotic factors. Whereas abiotic factors are generally more relevant for early life stages and might also be linked to intermediate hosts, definitive hosts are indispensable for a parasite’s reproduction. In order to better understand the uneven occurrence of parasites in fish species, we here use the maximum entropy approach (Maxent) to model the habitat suitability for nine Anisakis species accounting for abiotic parameters as well as biotic data (definitive hosts). The modelled habitat suitability reflects the observed distribution quite well for all Anisakis species, however, in some cases, habitat suitability exceeded the known geographical distribution, suggesting a wider distribution than presently recorded. We suggest that integrative modelling combining abiotic and biotic parameters is a valid approach for habitat suitability assessments of Anisakis, and potentially other marine parasite species.

  6. Terrestrial Permafrost Models of Martian Habitats and Inhabitants

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilichinsky, D.

    2011-12-01

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

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

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    Michael Schirrmann

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

  8. Wildlife Species, Potential habitat layer for Forest Interior Dwelling Species in the State of Maryland. These data are only the results of a model depicting where FIDS habitat might occur based on certain criteria. These polygons have NOT been field tested or field verifi, Published in 2006, 1:63360 (1in=1mile) scale, Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This Wildlife Species dataset, published at 1:63360 (1in=1mile) scale, was produced all or in part from Other information as of 2006. It is described as 'Potential...

  9. A framework for modeling anthropogenic impacts on waterbird habitats: addressing future uncertainty in conservation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matchett, Elliott L.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Young, Charles A.; Purkey, David R.

    2015-01-01

    The amount and quality of natural resources available for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitats are expected to decrease throughout the world in areas that are intensively managed for urban and agricultural uses. Changes in climate and management of increasingly limited water supplies may further impact water resources essential for sustaining habitats. In this report, we document adapting a Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system model for the Central Valley of California. We demonstrate using this adapted model (WEAP-CVwh) to evaluate impacts produced from plausible future scenarios on agricultural and wetland habitats used by waterbirds and other wildlife. Processed output from WEAP-CVwh indicated varying levels of impact caused by projected climate, urbanization, and water supply management in scenarios used to exemplify this approach. Among scenarios, the NCAR-CCSM3 A2 climate projection had a greater impact than the CNRM-CM3 B1 climate projection, whereas expansive urbanization had a greater impact than strategic urbanization, on annual availability of waterbird habitat. Scenarios including extensive rice-idling or substantial instream flow requirements on important water supply sources produced large impacts on annual availability of waterbird habitat. In the year corresponding with the greatest habitat reduction for each scenario, the scenario including instream flow requirements resulted in the greatest decrease in habitats throughout all months of the wintering period relative to other scenarios. This approach provides a new and useful tool for habitat conservation planning in the Central Valley and a model to guide similar research investigations aiming to inform conservation, management, and restoration of important wildlife habitats.

  10. Analysing and modelling the impact of habitat fragmentation on species diversity: a macroecological perspective

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    Thomas Matthews

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available My research aimed to examine a variety of macroecological and biogeographical patterns using a large number of purely habitat island datasets (i.e. isolated patches of natural habitat set within in a matrix of human land uses sourced from both the literature and my own sampling, with the objective of testing various macroecological and biogeographical patterns. These patterns can be grouped under four broad headings: 1 species–area relationships (SAR, 2 nestedness, 3 species abundance distributions (SADs and 4 species incidence functions (function of area. Overall, I found that there were few hard macroecological generalities that hold in all cases across habitat island systems. This is because most habitat island systems are highly disturbed environments, with a variety of confounding variables and ‘undesirable’ species (e.g. species associated with human land uses acting to modulate the patterns of interest. Nonetheless, some clear patterns did emerge. For example, the power model was by the far the best general SAR model for habitat islands. The slope of the island species–area relationship (ISAR was related to the matrix type surrounding archipelagos, such that habitat island ISARs were shallower than true island ISARs. Significant compositional and functional nestedness was rare in habitat island datasets, although island area was seemingly responsible for what nestedness was observed. Species abundance distribution models were found to provide useful information for conservation in fragmented landscapes, but the presence of undesirable species substantially affected the shape of the SAD. In conclusion, I found that the application of theory derived from the study of true islands, to habitat island systems, is inappropriate as it fails to incorporate factors that are unique to habitat islands. 

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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    Monica N. Iglecia

    2012-12-01

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

  13. A Comprehensive Approach for Modelling Elephant Habitat within the Network of Protected Areas Oti-Keran-Mandouri in Togo (West Africa)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polo-Akpisso, A.; Coulibaly, M.; Soulemane, O.; Wala, K.; Tano, Y.

    2015-12-01

    The network of protected areas Oti-Keran-Mandouri (OKM) is part of one of the most important ecogeographical region for the African savannah elephant conservation in West Africa. However, OKM is under high anthropogenic pressure but it is still considered as a first priority corridor for elephant migration. Therefore a comprehensive suitability model was developed in a GIS environment to identify remaining suitable patch of habitat. Considering the ecology of the African Savannah elephant, criteria such as pound thickness, distance to rivers, distance to roads, distance to settlements, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) and the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) were standardized using appropriate fuzzy membership functions and sum overlaid. A set of elephant occurrence data from park managers and from casual sighting was used as test data. About 29.01 % of the area of OKM was classified as suitable habitat whereas 60.84 % and 10.14% were respectively considered as somewhat and less suitable habitats. About 36.5% of the occurrence data felt in the suitable area while 62.16% in the somewhat suitable area. Forest lands were the main contributor to the suitable habitat whereas others land cover types (savannahs, wetlands and croplands) contributed mostly to the somewhat suitable habitat (60.97% to 63.43%). The Habitat Unit Index (HUI) for suitable habitat shows that forests are the most preferred vegetation type (0.49) followed by wetlands (0.32) and savannah (0.31). Despite the high anthropogenic pressure on OKM, there are still potential suitable patches of elephant habitat. Improvement of management and restauration activities could enable OKM to play a key role in biodiversity conservation in West Africa by allowing the seasonal migration of elephants. This study gives an insight on the availability of suitable habitat within OKM, however, further investigation is needed to refine the model and to assess habitat fragmentation.

  14. Application of NASA Observational Data and Habitat Suitability Modeling to Wavyleaf Basketgrass (Oplismenus hirtellus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hawkins, C.; Suss, C.

    2011-12-01

    In 1997, a rapidly spreading invasive grass known as Wavyleaf Basketgrass (Oplismenus hirtellus, WLBG), was found in Maryland's Patapsco Valley State Park. It is a low-lying, trailing perennial grass, branching and rooting at the lower stem nodes. The leaves are short and hairy, and produce a sticky substance that can adhere to passing animals and further its dispersion. WLBG is similar to Japanese stiltgrass, which has taken over Eastern forests in the last 25 years. WLBG, a stoloniferous grass, covers the forest floor, crowds out native herbaceous plants, and negatively alters the habitats of plants and animals in that ecosystem. It has spread beyond the park into the surrounding areas and other parts of Maryland and Virginia. How it arrived to Maryland is still unknown but mitigation efforts are clearly required and are being undertaken by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (MD DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service (WHS). The maximum entropy (MaxEnt) method was used to model the potential distribution of WLBG in the Maryland region. MaxEnt models species distributions from presence-only records, making it particularly well-suited for the types of data collected by resource managers such as the WHS. Input into the MaxEnt model were a combination of in situ presence points and covariates (environmental predictors) comprised of environmental data and NASA Earth observation data that are ecologically relevant to WLBG. These environmental predictors include temperature and precipitation data, soil classifications, landcover measures and classifications, and topology data including elevation, aspect, and slope. The remotely sensed data layers include products derived from Landsat 5 and 7, Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM). MaxEnt produced a list of top covariate contributors and created habitat suitability maps to predict potential areas where WLBG may spread.

  15. Habitat suitability models for predicting the occurrence of vulnerable marine ecosystems in the seas around New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anderson, Owen F.; Guinotte, John M.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Tracey, Dianne M.; Mackay, Kevin A.; Clark, Malcolm R.

    2016-09-01

    Spatial management planning for vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME) across broad areas of un-sampled seafloor requires detailed predictions of species distribution. We utilised two habitat suitability modelling techniques, boosted regression trees (BRT) and maximum entropy (MaxEnt), to create potential distribution maps for 11 VME indicator taxa in the New Zealand area and adjacent seas. New bathymetry data were combined with existing environmental, chemical and physical data to produce a set of 45 predictor variables describing conditions at the seafloor. Nine of these variables were selected for use in the models based on low covariance and high explanatory power. Historical biological survey data were used to provide models with absence data (BRT) or target-group background data (MaxEnt). Model agreement was high, with each model predicting similar areas of suitable habitat both in the vicinity of known VME indicator taxa presence locations as well as across broad regions of un-sampled seafloor. Model performance measures, including cross-validation testing against sets of spatially independent data, did not clearly indicate a preferred modelling method across all taxa. Previous habitat suitability modelling efforts have rarely accounted for model precision, and in this study we used a bootstrap re-sampling technique to produce model uncertainty maps to accompany each habitat suitability map. Because of the similar performance of BRT and MaxEnt methods in this study, we conclude that the best approach to incorporating the results into decision-support tools for spatial conservation planning is to average predictions and uncertainty from both.

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

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    K. Anne-Isola Nekaris

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Assessment of brown trout habitat suitability in the Jucar River Basin (SPAIN): comparison of data-driven approaches with fuzzy-logic models and univariate suitability curves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muñoz-Mas, Rafael; Martínez-Capel, Francisco; Schneider, Matthias; Mouton, Ans M

    2012-12-01

    The implementation of the Water Framework Directive implies the determination of an environmental flow (E-flow) in each running water body. In Spain, many of the minimum flow assessments were determined with the physical habitat simulation system based on univariate habitat suitability curves. Multivariate habitat suitability models, widely applied in habitat assessment, are potentially more accurate than univariate suitability models. This article analyses the microhabitat selection by medium-sized (10-20 cm) brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) in three streams of the Jucar River Basin District (eastern Iberian Peninsula). The data were collected with an equal effort sampling approach. Univariate habitat suitability curves were built with a data-driven process for depth, mean velocity and substrate classes; three types of data-driven fuzzy models were generated with the FISH software: two models of presence-absence and a model of abundance. FISH applies a hill-climbing algorithm to optimize the fuzzy rules. A hydraulic model was calibrated with the tool River-2D in a segment of the Cabriel River (Jucar River Basin). The fuzzy-logic models and three methods to produce a suitability index from the three univariate curves were applied to evaluate the river habitat in the tool CASiMiR©. The comparison of results was based on the spatial arrangement of habitat suitability and the curves of weighted usable area versus discharge. The differences were relevant in different aspects, e.g. in the estimated minimum environmental flow according to the Spanish legal norm for hydrological planning. This work demonstrates the impact of the model's selection on the habitat suitability modelling and the assessment of environmental flows, based on an objective data-driven procedure; the conclusions are important for the water management in the Jucar River Basin and other river systems in Europe, where the environmental flows are a keystone for the achievement of the goals established

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  1. Rhodolith beds in Brazil: a new potential habitat for marine bioprospection

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gilberto M. Amado-Filho

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Rhodoliths are the free-living forms of a number of nongeniculate coralline algae. Rhodolith beds are a common feature of subtidal environments and have been recognized as important carbonate producers and paleoenvironmental indicators, as well as recognized as habitat-forming species. The rhodolith structure provides a hard three-dimensional substrate serving as microhabitat for a wide range of biodiversity, including commercially importance species. The largest known latitudinal occurrence range of rhodolith beds ais on the Brazilian coastal shelf from 2°N to 25°S. Despite their importance for the Brazilian benthic communities, only in the last decade sampling efforts allowed a more comprehensive understanding of the beds' distribution, their structure and associated communities, as well as data concerning the influence of environmental factors on rhodolith bed structure and dynamics. In this work, we review the available information on the biodiversity associated with the recently described Brazilian rhodolith beds of the continental shelf and oceanic islands, focusing on the associated organisms with potential for bioprospection research.

  2. Potential effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on avian habitats and populations in the northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Diane L.

    1994-01-01

    Biotic response to the buildup of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere is considerably more complex than an adjustment to changing temperature and precipitation. The fertilization effect carbon dioxide has on some plants, the impact UVB radiation has on health and productivity of organisms, and the resulting changes in competitive balance and trophic structure must also be considered. The intent of this paper is to review direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gases on wildlife, and to explore possible effects on populations of birds and their habitats in the northern Great Plains.Many of the potential effects of increasing greenhouse gases, such as declining plant nutritional value, changes in timing of insect emergence, and fewer and saltier wetlands, foreshadow a decline in avian populations on the Great Plains. However, other possible effects such as increased drought resistance and water use efficiency of vegetation, longer growing seasons, and greater overall plant biomass promise at least some mitigation. Effects of multiple simultaneous perturbations such as can be expected under doubled carbon dioxide scenarios will require substantial basic research to clarify.

  3. Modelling Rift Valley fever (RVF) disease vector habitats using active and passive remote sensing systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ambrosia, Vincent G.; Linthicum, K. G.; Bailey, C. L.; Sebesta, P.

    1989-01-01

    The NASA Ames Ecosystem Science and Technology Branch and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases are conducting research to detect Rift Valley fever (RVF) vector habitats in eastern Africa using active and passive remote-sensing. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) calculated from Landsat TM and SPOT data is used to characterize the vegetation common to the Aedes mosquito. Relationships have been found between the highest NDVI and the 'dambo' habitat areas near Riuru, Kenya on both wet and dry data. High NDVI values, when combined with the vegetation classifications, are clearly related to the areas of vector habitats. SAR data have been proposed for use during the rainy season when optical systems are of minimal use and the short frequency and duration of the optimum RVF mosquito habitat conditions necessitate rapid evaluation of the vegetation/moisture conditions; only then can disease potential be stemmed and eradication efforts initiated.

  4. Sensitivity analyses of spatial population viability analysis models for species at risk and habitat conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naujokaitis-Lewis, Ilona R; Curtis, Janelle M R; Arcese, Peter; Rosenfeld, Jordan

    2009-02-01

    Population viability analysis (PVA) is an effective framework for modeling species- and habitat-recovery efforts, but uncertainty in parameter estimates and model structure can lead to unreliable predictions. Integrating complex and often uncertain information into spatial PVA models requires that comprehensive sensitivity analyses be applied to explore the influence of spatial and nonspatial parameters on model predictions. We reviewed 87 analyses of spatial demographic PVA models of plants and animals to identify common approaches to sensitivity analysis in recent publications. In contrast to best practices recommended in the broader modeling community, sensitivity analyses of spatial PVAs were typically ad hoc, inconsistent, and difficult to compare. Most studies applied local approaches to sensitivity analyses, but few varied multiple parameters simultaneously. A lack of standards for sensitivity analysis and reporting in spatial PVAs has the potential to compromise the ability to learn collectively from PVA results, accurately interpret results in cases where model relationships include nonlinearities and interactions, prioritize monitoring and management actions, and ensure conservation-planning decisions are robust to uncertainties in spatial and nonspatial parameters. Our review underscores the need to develop tools for global sensitivity analysis and apply these to spatial PVA.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mark C Drever

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shin-Ruoh Juang

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Zamani

    2016-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  9. The effect of sea surface temperature increase on the potential habitat ofOmmastrephes bartramii in the Northwest Pacific Ocean

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    XU Jie; CHEN Xinjun; CHEN Yong; DING Qi; TIAN Siquan

    2016-01-01

    In the Northwest Pacific Ocean, the squid jigging fisheries from China, Japan and other countries and regions have targeted the west winter-spring cohort of neon flying squid (Ommastrephes bartramii) from August to November since the 1970s. This squid is a short-lived ecological opportunist with a life-span of about one year, and its population is labile and recruitment variability is driven by the environment or climate change. This variability provides a challenge for ones to forecast the key habitats affected by climate change. The catch data of O. bartramii from Chinese squid jigging fishery and the satellite-derived sea surface temperature (SST) data are used in the Northwest Pacific Ocean from August to November of 1998 to 2004, the SST preferences ofO. bartramiicorresponding to high values of catch per fishing day (CPUE) are determined and monthly potential habitats are predicted using a histogram analysis of the SST data. The possible changes in the potential habitats of O. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific Ocean are estimated under four climate change scenarios based on the Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, i.e., 0.5, 1, 2 and 4°C increases in the SST because of the climate change. The results reveal an obvious poleward shift of the potential habitats ofO. bartramii in the Northwest Pacific Ocean.

  10. Development of a 1 D hydrodynamic habitat model for the Hippopotamus amphibious as basis for sustainable exploitation of hydroelectric power

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manful, D. Y.; Kaule, G.; Wieprecht, S.; Rees, J.; Hu, W.

    2009-12-01

    Hydroelectric Power (HEP) is proving to be a good alternative to carbon based energy. In the past hydropower especially large scale hydro attracted significant criticism as a result of its impact on the environment. A new breed of hydroelectric dam is in the offing. The aim is to have as little a footprint as possible on the environment in both pre and post construction phases and thus minimize impact on biodiversity whilst producing clean renewable energy. The Bui dam is 400 MW scheme currently under development on the Black Volta River in the Bui national park in Ghana. The reservoir created by the Bui barrage is expected to impact (through inundation) the habitat of two species of hippos know to exist in the park, the Hippopotamus amphibius and the Choeropsis liberiensis. Computer-based models present a unique opportunity to assess quantitatively the impact of the new reservoir on the habitat of the target species in this case the H. amphibious. Until this undertaking, there were very few studies documenting the habitat of the H. amphibious let alone model it. The work and subsequent presentation will show the development of a habitat model for the Hippopotamus amphibius. The Habitat Information retrieval Program based on Streamflow Analysis, in short HIPStrA, is a one dimensional (1D) in-stream, spatially explicit hybrid construct that combines physico-chemical evidence and expert knowledge to forecast river habitat suitability (Hs) for the Hippopotamus amphibius. The version of the model presented is specifically developed to assess the impact of a reservoir created by a hydroelectric dam on potential dwelling areas in the Bui gorge for hippos. Accordingly, this version of HIPStrA simulates a special reservoir suitability index (Rsi), a metric that captures the”hippo friendliness” of any lake or reservoir. The impact of measured and simulated flood events as well as low flows, representing extreme events is also assessed. Recommendations are made for the

  11. Assessing cumulative impacts of forest development on the distribution of furbearers using expert-based habitat modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bridger, M C; Johnson, C J; Gillingham, M P

    2016-03-01

    Cumulative impacts of anthropogenic landscape change must be considered when managing and conserving wildlife habitat. Across the central-interior of British Columbia, Canada, industrial activities are altering the habitat of furbearer species. This region has witnessed unprecedented levels of anthropogenic landscape change following rapid development in a number of resource sectors, particularly forestry. Our objective was to create expert-based habitat models for three furbearer species: fisher (Pekania pennanti), Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), and American marten (Martes americana) and quantify habitat change for those species. We recruited 10 biologist and 10 trapper experts and then used the analytical hierarchy process to elicit expert knowledge of habitat variables important to each species. We applied the models to reference landscapes (i.e., registered traplines) in two distinct study areas and then quantified the change in habitat availability from 1990 to 2013. There was strong agreement between expert groups in the choice of habitat variables and associated scores. Where anthropogenic impacts had increased considerably over the study period, the habitat models showed substantial declines in habitat availability for each focal species (78% decline in optimal fisher habitat, 83% decline in optimal lynx habitat, and 79% decline in optimal marten habitat). For those traplines with relatively little forest harvesting, the habitat models showed no substantial change in the availability of habitat over time. The results suggest that habitat for these three furbearer species declined significantly as a result of the cumulative impacts of forest harvesting. Results of this study illustrate the utility of expert knowledge for understanding large-scale patterns of habitat change over long time periods.

  12. Natural History Miscellanea: Potential Red-Cockaded Woodpecker Habitat in Maryland

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The recovery plan for Red Cockaded Woodpecker on Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge discusses the current status of the species, habitat requirements and limiting...

  13. Road network in an agrarian landscape: Potential habitat, corridor or barrier for small mammals?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Redon (de), Louis; Le Viol, Isabelle; Jiguet, Frédéric; Machon, Nathalie; Scher, Olivier; Kerbiriou, Christian

    2015-01-01

    If the negative effects of road networks on biodiversity are now recognized, their role as barriers, habitats or corridors remain to be clarified in human altered landscapes in which road verges often constitute the few semi-natural habitats where a part of biodiversity important for ecosystem functioning may maintain. In human-dominated landscape, their roles are crucial to precise in comparison to other habitats for small mammal species considered as major natural actors (pests (voles) or biological control agents (shrew)). We studied these roles through the comparison of small mammal abundance captured (418 individuals belonging to 8 species) using non-attractive pitfall traps (n = 813) in 176 sampled sites distributed in marginal zones of road and crop, in natural areas and in fields. We examined the effect of roadside width and isolation of sites. We found the higher small mammal abundances in roadside verges and an effect of width margins for shrews. The significant effect of the distance to the next adjacent natural habitat at the same side of the road on the relative abundance of Sorex coronatus, and the absence of a significant effect of distance to the next natural habitat at the opposite side of road, suggest that highway and road verges could be used as corridor for their dispersal, but have also a barrier effect for shrews. Our results show that in intensive agricultural landscapes roadside and highway verges may often serve as refuge, habitat and corridor for small mammals depending on species and margin characteristics.

  14. Modeling habitat and environmental factors affecting mosquito abundance in Chesapeake, Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellows, Alan Scott

    The models I present in this dissertation were designed to enable mosquito control agencies in the mid-Atlantic region that oversee large jurisdictions to rapidly track the spatial and temporal distributions of mosquito species, especially those species known to be vectors of eastern equine encephalitis and West Nile virus. I was able to keep these models streamlined, user-friendly, and not cost-prohibitive using empirically based digital data to analyze mosquito-abundance patterns in real landscapes. This research is presented in three major chapters: (II) a series of semi-static habitat suitability indices (HSI) grounded on well-documented associations between mosquito abundance and environmental variables, (III) a dynamic model for predicting both spatial and temporal mosquito abundance based on a topographic soil moisture index and recent weather patterns, and (IV) a set of protocols laid out to aid mosquito control agencies for the use of these models. The HSIs (Chapter II) were based on relationships of mosquitoes to digital surrogates of soil moisture and vegetation characteristics. These models grouped mosquitoes species derived from similarities in habitat requirements, life-cycle type, and vector competence. Quantification of relationships was determined using multiple linear regression models. As in Chapter II, relationships between mosquito abundance and environmental factors in Chapter III were quantified using regression models. However, because this model was, in part, a function of changes in weather patterns, it enables the prediction of both 'where' and 'when' mosquito outbreaks are likely to occur. This model is distinctive among similar studies in the literature because of my use of NOAA's NEXRAD Doppler radar (3-hr precipitation accumulation data) to quantify the spatial and temporal distributions in precipitation accumulation. \\ Chapter IV is unique among the chapters in this dissertation because in lieu of presenting new research, it

  15. Integrating species distributional, conservation planning, and individual based population models: A case study in critical habitat evaluation for the Northern Spotted Owl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background / Question / Methods As part of the ongoing northern spotted owl recovery planning effort, we evaluated a series of alternative potential critical habitat scenarios using a species-distribution model (MaxEnt), a conservation-planning model (Zonation), and an individua...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Laith Yakob

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

  18. Modelling habitat requirements of white-clawed crayfish (Austropotamobius pallipes using support vector machines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Favaro L.

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The white-clawed crayfish’s habitat has been profoundly modified in Piedmont (NW Italy due to environmental changes caused by human impact. Consequently, native populations have decreased markedly. In this research project, support vector machines were tested as possible tools for evaluating the ecological factors that determine the presence of white-clawed crayfish. A system of 175 sites was investigated, 98 of which recorded the presence of Austropotamobius pallipes. At each site 27 physical-chemical, environmental and climatic variables were measured according to their importance to A. pallipes. Various feature selection methods were employed. These yielded three subsets of variables that helped build three different types of models: (1 models with no variable selection; (2 models built by applying Goldberg’s genetic algorithm after variable selection; (3 models built by using a combination of four supervised-filter evaluators after variable selection. These different model types helped us realise how important it was to select the right features if we wanted to build support vector machines that perform as well as possible. In addition, support vector machines have a high potential for predicting indigenous crayfish occurrence, according to our findings. Therefore, they are valuable tools for freshwater management, tools that may prove to be much more promising than traditional and other machine-learning techniques.

  19. Exploring copepod distribution patterns at three nested spatial scales in a spring system: habitat partitioning and potential for hydrological bioindication

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Stoch

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available In groundwater-fed springs, habitat characteristics are primarily determined by a complex combination of geomorphic features and physico-chemical parameters, while species assemblages are even more intricate. Springs host species either inhabiting the spring mouth, or colonizing spring habitats from the surface or from the aquifers which feed the springs. Groundwater species living in springs have been claimed as good candidates for identifying dual aquifer flowpaths or changes in groundwater pathways before reaching the spring outlets. However, the reliability of spring species as hydrological biotracers has not been widely investigated so far. Our study was aimed at analysing a large karstic spring system at three nested spatial scales in order: i to assess, at whole spring system scale, the presence of a groundwater divide separating two aquifers feeding two spring units within a single spring system, by combining isotope analyses, physico-chemistry, and copepod distribution patterns; ii to test, at vertical spring system scale, the effectiveness of copepods in discriminating surface and subsurface habitat patches within the complex mosaic spring environment; iii to explore, at local spring unit level, the relative role of hydrochemistry and sediment texture as describers of copepod distribution among microhabitats. The results obtained demonstrated the presence of a hierarchical spatial structure, interestingly reflected in significant differences in assemblage compositions. Copepod assemblages differed between the two contiguous spring units, which were clearly characterized by their hydrochemistry and by significant differences in the groundwater flowpaths and recharge areas, as derived by the isotope analyses. The biological results suggested that stygobiotic species seem to be related to the origin of groundwater, suggesting their potential role as hydrological biotracers. At vertical scale, assemblage composition in surface and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-01

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

  1. HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELING FOR EXPLORATION OF THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF KASHMIR MUSK DEER IN DACHIGAM NATIONAL PARK, KASHMIR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mudasir Ali

    2014-01-01

    park. The model results were found to have a good performance in making fair predictions (about 50% area of the National Park has been validated for predictions. The spatial distribution of musk deer reflected the musk deer habitats mostly spread through the Picea smithiana and blue pine forest and some habitats close to the alpine scrub nearby to the rocky cliffs. The potential of the model has been utilized in finding the density of musk deer. Possible 60 musk deer survive in Dachigam National Park with a density of 0.42 individuals per sq. km. However, the weighted mean density in the musk deer habitats was about 1.55 individuals per sq. km.

  2. Habitat Quality and Anadromous Fish Production Potential on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation: Annual Report 1987.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heinith, Robert

    1987-12-01

    In 1987, The Warm Springs Indian Reservation Anadromous Fish Production and Habitat Improvement Program was in the sixth year of a scheduled eleven year program. To date, 21 kilometers of reservation stream habitat have been enhanced for salmonid production benefits. Unusual climatic conditions created a severe drought throughout the Warm Springs River Basin and Shitike Creek in 1987. Temperature extremes and low annual discharges ensued throughout reservation waters. Study sites, located in the Warm Springs River Basin and Shitike Creek, continued to be monitored for physical biological parameters. Post treatment evaluation of bioengineering work in Mill Creek (Strawberry Falls Project) was conducted. Despite low discharges, physical habitat parameters were improved and notable gains were observed in both spring chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytascha) and summer steelhead trout (Salmo gairdneri) abundance and biomass at post treatment sites. Major bioengineering work was completed at the Mill Creek (Potter's Pond) Site. 19 refs., 24 figs., 16 tabs.

  3. Predictive mechanistic bioenergetics to model habitat suitability of shellfish culture in coastal lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinaldi, A.; Montalto, V.; Manganaro, A.; Mazzola, A.; Mirto, S.; Sanfilippo, M.; Sarà, G.

    2014-05-01

    Quantitative tools based on mechanistic modelling of functional traits able to enhance the sustainability of aquaculture and most other human activities (i.e. reducing the likelihood of detrimental impacts optimising productions), are especially important factors in the decision to site aquaculture facilities in coastal lakes, ponds and lagoons and, in the case of detrimental impact, to adopt mitigation measures. We tested the ability of mechanistic functional trait based models to predict life history traits of cultivable shellfish in shallow coastal lakes. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models were run to generate spatially explicit predictions of Mytilus galloprovincialis life history (LH) traits (e.g. body size and fecundity). Using fortnightly data of food supply and hourly data of body temperatures, and exploiting the power of mechanistic rules, we estimated the amount of faeces ejected by a fixed quantity of organisms cultivated in two shallow Southern Mediterranean (Sicily) lakes. These differed in terms of temperature and food density, implying large differences in life history traits of mussels in the two study areas. This information could help facilitate the selection of sites where environmental conditions are more suitable for aquaculture and contextually compatible with sustainability. The validation exercise obtained by comparing the predicted and observed data was nearly consistent. Therefore, a mechanistic functional traits-based model seems able to capture the link between habitat characteristics and functional traits of organisms, delineating the fundamental portion of an ecological niche, the possibility of predicting LH traits and potential ecological applications in the management of natural coastal resources.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard B. Standiford; Douglas McCreary; William Frost

    2002-01-01

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

  5. Fuzzy rule-based macroinvertebrate habitat suitability models for running waters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Broekhoven, Van E.; Adriaenssens, V.; Baets, De B.; Verdonschot, P.F.M.

    2006-01-01

    A fuzzy rule-based approach was applied to a macroinvertebrate habitat suitability modelling problem. The model design was based on a knowledge base summarising the preferences and tolerances of 86 macroinvertebrate species for four variables describing river sites in springs up to small rivers in t

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leigh G Torres

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

  7. Spatial rule-based assessment of habitat potential to predict impact of land use changes on biodiversity at municipal scale.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scolozzi, Rocco; Geneletti, Davide

    2011-03-01

    In human dominated landscapes, ecosystems are under increasing pressures caused by urbanization and infrastructure development. In Alpine valleys remnant natural areas are increasingly affected by habitat fragmentation and loss. In these contexts, there is a growing risk of local extinction for wildlife populations; hence assessing the consequences on biodiversity of proposed land use changes is extremely important. The article presents a methodology to assess the impacts of land use changes on target species at a local scale. The approach relies on the application of ecological profiles of target species for habitat potential (HP) assessment, using high resolution GIS-data within a multiple level framework. The HP, in this framework, is based on a species-specific assessment of the suitability of a site, as well of surrounding areas. This assessment is performed through spatial rules, structured as sets of queries on landscape objects. We show that by considering spatial dependencies in habitat assessment it is possible to perform better quantification of impacts of local-level land use changes on habitats.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Predicting and Mapping Potential Whooping Crane Stopover Habitat to Guide Site Selection for Wind Energy Projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Migration is one of the most poorly understood components of a bird’s life cycle. For that reason, migratory stopover habitats are often not part of conservation planning and may be overlooked when planning new development projects. This project highlights and addresses an overl...

  10. Study of Value Assessment Model of Forest Biodiversity Based on the Habitat Area in China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ying Zhang

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Forest biodiversity is an important part of biodiversity. There is an essential significance of studying forest biodiversity assessment for promoting the conservation of biodiversity and enhancing biodiversity management in China. This study collected forest biodiversity habitat area, output value of forestry and so on forest biodiversity assessment-related data from 2001 to 2010 in China and using optimal control methods in cybernetics to establish value assessment model of forest biodiversity based on the data of habitat area, as well as calculated the optimal price for forest biodiversity assessment. The result showed that forest biodiversity habitat assessment of the optimal price is 9,970 RMB Yuan/ha and there is a dynamic model for forest biodiversity assessment. Finally, the study suggested that studies of forest biodiversity assessment in China, in particular, studying of valuation of forest biodiversity should consider using shadow price and the social, economic and other factors should be taken into account

  11. The potential of fruit trees to enhance converted habitats for migrating birds in southern Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, M.S.

    2007-01-01

    Migration routes used by Nearctic migrant birds can cover great distances; they also differ among species, within species, and between years and seasons. As a result, migration routes for an entire migratory avifauna can encompass broad geographic areas, making it impossible to protect continuous stretches of habitat sufficient to connect the wintering and breeding grounds for most species. Consequently, ways to enhance habitats converted for human use (i.e. for pasture, crop cultivation, human settlement) as stopover sites for migrants are especially important. Shelterbelts around pastures and fields, if planted with species targeted to support migrant (and resident) bird species that naturally occupy mature forest habitats and that are at least partially frugivorous, could be a powerful enhancement tool for such species, if the birds will enter the converted areas to feed. I tested this approach for Nearctic migrant birds during the spring migration through an area in Chiapas, Mexico. Mature forest tree species whose fruits are eaten by birds were surveyed. Based on life form, crop size and fruit characteristics, I selected three tree species for study: Cymbopetalum mayanum (Annonaceae), Bursera simaruba (Burseraceae) and Trophis racemosa (Moraceae). I compared the use of fruits of these species by migrants and residents in forest with their use of the fruits of isolated individuals of the same species in pasture and cropland. All three plant species were useful for enhancing converted habitats for forest-occupying spring migrants, although species differed in the degree to which they entered disturbed areas to feed on the fruits. These tree species could probably enhance habitats for migrants at sites throughout the natural geographic ranges of the plants; in other geographic areas for other target bird groups, other tree species might be more appropriate.

  12. Potential habitat of Javan Hawk-Eagle based on multi-scale approach and its implication for conservation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nurfatimah, C.; Syartinilia; Mulyani, Y. A.

    2017-01-01

    In Indonesia the Javan Hawk-Eagle has been designated as one of the 25 top priority protected species to be increased by 10% of current population number. Lack of suitable habitat is most likely the reason for the decline of the species in landscapes subject to major human modification. Central part of Java Island has suffered the most severe forest damage and fragmentation compared to the western part and eastern part of the island. This study presents the number of predicted suitable habitats for Javan Hawk-Eagle in the central part of Java Island based on habitat probability model. Multi-scale approach was being used to determine the accuracy level of patches reading between different image resolutions. 38 patches were detected at 30 m2, 28 patches at 90 m2, and 19 patches were detected at 250 m2 images resolutions. Higher reading implied more landscape structures within different regions should be considered during management of habitat conservation. Therefore, larger scale of conservation management application should be conducted as well.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer A. Brown

    2012-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Froese, Jens G; Smith, Carl S; Durr, Peter A; McAlpine, Clive A; van Klinken, Rieks D

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Simultaneous modeling of habitat suitability, occupancy, and relative abundance: African elephants in Zimbabwe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Julien; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Nichols, James D; Fritz, Hervé; Hines, James E; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J; MacKenzie, Darryl I; Bailey, Larissa L

    2010-06-01

    The recent development of statistical models such as dynamic site occupancy models provides the opportunity to address fairly complex management and conservation problems with relatively simple models. However, surprisingly few empirical studies have simultaneously modeled habitat suitability and occupancy status of organisms over large landscapes for management purposes. Joint modeling of these components is particularly important in the context of management of wild populations, as it provides a more coherent framework to investigate the population dynamics of organisms in space and time for the application of management decision tools. We applied such an approach to the study of water hole use by African elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Here we show how such methodology may be implemented and derive estimates of annual transition probabilities among three dry-season states for water holes: (1) unsuitable state (dry water holes with no elephants); (2) suitable state (water hole with water) with low abundance of elephants; and (3) suitable state with high abundance of elephants. We found that annual rainfall and the number of neighboring water holes influenced the transition probabilities among these three states. Because of an increase in elephant densities in the park during the study period, we also found that transition probabilities from low abundance to high abundance states increased over time. The application of the joint habitat-occupancy models provides a coherent framework to examine how habitat suitability and factors that affect habitat suitability influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. We discuss how these simple models can further be used to apply structured decision-making tools in order to derive decisions that are optimal relative to specified management objectives. The modeling framework presented in this paper should be applicable to a wide range of existing data sets and should help to address important ecological

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Integrating spatial data and shorebird nesting locations to predict the potential future impact of global warming on coastal habitats: A case study on Farasan Islands, Saudi Arabia

    OpenAIRE

    Alrashidi, Monif; Shobrak, Mohammed; Al-Eissa, Mohammed S.; Székely, Tamás

    2012-01-01

    One of the expected effects of the global warming is changing coastal habitats by accelerating the rate of sea level rise. Coastal habitats support large number of marine and wetland species including shorebirds (plovers, sandpipers and allies). In this study, we investigate how coastal habitats may be impacted by sea level rise in the Farasan Islands, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. We use Kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus – a common coastal breeding shorebird – as an ecological model species ...

  18. Phylogenetic and Functional Analysis of Metagenome Sequence from High-Temperature Archaeal Habitats Demonstrate Linkages between Metabolic Potential and Geochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Inskeep, William P; Jay, Zackary J; Herrgard, Markus;

    2013-01-01

    Geothermal habitats in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) provide an unparalleled opportunity to understand the environmental factors that control the distribution of archaea in thermal habitats. Here we describe, analyze, and synthesize metagenomic and geochemical data collected from seven high......-temperature sites that contain microbial communities dominated by archaea relative to bacteria. The specific objectives of the study were to use metagenome sequencing to determine the structure and functional capacity of thermophilic archaeal-dominated microbial communities across a pH range from 2.5 to 6.......4 and to discuss specific examples where the metabolic potential correlated with measured environmental parameters and geochemical processes occurring in situ. Random shotgun metagenome sequence (∼40-45 Mb Sanger sequencing per site) was obtained from environmental DNA extracted from high-temperature sediments and...

  19. Predictive habitat suitability models to aid conservation of elasmobranch diversity in the central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, V.; Gristina, M.; Attrill, M. J.; Fiorentino, F.; Garofalo, G.

    2015-08-01

    Commercial fisheries have dramatically impacted elasmobranch populations worldwide. With high capture and bycatch rates, the abundance of many species is rapidly declining and around a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. At a regional scale this negative trend has also been evidenced in the central Mediterranean Sea, where bottom-trawl fisheries have affected the biomass of certain rays (e.g. Raja clavata) and sharks (e.g. Mustelus spp.). Detailed knowledge of elasmobranch habitat requirements is essential for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, but this is often hampered by a poor understanding of their spatial ecology. Habitat suitability models were used to investigate the habitat preference of nine elasmobranch species and their overall diversity (number of species) in relation to five environmental predictors (i.e. depth, sea surface temperature, surface salinity, slope and rugosity) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Results showed that depth, seafloor morphology and sea surface temperature were the main drivers for elasmobranch habitat suitability. Predictive distribution maps revealed different species-specific patterns of suitable habitat while high assemblage diversity was predicted in deeper offshore waters (400-800 m depth). This study helps to identify priority conservation areas and diversity hot-spots for rare and endangered elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea.

  20. POPULATION CONSEQUENCES OF WINTER HABITAT LOSS IN A MIGRATORY SHOREBIRD .1. ESTIMATING MODEL PARAMETERS

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    GOSSCUSTARD, JD; CLARKE, RT; BRIGGS, KB; ENS, BJ; EXO, KM; SMIT, C; BEINTEMA, AJ; CALDOW, RWG; CATT, DC; CLARK, NA; DURELL, SEALD; HARRIS, MP; HULSCHER, JB; MEININGER, PL; PICOZZI, N; PRYSJONES, R; SAFRIEL, UN; WEST, AD

    1995-01-01

    1. In order to construct a model to predict the effect of winter habitat loss on the migratory population of the European subspecies of the oystercatcher, Haematopus ostralegus ostralegus, data on the reproductive and mortality rates collected throughout Europe over the last 60 years are reviewed. W

  1. Modeling larval malaria vector habitat locations using landscape features and cumulative precipitation measures

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mc Cann, R.S.; Messina, J.P.; MacFarlane, D.W.; Bayoh, M.N.; Vulule, J.M.; Gimnig, J.E.; Walker, E.D.

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Predictive models of malaria vector larval habitat locations may provide a basis for understanding the spatial determinants of malaria transmission. METHODS: We used four landscape variables (topographic wetness index [TWI], soil type, land use-land cover, and distance to stream) and acc

  2. Chaos and regular dynamics in model multi-habitat plankton–fish communities

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    A B Medvinsky; S V Petrovskii; I A Tikhonova; E Venturino; H Malchow

    2001-03-01

    This work is focused on the role of diffusive interaction between separate habitats in a patchy environment in plankton pattern formation. We demonstrate that conceptual reaction—diffusion mathematical models constitute an appropriate tool for searching and understanding basic mechanisms of plankton pattern formation and complex spatio-temporal plankton dynamics.

  3. Potential sites for suitable coelacanth habitat using bathymetric data from the western Indian Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Leuci

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Bathymetry as a discriminatory tool for targeting suitable coelacanth habitats is explored. A regional bathymetry, garnered from pre-existing data sets, and geo-referenced bathymetric charts for the western Indian Ocean is collated and incorporated into a geographical information system (GIS. This allows the suitability of coelacanth habitation, based on criteria concerning depth and shelf morphology from known coelacanth habitats, to be interrogated. A best guess for further detailed exploration is provided, targeting northern Mozambique, between Olumbe and Port Amelia, and the Port St Johns–Port Shepstone stretch of coastline in South Africa. Sparse data prevent the identification of Tanzanian and Madagascan target sites, though these should not be ignored. Ultimately, the GIS is envisioned as a flexible tool within which other spatial data collected in these areas concerning coelacanths may be incorporated.

  4. [Habitat suitability assessment of medicinal Polyporus umbellatusin China based on Maxent modeling].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Meng-meng; Xing, Yong-mei; Guo, Shun-xing

    2015-07-01

    Geographic distribution of Polyporus umbellatus was predicted by using distribution records. Based on 42 distribution records from 12 provinces and bioclimatic data (1950-2000), georaphic distribution of P. umbellatus was modeled using Maxent. The results showed thatthe Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve analysis method was used to assess the accuracy of MAXENT model and the area under ROC curve (AUC) value of MAXENT was 0. 960 which suggested that the result of assessment was dependable. The geographic distribution pattern of were divided into three distribution block based on distribution values of 0.5-0.8: small area of Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning and Hebei province, the board area of Yunnan, Guizhou and Sichuan, the southeast area of Tibet and the most area of Shanxi and Shannxi, the southeast board area of Shannxi, Gansu and Ningxia. Jackknife Test showed that average precipitation in warm seasons had the greatest contribution to the distribution gain of P. umbellatus, followed by mean temperature of driest quarter and annual mean temperature. The object suggests the potential distribution areasof P. umbellatus which is useful for the habitat conservation and introduction of P. umbellatus.

  5. A model for habitat selection and species distribution derived from central place foraging theory.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsson, Ola; Bolin, Arvid

    2014-06-01

    We have developed a habitat selection model based on central place foraging theory. An individual's decision to include a patch in its habitat depends on the marginal fitness contribution of that patch, which is characterized by its quality and distance to the central place. The essence of the model we have developed is a fitness isocline which is a function of patch quality and travel time to the patch. It has two parameters: the maximum travel distance to a patch of infinite quality and a coefficient that appropriately scales quality by travel time. Patches falling below the isocline will have positive marginal fitness values and should be included in the habitat. The maximum travel distance depends on the availability and quality of patches, as well as on the forager's life history, whereas the scaling parameter mostly depends on life history properties. Using the model, we derived a landscape quality metric (which can be thought of as a connectivity measure) that sums the values of available habitat in the landscape around a central place. We then fitted the two parameters to foraging data on breeding white storks (Ciconia ciconia) and estimated landscape quality, which correlated strongly with reproductive success. Landscape quality was then calculated for a larger region where re-introduction of the species is currently going on in order to demonstrate how this model can also be regarded as a species distribution model. In conclusion, we have built a general habitat selection model for central place foragers and a novel way of estimating landscape quality based on a behaviorally scaled connectivity metric.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Ulbrich, K.; Seidelmann, K.

    2001-01-01

    To understand associations between habitat, individual behaviour, and population development of solitary bees we developed an individual-based model. This model is based on field observations of Osmia rufa (L) (Apoideae: Megachilidae) and describes population dynamics of solitary bees. Model rules are focused on maternal investment, in particular on the female’s individual decisions about sex and size of progeny. In the present paper, we address the effect of habi...

  7. MODELING THE DYNAMICS OF THREE FUNCTIONAL GROUPS OF MACROALGAE IN TROPICAL SEAGRASS HABITATS. (R828677C004)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A model of three functional groups of macroalgae, drift algae, rhizophytic calcareous algae, and seagrass epiphytes, was developed to complement an existing seagrass production model for tropical habitats dominated by Thalassia testudinum (Turtle-grass). The current modeling e...

  8. Pataha Creek Model Watershed : 1998 Habitat Conservation Projects.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartels, Duane G.

    1999-12-01

    The projects outlined in detail on the attached project reports are a few of the many projects implemented in the Pataha Creek Model Watershed since it was selected as a model in 1993. 1998 was a year where a focused effort was made to work on the upland conservation practices to reduce the sedimentation into Pataha Creek.

  9. Physiology-based modelling approaches to characterize fish habitat suitability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Teal, L.R.; Marras, Stefano; Peck, M.A.; Domenici, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Models are useful tools for predicting the impact of global change on species distribution and abundance. As ectotherms, fish are being challenged to adapt or track changes in their environment, either in time through a phenological shift or in space by a biogeographic shift. Past modelling efforts

  10. Modelling biological invasions: species traits, species interactions, and habitat heterogeneity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannas, Sergio A; Marco, Diana E; Páez, Sergio A

    2003-05-01

    In this paper we explore the integration of different factors to understand, predict and control ecological invasions, through a general cellular automaton model especially developed. The model includes life history traits of several species in a modular structure interacting multiple cellular automata. We performed simulations using field values corresponding to the exotic Gleditsia triacanthos and native co-dominant trees in a montane area. Presence of G. triacanthos juvenile bank was a determinant condition for invasion success. Main parameters influencing invasion velocity were mean seed dispersal distance and minimum reproductive age. Seed production had a small influence on the invasion velocity. Velocities predicted by the model agreed well with estimations from field data. Values of population density predicted matched field values closely. The modular structure of the model, the explicit interaction between the invader and the native species, and the simplicity of parameters and transition rules are novel features of the model.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  13. Habitat suitability index model for black bear (Ursus americanus)

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This descriptive model applies only to black bear in the coastal forests and adjacent vegetative communities, which extend from Afognak Island and the shores of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kyung Ah Koo

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Phylogenetic and functional analysis of metagenome sequence from high-temperature archaeal habitats demonstrate linkages between metabolic potential and geochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William P. Inskeep

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available Geothermal habitats in Yellowstone National Park (YNP provide an unparalled opportunity to understand the environmental factors that control the distribution of archaea in thermal habitats. Here we describe, analyze and synthesize metagenomic and geochemical data collected from seven high-temperature sites that contain microbial communities dominated by archaea relative to bacteria. The specific objectives of the study were to use metagenome sequencing to determine the structure and functional capacity of thermophilic archaeal-dominated microbial communities across a pH range from 2.5 to 6.4 and to discuss specific examples where the metabolic potential correlated with measured environmental parameters and geochemical processes occurring in situ. Random shotgun metagenome sequence (~40-45 Mbase Sanger sequencing per site was obtained from environmental DNA extracted from high-temperature sediments and/or microbial mats and subjected to numerous phylogenetic and functional analyses. Analysis of individual sequences (e.g., MEGAN and G+C content and assemblies from each habitat type revealed the presence of dominant archaeal populations in all environments, 10 of whose genomes were largely reconstructed from the sequence data. Analysis of protein family occurrence, particularly of those involved in energy conservation, electron transport and autotrophic metabolism, revealed significant differences in metabolic strategies across sites consistent with differences in major geochemical attributes (e.g., sulfide, oxygen, pH. These observations provide an ecological basis for understanding the distribution of indigenous archaeal lineages across high temperature systems of YNP.

  17. Phylogenetic and Functional Analysis of Metagenome Sequence from High-Temperature Archaeal Habitats Demonstrate Linkages between Metabolic Potential and Geochemistry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inskeep, William P; Jay, Zackary J; Herrgard, Markus J; Kozubal, Mark A; Rusch, Douglas B; Tringe, Susannah G; Macur, Richard E; Jennings, Ryan deM; Boyd, Eric S; Spear, John R; Roberto, Francisco F

    2013-01-01

    Geothermal habitats in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) provide an unparalleled opportunity to understand the environmental factors that control the distribution of archaea in thermal habitats. Here we describe, analyze, and synthesize metagenomic and geochemical data collected from seven high-temperature sites that contain microbial communities dominated by archaea relative to bacteria. The specific objectives of the study were to use metagenome sequencing to determine the structure and functional capacity of thermophilic archaeal-dominated microbial communities across a pH range from 2.5 to 6.4 and to discuss specific examples where the metabolic potential correlated with measured environmental parameters and geochemical processes occurring in situ. Random shotgun metagenome sequence (∼40-45 Mb Sanger sequencing per site) was obtained from environmental DNA extracted from high-temperature sediments and/or microbial mats and subjected to numerous phylogenetic and functional analyses. Analysis of individual sequences (e.g., MEGAN and G + C content) and assemblies from each habitat type revealed the presence of dominant archaeal populations in all environments, 10 of whose genomes were largely reconstructed from the sequence data. Analysis of protein family occurrence, particularly of those involved in energy conservation, electron transport, and autotrophic metabolism, revealed significant differences in metabolic strategies across sites consistent with differences in major geochemical attributes (e.g., sulfide, oxygen, pH). These observations provide an ecological basis for understanding the distribution of indigenous archaeal lineages across high-temperature systems of YNP.

  18. THE CONSERVATION AND POTENTIAL HABITAT OF THE HIMALAYAN MUSK DEER, MOSCHUS CHRYSOGASTER, IN THE PROTECTED AREAS OF NEPAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achyut ARYAL

    2011-06-01

    Full Text Available The Himalayan musk deer (Moschus chrysogaster is a cervid distributed from the eastern to the western Himalayas of Nepal. The species is listed as endangered in appendix I of IUCN Red data, and protected in Nepal under the National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Act of 1973. Musk deer occupy the middle to the higher mountain regions, which cover 12 protected areas of Nepal (6 national parks, 5 conservation areas, 1 hunting reserve. However, of the 30177.19 km2 potential habitat, only 19.26% (5815.08 km2 is inside the protected areas and the remaining 80.73% falls outside the protected areas. Consequently, poaching, habitat destruction, livestock grazing and forest fire in the musk deer habitat are important challenges for the conservation of musk deer in the country. A thorough status survey in and outside the protected areas should be carried out and a species-focused conservation action plan should be prepared and implemented properly. A program for increasing awareness and enhancing livelihood of the local populations be launched in the poor and poaching risk zones of Nepal.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Ulbrich

    2001-09-01

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

  20. A framework for habitat monitoring and climate change modelling

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Villoslada, Miguel; Bunce, Robert G.H.; Sepp, Kalev; Jongman, Rob H.G.; Metzger, Marc J.; Kull, Tiiu; Raet, Janar; Kuusemets, Valdo; Kull, Ain; Leito, Aivar

    2017-01-01

    Environmental stratifications provide the framework for efficient surveillance and monitoring of biodiversity and ecological resources, as well as modelling exercises. An obstacle for agricultural landscape monitoring in Estonia has been the lack of a framework for the objective selection of

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-07-01

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

  2. Improving predictive mapping of deep-water habitats: Considering multiple model outputs and ensemble techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert, Katleen; Jones, Daniel O. B.; Roberts, J. Murray; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.

    2016-07-01

    In the deep sea, biological data are often sparse; hence models capturing relationships between observed fauna and environmental variables (acquired via acoustic mapping techniques) are often used to produce full coverage species assemblage maps. Many statistical modelling techniques are being developed, but there remains a need to determine the most appropriate mapping techniques. Predictive habitat modelling approaches (redundancy analysis, maximum entropy and random forest) were applied to a heterogeneous section of seabed on Rockall Bank, NE Atlantic, for which landscape indices describing the spatial arrangement of habitat patches were calculated. The predictive maps were based on remotely operated vehicle (ROV) imagery transects high-resolution autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) sidescan backscatter maps. Area under the curve (AUC) and accuracy indicated similar performances for the three models tested, but performance varied by species assemblage, with the transitional species assemblage showing the weakest predictive performances. Spatial predictions of habitat suitability differed between statistical approaches, but niche similarity metrics showed redundancy analysis and random forest predictions to be most similar. As one statistical technique could not be found to outperform the others when all assemblages were considered, ensemble mapping techniques, where the outputs of many models are combined, were applied. They showed higher accuracy than any single model. Different statistical approaches for predictive habitat modelling possess varied strengths and weaknesses and by examining the outputs of a range of modelling techniques and their differences, more robust predictions, with better described variation and areas of uncertainties, can be achieved. As improvements to prediction outputs can be achieved without additional costly data collection, ensemble mapping approaches have clear value for spatial management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  4. Simultaneous modeling of habitat suitability, occupancy, and relative abundance: African elephants in Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Julien; Chamaille-Jammes, Simon; Nichols, James D.; Fritz, Herve; Hines, James E.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.; MacKenzie, Darryl I.; Bailey, Larissa L.

    2010-01-01

    The recent development of statistical models such as dynamic site occupancy models provides the opportunity to address fairly complex management and conservation problems with relatively simple models. However, surprisingly few empirical studies have simultaneously modeled habitat suitability and occupancy status of organisms over large landscapes for management purposes. Joint modeling of these components is particularly important in the context of management of wild populations, as it provides a more coherent framework to investigate the population dynamics of organisms in space and time for the application of management decision tools. We applied such an approach to the study of water hole use by African elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Here we show how such methodology may be implemented and derive estimates of annual transition probabilities among three dry-season states for water holes: (1) unsuitable state (dry water holes with no elephants); (2) suitable state (water hole with water) with low abundance of elephants; and (3) suitable state with high abundance of elephants. We found that annual rainfall and the number of neighboring water holes influenced the transition probabilities among these three states. Because of an increase in elephant densities in the park during the study period, we also found that transition probabilities from low abundance to high abundance states increased over time. The application of the joint habitat–occupancy models provides a coherent framework to examine how habitat suitability and factors that affect habitat suitability influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. We discuss how these simple models can further be used to apply structured decision-making tools in order to derive decisions that are optimal relative to specified management objectives. The modeling framework presented in this paper should be applicable to a wide range of existing data sets and should help to address important ecological

  5. Flyway Habitat Management Unit Project report no. 3: Potential-for-waterfowl-use of migrating and wintering waterfowl habitat in the United States, 1965 and 2000, and trends

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Report describes complete quantitative estimates of present and future migration and wintering habitat capability and waterfowl demand for each of 164 management...

  6. South Fork Shenandoah River habitat-flow modeling to determine ecological and recreational characteristics during low-flow periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Ramey, R. Clay

    2012-01-01

    The ecological habitat requirements of aquatic organisms and recreational streamflow requirements of the South Fork Shenandoah River were investigated by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with the Central Shenandoah Valley Planning District Commission, the Northern Shenandoah Valley Regional Commission, and Virginia Commonwealth University. Physical habitat simulation modeling was conducted to examine flow as a major determinant of physical habitat availability and recreation suitability using field-collected hydraulic habitat variables such as water depth, water velocity, and substrate characteristics. Fish habitat-suitability criteria specific to the South Fork Shenandoah River were developed for sub-adult and adult smallmouth bass (Micropterus dolomieu), juvenile and sub-adult redbreast sunfish (Lepomis auritus), spotfin or satinfin shiner (Cyprinella spp), margined madtom (Noturus insignis),and river chub (Nocomis micropogon). Historic streamflow statistics for the summer low-flow period during July, August, and September were used as benchmark low-flow conditions and compared to habitat simulation results and water-withdrawal scenarios based on 2005 withdrawal data. To examine habitat and recreation characteristics during droughts, daily fish habitat or recreation suitability values were simulated for 2002 and other selected drought years. Recreation suitability during droughts was extremely low, because the modeling demonstrated that suitable conditions occur when the streamflows are greater than the 50th percentile flow for July, August, and September. Habitat availability for fish is generally at a maximum when streamflows are between the 75th and 25th percentile flows for July, August, and September. Time-series results for drought years, such as 2002, showed that extreme low-flow conditions less than the 5th percentile of flow for July, August, and September corresponded to below-normal habitat availability for both game and nongame fish in the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Larry R Brown

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

  10. Genetic variation of loci potentially under selection confounds species-genetic diversity correlations in a fragmented habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertin, Angeline; Gouin, Nicolas; Baumel, Alex; Gianoli, Ernesto; Serratosa, Juan; Osorio, Rodomiro; Manel, Stephanie

    2017-01-01

    Positive species-genetic diversity correlations (SGDCs) are often thought to result from the parallel influence of neutral processes on genetic and species diversity. Yet, confounding effects of non-neutral mechanisms have not been explored. Here, we investigate the impact of non-neutral genetic diversity on SGDCs in high Andean wetlands. We compare correlations between plant species diversity and genetic diversity (GD) calculated with and without loci potentially under selection (outlier loci). The study system includes 2188 specimens from five species (three common aquatic macroinvertebrate and two dominant plant species) that were genotyped for 396 amplified fragment length polymorphism loci. We also appraise the importance of neutral processes on SGDCs by investigating the influence of habitat fragmentation features. Significant positive SGDCs were detected for all five species (mean SGDC = 0.52 ± 0.05). While only a few outlier loci were detected in each species, they resulted in significant decreases in GD and in SGDCs. This supports the hypothesis that neutral processes drive species-genetic diversity relationships in high Andean wetlands. Unexpectedly, the effects on genetic diversity GD of the habitat fragmentation characteristics in this study increased with the presence of outlier loci in two species. Overall, our results reveal pitfalls in using habitat features to infer processes driving SGDCs and show that a few loci potentially under selection are enough to cause a significant downward bias in SGDC. Investigating confounding effects of outlier loci thus represents a useful approach to evidence the contribution of neutral processes on species-genetic diversity relationships. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  11. Habitat Modeling in Complex Streams: Comparison of Terrestrial Laser Scanning and Traditional Surveying Techniques for Topographic Surface Generation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hession, W. C.; Kozarek, J. L.; Resop, J. P.

    2009-12-01

    Accurate stream topography measurement is important for many environmental and ecological applications, such as hydraulic modeling and habitat characterization. Topological surveys are commonly created from point measurements using methods such as total station or global positioning system (GPS) surveying. However, surveying can be time intensive and limited by poor spatial resolution and difficulty in measuring complex morphology such as boulder-filled mountain streams. This can lead to measurement and interpolation errors, which can propagate to model uncertainty. Terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) has the potential to create high resolution, high accuracy topographic maps. Two methods, total station surveying and TLS, were used to measure the topography for an 80-meter forested reach on the Staunton River in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA. The 2,500 surveyed points were directly compared to the TLS point cloud (approximately 9,500,000 points). The total station and TLS datasets were processed to create unique digital elevation models (DEM) of the stream reach. The resulting DEMs were used to evaluate uncertainties in topographic surfaces due to errors in traditional surveying techniques, to evaluate the propagation of uncertainty due to these errors in habitat modeling, and to evaluate the efficacy of utilizing TLS for complex, boulder streams. Comparison of resulting topography of a complex boulder stream using terrestrial laser scanning (grey-scale surfaces) and total station surveying (grid lines).

  12. Differential recolonization of Atlantic intertidal habitats after disturbance reveals potential bottom-up community regulation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petzold, Willy; Scrosati, Ricardo A

    2014-01-01

    In the spring of 2014, abundant sea ice that drifted out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence caused extensive disturbance in rocky intertidal habitats on the northern Atlantic coast of mainland Nova Scotia, Canada. To monitor recovery of intertidal communities, we surveyed two wave-exposed locations in the early summer of 2014. Barnacle recruitment and the abundance of predatory dogwhelks were low at one location (Tor Bay Provincial Park) but more than 20 times higher at the other location (Whitehead). Satellite data indicated that the abundance of coastal phytoplankton (the main food source for barnacle larvae) was consistently higher at Whitehead just before the barnacle recruitment season, when barnacle larvae were in the water column. These observations suggest bottom-up forcing of intertidal communities. The underlying mechanisms and their intensity along the NW Atlantic coast could be investigated through studies done at local and regional scales.

  13. Bacterial community composition and potential driving factors in different reef habitats of the Spermonde Archipelago, Indonesia

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kegler, Hauke F.; Lukman, Muhammad; Teichberg, Mirta

    2017-01-01

    Coastal eutrophication is a key driver of shifts in bacterial communities on coral reefs. With fringing and patch reefs at varying distances from the coast the Spermonde Archipelago in southern Sulawesi, Indonesia offers ideal conditions to study the effects of coastal eutrophication along...... a spatially defined gradient. The present study investigated bacterial community composition of three coral reef habitats: the water column, sediments, and mucus of the hard coral genus Fungia, along that cross shelf environmental and water quality gradient. The main research questions were: (1) How do water....../Shigella (Gammaproteobacteria) and Raistonia (Betaproteobacteria), respectively, both dominated the bacterial community composition of the both size fractions of the water column and coral mucus. The sampled reef sediments were more diverse, and no single OTUs was dominant. There was no gradual shift in bacterial classes...

  14. Differential recolonization of Atlantic intertidal habitats after disturbance reveals potential bottom-up community regulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petzold, Willy; Scrosati, Ricardo A.

    2014-01-01

    In the spring of 2014, abundant sea ice that drifted out of the Gulf of St. Lawrence caused extensive disturbance in rocky intertidal habitats on the northern Atlantic coast of mainland Nova Scotia, Canada. To monitor recovery of intertidal communities, we surveyed two wave-exposed locations in the early summer of 2014. Barnacle recruitment and the abundance of predatory dogwhelks were low at one location (Tor Bay Provincial Park) but more than 20 times higher at the other location (Whitehead). Satellite data indicated that the abundance of coastal phytoplankton (the main food source for barnacle larvae) was consistently higher at Whitehead just before the barnacle recruitment season, when barnacle larvae were in the water column. These observations suggest bottom-up forcing of intertidal communities. The underlying mechanisms and their intensity along the NW Atlantic coast could be investigated through studies done at local and regional scales. PMID:26213609

  15. Hyperspectral Mapping of the Invasive Species Pepperweed and the Development of a Habitat Suitability Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, A.; Gole, A.; Randall, J.; Dlott, G. A.; Zhang, S.; Alfaro, B.; Schmidt, C.; Skiles, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Mapping and predicting the spatial distribution of invasive plant species is central to habitat management, however difficult to implement at landscape and regional scales. Remote sensing techniques can reduce the cost of field campaigns and can provide a regional and multi-temporal view of invasive species spread. Invasive perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is now widespread in fragmented estuaries of the South San Francisco Bay, and is shown to degrade native vegetation in estuaries and adjacent habitats, thereby reducing forage and shelter for wildlife. The purpose of this study is to map the current distribution of pepperweed in estuarine areas of the South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, and create a habitat suitability model to predict future spread. Pepperweed reflectance data were collected in-situ with a GER 1500 spectroradiometer along with 88 corresponding pepperweed presence and absence points used for building the statistical models. The spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification algorithm was used to distinguish the reflectance spectrum of pepperweed and map its distribution using an EO-1 Hyperion satellite image. To map pepperweed, a supervised classification was performed on an ASTER image with a resulting classification accuracy of 71.8%. We generated a weighted overlay analysis model within a geographic information system (GIS) framework to predict areas in the study site most susceptible to pepperweed colonization. Variables for the model included propensity for disturbance, status of pond restoration, proximity to water channels, and terrain curvature. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was also used to generate a probability map and investigate the statistical probability that each variable contributed to predict pepperweed spread. Results from the GAM revealed distance to channels, distance to ponds and curvature were statistically significant (p < 0.01) in determining the locations of suitable pepperweed habitats.

  16. Hyperspectral Mapping of the Invasive Species Pepperweed and the Development of a Habitat Suitability Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Andrew; Gole, Alexander; Randall, Jarom; Dlott, Glade; Zhang, Sylvia; Alfaro, Brian; Schmidt, Cindy; Skiles, J. W.

    2011-01-01

    Mapping and predicting the spatial distribution of invasive plant species is central to habitat management, however difficult to implement at landscape and regional scales. Remote sensing techniques can reduce the impact field campaigns have on these ecologically sensitive areas and can provide a regional and multi-temporal view of invasive species spread. Invasive perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is now widespread in fragmented estuaries of the South San Francisco Bay, and is shown to degrade native vegetation in estuaries and adjacent habitats, thereby reducing forage and shelter for wildlife. The purpose of this study is to map the present distribution of pepperweed in estuarine areas of the South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (Alviso, CA), and create a habitat suitability model to predict future spread. Pepperweed reflectance data were collected in-situ with a GER 1500 spectroradiometer along with 88 corresponding pepperweed presence and absence points used for building the statistical models. The spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification algorithm was used to distinguish the reflectance spectrum of pepperweed and map its distribution using an image from EO-1 Hyperion. To map pepperweed, we performed a supervised classification on an ASTER image with a resulting classification accuracy of 71.8%. We generated a weighted overlay analysis model within a geographic information system (GIS) framework to predict areas in the study site most susceptible to pepperweed colonization. Variables for the model included propensity for disturbance, status of pond restoration, proximity to water channels, and terrain curvature. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was also used to generate a probability map and investigate the statistical probability that each variable contributed to predict pepperweed spread. Results from the GAM revealed distance to channels, distance to ponds and curvature were statistically significant (p habitats.

  17. High genetic diversity in a potentially vulnerable tropical tree species despite extreme habitat loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annika M E Noreen

    Full Text Available Over the last 150 years, Singapore's primary forest has been reduced to less than 0.2% of its previous area, resulting in extinctions of native flora and fauna. Remaining species may be threatened by genetic erosion and inbreeding. We surveyed >95% of the remaining primary forest in Singapore and used eight highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to assess genetic diversity indices of 179 adults (>30 cm stem diameter, 193 saplings (>1 yr, and 1,822 seedlings (<1 yr of the canopy tree Koompassia malaccensis (Fabaceae. We tested hypotheses relevant to the genetic consequences of habitat loss: (1 that the K. malaccensis population in Singapore experienced a genetic bottleneck and a reduction in effective population size, and (2 K. malaccensis recruits would exhibit genetic erosion and inbreeding compared to adults. Contrary to expectations, we detected neither a population bottleneck nor a reduction in effective population size, and high genetic diversity in all age classes. Genetic diversity indices among age classes were not significantly different: we detected overall high expected heterozygosity (He = 0.843-0.854, high allelic richness (R = 16.7-19.5, low inbreeding co-efficients (FIS = 0.013-0.076, and a large proportion (30.1% of rare alleles (i.e. frequency <1%. However, spatial genetic structure (SGS analyses showed significant differences between the adults and the recruits. We detected significantly greater SGS intensity, as well as higher relatedness in the 0-10 m distance class, for seedlings and saplings compared to the adults. Demographic factors for this population (i.e. <200 adult trees are a cause for concern, as rare alleles could be lost due to stochastic factors. The high outcrossing rate (tm = 0.961, calculated from seedlings, may be instrumental in maintaining genetic diversity and suggests that pollination by highly mobile bee species in the genus Apis may provide resilience to acute habitat loss.

  18. High genetic diversity in a potentially vulnerable tropical tree species despite extreme habitat loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noreen, Annika M E; Webb, Edward L

    2013-01-01

    Over the last 150 years, Singapore's primary forest has been reduced to less than 0.2% of its previous area, resulting in extinctions of native flora and fauna. Remaining species may be threatened by genetic erosion and inbreeding. We surveyed >95% of the remaining primary forest in Singapore and used eight highly polymorphic microsatellite loci to assess genetic diversity indices of 179 adults (>30 cm stem diameter), 193 saplings (>1 yr), and 1,822 seedlings (tree Koompassia malaccensis (Fabaceae). We tested hypotheses relevant to the genetic consequences of habitat loss: (1) that the K. malaccensis population in Singapore experienced a genetic bottleneck and a reduction in effective population size, and (2) K. malaccensis recruits would exhibit genetic erosion and inbreeding compared to adults. Contrary to expectations, we detected neither a population bottleneck nor a reduction in effective population size, and high genetic diversity in all age classes. Genetic diversity indices among age classes were not significantly different: we detected overall high expected heterozygosity (He = 0.843-0.854), high allelic richness (R = 16.7-19.5), low inbreeding co-efficients (FIS = 0.013-0.076), and a large proportion (30.1%) of rare alleles (i.e. frequency trees) are a cause for concern, as rare alleles could be lost due to stochastic factors. The high outcrossing rate (tm = 0.961), calculated from seedlings, may be instrumental in maintaining genetic diversity and suggests that pollination by highly mobile bee species in the genus Apis may provide resilience to acute habitat loss.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roffler, Gretchen H.; Schwartz, Michael K.; Pilgrim, Kristy L.; Talbot, Sandra; Sage, Kevin; Adams, Layne G.; Luikart, Gordon

    2016-01-01

    Understanding how dispersal patterns are influenced by landscape heterogeneity is critical for modeling species connectivity. Resource selection function (RSF) models are increasingly used in landscape genetics approaches. However, because the ecological factors that drive habitat selection may be different from those influencing dispersal and gene flow, it is important to consider explicit assumptions and spatial scales of measurement. We calculated pairwise genetic distance among 301 Dall's sheep (Ovis dalli dalli) in southcentral Alaska using an intensive noninvasive sampling effort and 15 microsatellite loci. We used multiple regression of distance matrices to assess the correlation of pairwise genetic distance and landscape resistance derived from an RSF, and combinations of landscape features hypothesized to influence dispersal. Dall's sheep gene flow was positively correlated with steep slopes, moderate peak normalized difference vegetation indices (NDVI), and open land cover. Whereas RSF covariates were significant in predicting genetic distance, the RSF model itself was not significantly correlated with Dall's sheep gene flow, suggesting that certain habitat features important during summer (rugged terrain, mid-range elevation) were not influential to effective dispersal. This work underscores that consideration of both habitat selection and landscape genetics models may be useful in developing management strategies to both meet the immediate survival of a species and allow for long-term genetic connectivity.

  20. Modeling Nitrogen Deposition for the Santa Clara County Habitat Conservation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weiss, S. B.; Meyers, T.; Held, T.; Zippen, D.

    2009-12-01

    Nutrient-poor serpentine soils in Santa Clara County, CA, support numerous rare, threatened, and endangered species such as the Bay checkerspot butterfly. Serpentine grasslands are particularly vulnerable to atmospheric nitrogen deposition, which provides a competitive advantage to invasive annual grasses which overrun the flower-filled grasslands and degrade habitat for the protected species. The effects of N-deposition on these grasslands was first scientifically documented in 1999, and led to a series of mitigation projects for powerplants and road improvements that include habitat acquisition, monitoring, and grazing management. In 2005, a Habitat Conservation Plan/Natural Communities Conservation Plan (HCP/NCCP) was initiated to consolidate project-by-project mitigation into a regional plan covering impacts, especially indirect impacts on N-deposition, from development within the 209,500 ha study area (62% of Santa Clara County) and the cities therein. This HCP/NCCP is the first to address N-deposition effects on biodiversity. To understand the origins of the nitrogen being deposited in Santa Clara grasslands, IFC Jones & Stokes used multiple air quality modeling approaches including Gaussian line-source modeling of major highways and regional Community Multiscale Air Quality (CMAQ) modeling. Line-source modeling allowed for the estimation of N-deposition resulting from increased traffic. Gaussian modeling results indicate that the major highways closest to serpentine habitats result in the greatest environmental impact. The CMAQ modeling used the Particle and Precursor Tagging Methodology (PPTM) source apportionment technique to partition sources. In the base period (Dec 2000- Jan 2001), the CMAQ PPTM simulation estimates that 30% of the total nitrogen deposition is associated with mobile sources operating within the study area; an additional 16% emanates from stationary sources in the study area. Therefore, 46% of nitrogen deposition on the habitat areas

  1. Spatial, temporal, and habitat-related variation in abundance of pelagic fishes in the Gulf of Mexico: potential implications of the deepwater horizon oil spill.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jay R Rooker

    Full Text Available Time-series data collected over a four-year period were used to characterize patterns of abundance for pelagic fishes in the northern Gulf of Mexico (GoM before (2007-2009 and after (2010 the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Four numerically dominant pelagic species (blackfin tuna, blue marlin, dolphinfish, and sailfish were included in our assessment, and larval density of each species was lower in 2010 than any of the three years prior to the oil spill, although larval abundance in 2010 was often statistically similar to other years surveyed. To assess potential overlap between suitable habitat of pelagic fish larvae and surface oil, generalized additive models (GAMs were developed to evaluate the influence of ocean conditions on the abundance of larvae from 2007-2009. Explanatory variables from GAMs were then linked to environmental data from 2010 to predict the probability of occurrence for each species. The spatial extent of surface oil overlapped with early life habitat of each species, possibly indicating that the availability of high quality habitat was affected by the DH oil spill. Shifts in the distribution of spawning adults is another factor known to influence the abundance of larvae, and the spatial occurrence of a model pelagic predator (blue marlin was characterized over the same four-year period using electronic tags. The spatial extent of oil coincided with areas used by adult blue marlin from 2007-2009, and the occurrence of blue marlin in areas impacted by the DH oil spill was lower in 2010 relative to pre-spill years.

  2. Assessing habitat exposure to eutrophication in restored wetlands: model-supported ex-ante approach to rewetting drained mires.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grygoruk, Mateusz; Bańkowska, Agnieszka; Jabłońska, Ewa; Janauer, Georg A; Kubrak, Janusz; Mirosław-Świątek, Dorota; Kotowski, Wiktor

    2015-04-01

    A multi-model-based study was performed in order to unravel valuable fen meadow habitats' possible exposure to eutrophication, which is expected to occur as a result of the re-saturation of degraded peat soils. The framework was tested in a 3000-ha fen-drain system to be restored in the Middle Biebrza Basin (northeast Poland), where the datasets and related models were used to delineate prospective eutrophication hotspots and nutrient transport. A 1-d hydrodynamic model and a 3-d groundwater flow model were applied to constitute the hydrological response of the fen-drain system to the prospective construction and function of weirs and spillways, which are expected to induce the increase of groundwater levels in degraded fens. A groundwater particle-tracking postprocessor was applied to delineate flow pathways and discharge zones and to determine water residence time in modelled layers. Soil and habitat maps, a high-resolution digital elevation model and historic groundwater level observations were applied to the model performance, calibration and spatial analysis of prospective eutrophication hotspots where increased eutrophication of groundwater can be expected due to the re-saturation of degraded peat soils. The study revealed that the large-scale fen rewetting that occurred as a result of surface water bodies' damming can potentially result in groundwater-driven nutrient dispersion along with an enhanced nutrient transport from a fen to the adjacent water bodies. Spatial analyses showed that, although the rewetting-driven eutrophication of Molinia fen meadows located in the study area is not likely, one can expect increased nutrient discharges to adjacent drains, inducing the contamination of ox-bow lakes located along the rivers. We propose the presented methodology to be applied ex-ante to fen-rewetting projects in strategic environmental assessments of restoration projects in order to manage the potentially negative environmental consequences of fen and river

  3. Comparison of statistical and theoretical habitat models for conservation planning: the benefit of ensemble prediction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones-Farrand, D. Todd; Fearer, Todd M.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Thompson, Frank R.; Nelson, Mark D.; Tirpak, John M.

    2011-01-01

    Selection of a modeling approach is an important step in the conservation planning process, but little guidance is available. We compared two statistical and three theoretical habitat modeling approaches representing those currently being used for avian conservation planning at landscape and regional scales: hierarchical spatial count (HSC), classification and regression tree (CRT), habitat suitability index (HSI), forest structure database (FS), and habitat association database (HA). We focused our comparison on models for five priority forest-breeding species in the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region: Acadian Flycatcher, Cerulean Warbler, Prairie Warbler, Red-headed Woodpecker, and Worm-eating Warbler. Lacking complete knowledge on the distribution and abundance of each species with which we could illuminate differences between approaches and provide strong grounds for recommending one approach over another, we used two approaches to compare models: rank correlations among model outputs and comparison of spatial correspondence. In general, rank correlations were significantly positive among models for each species, indicating general agreement among the models. Worm-eating Warblers had the highest pairwise correlations, all of which were significant (P , 0.05). Red-headed Woodpeckers had the lowest agreement among models, suggesting greater uncertainty in the relative conservation value of areas within the region. We assessed model uncertainty by mapping the spatial congruence in priorities (i.e., top ranks) resulting from each model for each species and calculating the coefficient of variation across model ranks for each location. This allowed identification of areas more likely to be good targets of conservation effort for a species, those areas that were least likely, and those in between where uncertainty is higher and thus conservation action incorporates more risk. Based on our results, models developed independently for the same purpose

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Batzli, George O

    2016-11-01

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

  5. Switching model with two habitats and a predator involving group defence

    CERN Document Server

    Khan, Qamar J A; Jaju, R P

    2015-01-01

    Switching model with one predator and two prey species is considered. The prey species have the ability of group defence. Therefore, the predator will be attracted towards that habitat where prey are less in number. The stability analysis is carried out for two equilibrium values. The theoretical results are compared with the numerical results for a set of values. The Hopf bifuracation analysis is done to support the stability results.

  6. Modeling "habitat suitability" for a herbicide resistant weed using a species distribution model and presence-only data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbicide resistant weeds are like invasive weeds: prompt management is needed to prevent their spread. For invasive weeds, first reports of a weed's occurrence are often analyzed with species distribution models (SDM) to prioritize detection and treatment. Suitability of other areas as habitat for ...

  7. Predictive modeling of suitable habitats for threatened marine invertebrates and implications for conservation assessment in Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael A. Magris

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Spatial analysis and modeling tools were employed to predict suitable habitat distribution for threatened marine invertebrates and estimate the overlap between highly suitable areas for these species and the Brazilian marine protected areas (MPAs. Records of the occurrence of species were obtained from the collections included in the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS-Brazil, with additional records culled from the literature. The distribution data of 16 out of 33 threatened species, with at least ten occurrences in the available records, were selected for modeling by Maxent algorithm (Maximum Entropy Modeling based on environmental variables (temperature, salinity, bathymetry and their derivatives. The resulting maps were filtered with a fixed threshold of 0.5 (to distinguish only the highly suitable areas and superimposed on MPA digital maps. The algorithm produced reasonable predictions of the species' potential distributions, showing that the patterns predicted by the model are largely consistent with current knowledge of the species. The distribution of the highly suitable areas showed little overlapping with Brazilian MPAs. This study showed how the habitat suitability for threatened species can be assessed using GIS applications and modeling tools.Neste estudo foram utilizadas análises espaciais e ferramentas de modelagem para predizer a distribuição dos hábitats adequados aos invertebrados marinhos ameaçados e estimar a sobreposição destas áreas em relação às áreas marinhas protegidas existentes. Registros de ocorrência das espécies foram obtidos das coleções incluídas no Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS-Brasil e de dados provenientes da literatura. Dados de distribuição de 16 das 33 espécies ameaçadas, com pelo menos 10 registros de ocorrência, foram selecionados para modelagem utilizando o algoritmo Maxent (Maximum Entropy Modeling e variáveis ambientais (temperatura, salinidade, batimetria

  8. SAHM:VisTrails (Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling for VisTrails): training course

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holcombe, Tracy

    2014-01-01

    VisTrails is an open-source management and scientific workflow system designed to integrate the best of both scientific workflow and scientific visualization systems. Developers can extend the functionality of the VisTrails system by creating custom modules for bundled VisTrails packages. The Invasive Species Science Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s North Central Climate Science Center have teamed up to develop and implement such a module—the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM). SAHM expedites habitat modeling and helps maintain a record of the various input data, the steps before and after processing, and the modeling options incorporated in the construction of an ecological response model. There are four main advantages to using the SAHM:VisTrails combined package for species distribution modeling: (1) formalization and tractable recording of the entire modeling process; (2) easier collaboration through a common modeling framework; (3) a user-friendly graphical interface to manage file input, model runs, and output; and (4) extensibility to incorporate future and additional modeling routines and tools. In order to meet increased interest in the SAHM:VisTrails package, the FORT offers a training course twice a year. The course includes a combination of lecture, hands-on work, and discussion. Please join us and other ecological modelers to learn the capabilities of the SAHM:VisTrails package.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

  10. Predicting Scenarios for Successful Autodissemination of Pyriproxyfen by Malaria Vectors from Their Resting Sites to Aquatic Habitats; Description and Simulation Analysis of a Field-Parameterizable Model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samson S Kiware

    Full Text Available Large-cage experiments indicate pyriproxifen (PPF can be transferred from resting sites to aquatic habitats by Anopheles arabiensis--malaria vector mosquitoes to inhibit emergence of their own offspring. PPF coverage is amplified twice: (1 partial coverage of resting sites with PPF contamination results in far higher contamination coverage of adult mosquitoes because they are mobile and use numerous resting sites per gonotrophic cycle, and (2 even greater contamination coverage of aquatic habitats results from accumulation of PPF from multiple oviposition events.Deterministic mathematical models are described that use only field-measurable input parameters and capture the biological processes that mediate PPF autodissemination. Recent successes in large cages can be rationalized, and the plausibility of success under full field conditions can be evaluated a priori. The model also defines measurable properties of PPF delivery prototypes that may be optimized under controlled experimental conditions to maximize chances of success in full field trials. The most obvious flaw in this model is the endogenous relationship that inevitably occurs between the larval habitat coverage and the measured rate of oviposition into those habitats if the target mosquito species is used to mediate PPF transfer. However, this inconsistency also illustrates the potential advantages of using a different, non-target mosquito species for contamination at selected resting sites that shares the same aquatic habitats as the primary target. For autodissemination interventions to eliminate malaria transmission or vector populations during the dry season window of opportunity will require comprehensive contamination of the most challenging subset of aquatic habitats [Formula: see text] that persist or retain PPF activity (Ux for only one week [Formula: see text], where Ux = 7 days. To achieve >99% contamination coverage of these habitats will necessitate values for the

  11. Predicting Scenarios for Successful Autodissemination of Pyriproxyfen by Malaria Vectors from Their Resting Sites to Aquatic Habitats; Description and Simulation Analysis of a Field-Parameterizable Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiware, Samson S.; Corliss, George; Merrill, Stephen; Lwetoijera, Dickson W.; Devine, Gregor; Majambere, Silas; Killeen, Gerry F.

    2015-01-01

    Background Large-cage experiments indicate pyriproxifen (PPF) can be transferred from resting sites to aquatic habitats by Anopheles arabiensis - malaria vector mosquitoes to inhibit emergence of their own offspring. PPF coverage is amplified twice: (1) partial coverage of resting sites with PPF contamination results in far higher contamination coverage of adult mosquitoes because they are mobile and use numerous resting sites per gonotrophic cycle, and (2) even greater contamination coverage of aquatic habitats results from accumulation of PPF from multiple oviposition events. Methods and Findings Deterministic mathematical models are described that use only field-measurable input parameters and capture the biological processes that mediate PPF autodissemination. Recent successes in large cages can be rationalized, and the plausibility of success under full field conditions can be evaluated a priori. The model also defines measurable properties of PPF delivery prototypes that may be optimized under controlled experimental conditions to maximize chances of success in full field trials. The most obvious flaw in this model is the endogenous relationship that inevitably occurs between the larval habitat coverage and the measured rate of oviposition into those habitats if the target mosquito species is used to mediate PPF transfer. However, this inconsistency also illustrates the potential advantages of using a different, non-target mosquito species for contamination at selected resting sites that shares the same aquatic habitats as the primary target. For autodissemination interventions to eliminate malaria transmission or vector populations during the dry season window of opportunity will require comprehensive contamination of the most challenging subset of aquatic habitats (Clx) that persist or retain PPF activity (Ux) for only one week (Clx→1, where Ux = 7 days). To achieve >99% contamination coverage of these habitats will necessitate values for the product of

  12. Modeling a habitat suitability index for the eastern fall cohort of Ommastrephes bartramii in the central North Pacific Ocean

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    CHEN Xinjun; TIAN Siquan; LIU Bilin; CHEN Yong

    2011-01-01

    The eastern fall cohort of the neon flying squid, Ommastrephes bartramii, has been commercially exploited by the Chinese squid jigging fleet in the central North Pacific Ocean since the late 1990s. To understand and identify their optimal habitat, we have developed a habitat suitability index (HSI) model using two potential important environmental variables - sea surface temperature (SST) and sea surface height anomaly (SSHA) - and fishery data from the main fishing ground (165°-180°E) during June and July of 1999-2003. A geometric mean model (GMM), minimum model (MM) and arithmetic weighted model (AWM) with different weights were compared and the best HSI model was selected using Akaike's information criterion (AIC). The performance of the developed HSI model was evaluated using fishery data for 2004. This study suggests that the highest catch per unit effort (CPUE) and fishing effort are closely related to SST and SSHA. The best SST- and SSHA-based suitability index (SI) regression models were SISST-bsed = 0.7SIeffort-SST + 0.3 SICPUE-SST, and SISSHA-based = 0.5SIeffon-SSHA + 0.5SICP,UE-SSHA,respectively, showing that fishing effort is more important than CPUE in the estimation of SI. The bestHSI model was the AWM, defined as HSI=0.3SISST-based+ 0.7SISSHA-based, indicating that SSHA is moreimportant than SST in estimating the HSI of squid. In 2004, monthly HSI values greater than 0.6 coincidedwith the distribution of productive fishing ground and high CPUE in June and July, suggesting that themodels perform well. The proposed model provides an important tool in our efforts to develop forecastingcapacity of squid spatial dynamics.

  13. The complete genome and proteome of Laribacter hongkongensis reveal potential mechanisms for adaptations to different temperatures and habitats.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick C Y Woo

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Laribacter hongkongensis is a newly discovered Gram-negative bacillus of the Neisseriaceae family associated with freshwater fish-borne gastroenteritis and traveler's diarrhea. The complete genome sequence of L. hongkongensis HLHK9, recovered from an immunocompetent patient with severe gastroenteritis, consists of a 3,169-kb chromosome with G+C content of 62.35%. Genome analysis reveals different mechanisms potentially important for its adaptation to diverse habitats of human and freshwater fish intestines and freshwater environments. The gene contents support its phenotypic properties and suggest that amino acids and fatty acids can be used as carbon sources. The extensive variety of transporters, including multidrug efflux and heavy metal transporters as well as genes involved in chemotaxis, may enable L. hongkongensis to survive in different environmental niches. Genes encoding urease, bile salts efflux pump, adhesin, catalase, superoxide dismutase, and other putative virulence factors-such as hemolysins, RTX toxins, patatin-like proteins, phospholipase A1, and collagenases-are present. Proteomes of L. hongkongensis HLHK9 cultured at 37 degrees C (human body temperature and 20 degrees C (freshwater habitat temperature showed differential gene expression, including two homologous copies of argB, argB-20, and argB-37, which encode two isoenzymes of N-acetyl-L-glutamate kinase (NAGK-NAGK-20 and NAGK-37-in the arginine biosynthesis pathway. NAGK-20 showed higher expression at 20 degrees C, whereas NAGK-37 showed higher expression at 37 degrees C. NAGK-20 also had a lower optimal temperature for enzymatic activities and was inhibited by arginine probably as negative-feedback control. Similar duplicated copies of argB are also observed in bacteria from hot springs such as Thermus thermophilus, Deinococcus geothermalis, Deinococcus radiodurans, and Roseiflexus castenholzii, suggesting that similar mechanisms for temperature adaptation may be

  14. The potential role of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in protecting endangered plants and habitats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bothe, Hermann; Turnau, Katarzyna; Regvar, Marjana

    2010-10-01

    Ecosystems worldwide are threatened with the extinction of plants and, at the same time, invasion by new species. Plant invasiveness and loss of species can be caused by similar but opposing pressures on the community structures. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) can have multiple positive effects on plant growth, productivity, health, and stress relief. Many endangered species live in symbiosis with AMF. However, the list of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) indicates that the mycorrhizal status of most of the threatened species has not been assessed. Rare plants often occur in specialized and also endangered habitats and might utilize specialized or unique AMF. The specificity of any endangered plant to its AMF population has not been investigated. Because most of the current AMF isolates that are available colonize a broad range of plant species, selected inocula could be used to promote growth of endangered plants before the proper and more effective indigenous AMF are characterized. Application of AMF in field sites to protect endangered plants is hardly feasible due to the complexity of plant community structures and the large amount of fungal inocula needed. Endangered plants could, however, be grown as greenhouse cultures together with appropriate fungi, and, at the relevant developmental stage, they could be re-planted into native sites to prevent extinction and to preserve plant community ecology.

  15. Development of a spatially distributed model of fish population density for habitat assessment of rivers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sui, Pengzhe; Iwasaki, Akito; Ryo, Masahiro; Saavedra, Oliver; Yoshimura, Chihiro

    2013-04-01

    Flow conditions play an important role in sustaining biodiversity of river ecosystem. However, their relations to freshwater fishes, especially to fish population density, have not been clearly described. This study, therefore, aimed to propose a new methodology to quantitatively link habitat conditions, including flow conditions and other physical conditions, to population density of fish species. We developed a basin-scale fish distribution model by integrating the concept of habitat suitability assessment with a distributed hydrological model (DHM) in order to estimate fish population density with particular attention to flow conditions. Generalized linear model (GLM) was employed to evaluate the relationship between population density of fish species and major environmental factors. The target basin was Sagami River in central Japan, where the river reach was divided into 10 sections by estuary, confluences of tributaries, and river-crossing structures (dams, weirs). The DHM was employed to simulate river discharge from 1998 to 2005, which was used to calculate 10 flow indices including mean discharge, 25th and 75th percentile discharge, duration of low and high flows, number of floods. In addition, 5 water quality parameters and 13 other physical conditions (such as basin area, river width, mean diameter of riverbed material, and number of river-crossing structures upstream and downstream) of each river section were considered as environmental variables. In case of Sagami River, 10 habitat variables among them were then selected based on their correlations to avoid multicollinearity. Finally, the best GLM was developed for each species based on Akaike's information criterion. As results, population densities of 16 fish species in Sagami River were modelled, and correlation coefficients between observed and calculated population densities for 10 species were more than 0.70. The key habitat factors for population density varied among fish species. Minimum

  16. Defining environmental flows requirements at regional scale by using meso-scale habitat models and catchments classification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezza, Paolo; Comoglio, Claudio; Rosso, Maurizio

    2010-05-01

    The alterations of the natural flow regime and in-stream channel modification due to abstraction from watercourses act on biota through an hydraulic template, which is mediated by channel morphology. Modeling channel hydro-morphology is needed in order to evaluate how much habitat is available for selected fauna under specific environmental conditions, and consequently to assist decision makers in planning options for regulated river management. Meso-scale habitat modeling methods (e.g., MesoHABSIM) offer advantages over the traditional physical habitat evaluation, involving a larger range of habitat variables, allowing longer length of surveyed rivers and enabling understanding of fish behavior at larger spatial scale. In this study we defined a bottom-up method for the ecological discharge evaluation at regional scale, focusing on catchments smaller than 50 km2, most of them located within mountainous areas of Apennines and Alps mountain range in Piedmont (NW Italy). Within the regional study domain we identified 30 representative catchments not affected by water abstractions in order to build up the habitat-flow relationship, to be used as reference when evaluating regulated watercourses or new projects. For each stream we chose a representative reach and obtained fish data by sampling every single functional habitat (i.e. meso-habitat) within the site, keeping separated each area by using nets. The target species were brown trout (Salmo trutta), marble trout (Salmo trutta marmoratus), bullhead (Cottus gobius), chub (Leuciscus cephalus), barbel (Barbus barbus), vairone (Leuciscus souffia) and other rheophilic Cyprinids. The fish habitat suitability criteria was obtained from the observation of habitat use by a selected organism described with a multivariate relationship between habitat characteristics and fish presence. Habitat type, mean slope, cover, biotic choriotop and substrate, stream depth and velocity, water pH, temperature and percentage of dissolved

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-20

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

  18. A review of the role of active remote sensing and data fusion for characterizing forest in wildlife habitat models

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. C. Vogeler

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Spatially explicit maps of wildlife habitat relationships have proven to be valuable tools for conservation and management applications including evaluating how and which species may be impacted by large scale climate change, ongoing fragmentation of habitat, and local land-use practices. Studies have turned to remote sensing datasets as a way to characterize vegetation for the examination of habitat selection and for mapping realized relationships across the landscape. Potentially one of the more difficult habitat types to try to characterize with remote sensing are the vertically and horizontally complex forest systems. Characterizing this complexity is needed to explore which aspects may represent driving and/or limiting factors for wildlife species. Active remote sensing data from lidar and radar sensors has thus caught the attention of the forest wildlife research and management community in its potential to represent three dimensional habitat features. The purpose of this review was to examine the applications of active remote sensing for characterizing forest in wildlife habitat studies through a keyword search within Web of Science. We present commonly used active remote sensing metrics and methods, discuss recent advances in characterizing aspects of forest habitat, and provide suggestions for future research in the area of new remote sensing data/techniques that could benefit forest wildlife studies that are currently not represented or may be underutilized within the wildlife literature. We also highlight the potential value in data fusion of active and passive sensor data for representing multiple dimensions and scales of forest habitat. While the use of remote sensing has increased in recent years within wildlife habitat studies, continued communication between the remote sensing, forest management, and wildlife communities is vital to ensure appropriate data sources and methods are understood and utilized, and so that creators of

  19. Modeling the potential area of occupancy at fine resolution may reduce uncertainty in species range estimates

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Draper, David; Nogues, David Bravo

    2012-01-01

    and maximum entropy modeling to assess whether different sampling (expert versus systematic surveys) may affect AOO estimates based on habitat suitability maps, and the differences between such measurements and traditional coarse-grid methods. Fine-scale models performed robustly and were not influenced...... by survey protocols, providing similar habitat suitability outputs with high spatial agreement. Model-based estimates of potential AOO were significantly smaller than AOO measures obtained from coarse-scale grids, even if the first were obtained from conservative thresholds based on the Minimal Predicted...... Area (MPA). As defined here, the potential AOO provides spatially-explicit measures of species ranges which are permanent in the time and scarcely affected by sampling bias. The overestimation of these measures may be reduced using higher thresholds of habitat suitability, but standard rules as the MPA...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.

    2001-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Liu, X.

    2001-01-01

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

  3. The Effects of Anthropogenic Structures on Habitat Connectivity and the Potential Spread of Non-Native Invertebrate Species in the Offshore Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachel D Simons

    Full Text Available Offshore structures provide habitat that could facilitate species range expansions and the introduction of non-native species into new geographic areas. Surveys of assemblages of seven offshore oil and gas platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel revealed a change in distribution of the non-native sessile invertebrate Watersipora subtorquata, a bryozoan with a planktonic larval duration (PLD of 24 hours or less, from one platform in 2001 to four platforms in 2013. We use a three-dimensional biophysical model to assess whether larval dispersal via currents from harbors to platforms and among platforms is a plausible mechanism to explain the change in distribution of Watersipora and to predict potential spread to other platforms in the future. Hull fouling is another possible mechanism to explain the change in distribution of Watersipora. We find that larval dispersal via currents could account for the increase in distribution of Watersipora from one to four platforms and that Watersipora is unlikely to spread from these four platforms to additional platforms through larval dispersal. Our results also suggest that larvae with PLDs of 24 hours or less released from offshore platforms can attain much greater dispersal distances than larvae with PLDs of 24 hours or less released from nearshore habitat. We hypothesize that the enhanced dispersal distance of larvae released from offshore platforms is driven by a combination of the offshore hydrodynamic environment, larval behavior, and larval release above the seafloor.

  4. The Effects of Anthropogenic Structures on Habitat Connectivity and the Potential Spread of Non-Native Invertebrate Species in the Offshore Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Rachel D; Page, Henry M; Zaleski, Susan; Miller, Robert; Dugan, Jenifer E; Schroeder, Donna M; Doheny, Brandon

    2016-01-01

    Offshore structures provide habitat that could facilitate species range expansions and the introduction of non-native species into new geographic areas. Surveys of assemblages of seven offshore oil and gas platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel revealed a change in distribution of the non-native sessile invertebrate Watersipora subtorquata, a bryozoan with a planktonic larval duration (PLD) of 24 hours or less, from one platform in 2001 to four platforms in 2013. We use a three-dimensional biophysical model to assess whether larval dispersal via currents from harbors to platforms and among platforms is a plausible mechanism to explain the change in distribution of Watersipora and to predict potential spread to other platforms in the future. Hull fouling is another possible mechanism to explain the change in distribution of Watersipora. We find that larval dispersal via currents could account for the increase in distribution of Watersipora from one to four platforms and that Watersipora is unlikely to spread from these four platforms to additional platforms through larval dispersal. Our results also suggest that larvae with PLDs of 24 hours or less released from offshore platforms can attain much greater dispersal distances than larvae with PLDs of 24 hours or less released from nearshore habitat. We hypothesize that the enhanced dispersal distance of larvae released from offshore platforms is driven by a combination of the offshore hydrodynamic environment, larval behavior, and larval release above the seafloor.

  5. Habitat and spatial thinning improve the Maxent models performed with incomplete data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kiedrzyński, Marcin; Zielińska, Katarzyna M.; Rewicz, Agnieszka; Kiedrzyńska, Edyta

    2017-06-01

    Species distribution models need adequate sets of data, particularly in the case of range-restricted species. The problem faced in the modeling of rare species is twofold: a small sample size and the occurrence of sampling biases. The present analysis combines spatial- and habitat-thinning approaches to improve maximum entropy models based on geographically incomplete data of relict and subendemic Festuca amethystina L. grass on Polish territory. The results show that models based on strongly incomplete historic data did not predict the occurrence of all important areas where the species was found in the following decades. However, the introduction of species-specific thinning allows for more precise prediction of the species range, i.e., the detection of suitable areas on a more local scale. The introduction of habitat thinning caused the diversity of important predictors in model to increase, but spatial thinning decreased the number of significant predictors and made interpretation easier. Additionally, a combination of thinning techniques allowed significant improvements to be made to the model predictions after the experimental addition of a lower number of localities to regions which had previously been poorly recognized. It can be concluded that in the case of incomplete data, the above corrections allow the true range of the species to be predicted after the discovery of a lower number and relatively dispersed new localities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Julianne E.; Hightower, Joseph E.

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Landscape ecology and wild rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus habitat modeling in the Mediterranean region

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Narce, M.

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Landscape modification is one of the reasons for the decrease in rabbit populations. The objective of this study was to model wild rabbit habitat using landscape ecology to create a diagnosis method able to assess habitat quality at a large scale. Rabbit presence/absence was recorded on 536 plots of 1 ha. Spotlight transect counts indicated a low relative abundance (KIA = 2.3 rabbits/km. We produced a land use map with metric precision using remote sensing. Water, bare soil, herbaceous, shrubs and trees were identified. Landscape structure and diversity were evaluated using variables available in FRAGSTATS. A logistic regression was performed to assess the link between rabbit presence/absence and landscape structure. Our results indicate that a suitable habitat has a high diversity, a medium number of patches and a small proportion of shrubs. These results could be used to diagnose the landscape prior to any management action to enhance rabbit populations and conversely be helpful as a tool of integrated control in the cases of local outbreaks with agricultural damages.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renata Ferrari

    2016-02-01

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

  9. Using passive acoustics to model blue whale habitat off the Western Antarctic Peninsula

    Science.gov (United States)

    Širović, Ana; Hildebrand, John A.

    2011-07-01

    Habitat preferences of calling blue whales were investigated using data from two multidisciplinary oceanographic cruises conducted off the Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) during the austral falls of 2001 and 2002. Data were collected on depth, temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a (Chl- a) concentration, krill biomass, zooplankton abundance, and blue whale call presence. In 2001, the study area was sea ice free, high Chl- a concentrations occurred over a small area, krill biomass and zooplankton abundance were high, and few blue whale calls were detected. In 2002 the sea ice covered the southern part of the survey area, Chl- a was high over a large area, krill and zooplankton were low, and there were more blue whale calls. Logistic regression analysis revealed blue whale calls were positively correlated with depth and SST, and negatively correlated with the mean zooplankton abundance from 101 to 300 m and the mean krill biomass in the top 100 m. The negative correlation between blue whale calls and zooplankton could occur if feeding animals do not produce calls. Our survey area did not cover the full range of blue whale habitat off the WAP, as blue whales probably follow the melting and freezing ice edge through this region. Passive acoustics can provide insight to mesoscale habitat use by blue whales in the Southern Ocean where visual sightings are rare, but the ability to localize on the calling animals would greatly improve the ability to model at a finer scale.

  10. Phylogenetic and Functional Analysis of Metagenome Sequence from High-Temperature Archaeal Habitats Demonstrate Linkages between Metabolic Potential and Geochemistry

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Inskeep, William P; Jay, Zackary J; Herrgard, Markus

    2013-01-01

    from the sequence data. Analysis of protein family occurrence, particularly of those involved in energy conservation, electron transport, and autotrophic metabolism, revealed significant differences in metabolic strategies across sites consistent with differences in major geochemical attributes (e.......4 and to discuss specific examples where the metabolic potential correlated with measured environmental parameters and geochemical processes occurring in situ. Random shotgun metagenome sequence (∼40-45 Mb Sanger sequencing per site) was obtained from environmental DNA extracted from high-temperature sediments and....../or microbial mats and subjected to numerous phylogenetic and functional analyses. Analysis of individual sequences (e.g., MEGAN and G + C content) and assemblies from each habitat type revealed the presence of dominant archaeal populations in all environments, 10 of whose genomes were largely reconstructed...

  11. Land use planning: A potential force for retaining habitat connectivity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and Beyond

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig L. Shafer

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE is perceived to have been isolated from the population in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem for a century. Better land use planning is needed to thwart progressive intra- and inter-ecosystem habitat fragmentation, especially due to private land development. The dilemma of private lands being intermixed in large landscapes is addressed. This review attempts to identify some land use planning levels and tools which might facilitate dispersal by the grizzly bear and other large mammals. The planning levels discussed include national, regional, state, county and municipal, and federal land management agency. Specific potential federal tools mentioned include zoning, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, the Endangered Species Act, beyond boundary authority, land exchanges, less-than-fee acquisition and other incentives, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act, and federal land annexation. Besides summarizing existing recommendations, some derived observations are offered.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGowan, Jennifer; Hines, Ellen; Elliott, Meredith; Howar, Julie; Dransfield, Andrea; Nur, Nadav; Jahncke, Jaime

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jennifer McGowan

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

  14. Maxent modelling for predicting the potential distribution of Thai Palms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tovaranonte, Jantrararuk; Barfod, Anders S.; Overgaard, Anne Blach

    2011-01-01

    Increasingly species distribution models are being used to address questions related to ecology, biogeography and species conservation on global and regional scales. We used the maximum entropy approach implemented in the MAXENT programme to build a habitat suitability model for Thai palms based...... on presence data. The aim was to identify potential hot spot areas, assess the determinants of palm distribution ranges, and provide a firmer knowledge base for future conservation actions. We focused on a relatively small number of climatic, environmental and spatial variables in order to avoid...... overprediction of species distribution ranges. The models with the best predictive power were found by calculating the area under the curve (AUC) of receiver-operating characteristic (ROC). Here, we provide examples of contrasting predicted species distribution ranges as well as a map of modeled palm diversity...

  15. a Maximum Entropy Model of the Bearded Capuchin Monkey Habitat Incorporating Topography and Spectral Unmixing Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard, A. M.; Bernardes, S.; Nibbelink, N.; Biondi, L.; Presotto, A.; Fragaszy, D. M.; Madden, M.

    2012-07-01

    Movement patterns of bearded capuchin monkeys (Cebus (Sapajus) libidinosus) in northeastern Brazil are likely impacted by environmental features such as elevation, vegetation density, or vegetation type. Habitat preferences of these monkeys provide insights regarding the impact of environmental features on species ecology and the degree to which they incorporate these features in movement decisions. In order to evaluate environmental features influencing movement patterns and predict areas suitable for movement, we employed a maximum entropy modelling approach, using observation points along capuchin monkey daily routes as species presence points. We combined these presence points with spatial data on important environmental features from remotely sensed data on land cover and topography. A spectral mixing analysis procedure was used to generate fraction images that represent green vegetation, shade and soil of the study area. A Landsat Thematic Mapper scene of the area of study was geometrically and atmospherically corrected and used as input in a Minimum Noise Fraction (MNF) procedure and a linear spectral unmixing approach was used to generate the fraction images. These fraction images and elevation were the environmental layer inputs for our logistic MaxEnt model of capuchin movement. Our models' predictive power (test AUC) was 0.775. Areas of high elevation (>450 m) showed low probabilities of presence, and percent green vegetation was the greatest overall contributor to model AUC. This work has implications for predicting daily movement patterns of capuchins in our field site, as suitability values from our model may relate to habitat preference and facility of movement.

  16. Statistical integration of tracking and vessel survey data to incorporate life history differences in habitat models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamamoto, Takashi; Watanuki, Yutaka; Hazen, Elliott L; Nishizawa, Bungo; Sasaki, Hiroko; Takahashi, Akinori

    2015-12-01

    Habitat use is often examined at a species or population level, but patterns likely differ within a species, as a function of the sex, breeding colony, and current breeding status of individuals. Hence, within-species differences should be considered in habitat models when analyzing and predicting species distributions, such as predicted responses to expected climate change scenarios. Also, species' distribution data obtained by different methods (vessel-survey and individual tracking) are often analyzed separately rather than integrated to improve predictions. Here, we eventually fit generalized additive models for Streaked Shearwaters Calonectris leuconelas using tracking data from two different breeding colonies in the Northwestern Pacific and visual observer data collected during a research cruise off the coast of western Japan. The tracking-based models showed differences among patterns of relative density distribution as a function of life history category (colony, sex, and breeding conditions). The integrated tracking-based and vessel-based bird count model incorporated ecological states rather than predicting a single surface for the entire species. This study highlights both the importance of including ecological and life history data and integrating multiple data types (tag-based tracking and vessel count) when examining species-environment relationships, ultimately advancing the capabilities of species distribution models.

  17. Scenario-Led Habitat Modelling of Land Use Change Impacts on Key Species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Matthew Geary

    Full Text Available Accurate predictions of the impacts of future land use change on species of conservation concern can help to inform policy-makers and improve conservation measures. If predictions are spatially explicit, predicted consequences of likely land use changes could be accessible to land managers at a scale relevant to their working landscape. We introduce a method, based on open source software, which integrates habitat suitability modelling with scenario-building, and illustrate its use by investigating the effects of alternative land use change scenarios on landscape suitability for black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Expert opinion was used to construct five near-future (twenty years scenarios for the 800 km2 study site in upland Scotland. For each scenario, the cover of different land use types was altered by 5-30% from 20 random starting locations and changes in habitat suitability assessed by projecting a MaxEnt suitability model onto each simulated landscape. A scenario converting grazed land to moorland and open forestry was the most beneficial for black grouse, and 'increased grazing' (the opposite conversion the most detrimental. Positioning of new landscape blocks was shown to be important in some situations. Increasing the area of open-canopy forestry caused a proportional decrease in suitability, but suitability gains for the 'reduced grazing' scenario were nonlinear. 'Scenario-led' landscape simulation models can be applied in assessments of the impacts of land use change both on individual species and also on diversity and community measures, or ecosystem services. A next step would be to include landscape configuration more explicitly in the simulation models, both to make them more realistic, and to examine the effects of habitat placement more thoroughly. In this example, the recommended policy would be incentives on grazing reduction to benefit black grouse.

  18. Scenario-Led Habitat Modelling of Land Use Change Impacts on Key Species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geary, Matthew; Fielding, Alan H; McGowan, Philip J K; Marsden, Stuart J

    2015-01-01

    Accurate predictions of the impacts of future land use change on species of conservation concern can help to inform policy-makers and improve conservation measures. If predictions are spatially explicit, predicted consequences of likely land use changes could be accessible to land managers at a scale relevant to their working landscape. We introduce a method, based on open source software, which integrates habitat suitability modelling with scenario-building, and illustrate its use by investigating the effects of alternative land use change scenarios on landscape suitability for black grouse Tetrao tetrix. Expert opinion was used to construct five near-future (twenty years) scenarios for the 800 km2 study site in upland Scotland. For each scenario, the cover of different land use types was altered by 5-30% from 20 random starting locations and changes in habitat suitability assessed by projecting a MaxEnt suitability model onto each simulated landscape. A scenario converting grazed land to moorland and open forestry was the most beneficial for black grouse, and 'increased grazing' (the opposite conversion) the most detrimental. Positioning of new landscape blocks was shown to be important in some situations. Increasing the area of open-canopy forestry caused a proportional decrease in suitability, but suitability gains for the 'reduced grazing' scenario were nonlinear. 'Scenario-led' landscape simulation models can be applied in assessments of the impacts of land use change both on individual species and also on diversity and community measures, or ecosystem services. A next step would be to include landscape configuration more explicitly in the simulation models, both to make them more realistic, and to examine the effects of habitat placement more thoroughly. In this example, the recommended policy would be incentives on grazing reduction to benefit black grouse.

  19. Biodiversity of man-made open habitats in an underused country: a class of multispecies abundance models for count data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaura, Yuichi; Royle, J. Andrew; Shimada, Naoaki; Asanuma, Seigo; Sato, Tamotsu; Taki, Hisatomo; Makino, Shun'ichi

    2012-01-01

    Since the 1960s, Japan has become highly dependent on foreign countries for natural resources, and the amount of managed lands (e.g. coppice, grassland, and agricultural field) has declined. Due to infrequent natural and human disturbance, early-successional species are now declining in Japan. Here we surveyed bees, birds, and plants in four human-disturbed open habitats (pasture, meadow, young planted forest, and abandoned clear-cut) and two forest habitats (mature planted forest and natural old-growth). We extended a recently developed multispecies abundance model to accommodate count data, and used the resulting models to estimate species-, functional group-, and community-level state variables (abundance and species richness) at each site, and compared them among the six habitats. Estimated individual-level detection probability was quite low for bee species (mean across species = 0.003; 0.16 for birds). Thirty-two (95% credible interval: 13-64) and one (0-4) bee and bird species, respectively, were suggested to be undetected by the field survey. Although habitats in which community-level abundance and species richness was highest differed among taxa, species richness and abundance of early-successional species were similar in the four disturbed open habitats across taxa except for plants in the pasture habitat which was a good habitat only for several exotic species. Our results suggest that human disturbance, especially the revival of plantation forestry, may contribute to the restoration of early-successional species in Japan

  20. Mapping Habitat and Potential Distributions of Invasive Plant Species on USFWS National Wildlife Refuges

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Many invasive species ecologists prefer to use ecological niche models that rely on presence-only data and not make any assumptions on whether or not an absence...

  1. Modeling Bird Migration in Changing Habitats: Space-based Ornithology using Satellites and GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A.; Deppe, Jill L.

    2008-01-01

    Understanding bird migration and avian biodiversity is one of the most compelling and challenging problems of modern biology with major implications for human health and conservation biology. Migration and conservation efforts cross national boundaries and are subject to numerous international agreements and treaties presenting challenges in both geographic space and time. Space based technology, coupled with geographic information systems, yields new opportunities to shed light on the distribution and movement of organisms on the planet and their sensitivity to human disturbances and environmental changes. At NASA, we are creating ecological forecasting tools for science and application users to address the consequences of loss of wetlands, flooding, drought or other natural disasters such as hurricanes on avian biodiversity and bird migration. In our work, we use individual organism biophysical models and drive these models with satellite observations and numerical weather predictions of the spatio-temporal gradients in climate and habitat. Geographic information system technology comprises one component of our overall simulation framework, especially for characterizing the changing habitats and conditions encountered by en-route migratory birds. Simulation provides a tool for studying bird migration across multiple scales and can be linked to mechanistic processes describing the time and energy budget states of migrating birds. Such models yield an understanding of how a migratory flyway and its component habitats function as a whole and link stop-over ecology with biological conservation and management. We present examples of our simulation of shorebirds, principally, pectoral sandpipers, along the central flyways of the United States and Canada from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska.

  2. Modeling Bird Migration in Changing Habitats: Space-based Ornithology using Satellites and GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, James A.; Deppe, Jill L.

    2008-01-01

    Understanding bird migration and avian biodiversity is one of the most compelling and challenging problems of modern biology with major implications for human health and conservation biology. Migration and conservation efforts cross national boundaries and are subject to numerous international agreements and treaties presenting challenges in both geographic space and time. Space based technology, coupled with geographic information systems, yields new opportunities to shed light on the distribution and movement of organisms on the planet and their sensitivity to human disturbances and environmental changes. At NASA, we are creating ecological forecasting tools for science and application users to address the consequences of loss of wetlands, flooding, drought or other natural disasters such as hurricanes on avian biodiversity and bird migration. In our work, we use individual organism biophysical models and drive these models with satellite observations and numerical weather predictions of the spatio-temporal gradients in climate and habitat. Geographic information system technology comprises one component of our overall simulation framework, especially for characterizing the changing habitats and conditions encountered by en-route migratory birds. Simulation provides a tool for studying bird migration across multiple scales and can be linked to mechanistic processes describing the time and energy budget states of migrating birds. Such models yield an understanding of how a migratory flyway and its component habitats function as a whole and link stop-over ecology with biological conservation and management. We present examples of our simulation of shorebirds, principally, pectoral sandpipers, along the central flyways of the United States and Canada from the Gulf of Mexico to Alaska.

  3. The potential macroalgae habitat shifts in an Antarctic Peninsula fjord due to climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerosch, Kerstin; Scharf, Frauke; Deregibus, Dolores; Campana, Gabriela; Zacher, Katharina; Hass, Christian; Quartino, Liliana; Abele, Doris

    2016-04-01

    The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) region is one of the most rapidly warming on earth since the last 50 yr. The WAP glaciers currently contribute one third of the melt water to global sea level rise. Climate warming is supposed to induce important changes in polar ecosystems, from microbial communities to apex predators' levels. Macroalgae are the main biomass producers in Potter Cove located at King George Island, the biggest island of the South Shetland Arc. They are sensitive to climate change factors such as suspended particulate matter (SPM). Macroalgae presence and absence data were used to test SDMs suitability and, simultaneously, to assess the environmental response of macroalgae as well as to model four scenarios of distribution shifts by varying SPM conditions due to climate change. Species distribution models (SDM) predict species occurrence based on statistical relationships with environmental conditions. The R-package 'biomod2' which includes 10 different SDM techniques and 10 different evaluation methods was used in this study. According to the averaged evaluation scores of Relative Operating Characteristics (ROC) and True scale statistics (TSS) by models, those methods based on a multitude of decision trees such as Random Forest and Classification Tree Analysis, reached the highest predictive power followed by generalized boosted models (GBM) and maximum-entropy approaches (Maxent). The final ensemble model (EM) used 135 of 200 calculated models (TSS > 0.7) and identified hard substrate and SPM as the most influencing parameters followed by distance to glacier, total organic carbon (TOC), bathymetry and slope. The modeled current status of macroalgae distribution results in only 18.25% of earlier estimated areas populated by macroalgae in Potter Cove. The climate change scenarios show an invasive reaction of the macroalgae in case of less SPM and a retreat of the macroalgae in case of higher assumed SPM values.

  4. Lowland tapir distribution and habitat loss in South America

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The development of species distribution models (SDMs) can help conservation efforts by generating potential distributions and identifying areas of high environmental suitability for protection. Our study presents a distribution and habitat map for lowland tapir in South America. We also describe the potential habitat suitability of various geographical regions and habitat loss, inside and outside of protected areas network. Two different SDM approaches, MAXENT and ENFA, produced relative diff...

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Xenophyophores are a group of exclusively deep-sea agglutinating rhizarian protozoans, at least some of which are foraminifera. They are an important constituent of the deep-sea megafauna that are sometimes found in sufficient abundance to act as a significant source of habitat structure for meiofaunal and macrofaunal organisms. This study utilised maximum entropy modelling (Maxent) and a high-resolution environmental database to explore the environmental factors controlling the presence of X...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curreri, Peter A.; Detweiler, Michael K.

    2011-01-01

    find that for the carbon mitigation case even modernized ground launched space solar power satellites are not financially viable. For space derived solar power satellites, however, the increased demand makes them break even substantially sooner and yield much higher profit. Third, current awareness is increasing about the dangers of humanity remaining a single planet species. Our technological power has been increasing relative to the size of the planet Earth. Since the middle of the 20th century our technological power has grown large relative to our planet's size. This presents a very real potential for human self-extinction. We argue that the potential for human self-extinction is increasing with time in proportion to the exponential growth of our technological power making self-extinction likely within this century if humanity remains a single planet species. The O Neill model of multiple independent free space habitats, it is argued, can protect humanity from extinction in the same way that portfolio diversification protects ones assets from total loss. We show that about 1 million people for the electricity only case, and about 1 billion people for the carbon mitigation case, can be provided with permanent space habitats and transportation from Earth in 30 years and can be funded by the space derived solar power satellite program. 1.2 Scope of this Chapter The goal of this chapter is to illustrate the power and importance of the O'Neill-Glaser concept in the context of human survival and maintaining a healthy planet Earth. We argue that at this point in human history our technological power is too dangerous to our selves and our home planet for us not to expand into space. We show by the models presented in the chapter that the imminent dangers of global warming and human self-extinction mandate that humanity move aggressively into the solar system in this generation. We show that the production of solar power satellites using space resources and with a work foe

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-01-01

    Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) is a migratory woodpecker that breeds in mixed coniferous forests in western North America. In Canada, the range of this woodpecker is restricted to three small populations in southern British Columbia, precipitating a national listing as ‘Endangered’ in 2005, and the need to characterize critical habitat for its survival and recovery. We compared habitat attributes between Williamson’s sapsucker nest territories and random points without nests or detections of this sapsucker as part of a resource selection analysis to identify the habitat features that best explain the probability of nest occurrence in two separate geographic regions in British Columbia. We compared the relative explanatory power of generalized linear models based on field-derived and Geographic Information System (GIS) data within both a 225 m and 800 m radius of a nest or random point. The model based on field-derived variables explained the most variation in nest occurrence in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, whereas nest occurrence was best explained by GIS information at the 800 m scale in the Western Region. Probability of nest occurrence was strongly tied to densities of potential nest trees, which included open forests with very large (diameter at breast height, DBH, ≥57.5 cm) western larch (Larix occidentalis) trees in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, and very large ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and large (DBH 17.5–57.5 cm) trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees in the Western Region. Our results have the potential to guide identification and protection of critical habitat as required by the Species at Risk Act in Canada, and to better manage Williamson’s sapsucker habitat overall in North America. In particular, management should focus on the maintenance and recruitment of very large western larch and ponderosa pine trees. PMID:26177286

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Britta Chambers

    2017-09-01

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

  9. Potential Crash Location (PCL) Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-02-05

    LCA ) model provides a method for calculating how large the actual lethal area at the site of impact would be. The LCA model is described in a...helicopter failures. The crash location calculations are just one portion of the TLS tool, the other portion is LCA . Although the LCA is not

  10. A Presence-Only Model of Suitable Roosting Habitat for the Endangered Indiana Bat in the Southern Appalachians.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristina R Hammond

    Full Text Available We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA, M. sodalis roosts are scattered across a heavily forested landscape, which makes protecting individual roosts impractical during large-scale management activities. We created a predictive spatial model of summer roosting habitat to identify important predictors using the presence-only modeling program MaxEnt and an information theoretic approach for model comparison. Two of 26 candidate models together accounted for >0.93 of AICc weights. Elevation and forest type were top predictors of presence; aspect north/south and distance-to-ridge were also important. The final average best model indicated that 5% of the study area was suitable habitat and 0.5% was optimal. This model matched our field observations that, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, optimal roosting habitat for M. sodalis is near the ridge top in south-facing mixed pine-hardwood forests at elevations from 260-575 m. Our findings, coupled with data from other studies, suggest M. sodalis is flexible in roost habitat selection across different ecoregions with varying topography and land use patterns. We caution that, while mature pine-hardwood forests are important now, specific areas of suitable and optimal habitat will change over time. Combining the information theoretic approach with presence-only models makes it possible to develop landscape-scale habitat suitability maps for forest bats.

  11. Modeling the impact of a hydropower reservoir on the habitat of a megaherbivore in the Black Volta Basin in Ghana, West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manful, Desmond

    2010-05-01

    The Black Volta watershed is approximately 134 000 km2 in size at the gauge at Bamboi. It is part of the main 414 000 km2 Volta system. The Volta river was dammed at Akosombo in 1965 resulting in the largest man-made lake in the world, the Volta Lake. The Bui dam is a new 400 MW scheme currently under development on the Black Volta River in the Bui national park in Ghana. The reservoir created by the Bui barrage is expected to impact (through inundation) the habitat of two species of hippos know to exist in the park, the Hippopotamus amphibius and the Choeropsis liberiensis. Computer-based models present a unique opportunity to assess quantitatively the impact of the new reservoir on the habitat of the target species in this case the H. amphibious. Until this undertaking, there were very few studies documenting the habitat of the H. amphibious let alone model it. The work and subsequent presentation will show the development of a habitat model for the Hippopotamus amphibius. The Habitat Information retrieval Program based on Streamflow Analysis, in short HIPStrA, is a one dimensional (1D) in-stream, spatially explicit hybrid construct that combines physico-chemical evidence and expert knowledge to forecast river habitat suitability (Hs) for the Hippopotamus amphibius. The version of the model presented is specifically developed to assess the impact of a reservoir created by a hydroelectric dam on potential dwelling areas in the Bui gorge for hippos. Accordingly, this version of HIPStrA simulates a special reservoir suitability index (Rsi), a metric that captures the "hippo friendliness" of any lake or reservoir. The impact of measured and simulated flood events as well as low flows, representing extreme events is also assessed. Recommendations are made for the operating rules of the reservoir in the post-construction phase of the dam. A great deal of work has been done on the effects of stream flow changes on fish especially salmonids. Very little work however has

  12. On the Behaviour, abundance, habitat use and potential threats of the Gangetic Dolphin Platanista gangetica in southern West Bengal, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mahua Roy Chowdhury

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available The Ganga River Dolphin Platanista gangetica Roxburgh, 1801 is a globally endangered cetacean found in the River system of Ganga, Brahmaputra and Meghna in Bangladesh and India.  A survey and research were conducted from 2012–2014 to explore the behaviour, abundance, habitat use and potential threats of the Dolphin in the lower, middle and upper stretches of the river Ganga and its tributaries in southern West Bengal.  The study recorded different types of surfacing patterns with respect to their age class as well as on diurnal activity pattern of the individual. The adults and sub-adults were found to have different types of surfacing during different hours of the day.  The morning and afternoon were observed to be feeding hours of the Dolphin.  Multiple potential threats were encountered during the present study such as destructive fishing gears, dumping of solid and municipal waste, industrial effluents, agricultural run-off, construction of water structures, water extraction and reduction of river depth attributed to siltation.  These factors contributed to the present study of the river dolphins in the Ganga, which are localised at certain pockets in good number.  

  13. Modeling Critical Forest Habitat in the Southern Coal Fields of West Virginia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron E. Maxwell

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the Central Appalachians of the United States resource extraction primarily from coal mining has contributed to the majority of the forest conversion to barren and reclaimed pasture and grass. The loss of forests in this ecoregion is significantly impacting biodiversity at a regional scale. Since not all forest stands provide equal levels of ecological functions, it is critical to identify and map existing forested resources by the benefits that accrue from their unique spatial patterns, watershed drainage, and landscape positions. We utilized spatial analysis and remote sensing techniques to define critical forest characteristics. The characteristics were defined by applying a forest fragmentation model utilizing morphological image analysis, defining headwater catchments at a 1 : 24,000 scale, and deriving ecological land units (ELUs from elevation data. Once critical forest values were calculated, it was possible to identify clusters of critical stands using spatial statistics. This spatially explicit method for modeling forest habitat could be implemented as a tool for assessing the impact of resource extraction and aid in the conservation of critical forest habitat throughout a landscape.

  14. Assessment of Chinese sturgeon habitat suitability in the Yangtze River (China): Comparison of generalized additive model, data-driven fuzzy logic model, and preference curve model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Yujun; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Shanghong; Yang, Zhifeng

    2016-05-01

    To date, a wide range of models have been applied to evaluate aquatic habitat suitability. In this study, three models, including the expert knowledge-based preference curve model (PCM), data-driven fuzzy logic model (DDFL), and generalized additive model (GAM), are used on a common data set to compare their effectiveness and accuracy. The true skill statistic (TSS) and the area under the receiver operating characteristics curve (AUC) are used to evaluate the accuracy of the three models. The results indicate that the two data-based methods (DDFL and GAM) yield better accuracy than the expert knowledge-based PCM, and the GAM yields the best accuracy. There are minor differences in the suitable ranges of the physical habitat variables obtained from the three models. The hydraulic habitat suitability index (HHSI) calculated by the PCM is the largest, followed by the DDFL and then the GAM. The results illustrate that data-based models can describe habitat suitability more objectively and accurately when there are sufficient data. When field data are lacking, combining expertise with data-based models is recommended. When field data are difficult to obtain, an expert knowledge-based model can be used as a replacement for the data-based methods.

  15. Bioluminescence Potential Modeling and Forecasting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-05-22

    bioluminescence in the wakes of ships, breaking waves, around the bodies of rapidly moving fish and mammals , and from simple agitation of the water with one’s hand...history of brilliant displays of bioluminescence in the wakes of ships, breaking waves, around the bodies of rapidly moving fish and mammals , and from...during the earlier stages of upwelling development. Later, the observed deep offshore BL potential maximum disappeared and became a shallower and much

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Mulcan

    2015-05-01

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

  17. Conceptual Spawning Habitat Model to Aid in ESA Recovery Plans for Snake River Fall Chinook Salmon, 2002-2003 Annual Report.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geist, David (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

    2005-09-01

    The goal of this project is to develop a spawning habitat model that can be used to determine the physical habitat factors that are necessary to define the production potential for fall chinook salmon that spawn in large mainstem rivers like the Columbia River's Hanford Reach and Snake River. This project addresses RPA 155 in the NMFS 2000 Biological Opinion: Action 155: BPA, working with BOR, the Corps, EPA, and USGS, shall develop a program to: (1) Identify mainstem habitat sampling reaches, survey conditions, describe cause-and-effect relationships, and identify research needs; (2) Develop improvement plans for all mainstem reaches; and (3) Initiate improvements in three mainstem reaches. During FY 2003 we continued to collect and analyze information on fall chinook salmon spawning habitat characteristics in the Hanford Reach that will be used to address RPA 155, i.e., items 1-3 above. For example, in FY 2003: (1) We continued to survey spawning habitat in the Hanford Reach and develop a 2-dimensional hydraulic and habitat model that will be capable of predicting suitability of fall chinook salmon habitat in the Hanford Reach; (2) Monitor how hydro operations altered the physical and chemical characteristics of the river and the hyporheic zone within fall chinook salmon spawning areas in the Hanford Reach; (3) Published a paper on the impacts of the Columbia River hydroelectric system on main-stem habitats of fall chinook salmon (Dauble et al. 2003). This paper was made possible with data collected on this project; (4) Continued to analyze data collected in previous years that will ultimately be used to identify cause-and-effect relationships and identify research needs that will assist managers in the improvement of fall chinook habitat quality in main-stem reaches. During FY 2004 we plan to: (1) Complete preliminary reporting and submit papers based on the results of the project through FY 2004. Although we have proposed additional analysis of data be

  18. Responses of Cryptofaunal Species Richness and Trophic Potential to Coral Reef Habitat Degradation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Derek P. Manzello

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Coral reefs are declining worldwide as a result of many anthropogenic disturbances. This trend is alarming because coral reefs are hotspots of marine biodiversity and considered the ‘rainforests of the sea. As in the rainforest, much of the diversity on a coral reef is cryptic, remaining hidden among the cracks and crevices of structural taxa. Although the cryptofauna make up the majority of a reef’s metazoan biodiversity, we know little about their basic ecology or how these communities respond to reef degradation. Emerging research shows that the species richness of the motile cryptofauna is higher among dead (framework vs. live coral substrates and, surprisingly, increases within successively more eroded reef framework structures, ultimately reaching a maximum in dead coral rubble. Consequently, the paradigm that abundant live coral is the apex of reef diversity needs to be clarified. This provides guarded optimism amidst alarming reports of declines in live coral cover and the impending doom of coral reefs, as motile cryptic biodiversity should persist independent of live coral cover. Granted, the maintenance of this high species richness is contingent on the presence of reef rubble, which will eventually be lost due to physical, chemical, and biological erosion if not replenished by live coral calcification and mortality. The trophic potential of a reef, as inferred from the abundance of cryptic organisms, is highest on live coral. Among dead framework substrates, however, the density of cryptofauna reaches a peak at intermediate levels of degradation. In summary, the response of the motile cryptofauna, and thus a large fraction of the reef’s biodiversity, to reef degradation is more complex and nuanced than currently thought; such that species richness may be less sensitive than overall trophic function.

  19. The potential for using wildflower species to increase natural habitat in contour surface mine reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heckman, J.R.; Sabre, M.; Cairns, J. Jr. [Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA (United States); Holl, K.D. [Univ. of California, Santa Cruz, CA (United States)

    1996-12-31

    While non-native herbaceous species are commonly used for mine reclamation, these species have low wildlife and aesthetic value and may inhibit long-term succession. The goal of this study was to determine the suitability of wildflowers for surface mine reclamation in the Appalachian mountains. A seed mixture composed of native and naturalized wildflower species was compared to the standard revegetation mixture by testing greenhouse germination rates of all species in both mine spoils and potting soil and establishing field plots at reclamation sites in southwestern Virginia. In May 1993, two 9-m{sup 2} (97-ft{sup 2}) plots were seeded with each revegetation mixture on four slopes with different aspects. Vegetation cover and composition were recorded in all plots during the 1993 and 1994 field seasons. Wildflower species had germination rates ranging from 0-52%. In field studies, all but 2 of the 14 species of wildflowers seeded became established in study plots, while only 4 of the 8 species in the standard mixture were recorded. Cover was highly variable among plots on different aspects seeded with the same mixture. In most cases, total vegetative cover did not differ significantly between plots seeded with different mixtures. Some native and naturalized wildflower species appear to have potential for use in mine reclamation and could be included with standard revegetation mixtures in order to provide more native diversity. However, further research is necessary due to a number of factors confounding these results, including the low seeding rates used, drought conditions during the 1993 field season, and problems with regrowth of previous vegetation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  1. Utilizing Multibeam Bathymetry and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to Expand Our Mapping Ability of Potential Rockfish Benthic Habitats in the San Juan Islands, Washington

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly-Slatten, K.

    2013-12-01

    In order to construct an accurate cartographic representation of the potential rockfish habitat zone in the San Juan Archipelago, Washington, bathymetric data is needed to form layers within Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that include, but are not limited to, slope, hillshade, and aspect. Backscatter data is also important in order to demonstrate the induration of the marine floor, which in turn may tell the researcher what type of sediment and substrate makes up that part of the benthic region. Once these layers are added to the GIS map, another layer (referred to as Potential Benthic Habitats) is created and inserted. This layer uses the same induration data but groups them into polygons, which are then color-coded and displayed on the map. With all the layers now pictured, it is clear that the intertidal zones are not complete. Aerial photographs are then added to fill in the gaps according to the GPS coordinates associated with the middle section of each picture. When all pictures and layers have been included, the GIS map is a somewhat three-dimensional, color-coordinated, aerial photograph enhanced depiction of Skipjack, Waldron, Orcas, and Sucia Islands. The bathymetric and backscatter data are plugged into Excel to graphically illustrate specific numbers that represent the various potential habitats. The given data support the idea that potential rockfish habitat (Sedimentary Bedrock and Fractured Bedrock) must be closely monitored and maintained in attempt to preserve and conserve the three either threatened or endangered rockfish species within the Puget Sound locale.

  2. Loss and recovery potential of marine habitats: an experimental study of factors maintaining resilience in subtidal algal forests at the Adriatic sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shimrit Perkol-Finkel

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Predicting and abating the loss of natural habitats present a huge challenge in science, conservation and management. Algal forests are globally threatened by loss and severe recruitment failure, but our understanding of resilience in these systems and its potential disruption by anthropogenic factors lags well behind other habitats. We tested hypotheses regarding triggers for decline and recovery potential in subtidal forests of canopy-forming algae of the genus Cystoseira. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: By using a combination of historical data, and quantitative in situ observations of natural recruitment patterns we suggest that recent declines of forests along the coasts of the north Adriatic Sea were triggered by increasing cumulative impacts of natural- and human-induced habitat instability along with several extreme storm events. Clearing and transplantation experiments subsequently demonstrated that at such advanced stages of ecosystem degradation, increased substratum stability would be essential but not sufficient to reverse the loss, and that for recovery to occur removal of the new dominant space occupiers (i.e., opportunistic species including turf algae and mussels would be required. Lack of surrounding adult canopies did not seem to impair the potential for assisted recovery, suggesting that in these systems recovery could be actively enhanced even following severe depletions. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that sudden habitat loss can be facilitated by long term changes in the biotic and abiotic conditions in the system, that erode the ability of natural ecosystems to absorb and recover from multiple stressors of natural and human origin. Moreover, we demonstrate that the mere restoration of environmental conditions preceding a loss, if possible, may be insufficient for ecosystem restoration, and is scarcely cost-effective. We conclude that the loss of complex marine habitats in human-dominated landscapes

  3. From Points to Forecasts: Predicting Invasive Species Habitat Suitability in the Near Term

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tracy R. Holcombe

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available We used near-term climate scenarios for the continental United States, to model 12 invasive plants species. We created three potential habitat suitability models for each species using maximum entropy modeling: (1 current; (2 2020; and (3 2035. Area under the curve values for the models ranged from 0.92 to 0.70, with 10 of the 12 being above 0.83 suggesting strong and predictable species-environment matching. Change in area between the current potential habitat and 2035 ranged from a potential habitat loss of about 217,000 km2, to a potential habitat gain of about 133,000 km2.

  4. Leaf energy balance modelling as a tool to infer habitat preference in the early angiosperms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Alexandra P; Upchurch, Garland; Murchie, Erik H; Lomax, Barry H

    2015-03-22

    Despite more than a century of research, some key aspects of habitat preference and ecology of the earliest angiosperms remain poorly constrained. Proposed growth ecology has varied from opportunistic weedy species growing in full sun to slow-growing species limited to the shaded understorey of gymnosperm forests. Evidence suggests that the earliest angiosperms possessed low transpiration rates: gas exchange rates for extant basal angiosperms are low, as are the reconstructed gas exchange rates for the oldest known angiosperm leaf fossils. Leaves with low transpirational capacity are vulnerable to overheating in full sun, favouring the hypothesis that early angiosperms were limited to the shaded understorey. Here, modelled leaf temperatures are used to examine the thermal tolerance of some of the earliest angiosperms. Our results indicate that small leaf size could have mitigated the low transpirational cooling capacity of many early angiosperms, enabling many species to survive in full sun. We propose that during the earliest phases of the angiosperm leaf record, angiosperms may not have been limited to the understorey, and that some species were able to compete with ferns and gymnosperms in both shaded and sunny habitats, especially in the absence of competition from more rapidly growing and transpiring advanced lineages of angiosperms.

  5. Habitat modelling predictions highlight seasonal relevance of Marine Protected Areas for marine megafauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lambert, C.; Virgili, A.; Pettex, E.; Delavenne, J.; Toison, V.; Blanck, A.; Ridoux, V.

    2017-07-01

    According to the European Union Habitats and Birds Directives, EU Member States must extend the Natura 2000 network to marine ecosystems, through the designation of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). However, the initial status of cetacean and seabird communities across European waters is often poorly understood. It is assumed that an MPA is justified where at least 1% of the ;national population; of a species is present during at least part of its biological cycle. The aim of the present work was to use model-based cetacean and seabird distribution to assess the networks of existing Natura 2000 sites and offshore proposed areas of biological interest. The habitat models used here were Generalised Additive Models computed from aerial surveys observational data collected during the winter 2011-2012 and the summer 2012 across the English Channel, Bay of Biscay and north-western Mediterranean Sea. Based on these models, a ratio between species relative abundance predicted within each MPA and the total relative abundance predicted over the French Atlantic or Mediterranean marine regions was computed and compared to the 1% threshold. This assessment was conducted for winter and summer independently, providing information for assessing the relevance of individual MPAs and MPA networks at a seasonal scale. Our results showed that the existing network designed for coastal seabird species was relevant in both marine regions. In contrast, a clear shortfall was identified for offshore seabird species in the Atlantic region and for cetaceans in both regions. Moreover, the size of MPAs appeared to be a crucial feature, with larger MPAs being relevant for more species. Finally, we showed that the proposed large offshore areas of interest would constitute a highly relevant network for all offshore species, with e.g. up to 61% of the Globicephalinae population in the Atlantic French waters being present within these areas.

  6. Implications of interacting microscale habitat heterogeneity and disturbance events on Folsomia candida (Collembola) population dynamics: a modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meli, Mattia; Palmqvist, Annemette; Forbes, Valery E

    2014-07-01

    The authors implemented a fractal algorithm in a spatially explicit individual-based model to generate landscapes with different microscale patterns of habitat fragmentation and disturbance events and studied their effects on population dynamics of the collembolan Folsomia candida. Among human activities that may cause habitat destruction, the present study focused on agricultural practices. Soil organisms living in a cultivated field are subjected to habitat loss and fragmentation as well as disturbance events generated by the application of agrochemicals and related activities. In addition, they are exposed to natural stressors, which might influence the effects of chemicals on populations. The authors designed simulation experiments that incorporate these 3 factors and investigated their effects on populations of F. candida in the presence or absence of behavioral avoidance of contaminated habitat. Simulation results show that spatial autocorrelation of contamination has different effects on population growth and equilibrium size according to the percentage of clean habitat. This pattern changes when avoidance behavior is excluded from the model, as does population recovery after a series of disturbance events. The model suggests that a combination of heterogeneous contamination and multiple stressors can lead to unexpected effects of toxicants at the population level. Individual-based models can help to understand these effects and therefore add ecological realism to environmental risk assessment of chemicals and can help to explore the effects of different risk management options.

  7. An integrated geographic information system approach for modeling the suitability of conifer habitat in an alpine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGregor, Stephen J.

    1998-01-01

    Alpine periglacial environments within the forest-alpine tundra ecotone (FATE) may be among the first to reflect changes in habitat characteristics as a consequence of climatic change. Previous FATE studies used Integrated Geographic Information System (IGIS) techniques to collect and model biophysical data but lacked the necessary detail to model the micro-scale patterns and compositions of habitat within alpine periglacial environments. This paper describes several promising data collection, integration, and cartographic modeling techniques used in an IGIS approach to model alpine periglacial environments in Glacier National Park (GNP), Montana, USA. High-resolution (I X I m) multi-spectral remote sensing data and differentially corrected Global Positioning System (DGPS) data were integrated with other biophysical data using a raster-based IGIS approach. Biophysical factors, hypothesized to influence the pattern and composition of the FATE and the alpine tundra ecosystem, were derived from the high-resolution remote sensing data, in-situ GPS data, high-resolution models of digital elevation, and other thematic data using image processing techniques and cartographic modeling. Suitability models of conifer habitat were created using indices generated from the IGIS database. This IGIS approach identified suitable conifer habitat within the FATE and permitted the modeling of micro-scale periglacial features and alpine tundra communities that are absent from traditional approaches of landscape-scale (30 X 30 m) modeling.

  8. Preliminary Assessment of Potential Habitat Composites' Durability when Exposed to a Long-Term Radiation Environment and Micrometeoroid Impacts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojdev, Kristina; Graves, Russell; Golden, John; Atwell, William; O'Rouke, Mary Jane; Hill, Charles; Alred, John

    2011-01-01

    NASA's exploration goals include extending human presence beyond low earth orbit (LEO). As a result, habitation for crew is a critical requirement for meeting this goal. However, habitats are very large structures that contain a multitude of subsystems to sustain human life over long-durations in space, and one of the key challenges has been keeping weight to a minimum in order to reduce costs. Thus, light-weight and multifunctional structural materials are of great interest for habitation. NASA has started studying polymeric composite materials as potential lightweight and multifunctional structural materials for use in long-duration spaceflight. However, little is known about the survivability of these materials when exposed to the space environment outside of LEO for long durations. Thus, a study has been undertaken to investigate the durability of composite materials when exposed to long-duration radiation. Furthermore, as an addition to the primary study, a secondary preliminary investigation has been started on the micrometeoroid and orbital debris (MMOD) susceptibility of these materials after radiation exposure. The combined effects of radiation and MMOD impacts are the focus of this paper.

  9. In-situ strain analysis of potential habitat composites exposed to a simulated long-term lunar radiation exposure

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rojdev, Kristina; O'Rourke, Mary Jane E.; Hill, Charles; Nutt, Steven; Atwell, William

    2013-03-01

    NASA is studying the effects of long-term space radiation on potential multifunctional composite materials for habitats to better determine their characteristics in harsh space environments. Two epoxy-matrix composite materials were selected for the study and were mounted in a test stand that simulated the biaxial stresses of a pressure vessel wall. The samples in the test stand were exposed to radiation at fast (0.1478 krad/s) and slow (0.0139 krad/s) dose rates, and the strain and temperature were recorded during the exposure. During a fast dose rate exposure, negative strain was recorded, decreasing with time, an indication of matrix shrinkage. Given previous radiation studies of polymers, this is expected to be a result of radiation-induced crosslinking in the epoxy matrix. However, with a slow dose rate, the materials exhibited a positive strain that increased with time, corresponding to stretching of the materials. This result is consistent with scission or degradation of the matrix occurring, possibly due to oxidative degradation.

  10. Discovering where bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, might go: using environmental and fishery data to map potential tuna habitat in the eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dimitrios Damalas

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Based on a dataset derived from commercial fisheries in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in 1998-2005, we applied generalized additive models (GAMs to investigate the relative influence of a range of environmental factors on catch rates of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus Linnaeus, 1785. GAM analyses were conducted by separately modelling (1 the probability of making a catch (encountering a school, and (2 the positive catch rates (school size. Results suggested intra-annual variations in tuna distribution and revealed interesting associations with some environmental features, lunar periodicity being the most distinctive one. Probability of encountering a school peaked in late spring months, eastwards, at water temperatures above 22°C and around the full moon. Size of school was more likely to be larger in northeasternmost regions and in the vicinity of land in late spring, when the percentage of lunar disc illumination was higher. A moderate but continuous annual decline in the probability of encountering a bluefin tuna school was detected from the models’ outputs. The models were used as an indication of preference or association for the selected environmental variables. Based on these associations, an indirect identification of the bluefin tuna potential habitat was obtained and used to map distributions in the eastern Mediterranean region.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ho Gul Kim

    2016-06-01

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

  12. Model Potentials for a C60 Shell

    CERN Document Server

    Manson, S T; Msezane, A Z

    2016-01-01

    The spatial distribution of electric charges forming a square well potential has been analyzed. It is shown that this potential is created by two concentric spheres with a double layer of charges. A C60 shell potential has been calculated under the assumption that it is formed by the averaged charge density of a neutral atom. It is further demonstrated that the phenomenological potentials simulating the C60 shell potential belong to a family of potentials with a non-flat bottom. Two possible types of C60 model potentials are proposed and their parameters have been calculated. AMS (MOS) Subject Classification. 62P35, 81V55

  13. Potentially zoonotic helminthiases of murid rodents from the Indo-Chinese peninsula: impact of habitat and the risk of human infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaisiri, Kittipong; Siribat, Praphaiphat; Ribas, Alexis; Morand, Serge

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we report the potential rodent-borne zoonotic helminths in wild-caught murid rodents from four categorized habitats-forest, nonflooded land, irrigated land, and human settlement in seven localities of Thailand, Cambodia, and Lao PDR. Out of 2478 rodent samples, 735 (29.7%) were infected by at least one of the following zoonotic helminth species: Echinostoma malayanum, Echinostoma ilocanum, Plagiorchis muris, Raillietina spp., Hymenolepis diminuta, Hymenolepis nana, Cyclodontostomum purivisi, and Moniliformis moniliformis. Raillietina spp. showed the highest prevalence (13.8%), followed by H. diminuta (8.6%), H. nana (6.7%), and C. purvisi (1.0%). Habitat affected the intensity of helminth infection in murid rodent hosts. Specific habitats favoring each zoonotic helminth species are discussed in relation to the risk of human infection. Season and host maturity influenced intensity of total zoonotic helminths, but there was no influence of host gender. However, in terms of individual helminth species, female rodents were more infected by E. malayanum, E. ilocanum, and C. purvisi than males. Among the rodent species, Rattus tanezumi seems to play the most important role as a reservoir by hosting seven zoonotic heminth species. This rat is ubiquitously found in all types of the habitats, suggesting that it can act as an important bridge species, carrying parasites across different habitats.

  14. Predicting Suitable Habitats for the Vulnerable Eastern Hoolock Gibbon, Hoolock leuconedys, in India Using the MaxEnt Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarma, Kuladip; Kumar, Awadhesh; Krishna, Murali; Medhi, Mintu; Tripathi, Om Prakash

    2015-01-01

    The eastern hoolock gibbon, Hoolock leuconedys, is categorized as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List and assessed as a Schedule I species of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of 1972 in India. We predict the potential habitat of H. leuconedys in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, India, using the Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) distribution modelling algorithm. The model was developed using 90 known localities of H. leuconedys in the state. Nineteen environmental parameters along with 12 normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) layers, elevation and land use and land cover (LULC) were used in the modelling. Amongst the environmental input variables, the precipitation of the coldest quarter (BIO 19) had the highest contribution to the model (26.03%) and the twelve NDVI layers collectively contributed 60.91%. Two districts, Lower Dibang Valley and Lohit, which are known to contain H. leuconedys, occupied 64.75% of the predicted distribution area of the species. Thus, we aid in the identification of suitable areas for the reintroduction program of H. leuconedys that is planned by the Gibbon Conservation Breeding Centre, Biological Park, Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, India. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Verônica Souza da Mota Gomes

    2008-03-01

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

  16. Development and validation of a habitat suitability model for the non-indigenous seagrass Zostera japonica in North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    We developed a spatially-explicit, flexible 3-parameter habitat suitability model that can be used to identify and predict areas at higher risk for non-native dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) invasion. The model uses simple environmental parameters (depth, nearshore slope, and s...

  17. Smooth models for the Coulomb potential

    CERN Document Server

    González-Espinoza, Cristina E; Karwowski, Jacek; Savin, Andreas

    2016-01-01

    Smooth model potentials with parameters selected to reproduce the spectrum of one-electron atoms are used to approximate the singular Coulomb potential. Even when the potentials do not mimic the Coulomb singularity, much of the spectrum is reproduced within the chemical accuracy. For the Hydrogen atom, the smooth approximations to the Coulomb potential are more accurate for higher angular momentum states. The transferability of the model potentials from an attractive interaction (Hydrogen atom) to a repulsive one (Harmonium and the uniform electron gas) is discussed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildhaber, Mark L.; Lamberson, Peter J.

    2004-01-01

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

  19. A Potential Model for Cylindrical Pores

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    张现仁; 汪文川

    2001-01-01

    An analytical potential for cylindrical pores has been derived by introducing a variational method into the integration for the calculation of the interaction energy between the wall molecules and a test molecule, all of which are represented by Lennard-Jones potential. The model proposed gives good fit to the results from the cylindrical surface model and the pseudoatom model. To test the potential proposed rigorously, we have carried out grand canonical ensemble Monte Carlo(GCMC) simulation of nitrogen in the MCM-41 pore at 77 K, and compared the simulated adsorption isotherm with the experimental data reported in the literature. The simulated isotherm from our model is in almost qualitative agreement with experiment. Consequently, the model proposed provides an explicit and accurate description of cylindrical pores represented by the Lennard-Jones potential. Moreover, the model can be easily applied to a variety of cylindrical pores, ranging from cylindrical surface to finite thickness walls, in both theoretical studies and computer simulations.

  20. Spatially explicit modeling of habitat dynamics and fish population persistence in an intermittent lowland stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perry, George L W; Bond, Nicholas R

    2009-04-01

    In temperate and arid climate zones many streams and rivers flow intermittently, seasonally contracting to a sequence of isolated pools or waterholes over the dry period, before reconnecting in the wetter parts of the year. This seasonal drying process is central to our understanding of the population dynamics of aquatic organisms such as fish and invertebrates in these systems. However, there is a dearth of empirical data on the temporal dynamics of such populations. We describe a spatially explicit individual-based model (SEIBM) of fish population dynamics in such systems, which we use to explore the long-term population viability of the carp gudgeon Hypseleotris spp. in a lowland stream in southeastern Australia. We explicitly consider the impacts of interannual variability in stream flow, for example, due to drought, on habitat availability and hence population persistence. Our results support observations that these populations are naturally highly variable, with simulated fish population sizes typically varying over four orders of magnitude within a 50-year simulation run. The most sensitive parameters in the model relate to the amount of water (habitat) in the system: annual rainfall, seepage loss from the pools, and the carrying capacity (number of individuals per cubic meter) of the pools as they dry down. It seems likely that temporal source sink dynamics allow the fish populations to persist in these systems, with good years (high rainfall and brief cease-to-flow [CTF] periods) buffering against periods of drought. In dry years during which the stream may contract to very low numbers of pools, each of these persistent pools becomes crucial for the persistence of the population in the system. Climate change projections for this area suggest decreases in rainfall and increased incidence of drought; under these environmental conditions the long-term persistence of these fish populations is uncertain.

  1. Identifying optimal sites for natural recovery and restoration of impacted biogenic habitats in a special area of conservation using hydrodynamic and habitat suitability modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elsäßer, Björn; Fariñas-Franco, Jose M.; Wilson, Conor David; Kregting, Louise; Roberts, Dai

    2013-03-01

    Selection of sites for successful restoration of impacted shellfish populations depends on understanding the dispersion capability and habitat requirements of the species involved. In Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland, the horse mussel (Modiolus modiolus) biogenic reefs cover only a fraction of their historical range with the remaining reefs badly damaged and requiring restoration. Previous experimental trials suggest that translocation of horse mussels accelerates reef recovery and has therefore been proposed as a suitable restoration technique. We used a series of coupled hydrodynamic and particle dispersal models to assess larval dispersion from remnant and translocated populations to identify suitable areas for adult live M. modiolus translocation in Strangford Lough, Northern Ireland. A maximum entropy model (MAXENT) was used to identify if dispersing larvae could reach habitat suitable for adult M. modiolus. From these we predicted if translocated mussels will reseed themselves or be able to act as larval sources for nearby reefs. The dispersal models showed that the remnant M. modiolus populations are largely self-recruiting with little connectivity between them. The majority of larvae settled near the sources and movement was largely dependent on the tides and not influenced by wind or waves. Higher reef elevation resulted in larvae being able to disperse further away from the release point. However, larval numbers away from the source population are likely to be too low for successful recruitment. There was also little connectivity between the Irish Sea and Strangford Lough as any larvae entering the Lough remained predominantly in the Strangford Narrows. The areas covered by these self-seeding populations are suitable for M. modiolus translocation according to the MAXENT model. As a result of this work and in conjunction with other field work we propose a combination of total protection of all remaining larval sources and small scale translocations onto

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. C. L. Silveira

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steffen, John E

    2009-09-01

    Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here I use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground), but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats.

  4. Identification of swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli Cuvier) potential habitat in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve, Uttarakhand, India using multi-criteria analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nandy, S; Kushwaha, S P S; Gaur, Priyanka

    2012-04-01

    The present study aims to identify the potential habitat for swamp deer (Cervus duvauceli duvauceli Cuvier) in Jhilmil Jheel Conservation Reserve in the Uttarakhand province of India using multi-criteria analysis. The study area represents one of the last remnant habitats of the flagship species, the swamp deer in Uttarakhand, which is considered as vulnerable. The study showed that only 6.08% of the study area (225 km(2)) was highly suitable to suitable for the swamp deer. An area of 135.52 km(2) (60.23%) turned out to be moderately suitable. Within the officially designated Conservation Reserve (area 37.84 km(2)), 10.91% (4.13 km(2)) area was found highly suitable to suitable, while 74.19% (28.07 km(2)) happens to be moderately suitable. Only 14 km(2) area, which was found as suitable habitat for swamp deer falls short of the space required by a population of 134 animals. The problem could be mitigated if the agricultural land (2.47 km(2)) adjacent to the Jhilmil Jheel is brought under the Reserve management. This would provide additional area to meet the fodder requirement. The study brings out a particularly grim situation with limited options for conservation and management of the swamp deer in the Indo-Gangetic plains. It also emphasizes the role of geospatial techniques in quick appraisal of habitat attributes and identification of potential sites for protected areas.

  5. Optimising Habitat-Based Models for Wide-Ranging Marine Predators: Scale Matters

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scales, K. L.; Hazen, E. L.; Jacox, M.; Edwards, C. A.; Bograd, S. J.

    2016-12-01

    Predicting the responses of marine top predators to dynamic oceanographic conditions requires habitat-based models that sufficiently capture environmental preferences. Spatial resolution and temporal averaging of environmental data layers is a key aspect of model construction. The utility of surfaces contemporaneous to animal movement (e.g. daily, weekly), versus synoptic products (monthly, seasonal, climatological) is currently under debate, as is the optimal spatial resolution for predictive products. Using movement simulations with built-in environmental preferences (correlated random walks, multi-state hidden Markov-type models) together with modeled (Regional Oceanographic Modeling System, ROMS) and remotely-sensed (MODIS-Aqua) datasets, we explored the effects of degrading environmental surfaces (3km - 1 degree, daily - climatological) on model inference. We simulated the movements of a hypothetical wide-ranging marine predator through the California Current system over a three month period (May-June-July), based on metrics derived from previously published blue whale Balaenoptera musculus tracking studies. Results indicate that models using seasonal or climatological data fields can overfit true environmental preferences, in both presence-absence and behaviour-based model formulations. Moreover, the effects of a degradation in spatial resolution are more pronounced when using temporally averaged fields than when using daily, weekly or monthly datasets. In addition, we observed a notable divergence between the `best' models selected using common methods (e.g. AUC, AICc) and those that most accurately reproduced built-in environmental preferences. These findings have important implications for conservation and management of marine mammals, seabirds, sharks, sea turtles and large teleost fish, particularly in implementing dynamic ocean management initiatives and in forecasting responses to future climate-mediated ecosystem change.

  6. Using a Remote Sensing/GIS Model to Predict Southwestern Willow Flycatcher Breeding Habitat along the Rio Grande, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, James R.; Sogge, Mark K.

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hatten, James R.; Sogge, Mark K.

    2007-01-01

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

  8. Aquatic Insects of New York Salt Marsh Associated with Mosquito Larval Habitat and their Potential Utility as Bioindicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rochlin, Ilia; Dempsey, Mary E.; Iwanejko, Tom; Ninivaggi, Dominick V.

    2011-01-01

    The aquatic insect fauna of salt marshes is poorly characterized, with the possible exception of biting Diptera. Aquatic insects play a vital role in salt marsh ecology, and have great potential importance as biological indicators for assessing marsh health. In addition, they may be impacted by measures to control mosquitoes such as changes to the marsh habitat, altered hydrology, or the application of pesticides. Given these concerns, the goals of this study were to conduct the first taxonomic survey of salt marsh aquatic insects on Long Island, New York, USA and to evaluate their utility for non-target pesticide impacts and environmental biomonitoring. A total of 18 species from 11 families and five orders were collected repeatedly during the five month study period. Diptera was the most diverse order with nine species from four families, followed by Coleoptera with four species from two families, Heteroptera with three species from three families, then Odonata and the hexapod Collembola with one species each. Water boatmen, Trichocorixa verticalis Fieber (Heteroptera: Corixidae) and a shore fly, Ephydra subopaca Loew (Diptera: Ephydridae), were the two most commonly encountered species. An additional six species; Anurida maritima Guérin-Méneville (Collembola: Neanuridae), Mesovelia mulsanti White (Heteroptera: Mesovelidae), Enochrus hamiltoni Horn (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae), Tropisternus quadristriatus Horn (Coleoptera: Hydrophilidae), Dasyhelea pseudocincta Waugh and Wirth (Diptera: Ceratopogonidae), and Brachydeutera argentata Walker (Diptera: Ephydridae), were found regularly. Together with the less common Erythrodiplax berenice Drury (Odonata: Libellulidae), these nine species were identified as the most suitable candidates for pesticide and environmental impact monitoring due to abundance, position in the food chain, and extended seasonal occurrence. This study represents a first step towards developing an insectbased index of biological integrity for

  9. Evaluation of habitat suitability index models by global sensitivity and uncertainty analyses: a case study for submerged aquatic vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajac, Zuzanna; Stith, Bradley; Bowling, Andrea C; Langtimm, Catherine A; Swain, Eric D

    2015-07-01

    Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are commonly used to predict habitat quality and species distributions and are used to develop biological surveys, assess reserve and management priorities, and anticipate possible change under different management or climate change scenarios. Important management decisions may be based on model results, often without a clear understanding of the level of uncertainty associated with model outputs. We present an integrated methodology to assess the propagation of uncertainty from both inputs and structure of the HSI models on model outputs (uncertainty analysis: UA) and relative importance of uncertain model inputs and their interactions on the model output uncertainty (global sensitivity analysis: GSA). We illustrate the GSA/UA framework using simulated hydrology input data from a hydrodynamic model representing sea level changes and HSI models for two species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in southwest Everglades National Park: Vallisneria americana (tape grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). We found considerable spatial variation in uncertainty for both species, but distributions of HSI scores still allowed discrimination of sites with good versus poor conditions. Ranking of input parameter sensitivities also varied spatially for both species, with high habitat quality sites showing higher sensitivity to different parameters than low-quality sites. HSI models may be especially useful when species distribution data are unavailable, providing means of exploiting widely available environmental datasets to model past, current, and future habitat conditions. The GSA/UA approach provides a general method for better understanding HSI model dynamics, the spatial and temporal variation in uncertainties, and the parameters that contribute most to model uncertainty. Including an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in modeling efforts as part of the decision-making framework will result in better-informed, more robust

  10. Evaluation of habitat suitability index models by global sensitivity and uncertainty analyses: a case study for submerged aquatic vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zajac, Zuzanna; Stith, Bradley M.; Bowling, Andrea C.; Langtimm, Catherine A.; Swain, Eric D.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat suitability index (HSI) models are commonly used to predict habitat quality and species distributions and are used to develop biological surveys, assess reserve and management priorities, and anticipate possible change under different management or climate change scenarios. Important management decisions may be based on model results, often without a clear understanding of the level of uncertainty associated with model outputs. We present an integrated methodology to assess the propagation of uncertainty from both inputs and structure of the HSI models on model outputs (uncertainty analysis: UA) and relative importance of uncertain model inputs and their interactions on the model output uncertainty (global sensitivity analysis: GSA). We illustrate the GSA/UA framework using simulated hydrology input data from a hydrodynamic model representing sea level changes and HSI models for two species of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in southwest Everglades National Park: Vallisneria americana (tape grass) and Halodule wrightii (shoal grass). We found considerable spatial variation in uncertainty for both species, but distributions of HSI scores still allowed discrimination of sites with good versus poor conditions. Ranking of input parameter sensitivities also varied spatially for both species, with high habitat quality sites showing higher sensitivity to different parameters than low-quality sites. HSI models may be especially useful when species distribution data are unavailable, providing means of exploiting widely available environmental datasets to model past, current, and future habitat conditions. The GSA/UA approach provides a general method for better understanding HSI model dynamics, the spatial and temporal variation in uncertainties, and the parameters that contribute most to model uncertainty. Including an uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in modeling efforts as part of the decision-making framework will result in better-informed, more robust

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  13. Restoring habitat corridors in fragmented landscapes using optimization and percolation models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Justin C. Williams; Stephanie A. Snyder

    2005-01-01

    Landscape fragmentation and habitat loss are significant threats to the conservation of biological diversity. Creating and restoring corridors between isolated habitat patches can help mitigate or reverse the impacts of fragmentation. It is important that restoration and protection efforts be undertaken in the most efficient and effective way possible because...

  14. Baby Skyrme models without a potential term

    CERN Document Server

    Ashcroft, Jennifer; Krusch, Steffen

    2015-01-01

    We develop a one-parameter family of static baby Skyrme models that do not require a potential term to admit topological solitons. This is a novel property as all currently known baby Skyrme models must contain a potential term in order to have stable soliton solutions, though the Skyrme model does not require this. Our new models satisfy an energy bound that is linear in terms of the topological charge and can be saturated in an extreme limit. They also satisfy a virial theorem that is shared by the Skyrme model. We calculate the solitons of our new models numerically and observe that their form depends significantly on the choice of parameter. In one extreme, we find compactons whilst at the other there is a scale invariant model in which solitons can be obtained exactly as solutions to a Bogomolny equation. We provide an initial investigation into these solitons and compare them with the baby Skyrmions of other models.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Franzreb, K.; Lloyd, F.T.

    2000-10-01

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

  16. Mechanistic models as a transferable framework for projecting effects of habitat change on production and delivery of ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drawing a link between habitat change and the production and delivery of ecosystem services is a priority in coastal estuarine ecosystems. Mechanistic modeling tools are highly functional for exploring this link because they allow for the synthesis of multiple ecological and beh...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  18. Potential Models for Radiative Rare B Decays

    CERN Document Server

    Ahmad, S

    2002-01-01

    We compute the branching ratios for the radiative rare decays of B into K-Meson states and compare them to the experimentally determined branching ratio for inclusive decay b -> s gamma using non relativistic quark model, and form factor definitions consistent with HQET covariant trace formalism. Such calculations necessarily involve a potential model. In order to test the sensitivity of calculations to potential models we have used three different potentials, namely linear potential, screening confining potential and heavy quark potential as it stands in QCD.We find the branching ratios relative to the inclusive b ->s gamma decay to be (16.07\\pm 5.2)% for B -> K^* (892)gamma and (7.25\\pm 3.2)% for B -> K_2^* (1430)gamma for linear potential. In the case of the screening confining potential these values are (19.75\\pm 5.3)% and (4.74\\pm 1.2)% while those for the heavy quark potential are (11.18\\pm 4.6)% and (5.09\\pm 2.7)% respectively. All these values are consistent with the corresponding present CLEO experim...

  19. Importance of landscape features and Earth observation derived habitat maps for modelling amphibian distribution in the Alta Murgia National Park

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ficetola, Gentile Francesco; Adamo, Maria; Bonardi, Anna; De Pasquale, Vito; Liuzzi, Cristiano; Lovergine, Francesco; Marcone, Francesco; Mastropasqua, Fabio; Tarantino, Cristina; Blonda, Palma; Padoa-Schioppa, Emilio

    2015-05-01

    Traditionally, analyses of relationships between amphibians and habitat focused on breeding environments (i.e., pond features) more than on the features of the surrounding environment. Nevertheless, for most amphibians the terrestrial phase is longer than the aquatic phase, and consequently landscape features (i.e., habitat mosaics) may have an important role for modelling amphibian distribution. There were different aims in this analysis. Firstly, we compared the effectiveness of the information provided by land cover/use (LC/LU) classes and habitat classes defined according to a new habitat taxonomy named General Habitat Category (GHC), which is based on the concept of biological forms of dominant vegetation and class naturalness. The GHC map used was obtained from a pre-existing validated LC/LU map, by integrating spectral and spatial measurements from very high resolution Earth observation data according to ecological expert rules involving concepts related to spatial and temporal relationships among LC/LU and habitat classes. Then, we investigated the importance for amphibians of the landscape surrounding ponds within the Italian Alta Murgia National Park. The work assessed whether LC/LU classes in pond surrounds are important for the presence/absence of amphibians in this area, and identified which classes are more important for amphibians. The results obtained can provide useful indications to management strategies aiming at the conservation of amphibians within the study area. An information-theoretic approach was adopted to assess whether GHC maps allow to improve the performance of species distribution models. We used the Akaike's Information Criterion (AICc) to compare the effectiveness of GHC categories versus LC/LU categories in explaining the presence/absence of pool frogs. AICc weights suggest that GHC categories can better explain the distribution of frogs, compared to LC/LU classes.

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

    KAUST Repository

    Chust, Guillem

    2013-09-16

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

  1. The Folding Deuteron Optical Model Potentials

    CERN Document Server

    Li, Xiaohua; Cai, Chonghai

    2008-01-01

    For 52 target nuclei with deuteron as projectile, we calculate the reaction cross sections and elastic scattering angular distributions, as well as the $\\chi^2$ values for 11 kinds of deuteron optical model potentials: our global deuteron optical potentials and 10 folding optical potentials calculated with 2 phenomenological global nucleon optical potentials given by Koning \\textit{et al}(KD) and by Varner\\textit{et al}(CH89), and 8 microscopic nucleon optical potentials with the generalized Skyrme force parameters(GS1-6) and modified Skyrme force parameters(SKa, SKb). We find that for constructing the folding deuteron optical potential, both SKa and SKb are the best Skyrme force parameters of the microscopic nucleon optical potential proposed by Q. Shen \\textit{et al}.

  2. Predicting future thermal habitat suitability of competing native and invasive fish species: from metabolic scope to oceanographic modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marras, Stefano; Cucco, Andrea; Antognarelli, Fabio; Azzurro, Ernesto; Milazzo, Marco; Bariche, Michel; Butenschön, Momme; Kay, Susan; Di Bitetto, Massimiliano; Quattrocchi, Giovanni; Sinerchia, Matteo; Domenici, Paolo

    2015-01-01

    Global increase in sea temperatures has been suggested to facilitate the incoming and spread of tropical invaders. The increasing success of these species may be related to their higher physiological performance compared with indigenous ones. Here, we determined the effect of temperature on the aerobic metabolic scope (MS) of two herbivorous fish species that occupy a similar ecological niche in the Mediterranean Sea: the native salema (Sarpa salpa) and the invasive marbled spinefoot (Siganus rivulatus). Our results demonstrate a large difference in the optimal temperature for aerobic scope between the salema (21.8°C) and the marbled spinefoot (29.1°C), highlighting the importance of temperature in determining the energy availability and, potentially, the distribution patterns of the two species. A modelling approach based on a present-day projection and a future scenario for oceanographic conditions was used to make predictions about the thermal habitat suitability (THS, an index based on the relationship between MS and temperature) of the two species, both at the basin level (the whole Mediterranean Sea) and at the regional level (the Sicilian Channel, a key area for the inflow of invasive species from the Eastern to the Western Mediterranean Sea). For the present-day projection, our basin-scale model shows higher THS of the marbled spinefoot than the salema in the Eastern compared with the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, by 2050, the THS of the marbled spinefoot is predicted to increase throughout the whole Mediterranean Sea, causing its westward expansion. Nevertheless, the regional-scale model suggests that the future thermal conditions of Western Sicily will remain relatively unsuitable for the invasive species and could act as a barrier for its spread westward. We suggest that metabolic scope can be used as a tool to evaluate the potential invasiveness of alien species and the resilience to global warming of native species.

  3. Habitat suitability index model for moose (Alces alces) on the Kenai peninsula

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This descriptive model applies only to moose on the Kenai Peninsula and was specifically developed for use in the evaluation of potential impacts on moose resulting...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2015-02-24

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

  5. 快速交通对城市郊区獐的生境影响分析%Impact of rapid transportation network on the potential habitat of Hydropotes inermis in suburban areas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘米兰; 李明阳; 王晓俊

    2012-01-01

    掌握城市郊区的野生动物生境动态变化,对于制定野生动物保护策略具有重要的理论和现实意义.以南京东郊野生哺乳动物獐Hydropotes inermis为研究对象,以2006年中巴资源卫星、2011年HJ-1A小卫星、47个獐物种痕迹点数据为主要信息源,在南京东郊快速交通网络景观格局动态变化分析基础上,采用最大熵法Maxent生态位模型,进行快速交通对城市郊区大型哺乳动物生境影响分析.结果表明:2006-2011年,南京东郊快速交通网络日益复杂,道路密度从2006年的1116.27 m·km-2增加到2011年1371.95 m·km-2;快速交通修建对獐生境产生囚笼效应,导致獐的潜在生境呈孤岛状空间分布格局.随着快速交通网络日益复杂,与2006年相比,2011年獐潜在生境呈缩小趋势;獐生境概率分布冷热点分析表明,距道路和居民点距离这2个人为干扰因子对獐生境概率分布影响最大.%Knowledge of habitat dynamics could influence wildlife protection policy. The purpose of the paper is to quantify the impact of rapid transportation network on the potential habitat of wildlife in suburban areas so as to provide scientific basis for the plan making of rapid transportation network and biodiversity conservation. In this research, Hydropotes inermis, an endangered, wild mammal in the eastern suburbs of Nanjing City were studied with main information sources being remote sensing images from China Brazil Earth Resources Satellite (CBERS) in 2006 and Disaster and Environment Monitoring and Forecast Small Satellite Constellation A (HJ-1A) in 2011 along with 47 trace point data with geographical coordinates. Dynamic changes in landscape patterns due to high speed traffic networks in the eastern suburbs of Nanjing were analyzed first. Then, Max-ent (maximum entropy) modeling for an ecological niche was applied to predict a potential habitat for Hydropotes inermis. Finally, impact of this high speed traffic network on the

  6. Feeding rates of a mammalian browser confirm the predictions of a 'foodscape' model of its habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marsh, Karen J; Moore, Ben D; Wallis, Ian R; Foley, William J

    2014-03-01

    Adequate nutrition is a fundamental requirement for the maintenance and growth of populations, but complex interactions between nutrients and plant toxins make it difficult to link variation in plant quality to the ecology of wild herbivores. We asked whether a 'foodscape' model of habitat that uses near-infrared spectroscopy to describe the palatability of individual trees in the landscape, predicted the foraging decisions of a mammalian browser, the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus). Specifically, we considered four behavioural decision points at which nutritional quality may influence an animal's decision. These were: which tree to enter, whether to feed from that tree, when to stop eating, and how long to remain in that tree. There were trends for koalas to feed in eucalypt trees that were more palatable than unvisited neighbouring conspecific trees, and than trees that they visited but did not eat. Koalas ate longer meals in more palatable trees, and stayed longer and spent more time feeding per visit to these trees. Using more traditional chemical analyses, we identified that an interaction between the concentrations of formylated phloroglucinol compounds (a group of plant secondary metabolites) and available N (an integrated measure of tannins, digestibility and N) influenced feeding. The study shows that foodscape models that combine spatial information with integrated measures of food quality are a powerful tool to predict the feeding behaviour of herbivores in a landscape.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  9. The effects of urbanisation on coastal habitats and the potential for ecological engineering: A Singapore case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lai, S.; Loke, L.H.L.; Hilton, M.J.; Bouma, T.J.; Todd, P.A.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss associated with land reclamation and shoreline development is becoming increasingly prevalent as coastal cities expand. The majority of Singapore's mangrove forests, coral reefs and sand/mudflats disappeared between the 1920s and 1990s. Our study quantifies additional coastal transforma

  10. The effects of urbanisation on coastal habitats and the potential for ecological engineering: A Singapore case study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lai, S.; Loke, L.H.L.; Hilton, M.J.; Bouma, T.J.; Todd, P.A.

    2015-01-01

    Habitat loss associated with land reclamation and shoreline development is becoming increasingly prevalent as coastal cities expand. The majority of Singapore's mangrove forests, coral reefs and sand/mudflats disappeared between the 1920s and 1990s. Our study quantifies additional coastal

  11. Mineral potential mapping with mathematical geological models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Porwal, A.K.

    2006-01-01

    Mathematical geological models are being increasingly used by natural resources delineation and planning agencies for mapping areas of mineral potential in order to optimize land use in accordance with socio-economic needs of the society. However, a key problem in spatial-mathematical-model-based mi

  12. Mineral potential mapping with mathematical geological models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Porwal, A.K.

    2006-01-01

    Mathematical geological models are being increasingly used by natural resources delineation and planning agencies for mapping areas of mineral potential in order to optimize land use in accordance with socio-economic needs of the society. However, a key problem in spatial-mathematical-model-based

  13. Maxent modelling for predicting the potential distribution of Thai Palms

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tovaranonte, Jantrararuk; Barfod, Anders S.; Overgaard, Anne Blach

    2011-01-01

    Increasingly species distribution models are being used to address questions related to ecology, biogeography and species conservation on global and regional scales. We used the maximum entropy approach implemented in the MAXENT programme to build a habitat suitability model for Thai palms based ...... in Thailand based on overlays of all species with more than 5 records (n = 103)....

  14. Annual variation in habitat-specific recruitment success: Implications from an individual-based model of Lake Michigan alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hook, T.O.; Rutherford, E.S.; Croley, T.E.; Mason, D.M.; Madenjian, C.P.

    2008-01-01

    The identification of important spawning and nursery habitats for fish stocks can aid fisheries management, but is complicated by various factors, including annual variation in recruitment success. The alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) is an ecologically important species in Lake Michigan that utilizes a variety of habitats for spawning and early life growth. While productive, warm tributary mouths (connected to Lake Michigan) may contribute disproportionately more recruits (relative to their habitat volume) to the adult alewife population than cooler, less productive nearshore habitats, the extent of interannual variation in the relative contributions of recruits from these two habitat types remains unknown. We used an individual-based bioenergetics simulation model and input data on daily temperatures to estimate alewife recruitment to the adult population by these different habitat types. Simulations suggest that nearshore lake habitats typically produce the vast majority of young alewife recruits. However, tributary habitats may contribute the majority of alewife recruits during years of low recruitment. We suggest that high interannual variation in the relative importance of habitats for recruitment is a common phenomenon, which should be considered when developing habitat management plans for fish populations. ?? 2008 NRC.

  15. Investigating the Trade-Off Between Power Generation and Environmental Impact of Tidal-Turbine Arrays Using Array Layout Optimisation and Habitat Sustainability Modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Feu, R. J.; Funke, S. W.; Kramer, S. C.; Hill, J.; Piggott, M. D.

    2016-12-01

    The installation of tidal turbines into the ocean will inevitably affect the environment around them. However, due to the relative infancy of this sector the extent and severity of such effects is unknown. The layout of an array of turbines is an important factor in determining not only the array's final yield but also how it will influence regional hydrodynamics. This in turn could affect, for example, sediment transportation or habitat suitability. The two potentially competing objectives of extracting energy from the tidal current, and of limiting any environmental impact consequent to influencing that current, are investigated here. This relationship is posed as a multi-objective optimisation problem. OpenTidalFarm, an array layout optimisation tool, and MaxEnt, habitat sustainability modelling software, are used to evaluate scenarios off the coast of the UK. MaxEnt is used to estimate the likelihood of finding a species in a given location based upon environmental input data and presence data of the species. Environmental features which are known to impact habitat, specifically those affected by the presence of an array, such as bed shear stress, are chosen as inputs. MaxEnt then uses a maximum-entropy modelling approach to estimate population distribution across the modelled area. OpenTidalFarm is used to maximise the power generated by an array, or multiple arrays, through adjusting the position and number of turbines within them. It uses a 2D shallow water model with turbine arrays represented as adjustable friction fields. It has the capability to also optimise for user created functionals that can be expressed mathematically. This work uses two functionals; power extracted by the array, and the suitability of habitat as predicted by MaxEnt. A gradient-based local optimisation is used to adjust the array layout at each iteration. This work presents arrays that are optimised for both yield and the viability of habitat for chosen species. In each scenario

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Spatial extent of potential habitats of the Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem (MCE, 20-80 m) in the tropical North Atlantic (TNA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ginsburg, R. N.

    2012-12-01

    The Mesophotic Coral Ecosystem is the deeper-water extension of the much-studied, shallow reef community. It occurs on steep slopes and shelf areas, in the TNA off Belize, the Bahamas, the US Virgin Islands, and the Flower Garden Banks. Framework-building corals at these depths are primarily platy montastraeids and agariciids, with lesser amounts of massive encrusting species. The closely-spaced, platy colonies, expanding up to nearly two meters in diameter have up to 50% live coral cover. The colonies are elevated above the substrate. Their growth creates a thicket-like structure with large, open spaces for mobile species (fish and crustaceans) and extensive habitat for attached and grazing invertebrates. The MCE includes genera or species of zooxanthellate corals, invertebrates and fish, some of which are the same as those in shallow water. Given, the widespread, recent declines of TNA coral communities at depth less than 20 m, it is essential to know the total regional extent of the MCE. To determine the likely depth locations of these deeper coral communities we used methods pioneered by REEFS AT RISK,1998 that incorporates data from the Danish Hydrological Institute (DHI), "MIKE C-MAP" depth points and data on coastline location *NASA, "Sea WiFS" and NIMA, "VMAP," 1997. The results for the larger areas of reef development and for shelf areas are below:Potential MCE shelf habitats.t; Potential MCE platform margin habitats.t;

  18. VT Wildlife Linkage Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    Vermont Center for Geographic Information — (Link to Metadata) The Wildlife Linkage Habitat Analysis uses landscape scale data to identify or predict the location of potentially significant wildlife linkage...

  19. Describing Anopheles arabiensis aquatic habitats in two riceland agro-ecosystems in Mwea, Kenya using a negative binomial regression model with a non-homogenous mean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacob, Benjamin G; Griffith, Daniel; Muturi, Ephantus; Caamano, Erick X; Shililu, Josephat; Githure, John I; Novak, Robert J

    2009-01-01

    This research illustrates a geostatistical approach for modeling the spatial distribution patterns of Anopheles arabiensis Patton (Patton) aquatic habitats in two riceland environments. QuickBird 0.61 m data, encompassing the visible bands and the near-infra-red (NIR) band, were selected to synthesize images of An. arabiensis aquatic habitats. These bands and field sampled data were used to determine ecological parameters associated with riceland larval habitat development. SAS was used to calculate univariate statistics, correlations and Poisson regression models. Global autocorrelation statistics were generated in ArcGISfrom georeferenced Anopheles aquatic habitats in the study sites. The geographic distribution of Anopheles gambiae s.l. aquatic habitats in the study sites exhibited weak positive autocorrelation; similar numbers of log-larval count habitats tend to clustered in space. Individual rice land habitat data were further evaluated in terms of their covariations with spatial autocorrelation, by regressing them on candidate spatial filter eigenvectors. Each eigenvector generated from a geographically weighted matrix, for both study sites, revealed a distinctive spatial pattern. The spatial autocorrelation components suggest the presence of roughly 14-30% redundant information in the aquatic habitat larval count samples. Synthetic map pattern variables furnish a method of capturing spatial dependency effects in the mean response term in regression analyses of rice land An. arabiensis aquatic habitat data.

  20. Habitat partitioning between woodland caribou and moose in Ontario: the potential role of shared prédation risk

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H.G. Cumming

    1996-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper explores mechanisms of coexistence for woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou and moose (Akes alces preyed upon by gray wolves (Canis lupus in northern Ontario. Autocorrelation analysis of winter track locations showed habitat partitioning by caribou and moose. Numbers of Delaunay link edges for moose-wolves did not differ significantly from what would be expected by random process, but those for caribou-wolves were significantly fewer. Thus, habitat partitioning provided implicit refuges that put greater distances between caribou and wolves, presumably decreasing predation on the caribou. Yet, direct competition cannot be ruled out; both apparent and direct competition may be involved in real-life situations. A synthesis including both explanations fits ecological theory, as well as current understanding about caribou ecology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-11

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

  3. Potential interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality and adjacent land cover in amphibian habitats in the United States.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, W A; Smalling, K L; Anderson, C; Calhoun, D; Chestnut, T; Muths, E

    2016-10-01

    To investigate interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality, and adjacent land cover, we collected samples of water, sediment, and frog tissue from 21 sites in 7 States in the United States (US) representing a variety of amphibian habitats. All samples were analyzed for >90 pesticides and pesticide degradates, and water and frogs were screened for the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) using molecular methods. Pesticides and pesticide degradates were detected frequently in frog breeding habitats (water and sediment) as well as in frog tissue. Fungicides occurred more frequently in water, sediment, and tissue than was expected based upon their limited use relative to herbicides or insecticides. Pesticide occurrence in water or sediment was not a strong predictor of occurrence in tissue, but pesticide concentrations in tissue were correlated positively to agricultural and urban land, and negatively to forested land in 2-km buffers around the sites. Bd was detected in water at 45% of sites, and on 34% of swabbed frogs. Bd detections in water were not associated with differences in land use around sites, but sites with detections had colder water. Frogs that tested positive for Bd were associated with sites that had higher total fungicide concentrations in water and sediment, but lower insecticide concentrations in sediments relative to frogs that were Bd negative. Bd concentrations on frog swabs were positively correlated to dissolved organic carbon, and total nitrogen and phosphorus, and negatively correlated to pH and water temperature. Data were collected from a range of locations and amphibian habitats and represent some of the first field-collected information aimed at understanding the interactions between pesticides, land use, and amphibian disease. These interactions are of particular interest to conservation efforts as many amphibians live in altered habitats and may depend on wetlands embedded in these landscapes to survive

  4. Individual-Based Spatially-Explicit Model of an Herbivore and Its Resource: The Effect of Habitat Reduction and Fragmentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kostova, T; Carlsen, T; Kercher, J

    2002-06-17

    We present an individual-based, spatially-explicit model of the dynamics of a small mammal and its resource. The life histories of each individual animal are modeled separately. The individuals can have the status of residents or wanderers and belong to behaviorally differing groups of juveniles or adults and males or females. Their territory defending and monogamous behavior is taken into consideration. The resource, green vegetation, grows depending on seasonal climatic characteristics and is diminished due to the herbivore's grazing. Other specifics such as a varying personal energetic level due to feeding and starvation of the individuals, mating preferences, avoidance of competitors, dispersal of juveniles, as a result of site overgrazing, etc. are included in the model. We determined model parameters from real data for the species Microtus ochrogaster (prairie vole). The simulations are done for a case of an enclosed habitat without predators or other species competitors. The goal of the study is to find the relation between size of habitat and population persistence. The experiments with the model show the populations go extinct due to severe overgrazing, but that the length of population persistence depends on the area of the habitat as well as on the presence of fragmentation. Additionally, the total population size of the vole population obtained during the simulations exhibits yearly fluctuations as well as multi-yearly peaks of fluctuations. This dynamics is similar to the one observed in prairie vole field studies.

  5. Assessing shoreline exposure and oyster habitat suitability maximizes potential success for sustainable shoreline protection using restored oyster reefs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan K. La Peyre

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Oyster reefs provide valuable ecosystem services that contribute to coastal resilience. Unfortunately, many reefs have been degraded or removed completely, and there are increased efforts to restore oysters in many coastal areas. In particular, much attention has recently been given to the restoration of shellfish reefs along eroding shorelines to reduce erosion. Such fringing reef approaches, however, often lack empirical data to identify locations where reefs are most effective in reducing marsh erosion, or fully take into account habitat suitability. Using monitoring data from 5 separate fringing reef projects across coastal Louisiana, we quantify shoreline exposure (fetch + wind direction + wind speed and reef impacts on shoreline retreat. Our results indicate that fringing oyster reefs have a higher impact on shoreline retreat at higher exposure shorelines. At higher exposures, fringing reefs reduced marsh edge erosion an average of 1.0 m y−1. Using these data, we identify ranges of shoreline exposure values where oyster reefs are most effective at reducing marsh edge erosion and apply this knowledge to a case study within one Louisiana estuary. In Breton Sound estuary, we calculate shoreline exposure at 500 random points and then overlay a habitat suitability index for oysters. This method and the resulting visualization show areas most likely to support sustainable oyster populations as well as significantly reduce shoreline erosion. Our results demonstrate how site selection criteria, which include shoreline exposure and habitat suitability, are critical to ensuring greater positive impacts and longevity of oyster reef restoration projects.

  6. Assessing shoreline exposure and oyster habitat suitability maximizes potential success for sustainable shoreline protection using restored oyster reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    LaPeyre, Megan K.; Serra, Kayla; Joyner, T. Andrew; Humphries, Austin T.

    2015-01-01

    Oyster reefs provide valuable ecosystem services that contribute to coastal resilience. Unfortunately, many reefs have been degraded or removed completely, and there are increased efforts to restore oysters in many coastal areas. In particular, much attention has recently been given to the restoration of shellfish reefs along eroding shorelines to reduce erosion. Such fringing reef approaches, however, often lack empirical data to identify locations where reefs are most effective in reducing marsh erosion, or fully take into account habitat suitability. Using monitoring data from 5 separate fringing reef projects across coastal Louisiana, we quantify shoreline exposure (fetch + wind direction + wind speed) and reef impacts on shoreline retreat. Our results indicate that fringing oyster reefs have a higher impact on shoreline retreat at higher exposure shorelines. At higher exposures, fringing reefs reduced marsh edge erosion an average of 1.0 m y−1. Using these data, we identify ranges of shoreline exposure values where oyster reefs are most effective at reducing marsh edge erosion and apply this knowledge to a case study within one Louisiana estuary. In Breton Sound estuary, we calculate shoreline exposure at 500 random points and then overlay a habitat suitability index for oysters. This method and the resulting visualization show areas most likely to support sustainable oyster populations as well as significantly reduce shoreline erosion. Our results demonstrate how site selection criteria, which include shoreline exposure and habitat suitability, are critical to ensuring greater positive impacts and longevity of oyster reef restoration projects.

  7. Assessing shoreline exposure and oyster habitat suitability maximizes potential success for sustainable shoreline protection using restored oyster reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Peyre, Megan K; Serra, Kayla; Joyner, T Andrew; Humphries, Austin

    2015-01-01

    Oyster reefs provide valuable ecosystem services that contribute to coastal resilience. Unfortunately, many reefs have been degraded or removed completely, and there are increased efforts to restore oysters in many coastal areas. In particular, much attention has recently been given to the restoration of shellfish reefs along eroding shorelines to reduce erosion. Such fringing reef approaches, however, often lack empirical data to identify locations where reefs are most effective in reducing marsh erosion, or fully take into account habitat suitability. Using monitoring data from 5 separate fringing reef projects across coastal Louisiana, we quantify shoreline exposure (fetch + wind direction + wind speed) and reef impacts on shoreline retreat. Our results indicate that fringing oyster reefs have a higher impact on shoreline retreat at higher exposure shorelines. At higher exposures, fringing reefs reduced marsh edge erosion an average of 1.0 m y(-1). Using these data, we identify ranges of shoreline exposure values where oyster reefs are most effective at reducing marsh edge erosion and apply this knowledge to a case study within one Louisiana estuary. In Breton Sound estuary, we calculate shoreline exposure at 500 random points and then overlay a habitat suitability index for oysters. This method and the resulting visualization show areas most likely to support sustainable oyster populations as well as significantly reduce shoreline erosion. Our results demonstrate how site selection criteria, which include shoreline exposure and habitat suitability, are critical to ensuring greater positive impacts and longevity of oyster reef restoration projects.

  8. Are regional habitat models useful at a local-scale? A case study of threatened and common insectivorous bats in South-Eastern Australia.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna McConville

    Full Text Available Habitat modelling and predictive mapping are important tools for conservation planning, particularly for lesser known species such as many insectivorous bats. However, the scale at which modelling is undertaken can affect the predictive accuracy and restrict the use of the model at different scales. We assessed the validity of existing regional-scale habitat models at a local-scale and contrasted the habitat use of two morphologically similar species with differing conservation status (Mormopterus norfolkensis and Mormopterus species 2. We used negative binomial generalised linear models created from indices of activity and environmental variables collected from systematic acoustic surveys. We found that habitat type (based on vegetation community best explained activity of both species, which were more active in floodplain areas, with most foraging activity recorded in the freshwater wetland habitat type. The threatened M. norfolkensis avoided urban areas, which contrasts with M. species 2 which occurred frequently in urban bushland. We found that the broad habitat types predicted from local-scale models were generally consistent with those from regional-scale models. However, threshold-dependent accuracy measures indicated a poor fit and we advise caution be applied when using the regional models at a fine scale, particularly when the consequences of false negatives or positives are severe. Additionally, our study illustrates that habitat type classifications can be important predictors and we suggest they are more practical for conservation than complex combinations of raw variables, as they are easily communicated to land managers.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzáles-Andrés, Cristina; F. M. Lopes, Priscila; Cortés, Jorge; Sánchez-Lizaso, José Luis; Pennino, Maria Grazia

    2016-01-01

    Information on the distribution and habitat preferences of ecologically and commercially important species is essential for their management and protection. This is especially important as climate change, pollution, and overfishing change the structure and functioning of pelagic ecosystems. In this study, we used Bayesian hierarchical spatial-temporal models to map the Essential Fish Habitats of the Yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) in the waters around Isla del Coco National Park, Pacific Costa Rica, based on independent underwater observations from 1993 to 2013. We assessed if observed changes in the distribution and abundance of this species are related with habitat characteristics, fishing intensity or more extreme climatic events, including the El Niño Southern Oscillation, and changes on the average sea surface temperature. Yellowfin tuna showed a decreasing abundance trend in the sampled period, whereas higher abundances were found in shallow and warmer waters, with high concentration of chlorophyll-a, and in surrounding seamounts. In addition, El Niño Southern Oscillation events did not seem to affect Yellowfin tuna distribution and abundance. Understanding the habitat preferences of this species, using approaches as the one developed here, may help design integrated programs for more efficient management of vulnerable species. PMID:27973538

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gonzáles-Andrés, Cristina; F M Lopes, Priscila; Cortés, Jorge; Sánchez-Lizaso, José Luis; Pennino, Maria Grazia

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brett G Dickson

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

  13. Coastal vertebrate exposure to predicted habitat changes due to sea level rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel; Moore, Clinton; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-01-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species’ fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species (n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species’ foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  14. Coastal Vertebrate Exposure to Predicted Habitat Changes Due to Sea Level Rise

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunter, Elizabeth A.; Nibbelink, Nathan P.; Alexander, Clark R.; Barrett, Kyle; Mengak, Lara F.; Guy, Rachel K.; Moore, Clinton T.; Cooper, Robert J.

    2015-12-01

    Sea level rise (SLR) may degrade habitat for coastal vertebrates in the Southeastern United States, but it is unclear which groups or species will be most exposed to habitat changes. We assessed 28 coastal Georgia vertebrate species for their exposure to potential habitat changes due to SLR using output from the Sea Level Affecting Marshes Model and information on the species' fundamental niches. We assessed forecasted habitat change up to the year 2100 using three structural habitat metrics: total area, patch size, and habitat permanence. Almost all of the species ( n = 24) experienced negative habitat changes due to SLR as measured by at least one of the metrics. Salt marsh and ocean beach habitats experienced the most change (out of 16 categorical land cover types) across the three metrics and species that used salt marsh extensively (rails and marsh sparrows) were ranked highest for exposure to habitat changes. Species that nested on ocean beaches (Diamondback Terrapins, shorebirds, and terns) were also ranked highly, but their use of other foraging habitats reduced their overall exposure. Future studies on potential effects of SLR on vertebrates in southeastern coastal ecosystems should focus on the relative importance of different habitat types to these species' foraging and nesting requirements. Our straightforward prioritization approach is applicable to other coastal systems and can provide insight to managers on which species to focus resources, what components of their habitats need to be protected, and which locations in the study area will provide habitat refuges in the face of SLR.

  15. Forecasting effects of climate change on Great Lakes fisheries: models that link habitat supply to population dynamics can help

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Michael L.; Shuter, Brian J.; Zhao, Yingming; Stockwell, Jason D.

    2006-01-01

    Future changes to climate in the Great Lakes may have important consequences for fisheries. Evidence suggests that Great Lakes air and water temperatures have risen and the duration of ice cover has lessened during the past century. Global circulation models (GCMs) suggest future warming and increases in precipitation in the region. We present new evidence that water temperatures have risen in Lake Erie, particularly during summer and winter in the period 1965–2000. GCM forecasts coupled with physical models suggest lower annual runoff, less ice cover, and lower lake levels in the future, but the certainty of these forecasts is low. Assessment of the likely effects of climate change on fish stocks will require an integrative approach that considers several components of habitat rather than water temperature alone. We recommend using mechanistic models that couple habitat conditions to population demographics to explore integrated effects of climate-caused habitat change and illustrate this approach with a model for Lake Erie walleye (Sander vitreum). We show that the combined effect on walleye populations of plausible changes in temperature, river hydrology, lake levels, and light penetration can be quite different from that which would be expected based on consideration of only a single factor.

  16. Modeling Rotating Turbulent Flows with the Body Force Potential Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bhattacharya, Amitabh; Perot, Blair

    2000-11-01

    Like a Reynolds Stress Transport equation model, the turbulent potential model has an explicit Coriolis acceleration term that appears in the model that accounts for rotation effects. In this work the additional secondary effects that system rotation has on the dissipation rate, return-to-isotropy, and fast pressure strain terms are also included in the model. The resulting model is tested in the context of rotating isotropic turbulence, rotating homogeneous shear flow, rotating channel flow, and swirling pipe flow. Many of the model changes are applicable to Reynolds stress transport equation models. All model modifications are frame indifferent.