WorldWideScience

Sample records for modeling potential habitats

  1. 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.

  2. Models for mapping potential habitat at landscape scales: an example using northern spotted owls.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William C. McComb; Michael T. McGrath; Thomas A. Spies; David. Vesely

    2002-01-01

    We are assessing the potential for current and alternative policies in the Oregon Coast Range to affect habitat capability for a suite of forest resources. We provide an example of a spatially explicit habitat capability model for northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina)to illustrate the approach we are taking to assess potential changes...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Bayesian networks for habitat suitability modeling: a potential tool for conservation planning with scarce resources.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tantipisanuh, Naruemon; Gale, George A; Pollino, Carmel

    Bayesian networks (BN) have been increasingly used for habitat suitability modeling of threatened species due to their potential to construct robust models with limited survey data. However, previous applications of this approach have only occurred in countries where human and budget resources are highly available, but the highest concentrations of threatened vertebrates globally are located in the tropics where resources are much more limited. We assessed the effectiveness of Bayesian networks in generating habitat suitability models in Thailand, a biodiversity-rich country where the knowledge base is typically sparse for a wide range of threatened species. The Bayesian network approach was used to generate habitat suitability maps for 52 threatened vertebrate species in Thailand, using a range of evidence types, from relatively well-documented species with good local knowledge to poorly documented species, with few local experts. Published information and expert knowledge were used to define habitat requirements. Focal species were categorized into 22 groups based on known habitat preferences, and then habitat suitability models were constructed with outcomes represented spatially. Models had a consistent structure with three major components: potential habitat, known range, and threat level. Model classification sensitivity was tested using presence-only field data for 21 species. Habitat models for 12 species were relatively sensitive (>70% congruency between observed and predicted locations), three were moderately congruent, and six were poor. Classification sensitivity tended to be high for bird models and moderate for mammals, whereas sensitivity for reptiles was low, presumably reflecting the relatively poor knowledge base for reptiles in the region. Bayesian network models show significant potential for biodiversity-rich regions with scarce resources, although they require further refinement and testing. It is possible that one detailed ecological study is

  5. Modeling intrinsic potential for beaver (Castor canadensis) habitat to inform restoration and climate change adaptation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittbrenner, Benjamin J.; Pollack, Michael M.; Schilling, Jason W.; Olden, Julian D.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Torgersen, Christian E.

    2018-01-01

    Through their dam-building activities and subsequent water storage, beaver have the potential to restore riparian ecosystems and offset some of the predicted effects of climate change by modulating streamflow. Thus, it is not surprising that reintroducing beaver to watersheds from which they have been extirpated is an often-used restoration and climate-adaptation strategy. Identifying sites for reintroduction, however, requires detailed information about habitat factors—information that is not often available at broad spatial scales. Here we explore the potential for beaver relocation throughout the Snohomish River Basin in Washington, USA with a model that identifies some of the basic building blocks of beaver habitat suitability and does so by relying solely on remotely sensed data. More specifically, we developed a generalized intrinsic potential model that draws on remotely sensed measures of stream gradient, stream width, and valley width to identify where beaver could become established if suitable vegetation were to be present. Thus, the model serves as a preliminary screening tool that can be applied over relatively large extents. We applied the model to 5,019 stream km and assessed the ability of the model to correctly predict beaver habitat by surveying for beavers in 352 stream reaches. To further assess the potential for relocation, we assessed land ownership, use, and land cover in the landscape surrounding stream reaches with varying levels of intrinsic potential. Model results showed that 33% of streams had moderate or high intrinsic potential for beaver habitat. We found that no site that was classified as having low intrinsic potential had any sign of beavers and that beaver were absent from nearly three quarters of potentially suitable sites, indicating that there are factors preventing the local population from occupying these areas. Of the riparian areas around streams with high intrinsic potential for beaver, 38% are on public lands and 17

  6. Modeling intrinsic potential for beaver (Castor canadensis) habitat to inform restoration and climate change adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dittbrenner, Benjamin J; Pollock, Michael M; Schilling, Jason W; Olden, Julian D; Lawler, Joshua J; Torgersen, Christian E

    2018-01-01

    Through their dam-building activities and subsequent water storage, beaver have the potential to restore riparian ecosystems and offset some of the predicted effects of climate change by modulating streamflow. Thus, it is not surprising that reintroducing beaver to watersheds from which they have been extirpated is an often-used restoration and climate-adaptation strategy. Identifying sites for reintroduction, however, requires detailed information about habitat factors-information that is not often available at broad spatial scales. Here we explore the potential for beaver relocation throughout the Snohomish River Basin in Washington, USA with a model that identifies some of the basic building blocks of beaver habitat suitability and does so by relying solely on remotely sensed data. More specifically, we developed a generalized intrinsic potential model that draws on remotely sensed measures of stream gradient, stream width, and valley width to identify where beaver could become established if suitable vegetation were to be present. Thus, the model serves as a preliminary screening tool that can be applied over relatively large extents. We applied the model to 5,019 stream km and assessed the ability of the model to correctly predict beaver habitat by surveying for beavers in 352 stream reaches. To further assess the potential for relocation, we assessed land ownership, use, and land cover in the landscape surrounding stream reaches with varying levels of intrinsic potential. Model results showed that 33% of streams had moderate or high intrinsic potential for beaver habitat. We found that no site that was classified as having low intrinsic potential had any sign of beavers and that beaver were absent from nearly three quarters of potentially suitable sites, indicating that there are factors preventing the local population from occupying these areas. Of the riparian areas around streams with high intrinsic potential for beaver, 38% are on public lands and 17% are

  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. Spatial Model of Sumatran Tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) Potential Habitat Suitability in Bukit Barisan Selatan [Model Spasial Kesesuaian Habitat Harimau Sumatra (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) Di Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan, Indonesia

    OpenAIRE

    Suyadi, Suyadi; Jaya, I Nengah Surati; Wijanarto, Antonius B; Wibisono, Haryo Tabah

    2012-01-01

    This study describes on development of habitat suitability for Sumatran tiger in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP). In this study remotely-sensed data set were linked with tiger and it prey survey using camera trap to identify the environmental and human factors that influences the tiger's potential habitat, and to develop a spatial model as well as in BBSNP. All at once, the study showed that the potential model for estimating the tiger's potential habitat suitability could be deve...

  9. 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...

  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 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.

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2006-01-01

    -borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from...... 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...

  14. Habitat Suitability Index Models: Osprey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vana-Miller, Sandra L.

    1987-01-01

    A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the osprey (Pandion haliaetus). 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.

  15. Habitat suitability modeling of amphibian species in southern and central China: environmental correlates and potential richness mapping.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Youhua

    2013-05-01

    Successful wildlife management must take into account suitable habitat areas. Information on the correlation between distribution ranges and environmental conditions would, therefore, improve the efficacy of in-situ conservation of wildlife. In this contribution, correlations between environmental factors and the distribution of 51 amphibians in southern and central China were investigated. Ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA) at a spatial resolution of 1° latitude×1° longitude identified a mixture of climatic and habitat factors as important predictors of the occurrence of individual species. The aims of the present work were (i) to evaluate potential distributions of amphibians based on the suitability of areas; (ii) to identify the major environmental descriptors upon which they depend; and (iii) to identify areas of potential high richness that have been overlooked in available inventories. Most of the predicted species ranges of species covered the majority of southern and central China. Six richness hotspots were predicted, of which four have been described previously, but two overlooked (SE Fujian and SE Qinghai). The prediction model was considered to be relatively accurate and it is recommended that these two new potential hotspots should be subjected to further evaluation and sampling efforts. Amphibians have high ecological preference for high humidity and precipitation, and low annual frost days. ENFA is a useful tool in wildlife conservation assessment because it is able to identify potential hotspots where studies on the correlations between environmental descriptors and the occurrence of particular species could be focused.

  16. The potential role of habitat-forming seaweeds in modeling benthic ecosystem properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bustamante, María; Tajadura, Javier; Díez, Isabel; Saiz-Salinas, José Ignacio

    2017-12-01

    Canopy-forming seaweeds provide specific habitats with key ecological properties and are facing severe declines worldwide with unforeseeable consequences for ecosystem processes. Investigating the loss of such natural habitats in order to develop management strategies for conservation is a major challenge in marine ecological research. This study investigated the shallow rocky bottoms of the southern Bay of Biscay at two sampling times with a view to identifying the effect of canopy seaweed availability on the taxonomic and functional properties of invertebrate multivariate structure, abundance, density, diversity and evenness. The multivariate taxonomic and functional structure of assemblages changed significantly according to canopy availability in terms of taxa and functional groups abundance, but no substantial change was observed in composition. Biogenic habitat simplification resulted in a decrease in total invertebrate abundance and in taxonomic and functional density and diversity, whilst no effects were observed in taxonomic and functional evenness. Loss of canopy involved an impoverishment of the whole community particularly for epiphytic colonial sessile suspension-feeders, but it also extended to non-epiphytic forms. Our results emphasize the importance of canopy decline as a major driver of changes in benthic ecosystem properties and highlight that biogenic space provided by canopy is a limiting resource for the development of rocky subtidal invertebrates.

  17. 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...

  18. Topographic models for predicting malaria vector breeding habitats: potential tools for vector control managers

    OpenAIRE

    Nmor, Jephtha C; Sunahara, Toshihiko; Goto, Kensuke; Futami, Kyoko; Sonye, George; Akweywa, Peter; Dida, Gabriel; Minakawa, Noboru

    2013-01-01

    Background Identification of malaria vector breeding sites can enhance control activities. Although associations between malaria vector breeding sites and topography are well recognized, practical models that predict breeding sites from topographic information are lacking. We used topographic variables derived from remotely sensed Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to model the breeding sites of malaria vectors. We further compared the predictive strength of two different DEMs and evaluated the ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    the physical habitat quality of stream Ledreborg using af habitat hydraulic model • to assess the present and potential physical habitat quality of stream Ledreborg • to evaluate the suitability and applicability of habitat hydraulic models to Danish stream management Results • Precipitation and evaporation...... 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...... in the modelling. • Although more time consuming than present Danish methods for assessment of physical habitat quality in streams, the habitat hydraulic models can be used to evaluate physical habitat conditions at reach level and work as a basis for a more objective assessment method....

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. Chapter 5. Using Habitat Models for Habitat Mapping and Monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Samuel A. Cushman; Timothy J. Mersmann; Gretchen G. Moisen; Kevin S. McKelvey; Christina D. Vojta

    2013-01-01

    This chapter provides guidance for applying existing habitat models to map and monitor wildlife habitat. Chapter 2 addresses the use of conceptual models to create a solid foundation for selecting habitat attributes to monitor and to translate these attributes into quantifiable and reportable monitoring measures. Most wildlife species, however, require a complex suite...

  3. Instream Physical Habitat Modelling Types

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen

    2010-01-01

    The introduction of the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) is providing member state water resource managers with significant challenges in relation to meeting the deadline for 'Good Ecological Status' by 2015. Overall, instream physical habitat modelling approaches have advantages...... 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

    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...... reduces impacts. Effects increase with increasing size of farm agglomerations. However, marginal benefits become negligible at agglomeration sizes over 36 km(2). (C) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved...

  8. Growth potential and habitat requirements of endangered age-0 pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) in the Missouri River, USA, determined using a individual-based model framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deslauriers, David; Heironimus, Laura B.; Rapp, Tobias; Graeb, Brian D. S.; Klumb, Robert A.; Chipps, Steven R.

    2018-01-01

    An individual-based model framework was used to evaluate growth potential of the federally endangered pallid sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus) in the Missouri River. The model, developed for age-0 sturgeon, combines information on functional feeding response, bioenergetics and swimming ability to regulate consumption and growth within a virtual foraging arena. Empirical data on water temperature, water velocity and prey density were obtained from three sites in the Missouri River and used as inputs in the model to evaluate hypotheses concerning factors affecting pallid sturgeon growth. The model was also used to evaluate the impacts of environmental heterogeneity and water velocity on individual growth variability, foraging success and dispersal ability. Growth was simulated for a period of 100 days using 100 individuals (first feeding; 19 mm and 0.035 g) per scenario. Higher growth was shown to occur at sites where high densities of Ephemeroptera and Chironomidae larvae occurred throughout the growing season. Highly heterogeneous habitats (i.e., wide range of environmental conditions) and moderate water velocities (0.3 m/s) were also found to positively affect growth rates. The model developed here provides an important management and conservation tool for evaluating growth hypotheses and(or) identifying habitats in the Missouri River that are favourable to age-0 pallid sturgeon growth.

  9. Habitat Suitability Modeling to Identify the Potential Nursery Grounds of the Atlantic Mackerel and Its Relation to Oceanographic Conditions in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marianna Giannoulaki

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Our knowledge for the distribution of Atlantic mackerel (Scomber scombrus in the Mediterranean Sea is limited and fragmented. In the current work habitat suitability modeling was applied to summer acoustic surveys data of Atlantic mackerel juveniles derived from the north part of the Mediterranean (i.e., acoustic data from the Gulf of Lions, pelagic trawls held during acoustic surveys in Spanish Mediterranean waters, south Adriatic Sea, Strait of Sicily, and North Aegean Sea using generalized additive models (GAMs along with satellite environmental and bathymetry data. Bathymetry along with sea surface temperature and circulation patterns, expressed through sea level anomaly and the zonal component of the absolute geostrophic velocity, were the environmental variables best to describe nursery grounds. The selected model was used to produce maps presenting the potential nursery grounds of Atlantic mackerel throughout the Mediterranean Sea as a measure of habitat adequacy. However, the assessed potential nursery grounds were generally marked as “occasional,” implying that although there are areas presenting high probability to encounter Atlantic mackerel, this picture can largely vary from year to year stressing the high susceptibility of the species to environmental conditions. In a further step and toward a spatial management perspective, we have estimated and visualized the overlap between Atlantic mackerel and anchovy/ sardine juvenile grounds throughout the basin. Results showed that although the degree of overlapping was generally low, not exceeding 15% in general, this varied at a regional level going up to 30%. The potential of the output of this work for management purposes like the implementation of spatially-explicit management tools is discussed.

  10. Habitat classification modeling with incomplete data: Pushing the habitat envelope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zarnetske, P.L.; Edwards, T.C.; Moisen, Gretchen G.

    2007-01-01

    Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical techniques for HCMs. One option is to generate pseudo-absence points so that the many available statistical modeling tools can be used. Traditional techniques generate pseudoabsence points at random across broadly defined species ranges, often failing to include biological knowledge concerning the species-habitat relationship. We incorporated biological knowledge of the species-habitat relationship into pseudo-absence points by creating habitat envelopes that constrain the region from which points were randomly selected. We define a habitat envelope as an ecological representation of a species, or species feature's (e.g., nest) observed distribution (i.e., realized niche) based on a single attribute, or the spatial intersection of multiple attributes. We created HCMs for Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) nest habitat during the breeding season across Utah forests with extant nest presence points and ecologically based pseudo-absence points using logistic regression. Predictor variables were derived from 30-m USDA Landfire and 250-m Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) map products. These habitat-envelope-based models were then compared to null envelope models which use traditional practices for generating pseudo-absences. Models were assessed for fit and predictive capability using metrics such as kappa, thresholdindependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots, adjusted deviance (Dadj2), and cross-validation, and were also assessed for ecological relevance. For all cases, habitat envelope-based models outperformed null envelope models and were more ecologically relevant, suggesting

  11. Alligator, Alligator mississippiensis, habitat suitability index model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waddle, J. Hardin

    2017-01-01

    The 2012 Coastal Master Plan utilized Habitat Suitability Indices (HSIs) to evaluate potential project effects on wildlife species. Even though HSIs quantify habitat condition, which may not directly correlate to species abundance, they remain a practical and tractable way to assess changes in habitat quality from various restoration actions. As part of the legislatively mandated five year update to the 2012 plan, the wildlife habitat suitability indices were updated and revised using literature and existing field data where available. The outcome of these efforts resulted in improved, or in some cases entirely new suitability indices. This report describes the development of the habitat suitability indices for the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.

  12. A simple model that identifies potential effects of sea-level rise on estuarine and estuary-ecotone habitat locations for salmonids in Oregon, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca Flitcroft; Kelly Burnett; Kelly. Christiansen

    2013-01-01

    Diadromous aquatic species that cross a diverse range of habitats (including marine, estuarine, and freshwater) face different effects of climate change in each environment. One such group of species is the anadromous Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.). Studies of the potential effects of climate change on salmonids have focused on both marine and...

  13. Fuzzy modelling of Atlantic salmon physical habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard

    2015-04-01

    Fish habitat models typically attempt to quantify the amount of available river habitat for a given fish species for various flow and hydraulic conditions. To achieve this, information on the preferred range of values of key physical habitat variables (e.g. water level, velocity, substrate diameter) for the targeted fishs pecies need to be modelled. In this context, we developed several habitat suitability indices sets for three Atlantic salmon life stages (young-of-the-year (YOY), parr, spawning adults) with the help of fuzzy logic modeling. Using the knowledge of twenty-seven experts, from both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, we defined fuzzy sets of four variables (depth, substrate size, velocity and Habitat Suitability Index, or HSI) and associated fuzzy rules. When applied to the Romaine River (Canada), median curves of standardized Weighted Usable Area (WUA) were calculated and a confidence interval was obtained by bootstrap resampling. Despite the large range of WUA covered by the expert WUA curves, confidence intervals were relatively narrow: an average width of 0.095 (on a scale of 0 to 1) for spawning habitat, 0.155 for parr rearing habitat and 0.160 for YOY rearing habitat. When considering an environmental flow value corresponding to 90% of the maximum reached by WUA curve, results seem acceptable for the Romaine River. Generally, this proposed fuzzy logic method seems suitable to model habitat availability for the three life stages, while also providing an estimate of uncertainty in salmon preferences.

  14. Geomorphological Potential of Coelacanth Habitat across ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This suggests that there must exist hideouts for the fish, such as caves in canyons and overhangs. Carefully analysed single cruise bathymetric data obtained from the region indicate existence of canyons off the Tanzania- Mozambique border region, which are believed to provide habitat to the fish. The data point to the ...

  15. Growth potentials of Taraxacum microspecies from different habitats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    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

  16. 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.

  17. A mathematical model of salmonid spawning habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert N. Havis; Carlos V. Alonzo; Keith E Woeste; Russell F. Thurow

    1993-01-01

    A simulation model [Salmonid Spawning Analysis Model (SSAM)I was developed as a management tool to evaluate the relative impacts of stream sediment load and water temperature on salmonid egg survival. The model is usefi.il for estimating acceptable sediment loads to spawning habitat that may result from upland development, such as logging and agriculture. Software in...

  18. 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...

  19. Fuels planning: science synthesis and integration; environmental consequences fact sheet 15: The Wildlife Habitat Response Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    David Pilliod

    2005-01-01

    The Wildlife Habitat Response Model (WHRM) is a Web-based computer tool for evaluating the potential effects of fuel-reduction projects on terrestrial wildlife habitats. It uses species-habitat associations in ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), dry-type Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), lodgepole pine (Pinus...

  20. 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.

  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

    2011-09-27

    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.

  2. 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...

  3. Predictive Modeling of Spinner Dolphin (Stenella longirostris) Resting Habitat in the Main Hawaiian Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris) resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood. PMID:22937022

  4. 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.

  5. A test of 3 models of Kirtland's warbler habitat suitability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark D. Nelson; Richard R. Buech

    1996-01-01

    We tested 3 models of Kirtland's warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) habitat suitability during a period when we believe there was a surplus of good quality breeding habitat. A jack pine canopy-cover model was superior to 2 jack pine stem-density models in predicting Kirtland's warbler habitat use and non-use. Estimated density of birds in high...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, Yu-Pin; Lin, Wei-Chih; Wu, Wei-Yao

    2015-01-01

    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 eval...

  7. 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.

  8. An ecohydraulic model to identify and monitor Moapa dace habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    James R Hatten

    Full Text Available 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.

  9. 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. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  10. 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

  11. Persistence in a Two-Dimensional Moving-Habitat Model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Austin; Kot, Mark

    2015-11-01

    Environmental changes are forcing many species to track suitable conditions or face extinction. In this study, we use a two-dimensional integrodifference equation to analyze whether a population can track a habitat that is moving due to climate change. We model habitat as a simple rectangle. Our model quickly leads to an eigenvalue problem that determines whether the population persists or declines. After surveying techniques to solve the eigenvalue problem, we highlight three findings that impact conservation efforts such as reserve design and species risk assessment. First, while other models focus on habitat length (parallel to the direction of habitat movement), we show that ignoring habitat width (perpendicular to habitat movement) can lead to overestimates of persistence. Dispersal barriers and hostile landscapes that constrain habitat width greatly decrease the population's ability to track its habitat. Second, for some long-distance dispersal kernels, increasing habitat length improves persistence without limit; for other kernels, increasing length is of limited help and has diminishing returns. Third, it is not always best to orient the long side of the habitat in the direction of climate change. Evidence suggests that the kurtosis of the dispersal kernel determines whether it is best to have a long, wide, or square habitat. In particular, populations with platykurtic dispersal benefit more from a wide habitat, while those with leptokurtic dispersal benefit more from a long habitat. We apply our model to the Rocky Mountain Apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus).

  12. Global climate change and sea level rise: potential losses of intertidal habitat for shorebirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    H. Galbraith; R. Jones; R. Park; J. Clough; S. Herrod-Julius; B. Harrington; G. Page

    2005-01-01

    Global warming is expected to result in an acceleration of current rates of sea level rise, inundating many low-lying coastal and intertidal areas. This could have important implications for organisms that depend on these sites, including shorebirds that rely on them for foraging habitat during their migrations and in winter. We modeled the potential changes in the...

  13. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  15. 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

  16. 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 (DNR).

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC Education | GIS Inventory — Wildlife Species dataset current as of 2006. Potential habitat layer for Forest Interior Dwelling Species in the State of Maryland. These data are only the results...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Potential Habitats for Exotic Life Within the Life Supporting Zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leitner, Johannes J.; Firneis, Maria G.; Hitzenberger, Regina

    2010-05-01

    Questions like "Are we alone in the universe?", "How unique is Earth as a planet?" or "How unique is water-based life in the universe?" still are nowhere near of being answered. In recent years, discussions on these topics are more and more influenced by questions whether water is really the only possible solvent, or which conditions are necessary for life to evolve in planetary habitats. A change in our present geocentric mindset on the existence of life is required, in order to address these new questions [see also 1]. In May 2009 a new research platform at the University of Vienna was initiated in order to contribute to the solution of these questions. One task is to find essential biomarkers relevant to the problem of the detection of exotic life. In this context exotic life means: life, which is not necessarily based on a double bond between carbon and oxygen (C=O) and not on water as the only possible solvent. At present little is known about metabolistic systems, which are not based on C=O or on metabolisms which are operative in alternative solvents and a high effort of future laboratory work is necessary to open this window for looking for exotic life. To address the whole spectrum of life the concept of a general life supporting zone is introduced in order to extend the classical habitable zone (which is based on liquid water on a planetary surface, [2]). The life supporting zone of a planetary system is composed of different single "habitable zones" for the liquid phases of specific solvents and composites between water and other solvents. Besides exoplanetary systems which seem to be the most promising place for exotic life in our present understanding, some potential places could also exist within our Solar System and habitats like the subsurface of Enceladus, liquid ethane/methane lakes on Titan or habitable niches in the Venus atmosphere will also be taken into account. A preliminary list of appropriate solvents and their abundances in the Solar

  20. 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.

  1. Modeling Impacts of Climate Change on Giant Panda Habitat

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    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.

  2. 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

  3. Simulation of potential habitat overlap between red deer (Cervus elaphus) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in northeastern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Wen; Li, Yuehui; Hu, Yuanman

    2016-01-01

    Background. Understanding species distribution, especially areas of overlapping habitat between sympatric species, is essential for informing conservation through natural habitat protection. New protection strategies should simultaneously consider conservation efforts for multiple species that exist within the same landscape, which requires studies that include habitat overlap analysis. Methods. We estimated the potential habitat of cervids, which are typical ungulates in northern China, using the present locations of red deer (Cervus elaphus; N = 90) and roe deer (Capreolus capreolus; N = 106) in a Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) model. Our study area was a human-dominated landscape in the Tieli Forestry Bureau located at the southern slope of the Lesser Xing'an Mountains. We grouped 17 environmental predictor variables into five predictor classes (terrain, habitat accessibility, land cover, vegetation feature, and interference), which were used to build habitat suitability models. Results. Habitat accessibility and human interferences were found to have the strongest influence on habitat suitability among the five variable classes. Among the environmental factors, distance to farmland (26.8%), distance to bush-grass land (14.6%), elevation (13.5%), and distance to water source (12.2%) were most important for red deer, distance to farmland (22.9%), distance to settlement (21.4%), elevation (11.6%), and coverage of shrub-grass (8%) were most important for roe deer. Model accuracy was high for both species (mean area under the curve (AUC) = 0.936 for red deer and 0.924 for roe deer). The overlapping habitat comprised 89.93 km(2) within the study area, which occupied 94% of potentially suitable habitat for red deer and 27% for roe deer. Conclusions. In terms of habitat suitability, roe deer showed greater selectivity than red deer. The overlapping habitat was mostly located in the eastern mountains. The southwestern plain was not a suitable habitat for deer because it was

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

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    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.

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

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    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

  6. Habitat modeling in high-gradient streams: the mesoscale approach and application.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vezza, Paolo; Parasiewicz, Piotr; Spairani, Michele; Comoglio, Claudio

    2014-06-01

    This study aimed to set out a new methodology for habitat modeling in high-gradient streams. The methodology is based on the mesoscale approach of the MesoHABSIM simulation system and can support the definition and assessment of environmental flow and habitat restoration measures. Data from 40 study sites located within the mountainous areas of the Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte and Liguria regions (Northwest Italy) were used in the analysis. To adapt MesoHABSIM to high-gradient streams, we first modified the data collection strategy to address the challenging conditions of surveys by using GIS and mobile mapping techniques. Secondly, we built habitat suitability models at a regional scale to enable their transferability among different streams with different morphologies. Thirdly, due to the absence of stream gauges in headwaters, we proposed a possible way to simulate flow time series and, therefore, generate habitat time series. The resulting method was evaluated in terms of time expenditure for field data collection and habitat-modeling potentials, and it represents a specific improvement of the MesoHABSIM system for habitat modeling in high-gradient streams, where other commonly used methodologies can be unsuitable. Through its application at several study sites, the proposed methodology adapted well to high-gradient streams and allowed the: (1) definition of fish habitat requirements for many streams simultaneously, (2) modeling of habitat variation over a range of discharges, and (3) determination of environmental standards for mountainous watercourses.

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

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    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,...

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson

    1996-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Airborne Lidar and Aerial Imagery to Assess Potential Habitats for the Desert Tortoise (Gopherus agassizii)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Michael; Andrews, John; Caldwell, Todd; Saylam, Kutalmis

    2017-04-01

    The desert Southwestern United States serves as the host to the habitat for several threatened and endangered species, one of which is the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii). The goal in this study was to develop a fine-scale, remote sensing-based model that predicts potential habitat locations of G. agassizii in the Boulder City (Nevada) Conversation Easement area (35,500 hectares). This was done by analyzing airborne Lidar data (5-7 points/m2) and color imagery (4 bands, 0.15 m resolution) and determining percent vegetation cover, shrub height and area, NDVI, and several geomorphic characteristics including slope, azimuth, roughness, etc. Other field data used herein include estimates of canopy area and species richness using 1271 line transects, and shrub height and canopy area using plant-specific measurements of 200 plants. Larrea tridentada and Ambrosia dumosa shrubs were identified using an algorithm that obtained an optimum combination of NDVI and average reflectance of the four bands (IR, R, G, B) from pixels in each image. Results identified more than 65 million shrubs across the study area, and indicate that percent vegetation cover from the aerial imagery across the site (13.92%) compared favorably (14.52%) to the estimate obtained from the line transects, though the lidar method yielded shrub heights approximately 60% of measured shrub heights. Plants and landscape properties were combined with known locations of tortoise burrows (visually observed in 2014), yielding a predictive model of potential tortoise habitats. Masks were created using roughness coefficient, slope percent, azimuth of burrow openings, elevation and percent ground cover to isolate areas more likely to host habitats. Combined together, the masks isolated 55% of the total survey area, which would help target future field surveys. Overall, the vegetation map superimposed onto the background soil data could estimate the location of tortoise burrows.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Resampling methods for evaluating classification accuracy of wildlife habitat models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Verbyla, David L.; Litvaitis, John A.

    1989-11-01

    Predictive models of wildlife-habitat relationships often have been developed without being tested The apparent classification accuracy of such models can be optimistically biased and misleading. Data resampling methods exist that yield a more realistic estimate of model classification accuracy These methods are simple and require no new sample data. We illustrate these methods (cross-validation, jackknife resampling, and bootstrap resampling) with computer simulation to demonstrate the increase in precision of the estimate. The bootstrap method is then applied to field data as a technique for model comparison We recommend that biologists use some resampling procedure to evaluate wildlife habitat models prior to field evaluation.

  20. 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

  1. Modeled Tradeoffs between Developed Land Protection and Tidal Habitat Maintenance during Rising Sea Levels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadol, Daniel; Elmore, Andrew J; Guinn, Steven M; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Sanders, Geoffrey

    2016-01-01

    Tidal habitats host a diversity of species and provide hydrological services such as shoreline protection and nutrient attenuation. Accretion of sediment and biomass enables tidal marshes and swamps to grow vertically, providing a degree of resilience to rising sea levels. Even if accelerating sea level rise overcomes this vertical resilience, tidal habitats have the potential to migrate inland as they continue to occupy land that falls within the new tide range elevations. The existence of developed land inland of tidal habitats, however, may prevent this migration as efforts are often made to dyke and protect developments. To test the importance of inland migration to maintaining tidal habitat abundance under a range of potential rates of sea level rise, we developed a spatially explicit elevation tracking and habitat switching model, dubbed the Marsh Accretion and Inundation Model (MAIM), which incorporates elevation-dependent net land surface elevation gain functions. We applied the model to the metropolitan Washington, DC region, finding that the abundance of small National Park Service units and other public open space along the tidal Potomac River system provides a refuge to which tidal habitats may retreat to maintain total habitat area even under moderate sea level rise scenarios (0.7 m and 1.1 m rise by 2100). Under a severe sea level rise scenario associated with ice sheet collapse (1.7 m by 2100) habitat area is maintained only if no development is protected from rising water. If all existing development is protected, then 5%, 10%, and 40% of the total tidal habitat area is lost by 2100 for the three sea level rise scenarios tested.

  2. Modeled Tradeoffs between Developed Land Protection and Tidal Habitat Maintenance during Rising Sea Levels.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Cadol

    Full Text Available Tidal habitats host a diversity of species and provide hydrological services such as shoreline protection and nutrient attenuation. Accretion of sediment and biomass enables tidal marshes and swamps to grow vertically, providing a degree of resilience to rising sea levels. Even if accelerating sea level rise overcomes this vertical resilience, tidal habitats have the potential to migrate inland as they continue to occupy land that falls within the new tide range elevations. The existence of developed land inland of tidal habitats, however, may prevent this migration as efforts are often made to dyke and protect developments. To test the importance of inland migration to maintaining tidal habitat abundance under a range of potential rates of sea level rise, we developed a spatially explicit elevation tracking and habitat switching model, dubbed the Marsh Accretion and Inundation Model (MAIM, which incorporates elevation-dependent net land surface elevation gain functions. We applied the model to the metropolitan Washington, DC region, finding that the abundance of small National Park Service units and other public open space along the tidal Potomac River system provides a refuge to which tidal habitats may retreat to maintain total habitat area even under moderate sea level rise scenarios (0.7 m and 1.1 m rise by 2100. Under a severe sea level rise scenario associated with ice sheet collapse (1.7 m by 2100 habitat area is maintained only if no development is protected from rising water. If all existing development is protected, then 5%, 10%, and 40% of the total tidal habitat area is lost by 2100 for the three sea level rise scenarios tested.

  3. 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

  4. Analysis of potential impacts of climate change on wildlife habitats in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda A. Joyce; Curtis H. Flather; Marni. Koopman

    2008-01-01

    Resource managers face many challenges in developing management recommendations for wildlife habitat under a changing climate. Our research results offer states a more consistent and holistic approach to analyzing potential threats of climate change to terrestrial wildlife habitat. This process integrates a review of the scientific literature, the State Wildlife Action...

  5. Evaluation of habitat suitability index models for assessing biotic resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    John C. Rennie; Joseph D. Clark; James M. Sweeney

    2000-01-01

    Existing habitat suitability index (HSI) models are evaluated for assessing the biotic resources on Champion International Corporation (CIC) lands with data from a standard and an expanded timber inventory. Forty HSI models for 34 species that occur in the Southern Appalachians have been identified from the literature. All of the variables for 14 models are provided (...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Model development for the assessment of terrestrial and aquatic habitat quality in conservation planning.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terrado, Marta; Sabater, Sergi; Chaplin-Kramer, Becky; Mandle, Lisa; Ziv, Guy; Acuña, Vicenç

    2016-01-01

    There is a growing pressure of human activities on natural habitats, which leads to biodiversity losses. To mitigate the impact of human activities, environmental policies are developed and implemented, but their effects are commonly not well understood because of the lack of tools to predict the effects of conservation policies on habitat quality and/or diversity. We present a straightforward model for the simultaneous assessment of terrestrial and aquatic habitat quality in river basins as a function of land use and anthropogenic threats to habitat that could be applied under different management scenarios to help understand the trade-offs of conservation actions. We modify the InVEST model for the assessment of terrestrial habitat quality and extend it to freshwater habitats. We assess the reliability of the model in a severely impaired basin by comparing modeled results to observed terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity data. Estimated habitat quality is significantly correlated with observed terrestrial vascular plant richness (R(2)=0.76) and diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates (R(2)=0.34), as well as with ecosystem functions such as in-stream phosphorus retention (R(2)=0.45). After that, we analyze different scenarios to assess the suitability of the model to inform changes in habitat quality under different conservation strategies. We believe that the developed model can be useful to assess potential levels of biodiversity, and to support conservation planning given its capacity to forecast the effects of management actions in river basins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. 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.

  12. Habitat Suitability Modelling of Brown Bear (Ursus arctos in Shimbar Protected Area, Khuzestan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Z. Obeidavi

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Status determination of wildlife habitats is very important in conservation programs and management of wildlife. So, in this study Ursus arctos habitat suitability was modeled using maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt in Shimbar protected area. In order to model the habitat suitability, after investigating and resolving the spatial autocorrelation of occurrence records, spatially independent localities were divided into the calibration and evaluation sets and then were combined with 10 environmental variables (VIF<10 selected by MMS software. The performance of predictive models was tested using AUC and jackknife validation test. So, we applied two different thresholds, the LPT threshold and 10% threshold to generate presence/absence map. Also other Jackknife tests applied to measure variables importance. The results showed that predictive model was more efficient than random model (AUC=0.980. In addition, the potential suitable areas cover 20.75% of study area. The MaxEnt model had 88.46% success rate and was statistically significant (P = 0.000. Results of Jackknife showed that ‘plant type’ variable alone contains valuable information for modelling. Our study demonstrated that habitat suitability was successfully predicted by MaxEnt modelling, so this methodology might provide a powerful tool for improving the wildlife habitats information.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Bridging the gap between habitat-modeling research and bird conservation with dynamic landscape and population models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank R., III Thompson

    2009-01-01

    Habitat models are widely used in bird conservation planning to assess current habitat or populations and to evaluate management alternatives. These models include species-habitat matrix or database models, habitat suitability models, and statistical models that predict abundance. While extremely useful, these approaches have some limitations.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Sensitivity of wildlife habitat models to uncertainties in GIS data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stoms, David M.; Davis, Frank W.; Cogan, Christopher B.

    1992-01-01

    Decision makers need to know the reliability of output products from GIS analysis. For many GIS applications, it is not possible to compare these products to an independent measure of 'truth'. Sensitivity analysis offers an alternative means of estimating reliability. In this paper, we present a CIS-based statistical procedure for estimating the sensitivity of wildlife habitat models to uncertainties in input data and model assumptions. The approach is demonstrated in an analysis of habitat associations derived from a GIS database for the endangered California condor. Alternative data sets were generated to compare results over a reasonable range of assumptions about several sources of uncertainty. Sensitivity analysis indicated that condor habitat associations are relatively robust, and the results have increased our confidence in our initial findings. Uncertainties and methods described in the paper have general relevance for many GIS applications.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Simeon L; Phillips, Tony; Atkinson, Angus

    2013-01-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Development and validation of a habitat suitability model for ...

    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 salinity) to quantitatively describe habitat suitable for Z. japonica invasion based on ecology and physiology from the primary literature. Habitat suitability is defined with values ranging from zero to one, where one denotes areas most conducive to Z. japonica and zero denotes areas not likely to support Z. japonica growth. The model was applied to Yaquina Bay, Oregon, USA, an area that has well documented Z. japonica expansion over the last two decades. The highest suitability values for Z. japonica occurred in the mid to upper portions of the intertidal zone, with larger expanses occurring in the lower estuary. While the upper estuary did contain suitable habitat, most areas were not as large as in the lower estuary, due to inappropriate depth, a steeply sloping intertidal zone, and lower salinity. The lowest suitability values occurred below the lower intertidal zone, within the Yaquina River channel. The model was validated by comparison to a multi-year time series of Z. japonica maps, revealing a strong predictive capacity. Sensitivity analysis performed to evaluate the contribution of each parameter to the model prediction revealed that depth was the most important factor. Sh

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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.

  4. Computational Model for Spacecraft/Habitat Volume

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Please note that funding to Dr. Simon Hsiang, a critical co-investigator for the development of the Spacecraft Optimization Layout and Volume (SOLV) model, was...

  5. 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.

  6. Regional Analysis of River Conductivity Maps Salinity Driven Aquatic Habitat Degradation Potential Throughout New England

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuidema, S.; Wollheim, W. M.; Green, M.; Mineau, M.; Stewart, R. J.; Volitis, E.

    2014-12-01

    River salinity is increasing in urban areas throughout the world, and can impact habitat for aquatic organisms. Riverine impairment cascades through the stream network based on the distribution of development and climate conditions that affect dilution capacity. We present a regional river network transport model that assimilates data from the Lotic Volunteer Temperature Electrical Conductivity and Stage (LoVoTECS) network in New Hampshire, USA. LoVoTECS is measuring high temporal resolution stream conductivity at over 100 sites spanning 6 stream orders and ranging from pristine to near complete imperviousness. Total upstream developed land area is a strong predictor of baseflow specific conductance across the region (r2=0.848, psolids from head-water specific conductance data, and characteristic storm dilution rates, are incorporated into a network scale transport model using the Framework for Aquatic Modeling in the Earth System (FrAMES). The model predicts specific conductance and derived Cl to develop a continuous spatial mapping of habitat degradation potential. The model performs well against LoVoTECS and USGS station data in high (5 - 7) order rivers with median residual of 7 μS cm-1 (9.5%), and RMSE of 25 μS cm-1 (12% of measured range). Summertime exceedances of EPA guidance for chloride (4 days above 230 mg Cl/L) are only predicted in small urban catchments. Potential thresholds for fish community shifts may be as low as 33 to 108 mg Cl/L (Morgan et al 2012), and exceedances of 108 mg Cl/L occur in low (1 - 2) order developed streams. In higher order (3 - 7) streams passing through New England urban centers, dilution from more pristine watershed areas moderates chloride concentration. However, exceedances of 33 mg Cl/L are common and 7th order reaches exceed this threshold more than lower order reaches due to local urban runoff and the downstream accumulation of dissolved solids. Further simulations will test the influence of changing winter

  7. Comparing GIS-based habitat models for applications in EIA and SEA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gontier, Mikael; Moertberg, Ulla; Balfors, Berit

    2010-01-01

    Land use changes, urbanisation and infrastructure developments in particular, cause fragmentation of natural habitats and threaten biodiversity. Tools and measures must be adapted to assess and remedy the potential effects on biodiversity caused by human activities and developments. Within physical planning, environmental impact assessment (EIA) and strategic environmental assessment (SEA) play important roles in the prediction and assessment of biodiversity-related impacts from planned developments. However, adapted prediction tools to forecast and quantify potential impacts on biodiversity components are lacking. This study tested and compared four different GIS-based habitat models and assessed their relevance for applications in environmental assessment. The models were implemented in the Stockholm region in central Sweden and applied to data on the crested tit (Parus cristatus), a sedentary bird species of coniferous forest. All four models performed well and allowed the distribution of suitable habitats for the crested tit in the Stockholm region to be predicted. The models were also used to predict and quantify habitat loss for two regional development scenarios. The study highlighted the importance of model selection in impact prediction. Criteria that are relevant for the choice of model for predicting impacts on biodiversity were identified and discussed. Finally, the importance of environmental assessment for the preservation of biodiversity within the general frame of biodiversity conservation is emphasised.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardador, Laura; De Cáceres, Miquel; Bota, Gerard; Giralt, David; Casas, Fabián; Arroyo, Beatriz; Mougeot, François; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos; Moncunill, Judit; Butler, Simon J; Brotons, Lluís

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Systems Modeling to Improve River, Riparian, and Wetland Habitat Quality and Area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alafifi, A.

    2016-12-01

    The suitability of watershed habitat to support the livelihood of its biota primarily depends on managing flow. Ecological restoration requires finding opportunities to reallocate available water in a watershed to increase ecological benefits and maintain other beneficial uses. We present the Watershed Area of Suitable Habitat (WASH) systems model that recommends reservoir releases, streamflows, and water allocations throughout a watershed to maximize the ecosystem habitat quality. WASH embeds and aggregates area-weighted metrics for aquatic, floodplain, and wetland habitat components as an ecosystem objective to maximize, while maintaining water deliveries for domestic and agricultural uses, mass balance, and available budget for restoration actions. The metrics add spatial and temporal functionality and area coverage to traditional habitat quality indexes and can accommodate multiple species of concern. We apply the WASH model to the Utah portion of the Bear River watershed which includes 8 demand sites, 5 reservoirs and 37 nodes between the Utah-Idaho state line and the Great Salt Lake. We recommend water allocations to improve current conservation efforts and show tradeoffs between human and ecosystem uses of water. WASH results are displayed on an open-source web mapping application that allows stakeholders to access, visualize, and interact with the model data and results and compare current and model-recommended operations. Results show that the Bear River is largely developed and appropriated for human water uses. However, increasing reservoirs winter and early spring releases and minimizing late spring spill volumes can significantly improve habitat quality without harming agricultural or urban water users. The spatial and temporal reallocation of spring spills to environmental uses creates additional 70 thousand acres of suitable habitat in the watershed without harming human users. WASH also quantifies the potential environmental gains and losses from

  11. Potential impacts of climate change on habitat suitability for the Queensland fruit fly.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sultana, Sabira; Baumgartner, John B; Dominiak, Bernard C; Royer, Jane E; Beaumont, Linda J

    2017-10-12

    Anthropogenic climate change is a major factor driving shifts in the distributions of pests and invasive species. The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni Froggatt (Qfly), is the most economically damaging insect pest of Australia's horticultural industry, and its management is a key priority for plant protection and biosecurity. Identifying the extent to which climate change may alter the distribution of suitable habitat for Qfly is important for the development and continuation of effective monitoring programs, phytosanitary measures, and management strategies. We used Maxent, a species distribution model, to map suitable habitat for Qfly under current climate, and six climate scenarios for 2030, 2050 and 2070. Our results highlight that south-western Australia, northern regions of the Northern Territory, eastern Queensland, and much of south-eastern Australia are currently suitable for Qfly. This includes southern Victoria and eastern Tasmania, which are currently free of breeding populations. There is substantial agreement across future climate scenarios that most areas currently suitable will remain so until at least 2070. Our projections provide an initial estimate of the potential exposure of Australia's horticultural industry to Qfly as climate changes, highlighting the need for long-term vigilance across southern Australia to prevent further range expansion of this species.

  12. [Habitat suitability index model and minimum habitat area estimation of young Procypris rabaudi (Tchang): a simulation experiment in laboratory].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng, Xian-Bin; Zhu, Yong-Jiu; Li, Xi; He, Yong-Feng; Zhao, Jian-Hua; Yang, De-Guo

    2013-01-01

    Under the conditions of simulated micro-habitat in laboratory, and by using experimental ecological methods, this paper evaluated the suitability index (HSI) of young Procypris rabaudi for habitat factors (substrate, light intensity and water depth). The habitat suitability models of the young P. rabaudi were established, and the minimum habitat area of the young P. rabaudi was estimated. The young P. rabaudi preferred the habitats with the gravel diameter from 10 to 15 cm, light intensity from 0.2 to 1.8 lx, and water depth from 0 to 15 cm (distance from the bottom of the tank). The three suitability index models of the substrate, light intensity and water depth for the young P. rabaudi were SI(s) = 1.7338e(-0.997x)(SI(S) is the suitability index of substrate, and x is the gravel diameter; R2 = 0.89, P suitability index of light intensity, and x is the light intensity; R2 = 0.93, P suitability index of water depth, and x is the water depth; R2 = 0.97, P model HSI = (SI(S)+SI(L)+SI(W))/3 was most available for the estimation of the habitat suitability of young P. rabaudi. A total of seven groups of young P. rabaudi which established and maintained a relatively stable habitat area range were found. This habitat area ranged from 628 to 2015 cm2, with an average of 1114 cm2.

  13. Translating statistical species-habitat models to interactive decision support tools.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lyndsie S Wszola

    Full Text Available Understanding species-habitat relationships is vital to successful conservation, but the tools used to communicate species-habitat relationships are often poorly suited to the information needs of conservation practitioners. Here we present a novel method for translating a statistical species-habitat model, a regression analysis relating ring-necked pheasant abundance to landcover, into an interactive online tool. The Pheasant Habitat Simulator combines the analytical power of the R programming environment with the user-friendly Shiny web interface to create an online platform in which wildlife professionals can explore the effects of variation in local landcover on relative pheasant habitat suitability within spatial scales relevant to individual wildlife managers. Our tool allows users to virtually manipulate the landcover composition of a simulated space to explore how changes in landcover may affect pheasant relative habitat suitability, and guides users through the economic tradeoffs of landscape changes. We offer suggestions for development of similar interactive applications and demonstrate their potential as innovative science delivery tools for diverse professional and public audiences.

  14. 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

  15. Modelling climate change impacts on stream habitat conditions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Boegh, Eva; Conallin, John; Karthikeyan, Matheswaran

    required to conserve streams as biologically diverse and healthy ecosystems. Solutions to this intensifying conflict require a holistic approach whereby stream biota is related to their physical environment at catchment scale, as also demanded by the EU Water Framework Directive. In the present study......, 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...... to be the most critical factor for the stream ecological conditions at Sjælland, and field measurements show that water temperature is rising to damaging levels during low flow summer conditions. Using downstream longitudinal modelling of water flow and water temperature, it is found that shading by riparian...

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-08-01

    model in order to provide a relative suitability of habitat in areas with overlapping critical habitat designation and USACE projects. The model results...2006). The model will be formulated based on the key spatial parameters and regional value ranges to determine relative nesting habitat suitability ...Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: A comparison of habitat suitability index models . Chelonian Conservation and Biology 5(2):175–187. Varela-Acevedo, E., K. L

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Fish habitat simulation models and integrated assessment tools

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harby, A.; Alfredsen, K.

    1999-01-01

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

  2. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël

    2016-01-01

    In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species' habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L.) in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1) identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2) modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3) simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2) and (3) to 4) locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix), Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland) were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9). Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29%) would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2%) and Alnus viridis (4.8%). The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the spatial

  3. Where to Combat Shrub Encroachment in Alpine Timberline Ecosystems: Combining Remotely-Sensed Vegetation Information with Species Habitat Modelling.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Veronika Braunisch

    Full Text Available In many cultural landscapes, the abandonment of traditional grazing leads to encroachment of pastures by woody plants, which reduces habitat heterogeneity and impacts biodiversity typical of semi-open habitats. We developed a framework of mutually interacting spatial models to locate areas where shrub encroachment in Alpine treeline ecosystems deteriorates vulnerable species' habitat, using black grouse Tetrao tetrix (L. in the Swiss Alps as a study model. Combining field observations and remote-sensing information we 1 identified and located the six predominant treeline vegetation types; 2 modelled current black grouse breeding habitat as a function thereof so as to derive optimal habitat profiles; 3 simulated from these profiles the theoretical spatial extension of breeding habitat when assuming optimal vegetation conditions throughout; and used the discrepancy between (2 and (3 to 4 locate major aggregations of homogeneous shrub vegetation in otherwise suitable breeding habitat as priority sites for habitat restoration. All six vegetation types (alpine pasture, coniferous forest, Alnus viridis (Chaix, Rhododendron-dominated, Juniperus-dominated and mixed heathland were predicted with high accuracy (AUC >0.9. Breeding black grouse preferred a heterogeneous mosaic of vegetation types, with none exceeding 50% cover. While 15% of the timberline belt currently offered suitable breeding habitat, twice that fraction (29% would potentially be suitable when assuming optimal shrub and ground vegetation conditions throughout the study area. Yet, only 10% of this difference was attributed to habitat deterioration by shrub-encroachment of dense heathland (all types 5.2% and Alnus viridis (4.8%. The presented method provides both a general, large-scale assessment of areas covered by dense shrub vegetation as well as specific target values and priority areas for habitat restoration related to a selected target organism. This facilitates optimizing the

  4. 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.

  5. Expert-based versus habitat-suitability models to develop resistance surfaces in landscape genetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milanesi, Pietro; Holderegger, R; Caniglia, R; Fabbri, E; Galaverni, M; Randi, E

    2017-01-01

    Landscape genetics aims to investigate functional connectivity among wild populations by evaluating the impact of landscape features on gene flow. Genetic distances among populations or individuals are generally better explained by least-cost path (LCP) distances derived from resistance surfaces than by simple Euclidean distances. Resistance surfaces reflect the cost for an organism to move through particular landscape elements. However, determining the effects of landscape types on movements is challenging. Because of a general lack of empirical data on movements, resistance surfaces mostly rely on expert knowledge. Habitat-suitability models potentially provide a more objective method to estimate resistance surfaces than expert opinions, but they have rarely been applied in landscape genetics so far. We compared LCP distances based on expert knowledge with LCP distances derived from habitat-suitability models to evaluate their performance in landscape genetics. We related all LCP distances to genetic distances in linear mixed effect models on an empirical data set of wolves (Canis lupus) from Italy. All LCP distances showed highly significant (P ≤ 0.0001) standardized β coefficients and R 2 values, but LCPs from habitat-suitability models generally showed higher values than those resulting from expert knowledge. Moreover, all LCP distances better explained genetic distances than Euclidean distances, irrespective of the approaches used. Considering our results, we encourage researchers in landscape genetics to use resistance surfaces based on habitat suitability which performed better than expert-based LCPs in explaining patterns of gene flow and functional connectivity.

  6. Assessing ecoregional-scale habitat suitability index models for priority landbirds

    Science.gov (United States)

    John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R. Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; Charles K. Baxter; Jane A. Fitzgerald; William B. Uihlein

    2009-01-01

    Emerging methods in habitat and wildlife population modeling promise new horizons in conservation but only if these methods provide robust population-habitat linkages. We used Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data to verify and validate newly developed habitat suitability index (HSI) models for 40 priority landbird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain...

  7. Refinement of the Arc-Habcap model to predict habitat effectiveness for elk

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lakhdar Benkobi; Mark A. Rumble; Gary C. Brundige; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2004-01-01

    Wildlife habitat modeling is increasingly important for managers who need to assess the effects of land management activities. We evaluated the performance of a spatially explicit deterministic habitat model (Arc-Habcap) that predicts habitat effectiveness for elk. We used five years of radio-telemetry locations of elk from Custer State Park (CSP), South Dakota, to...

  8. Models that predict standing crop of stream fish from habitat variables: 1950-85.

    Science.gov (United States)

    K.D. Fausch; C.L. Hawkes; M.G. Parsons

    1988-01-01

    We reviewed mathematical models that predict standing crop of stream fish (number or biomass per unit area or length of stream) from measurable habitat variables and classified them by the types of independent habitat variables found significant, by mathematical structure, and by model quality. Habitat variables were of three types and were measured on different scales...

  9. Habitat heterogeneity hypothesis and edge effects in model metacommunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamm, Michaela; Drossel, Barbara

    2017-08-07

    Spatial heterogeneity is an inherent property of any living environment and is expected to favour biodiversity due to a broader niche space. Furthermore, edges between different habitats can provide additional possibilities for species coexistence. Using computer simulations, this study examines metacommunities consisting of several trophic levels in heterogeneous environments in order to explore the above hypotheses on a community level. We model heterogeneous landscapes by using two different sized resource pools and evaluate the combined effect of dispersal and heterogeneity on local and regional species diversity. This diversity is obtained by running population dynamics and evaluating the robustness (i.e., the fraction of surviving species). The main results for regional robustness are in agreement with the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis, as the largest robustness is found in heterogeneous systems with intermediate dispersal rates. This robustness is larger than in homogeneous systems with the same total amount of resources. We study the edge effect by arranging the two types of resources in two homogeneous blocks. Different edge responses in diversity are observed, depending on dispersal strength. Local robustness is highest for edge habitats that contain the smaller amount of resource in combination with intermediate dispersal. The results show that dispersal is relevant to correctly identify edge responses on community level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Coexistence of Habitat Specialists and Generalists in Metapopulation Models of Multiple-Habitat Landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nagelkerke, C.J.; Menken, S.B.J.

    2013-01-01

    In coarse-grained environments specialists are generally predicted to dominate. Empirically, however, coexistence with generalists is often observed. We present a simple, but previously unrecognized, mechanism for coexistence of a habitat generalist and a number of habitat specialist species. In our

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Modeling of Habitat and Foraging Behavior of Beaked Whales in the Southern California Bight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. FINAL REPORT Modeling of Habitat and Foraging Behavior of...distribution and foraging behavior and to describe inter-specific differences. Knowledge about foraging behavior and habitat preference and...Understanding habitat preference of 2 poorly known species, such as beaked whales, can lead to their visual identification during fieldwork and improved

  16. Relating FIA data to habitat classifications via tree-based models of canopy cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark D. Nelson; Brian G. Tavernia; Chris Toney; Brian F. Walters

    2012-01-01

    Wildlife species-habitat matrices are used to relate lists of species with abundance of their habitats. The Forest Inventory and Analysis Program provides data on forest composition and structure, but these attributes may not correspond directly with definitions of wildlife habitats. We used FIA tree data and tree crown diameter models to estimate canopy cover, from...

  17. Using small unmanned aerial vehicle for instream habitat evaluation and modelling

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astegiano, Luca; Vezza, Paolo; Comoglio, Claudio; Lingua, Andrea; Spairani, Michele

    2015-04-01

    Recent advances in digital image collection and processing have led to the increased use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) for river research and management. In this paper, we assess the capabilities of a small UAV to characterize physical habitat for fish in three river stretches of North-Western Italy. The main aim of the study was identifying the advantages and challenges of this technology for environmental river management, in the context of the increasing river exploitation for hydropower production. The UAV used to acquire overlapping images was a small quadcopter with a two different high-resolution (non-metric) cameras (Nikon J1™ and Go-Pro Hero 3 Black Edition™). The quadcopter was preprogrammed to fly set waypoints using a small tablet PC. With the acquired imagery, we constructed a 5-cm resolution orthomosaic image and a digital surface model (DSM). The two products were used to map the distribution of aquatic and riparian habitat features, i.e., wetted area, morphological unit distributions, bathymetry, water surface gradient, substrates and grain sizes, shelters and cover for fish. The study assessed the quality of collected data and used such information to identify key reach-scale metrics and important aspects of fluvial morphology and aquatic habitat. The potential and limitations of using UAV for physical habitat survey were evaluated and the collected data were used to initialize and run common habitat simulation tools (MesoHABSIM). Several advantages of using UAV-based imagery were found, including low cost procedures, high resolution and efficiency in data collection. However, some challenges were identified for bathymetry extraction (vegetation obstructions, white waters, turbidity) and grain size assessment (preprocessing of data and automatic object detection). The application domain and possible limitation for instream habitat mapping were defined and will be used as a reference for future studies. Ongoing activities include the

  18. 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...

  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. Predicting suitable habitat of the Chinese monal (Lophophorus lhuysii) using ecological niche modeling in the Qionglai Mountains, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Xu, Yu; Ran, Jianghong

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the distribution and the extent of suitable habitats is crucial for wildlife conservation and management. Knowledge is limited regarding the natural habitats of the Chinese monal ( Lophophorus lhuysii ), which is a vulnerable Galliform species endemic to the high-montane areas of southwest China and a good candidate for being an umbrella species in the Qionglai Mountains. Using ecological niche modeling, we predicted current potential suitable habitats for the Chinese monal in the Qionglai Mountains with 64 presence points collected between 2005 and 2015. Suitable habitats of the Chinese monal were associated with about 31 mm precipitation of the driest quarter, about 15 °C of maximum temperature of the warmest month, and far from the nearest human residential locations (>5,000 m). The predicted suitable habitats of the Chinese monal covered an area of 2,490 km 2 , approximately 9.48% of the Qionglai Mountains, and was highly fragmented. 54.78% of the suitable habitats were under the protection of existing nature reserves and two conservation gaps were found. Based on these results, we provide four suggestions for the conservation management of the Chinese monal: (1) ad hoc surveys targeting potential suitable habitats to determine species occurrence, (2) more ecological studies regarding its dispersal capacity, (3) establishment of more corridors and green bridges across roads for facilitating species movement or dispersal, and (4) minimization of local disturbances.

  1. 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.

  2. Optimizing habitat protection using demographic models of population viability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert G. Haight; Brian Cypher; Patrick A. Kelly; Scott Phillips; Hugh P. Possingham; Katherine Ralls; Anthony M. Starfield; P.J. White; Daniel Williams

    2002-01-01

    Expanding habitat protection is a common tactic for species conservation. When unprotected habitat is privately owned, decisions must be made about which areas to protect by land purchase or conservation easement. To address this problem, we developed an optimization framework for choosing the habitat protection strategy that minimizes the risk of population extinction...

  3. Potential for enhancing nongame bird habitat values on abandoned mine lands of western North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burley, J.B.; Hopkins, R.B.

    1984-01-01

    Throughout western North Dakota the number of unreclaimed surface coal and coal-uranium mines might total over 1100. We examined the potential for enhancing the nongame bird habitat values of unreclaimed mine lands in the arid, western region of North Dakota. Generally, the greatest variety of birds occurred in natural and planted woodlands, while fewer birds occurred in unreclaimed mine lands, grasslands, shrublands and croplands. Deciduous woodland types supported more species of birds than coniferous types. Planted woodlands supported about the same number of bird species as some natural deciduous woodland types and more species than coniferous woods. Unreclaimed mine lands supported more species than grasslands and croplands, and about the same number of species as native shrublands. The highest bird densities were in planted woodlands. Bird diversity varied positively with habitat diversity. The bird fauna of unreclaimed mine lands can be enhanced by creating more diverse habitats. Seventeen guidelines to enhance unreclaimed mine lands for nongame birds are presented. These guidelines can be used in preserving habitats threatened by surface mining and reclaiming previously mined lands

  4. 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.

  5. Combining correlative and mechanistic habitat suitability models to improve ecological compensation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meineri, Eric; Deville, Anne-Sophie; Grémillet, David; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Béchet, Arnaud

    2015-02-01

    Only a few studies have shown positive impacts of ecological compensation on species dynamics affected by human activities. We argue that this is due to inappropriate methods used to forecast required compensation in environmental impact assessments. These assessments are mostly descriptive and only valid at limited spatial and temporal scales. However, habitat suitability models developed to predict the impacts of environmental changes on potential species' distributions should provide rigorous science-based tools for compensation planning. Here we describe the two main classes of predictive models: correlative models and individual-based mechanistic models. We show how these models can be used alone or synoptically to improve compensation planning. While correlative models are easier to implement, they tend to ignore underlying ecological processes and lack accuracy. On the contrary, individual-based mechanistic models can integrate biological interactions, dispersal ability and adaptation. Moreover, among mechanistic models, those considering animal energy balance are particularly efficient at predicting the impact of foraging habitat loss. However, mechanistic models require more field data compared to correlative models. Hence we present two approaches which combine both methods for compensation planning, especially in relation to the spatial scale considered. We show how the availability of biological databases and software enabling fast and accurate population projections could be advantageously used to assess ecological compensation requirement efficiently in environmental impact assessments. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  6. Multi-scale Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) nest/roost habitat selection in Arizona and a comparison with single-scale modeling results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brad C. Timm; Kevin McGarigal; Samuel A. Cushman; Joseph L. Ganey

    2016-01-01

    Efficacy of future habitat selection studies will benefit by taking a multi-scale approach. In addition to potentially providing increased explanatory power and predictive capacity, multi-scale habitat models enhance our understanding of the scales at which species respond to their environment, which is critical knowledge required to implement effective...

  7. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeff R. Troy

    2017-10-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. Using expert opinion to evaluate a habitat effectiveness model for elk in western Oregon and Washington.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard S. Holthausen; Michael J. Wisdom; John Pierce; Daniel K. Edwards; Mary M. Rowland

    1994-01-01

    We used expert opinion to evaluate the predictive reliability of a habitat effectiveness model for elk in western Oregon and Washington. Twenty-five experts in elk ecology were asked to rate habitat quality for 16 example landscapes. Rankings and ratings of 21 experts were significantly correlated with model output. Expert opinion and model predictions differed for 4...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Coutinho, Renato M; Azevedo, Franciane; Berbert, Juliana M; Corso, Gilberto; Kraenkel, Roberto A

    2013-01-01

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. Potential impact of climate change on the Intra-Americas Sea: Part 2. Implications for Atlantic bluefin tuna and skipjack tuna adult and larval habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhling, Barbara A.; Liu, Yanyun; Lee, Sang-Ki; Lamkin, John T.; Roffer, Mitchell A.; Muller-Karger, Frank; Walter, John F., III

    2015-08-01

    Increasing water temperatures due to climate change will likely have significant impacts on distributions and life histories of Atlantic tunas. In this study, we combined predictive habitat models with a downscaled climate model to examine potential impacts on adults and larvae of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) and skipjack tuna (Katsuwonus pelamis) in the Intra-Americas Sea (IAS). An additional downscaled model covering the 20th century was used to compare habitat fluctuations from natural variability to predicted future changes under two climate change scenarios: Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 (medium-low) and RCP 8.5 (high). Results showed marked temperature-induced habitat losses for both adult and larval bluefin tuna on their northern Gulf of Mexico spawning grounds. In contrast, habitat suitability for skipjack tuna increased as temperatures warmed. Model error was highest for the two skipjack tuna models, particularly at higher temperatures. This work suggests that influences of climate change on highly migratory Atlantic tuna species are likely to be substantial, but strongly species-specific. While impacts on fish populations remain uncertain, these changes in habitat suitability will likely alter the spatial and temporal availability of species to fishing fleets, and challenge equilibrium assumptions of environmental stability, upon which fisheries management benchmarks are based.

  17. 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

    from the original release location, in Sierra Espuña mountains, and validated using data from another free-ranging population, originated independently in the Alicante province. The habitat suitability model for the purely environmental niche predicts a potential distribution along a SW-NE axis......We studied the geographical distribution and habitat suitability of an introduced ungulate, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), that is currently expanding its range in south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the niche of the species using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) on (1......) environmental variables (climate and habitat type), and (2) potential aoudad landscape avoidance and human disturbance variables. We compared both niche descriptions to study the impact of human interference on niche selection of the species. ENFA models were calibrated using data on the population expanded...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsen, Martin

    In relation to the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), Danish water management has to change to a holistic management approach considering both groundwaters and surface waters at the same time. Furthermore the WFD introduces the concept "Good ecological status" where the quality of the biol......In relation to the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), Danish water management has to change to a holistic management approach considering both groundwaters and surface waters at the same time. Furthermore the WFD introduces the concept "Good ecological status" where the quality...... in Danish stream management and stream quality assessment. The stream Ledreborg catchment is modelled using a precipitation-run-off-model (NAM) and as an addition to the normal calibration procedure (Kronvang et al., 2000) the model is calibrated using DAISY adjusted evaporation data. The impact from...... 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nanette Bragin

    2013-12-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Identification of Potential Essential Fish Habitats for Skates Based on Fishers' Knowledge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serra-Pereira, Bárbara; Erzini, Karim; Maia, Catarina; Figueiredo, Ivone

    2014-05-01

    Understanding of spatio-temporal patterns of sensitive fish species such as skates (Rajidae) is essential for implementation of conservation measures. With insufficient survey data available for these species in Portuguese Continental waters, this study shows that fishery-dependent data associated with fishers' knowledge can be used to identify potential Essential Fish Habitats (EFH) for seven skate species. Sites with similar geomorphology were associated with the occurrence of juveniles and/or adults of the same group of species. For example, sites deeper than 100 m with soft sediment include predominantly adults of Raja clavata, and are the habitat for egg deposition of this species. Raja undulata and R. microocellata are the more coastal species, preferring sand or gravel habitats, while coastal areas with rocks and sand seabed are potential nursery areas for R. brachyura, R. montagui and R. clavata. The main output of this study is the identification of preferential fishing sites enclosing potential EFH for some species, associated with egg-laying and nursery grounds. The location of these areas will be considered for future seasonal closures, and studies will be conducted to evaluate the biological and socio-economic impacts of such measures. As in the past, fishermen will collaborate in the process of evaluating those impacts, since they have practical and applied knowledge that is extremely valuable for evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of such closures. In conclusion, this study is a first contribution to the understanding and identification of EFH for skate species, associated with nursery and egg deposition sites, with direct application to management.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirrmann, Michael; Joschko, Monika; Gebbers, Robin; Kramer, Eckart; Zörner, Mirjam; Barkusky, Dietmar; Timmer, Jens

    2016-01-01

    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 modelling of

  4. Mapping polar bear maternal denning habitat in the National Petroleum Reserve -- Alaska with an IfSAR digital terrain model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Amstrup, Steven C.

    2013-01-01

    The National Petroleum Reserve–Alaska (NPR-A) in northeastern Alaska provides winter maternal denning habitat for polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and also has high potential for recoverable hydrocarbons. Denning polar bears exposed to human activities may abandon their dens before their young are able to survive the severity of Arctic winter weather. To ensure that wintertime petroleum activities do not threaten polar bears, managers need to know the distribution of landscape features in which maternal dens are likely to occur. Here, we present a map of potential denning habitat within the NPR-A. We used a fine-grain digital elevation model derived from Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (IfSAR) to generate a map of putative denning habitat. We then tested the map’s ability to identify polar bear denning habitat on the landscape. Our final map correctly identified 82% of denning habitat estimated to be within the NPR-A. Mapped denning habitat comprised 19.7 km2 (0.1% of the study area) and was widely dispersed. Though mapping denning habitat with IfSAR data was as effective as mapping with the photogrammetric methods used for other regions of the Alaskan Arctic coastal plain, the use of GIS to analyze IfSAR data allowed greater objectivity and flexibility with less manual labor. Analytical advantages and performance equivalent to that of manual cartographic methods suggest that the use of IfSAR data to identify polar bear maternal denning habitat is a better management tool in the NPR-A and wherever such data may be available.

  5. Modeling the habitat suitability for the arbovirus vector Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koch, Lisa K; Cunze, Sarah; Werblow, Antje; Kochmann, Judith; Dörge, Dorian D; Mehlhorn, Heinz; Klimpel, Sven

    2016-03-01

    Climatic changes raise the risk of re-emergence of arthropod-borne virus outbreaks globally. These viruses are transmitted by arthropod vectors, often mosquitoes. Due to increasing worldwide trade and tourism, these vector species are often accidentally introduced into many countries beyond their former distribution range. Aedes albopictus, a well-known disease vector, was detected for the first time in Germany in 2007, but seems to have failed establishment until today. However, the species is known to occur in other temperate regions and a risk for establishment in Germany remains, especially in the face of predicted climate change. Thus, the goal of the study was to estimate the potential distribution of Ae. albopictus in Germany. We used ecological niche modeling in order to estimate the potential habitat suitability for this species under current and projected future climatic conditions. According to our model, there are already two areas in western and southern Germany that appear suitable for Ae. albopictus under current climatic conditions. One of these areas lies in Baden-Wuerttemberg, the other in North-Rhine Westphalia in the Ruhr region. Furthermore, projections under future climatic conditions show an increase of the modeled habitat suitability throughout Germany. Ae. albopictus is supposed to be better acclimated to colder temperatures than other tropical vectors and thus, might become, triggered by climate change, a serious threat to public health in Germany. Our modeling results can help optimizing the design of monitoring programs currently in place in Germany.

  6. 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...

  7. ESTIMATING THE DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED ESTUARINE BIVALVES WITH NATURAL-HISTORY-BASED HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELS.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habitat suitability models are used to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. The development of habitat suitability models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to natural or anthropog...

  8. Transferability of habitat suitability models for nesting woodpeckers associated with wildfire

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Following wildfire, forest managers are challenged with meeting both socioeconomic demands (e.g., salvage logging) and mandates requiring habitat conservation for disturbance-associated wildlife (e.g., woodpeckers). Habitat suitability models for nesting woodpeckers can be informative, but tests of model transferability are needed to understand how broadly...

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Chapter 5: Application of state-and-transition models to evaluate wildlife habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anita T. Morzillo; Pamela Comeleo; Blair Csuti; Stephanie Lee

    2014-01-01

    Wildlife habitat analysis often is a central focus of natural resources management and policy. State-and-transition models (STMs) allow for simulation of landscape level ecological processes, and for managers to test “what if” scenarios of how those processes may affect wildlife habitat. This chapter describes the methods used to link STM output to wildlife habitat to...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCabe, Thomas R.

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Shallow Lake Habitat Quality Dynamic Evaluation Based on InVEST Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, S.; Wang, X.

    2017-12-01

    Abstract: Water level changes in a shallow lake always introduce dramatic land pattern changes. To achieve sustainable ecosystem service, it is necessary to evaluate habitat quality dynamic and its spatio-temporal variation resulted from water level changes, which can provide a scientific basis for protection of biodiversity and planning of wetland ecological system. Landsat data in the spring was chosen to obtain landscape data at different times based on the high, moderate and low water level of Baiyangdian Shallow Lake. We used the InVEST to evaluate the habitat quality, habitat degradation, and habitat scarcity. The result showed that: 1) the water level of shallow lake changes from high to low lead to an obvious landscape pattern changes and habitat degradation. 2) the most change area occurred in northwestward and southwest of Baiyangdian Shallow Lake, which there was a 21 percent of suitable habitat and 42 percent of moderately suitable habitat lost. Our findings show that the changes of water level in the shallow lake would have a strong relationship with the habitat quality.Keywords: Habitat quality; Habitat degradation; Water level changes; InVEST model; Shallow lake

  16. Food-web models predict species abundances in response to habitat change.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Gotelli

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Plant and animal population sizes inevitably change following habitat loss, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are poorly understood. We experimentally altered habitat volume and eliminated top trophic levels of the food web of invertebrates that inhabit rain-filled leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. Path models that incorporated food-web structure better predicted population sizes of food-web constituents than did simple keystone species models, models that included only autecological responses to habitat volume, or models including both food-web structure and habitat volume. These results provide the first experimental confirmation that trophic structure can determine species abundances in the face of habitat loss.

  17. Modeling marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) habitat using LiDAR-derived canopy data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan C.; Eskelson, Bianca N.I.; Haggerty, Patricia K.; Nelson, S. Kim; Vesely, David G.

    2014-01-01

    LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging) is an emerging remote-sensing tool that can provide fine-scale data describing vertical complexity of vegetation relevant to species that are responsive to forest structure. We used LiDAR data to estimate occupancy probability for the federally threatened marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) in the Oregon Coast Range of the United States. Our goal was to address the need identified in the Recovery Plan for a more accurate estimate of the availability of nesting habitat by developing occupancy maps based on refined measures of nest-strand structure. We used murrelet occupancy data collected by the Bureau of Land Management Coos Bay District, and canopy metrics calculated from discrete return airborne LiDAR data, to fit a logistic regression model predicting the probability of occupancy. Our final model for stand-level occupancy included distance to coast, and 5 LiDAR-derived variables describing canopy structure. With an area under the curve value (AUC) of 0.74, this model had acceptable discrimination and fair agreement (Cohen's κ = 0.24), especially considering that all sites in our sample were regarded by managers as potential habitat. The LiDAR model provided better discrimination between occupied and unoccupied sites than did a model using variables derived from Gradient Nearest Neighbor maps that were previously reported as important predictors of murrelet occupancy (AUC = 0.64, κ = 0.12). We also evaluated LiDAR metrics at 11 known murrelet nest sites. Two LiDAR-derived variables accurately discriminated nest sites from random sites (average AUC = 0.91). LiDAR provided a means of quantifying 3-dimensional canopy structure with variables that are ecologically relevant to murrelet nesting habitat, and have not been as accurately quantified by other mensuration methods.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    Accounting for climate change in invasive species risk assessments improves our understanding of potential future impacts and enhances our preparedness for the arrival of new non-native species. We combined traditional risk assessment for invasive species with habitat suitability modeling to assess risk to biodiversity based on climate change. We demonstrate our method by assessing the risk for 15 potentially new invasive plant species to Alberta, Canada, an area where climate change is expec...

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John

    2015-01-01

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

  7. A dispersal-constrained habitat suitability model for predicting invasion of alpine vegetation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Nicholas S G; Hahs, Amy K; Morgan, John W

    2008-03-01

    Developing tools to predict the location of new biological invasions is essential if exotic species are to be controlled before they become widespread. Currently, alpine areas in Australia are largely free of exotic plant species but face increasing pressure from invasive species due to global warming and intensified human use. To predict the potential spread of highly invasive orange hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum) from existing founder populations on the Bogong High Plains in southern Australia, we developed an expert-based, spatially explicit, dispersal-constrained, habitat suitability model. The model combines a habitat suitability index, developed from disturbance, site wetness, and vegetation community parameters, with a phenomenological dispersal kernel that uses wind direction and observed dispersal distances. After generating risk maps that defined the relative suitability of H. aurantiacum establishment across the study area, we intensively searched several locations to evaluate the model. The highest relative suitability for H. aurantiacum establishment was southeast from the initial infestations. Native tussock grasslands and disturbed areas had high suitability for H. aurantiacum establishment. Extensive field searches failed to detect new populations. Time-step evaluation using the location of populations known in 1998-2000, accurately assigned high relative suitability for locations where H. aurantiacum had established post-2003 (AUC [area under curve] = 0.855 +/- 0.035). This suggests our model has good predictive power and will improve the ability to detect populations and prioritize areas for ongoing monitoring.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  9. 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...

  10. Combining habitat suitability models and spatial graphs for landscape conservation planning: a methodological framework

    OpenAIRE

    Duflot, R.; Avon, C.; Roche, P.; Bergès, L.

    2016-01-01

    In response to the negative effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity, ecological network conservation and restoration has become a central objective in biodiversity conservation planning. Evaluating landscape functional connectivity for species and mapping ecological networks are key steps towards effective implementation of relevant actions, but both remain challenging. Habitat suitability models and spatial graphs are thought to provide conservation practitioners with useful informa...

  11. Multi-scale habitat selection modeling: A review and outlook

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kevin McGarigal; Ho Yi Wan; Kathy A. Zeller; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman

    2016-01-01

    Scale is the lens that focuses ecological relationships. Organisms select habitat at multiple hierarchical levels and at different spatial and/or temporal scales within each level. Failure to properly address scale dependence can result in incorrect inferences in multi-scale habitat selection modeling studies.

  12. Habitat model for the Florida Scrub Jay on John F. Kennedy Space Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breininger, David R.

    1992-01-01

    The Florida Scrub Jay is endemic to Florida. The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) provides habitat for one of the three largest populations of the Florida Scrub Jay. This threatened bird occupies scrub, slash pine flatwoods, disturbed scrub, and coastal strand on KSC. Densities of Florida Scrub Jays were shown to vary with habitat characteristics but not necessarily with vegetation type. Relationships between Florida Scrub Jay densities and habitat characteristics were used to develop a habitat model to provide a tool to compare alternative sites for new facilities and to quantify environmental impacts. This model is being tested using long term demographic studies of colorbanded Florida Scrub Jays. Optimal habitat predicted by the model has greater than or equal to 50 percent of the shrub canopy comprised of scrub oaks, 20-50 percent open space or scrub oak vegetation within 100 m of a ruderal edge, less than or equal to 15 percent pine canopy cover, a shrub height of 120-170 cm, and is greater than or equal to 100 m from a forest. This document reviews life history, social behavior, food, foraging habitat, cover requirements, characteristics of habitat on KSC, and habitat preferences of the Florida Scrub Jay. Construction of the model and its limitations are discussed.

  13. 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

  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.

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    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".

  15. Fine-scale habitat modeling of a top marine predator: do prey data improve predictive capacity?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Leigh G; Read, Andrew J; Halpin, Patrick

    2008-10-01

    Predators and prey assort themselves relative to each other, the availability of resources and refuges, and the temporal and spatial scale of their interaction. Predictive models of predator distributions often rely on these relationships by incorporating data on environmental variability and prey availability to determine predator habitat selection patterns. This approach to predictive modeling holds true in marine systems where observations of predators are logistically difficult, emphasizing the need for accurate models. In this paper, we ask whether including prey distribution data in fine-scale predictive models of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) habitat selection in Florida Bay, Florida, U.S.A., improves predictive capacity. Environmental characteristics are often used as predictor variables in habitat models of top marine predators with the assumption that they act as proxies of prey distribution. We examine the validity of this assumption by comparing the response of dolphin distribution and fish catch rates to the same environmental variables. Next, the predictive capacities of four models, with and without prey distribution data, are tested to determine whether dolphin habitat selection can be predicted without recourse to describing the distribution of their prey. The final analysis determines the accuracy of predictive maps of dolphin distribution produced by modeling areas of high fish catch based on significant environmental characteristics. We use spatial analysis and independent data sets to train and test the models. Our results indicate that, due to high habitat heterogeneity and the spatial variability of prey patches, fine-scale models of dolphin habitat selection in coastal habitats will be more successful if environmental variables are used as predictor variables of predator distributions rather than relying on prey data as explanatory variables. However, predictive modeling of prey distribution as the response variable based on

  16. Assessing the wildlife habitat value of New England salt marshes: II. Model testing and validation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKinney, Richard A; Charpentier, Michael A; Wigand, Cathleen

    2009-07-01

    We tested a previously described model to assess the wildlife habitat value of New England salt marshes by comparing modeled habitat values and scores with bird abundance and species richness at sixteen salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island USA. As a group, wildlife habitat value assessment scores for the marshes ranged from 307-509, or 31-67% of the maximum attainable score. We recorded 6 species of wading birds (Ardeidae; herons, egrets, and bitterns) at the sites during biweekly survey. Species richness (r (2)=0.24, F=4.53, p=0.05) and abundance (r (2)=0.26, F=5.00, p=0.04) of wading birds significantly increased with increasing assessment score. We optimized our assessment model for wading birds by using Akaike information criteria (AIC) to compare a series of models comprised of specific components and categories of our model that best reflect their habitat use. The model incorporating pre-classification, wading bird habitat categories, and natural land surrounding the sites was substantially supported by AIC analysis as the best model. The abundance of wading birds significantly increased with increasing assessment scores generated with the optimized model (r (2)=0.48, F=12.5, p=0.003), demonstrating that optimizing models can be helpful in improving the accuracy of the assessment for a given species or species assemblage. In addition to validating the assessment model, our results show that in spite of their urban setting our study marshes provide substantial wildlife habitat value. This suggests that even small wetlands in highly urbanized coastal settings can provide important wildlife habitat value if key habitat attributes (e.g., natural buffers, habitat heterogeneity) are present.

  17. Parietaria pensylvanicu Mühlenb. ex Willd. - potentialities of migration from park habitats to segetal communities

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    Anna K. Sawilska

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Parietaria pensvlvanica Mühlenb ex. Willd is a species native to North America, whose occurrence in Poland was first reported in Bydgoszcz in 1991. Its biology and ecology has been researched since 1996. The present paper discusses measurements and phenological observations carried out on four selected populations during the vegetation season in 1997. The aim of the research was to determine potentialities of the migration of P. pensylvanica from park habitats to segetal communities, on the basis of a defined life strategy of the examined populations. The analysis focused on the dynamics of density and biomass as well as on the weight of 1000 nucules, against the habitat conditions. The findings demonstrated that the investigated species was characterised by a set of life strategy properties referred to as C-S-R or S-R, and was subject to the "r"-type selection. P. pensylvanica has become an integral part of the Bydgoszcz flora and is likely to expand into segetal communities of agricultural and vegetable crops.

  18. Models of Marine Fish Biodiversity: Assessing Predictors from Three Habitat Classification Schemes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Katherine L; Mellin, Camille; Caley, M Julian; Radford, Ben T; Meeuwig, Jessica J

    2016-01-01

    Prioritising biodiversity conservation requires knowledge of where biodiversity occurs. Such knowledge, however, is often lacking. New technologies for collecting biological and physical data coupled with advances in modelling techniques could help address these gaps and facilitate improved management outcomes. Here we examined the utility of environmental data, obtained using different methods, for developing models of both uni- and multivariate biodiversity metrics. We tested which biodiversity metrics could be predicted best and evaluated the performance of predictor variables generated from three types of habitat data: acoustic multibeam sonar imagery, predicted habitat classification, and direct observer habitat classification. We used boosted regression trees (BRT) to model metrics of fish species richness, abundance and biomass, and multivariate regression trees (MRT) to model biomass and abundance of fish functional groups. We compared model performance using different sets of predictors and estimated the relative influence of individual predictors. Models of total species richness and total abundance performed best; those developed for endemic species performed worst. Abundance models performed substantially better than corresponding biomass models. In general, BRT and MRTs developed using predicted habitat classifications performed less well than those using multibeam data. The most influential individual predictor was the abiotic categorical variable from direct observer habitat classification and models that incorporated predictors from direct observer habitat classification consistently outperformed those that did not. Our results show that while remotely sensed data can offer considerable utility for predictive modelling, the addition of direct observer habitat classification data can substantially improve model performance. Thus it appears that there are aspects of marine habitats that are important for modelling metrics of fish biodiversity that are

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

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    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.

  20. 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.

  1. MODEL DISTRIBUSI SPASIAL HABITAT ELANG JAWA (Nisaetus bartelsi YANG TERSISA DI JAWA BARAT

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    Nur Azmi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available Javan Hawk-Eagle (JHE, Nisaetus bartelsi which is endemic raptor in the natural forests of Java, Indonesia is categorized as one of the endangered. Small population size, severe habitat loss, forest fragmentation, and illegal hunting have contributed to the ‘‘endangered’’ status of this species. Moreover, conservation of this species has become a national priority. This study was being conducted because of the lack of information about the distribution of JHE’s remnants habitat which caused the proposed conservation strategies for JHE become difficult. This study aimed for updating data of JHE’s remnants habitat in West Java, analyzed its habitat patches distribution, and estimated the number of its populations. The previous study determined the habitat suitability probability modelling of JHE with used landsat images in 2002 at southern part of West Java. This study updated the model using the same logistic regression model equation in West Java overall. This study identified 17 remnant habitat patches (3 955 km2 scattered in West Java. The comparison with previous study showed that the size and number of patches was increased with the predicted number of JHE’s populations were about 39-195 (median = 117 pairs in southern part of West Java. Based on the results, we offer three recommendations to increase the survival of JHE’s habitat in West Java.Keywords: GIS, habitat remnants, logistic regression, Nisaetus bartelsi, patch.

  2. Sex-specific habitat suitability models for Panthera tigris in Chitwan National Park, Nepal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battle, Curtis Scott

    Although research on wildlife species across taxa has shown that males and females differentially select habitat, sex-specific models of habitat suitability for endangered species are uncommon. Here, we developed such models for Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris) based on camera trap data collected from 20 January to 22 March, 2010, within Chitwan National Park, Nepal, and its buffer zone. We compared these to a sex-indiscriminate habitat suitability model in order to identify information that is lost when occurrence data for both sexes are included in the same model, as well as to assess the benefits of a sex-specific approach to habitat suitability modelling. Our sex-specific models allowed us to produce more informative and detailed habitat suitability maps, highlighting key differences in the distribution of suitable habitats for males and females, preferences in vegetation structure, and habitat use near human settlements. In the context of global tiger conservation, such information is essential to fulfilling established conservation goals and population recovery targets.

  3. 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.

  4. Evaluating habitat suitability for the establishment of Monochamus spp. through climate-based niche modeling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estay, Sergio A; Labra, Fabio A; Sepulveda, Roger D; Bacigalupe, Leonardo D

    2014-01-01

    Pine sawyer beetle species of the genus Monochamus are vectors of the nematode pest Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. The introduction of these species into new habitats is a constant threat for those regions where the forestry industry depends on conifers, and especially on species of Pinus. To obtain information about the potential risk of establishment of these insects in Chile, we performed climate-based niche modeling using data for five North American and four Eurasian Monochamus species using a Maxent approach. The most important variables that account for current distribution of these species are total annual precipitation and annual and seasonal average temperatures, with some differences between North American and Eurasian species. Projections of potential geographic distribution in Chile show that all species could occupy at least 37% of the area between 30° and 53°S, where industrial plantations of P. radiata are concentrated. Our results indicated that Chile seems more suitable for Eurasian than for North American species.

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

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    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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shauna-Lee Chai

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  14. The neutron optical model potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hodgson, P.E.

    1989-01-01

    The present status of optical model calculations of neutron scattering and interactions is reviewed, with special emphasis on more recent developments and the more promising lines of research. The use of dispersion relations to provide an extra constraint on the potential is discussed, together with their application to studies of the Fermi surface anomaly. The application of potential inversion techniques to determine the form of the potential is also considered. (author). 39 refs, figs

  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. Beaked Whale Anatomy, Field Studies and Habitat Modeling

    Science.gov (United States)

    2007-11-01

    Beaked whale habitat typically is near a pelagic setting. Appropriate sites are at continental shelf edges, deep water islands, or seamounts . The ...formulation for vibro-acoustic problems in medicine and biology has been developed as part of this research (Krysl et al. In Press). To address the ...2007). Sound pathways revealed: Simulated Sound Transmission and Reception in Ziphius cavirostris. 17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

    2016-08-10

    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.

  1. 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.

  2. A Resource-Based Modelling Framework to Assess Habitat Suitability for Steppe Birds in Semiarid Mediterranean Agricultural Systems

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    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 (die...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. Measuring and modeling the spatial pattern of understory bamboo across landscapes: Implications for giant panda habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linderman, Marc Alan

    We examined an approach to classifying understory bamboo, the staple food of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), from remote sensing imagery in the Wolong Nature Reserve, China. We also used these data to estimate the landscape-scale distribution of giant panda habitat, and model the human effects on forest cover and the spatio-temporal dynamics of bamboo and the resulting implications for giant panda habitat. The spatial distribution of understory bamboo was mapped using an artificial neural network and leaf-on remote sensing data. Training on a limited set of ground truth data and using widely available Landsat TM data as input, a non-linear artificial neural network achieved a classification accuracy of 80% despite the presence of co-occurring mid-story and understory vegetation. Using information on the spatial distribution of bamboo in Wolong, we compared the results of giant panda habitat analyses with and without bamboo information. Total amount of habitat decreased by 29--56% and overall habitat patch size decreased by 16--48% after bamboo information was incorporated into the analyses. The decreases in the quantity of panda habitat and increases in habitat fragmentation resulted in decreases of 41--60% in carrying capacity. Using a spatio-temporal model of bamboo dynamics and human activities, we found that local fuelwood collection and household creation will likely reduce secondary habitat relied upon by pandas. Human impacts would likely contribute up to an additional 16% loss of habitat. Furthermore, these impacts primarily occur in the habitat relied upon by giant pandas during past bamboo die-offs. Decreased total area of habitat and increased fragmentation from human activities will likely make giant pandas increasingly sensitive to natural disturbances such as cyclical bamboo die-offs. Our studies suggest that it is necessary to further examine approaches to monitor understory vegetation and incorporate understory information into wildlife

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  9. 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

  10. 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 A.; Talbert, Marian; 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.

  11. 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, Mark C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Holland, M.M.; Maslanik, J.; Aars, Jon; 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

  12. 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.

  13. Into the third dimension: Benefits of incorporating LiDAR data in wildlife habitat models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melissa J. Merrick; John L. Koprowski; Craig Wilcox

    2013-01-01

    LiDAR (Light detection and ranging) is a tool with potential for characterizing wildlife habitat by providing detailed, three-dimensional landscape information not available from other remote sensing applications. The ability to accurately map structural components such as canopy height, canopy cover, woody debris, tree density, and ground surface has potential to...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vélez-Espino, Luis A

    2006-06-01

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

  20. Summer and winter habitat suitability of Marco Polo argali in southeastern Tajikistan: A modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salas, Eric Ariel L; Valdez, Raul; Michel, Stefan

    2017-11-01

    We modeled summer and winter habitat suitability of Marco Polo argali in the Pamir Mountains in southeastern Tajikistan using these statistical algorithms: Generalized Linear Model, Random Forest, Boosted Regression Tree, Maxent, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines. Using sheep occurrence data collected from 2009 to 2015 and a set of selected habitat predictors, we produced summer and winter habitat suitability maps and determined the important habitat suitability predictors for both seasons. Our results demonstrated that argali selected proximity to riparian areas and greenness as the two most relevant variables for summer, and the degree of slope (gentler slopes between 0° to 20°) and Landsat temperature band for winter. The terrain roughness was also among the most important variables in summer and winter models. Aspect was only significant for winter habitat, with argali preferring south-facing mountain slopes. We evaluated various measures of model performance such as the Area Under the Curve (AUC) and the True Skill Statistic (TSS). Comparing the five algorithms, the AUC scored highest for Boosted Regression Tree in summer (AUC = 0.94) and winter model runs (AUC = 0.94). In contrast, Random Forest underperformed in both model runs.

  1. Predicting habitat suitability of Coptotermes gestroi (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) with species distribution models.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hou-Feng; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Su, Nan-Yao

    2013-02-01

    Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) is an important structural pest reported from Asia, Pacific islands, North America, Caribbean islands, South America, and Indian Ocean islands. This study summarized previous records of C. gestroi and its synonyms, presenting 184 infested counties from 24 countries. Based on the geo-references occurrence locations and global raster data of climate, geography, and human population, C. gestroi were found most commonly in warm, high precipitation, low altitude, and human populated areas. By using species distribution models, we predicted its current infested area (model 1), habitat suitability (model 2), and probability of introduction (model 3) on a global scale. The results showed its recorded locations and the predicted distribution of the present day are similar, but the suitable habitat is larger than its current distribution. The patterns of the introduction frequency (model 3) and habitat suitability (model 2) are inconsistent. Temperate cities with high introduction risk are located in Europe, United Sates, northeastern China, and Japan where habitat suitability is low and hence successful colonization is unlikely. In tropics and subtropics, habitat suitability of C. gestroi is high. We speculate that continuous urbanization and increasing human population will increase its introduction frequency and cause further extension in fast developing tropical and subtropical countries.

  2. Machine Learning Model Analysis of Breeding Habitats for the Black-necked Crane in Central Asian Uplands under Anthropogenic Pressures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Xuesong; Guo, Yumin; Mi, Chunrong; Huettmann, Falk; Wen, Lijia

    2017-07-21

    The black-necked crane (Grus nigricollis) is the only alpine crane species and is endemic to the Tibetan Plateau. The breeding habitats of this species are poorly understood, which greatly hampers practical research and conservation work. Using machine learning methods and the best-available data from our 7,000-kilometer mega-transect survey and open access data, we built the first species distribution model (SDM) to analyze the black-necked crane's breeding habitats. Our model showed that current conservation gaps account for 26.7% of its predicted breeding habitats. Specifically, the northern parts of the Hengduan Mountains and the southeastern Tibet Valley, the northern side of the middle Kunlun Mountains, parts of the Pamir Plateau, the northern Pakistan Highlands and the western Hindu Kush should be considered as its main potential breeding areas. Additionally, our model suggested that the crane prefers to breed in alpine meadows at an elevation over 2,800 m, a maximum temperature of the warmest month below 20.5 °C, and a temperature seasonality above 7,800 units. The identified conservation gaps and potential breeding areas can aid in clearly prioritizing future conservation and research, but more attention and study should be directed to the unassessed Western Development of China to secure this endangered crane lineage and other wildlife on the Tibetan Plateau.

  3. Habitat Suitability Modeling of Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822 Ujung Kulon National Park

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U Mamat Rahmat

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822 is the rarest species among 5 species of rhinos in the world. Its distribution is currently limited only in Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP, Indonesia.  Due to the small population size and its limited distribution, it is listed as critically endangered species in the IUCN Redlist. The main objectives of this research were: 1 to identify the dominant habitat components that determine the presence of javan rhino in UKNP; 2 to analyze habitat suitability of javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822 in UKNP using geographical information system; and 3 to examine its habitat condition. Results of the research found eight components identified to be crucial for Javan rhino habitat and appropriate for spatial modelling of habitat suitability, of which four were the most dominant factors influencing the frequency of javan rhino presence. These four dominants factors were slope, distance from wallow sites, distance from rumpang (open area, and distance from beach (pKeywords:  Javan rhino, habitat suitability, preference, spatial modelling

  4. 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.

  5. Use of cccupancy models to evaluate expert knowledge-based species-habitat relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iglecia, Monica N.; Collazo, Jaime A.; McKerrow, Alexa

    2012-01-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. The importance of distance to resources in the spatial modelling of bat foraging habitat.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ana Rainho

    Full Text Available Many bats are threatened by habitat loss, but opportunities to manage their habitats are now increasing. Success of management depends greatly on the capacity to determine where and how interventions should take place, so models predicting how animals use landscapes are important to plan them. Bats are quite distinctive in the way they use space for foraging because (i most are colonial central-place foragers and (ii exploit scattered and distant resources, although this increases flying costs. To evaluate how important distances to resources are in modelling foraging bat habitat suitability, we radio-tracked two cave-dwelling species of conservation concern (Rhinolophus mehelyi and Miniopterus schreibersii in a Mediterranean landscape. Habitat and distance variables were evaluated using logistic regression modelling. Distance variables greatly increased the performance of models, and distance to roost and to drinking water could alone explain 86 and 73% of the use of space by M. schreibersii and R. mehelyi, respectively. Land-cover and soil productivity also provided a significant contribution to the final models. Habitat suitability maps generated by models with and without distance variables differed substantially, confirming the shortcomings of maps generated without distance variables. Indeed, areas shown as highly suitable in maps generated without distance variables proved poorly suitable when distance variables were also considered. We concluded that distances to resources are determinant in the way bats forage across the landscape, and that using distance variables substantially improves the accuracy of suitability maps generated with spatially explicit models. Consequently, modelling with these variables is important to guide habitat management in bats and similarly mobile animals, particularly if they are central-place foragers or depend on spatially scarce resources.

  9. The Importance of Distance to Resources in the Spatial Modelling of Bat Foraging Habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rainho, Ana; Palmeirim, Jorge M.

    2011-01-01

    Many bats are threatened by habitat loss, but opportunities to manage their habitats are now increasing. Success of management depends greatly on the capacity to determine where and how interventions should take place, so models predicting how animals use landscapes are important to plan them. Bats are quite distinctive in the way they use space for foraging because (i) most are colonial central-place foragers and (ii) exploit scattered and distant resources, although this increases flying costs. To evaluate how important distances to resources are in modelling foraging bat habitat suitability, we radio-tracked two cave-dwelling species of conservation concern (Rhinolophus mehelyi and Miniopterus schreibersii) in a Mediterranean landscape. Habitat and distance variables were evaluated using logistic regression modelling. Distance variables greatly increased the performance of models, and distance to roost and to drinking water could alone explain 86 and 73% of the use of space by M. schreibersii and R. mehelyi, respectively. Land-cover and soil productivity also provided a significant contribution to the final models. Habitat suitability maps generated by models with and without distance variables differed substantially, confirming the shortcomings of maps generated without distance variables. Indeed, areas shown as highly suitable in maps generated without distance variables proved poorly suitable when distance variables were also considered. We concluded that distances to resources are determinant in the way bats forage across the landscape, and that using distance variables substantially improves the accuracy of suitability maps generated with spatially explicit models. Consequently, modelling with these variables is important to guide habitat management in bats and similarly mobile animals, particularly if they are central-place foragers or depend on spatially scarce resources. PMID:21547076

  10. 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.

  11. Juvenile flatfish in the northern Baltic Sea - long-term decline and potential links to habitat characteristics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jokinen, Henri; Wennhage, Håkan; Ollus, Victoria; Aro, Eero; Norkko, Alf

    2016-01-01

    Flatfish in the northern Baltic Sea are facing multiple environmental pressures due to on-going large-scale ecosystem changes linked to eutrophication and climate change. Shallow juvenile habitats of flatfishes are expected to be especially susceptible to these environmental pressures. Using previously unpublished historical and present-state data on juvenile flatfish in nursery areas along the Finnish coast we demonstrate a drastic (up to 40 ×) decline in 1-Y-O flounder densities since the 1980s and a particularly low current occurrence of both flounders and turbots in several known juvenile habitats. As a consequence of ongoing coastal eutrophication vegetation coverage and filamentous algae have generally increased in shallow areas. We examined the predicted negative effect of vegetation/algae by exploring quantitative relationships between juvenile flatfish (flounder and turbot) occurrence and vegetation/algae among other environmental factors in shallow juvenile habitats. Despite sparse occurrence of juveniles we found a significant negative relationship between flatfish abundance and vegetation cover, implicating eutrophication as a potential major driver affecting the value of juvenile habitat. Shallow littoral habitats play a particularly central role for flatfish due to the spatial concentration of fish in these areas during the critical juvenile stage. Despite their importance, these areas have been relatively poorly studied in the northern Baltic Sea, which makes it difficult to quantify overall changes in environmental conditions and to relate these changes to flatfish recruitment. The low present-state flatfish densities recorded preclude strong inferences of the role of habitat quality to be drawn. Our study does, however, provide a baseline for future assessment. Based on existing evidence, we cannot thus establish any bottlenecks but hypothesize that the current low occurrence of juvenile flatfish, and the population decline of flounder on the

  12. Overlooked habitat of a vulnerable gorgonian revealed in the Mediterranean and Eastern Atlantic by ecological niche modelling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boavida, Joana; Assis, Jorge; Silva, Inga; Serrão, Ester A

    2016-11-14

    Factors shaping the distribution of mesophotic octocorals (30-200 m depth) remain poorly understood, potentially leaving overlooked coral areas, particularly near their bathymetric and geographic distributional limits. Yet, detailed knowledge about habitat requirements is crucial for conservation of sensitive gorgonians. Here we use Ecological Niche Modelling (ENM) relating thirteen environmental predictors and a highly comprehensive presence dataset, enhanced by SCUBA diving surveys, to investigate the suitable habitat of an important structuring species, Paramuricea clavata, throughout its distribution (Mediterranean and adjacent Atlantic). Models showed that temperature (11.5-25.5 °C) and slope are the most important predictors carving the niche of P. clavata. Prediction throughout the full distribution (TSS 0.9) included known locations of P. clavata alongside with previously unknown or unreported sites along the coast of Portugal and Africa, including seamounts. These predictions increase the understanding of the potential distribution for the northern Mediterranean and indicate suitable hard bottom areas down to >150 m depth. Poorly sampled habitats with predicted presence along Algeria, Alboran Sea and adjacent Atlantic coasts encourage further investigation. We propose that surveys of target areas from the predicted distribution map, together with local expert knowledge, may lead to discoveries of new P. clavata sites and identify priority conservation areas.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

    To conserve habitat for disturbance specialist species, ecologists must identify where individuals will likely settle in newly disturbed areas. Habitat suitability models can predict which sites at new disturbances will most likely attract specialists. Without validation data from newly disturbed areas, however, the best approach for maximizing predictive accuracy can be unclear (Northwestern U.S.A.). We predicted habitat suitability for nesting Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus; a burned-forest specialist) at 20 recently (≤6 years postwildfire) burned locations in Montana using models calibrated with data from three locations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We developed 8 models using three techniques (weighted logistic regression, Maxent, and Mahalanobis D (2) models) and various combinations of four environmental variables describing burn severity, the north-south orientation of topographic slope, and prefire canopy cover. After translating model predictions into binary classifications (0 = low suitability to unsuitable, 1 = high to moderate suitability), we compiled "ensemble predictions," consisting of the number of models (0-8) predicting any given site as highly suitable. The suitability status for 40% of the area burned by eastside Montana wildfires was consistent across models and therefore robust to uncertainty in the relative accuracy of particular models and in alternative ecological hypotheses they described. Ensemble predictions exhibited two desirable properties: (1) a positive relationship with apparent rates of nest occurrence at calibration locations and (2) declining model agreement outside surveyed environments consistent with our reduced confidence in novel (i.e., "no-analogue") environments. Areas of disagreement among models suggested where future surveys could help validate and refine models for an improved understanding of Black-backed Woodpecker nesting habitat relationships. Ensemble predictions presented here can help guide

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gretchen H. Roffler; Michael K. Schwartz; Kristine Pilgrim; Sandra L. Talbot; George K. Sage; Layne G. Adams; Gordon Luikart

    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...

  16. Understanding the implications of a changing environment on harvested bivalve populations using habitat suitability models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habitat suitability models are useful to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. In the case of harvested bivalves, those models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to stressors. Using ...

  17. 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

  18. Shellsim: A Generic Model of Growth and Environmental Effects Validated Across Contrasting Habitats in Bivalve Shellfish

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hawkins, A.; Pascoe, P.L.; Parry, H.; Brinsley, M.; Black, K.; McGonigle, C.; Smaal, A.C.

    2013-01-01

    Previous shellfish models have, in general, been calibrated for 1 location, unable to simulate growth across habitats that contrast in seston abundance and composition, as may vary between turbid, eutrophic and oligotrophic waters. Here, we describe the generic shellfish model ShellSIM,

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres, Leigh G; Sutton, Philip J H; Thompson, David R; Delord, Karine; Weimerskirch, Henri; Sagar, Paul M; Sommer, Erica; Dilley, Ben J; Ryan, Peter G; Phillips, Richard A

    2015-01-01

    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 efforts. Although

  1. 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

  2. Modeling Tamarisk (Tamarix spp.) habitat and climate change effects in the northwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becky K. Kerns; Bridgett J. Naylor; Michelle Buonopane; Catherine G. Parks; Brendan. Rogers

    2009-01-01

    Tamarisk species are shrubs or small trees considered by some to be among the most aggressively invasive and potentially detrimental exotic plants in the United States. Although extensively studied in the southern and interior west, northwestern (Oregon, Washington, and Idaho) distribution and habitat information for tamarisk is either limited or lacking. We obtained...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Timothy A Gowan

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Aquatic Insects of New York Salt Marsh Associated with Mosquito Larval Habitat and their Potential Utility as Bioindicators

    OpenAIRE

    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 taxonom...

  5. 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...

  6. A broad scale analysis of tree risk, mitigation and potential habitat for cavity-nesting birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian Kane; Paige S. Warren; Susannah B. Lerman

    2015-01-01

    Trees in towns and cities provide habitat for wildlife. In particular, cavity-nesting birds nest in the deadand decayed stems and branches of these trees. The same dead and decayed stems and branches alsohave a greater likelihood of failure, which, in some circumstances, increases risk. We examined 1760trees in Baltimore, MD, USA and western MA, USA, assessing tree...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. A method for assigning species into groups based on generalized Mahalanobis distance between habitat model coefficients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, C.J.; Heglund, P.J.

    2009-01-01

    Habitat association models are commonly developed for individual animal species using generalized linear modeling methods such as logistic regression. We considered the issue of grouping species based on their habitat use so that management decisions can be based on sets of species rather than individual species. This research was motivated by a study of western landbirds in northern Idaho forests. The method we examined was to separately fit models to each species and to use a generalized Mahalanobis distance between coefficient vectors to create a distance matrix among species. Clustering methods were used to group species from the distance matrix, and multidimensional scaling methods were used to visualize the relations among species groups. Methods were also discussed for evaluating the sensitivity of the conclusions because of outliers or influential data points. We illustrate these methods with data from the landbird study conducted in northern Idaho. Simulation results are presented to compare the success of this method to alternative methods using Euclidean distance between coefficient vectors and to methods that do not use habitat association models. These simulations demonstrate that our Mahalanobis-distance- based method was nearly always better than Euclidean-distance-based methods or methods not based on habitat association models. The methods used to develop candidate species groups are easily explained to other scientists and resource managers since they mainly rely on classical multivariate statistical methods. ?? 2008 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.

  10. 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.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2018-01-01

    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

  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...

  13. 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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/026/01/0109-0120. Keywords. Aquatic ecosystems; chaos; modelling; order; scaling. Abstract. 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 ...

  15. Using maximum entropy modeling to identify and prioritize red spruce forest habitat in West Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nathan R. Beane; James S. Rentch; Thomas M. Schuler

    2013-01-01

    Red spruce forests in West Virginia are found in island-like distributions at high elevations and provide essential habitat for the endangered Cheat Mountain salamander and the recently delisted Virginia northern flying squirrel. Therefore, it is important to identify restoration priorities of red spruce forests. Maximum entropy modeling was used to identify areas of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    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 ...

  19. Using satellite and airborne LiDAR to model woodpecker habitat occupancy at the landscape scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee A. Vierling; Kerri T. Vierling; Patrick Adam; Andrew T. Hudak

    2013-01-01

    Incorporating vertical vegetation structure into models of animal distributions can improve understanding of the patterns and processes governing habitat selection. LiDAR can provide such structural information, but these data are typically collected via aircraft and thus are limited in spatial extent. Our objective was to explore the utility of satellite-based LiDAR...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-09-01

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

  1. 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

    2015-08-14

    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.

  2. A comparative analysis of three habitat suitability models for commercial yield estimation of Tapes philippinarum in a North Adriatic coastal lagoon (Sacca di Goro, Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vincenzi, Simone; Caramori, Graziano; Rossi, Remigio; De Leo, Giulio A

    2007-01-01

    Habitat Suitability (HS) models have been extensively used by conservation planners to estimate the spatial distribution of threatened species and of species of commercial interest. In this work we compare three HS models for the estimation of commercial yield potential and the identification of suitable sites for Tapes philippinarum rearing in the Sacca di Goro lagoon (Italy) on the basis of six environmental factors. The habitat suitability index (HSI) is based on expert opinion while the habitat suitability conditional (HSC) is calibrated on observational data. The habitat suitability mixed (HSM) model is a two-part model combining expert knowledge and regression analysis: the first component of the model uses logistic regression to identify the areas in which clams are likely to be present; the second part applies the same parameter-specific suitability functions of the HSI model only in the areas previously identified as productive by the logistic component. The HS models were validated on an independent data set and estimates of potential yield of the Goro lagoon were compared. The effectiveness of the three approaches is then discussed in terms of predicted yield and identification of suitable sites for farming.

  3. 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.

    2013-10-01

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Potential impacts of climate change on habitat suitability for the Queensland fruit fly

    OpenAIRE

    Sultana, Sabira; Baumgartner, John B.; Dominiak, Bernard C.; Royer, Jane E.; Beaumont, Linda J.

    2017-01-01

    Anthropogenic climate change is a major factor driving shifts in the distributions of pests and invasive species. The Queensland fruit fly, Bactrocera tryoni Froggatt (Qfly), is the most economically damaging insect pest of Australia’s horticultural industry, and its management is a key priority for plant protection and biosecurity. Identifying the extent to which climate change may alter the distribution of suitable habitat for Qfly is important for the development and continuation of effect...

  7. Habitat hydraulic modeling for assessing changes of mesohabitat types in a Greek mountainous river

    Science.gov (United States)

    Papadaki, Christina; Mentzafou, Aggeliki; Ntoanidis, Lazaros; Zogaris, Stamatis; Evelpidou, Niki; Argyropoulos, Demetris; Dimitriou, Elias

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study is to describe and assess changes in physical attributes of mesohabitat types in response to different flows in a Greek mountainous river. Hydraulic simulations were applied using two one-dimensional hydraulic models, MIKE 11 and HEC-RAS. The differences between the two models were analyzed by comparing their outputs against in situ measurements. A 200 m reach in Acheloos river was chosen as study site (Mesochora upstream) mainly because it is located in relatively undisturbed conditions (near reference conditions according to the Water Framework Directive) but also because there is intense interest for the construction of small hydroelectric plants in this area and in other mountainous rivers. Transects were typically placed in areas representative of the various habitat types, proportionally determined by a habitat mapping process at a larger stream segment. Each transect was permanently marked with metal rods to allow repeated measurements in time. The channel and floodplain were surveyed to create a digital elevation model (DEM) of the river. A detailed topographic survey with a GPS/GNSS Geomax - Zenith 20 was made using reference stations at geodetic control points for highest accuracy. Also, a gauging station was installed downstream of the reach in order to provide water level data in an hourly step. Hydraulic models were applied over a range of flows and river stages, based on past measurements. For selecting the control transects a thorough analysis of various parameters, such as habitat representativity, streambed slope and substrate types, was applied. In this way the habitat changes were described based on various flow scenarios over time. In a later step the results from the hydraulic models will be combined with fish habitat simulation curves (HSCs) focusing on the integration of mesohabitat and microhabitat types in the environmental flow assessment scheme.

  8. Pseudo potentials and model potentials in atomic collisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reyes, O.; Jouin, H.; Fuentealba, P.

    1988-01-01

    In this work, it is discussed the main differences between the use of pseudo-potentials and model potentials in collision problems . It is shown the potential energy curves for distinct systems obtained with both kinds of potentials. (A.C.A.S.) [pt

  9. Modeling habitat for Marbled Murrelets on the Siuslaw National Forest, Oregon, using lidar data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hagar, Joan C.; Aragon, Ramiro; Haggerty, Patricia; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.

    2018-03-28

    Habitat models using lidar-derived variables that quantify fine-scale variation in vegetation structure can improve the accuracy of occupancy estimates for canopy-dwelling species over models that use variables derived from other remote sensing techniques. However, the ability of models developed at such a fine spatial scale to maintain accuracy at regional or larger spatial scales has not been tested. We tested the transferability of a lidar-based habitat model for the threatened Marbled Murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) between two management districts within a larger regional conservation zone in coastal western Oregon. We compared the performance of the transferred model against models developed with data from the application location. The transferred model had good discrimination (AUC = 0.73) at the application location, and model performance was further improved by fitting the original model with coefficients from the application location dataset (AUC = 0.79). However, the model selection procedure indicated that neither of these transferred models were considered competitive with a model trained on local data. The new model trained on data from the application location resulted in the selection of a slightly different set of lidar metrics from the original model, but both transferred and locally trained models consistently indicated positive relationships between the probability of occupancy and lidar measures of canopy structural complexity. We conclude that while the locally trained model had superior performance for local application, the transferred model could reasonably be applied to the entire conservation zone.

  10. Hydraulic modelling of fish habitat in urban rivers during high flows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Booker, D. J.

    2003-02-01

    In urban rivers, flow regime and channel morphology are the drivers of physical habitat quality for aquatic species. Peak discharges are increased at high flows as a result of impermeable catchments and channel engineering for flood protection schemes. Hazardous conditions and flashy hydrographs mean that measurement of velocities at high flows is a difficult task. This research uses a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (3D-CFD) model to simulate hydraulic patterns in two urban river channels. A 3D-CFD code, called SSIIM, was used to simulate hydraulic conditions in two engineered river reaches of the River Tame, Birmingham, UK. These two sites represent channels with different levels of engineering. Models were calibrated and tested using field measurements. Results show that modelled water surface levels and velocity profiles are well simulated. Calibrated roughness heights are compared with those derived from field measurement of sediment size. Numerical experiments are used to assess the relationship between grid resolution in the vertical dimension and the form of the modelled velocity profiles. Biologists have used laboratory experiments to determine maximum sustainable swimming speeds (MSSS) of fish, often in order to assess what level of a particular pollutant may be tolerable. In this work, simulations of high-flow hydraulic patterns are used to compare velocity patterns with fish MSSS. Results show that when the water levels rise to fill the first channel of the two-stage channels at the sites, which occurred 16 times in 2000, MSSS are surpassed in the majority of available habitat, suggesting that excessive velocities at high flows are one factor that limits fish habitat. A comparison between the two reaches shows that there is less available habitat in the more modified reach. Conclusions suggest that an approach that integrates water quality issues and physical channel characteristics must be taken in river rehabilitation schemes, as

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Seasonal habitat suitability modeling and factors affecting the distribution of Asian Houbara in East Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haghania, Ali; Aliabadian, Mansour; Sarhangzadeh, Jalil; Setoodehc, Ahad

    2016-08-01

    In this study, maximum entropy models were developed in four seasons to evaluate habitat suitability and factors affecting Asian Houbara in Iran. Environmental variables used in modeling consisted of 42 environmental and climate variables for Nayband wildlife refuge and 36 environmental and climate variables for Petregan protected area. Also, seasonal overlap area were obtained using the ENM TOOLS software. The results showed that the most important factors affecting habitat suitability of the Asian Houbara in all seasons included the ratio of distance to hill, the type of Artemisia-Gymnocarpus, distance to the slope (8-12%) in the Nayband wildlife refuge, distance to the type of Artemisia aucheri, distance to the Land Passion, and distance to the dry land farming in the Petregan region. In summer, the most suitable habitat is Nayband but is Petergan during fall-winter. there is maximum overlap in summer, and the least overlap in the spring these areas. The results of this study can be used as a valuable tool in implementing conservation and management strategies, in order to increase desirable habitats in the eastern part of Iran.

  15. Are restored side channels sustainable aquatic habitat features? Predicting the potential persistence of side channels as aquatic habitats based on their fine sedimentation dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riquier, Jérémie; Piégay, Hervé; Lamouroux, Nicolas; Vaudor, Lise

    2017-10-01

    The restoration of side channels (also referred to as abandoned channels, former channels, floodplain channels, or side arms) is increasingly implemented to improve the ecological integrity of river-floodplain systems. However, the design of side channel restoration projects remains poorly informed by theory or empirical observations despite the increasing number of projects. Moreover, feedback regarding the hydromorphological adjustment of restored channels is rarely documented, making it difficult to predict channel persistence as aquatic habitats. In this study, we analyze the spatial and temporal patterns of fine sediment deposition (River, France, restored in 1999-2006 by a combination of dredging and/or partial to full reconnection of their extremities and as a by-product of an increase in minimum flow through the bypassed main channels. We develop prediction tools to assess the persistence of restored channels as aquatic habitats, using between five and seven monitoring surveys per channel (spanning 7-15 years after restoration). Observed channel-averaged sedimentation rates ranged from 0 to 40.3 cm·y- 1 and reached 90.3 cm·y- 1 locally. Some channels exhibited a significant decline of sedimentation rates through time, whereas others maintained rather constant rates. Scouring processes (i.e., self-rejuvenation capacity) were occasionally documented in 15 channels. Six of the 16 studied channels appeared to be self-sustaining. The 10 others accumulated more and more fine sediment deposits after restoration. Parametric modeling of sedimentation rates suggested that among these 10 channels, four have long life-durations (i.e., more than a century), three have intermediate life-durations (i.e., likely between three and nine decades), and three others have short life-durations (i.e., likely between two and five decades). Observed channel-averaged sedimentation rates can be predicted from the frequency and magnitude (i.e., maximum shear stress) of upstream

  16. Using habitat suitability index and particle dispersion models for early detection of marine invaders.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inglis, Graeme J; Hurren, Helen; Oldman, John; Haskew, Rachel

    2006-08-01

    Eradication and control of invasive species are often possible only if populations are detected when they are small and localized. To be efficient, detection surveys should be targeted at locations where there is the greatest risk of incursions. We examine the utility of habitat suitability index (HSI) and particle dispersion models for targeting sampling for marine pests. Habitat suitability index models are a simple way to identify suitable habitat when species distribution data are lacking. We compared the performance of HSI models with statistical models derived from independent data from New Zealand on the distribution of two nonindigenous bivalves: Theora lubrica and Musculista senhousia. Logistic regression models developed using the HSI scores as predictors of the presence/absence of Theora and Musculista explained 26.7% and 6.2% of the deviance in the data, respectively. Odds ratios for the HSI scores were greater than unity, indicating that they were genuine predictors of the presence/ absence of each species. The fit and predictive accuracy of each logistic model were improved when simulated patterns of dispersion from the nearest port were added as a predictor variable. Nevertheless, the combined model explained, at best, 46.5% of the deviance in the distribution of Theora and correctly predicted 56% of true presences and 50% of all cases. Omission errors were between 6% and 16%. Although statistical distribution models built directly from environmental predictors always outperformed the equivalent HSI models, the gain in model fit and accuracy was modest. High residual deviance in both types of model suggests that the distributions realized by Theora and Musculista in the field data were influenced by factors not explicitly modeled as explanatory variables and by error in the environmental data used to project suitable habitat for the species. Our results highlight the difficulty of accurately predicting the distribution of invasive marine species that

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Dynamic habitat suitability modelling reveals rapid poleward distribution shift in a mobile apex predator.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Nicholas J; Tobin, Andrew J; Reside, April E; Pepperell, Julian G; Bridge, Tom C L

    2016-03-01

    Many taxa are undergoing distribution shifts in response to anthropogenic climate change. However, detecting a climate signal in mobile species is difficult due to their wide-ranging, patchy distributions, often driven by natural climate variability. For example, difficulties associated with assessing pelagic fish distributions have rendered fisheries management ill-equipped to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, leaving pelagic species and ecosystems vulnerable. Here, we demonstrate the value of citizen science data for modelling the dynamic habitat suitability of a mobile pelagic predator (black marlin, Istiompax indica) within the south-west Pacific Ocean. The extensive spatial and temporal coverage of our occurrence data set (n = 18 717), collected at high resolution (~1.85 km(2) ), enabled identification of suitable habitat at monthly time steps over a 16-year period (1998-2013). We identified considerable monthly, seasonal and interannual variability in the extent and distribution of suitable habitat, predominately driven by chlorophyll a and sea surface height. Interannual variability correlated with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, with suitable habitat extending up to ~300 km further south during La Nina events. Despite the strong influence of ENSO, our model revealed a rapid poleward shift in the geometric mean of black marlin habitat, occurring at 88.2 km decade(-1) . By incorporating multiple environmental factors at monthly time steps, we were able to demonstrate a rapid distribution shift in a mobile pelagic species. Our findings suggest that the rapid velocity of climate change in the south-west Pacific Ocean is likely affecting mobile pelagic species, indicating that they may be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Developing Theoretical Marine Habitat Suitability Models from Remotely-Sensed Data and Traditional Ecological Knowledge

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick M. Olsen

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available There is a lack of information regarding critical habitats for many marine species, including the bearded seal, an important subsistence species for the indigenous residents of Arctic regions. A systematic approach to modeling marine mammal habitat in arctic regions using the lifetime and multi-generational Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK of Alaska Native hunters is developed to address this gap. The approach uses lifetime and cross-generational knowledge of subsistence hunters and their harvest data in the place of observational knowledge gained from Western scientific field surveys of marine mammal sightings. TEK information for mid-June to October was transformed to seal presence/pseudo-absence and used to train Classification Tree Analyses of environmental predictor variables to predict suitable habitat for bearded seals in the Bering Strait region. Predictor variables were derived from a suite of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric remote sensing products, transformed using trend analysis techniques, and aggregated. A Kappa of 0.883 was achieved for habitat classifications. The TEK information used is spatially restricted, but provides a viable, replicable data source that can replace or complement Western scientific observational data.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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 suitable pepperweed

  6. N-mix for fish: estimating riverine salmonid habitat selection via N-mixture models

    Science.gov (United States)

    Som, Nicholas A.; Perry, Russell W.; Jones, Edward C.; De Juilio, Kyle; Petros, Paul; Pinnix, William D.; Rupert, Derek L.

    2018-01-01

    Models that formulate mathematical linkages between fish use and habitat characteristics are applied for many purposes. For riverine fish, these linkages are often cast as resource selection functions with variables including depth and velocity of water and distance to nearest cover. Ecologists are now recognizing the role that detection plays in observing organisms, and failure to account for imperfect detection can lead to spurious inference. Herein, we present a flexible N-mixture model to associate habitat characteristics with the abundance of riverine salmonids that simultaneously estimates detection probability. Our formulation has the added benefits of accounting for demographics variation and can generate probabilistic statements regarding intensity of habitat use. In addition to the conceptual benefits, model application to data from the Trinity River, California, yields interesting results. Detection was estimated to vary among surveyors, but there was little spatial or temporal variation. Additionally, a weaker effect of water depth on resource selection is estimated than that reported by previous studies not accounting for detection probability. N-mixture models show great promise for applications to riverine resource selection.

  7. Modeling and simulation of an aquatic habitat for bioregenerative life support research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drayer, Gregorio E.; Howard, Ayanna M.

    2014-01-01

    Long duration human spaceflight poses challenges for spacecraft autonomy and the regeneration of life support consumables, such as oxygen and water. Bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS), which make use of biological processes to transform biological byproducts back into consumables, have the ability to recycle organic byproducts and are the preferred option for food production. A limitation in BLSS research is in the non-availability of small-scale experimental capacities that may help to better understand the challenges in system closure, integration, and control. Ground-based aquatic habitats are an option for small-scale research relevant to bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS), given that they can operate as self-contained systems enclosing a habitat composed of various species in a single volume of water. The purpose of this paper is to present the modeling and simulation of a reconfigurable aquatic habitat for experiments in regenerative life support automation; it supports the use of aquatic habitats as a small-scale approach to experiments relevant to larger-scale regenerative life support systems. It presents ground-based aquatic habitats as an option for small-scale BLSS research focusing on the process of respiration, and elaborates on the description of biological processes by introducing models of ecophysiological phenomena for consumers and producers: higher plants of the species Bacopa monnieri produce O2 for snails of the genus Pomacea; the snails consume O2 and generate CO2, which is used by the plants in combination with radiant energy to generate O2 through the process of photosynthesis. Feedback controllers are designed to regulate the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water. This paper expands the description of biological processes by introducing models of ecophysiological phenomena of the organisms involved. The model of the plants includes a description of the rate of CO2 assimilation as a function of irradiance

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  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. 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.

  12. Theoretical study on optical model potential

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lim Hung Gi.

    1984-08-01

    The optical model potential of non-local effect on the rounded edge of the potential is derived. On the basis of this potential the functional form of the optical model potential, the energy dependence and relationship of its parameters, and the dependency of the values of the parameters on energy change are shown in this paper. (author)

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. Modeling the choice to switch from fuelwood to electricity. Implications for giant panda habitat conservation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    An, Li; Liu, Jianguo; Linderman, Marc A. [Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 13 Natural Resources Building, 48824 East Lansing, MI (United States); Lupi, Frank [Departments of Agricultural Economics and Fisheries and Wildlife, Michigan State University, 213F Agriculture Hall, 48824 East Lansing, MI (United States); Huang, Jinyan [Wolong Nature Reserve Administration, Wenchuan County, 623002 Sichuan Province (China)

    2002-09-01

    Despite its status as a nature reserve, Wolong Nature Reserve (China) has experienced continued loss of giant panda habitat due to human activities such as fuelwood collection. Electricity, though available throughout Wolong, has not replaced fuelwood as an energy source. We used stated preference data obtained from in-person interviews to estimate a random utility model of the choice of adopting electricity for cooking and heating. Willingness to switch to electricity was explained by demographic and electricity factors (price, voltage, and outage frequency). In addition to price, non-price factors such as voltage and outage frequency significantly affect the demand. Thus, lowering electricity prices and increasing electricity quality would encourage local residents to switch from fuelwood to electricity and should be considered in the mix of policies to promote conservation of panda habitat.

  18. Modeling the choice to switch from fuelwood to electricity. Implications for giant panda habitat conservation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An, Li; Liu, Jianguo; Linderman, Marc A.; Lupi, Frank; Huang, Jinyan

    2002-01-01

    Despite its status as a nature reserve, Wolong Nature Reserve (China) has experienced continued loss of giant panda habitat due to human activities such as fuelwood collection. Electricity, though available throughout Wolong, has not replaced fuelwood as an energy source. We used stated preference data obtained from in-person interviews to estimate a random utility model of the choice of adopting electricity for cooking and heating. Willingness to switch to electricity was explained by demographic and electricity factors (price, voltage, and outage frequency). In addition to price, non-price factors such as voltage and outage frequency significantly affect the demand. Thus, lowering electricity prices and increasing electricity quality would encourage local residents to switch from fuelwood to electricity and should be considered in the mix of policies to promote conservation of panda habitat

  19. Potential Population Genetic Consequences of Habitat Fragmentation in Central European Forest Trees and Associated Understorey Species—An Introductory Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christoph Dobeš

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Habitat fragmentation threatens the maintenance of genetic diversity of affected populations. Assessment of the risks associated with habitat fragmentation is a big challenge as the change in population genetic diversity is a dynamic process, often acting over long time periods and depending on various characteristics pertaining to both species (life history traits and their populations (extrinsic characteristics. With this survey, we provide an introductory overview for persons who have to make or are interested in making predictions about the fate of forest-dwelling plant populations which have recently become fragmented and isolated from their main occurrences. We provide a concise introduction to the field of population genetics focusing on terms, processes and phenomena relevant to the maintenance of genetic diversity and vitality of plant populations. In particular the antagonistic effects of gene flow and random genetic drift are covered. A special chapter is devoted to Central European tree species (including the Carpathians which we treat in detail with reference to an extensive literature survey on population genetic studies assembled from the whole of Europe. We further provide an overview of the population biology of associated understorey species. We conclude with recommended steps to be taken for the evaluation of potential perils of habitat fragmentation or population thinning for the genetics of tree populations. The complexity of effects exerted by life history traits and extrinsic characteristics of populations suggest population genetic development is strongly situation dependent. Therefore, we recommend following a case-by-case approach ideally supported by computer simulations to predict future population genetic development of both trees and associated understorey species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Weiwei; Chen, Yuansheng

    2018-04-01

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

  1. Ingestibility, Digestibility, and Engineered Biological Control Potential of Flavobacterium hibernum, Isolated from Larval Mosquito Habitats

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaufman, Michael G.; Korir, Michelle L.; Walker, Edward D.

    2014-01-01

    Flavobacterium hibernum, isolated from larval habitats of the eastern tree hole mosquito, A. triseriatus, remained suspended in the larval feeding zone much longer (8 days) than other bacteria. Autofluorescent protein markers were developed for the labeling of F. hibernum with a strong flavobacterial expression system. Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged F. hibernum cells were quickly consumed by larval mosquitoes at an ingestion rate of 9.5 × 104/larva/h. The ingested F. hibernum cells were observed mostly in the foregut and midgut and rarely in the hindgut, suggesting that cells were digested and did not pass the gut viably. The NanoLuc luciferase reporter system was validated for quantitative larval ingestion rate and bacterial fate analyses. Larvae digested 1.87 × 105 cells/larva/h, and few F. hibernum cells were excreted intact. Expression of the GFP::Cry11A fusion protein with the P20 chaperone protein from Bacillus thuringiensis H-14 was successfully achieved in F. hibernum. Whole-cell bioassays of recombinant F. hibernum exhibited high larvicidal activity against A. triseriatus in microplates and in microcosms simulating tree holes. F. hibernum cells persisted in microcosms at 100, 59, 30, and 10% of the initial densities at days 1, 2, 3, and 6, respectively, when larvae were absent, while larvae consumed nearly all of the F. hibernum cells within 3 days of their addition to microcosms. PMID:24296502

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A Vélez-Espino

    2006-06-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Habitat suitability index model for brook trout in streams of the Southern Blue Ridge Province: surrogate variables, model evaluation, and suggested improvements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christoper J. Schmitt; A. Dennis Lemly; Parley V. Winger

    1993-01-01

    Data from several sources were collated and analyzed by correlation, regression, and principal components analysis to define surrrogate variables for use in the brook trout (Salvelinus fontinalis) habitat suitability index (HSI) model, and to evaluate the applicability of the model for assessing habitat in high elevation streams of the southern Blue Ridge Province (...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Whitebark pine and foxtail pine serve foundational roles in the subalpine zone of the Sierra Nevada. They provide the dominant structure in tree-line forests and regulate key ecosystem processes and community dynamics. Climate change models suggest that there will be changes in temperature regimes and in the timing and magnitude of precipitation within the current distribution of these species, and these changes may alter the species’ distributional limits. Other stressors include the non-native pathogen white pine blister rust and mountain pine beetle, which have played a role in the decline of whitebark pine throughout much of its range. The National Park Service is monitoring status and trends of these species. This report provides complementary information in the form of habitat suitability models to predict climate change impacts on the future distribution of these species within Sierra Nevada national parks.We used maximum entropy modeling to build habitat suitability models by relating species occurrence to environmental variables. Species occurrence was available from 328 locations for whitebark pine and 244 for foxtail pine across the species’ distributions within the parks. We constructed current climate surfaces for modeling by interpolating data from weather stations. Climate surfaces included mean, minimum, and maximum temperature and total precipitation for January, April, July, and October. We downscaled five general circulation models for the 2050s and the 2090s from ~125 km2 to 1 km2 under both an optimistic and an extreme climate scenario to bracket potential climatic change and its influence on projected suitable habitat. To describe anticipated changes in the distribution of suitable habitat, we compared, for each species, climate scenario, and time period, the current models with future models in terms of proportional change in habitat size, elevation distribution, model center points, and where habitat is predicted to expand or contract

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. A method for landscape analysis of forestry guidelines using bird habitat models and the Habplan harvest scheduler

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loehle, C.; Van Deusen, P.; Wigley, T.B.; Mitchell, M.S.; Rutzmoser, S.H.; Aggett, J.; Beebe, J.A.; Smith, M.L.

    2006-01-01

    Wildlife-habitat relationship models have sometimes been linked with forest simulators to aid in evaluating outcomes of forest management alternatives. However, linking wildlife-habitat models with harvest scheduling software would provide a more direct method for assessing economic and ecological implications of alternative harvest schedules in commercial forest operations. We demonstrate an approach for frontier analyses of wildlife benefits using the Habplan harvest scheduler and spatially explicit wildlife response models in the context of operational forest planning. We used the Habplan harvest scheduler to plan commercial forest management over a 40-year horizon at a landscape scale under five scenarios: unmanaged, an unlimited block-size option both with and without riparian buffers, three cases with different block-size restrictions, and a set-asides scenario in which older stands were withheld from cutting. The potential benefit to wildlife was projected based on spatial models of bird guild richness and species probability of detection. Harvested wood volume provided a measure of scenario costs, which provides an indication of management feasibility. Of nine species and guilds, none appeared to benefit from 50 m riparian buffers, response to an unmanaged scenario was mixed and expensive, and block-size restrictions (maximum harvest unit size) provided no apparent benefit and in some cases were possibly detrimental to bird richness. A set-aside regime, however, appeared to provide significant benefits to all species and groups, probably through increased landscape heterogeneity and increased availability of older forest. Our approach shows promise for evaluating costs and benefits of forest management guidelines in commercial forest enterprises and improves upon the state of the art by utilizing an optimizing harvest scheduler as in commercial forest management, multiple measures of biodiversity (models for multiple species and guilds), and spatially

  14. Modeling the Phenology of Asian Citrus Psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae) in Urban Southern California: Effects of Environment, Habitat, and Natural Enemies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Milosavljevic, Ivan; Amrich, Ruth; Strode, Vincent; Hoddle, Mark S; Heinz, Kevin

    2018-01-24

    Modeling can be used to characterize the effects of environmental drivers and biotic factors on the phenology of arthropod pests. From a biological control perspective, population dynamics models may provide insights as to when the most vulnerable pest life stages are available for natural enemies to attack. Analyses presented here used temperature and habitat dependent, instar-specific, discrete models to investigate the population dynamics of Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae). This pest is the target of a classical biological control program with the parasitoid Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae). The population trends of D. citri eggs, nymphs, and adults, citrus flush growth patterns, and T. radiata activity were monitored monthly on orange and lemon trees at 10 urban sites in southern California for a 2-yr period. Cumulative D. citri egg, nymph, and adult days recorded at each site, were regressed against accumulated degree-days (DDs) to model the population dynamics of each development stage in relation to temperature. Using a biofix point of 1 January, the model predicted that 10% and 90% of eggs were laid by 198 and 2,255 DD, respectively. Populations of small and large D. citri nymphs increased slowly with 90% of the population recorded by 2,389 and 2,436 DD, respectively. D. citri adults were present year round with 10 and 90% of the population recorded by 95 and 2,687 DD, respectively. The potential implications of using DD models for optimizing inoculative releases of natural enemies, such as T. radiata into citrus habitat infested with D. citri, are discussed. © The Author(s) 2018. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Entomological Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Effects of uncertain topographic input data on two-dimensional modeling of flow hydraulics, habitat suitability, and bed mobility

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legleiter, C. J.; McDonald, R.; Kyriakidis, P. C.; Nelson, J. M.

    2009-12-01

    spatial pattern of uncertainty in flow model predictions. Maps of ensemble means, standard deviations, and ranges indicated that the impact of topographic uncertainty on model outputs was strongly related to channel morphology, with the greatest variability in predicted velocities and stresses occurring over the point bar. To illustrate the potential effects of this type of uncertainty on various model applications, we used simulated topographic realizations to generate spatially explicit probability distributions of habitat suitability indices and mobile particle sizes. Our results implied that both types of analysis were highly sensitive to uncertain topographic input data. This study thus provided quantitative confirmation that accurate topographic information is an essential prerequisite to reliable flow modeling by highlighting the manner in which topographic uncertainty can propagate through a model to produce uncertain predictions of hydraulic attributes. Future work will use a similar approach to assess the extent to which biases in bed elevations inferred via remote sensing affect the flow model.

  18. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoko Untoro

    2017-09-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Deriving habitat models for northern long-eared bats from historical detection data: A case study using the Fernow Experimental Forest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W. Mark; Silvis, Alexander; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Kniowski, Andrew B.; Johnson, Joshua B.

    2016-01-01

    The listing of the northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) as federally threatened under the Endangered Species Act following severe population declines from white-nose syndrome presents considerable challenges to natural resource managers. Because the northern long-eared bat is a forest habitat generalist, development of effective conservation measures will depend on appropriate understanding of its habitat relationships at individual locations. However, severely reduced population sizes make gathering data for such models difficult. As a result, historical data may be essential in development of habitat models. To date, there has been little evaluation of how effective historical bat presence data, such as data derived from mist-net captures, acoustic detection, and day-roost locations, may be in developing habitat models, nor is it clear how models created using different data sources may differ. We explored this issue by creating presence probability models for the northern long-eared bat on the Fernow Experimental Forest in the central Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia using a historical, presence-only data set. Each presence data type produced outputs that were dissimilar but that still corresponded with known traits of the northern long-eared bat or are easily explained in the context of the particular data collection protocol. However, our results also highlight potential limitations of individual data types. For example, models from mist-net capture data only showed high probability of presence along the dendritic network of riparian areas, an obvious artifact of sampling methodology. Development of ecological niche and presence models for northern long-eared bat populations could be highly valuable for resource managers going forward with this species. We caution, however, that efforts to create such models should consider the substantial limitations of models derived from historical data, and address model assumptions.

  5. 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.

  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. 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.

  8. A Presence-Only Model of Suitable Roosting Habitat for the Endangered Indiana Bat in the Southern Appalachians.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammond, Kristina R; O'Keefe, Joy M; Aldrich, Stephen P; Loeb, Susan C

    2016-01-01

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

  9. Distribution and habitat specificity of potentially-toxic Microcystis across climate, land and water use gradients.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophi eMarmen

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Toxic cyanobacterial blooms are a growing threat to freshwater bodies worldwide. In order for a toxic bloom to occur, a population of cells with the genetic capacity to produce toxins must be present together with the appropriate environmental conditions. In this study, we investigated the distribution patterns and phylogeny of potentially-toxic Microcystis (indicated by the presence and/or phylogeny of the mcyD and mcyA genes. Samples were collected from the water column of almost sixty water bodies across widely differing gradients of environmental conditions and land use in Israel. Potentially toxic populations were common but not ubiquitous, detected in ~65% of the studied sites. Local environmental factors, including phosphorus and ammonia concentrations and pH, as well as regional conditions such as the distance from built areas and nature reserves, were correlated with the distribution of the mcyD gene. A specific phylogenetic clade of Microcystis, defined using the sequence of the mcyA gene, was preferentially associated with aquaculture facilities but not irrigation reservoirs. Our results reveal important environmental, geospatial, and land use parameters affecting the geographic distribution of toxinogenic Microcystis, suggesting non-random dispersal of these globally abundant toxic cyanobacteria.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  11. One parameter model potential for noble metals

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Idrees, M.; Khwaja, F.A.; Razmi, M.S.K.

    1981-08-01

    A phenomenological one parameter model potential which includes s-d hybridization and core-core exchange contributions is proposed for noble metals. A number of interesting properties like liquid metal resistivities, band gaps, thermoelectric powers and ion-ion interaction potentials are calculated for Cu, Ag and Au. The results obtained are in better agreement with experiment than the ones predicted by the other model potentials in the literature. (author)

  12. Standard Model Effective Potential from Trace Anomalies

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    Renata Jora

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available By analogy with the low energy QCD effective linear sigma model, we construct a standard model effective potential based entirely on the requirement that the tree level and quantum level trace anomalies must be satisfied. We discuss a particular realization of this potential in connection with the Higgs boson mass and Higgs boson effective couplings to two photons and two gluons. We find that this kind of potential may describe well the known phenomenology of the Higgs boson.

  13. Underground Habitats in the Río Tinto Basin: A Model for Subsurface Life Habitats on Mars

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Remolar, David C.; Prieto-Ballesteros, Olga; Rodríguez, Nuria; Gómez, Felipe; Amils, Ricardo; Gómez-Elvira, Javier; Stoker, Carol R.

    2008-10-01

    A search for evidence of cryptic life in the subsurface region of a fractured Paleozoic volcanosedimentary deposit near the source waters of the Río Tinto River (Iberian pyrite belt, southwest Spain) was carried out by Mars Astrobiology Research and Technology Experiment (MARTE) project investigators in 2003 and 2004. This conventional deep-drilling experiment is referred to as the MARTE ground truth drilling project. Boreholes were drilled at three sites, and samples from extracted cores were analyzed with light microscopy, scanning electron microscopy-energy dispersive spectroscopy (SEM-EDS), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. Core leachates were analyzed with ion chromatography, and borehole fluids were analyzed with ion and gas chromatography. Key variables of the groundwater system (e.g. , pO2, pH, and salinity) exhibit huge ranges probably due to surficial oxygenation of overall reducing waters, physical mixing of waters, and biologically mediated water-rock interactions. Mineral distribution is mainly driven by the pH of subsurface solutions, which range from highly acidic to neutral. Borehole fluids contain dissolved gases such as CO2, CH4, and H2. SEM-EDS analyses of core samples revealed evidence of microbes attacking pyrite. The Río Tinto alteration mechanisms may be similar to subsurface weathering of the martian crust and provide insights into the possible (bio)geochemical cycles that may have accompanied underground habitats in extensive early Mars volcanic regions and associated sulfide ores.

  14. Optimum land cover products for use in a Glossina-morsitans habitat model of Kenya

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    Messina Joseph P

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Tsetse flies are the primary vector for African trypanosomiasis, a disease that affects both humans and livestock across the continent of Africa. In 1973 tsetse flies were estimated to inhabit 22% of Kenya; by 1996 that number had risen to roughly 34%. Efforts to control the disease were hampered by a lack of information and costs associated with the identification of infested areas. Given changing spatial and demographic factors, a model that can predict suitable tsetse fly habitat based on land cover and climate change is critical to efforts aimed at controlling the disease. In this paper we present a generalizable method, using a modified Mapcurves goodness of fit test, to evaluate the existing publicly available land cover products to determine which products perform the best at identifying suitable tsetse fly land cover. Results For single date applications, Africover was determined to be the best land use land cover (LULC product for tsetse modeling. However, for changing habitats, whether climatically or anthropogenically forced, the IGBP DISCover and MODIS type 1 products where determined to be most practical. Conclusion The method can be used to differentiate between various LULC products and be applied to any such research when there is a known relationship between a species and land cover.

  15. A diffusion model of protected population on bilocal habitat with generalized resource

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vasilyev, Maxim D.; Trofimtsev, Yuri I.; Vasilyeva, Natalya V.

    2017-11-01

    A model of population distribution in a two-dimensional area divided by an ecological barrier, i.e. the boundaries of natural reserve, is considered. Distribution of the population is defined by diffusion, directed migrations and areal resource. The exchange of specimens occurs between two parts of the habitat. The mathematical model is presented in the form of a boundary value problem for a system of non-linear parabolic equations with variable parameters of diffusion and growth function. The splitting space variables, sweep method and simple iteration methods were used for the numerical solution of a system. A set of programs was coded in Python. Numerical simulation results for the two-dimensional unsteady non-linear problem are analyzed in detail. The influence of migration flow coefficients and functions of natural birth/death ratio on the distributions of population densities is investigated. The results of the research would allow to describe the conditions of the stable and sustainable existence of populations in bilocal habitat containing the protected and non-protected zones.

  16. 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.  

  17. 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.

  18. Downscaling Pest Risk Analyses: Identifying Current and Future Potentially Suitable Habitats for Parthenium hysterophorus with Particular Reference to Europe and North Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriticos, Darren J.; Brunel, Sarah; Ota, Noboru; Fried, Guillaume; Oude Lansink, Alfons G. J. M.; Panetta, F. Dane; Prasad, T. V. Ramachandra; Shabbir, Asad; Yaacoby, Tuvia

    2015-01-01

    Pest Risk Assessments (PRAs) routinely employ climatic niche models to identify endangered areas. Typically, these models consider only climatic factors, ignoring the ‘Swiss Cheese’ nature of species ranges due to the interplay of climatic and habitat factors. As part of a PRA conducted for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, we developed a climatic niche model for Parthenium hysterophorus, explicitly including the effects of irrigation where it was known to be practiced. We then downscaled the climatic risk model using two different methods to identify the suitable habitat types: expert opinion (following the EPPO PRA guidelines) and inferred from the global spatial distribution. The PRA revealed a substantial risk to the EPPO region and Central and Western Africa, highlighting the desirability of avoiding an invasion by P. hysterophorus. We also consider the effects of climate change on the modelled risks. The climate change scenario indicated the risk of substantial further spread of P. hysterophorus in temperate northern hemisphere regions (North America, Europe and the northern Middle East), and also high elevation equatorial regions (Western Brazil, Central Africa, and South East Asia) if minimum temperatures increase substantially. Downscaling the climate model using habitat factors resulted in substantial (approximately 22–53%) reductions in the areas estimated to be endangered. Applying expert assessments as to suitable habitat classes resulted in the greatest reduction in the estimated endangered area, whereas inferring suitable habitats factors from distribution data identified more land use classes and a larger endangered area. Despite some scaling issues with using a globally conformal Land Use Systems dataset, the inferential downscaling method shows promise as a routine addition to the PRA toolkit, as either a direct model component, or simply as a means of better informing an expert assessment of the suitable habitat

  19. Downscaling Pest Risk Analyses: Identifying Current and Future Potentially Suitable Habitats for Parthenium hysterophorus with Particular Reference to Europe and North Africa.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Darren J Kriticos

    Full Text Available Pest Risk Assessments (PRAs routinely employ climatic niche models to identify endangered areas. Typically, these models consider only climatic factors, ignoring the 'Swiss Cheese' nature of species ranges due to the interplay of climatic and habitat factors. As part of a PRA conducted for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, we developed a climatic niche model for Parthenium hysterophorus, explicitly including the effects of irrigation where it was known to be practiced. We then downscaled the climatic risk model using two different methods to identify the suitable habitat types: expert opinion (following the EPPO PRA guidelines and inferred from the global spatial distribution. The PRA revealed a substantial risk to the EPPO region and Central and Western Africa, highlighting the desirability of avoiding an invasion by P. hysterophorus. We also consider the effects of climate change on the modelled risks. The climate change scenario indicated the risk of substantial further spread of P. hysterophorus in temperate northern hemisphere regions (North America, Europe and the northern Middle East, and also high elevation equatorial regions (Western Brazil, Central Africa, and South East Asia if minimum temperatures increase substantially. Downscaling the climate model using habitat factors resulted in substantial (approximately 22-53% reductions in the areas estimated to be endangered. Applying expert assessments as to suitable habitat classes resulted in the greatest reduction in the estimated endangered area, whereas inferring suitable habitats factors from distribution data identified more land use classes and a larger endangered area. Despite some scaling issues with using a globally conformal Land Use Systems dataset, the inferential downscaling method shows promise as a routine addition to the PRA toolkit, as either a direct model component, or simply as a means of better informing an expert assessment of the suitable

  20. Downscaling Pest Risk Analyses: Identifying Current and Future Potentially Suitable Habitats for Parthenium hysterophorus with Particular Reference to Europe and North Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kriticos, Darren J; Brunel, Sarah; Ota, Noboru; Fried, Guillaume; Oude Lansink, Alfons G J M; Panetta, F Dane; Prasad, T V Ramachandra; Shabbir, Asad; Yaacoby, Tuvia

    2015-01-01

    Pest Risk Assessments (PRAs) routinely employ climatic niche models to identify endangered areas. Typically, these models consider only climatic factors, ignoring the 'Swiss Cheese' nature of species ranges due to the interplay of climatic and habitat factors. As part of a PRA conducted for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization, we developed a climatic niche model for Parthenium hysterophorus, explicitly including the effects of irrigation where it was known to be practiced. We then downscaled the climatic risk model using two different methods to identify the suitable habitat types: expert opinion (following the EPPO PRA guidelines) and inferred from the global spatial distribution. The PRA revealed a substantial risk to the EPPO region and Central and Western Africa, highlighting the desirability of avoiding an invasion by P. hysterophorus. We also consider the effects of climate change on the modelled risks. The climate change scenario indicated the risk of substantial further spread of P. hysterophorus in temperate northern hemisphere regions (North America, Europe and the northern Middle East), and also high elevation equatorial regions (Western Brazil, Central Africa, and South East Asia) if minimum temperatures increase substantially. Downscaling the climate model using habitat factors resulted in substantial (approximately 22-53%) reductions in the areas estimated to be endangered. Applying expert assessments as to suitable habitat classes resulted in the greatest reduction in the estimated endangered area, whereas inferring suitable habitats factors from distribution data identified more land use classes and a larger endangered area. Despite some scaling issues with using a globally conformal Land Use Systems dataset, the inferential downscaling method shows promise as a routine addition to the PRA toolkit, as either a direct model component, or simply as a means of better informing an expert assessment of the suitable habitat types.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Engineering sustainable ecosystems: using GIS-based habitat modeling for oil sands mine reclamation and closure planning

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Seel, K.

    1997-01-01

    A GIS model was built to predict the climax vegetation habitat types on reclaimed mine surfaces in the Fort McMurray region of the Mid-Boreal Mixedwood Ecoregion of northwestern Alberta. Regional vegetation habitat types were classified by digital remote sensing using Landsat Thematic Mapper satellite data. Terrain data was derived from a high-resolution digital elevation model. The validated model was applied to the GIS database of Syncrude Canada's Mildred Lake Mine to predict future vegetation patterns based on the final closure mine surface. The results were compared to revegetation and closure plans created by experts to analyze performance and sustainability of reclamation efforts

  4. 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.

  5. Fluorocarbon and PTFE thermodegradation and contamination modeling in a space habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Gerald J.; Todd, Paul W.; Barkley, Robert M.; McKinnon, J. Thomas

    The products of thermodegradation of fluorocarbon polymers (found in electrical insulation) will be toxic to space habitat crews, and the monitoring and detection of such contaminants are important to space environmental health. Experiments are therefore being performed on the thermodegradation of a liquid perfluorokane mixture similar in structure to polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE - Teflon), in atmospheres of varying oxygen concentration. PTFE is a common material used on space vehicles for insulation of wires. When PTFE is thermally degraded, such as from the overheating of a wire and subsequent smoldering of the insulation, it may produce toxic compounds ranging from carbonyl fluoride and hydrogen fluoride through perfluorinated aromatic compounds to ultrafine particles. The liquid perffluoroalkane (PFA) mixture is vaporized in the presence of helium, which is used as a carrier gas in this experiment and is acting in place of nitrogen as the non-reactive portion of the atmosphere. The helium and perfluoroalkane vapor can then be mixed with oxygen to yield atmospheres of known concentrations. The mixture is fed into a tube reactor furnace where it is thermally degraded. The resulting thermodegradation products are analyzed by combined gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS) for composition. This analysis allows the characterization of the reaction products for simulation models and monitoring and detection systems in space habitats.

  6. 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

  7. Loss and Recovery Potential of Marine Habitats: An Experimental Study of Factors Maintaining Resilience in Subtidal Algal Forests at the Adriatic Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perkol-Finkel, Shimrit; Airoldi, Laura

    2010-01-01

    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 could be mitigated with

  8. A parabolic model for dimple potentials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aydin, Melike Cibik; Uncu, Haydar; Deniz, Coskun

    2013-01-01

    We study the truncated parabolic function and demonstrate that it is a representation of the Dirac δ function. We also show that the truncated parabolic function, used as a potential in the Schrödinger equation, has the same bound state spectrum, tunneling and reflection amplitudes as the Dirac δ potential, as the width of the parabola approximates to zero. Dirac δ potential is used to model dimple potentials which are utilized to increase the phase-space density of a Bose–Einstein condensate in a harmonic trap. We show that a harmonic trap with a δ function at the origin is a limiting case of the harmonic trap with a symmetric truncated parabolic potential around the origin. Hence, the truncated parabolic is a better candidate for modeling the dimple potentials. (paper)

  9. 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.

  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. ESTIMATING THE DISTRIBUTION OF HARVESTED ESTUARINE BIVALVES WITH HABITAT SUITABILITY MODELS AND UNDERSTANDING THE IMPLICATIONS UNDER A CHANGING CLIMATE

    Science.gov (United States)

    Habitat suitability models are useful to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. In the case of harvested bivalves, those models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to stressors. Usin...

  12. Development of landscape-level habitat suitability models for ten wildlife species in the central hardwoods region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; William D. Dijak; Frank R. III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh

    2007-01-01

    Reports landscape-level habitat suitability models for 10 species in the Central Hardwoods Region of the Midwestern United States: American woodcock, cerulean warbler, Henslow's sparrow, Indiana bat, northern bobwhite, ruffed grouse, timber rattlesnake, wood thrush, worm-eating warbler, and yellow-breasted chat. All models included spatially explicit variables and...

  13. Unjamming in models with analytic pairwise potentials

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kooij, S.; Lerner, E.

    Canonical models for studying the unjamming scenario in systems of soft repulsive particles assume pairwise potentials with a sharp cutoff in the interaction range. The sharp cutoff renders the potential nonanalytic but makes it possible to describe many properties of the solid in terms of the

  14. Blue and Fin Whale Habitat Modeling from Long-Term Year-Round Passive Acoustic Data from the Southern California Bight

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-09-30

    1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. Blue and Fin Whale Habitat Modeling from Long-Term Year...predictive, year-round habitat models of the presence of calling blue and fin whales in the Southern California Bight (SCB), to facilitate Navy’s...operational needs in this area. OBJECTIVES The primary objective of this research was to develop predictive, year-round habitat models of the presence

  15. Evidence of niche shift and invasion potential of Lithobates catesbeianus in the habitat of Mexican endemic frogs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra López, Jorge Luis; Esparza Estrada, Citlalli Edith; Romero Méndez, Ulises; Sigala Rodríguez, José Jesús; Mayer Goyenechea, Irene Goyenechea; Castillo Cerón, Jesús Martín

    2017-01-01

    Invasive alien species are one of most severe threats to biodiversity and natural resources. These biological invasions have been studied from the niche conservatism and niche shifts perspective. Niche differentiation may result from changes in fundamental niche or realized niche or both; in biological invasions, niche differences between native and non-native ranges can appear through niche expansion, niche unfilling and niche stability. The American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus is an invasive species that can have negative impacts on native amphibian populations. This research examines the climate niche shifts of this frog, its potential range of expansion in Mexico and the risk of invasion by bullfrog in the habitats of 82 frog species endemic to Mexico, that based on their climatic niche similarity were divided in four ecological groups. The results indicate that species in two ecological groups were the most vulnerable to invasion by bullfrog. However, the climate niche shifts of L. catesbeianus may allow it to adapt to new environmental conditions, so species from the two remaining groups cannot be dismissed as not vulnerable. This information is valuable for decision making in prioritizing areas for conservation of Mexican endemic frogs.

  16. Evidence of niche shift and invasion potential of Lithobates catesbeianus in the habitat of Mexican endemic frogs.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra López

    Full Text Available Invasive alien species are one of most severe threats to biodiversity and natural resources. These biological invasions have been studied from the niche conservatism and niche shifts perspective. Niche differentiation may result from changes in fundamental niche or realized niche or both; in biological invasions, niche differences between native and non-native ranges can appear through niche expansion, niche unfilling and niche stability. The American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus is an invasive species that can have negative impacts on native amphibian populations. This research examines the climate niche shifts of this frog, its potential range of expansion in Mexico and the risk of invasion by bullfrog in the habitats of 82 frog species endemic to Mexico, that based on their climatic niche similarity were divided in four ecological groups. The results indicate that species in two ecological groups were the most vulnerable to invasion by bullfrog. However, the climate niche shifts of L. catesbeianus may allow it to adapt to new environmental conditions, so species from the two remaining groups cannot be dismissed as not vulnerable. This information is valuable for decision making in prioritizing areas for conservation of Mexican endemic frogs.

  17. 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; Hill, Charles; Nutt, Steven; Atwell, William

    2010-01-01

    NASA is studying the effects of long-term space radiation on potential multifunctional composite materials for habitats to better determine their characteristics in the harsh space environment. Two composite materials were selected for the study and were placed in a test stand that simulated the stresses of a pressure vessel wall on the material. The samples in the test stand were exposed to radiation at either a fast dose rate or a slow dose rate, and their strain and temperature was recorded during the exposure. It was found that during a fast dose rate exposure the materials saw a decreased strain with time, or a shrinking of the materials. Given previous radiation studies of polymers, this is believed to be a result of crosslinking occurring in the matrix material. However, with a slow dose rate, the materials saw an increase in strain with time, or a stretching of the materials. This result is consistent with scission or degradation of the matrix occurring, possibly due to oxidative degradation.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silveira, T C L; Gama, A M S; Alves, T P; Fontoura, N F

    2016-04-19

    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.

  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. Model evaluation of the function of prey in non-crop habitats for biological control by ladybeetles in agricultural landscapes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bianchi, F.J.J.A.; Werf, van der W.

    2004-01-01

    The availability of alternative prey is considered to be an important factor for the conservation of predators in agro-ecosystems. However, only a limited number of studies have investigated the effect of prey availability in non-crop habitats on predator impact. We studied the potential of the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-02-17

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

  5. Matrix models with non-even potentials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marzban, C.; Raju Viswanathan, R.

    1990-07-01

    We study examples of hermitian 1-matrix models with even and odd terms present in the potential. A definition of criticality is presented which in these cases leads to multicritical models falling into the same universality classes as those of the purely even potentials. We also show that, in our examples, for polynomial potentials ending in odd powers (unbounded) the coupling constants, in addition to their expected real critical values, also admit critical values which alternate between imaginary/real values in the odd/even terms. We find that, remarkably, the ensuing statistical models are insensitive to the real/imaginary nature of these critical values. This feature may be of relevance in the recently-studied connection between matrix models and the moduli space of Riemann surfaces. (author). 9 refs

  6. 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 model results also suggest that red lionfish could continue to invade southern latitudes in the western Atlantic Ocean and may establish localized populations in the eastern Pacific Ocean. We reiterate the importance in the choice of the training data source (native, non-native, or native/non-native) used to develop correlative species distribution models for invasive species.

  7. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson's and Peale's Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dellabianca, Natalia A; Pierce, Graham J; Raya Rey, Andrea; Scioscia, Gabriela; Miller, David L; Torres, Mónica A; Paso Viola, M Natalia; Goodall, R Natalie P; Schiavini, Adrián C M

    2016-01-01

    Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii) and Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis) are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals) of Commerson's dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals) of Peale's dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson's dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale's dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson's dolphins and 20,000 Peale's dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale's dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson's dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures.

  8. Spatial Models of Abundance and Habitat Preferences of Commerson's and Peale's Dolphin in Southern Patagonian Waters.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natalia A Dellabianca

    Full Text Available Commerson's dolphins (Cephalorhynchus c. commersonii and Peale's dolphins (Lagenorhynchus australis are two of the most common species of cetaceans in the coastal waters of southwest South Atlantic Ocean. Both species are listed as Data Deficient by the IUCN, mainly due to the lack of information about population sizes and trends. The goal of this study was to build spatially explicit models for the abundance of both species in relation to environmental variables using data collected during eight scientific cruises along the Patagonian shelf. Spatial models were constructed using generalized additive models. In total, 88 schools (212 individuals of Commerson's dolphin and 134 schools (465 individuals of Peale's dolphin were recorded in 8,535 km surveyed. Commerson's dolphin was found less than 60 km from shore; whereas Peale's dolphins occurred over a wider range of distances from the coast, the number of animals sighted usually being larger near or far from the coast. Fitted models indicate overall abundances of approximately 22,000 Commerson's dolphins and 20,000 Peale's dolphins in the total area studied. This work provides the first large-scale abundance estimate for Peale's dolphin in the Atlantic Ocean and an update of population size for Commerson's dolphin. Additionally, our results contribute to baseline data on suitable habitat conditions for both species in southern Patagonia, which is essential for the implementation of adequate conservation measures.

  9. Pataha Creek Model Watershed : January 2000-December 2002 Habitat Conservation Projects.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bartels, Duane G.

    2003-04-01

    The projects outlined in detail on the attached project reports were implemented from calendar year 2000 through 2002 in the Pataha Creek Watershed. The Pataha Creek Watershed was selected in 1993, along with the Tucannon and Asotin Creeks, as model watersheds by NPPC. In previous years, demonstration sites using riparian fencing, off site watering facilities, tree and shrub plantings and upland conservation practices were used for information and education and were the main focus of the implementation phase of the watershed plan. These practices were the main focus of the watershed plan to reduce the majority of the sediment entering the stream. Prior to 2000, several bank stabilization projects were installed but the installation costs became prohibitive and these types of projects were reduced in numbers over the following years. The years 2000 through 2002 were years where a focused effort was made to work on the upland conservation practices to reduce the sedimentation into Pataha Creek. Over 95% of the sediment entering the stream can be tied directly to the upland and riparian areas of the watershed. The Pataha Creek has steelhead in the upper reaches and native and planted rainbow trout in the mid to upper portion. Suckers, pikeminow and shiners inhabit the lower portion because of the higher water temperatures and lack of vegetation. The improvement of riparian habitat will improve habitat for the desired fish species. The lower portion of the Pataha Creek could eventually develop into spawning and rearing habitat for chinook salmon if some migration barriers are removed and habitat is restored. The upland projects completed during 2000 through 2002 were practices that reduce erosion from the cropland. Three-year continuous no-till projects were finishing up and the monitoring of this particular practice is ongoing. Its direct impact on soil erosion along with the economical aspects is being studied. Other practices such as terrace, waterway, sediment

  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. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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 insect-based index of biological integrity for

  14. Modelling the effect of intersections in linear habitat on spatial distribution and local population density

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Langevelde, van F.; Grashof-Bokdam, C.J.

    2011-01-01

    Many species in human-dominated landscapes find their habitat in linear elements, such as road verges, hedgerows and ditches. Local concentrations of species have been observed in the intersections of linear elements, but their spatial distribution and local population density in this linear habitat

  15. 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

  16. 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...

  17. Modelling the effect of habitat fragmentation on climate-driven migration of European forest understorey plants

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dullinger, S.; Dendoncker, N.; Gattringer, Andreas; Leitner, M.; Mang, Thomas; Moser, Dietmar; Mücher, C.A.; Plutzar, Christoph; Rounsevell, Mark; Willner, Wolfgang; Zimmerman, N.E.; Hülber, Karl

    2015-01-01

    Aim
    The rate of climate change might exceed the migration capacity of plants, particularly where habitats became fragmented by human land use. Except for some tree species, the extent to which habitat fragmentation decreases migration rates has nevertheless been little evaluated. Here, we

  18. One-dimensional and two-dimensional hydrodynamic modelling derived flow properties: Impacts on aquatic habitat quality predictions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohan Benjankar; Daniele Tonina; James McKean

    2014-01-01

    Studies of the effects of hydrodynamic model dimensionality on simulated flow properties and derived quantities such as aquatic habitat quality are limited. It is important to close this knowledge gap especially now that entire river networks can be mapped at the microhabitat scale due to the advent of point-cloud techniques. This study compares flow properties, such...

  19. Developing and testing a landscape habitat suitability model for the American marten (Martes americana) in the Cascades mountains of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas A. Kirk; William J. Zielinski

    2009-01-01

    We used field surveys and Geographic Information System data to identify landscape-scale habitat associations of American martens (Martes americana) and to develop a model to predict their occurrence in northeastern California. Systematic surveys using primarily enclosed track plates, with 10-km spacing, were conducted across a 27,700 km

  20. 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...

  1. Quantifying restoration effectiveness using multi-scale habitat models: Implications for sage-grouse in the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert S. Arkle; David S. Pilliod; Steven E. Hanser; Matthew L. Brooks; Jeanne C. Chambers; James B. Grace; Kevin C. Knutson; David A. Pyke; Justin L. Welty; Troy A. Wirth

    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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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. PMID:27293680

  7. Riverine habitat dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacobson, R.B.

    2013-01-01

    The physical habitat template is a fundamental influence on riverine ecosystem structure and function. Habitat dynamics refers to the variation in habitat through space and time as the result of varying discharge and varying geomorphology. Habitat dynamics can be assessed at spatial scales ranging from the grain (the smallest resolution at which an organism relates to its environment) to the extent (the broadest resolution inclusive of all space occupied during its life cycle). In addition to a potentially broad range of spatial scales, assessments of habitat dynamics may include dynamics of both occupied and nonoccupied habitat patches because of process interactions among patches. Temporal aspects of riverine habitat dynamics can be categorized into hydrodynamics and morphodynamics. Hydrodynamics refers to habitat variation that results from changes in discharge in the absence of significant change of channel morphology and at generally low sediment-transport rates. Hydrodynamic assessments are useful in cases of relatively high flow exceedance (percent of time a flow is equaled or exceeded) or high critical shear stress, conditions that are applicable in many studies of instream flows. Morphodynamics refers to habitat variation resulting from changes to substrate conditions or channel/floodplain morphology. Morphodynamic assessments are necessary when channel and floodplain boundary conditions have been significantly changed, generally by relatively rare flood events or in rivers with low critical shear stress. Morphodynamic habitat variation can be particularly important as disturbance mechanisms that mediate population growth or for providing conditions needed for reproduction, such as channel-migration events that erode cutbanks and provide new pointbar surfaces for germination of riparian trees. Understanding of habitat dynamics is increasing in importance as societal goals shift toward restoration of riverine ecosystems. Effective investment in restoration

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Application of Bayesian methods to habitat selection modeling of the northern spotted owl in California: new statistical methods for wildlife research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard B. Stauffer; Cynthia J. Zabel; Jeffrey R. Dunk

    2005-01-01

    We compared a set of competing logistic regression habitat selection models for Northern Spotted Owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) in California. The habitat selection models were estimated, compared, evaluated, and tested using multiple sample datasets collected on federal forestlands in northern California. We used Bayesian methods in interpreting...

  12. Remote sensing and spatial statistical techniques for modelling Ommatissus lybicus (Hemiptera: Tropiduchidae habitat and population densities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Khalifa M. Al-Kindi

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available 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.

  13. SHORT COMMUNICATIONA Cubic Power Potential Model for ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    SHORT COMMUNICATIONA Cubic Power Potential Model for Baryonium. L. K. Sharma. Full Text: EMAIL FULL TEXT EMAIL FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT · http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/dai.v11i1.15528 · AJOL African Journals Online. HOW TO USE AJOL... for Researchers · for Librarians · for ...

  14. Analytic models of plausible gravitational lens potentials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baltz, Edward A.; Marshall, Phil; Oguri, Masamune

    2009-01-01

    Gravitational lenses on galaxy scales are plausibly modelled as having ellipsoidal symmetry and a universal dark matter density profile, with a Sérsic profile to describe the distribution of baryonic matter. Predicting all lensing effects requires knowledge of the total lens potential: in this work we give analytic forms for that of the above hybrid model. Emphasising that complex lens potentials can be constructed from simpler components in linear combination, we provide a recipe for attaining elliptical symmetry in either projected mass or lens potential. We also provide analytic formulae for the lens potentials of Sérsic profiles for integer and half-integer index. We then present formulae describing the gravitational lensing effects due to smoothly-truncated universal density profiles in cold dark matter model. For our isolated haloes the density profile falls off as radius to the minus fifth or seventh power beyond the tidal radius, functional forms that allow all orders of lens potential derivatives to be calculated analytically, while ensuring a non-divergent total mass. We show how the observables predicted by this profile differ from that of the original infinite-mass NFW profile. Expressions for the gravitational flexion are highlighted. We show how decreasing the tidal radius allows stripped haloes to be modelled, providing a framework for a fuller investigation of dark matter substructure in galaxies and clusters. Finally we remark on the need for finite mass halo profiles when doing cosmological ray-tracing simulations, and the need for readily-calculable higher order derivatives of the lens potential when studying catastrophes in strong lenses

  15. A habitat overlap analysis derived from maxent for tamarisk and the south-western willow flycatcher

    Science.gov (United States)

    York, Patricia; Evangelista, Paul; Kumar, Sunil; Graham, James; Flather, Curtis; Stohlgren, Thomas

    2011-06-01

    Biologic control of the introduced and invasive, woody plant tamarisk ( Tamarix spp, saltcedar) in south-western states is controversial because it affects habitat of the federally endangered South-western Willow Flycatcher ( Empidonax traillii extimus). These songbirds sometimes nest in tamarisk where floodplain-level invasion replaces native habitats. Biologic control, with the saltcedar leaf beetle ( Diorhabda elongate), began along the Virgin River, Utah, in 2006, enhancing the need for comprehensive understanding of the tamarisk-flycatcher relationship. We used maximum entropy (Maxent) modeling to separately quantify the current extent of dense tamarisk habitat (>50% cover) and the potential extent of habitat available for E. traillii extimus within the studied watersheds. We used transformations of 2008 Landsat Thematic Mapper images and a digital elevation model as environmental input variables. Maxent models performed well for the flycatcher and tamarisk with Area Under the ROC Curve (AUC) values of 0.960 and 0.982, respectively. Classification of thresholds and comparison of the two Maxent outputs indicated moderate spatial overlap between predicted suitable habitat for E. traillii extimus and predicted locations with dense tamarisk stands, where flycatcher habitat will potentially change flycatcher habitats. Dense tamarisk habitat comprised 500 km2 within the study area, of which 11.4% was also modeled as potential habitat for E. traillii extimus. Potential habitat modeled for the flycatcher constituted 190 km2, of which 30.7% also contained dense tamarisk habitat. Results showed that both native vegetation and dense tamarisk habitats exist in the study area and that most tamarisk infestations do not contain characteristics that satisfy the habitat requirements of E. traillii extimus. Based on this study, effective biologic control of Tamarix spp. may, in the short term, reduce suitable habitat available to E. traillii extimus, but also has the potential

  16. Identifying habitat patches and potential ecological corridors for remnant Asiatic black bear (Ursus thibetanus japonicus) populations in Japan

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Doko, T.; Fukui, H.; Kooiman, A.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Ichinose, T.; Chen, W.; Skidmore, A.K.

    2011-01-01

    The Japanese National Biodiversity Strategy 2010 calls for the creation of ecological networks as a biodiversity conservation policy. However, there is an obvious lack of information on the spatial distribution of many species and a lack of scientific methods for examining habitat requirements to

  17. 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

    /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...

  18. Riparian and aquatic habitats of the Pacific Northwest and southeast Alaska: ecology, management history, and potential management strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fred H. Everest; Gordon H. Reeves

    2007-01-01

    Management of riparian habitats is controversial because land use policies have historically emphasized economic values (e.g., timber production) at the expense of ecological and social values. Attempting to manage these valuable resources to attain the greatest combination of benefits has created a long-term controversy that continues to the present. Our analysis...

  19. 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

  20. Modeling avian exposures to perfluoroalkyl substances in aquatic habitats impacted by historical aqueous film forming foam releases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larson, Emily S; Conder, Jason M; Arblaster, Jennifer A

    2018-06-01

    Releases of Perfluoroalkyl and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFASs) associated with Aqueous Film Forming Foams (AFFFs) have the potential to impact on-site and downgradient aquatic habitats. Dietary exposures of aquatic-dependent birds were modeled for seven PFASs (PFHxA, PFOA, PFNA, PFDA, PFHxS, PFOS, and PFDS) using five different scenarios based on measurements of PFASs obtained from five investigations of sites historically-impacted by AFFF. Exposure modeling was conducted for four avian receptors representing various avian feeding guilds: lesser scaup (Aythya affinis), spotted sandpiper (Actitis macularia), great blue heron (Ardea herodias), and osprey (Pandion haliaetus). For the receptor predicted to receive the highest PFAS exposure (spotted sandpiper), model-predicted exposure to PFOS exceeded a laboratory-based, No Observed Adverse Effect Level exposure benchmark in three of the five model scenarios, confirming that risks to aquatic-dependent avian wildlife should be considered for investigations of historic AFFF releases. Perfluoroalkyl sulfonic acids (PFHxS, PFOS, and PFDS) represented 94% (on average) of total PFAS exposures due to their prevalence in historical AFFF formulations, and increased bioaccumulation in aquatic prey items and partitioning to aquatic sediment relative to perfluoroalkyl carboxylic acids. Sediment-associated PFASs (rather than water-associated PFASs) were the source of the highest predicted PFAS exposures, and are likely to be very important for understanding and managing AFFF site-specific ecological risks. Additional considerations for research needs and site-specific ecological risk assessments are discussed with the goal of optimizing ecological risk-based decision making at AFFF sites and prioritizing research needs. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  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; 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.

  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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  3. High-Resolution Habitat Suitability Models for the Conservation and Management of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems on the Louisville Seamount Chain, South Pacific Ocean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashley A. Rowden

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs are ecosystems at risk from the effects of fishing or other kinds of disturbance, as determined by the vulnerability of their components (e.g., habitats, communities, or species. Habitat suitability modeling is being used increasingly to predict distribution patterns of VME indicator taxa in the deep sea, where data are particularly sparse, and the models are considered useful for marine ecosystem management. The Louisville Seamount Chain is located within the South Pacific Regional Fishery Management Organization (SPRFMO Convention Area, and some seamounts are the subject of bottom trawling for orange roughy by the New Zealand fishery. The aim of the present study was to produce high-resolution habitat suitability maps for VME indicator taxa and VME habitat on these seamounts, in order to evaluate the feasibility of designing within-seamount spatial closures to protect VMEs. We used a multi-model habitat suitability mapping approach, based on bathymetric and backscatter data collected by multibeam echo sounder survey, and data collected by towed underwater camera for the stony coral and habitat-forming VME indicator species Solenosmilia variabilis, as well as two taxa indicative of stony coral habitat (Brisingida, Crinoidea. Model performance varied among the different model types used (Boosted Regression Tree, Random Forest, Generalized Additive Models, but abundance-based models consistently out-performed models based on presence-absence data. Uncertainty for ensemble models (combination of all models was lower overall compared to the other models. Maps resulting from our models showed that suitable habitat for S. variabilis is distributed around the summit-slope break of seamounts, and along ridges that extend down the seamount flanks. Only the flat, soft sediment summits are predicted to be unsuitable habitat for this stony coral species. We translated a definition for stony coral-reef habitat into a S

  4. Four-quark states in potential model

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Badalyan, A.M.; Kitoroage, D.I.

    1987-01-01

    The mass spectrum of S-wave q 2 q -2 mesons of u, d, s quarks is calculated in the framework of the nonrelativistic potential model and compared with the bag model predictions. The spin-spin splittings of almost all four-quark mesons with J PC = 0 ++ , 2 ++ , 1 +- are shown to coincide with an accuracy of ∼ 50 MeV in both approaches. Two exceptions are O S (9), C π S (9) mesons for which the discrepancy is ∼ 300 MeV. Calculated centers of gravity of the multiplets are systematically ∼ 120 MeV higher than the MIT bag predictions

  5. Fragmentation of nest and foraging habitat affects time budgets of solitary bees, their fitness and pollination services, depending on traits: Results from an individual-based model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everaars, Jeroen; Settele, Josef; Dormann, Carsten F

    2018-01-01

    Solitary bees are important but declining wild pollinators. During daily foraging in agricultural landscapes, they encounter a mosaic of patches with nest and foraging habitat and unsuitable matrix. It is insufficiently clear how spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources and foraging traits of bees affect their daily foraging performance. We investigated potential brood cell construction (as proxy of fitness), number of visited flowers, foraging habitat visitation and foraging distance (pollination proxies) with the model SOLBEE (simulating pollen transport by solitary bees, tested and validated in an earlier study), for landscapes varying in landscape fragmentation and spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources. Simulated bees varied in body size and nesting preference. We aimed to understand effects of landscape fragmentation and bee traits on bee fitness and the pollination services bees provide, as well as interactions between them, and the general consequences it has to our understanding of the system. This broad scope gives multiple key results. 1) Body size determines fitness more than landscape fragmentation, with large bees building fewer brood cells. High pollen requirements for large bees and the related high time budgets for visiting many flowers may not compensate for faster flight speeds and short handling times on flowers, giving them overall a disadvantage compared to small bees. 2) Nest preference does affect distribution of bees over the landscape, with cavity-nesting bees being restricted to nesting along field edges, which inevitably leads to performance reductions. Fragmentation mitigates this for cavity-nesting bees through increased edge habitat. 3) Landscape fragmentation alone had a relatively small effect on all responses. Instead, the local ratio of nest to foraging habitat affected bee fitness positively through reduced local competition. The spatial coverage of pollination increases steeply in response to this ratio

  6. Fragmentation of nest and foraging habitat affects time budgets of solitary bees, their fitness and pollination services, depending on traits: Results from an individual-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Settele, Josef; Dormann, Carsten F.

    2018-01-01

    Solitary bees are important but declining wild pollinators. During daily foraging in agricultural landscapes, they encounter a mosaic of patches with nest and foraging habitat and unsuitable matrix. It is insufficiently clear how spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources and foraging traits of bees affect their daily foraging performance. We investigated potential brood cell construction (as proxy of fitness), number of visited flowers, foraging habitat visitation and foraging distance (pollination proxies) with the model SOLBEE (simulating pollen transport by solitary bees, tested and validated in an earlier study), for landscapes varying in landscape fragmentation and spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources. Simulated bees varied in body size and nesting preference. We aimed to understand effects of landscape fragmentation and bee traits on bee fitness and the pollination services bees provide, as well as interactions between them, and the general consequences it has to our understanding of the system. This broad scope gives multiple key results. 1) Body size determines fitness more than landscape fragmentation, with large bees building fewer brood cells. High pollen requirements for large bees and the related high time budgets for visiting many flowers may not compensate for faster flight speeds and short handling times on flowers, giving them overall a disadvantage compared to small bees. 2) Nest preference does affect distribution of bees over the landscape, with cavity-nesting bees being restricted to nesting along field edges, which inevitably leads to performance reductions. Fragmentation mitigates this for cavity-nesting bees through increased edge habitat. 3) Landscape fragmentation alone had a relatively small effect on all responses. Instead, the local ratio of nest to foraging habitat affected bee fitness positively through reduced local competition. The spatial coverage of pollination increases steeply in response to this ratio

  7. Fragmentation of nest and foraging habitat affects time budgets of solitary bees, their fitness and pollination services, depending on traits: Results from an individual-based model.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeroen Everaars

    Full Text Available Solitary bees are important but declining wild pollinators. During daily foraging in agricultural landscapes, they encounter a mosaic of patches with nest and foraging habitat and unsuitable matrix. It is insufficiently clear how spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources and foraging traits of bees affect their daily foraging performance. We investigated potential brood cell construction (as proxy of fitness, number of visited flowers, foraging habitat visitation and foraging distance (pollination proxies with the model SOLBEE (simulating pollen transport by solitary bees, tested and validated in an earlier study, for landscapes varying in landscape fragmentation and spatial allocation of nesting and foraging resources. Simulated bees varied in body size and nesting preference. We aimed to understand effects of landscape fragmentation and bee traits on bee fitness and the pollination services bees provide, as well as interactions between them, and the general consequences it has to our understanding of the system. This broad scope gives multiple key results. 1 Body size determines fitness more than landscape fragmentation, with large bees building fewer brood cells. High pollen requirements for large bees and the related high time budgets for visiting many flowers may not compensate for faster flight speeds and short handling times on flowers, giving them overall a disadvantage compared to small bees. 2 Nest preference does affect distribution of bees over the landscape, with cavity-nesting bees being restricted to nesting along field edges, which inevitably leads to performance reductions. Fragmentation mitigates this for cavity-nesting bees through increased edge habitat. 3 Landscape fragmentation alone had a relatively small effect on all responses. Instead, the local ratio of nest to foraging habitat affected bee fitness positively through reduced local competition. The spatial coverage of pollination increases steeply in response

  8. 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.

  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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Gonzáles-Andrés

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

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. Potential interactions among disease, pesticides, water quality and adjacent land cover in amphibian habitats in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglin, William A.; Smalling, Kelly L.; Anderson, Chauncey; Calhoun, Daniel L.; Chestnut, Tara E.; Muths, Erin L.

    2016-01-01

    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

  14. The Highs and Lows of Making a Bucket List—Quantifying Potential Mosquito Breeding Habitats in Metropolitan Backyards

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ram Sharan Lamichhane

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available While the development of land for residential housing along the Swan and Canning Rivers in Perth, WA, Australia has reduced natural mosquito breeding sites, the role of backyard container breeding remains a relatively unknown factor. Local Governments responsible for these areas focus management and control efforts on low lying, tidally driven mosquito habitats to control Aedes vigilax (Skuse and Aedes camptorhynchus (Thomson mosquitoes in an effort to reduce both the nuisance and disease risk to residents. In spite of their efforts, Local Governments continue to receive complaints regarding mosquito nuisance, even when environmental conditions do not favor hatching and development of the two species in the Swan River tidal flats. In this study, 150 backyard inspections were conducted in the residential suburb of Bassendean, Perth, WA, Australia, situated in close proximity to the Swan River tidal plain. The occurrence and species composition of the mosquito fauna found in residential backyards was documented. Of the backyards inspected, 94% were found to possess containers capable of breeding mosquitoes, although only 3% contained mosquito larvae. Nine species of mosquito were collected from containers ranging in capacity from 0.05 to 50 L across the study area. Additionally, encephalitis virus surveillance trapping was conducted within residential properties and compared to the tidally driven natural habitat at Ashfield Flats and a tidally influenced brackish creekline at Bindaring Park. The species composition of the fauna at the three habitat types differed significantly, with Aedes notoscriptus (Skuse dominating residential lots and A. vigilax more prevalent at the saltmarsh site. Bindaring Park had an adult composition at the mid-point of these two habitats, reflecting its proximity to both the Swan River and residential lots.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Comparing the performance of flat and hierarchical Habitat/Land-Cover classification models in a NATURA 2000 site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavish, Yoni; O'Connell, Jerome; Marsh, Charles J.; Tarantino, Cristina; Blonda, Palma; Tomaselli, Valeria; Kunin, William E.

    2018-02-01

    The increasing need for high quality Habitat/Land-Cover (H/LC) maps has triggered considerable research into novel machine-learning based classification models. In many cases, H/LC classes follow pre-defined hierarchical classification schemes (e.g., CORINE), in which fine H/LC categories are thematically nested within more general categories. However, none of the existing machine-learning algorithms account for this pre-defined hierarchical structure. Here we introduce a novel Random Forest (RF) based application of hierarchical classification, which fits a separate local classification model in every branching point of the thematic tree, and then integrates all the different local models to a single global prediction. We applied the hierarchal RF approach in a NATURA 2000 site in Italy, using two land-cover (CORINE, FAO-LCCS) and one habitat classification scheme (EUNIS) that differ from one another in the shape of the class hierarchy. For all 3 classification schemes, both the hierarchical model and a flat model alternative provided accurate predictions, with kappa values mostly above 0.9 (despite using only 2.2-3.2% of the study area as training cells). The flat approach slightly outperformed the hierarchical models when the hierarchy was relatively simple, while the hierarchical model worked better under more complex thematic hierarchies. Most misclassifications came from habitat pairs that are thematically distant yet spectrally similar. In 2 out of 3 classification schemes, the additional constraints of the hierarchical model resulted with fewer such serious misclassifications relative to the flat model. The hierarchical model also provided valuable information on variable importance which can shed light into "black-box" based machine learning algorithms like RF. We suggest various ways by which hierarchical classification models can increase the accuracy and interpretability of H/LC classification maps.

  18. 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.

  19. Habitats, activities, and signs

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Peter Bøgh; Brynskov, Martin

    2004-01-01

    Digital habitats is a framework for designing and modeling environments for activities that involve mobile and embedded computing systems. This paper 1) introduces the basic concepts of the framework, i.e. activity, thematic role, and the three ‘dimensions’ of a habitat: physical, informational...

  20. Modeling Investigation of Spring Chinook Salmon Habitat in San Joaquin River Restoration Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Ramires, J.

    2013-12-01

    -averaged mathematic model is developed to simulate and predict the hydrodynamic conditions (e.g., current velocity, water surface elevation, etc.) of different alternatives and incorporate the disengaged portion of the SJR. The 2-D model will facilitate to better investigate flow features which are essential to the SJRRP. Flow simulations will allow for the exploration of flow patterns and enable the users to compare each alternative. By simulating and predicting flow conditions of each alternative, this project may offer an insightful understanding of the hydrodynamic occurrence of river alterations and aid in analyzing the passage for Chinook salmon. Key words: modeling; habitat; restoration

  1. Bioenergetic model estimates of interannual and spatial patterns in consumption demand and growth potential of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) in the Gulf of Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moss, J.H.; Beauchamp, D.A.; Cross, A.D.; Farley, E.V.; Murphy, J.M.; Helle, J.H.; Walker, R.V.; Myers, K.W.

    2009-01-01

    A bioenergetic model of juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) was used to estimate daily prey consumption and growth potential of four ocean habitats in the Gulf of Alaska during 2001 and 2002. Growth potential was not significantly higher in 2002 than in 2001 at an alpha level of 0.05 (P=0.073). Average differences in growth potential across habitats were minimal (slope habitat=0.844 g d-1, shelf habitat=0.806 g d-1, offshore habitat=0.820 g d-1, and nearshore habitat=0.703 g d-1) and not significantly different (P=0.630). Consumption demand differed significantly between hatchery and wild stocks (P=0.035) when examined within year due to the interaction between hatchery verses wild origin and year. However, the overall effect of origin across years was not significant (P=0.705) due to similar total amounts of prey consumed by all juvenile pink salmon in both study years. We anticipated that years in which ocean survival was high would have had high growth potential, but this relationship did not prove to be true. Therefore, modeled growth potential may not be useful as a tool for forecasting survival of Prince William Sound hatchery pink salmon stocks. Significant differences in consumption demand and a two-fold difference in nearshore abundance during 2001 of hatchery and wild pink salmon confirmed the existence of strong and variable interannual competition and the importance of the nearshore region as being a potential competitive bottleneck.

  2. 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...

  3. Predictive modelling of habitat use by marine predators with respect to the abundance and depth distribution of pelagic prey

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L.; Punt, André E..; VanBlaricom, Glenn R.; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie

    2015-01-01

    Understanding the ecological processes that underpin species distribution patterns is a fundamental goal in spatial ecology. However, developing predictive models of habitat use is challenging for species that forage in marine environments, as both predators and prey are often highly mobile and difficult to monitor. Consequently, few studies have developed resource selection functions for marine predators based directly on the abundance and distribution of their prey.

  4. City of Austin: Green habitat learning project. A green builder model home project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-01

    The purpose of the Year 14 UCETF project was to design and construct a residential structure that could serve as a demonstration facility, training site, and testing and monitoring laboratory for issues related to the implementation of sustainable building practices and materials. The Model Home Project builds on the previous and existing efforts, partially funded by the UCETF, of the City of Austin Green Builder Program to incorporate sustainable building practices into mainstream building activities. The Green Builder Program uses the term {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} as a synonym for sustainability. In the research and analysis that was completed for our earlier reports in Years 12 and 13, we characterized specific elements that we associate with sustainability and, thus, green building. In general, we refer to a modified life cycle assessment to ascertain if {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} building options reflect similar positive cyclical patterns found in nature (i.e. recyclability, recycled content, renewable resources, etc.). We additionally consider economic, human health and synergistic ecological impacts associated with our building choices and characterize the best choices as {open_quotes}green.{close_quotes} Our ultimate goal is to identify and use those {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} materials and processes that provide well for us now and do not compromise similar benefits for future generations. The original partnership developed for this project shifted during the year from a project stressing advanced (many prototypical) {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} building materials and techniques in a research and demonstration context, to off-the-shelf but underutilized {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} materials in the practical social context of using {open_quotes}green{close_quotes} technologies for low income housing. That project, discussed in this report, is called the Green Habitat Learning Project.

  5. Hydraulic modelling of the spatial and temporal variability in Atlantic salmon parr habitat availability in an upland stream.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fabris, Luca; Malcolm, Iain Archibald; Buddendorf, Willem Bastiaan; Millidine, Karen Jane; Tetzlaff, Doerthe; Soulsby, Chris

    2017-12-01

    We show how spatial variability in channel bed morphology affects the hydraulic characteristics of river reaches available to Atlantic salmon parr (Salmo salar) under different flow conditions in an upland stream. The study stream, the Girnock Burn, is a long-term monitoring site in the Scottish Highlands. Six site characterised by different bed geometry and morphology were investigated. Detailed site bathymetries were collected and combined with discharge time series in a 2D hydraulic model to obtain spatially distributed depth-averaged velocities under different flow conditions. Available habitat (AH) was estimated for each site. Stream discharge was used according to the critical displacement velocity (CDV) approach. CDV defines a velocity threshold above which salmon parr are not able to hold station and effective feeding opportunities or habitat utilization are reduced, depending on fish size and water temperature. An average value of the relative available habitat () for the most significant period for parr growth - April to May - was used for inter-site comparison and to analyse temporal variations over 40years. Results show that some sites are more able than others to maintain zones where salmon parr can forage unimpeded by high flow velocities under both wet and dry conditions. With lower flow velocities, dry years offer higher values of than wet years. Even though can change considerably across the sites as stream flow changes, the directions of change are consistent. Relative available habitat (RAH) shows a strong relationship with discharge per unit width, whilst channel slope and bed roughness either do not have relevant impact or compensate each other. The results show that significant parr habitat was available at all sites across all flows during this critical growth period, suggesting that hydrological variability is not a factor limiting growth in the Girnock. Crown Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Predictive habitat models derived from nest-box occupancy for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel in the southern Appalachians

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, W. Mark; Evans, A.M.; Odom, Richard H.; Rodrigue, Jane L.; Kelly, C.A.; Abaid, Nicole; Diggins, Corinne A.; Newcomb, Doug

    2016-01-01

    In the southern Appalachians, artificial nest-boxes are used to survey for the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel (CNFS; Glaucomys sabrinus coloratus), a disjunct subspecies associated with high elevation (>1385 m) forests. Using environmental parameters diagnostic of squirrel habitat, we created 35 a priori occupancy models in the program PRESENCE for boxes surveyed in western North Carolina, 1996-2011. Our best approximating model showed CNFS denning associated with sheltered landforms and montane conifers, primarily red spruce Picea rubens. As sheltering decreased, decreasing distance to conifers was important. Area with a high probability (>0.5) of occupancy was distributed over 18662 ha of habitat, mostly across 10 mountain ranges. Because nest-box surveys underrepresented areas >1750 m and CNFS forage in conifers, we combined areas of high occupancy with conifer GIS coverages to create an additional distribution model of likely habitat. Regionally, above 1385 m, we determined that 31795 ha could be occupied by CNFS. Known occupied patches ranged from

  7. Anthropogenic habitat disturbance and the dynamics of hantavirus using remote sensing, GIS, and a spatially explicit agent-based model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Lina

    Sin Nombre virus (SNV), a strain of hantavirus, causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in humans, a deadly disease with high mortality rate (>50%). The primary virus host is deer mice, and greater deer mice abundance has been shown to increase the human risk of HPS. There is a great need in understanding the nature of the virus host, its temporal and spatial dynamics, and its relation to the human population with the purpose of predicting human risk of the disease. This research studies SNV dynamics in deer mice in the Great Basin Desert of central Utah, USA using multiyear field data and integrated geospatial approaches including remote sensing, Geographic Information System (GIS), and a spatially explicit agent-based model. The goal is to advance our understanding of the important ecological and demographic factors that affect the dynamics of deer mouse population and SNV prevalence. The primary research question is how climate, habitat disturbance, and deer mouse demographics affect deer mouse population density, its movement, and SNV prevalence in the sagebrush habitat. The results show that the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) can be good predictors of deer mouse density and the number of infected deer mice with a time lag of 1.0 to 1.3 years. This information can be very useful in predicting mouse abundance and SNV risk. The results also showed that climate, mouse density, sex, mass, and SNV infection had significant effects on deer mouse movement. The effect of habitat disturbance on mouse movement varies according to climate conditions with positive relationship in predrought condition and negative association in postdrought condition. The heavier infected deer mice moved the most. Season and disturbance alone had no significant effects. The spatial agent-based model (SABM) simulation results show that prevalence was negatively related to the disturbance levels and the sensitivity analysis showed that

  8. Modeling future scenarios of light attenuation and potential seagrass success in a eutrophic estuary

    Science.gov (United States)

    del Barrio, Pilar; Ganju, Neil K.; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; Hayn, Melanie; García, Andrés; Howarth, Robert W.

    2014-01-01

    Estuarine eutrophication has led to numerous ecological changes, including loss of seagrass beds. One potential cause of these losses is a reduction in light availability due to increased attenuation by phytoplankton. Future sea level rise will also tend to reduce light penetration and modify seagrass habitat. In the present study, we integrate a spectral irradiance model into a biogeochemical model coupled to the Regional Ocean Model System (ROMS). It is linked to a bio-optical seagrass model to assess potential seagrass habitat in a eutrophic estuary under future nitrate loading and sea-level rise scenarios. The model was applied to West Falmouth Harbor, a shallow estuary located on Cape Cod (Massachusetts) where nitrate from groundwater has led to eutrophication and seagrass loss in landward portions of the estuary. Measurements of chlorophyll, turbidity, light attenuation, and seagrass coverage were used to assess the model accuracy. Mean chlorophyll based on uncalibrated in-situ fluorometry varied from 28 μg L−1 at the landward-most site to 6.5 μg L−1 at the seaward site, while light attenuation ranged from 0.86 to 0.45 m-1. The model reproduced the spatial variability in chlorophyll and light attenuation with RMS errors of 3.72 μg L−1 and 0.07 m-1 respectively. Scenarios of future nitrate reduction and sea-level rise suggest an improvement in light climate in the landward basin with a 75% reduction in nitrate loading. This coupled model may be useful to assess habitat availability changes due to eutrophication and sediment resuspension and fully considers spatial variability on the tidal timescale.

  9. Scale-dependent seasonal pool habitat use by sympatric Wild Brook Trout and Brown Trout populations

    Science.gov (United Sta