Langevelde, van F.
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
Michelot, Candice; Pinaud, David; Fortin, Matthieu; Maes, Philippe; Callard, Benjamin; Leicher, Marine; Barbraud, Christophe
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
Kevin McGarigal; Ho Yi Wan; Kathy A. Zeller; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman
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.
DANANG WAHYU PURNOMO
Full Text Available Purnomo DW. 2010. A Habitat selection model for Javan deer (Rusa timorensis in Wanagama I Forest, Yogyakarta. Nusantara Bioscience 2: 84-89. Wanagama I Forest is the natural breeding habitat of Javan deer (Rusa timorensis de Blainville, 1822. Habitat changes had affected Timor’s resource selection and caused the deer to move from undisturbed areas to developed areas with agriculture and human settlements. We suspected that this shift was caused by the degradation of natural habitat. The research aimed to identify factors that might influence future habitat selection. Habitat selection was analyzed by comparing proportions of sites actually used to sites that we considered available to use. The results of a logistic regression of site categories showed there are three habitat variables that influence resource selection: sum of tree species (expß=1.305, slope (expß=1.061, and distance to a water source (expß=1.002. The three variables influence the deer existing in a certain site of Wanagama Forest and arrange resource selection probability function (RSPF.
Gretchen H. Roffler; Michael K. Schwartz; Kristine Pilgrim; Sandra L. Talbot; George K. Sage; Layne G. Adams; Gordon Luikart
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...
Ostrand, William D.; Gotthardt, Tracey A.; Howlin, Shay; Robards, Martin D.
We modeled habitat selection by Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus) by examining their distribution in relation to water depth, distance to shore, bottom slope, bottom type, distance from sand bottom, and shoreline type. Through both logistic regression and classification tree models, we compared the characteristics of 29 known sand lance locations to 58 randomly selected sites. The best models indicated a strong selection of shallow water by sand lance, with weaker association between sand lance distribution and beach shorelines, sand bottoms, distance to shore, bottom slope, and distance to the nearest sand bottom. We applied an information-theoretic approach to the interpretation of the logistic regression analysis and determined importance values of 0.99, 0.54, 0.52, 0.44, 0.39, and 0.25 for depth, beach shorelines, sand bottom, distance to shore, gradual bottom slope, and distance to the nearest sand bottom, respectively. The classification tree model indicated that sand lance selected shallow-water habitats and remained near sand bottoms when located in habitats with depths between 40 and 60 m. All sand lance locations were at depths lance and the independent variables are discussed.
Som, Nicholas A.; Perry, Russell W.; Jones, Edward C.; De Juilio, Kyle; Petros, Paul; Pinnix, William D.; Rupert, Derek L.
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.
Byrne, Michael E; Clint McCoy, J; Hinton, Joseph W; Chamberlain, Michael J; Collier, Bret A
Accurately describing animal space use is vital to understanding how wildlife use habitat. Improvements in GPS technology continue to facilitate collection of telemetry data at high spatial and temporal resolutions. Application of the recently introduced dynamic Brownian bridge movement model (dBBMM) to such data is promising as the method explicitly incorporates the behavioural heterogeneity of a movement path into the estimated utilization distribution (UD). Utilization distributions defining space use are normally estimated for time-scales ranging from weeks to months, obscuring much of the fine-scale information available from high-volume GPS data sets. By accounting for movement heterogeneity, the dBBMM provides a rigorous, behaviourally based estimate of space use between each set of relocations. Focusing on UDs generated between individual sets of locations allows us to quantify fine-scale circadian variation in habitat use. We used the dBBMM to estimate UDs bounding individual time steps for three terrestrial species with different life histories to illustrate how the method can be used to identify fine-scale variations in habitat use. We also demonstrate how dBBMMs can be used to characterize circadian patterns of habitat selection and link fine-scale patterns of habitat use to behaviour. We observed circadian patterns of habitat use that varied seasonally for a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and coyote (Canis latrans). We found seasonal patterns in selection by the white-tailed deer and were able to link use of conifer forests and agricultural fields to behavioural state of the coyote. Additionally, we were able to quantify the date in which a Rio Grande wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo intermedia) initiated laying as well as when during the day, she was most likely to visit the nest site to deposit eggs. The ability to quantify circadian patterns of habitat use may have important implications for research and management of wildlife
K. Anne-Isola Nekaris
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.
Hull, Vanessa; Zhang, Jindong; Huang, Jinyan; Zhou, Shiqiang; Viña, Andrés; Shortridge, Ashton; Li, Rengui; Liu, Dian; Xu, Weihua; Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zhang, Hemin; Liu, Jianguo
Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca). We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF) to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types) at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking. PMID:27627805
Full Text Available Animals make choices about where to spend their time in complex and dynamic landscapes, choices that reveal information about their biology that in turn can be used to guide their conservation. Using GPS collars, we conducted a novel individual-based analysis of habitat use and selection by the elusive and endangered giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca. We constructed spatial autoregressive resource utilization functions (RUF to model the relationship between the pandas' utilization distributions and various habitat characteristics over a continuous space across seasons. Results reveal several new insights, including use of a broader range of habitat characteristics than previously understood for the species, particularly steep slopes and non-forest areas. We also used compositional analysis to analyze habitat selection (use with respect to availability of habitat types at two selection levels. Pandas selected against low terrain position and against the highest clumped forest at the at-home range level, but no significant factors were identified at the within-home range level. Our results have implications for modeling and managing the habitat of this endangered species by illustrating how individual pandas relate to habitat and make choices that differ from assumptions made in broad scale models. Our study also highlights the value of using a spatial autoregressive RUF approach on animal species for which a complete picture of individual-level habitat use and selection across space is otherwise lacking.
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
Habitat selection patterns of Merriamâs Turkeys were compared in hierarchical analyses of three levels of habitat stratification. Habitat descriptions in first-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation. Habitat descriptions in second-level analyses were based on dominant species of vegetation and overstory canopy cover. Habitat descriptions in third-...
Araújo, Cristiano V M; Griffith, Daniel M; Vera-Vera, Victoria; Jentzsch, Paul Vargas; Cervera, Laura; Nieto-Ariza, Beatriz; Salvatierra, David; Erazo, Santiago; Jaramillo, Rusbel; Ramos, Luis A; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui
Aquatic ecotoxicity assays used to assess ecological risk assume that organisms living in a contaminated habitat are forcedly exposed to the contamination. This assumption neglects the ability of organisms to detect and avoid contamination by moving towards less disturbed habitats, as long as connectivity exists. In fluvial systems, many environmental parameters vary spatially and thus condition organisms' habitat selection. We assessed the preference of zebra fish (Danio rerio) when exposed to water samples from two western Ecuadorian rivers with apparently distinct disturbance levels: Pescadillo River (highly disturbed) and Oro River (moderately disturbed). Using a non-forced exposure system in which water samples from each river were arranged according to their spatial sequence in the field and connected to allow individuals to move freely among samples, we assayed habitat selection by D. rerio to assess environmental disturbance in the two rivers. Fish exposed to Pescadillo River samples preferred downstream samples near the confluence zone with the Oro River. Fish exposed to Oro River samples preferred upstream waters. When exposed to samples from both rivers simultaneously, fish exhibited the same pattern of habitat selection by preferring the Oro River samples. Given that the rivers are connected, preference for the Oro River enabled us to predict a depression in fish populations in the Pescadillo River. Although these findings indicate higher disturbance levels in the Pescadillo River, none of the physical-chemical variables measured was significantly correlated with the preference pattern towards the Oro River. Non-linear spatial patterns of habitat preference suggest that other environmental parameters like urban or agricultural contaminants play an important role in the model organism's habitat selection in these rivers. The non-forced exposure system represents a habitat selection-based approach that can serve as a valuable tool to unravel the factors
Scott E Nielsen
Full Text Available Habitat selection is an important behavioural process widely studied for its population-level effects. Models of habitat selection are, however, often fit without a mechanistic consideration. Here, we investigated whether patterns in habitat selection result from instinct or learning for a population of grizzly bears (Ursus arctos in Alberta, Canada. We found that habitat selection and relatedness were positively correlated in female bears during the fall season, with a trend in the spring, but not during any season for males. This suggests that habitat selection is a learned behaviour because males do not participate in parental care: a genetically predetermined behaviour (instinct would have resulted in habitat selection and relatedness correlations for both sexes. Geographic distance and home range overlap among animals did not alter correlations indicating that dispersal and spatial autocorrelation had little effect on the observed trends. These results suggest that habitat selection in grizzly bears are partly learned from their mothers, which could have implications for the translocation of wildlife to novel environments.
Howard B. Stauffer; Cynthia J. Zabel; Jeffrey R. Dunk
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...
Som, Nicholas A.; Goodman, Damon H.; Perry, Russell W.; Hardy, Thomas B.
Previous methods for constructing univariate habitat suitability criteria (HSC) curves have ranged from professional judgement to kernel-smoothed density functions or combinations thereof. We present a new method of generating HSC curves that applies probability density functions as the mathematical representation of the curves. Compared with previous approaches, benefits of our method include (1) estimation of probability density function parameters directly from raw data, (2) quantitative methods for selecting among several candidate probability density functions, and (3) concise methods for expressing estimation uncertainty in the HSC curves. We demonstrate our method with a thorough example using data collected on the depth of water used by juvenile Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tschawytscha) in the Klamath River of northern California and southern Oregon. All R code needed to implement our example is provided in the appendix. Published 2015. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
Fieberg, John R.; Forester, James D.; Street, Garrett M.; Johnson, Douglas H.; ArchMiller, Althea A.; Matthiopoulos, Jason
“Species distribution modeling” was recently ranked as one of the top five “research fronts” in ecology and the environmental sciences by ISI's Essential Science Indicators (Renner and Warton 2013), reflecting the importance of predicting how species distributions will respond to anthropogenic change. Unfortunately, species distribution models (SDMs) often perform poorly when applied to novel environments. Compounding on this problem is the shortage of methods for evaluating SDMs (hence, we may be getting our predictions wrong and not even know it). Traditional methods for validating SDMs quantify a model's ability to classify locations as used or unused. Instead, we propose to focus on how well SDMs can predict the characteristics of used locations. This subtle shift in viewpoint leads to a more natural and informative evaluation and validation of models across the entire spectrum of SDMs. Through a series of examples, we show how simple graphical methods can help with three fundamental challenges of habitat modeling: identifying missing covariates, non-linearity, and multicollinearity. Identifying habitat characteristics that are not well-predicted by the model can provide insights into variables affecting the distribution of species, suggest appropriate model modifications, and ultimately improve the reliability and generality of conservation and management recommendations.
Brad C. Timm; Kevin McGarigal; Samuel A. Cushman; Joseph L. Ganey
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...
Ciarniello, Lana M; Boyce, Mark S; Seip, Dale R; Heard, Douglas C
The purpose of our study is to show how ecologists' interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) is altered by the scale of observation and also how management questions would be best addressed using predetermined scales of analysis. Using resource selection functions (RSF) we examined how variation in the spatial extent of availability affected our interpretation of habitat selection by grizzly bears inhabiting mountain and plateau landscapes. We estimated separate models for females and males using three spatial extents: within the study area, within the home range, and within predetermined movement buffers. We employed two methods for evaluating the effects of scale on our RSF designs. First, we chose a priori six candidate models, estimated at each scale, and ranked them using Akaike Information Criteria. Using this method, results changed among scales for males but not for females. For female bears, models that included the full suite of covariates predicted habitat use best at each scale. For male bears that resided in the mountains, models based on forest successional stages ranked highest at the study-wide and home range extents, whereas models containing covariates based on terrain features ranked highest at the buffer extent. For male bears on the plateau, each scale estimated a different highest-ranked model. Second, we examined differences among model coefficients across the three scales for one candidate model. We found that both the magnitude and direction of coefficients were dependent upon the scale examined; results varied between landscapes, scales, and sexes. Greenness, reflecting lush green vegetation, was a strong predictor of the presence of female bears in both landscapes and males that resided in the mountains. Male bears on the plateau were the only animals to select areas that exposed them to a high risk of mortality by humans. Our results show that grizzly bear habitat selection is scale dependent. Further, the
Mriganka Shekhar Sarkar
Full Text Available Background Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals’ ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger (Panthera tigris, which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. Methods We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly’s selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D2 method and the Boyce index. Results There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory
Sarkar, Mriganka Shekhar; Krishnamurthy, Ramesh; Johnson, Jeyaraj A; Sen, Subharanjan; Saha, Goutam Kumar
Large carnivores influence ecosystem functions at various scales. Thus, their local extinction is not only a species-specific conservation concern, but also reflects on the overall habitat quality and ecosystem value. Species-habitat relationships at fine scale reflect the individuals' ability to procure resources and negotiate intraspecific competition. Such fine scale habitat choices are more pronounced in large carnivores such as tiger ( Panthera tigris ), which exhibits competitive exclusion in habitat and mate selection strategies. Although landscape level policies and conservation strategies are increasingly promoted for tiger conservation, specific management interventions require knowledge of the habitat correlates at fine scale. We studied nine radio-collared individuals of a successfully reintroduced tiger population in Panna Tiger Reserve, central India, focussing on the species-habitat relationship at fine scales. With 16 eco-geographical variables, we performed Manly's selection ratio and K-select analyses to define population-level and individual-level variation in resource selection, respectively. We analysed the data obtained during the exploratory period of six tigers and during the settled period of eight tigers separately, and compared the consequent results. We further used the settled period characteristics to model and map habitat suitability based on the Mahalanobis D 2 method and the Boyce index. There was a clear difference in habitat selection by tigers between the exploratory and the settled period. During the exploratory period, tigers selected dense canopy and bamboo forests, but also spent time near villages and relocated village sites. However, settled tigers predominantly selected bamboo forests in complex terrain, riverine forests and teak-mixed forest, and totally avoided human settlements and agriculture areas. There were individual variations in habitat selection between exploratory and settled periods. Based on threshold limits
Francis, Robert A; Taylor, Jimmy D; Dibble, Eric; Strickland, Bronson; Petro, Vanessa M; Easterwood, Christine; Wang, Guiming
Animal habitat selection, among other ecological phenomena, is spatially scale dependent. Habitat selection by American beavers Castor canadensis (hereafter, beaver) has been studied at singular spatial scales, but to date no research addresses multi-scale selection. Our objectives were to determine if beaver habitat selection was specialized to semiaquatic habitats and if variables explaining habitat selection are consistent between landscape and fine spatial scales. We built maximum entropy (MaxEnt) models to relate landscape-scale presence-only data to landscape variables, and used generalized linear mixed models to evaluate fine spatial scale habitat selection using global positioning system (GPS) relocation data. Explanatory variables between the landscape and fine spatial scale were compared for consistency. Our findings suggested that beaver habitat selection at coarse (study area) and fine (within home range) scales was congruent, and was influenced by increasing amounts of woody wetland edge density and shrub edge density, and decreasing amounts of open water edge density. Habitat suitability at the landscape scale also increased with decreasing amounts of grass frequency. As territorial, central-place foragers, beavers likely trade-off open water edge density (i.e., smaller non-forested wetlands or lodges closer to banks) for defense and shorter distances to forage and obtain construction material. Woody plants along edges and expanses of open water for predator avoidance may limit beaver fitness and subsequently determine beaver habitat selection.
John E Steffen
Full Text Available Predation has been hypothesized to be a strong selective force structuring communities of tropical lizards. Comparisons of perch height and size-based predation frequencies can provide a unique window into understanding how predation might shape habitat selection and morphological patterns in lizards, especially anoles. Here i use plasticine clay models, placed on the trunks of trees and suspended in the canopy to show that predation frequency on clay models differs primarily according to habitat (canopy vs. trunk-ground, but not according to size. These data are discussed in light of observed lizard abundances in the lowland forests of Costa Rica, and are presented as partial explanation for why fewer lizards are found in tree canopies, and more lizards are found on ground-trunk habitats. Rev. Biol. Trop. 57 (3: 859-864. Epub 2009 September 30.Existe la hipótesis de que la depredación es una fuerte fuerza selectiva que estructura las comunidades de lagartijas tropicales. Las comparaciones de las frecuencias de altura de la percha y de depredación con base en el tamaño pueden proveer una ventana única en el entendimiento de cómo la depredación podría moldear la selección del hábitat y los patrones morfológicos en las lagartijas, especialmente anoles. En este estudio uso modelos de plasticina, ubicados en troncos de árboles y suspendidos en el dosel para mostrar que la frecuencia de depredación en los modelos de plasticina difiere primariamente según el hábitat (dosel vs. tronco-suelo pero no según el tamaño. Estos datos se discuten a la luz de las abundancias de lagartijas observadas en los bosques de bajura de Costa Rica, y se presentan como una explicación parcial a porqué menos lagartijas se encuentran en los doseles, y más lagartijas se encuentran en los hábitats suelo-tronco.
Carpenter, Jennifer L.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Boyce, Mark S.
Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are dependent on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) for food and shelter during winter, yet few studies have assessed winter habitat selection, particularly at scales applicable to conservation planning. Small changes to availability of winter habitats have caused drastic reductions in some sage-grouse populations. We modeled winter habitat selection by sage-grouse in Alberta, Canada, by using a resource selection function. Our purpose was to 1) generate a robust winter habitat-selection model for Alberta sage-grouse; 2) spatially depict habitat suitability in a Geographic Information System to identify areas with a high probability of selection and thus, conservation importance; and 3) assess the relative influence of human development, including oil and gas wells, in landscape models of winter habitat selection. Terrain and vegetation characteristics, sagebrush cover, anthropogenic landscape features, and energy development were important in top Akaike's Information Criterionselected models. During winter, sage-grouse selected dense sagebrush cover and homogenous less rugged areas, and avoided energy development and 2-track truck trails. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development highlights the need for comprehensive management strategies that maintain suitable habitats across all seasons. ?? 2010 The Wildlife Society.
Full Text Available Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1 before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2 in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection. Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.
Samelius, Gustaf; Andrén, Henrik; Kjellander, Petter; Liberg, Olof
Risk of predation is an evolutionary force that affects behaviors of virtually all animals. In this study, we examined how habitat selection by roe deer was affected by risk of predation by Eurasian lynx - the main predator of roe deer in Scandinavia. Specifically, we compared how habitat selection by roe deer varied (1) before and after lynx re-established in the study area and (2) in relation to habitat-specific risk of predation by lynx. All analyses were conducted at the spatial and temporal scales of home ranges and seasons. We did not find any evidence that roe deer avoided habitats in which the risk of predation by lynx was greatest and information-theoretic model selection showed that re-colonization by lynx had limited impact on habitat selection by roe deer despite lynx predation causing 65% of known mortalities after lynx re-colonized the area. Instead we found that habitat selection decreased when habitat availability increased for 2 of 5 habitat types (a pattern referred to as functional response in habitat selection). Limited impact of re-colonization by lynx on habitat selection by roe deer in this study differs from elk in North America altering both daily and seasonal patterns in habitat selection at the spatial scales of habitat patches and home ranges when wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park. Our study thus provides further evidence of the complexity by which animals respond to risk of predation and suggest that it may vary between ecosystems and predator-prey constellations.
Ayllón, Daniel; Nicola, Graciela G.; Parra, Irene; Elvira, Benigno; Almodóvar, Ana
Habitat selection can be viewed as an emergent property of the quality and availability of habitat but also of the number of individuals and the way they compete for its use. Consequently, habitat selection can change across years due to fluctuating resources or to changes in population numbers. However, habitat selection predictive models often do not account for ecological dynamics, especially density dependent processes. In stage-structured population, the strength of density dependent interactions between individuals of different age classes can exert a profound influence on population trajectories and evolutionary processes. In this study, we aimed to assess the effects of fluctuating densities of both older and younger competing life stages on the habitat selection patterns (described as univariate and multivariate resource selection functions) of young-of-the-year, juvenile and adult brown trout Salmo trutta. We observed all age classes were selective in habitat choice but changed their selection patterns across years consistently with variations in the densities of older but not of younger age classes. Trout of an age increased selectivity for positions highly selected by older individuals when their density decreased, but this pattern did not hold when the density of younger age classes varied. It suggests that younger individuals are dominated by older ones but can expand their range of selected habitats when density of competitors decreases, while older trout do not seem to consider the density of younger individuals when distributing themselves even though they can negatively affect their final performance. Since these results may entail critical implications for conservation and management practices based on habitat selection models, further research should involve a wider range of river typologies and/or longer time frames to fully understand the patterns of and the mechanisms underlying the operation of density dependence on brown trout habitat
Steven F. Railsback; Bret C. Harvey
Abstract - Despite their promise for simulating natural complexity,individual-based models (IBMs) are rarely used for ecological research or resource management. Few IBMs have been shown to reproduce realistic patterns of behavior by individual organisms.To test our IBM of stream salmonids and draw conclusions about foraging theory,we analyzed the IBM âs ability to...
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
Habitat capability (HABCAP) models for wildlife assist land managers in predicting the consequences of their management decisions. Models must be tested and refined prior to using them in management planning. We tested the predicted patterns of habitat selection of the R2 HABCAP model using observed patterns of habitats selected by radio-marked Merriamâs turkey (
Bruce G. Marcot
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...
Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L; Punt, André E; VanBlaricom, Glenn R; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie
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. We analysed contemporaneous data on the diving locations of two seabird species, the shallow-diving Peruvian Booby (Sula variegata) and deeper diving Guanay Cormorant (Phalacrocorax bougainvilliorum), and the abundance and depth distribution of their main prey, Peruvian anchoveta (Engraulis ringens). Based on this unique data set, we developed resource selection functions to test the hypothesis that the probability of seabird diving behaviour at a given location is a function of the relative abundance of prey in the upper water column. For both species, we show that the probability of diving behaviour is mostly explained by the distribution of prey at shallow depths. While the probability of diving behaviour increases sharply with prey abundance at relatively low levels of abundance, support for including abundance in addition to the depth distribution of prey is weak, suggesting that prey abundance was not a major factor determining the location of diving behaviour during the study period. The study thus highlights the importance of the depth distribution of prey for two species of seabird with different diving capabilities. The results complement previous research that points towards the importance of oceanographic processes that enhance the accessibility of prey to seabirds. The implications are that locations where prey is predictably found at accessible depths may be more important for surface foragers, such as seabirds, than locations where prey is predictably abundant. Analysis of the relative
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.
Three distinct zones, four habitats and six subhabitats were identified. Zonation and habitat selection appeared to be related to cover for two small mammal species. The arthropod orders were less susceptible to zonation and strict habitat selection, although some of the species showed selection. The normally unfavourable ...
Van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer M; Basille, Mathieu; Gaillard, Jean-Michel
Animal space use has been studied by focusing either on geographic (e.g. home ranges, species' distribution) or on environmental (e.g. habitat use and selection) space. However, all patterns of space use emerge from individual movements, which are the primary means by which animals change their environment. Individuals increase their use of a given area by adjusting two key movement components: the duration of their visit and/or the frequency of revisits. Thus, in spatially heterogeneous environments, animals exploit known, high-quality resource areas by increasing their residence time (RT) in and/or decreasing their time to return (TtoR) to these areas. We expected that spatial variation in these two movement properties should lead to observed patterns of space use in both geographic and environmental spaces. We derived a set of nine predictions linking spatial distribution of movement properties to emerging space-use patterns. We predicted that, at a given scale, high variation in RT and TtoR among habitats leads to strong habitat selection and that long RT and short TtoR result in a small home range size. We tested these predictions using moose (Alces alces) GPS tracking data. We first modelled the relationship between landscape characteristics and movement properties. Then, we investigated how the spatial distribution of predicted movement properties (i.e. spatial autocorrelation, mean, and variance of RT and TtoR) influences home range size and hierarchical habitat selection. In landscapes with high spatial autocorrelation of RT and TtoR, a high variation in both RT and TtoR occurred in home ranges. As expected, home range location was highly selective in such landscapes (i.e. second-order habitat selection); RT was higher and TtoR lower within the selected home range than outside, and moose home ranges were small. Within home ranges, a higher variation in both RT and TtoR was associated with higher selectivity among habitat types (i.e. third-order habitat
O'Neil, Shawn T.; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Takekawa, John Y.; De La Cruz, Susan E. W.; Cutting, Kyle A.; Parker, Michael W.; Yee, Julie L.
Prebreeding habitat selection in birds can often be explained in part by habitat characteristics. However, females may also select habitats on the basis of fidelity to areas of previous reproductive success or use by conspecifics. The relative influences of sociobehavioural attributes versus habitat characteristics in habitat selection has been primarily investigated in songbirds, while less is known about how these factors affect habitat selection processes in migratory waterfowl. Animal resource selection models often exhibit much unexplained variation; spatial patterns driven by social and behavioural characteristics may account for some of this. We radiomarked female lesser scaup, Aythya affinis, in the southwestern extent of their breeding range to explore hypotheses regarding relative roles of habitat quality, site fidelity and conspecific density in prebreeding habitat selection. We used linear mixed-effects models to relate intensity of use within female home ranges to habitat features, distance to areas of reproductive success during the previous breeding season and conspecific density. Home range habitats included shallow water (≤118 cm), moderate to high densities of flooded emergent vegetation/open water edge and open water areas with submerged aquatic vegetation. Compared with habitat features, conspecific female density and proximity to successful nesting habitats from the previous breeding season had greater influences on habitat use within home ranges. Fidelity and conspecific attraction are behavioural characteristics in some waterfowl species that may exert a greater influence than habitat features in influencing prebreeding space use and habitat selection within home ranges, particularly where quality habitat is abundant. These processes may be of critical importance to a better understanding of habitat selection in breeding birds.
Conallin, John; Boegh, Eva; Krogsgaard, Jørgen
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 disadvanta......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...... suit their situations. This paper analyses the potential of different methods available for water managers to assess hydrological and geomorphological impacts on the habitats of stream biota, as requested by the WFD. The review considers both conventional and new advanced research-based instream...... physical habitat models. In parametric and non-parametric regression models, model assumptions are often not satisfied and the models are difficult to transfer to other regions. Research-based methods such as the artificial neural networks and individual-based modelling have promising potential as water...
Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn R.; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent A.; Fontaine, Joseph J.
We present a hands-on outdoor activity coupled with classroom discussion to teach students about wildlife habitat selection, the process by which animals choose where to live. By selecting locations or habitats with many benefits (e.g., food, shelter, mates) and few costs (e.g., predators), animals improve their ability to survive and reproduce. Biologists track animal movement using radio telemetry technology to study habitat selection so they can better provide species with habitats that promote population growth. We present a curriculum in which students locate “animals” (transmitters) using radio telemetry equipment and apply math skills (use of fractions and percentages) to assess their “animal's” habitat selection by comparing the availability of habitat types with the proportion of “animals” they find in each habitat type.
Sherfy, Mark H.; Stucker, Jennifer H.; Buhl, Deborah A.
Federally endangered interior least terns (Sternula antillarum) nest on bare or sparsely vegetated sandbars on midcontinent river systems. Loss of nesting habitat has been implicated as a cause of population declines, and managing these habitats is a major initiative in population recovery. One such initiative involves construction of mid-channel sandbars on the Missouri River, where natural sandbar habitat has declined in quantity and quality since the late 1990s. We evaluated nest-site habitat selection by least terns on constructed and natural sandbars by comparing vegetation, substrate, and debris variables at nest sites (n = 798) and random points (n = 1,113) in bare or sparsely vegetated habitats. Our logistic regression models revealed that a broader suite of habitat features was important in nest-site selection on constructed than on natural sandbars. Odds ratios for habitat variables indicated that avoidance of habitat features was the dominant nest-site selection process on both sandbar types, with nesting terns being attracted to nest-site habitat features (gravel and debris) and avoiding vegetation only on constructed sandbars, and avoiding silt and leaf litter on both sandbar types. Despite the seemingly uniform nature of these habitats, our results suggest that a complex suite of habitat features influences nest-site choice by least terns. However, nest-site selection in this social, colonially nesting species may be influenced by other factors, including spatial arrangement of bare sand habitat, proximity to other least terns, and prior habitat occupancy by piping plovers (Charadrius melodus). We found that nest-site selection was sensitive to subtle variation in habitat features, suggesting that rigor in maintaining habitat condition will be necessary in managing sandbars for the benefit of least terns. Further, management strategies that reduce habitat features that are avoided by least terns may be the most beneficial to nesting least terns.
Liu, X.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Skidmore, A.K.; Shao, X.; Dang, D.; Wang, T.; Prins, H.H.T.
Little is known about habitat selection of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), especially about the relationship between giant panda presence and bamboo and tree structures. We presented data on giant panda habitat use and selection in Foping Nature Reserve (NR), China. We used 1,066
Laskowski, Jessica; Gillespie, Caitlyn; Corral, Lucia; Oden, Amy; Fricke, Kent; Fontaine, Joseph J.
We present a hands-on outdoor activity coupled with classroom discussion to teach students about wildlife habitat selection, the process by which animals choose where to live. By selecting locations or habitats with many benefits (e.g., food, shelter, mates) and few costs (e.g., predators), animals improve their ability to survive and reproduce.…
Victor K Muposhi
Full Text Available An understanding of the habitat selection patterns by wild herbivores is critical for adaptive management, particularly towards ecosystem management and wildlife conservation in semi arid savanna ecosystems. We tested the following predictions: (i surface water availability, habitat quality and human presence have a strong influence on the spatial distribution of wild herbivores in the dry season, (ii habitat suitability for large herbivores would be higher compared to medium-sized herbivores in the dry season, and (iii spatial extent of suitable habitats for wild herbivores will be different between years, i.e., 2006 and 2010, in Matetsi Safari Area, Zimbabwe. MaxEnt modeling was done to determine the habitat suitability of large herbivores and medium-sized herbivores. MaxEnt modeling of habitat suitability for large herbivores using the environmental variables was successful for the selected species in 2006 and 2010, except for elephant (Loxodonta africana for the year 2010. Overall, large herbivores probability of occurrence was mostly influenced by distance from rivers. Distance from roads influenced much of the variability in the probability of occurrence of medium-sized herbivores. The overall predicted area for large and medium-sized herbivores was not different. Large herbivores may not necessarily utilize larger habitat patches over medium-sized herbivores due to the habitat homogenizing effect of water provisioning. Effect of surface water availability, proximity to riverine ecosystems and roads on habitat suitability of large and medium-sized herbivores in the dry season was highly variable thus could change from one year to another. We recommend adaptive management initiatives aimed at ensuring dynamic water supply in protected areas through temporal closure and or opening of water points to promote heterogeneity of wildlife habitats.
Arthur, S.; Garner, G.; ,
We present a method of comparing data on habitat use and availability that allows availability to differ among observations. This method is applicable when habitats change over time and when animals are unable to move throughout a predetermined study area between observations. We used maximum-likelihood techniques to derive an index that estimates the probability that each habitat type would be used if all were equally available. We also demonstrate how these indices can be used to compare relative use of available habitats, assign them ranks, and assess statistical differences between pairs of indices. The set of these indices for all habitats can be compared between groups of animals that represent different seasons, sex or age classes, or experimental treatments. This method allows quantitative comparisons among types and is not affected by arbitrary decisions about which habitats to include in the study. We provide an example by comparing the availability of four categories of sea ice concentration to their use by adult female polar bears, whose movements were monitored by satellite radio tracking in the Bering and Chukchi Seas during 1990. Use of ice categories by bears was nonrandom, and the pattern of use differed between spring and late summer seasons.
Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars B.
Despite the dynamic nature of habitat selection, temporal variation as arising from factors such as weather are rarely quantified in species-habitat relationships. We analysed habitat use and selection (use/availability) of foraging, radio-tagged little owls (Athene noctua), a nocturnal, year...... and quadratic effects of temperature. Even when controlling for the temporal context, both land cover types were used more evenly than predicted from variation in availability (functional response in habitat selection). Use of two other land cover categories (pastures and moist areas) increased linearly...... with temperature and was proportional to their availability. The study shows that habitat selection by generalist foragers may be highly dependent on temporal variables such as weather, probably because such foragers switch between weather dependent feeding opportunities offered by different land cover types...
Bradley A Strickland
Full Text Available Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17 on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their
Strickland, Bradley A.; Vilella, Francisco; Belant, Jerrold L.
Habitat selection is an active behavioral process that may vary across spatial and temporal scales. Animals choose an area of primary utilization (i.e., home range) then make decisions focused on resource needs within patches. Dominance may affect the spatial distribution of conspecifics and concomitant habitat selection. Size-dependent social dominance hierarchies have been documented in captive alligators, but evidence is lacking from wild populations. We studied habitat selection for adult male American alligators (Alligator mississippiensis; n = 17) on the Pearl River in central Mississippi, USA, to test whether habitat selection was scale-dependent and individual resource selectivity was a function of conspecific body size. We used K-select analysis to quantify selection at the home range scale and patches within the home range to determine selection congruency and important habitat variables. In addition, we used linear models to determine if body size was related to selection patterns and strengths. Our results indicated habitat selection of adult male alligators was a scale-dependent process. Alligators demonstrated greater overall selection for habitat variables at the patch level and less at the home range level, suggesting resources may not be limited when selecting a home range for animals in our study area. Further, diurnal habitat selection patterns may depend on thermoregulatory needs. There was no relationship between resource selection or home range size and body size, suggesting size-dependent dominance hierarchies may not have influenced alligator resource selection or space use in our sample. Though apparent habitat suitability and low alligator density did not manifest in an observed dominance hierarchy, we hypothesize that a change in either could increase intraspecific interactions, facilitating a dominance hierarchy. Due to the broad and diverse ecological roles of alligators, understanding the factors that influence their social dominance
Phoebe L. Zarnetske; Thomas C. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen
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...
Study conducted in the forested bitumen belt of Ode-Irele, Ondo state, Nigeria evaluated habitat use by birds using 20- minutes birds point count to a radius of 30 meters, carried out in six selected habitats. The vegetation cover was sampled using 5x5-meters and 1m2quadrants. Data collected were subjected to t-test of ...
Full Text Available Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle, most hatchling (<12-month-old freshwater crocodiles (Crocodylus johnstoni are found in floating vegetation mats or grassy banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk.
Somaweera, Ruchira; Webb, Jonathan K.; Shine, Richard
Animals almost always use habitats non-randomly, but the costs and benefits of using specific habitat types remain unknown for many types of organisms. In a large lake in northwestern Australia (Lake Argyle), most hatchling (banks rather than the more widely available open banks. Mean body sizes of young crocodiles did not differ among the three habitat types. We tested four potential explanations for non-random habitat selection: proximity to nesting sites, thermal conditions, food availability, and exposure to predation. The three alternative habitat types did not differ in proximity to nesting sites, or in thermal conditions. Habitats with higher food availability harboured more hatchlings, and feeding rates (obtained by stomach-flushing of recently-captured crocodiles) were highest in such areas. Predation risk may also differ among habitats: we were twice as likely to capture a crocodile after seeing it in open-bank sites than in the other two habitat types. Thus, habitat selection of hatchling crocodiles in this system may be driven both by prey availability and by predation risk. PMID:22163308
Zeigler, Sara; Thieler, E. Robert; Gutierrez, Ben; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Hines, Megan K.; Fraser, James D.; Catlin, Daniel H.; Karpanty, Sarah M.
Understanding patterns of habitat selection across a species’ geographic distribution can be critical for adequately managing populations and planning for habitat loss and related threats. However, studies of habitat selection can be time consuming and expensive over broad spatial scales, and a lack of standardized monitoring targets or methods can impede the generalization of site-based studies. Our objective was to collaborate with natural resource managers to define available nesting habitat for piping plovers (Charadrius melodus) throughout their U.S. Atlantic coast distribution from Maine to North Carolina, with a goal of providing science that could inform habitat management in response to sea-level rise. We characterized a data collection and analysis approach as being effective if it provided low-cost collection of standardized habitat-selection data across the species’ breeding range within 1–2 nesting seasons and accurate nesting location predictions. In the method developed, >30 managers and conservation practitioners from government agencies and private organizations used a smartphone application, “iPlover,” to collect data on landcover characteristics at piping plover nest locations and random points on 83 beaches and barrier islands in 2014 and 2015. We analyzed these data with a Bayesian network that predicted the probability a specific combination of landcover variables would be associated with a nesting site. Although we focused on a shorebird, our approach can be modified for other taxa. Results showed that the Bayesian network performed well in predicting habitat availability and confirmed predicted habitat preferences across the Atlantic coast breeding range of the piping plover. We used the Bayesian network to map areas with a high probability of containing nesting habitat on the Rockaway Peninsula in New York, USA, as an example application. Our approach facilitated the collation of evidence-based information on habitat selection
St-Hilaire, André; Mocq, Julien; Cunjak, Richard
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.
Taher, Taherah Mohd; Lihan, Tukimat; Mustapha, Muzzneena Ahmad; Nor, Shukor Mohd
Large areas are converted into commercial land use such as agriculture and urban as a result from the increasing economic and population demand. This situation is largely affecting wildlife and its habitat. Malaysia as one of the largest oil palm-producing countries, should take precaution into conserving its forest and wildlife diversity. Although big mammal such as elephant and tiger are significant for wildlife diversity, medium and small mammals also contribute to the biological richness in Malaysia. This study aims to predict suitable habitat of medium mammal, Tragulus napu and Tragulus javanicus in the study area and identify its habitat characteristics. The method applied in this study uses maximum entropy (MaxEnt) modeling which utilized species distribution data and selected environmental variables to alienate potential habitat in the study area. The characteristic of the habitat was identified from the result of MaxEnt analysis. This method of habitat modeling shows different extent of predicted suitable habitat in the study area of both species in which Tragulus napu has a limited distribution compared to Tragulus javanicus. However, some characteristics are similar in both habitats. The knowledge on species habitat characteristics is important to predict wildlife habitat in order to make best decision on land use management and conservation.
Chalfoun, Anna D.; Schmidt, Kenneth A.
The question of why animals choose particular habitats has important implications for understanding behavioral evolution and distribution of organisms in the wild and for delineating between habitats of different quality for conservation and management. Habitats chosen by animals can influence fitness outcomes via the costs (e.g., predation risk) and benefits (e.g., food availability) of habitat use. Habitat preferences should therefore be under selection to favor those that confer fitness advantages (Clark and Shutler 1999). Indeed, prevailing theory suggests that the habitat preferences of animals should be adaptive, such that fitness is higher in preferred habitats (Hildén 1965, Southwood 1977, Martin 1998). However, studies have often identified apparent mismatches between observed habitat preferences and fitness outcomes across a wide variety of taxa (Valladares and Lawton 1991, Mayhew 1997, Kolbe and Janzen 2002, Arlt and Pärt 2007, Mägi et al. 2009). Certainly, one limitation of studies may be that assessment of “fitness” is typically constrained to fitness surrogates such as nest success rather than lifetime reproductive success or classic Fisherian fitness (Endler 1986). Nevertheless, important habitat choices such as nest sites influence the probability that temporarily sedentary, dependent young are discovered by enemies such as predators and parasites. We therefore expect, on average, to see congruence between evolved habitat preferences and relevant components of fitness (e.g., nest success). Here, we (1) review the prevalence of apparent mismatches between avian breeding-habitat preferences and fitness outcomes using nest-site selection as a focus; (2) describe several potential mechanisms for such mismatches, including anthropogenic, methodological, and ecological–evolutionary; and (3) suggest a framework for understanding the contexts in which habitat preferences represent adaptive decisions, with a primary focus on ecological information
Bjørneraas, Kari; Herfindal, Ivar; Solberg, Erling Johan; Sæther, Bernt-Erik; van Moorter, Bram; Rolandsen, Christer Moe
Identifying factors shaping variation in resource selection is central for our understanding of the behaviour and distribution of animals. We examined summer habitat selection and space use by 108 Global Positioning System (GPS)-collared moose in Norway in relation to sex, reproductive status, habitat quality, and availability. Moose selected habitat types based on a combination of forage quality and availability of suitable habitat types. Selection of protective cover was strongest for reproducing females, likely reflecting the need to protect young. Males showed strong selection for habitat types with high quality forage, possibly due to higher energy requirements. Selection for preferred habitat types providing food and cover was a positive function of their availability within home ranges (i.e. not proportional use) indicating functional response in habitat selection. This relationship was not found for unproductive habitat types. Moreover, home ranges with high cover of unproductive habitat types were larger, and smaller home ranges contained higher proportions of the most preferred habitat type. The distribution of moose within the study area was partly related to the distribution of different habitat types. Our study shows how distribution and availability of habitat types providing cover and high-quality food shape ungulate habitat selection and space use.
Capra, Hervé; Plichard, Laura; Bergé, Julien; Pella, Hervé; Ovidio, Michaël; McNeil, Eric; Lamouroux, Nicolas
Modeling individual fish habitat selection in highly variable environments such as hydropeaking rivers is required for guiding efficient management decisions. We analyzed fish microhabitat selection in the heterogeneous hydraulic and thermal conditions (modeled in two-dimensions) of a reach of the large hydropeaking Rhône River locally warmed by the cooling system of a nuclear power plant. We used modern fixed acoustic telemetry techniques to survey 18 fish individuals (five barbels, six catfishes, seven chubs) signaling their position every 3s over a three-month period. Fish habitat selection depended on combinations of current microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. velocity, depth), past microhabitat hydraulics (e.g. dewatering risk or maximum velocities during the past 15days) and to a lesser extent substrate and temperature. Mixed-effects habitat selection models indicated that individual effects were often stronger than specific effects. In the Rhône, fish individuals appear to memorize spatial and temporal environmental changes and to adopt a "least constraining" habitat selection. Avoiding fast-flowing midstream habitats, fish generally live along the banks in areas where the dewatering risk is high. When discharge decreases, however, they select higher velocities but avoid both dewatering areas and very fast-flowing midstream habitats. Although consistent with the available knowledge on static fish habitat selection, our quantitative results demonstrate temporal variations in habitat selection, depending on individual behavior and environmental history. Their generality could be further tested using comparative experiments in different environmental configurations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Martinez, Aline S; Queiroz, Eduardo V; Bryson, Mitch; Byrne, Maria; Coleman, Ross A
Understanding site fidelity is important in animal ecology, but evidence is lacking that this behaviour is due to an animal choosing a specific location. To discern site selection behaviour, it is necessary to consider the spatial distribution of habitats that animals can occupy within a landscape. Tracking animals and defining clear habitat boundaries, however, is often difficult. We use in situ habitat distribution data and animal movement simulations to investigate behavioural choice in site fidelity patterns. We resolved the difficulty of gathering data by working with intertidal rock pool systems, which are of manageable size and where boundaries are easy to define. Movements of the intertidal starfish Parvulastra exigua were quantified to test the hypotheses that (1) this species displays fidelity to a particular rock pool and that (2) rock pool fidelity is due to site selection behaviour. Observed patterns of individuals (n = 10 starfish) returning to a previously occupied rock pool (n = 5 pools per location) were tested against an expected null distribution generated through simulations of random movements within their natural patchy environment. Starfish exhibited site selection behaviour at only one location even though site fidelity was high (av. 7·4 starfish out of 10 found in test pools) in two of the three locations. The random chance of a starfish returning to a pool increased 67% for each metre further a rock pool was from the original pool, and 120% for each square metre increase in surface area of an original pool. The decision of returning to an original rock pool was influenced by food availability. When microalgal cover was >60%, there was a c. 50% chance of animals staying faithful to that pool. Our results show the importance to consider spatial distribution of habitats in understanding patterns of animal movement associated with animal choices and site fidelity. Returning to a particular place does not necessarily mean that an animal
Rivieccio, M.; Thompson, B.C.; Gould, W.R.; Boykin, K.G.
Two subspecies of Colorado chipmunk (state threatened and federal species of concern) occur in southern New Mexico: Tamias quadrivittatus australis in the Organ Mountains and T. q. oscuraensis in the Oscura Mountains. We developed a GIS model of potentially suitable habitat based on vegetation and elevation features, evaluated site classifications of the GIS model, and determined vegetation and terrain features associated with chipmunk occurrence. We compared GIS model classifications with actual vegetation and elevation features measured at 37 sites. At 60 sites we measured 18 habitat variables regarding slope, aspect, tree species, shrub species, and ground cover. We used logistic regression to analyze habitat variables associated with chipmunk presence/absence. All (100%) 37 sample sites (28 predicted suitable, 9 predicted unsuitable) were classified correctly by the GIS model regarding elevation and vegetation. For 28 sites predicted suitable by the GIS model, 18 sites (64%) appeared visually suitable based on habitat variables selected from logistic regression analyses, of which 10 sites (36%) were specifically predicted as suitable habitat via logistic regression. We detected chipmunks at 70% of sites deemed suitable via the logistic regression models. Shrub cover, tree density, plant proximity, presence of logs, and presence of rock outcrop were retained in the logistic model for the Oscura Mountains; litter, shrub cover, and grass cover were retained in the logistic model for the Organ Mountains. Evaluation of predictive models illustrates the need for multi-stage analyses to best judge performance. Microhabitat analyses indicate prospective needs for different management strategies between the subspecies. Sensitivities of each population of the Colorado chipmunk to natural and prescribed fire suggest that partial burnings of areas inhabited by Colorado chipmunks in southern New Mexico may be beneficial. These partial burnings may later help avoid a fire
Thomsen, Jörn; Stapp, Laura S; Haynert, Kristin; Schade, Hanna; Danelli, Maria; Lannig, Gisela; Wegner, K Mathias; Melzner, Frank
Ocean acidification severely affects bivalves, especially their larval stages. Consequently, the fate of this ecologically and economically important group depends on the capacity and rate of evolutionary adaptation to altered ocean carbonate chemistry. We document successful settlement of wild mussel larvae ( Mytilus edulis ) in a periodically CO 2 -enriched habitat. The larval fitness of the population originating from the CO 2 -enriched habitat was compared to the response of a population from a nonenriched habitat in a common garden experiment. The high CO 2 -adapted population showed higher fitness under elevated P co 2 (partial pressure of CO 2 ) than the non-adapted cohort, demonstrating, for the first time, an evolutionary response of a natural mussel population to ocean acidification. To assess the rate of adaptation, we performed a selection experiment over three generations. CO 2 tolerance differed substantially between the families within the F 1 generation, and survival was drastically decreased in the highest, yet realistic, P co 2 treatment. Selection of CO 2 -tolerant F 1 animals resulted in higher calcification performance of F 2 larvae during early shell formation but did not improve overall survival. Our results thus reveal significant short-term selective responses of traits directly affected by ocean acidification and long-term adaptation potential in a key bivalve species. Because immediate response to selection did not directly translate into increased fitness, multigenerational studies need to take into consideration the multivariate nature of selection acting in natural habitats. Combinations of short-term selection with long-term adaptation in populations from CO 2 -enriched versus nonenriched natural habitats represent promising approaches for estimating adaptive potential of organisms facing global change.
Full Text Available Although translocation has been used in mitigating human-carnivore conflict for decades, few studies have been conducted on the behavioral ecology of released animals. Such information is necessary in the context of sustainable forest management. In this study we determine the type of land cover used as main habitat and examine the activity pattern of translocated tigers. Between 2008 and 2010 we captured six conflict tigers and translocated them 74-1,350 km from their capture sites in Sumatera. All tigers were fitted with global positioning system (GPS collars. The collars were set to fix 24-48 location coordinates per day. All translocated tigers showed a preference for a certain habitat type within their new home range, and tended to select the majority of natural land cover type within the landscape as their main habitat, but the availability of natural forest habitat within the landscape remains essensial for their survival. The activity of male translocated tigers differed significantly between the six time intervals of 24 hours, and their most active periods were in the afternoon (14:00-18:00 hours and in the evening (18:00-22:00 hours. Despite being preliminary, the findings of this study-which was the first such study conducted in Sumatera-highlight the conservation value of tiger translocation and provide valuable information for improving future management of conflict tigers.Keywords: activity pattern, GPS collars, habitat selection, sumateran tiger, translocation
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.
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
Vaz, Sandrine; Carpentier, Andre; Loots, Christophe; Koubbi, Philippe
Valuable marine habitats and living resources can be found in the Eastern English Channel and in 2003, a Franco-British Interreg IIIA project, ‘Eastern Channel Habitat Atlas for Marine Resource Management’ (CHARM), was initiated to support decision-making for management of essential fish habitats. Fish habitat corresponds to geographic areas within which ranges of environmental factors define the presence of a particular species. Habitat Suitability index (HSI) modelling was used to relate fi...
Short, Henry L.
A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus L.). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Pitman, James W.; Cain, James W.; Liley, Stewart; Gould, William R.; Quintana, Nichole T.; Ballard, Warren
Neonatal survival and juvenile recruitment are crucial to maintaining viable elk (Cervus elaphus) populations. Neonate survival is known to be influenced by many factors, including bed-site selection. Although neonates select the actual bed-site location, they must do so within the larger calf-rearing area selected by the mother. As calves age, habitat selection should change to meet the changing needs of the growing calf. Our main objectives were to characterize habitat selection at 2 spatial scales and in areas with different predator assemblages in New Mexico. We evaluated bed-site selection by calves and calf-rearing area selection by adult females. We captured 108 elk calves by hand and fitted them with ear tag transmitters in two areas in New Mexico: the Valle Vidal and Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area. In both study areas, we found that concealing cover structure and distance to that cover influenced bed-site selection of young calves (i.e., age). Older calves (i.e., 3–10 weeks of age) still selected areas in relation to distance to cover, but also preferred areas with higher visibility. At the larger spatial scale of calf-rearing habitat selection by the adult female, concealing cover (e.g., rocks, shrubs, and logs) and other variables important to the hiding calves were still in the most supported models, but selection was also influenced by forage availability and indices of forage quality. Studies that seek to obtain insight into microhabitat selection of ungulate neonates should consider selection by the neonate and selection by the adult female, changes in selection as neonates age, and potential selection differences in areas of differing predation risk. By considering these influences together and at multiple scales, studies can achieve a broader understanding of neonatal ungulate habitat requirements.
An EPA Western Ecology Division (WED) watershed modeling team has developed a watershed simulation model, VELMA, that state and federal agencies are interested in using for salmon recovery planning in the Pacific Northwest. Team member Bob McKane has been invited to serve on an e...
Full Text Available Vineyards are likely to be regionally important for wildlife, but we lack biodiversity studies in this agroecosystem which is undergoing a rapid management revolution. As vine cultivation is restricted to arid and warm climatic regions, biodiversity-friendly management would promote species typical of southern biomes. Vineyards are often intensively cultivated, mostly surrounded by few natural features and offering a fairly mineral appearance with little ground vegetation cover. Ground vegetation cover and composition may further strongly vary with respect to season, influencing patterns of habitat selection by ecological communities. We investigated season-specific bird-habitat associations to highlight the importance of semi-natural habitat features and vineyard ground vegetation cover throughout the year. Given that avian habitat selection varies according to taxa, guilds and spatial scale, we modelled bird-habitat associations in all months at two spatial scales using mixed effects regression models. At the landscape scale, birds were recorded along 10 1-km long transects in Southwestern Switzerland (February 2014 -January 2015. At the field scale, we compared the characteristics of visited and unvisited vineyard fields (hereafter called parcels. Bird abundance in vineyards tripled in winter compared to summer. Vineyards surrounded by a greater amount of hedges and small woods harboured higher bird abundance, species richness and diversity, especially during the winter season. Regarding ground vegetation, birds showed a season-specific habitat selection pattern, notably a marked preference for ground-vegetated parcels in winter and for intermediate vegetation cover in spring and summer. These season-specific preferences might be related to species-specific life histories: more insectivorous, ground-foraging species occur during the breeding season whereas granivores predominate in winter. These results highlight the importance of
Schroeder, Richard L.
Habitat preferences of the yellow-headed blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) are described in this publication. It is one of a series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models and was developed through an analysis of available infomration on the species-habitat requirements of the species. Habitat use information is presented in a review of the literature, followed by the development of an HSI model, designed for use in impact assessment and habitat management activities.
Geist, D.R.; Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR; Dauble, D.D.
Knowledge of the three-dimensional connectivity between rivers and groundwater within the hyporheic zone can be used to improve the definition of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) spawning habitat. Information exists on the microhabitat characteristics that define suitable salmon spawning habitat. However, traditional spawning habitat models that use these characteristics to predict available spawning habitat are restricted because they can not account for the heterogeneous nature of rivers. The authors present a conceptual spawning habitat model for fall chinook salmon that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Two case studies based on empirical data from fall chinook salmon spawning areas in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River are presented to illustrate important aspects of the conceptual model. The authors suggest that traditional habitat models and the conceptual model be combined to predict the limits of suitable fall chinook salmon spawning habitat. This approach can incorporate quantitative measures of river channel morphology, including general descriptors of geomorphic features at different spatial scales, in order to understand the processes influencing redd site selection and spawning habitat use. This information is needed in order to protect existing salmon spawning habitat in large rivers, as well as to recover habitat already lost
Pickens, Bradley A.; King, Sammy L.; Vasseur, Phillip L.; Zimorski, Sara E.; Selman, Will
Eleven of 15 species of cranes (family: Gruidae) are considered vulnerable or endangered, and the increase of agriculture and aquaculture at the expense of natural wetlands and grasslands is a threat to Gruidae worldwide. A reintroduced population of Whooping Crane (Grus americana) was studied in coastal and agricultural wetlands of Louisiana and Texas, USA. The objectives were to compare Whooping Crane movements across seasons, quantify multiscale habitat selection, and identify seasonal shifts in selection. Whooping Cranes (n = 53) were tracked with satellite transmitters to estimate seasonal core-use areas (50% home range contours) via Brownian bridge movement models and assess habitat selection. Whooping Crane core-use areas (n = 283) ranged from 4.7 to 438.0 km2, and habitat selection changed seasonally as shallow water availability varied. Whooping Crane core-use areas were composed of more fresh marsh in spring/summer, but shifted towards rice and crawfish (Procambarus spp.) aquaculture in the fall/winter. Within core-use areas, aquaculture was most strongly selected, particularly in fall when fresh marsh became unsuitable. Overall, the shifting of Whooping Crane habitat selection over seasons is likely to require large, heterogeneous areas. Whooping Crane use of agricultural and natural wetlands may depend on spatio-temporal dynamics of water depth.
Harris, J.M.; Paukert, Craig P.; Bush, S.C.; Allen, M.J.; Siepker, Michael
Largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides (Lacepède) use of installed habitat structure was evaluated in a large Midwestern USA reservoir to determine whether or not these structures were used in similar proportion to natural habitats. Seventy largemouth bass (>380 mm total length) were surgically implanted with radio transmitters and a subset was relocated monthly during day and night for one year. The top habitat selection models (based on Akaike's information criterion) suggest largemouth bass select 2–4 m depths during night and 4–7 m during day, whereas littoral structure selection was similar across diel periods. Largemouth bass selected boat docks at twice the rate of other structures. Installed woody structure was selected at similar rates to naturally occurring complex woody structure, whereas both were selected at a higher rate than simple woody structure. The results suggest the addition of woody structure may concentrate largemouth bass and mitigate the loss of woody habitat in a large reservoir.
Kesler, D.C.; Haig, S.M.
Information about the interaction between behavior and landscape resources is key to directing conservation management for endangered species. We studied multi-scale occurrence, habitat use, and selection in a cooperatively breeding population of Micronesian kingfishers (Todiramphus cinnamominus) on the island of Pohnpei, Federated States of Micronesia. At the landscape level, point-transect surveys resulted in kingfisher detection frequencies that were higher than those reported in 1994, although they remained 15-40% lower than 1983 indices. Integration of spatially explicit vegetation information with survey results indicated that kingfisher detections were positively associated with the amount of wet forest and grass-urban vegetative cover, and they were negatively associated with agricultural forest, secondary vegetation, and upland forest cover types. We used radiotelemetry and remote sensing to evaluate habitat use by individual kingfishers at the home-range scale. A comparison of habitats in Micronesian kingfisher home ranges with those in randomly placed polygons illustrated that birds used more forested areas than were randomly available in the immediate surrounding area. Further, members of cooperatively breeding groups included more forest in their home ranges than birds in pair-breeding territories, and forested portions of study areas appeared to be saturated with territories. Together, these results suggested that forest habitats were limited for Micronesian kingfishers. Thus, protecting and managing forests is important for the restoration of Micronesian kingfishers to the island of Guam (United States Territory), where they are currently extirpated, as well as to maintaining kingfisher populations on the islands of Pohnpei and Palau. Results further indicated that limited forest resources may restrict dispersal opportunities and, therefore, play a role in delayed dispersal and cooperative behaviors in Micronesian kingfishers.
Jennifer M Fill
Full Text Available In evaluating conservation and management options for species, practitioners might consider surrogate habitats at multiple scales when estimating available habitat or modeling species' potential distributions based on suitable habitats, especially when native environments are rare. Species' dependence on surrogates likely increases as optimal habitat is degraded and lost due to anthropogenic landscape change, and thus surrogate habitats may be vital for an imperiled species' survival in highly modified landscapes. We used spatial habitat models to examine a potential surrogate habitat for an imperiled ambush predator (eastern diamondback rattlesnake, Crotalus adamanteus; EDB at two scales. The EDB is an apex predator indigenous to imperiled longleaf pine ecosystems (Pinus palustris of the southeastern United States. Loss of native open-canopy pine savannas and woodlands has been suggested as the principal cause of the species' extensive decline. We examined EDB habitat selection in the Coastal Plain tidewater region to evaluate the role of marsh as a potential surrogate habitat and to further quantify the species' habitat requirements at two scales: home range (HR and within the home range (WHR. We studied EDBs using radiotelemetry and employed an information-theoretic approach and logistic regression to model habitat selection as use vs.We failed to detect a positive association with marsh as a surrogate habitat at the HR scale; rather, EDBs exhibited significantly negative associations with all landscape patches except pine savanna. Within home range selection was characterized by a negative association with forest and a positive association with ground cover, which suggests that EDBs may use surrogate habitats of similar structure, including marsh, within their home ranges. While our HR analysis did not support tidal marsh as a surrogate habitat, marsh may still provide resources for EDBs at smaller scales.
Lindberg, William J; Frazer, Thomas K; Portier, Kenneth M; Vose, Frederic; Loftin, James; Murie, Debra J; Mason, Doran M; Nagy, Brian; Hart, Mary K
Many exploited reef fish are vulnerable to overfishing because they concentrate over hard-bottom patchy habitats. How mobile reef fish use patchy habitat, and the potential consequences on demographic parameters, must be known for spatially explicit population dynamics modeling, for discriminating essential fish habitat (EFH), and for effectively planning conservation measures (e.g., marine protected areas, stock enhancement, and artificial reefs). Gag, Mycteroperca microlepis, is an ecologically and economically important warm-temperate grouper in the southeastern United States, with behavioral and life history traits conducive to large-scale field experiments. The Suwannee Regional Reef System (SRRS) was built of standard habitat units (SHUs) in 1991-1993 to manipulate and control habitat patchiness and intrinsic habitat quality, and thereby test predictions from habitat selection theory. Colonization of the SRRS by gag over the first six years showed significant interactions of SHU size, spacing, and reef age; with trajectories modeled using a quadratic function for closely spaced SHUs (25 m) and a linear model for widely spaced SHUs (225 m), with larger SHUs (16 standardized cubes) accumulating significantly more gag faster than smaller 4-cube SHUs (mean = 72.5 gag/16-cube SHU at 225-m spacing by year 6, compared to 24.2 gag/4-cube SHU for same spacing and reef age). Residency times (mean = 9.8 mo), indicative of choice and measured by ultrasonic telemetry (1995-1998), showed significant interaction of SHU size and spacing consistent with colonization trajectories. Average relative weight (W(r)) and incremental growth were greater on smaller than larger SHUs (mean W(r) = 104.2 vs. 97.7; incremental growth differed by 15%), contrary to patterns of abundance and residency. Experimental manipulation of shelter on a subset of SRRS sites (2000-2001) confirmed our hypothesis that shelter limits local densities of gag, which, in turn, regulates their growth and
Rigby, Elizabeth A.; Haukos, David A.
Mottled ducks (Anas fulvigula) on the western Gulf Coast have exhibited a steep population decline since the mid 1990s. Low rates of breeding incidence and nest success have been implicated in this decline, but duckling survival and the habitat needs of broods have not been previously investigated in this region. We fitted mottled duck ducklings and adult females with radio transmitters and tracked broods to estimate duckling survival and brood habitat selection on the upper Texas Gulf Coast. Duckling survival to 30 days was high (range among models 0.354–0.567) compared to other dabbling duck species. Estimated fecundity was low, (range among models 0.398–0.634) however, indicating that overall reproductive output is low. Within coastal marsh, broods selected home ranges with more water cover and less upland and fresh marsh landcover than was available in the study area. Within coastal marsh home ranges, broods selected for water cover relative to other landcover types, and there was some evidence that broods avoided unvegetated landcover. Although high quality brood habitat is undeniably important, management efforts to increase mottled duck population growth on the western Gulf Coast may best be spent on increasing nesting habitat quality to increase nest success and breeding incidence.
Terrell, James W.
One of the habitat-based methodologies for impact assessment currently in use by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the Habitat Evaluation Procedures (HEP) (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 1980). HEP is based on the assumption that the quality of an area as wildlife habitat at a specified target year can be described by a single number, called a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI). An HSI of 1.0 represents optimum habitat: an HSI of 0.0 represents unsuitable habitat. The verbal or mathematical rules by which an HSI is assigned to an area are called an HSI model. A series of Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models, described by Schamberger et al. (1982), have been published to assist users in applying HEP. HSI model building approaches are described in U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (1981). One type of HSI model described in detail requires the development of Suitability Index (SI) graphs for habitat variables believed to be important for the growth, survival, standing crop, or other measure of well-being for a species. Suitability indices range from 0 to 1.0, with 1.0 representing optimum conditions for the variable. When HSI models based on suitability indices are used, habitat variable values are measured, or estimated, and converted to SI's through the use of a Suitability Index graph for each variable. Individual SI's are aggregated into an HSI. Standard methods for testing this type of HSI model did not exist at the time the studies reported in this document were performed. A workshop was held in Fort Collins, Colorado, February 14-15, 1983, that brought together biologists experienced in the use, development, and testing of aquatic HSI models, in an effort to address the following objectives: (1) review the needs of HSI model users; (2) discuss and document the results of aquatic HSI model tests; and (3) provide recommendations for the future development, testing, modification, and use of HSI models. Individual presentations, group discussions, and group
Groff, Luke A.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.; Loftin, Cynthia S.
Poikilothermic species, such as amphibians, endure harsh winter conditions via freeze-tolerance or freeze-avoidance strategies. Freeze-tolerance requires a suite of complex, physiological mechanisms (e.g., cryoprotectant synthesis); however, behavioral strategies (e.g., hibernal habitat selection) may be used to regulate hibernaculum temperatures and promote overwintering survival. We investigated the hibernal ecology of the freeze-tolerant Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus) in north-central Maine. Our objectives were to characterize the species hibernaculum microclimate (temperature, relative humidity), evaluate hibernal habitat selection, and describe the spatial arrangement of breeding, post-breeding, and hibernal habitats. We monitored 15 frogs during two winters (2011/12: N = 10; 2012/13: N = 5), measured hibernal habitat features at micro (2 m) and macro (10 m) spatial scales, and recorded microclimate hourly in three strata (hibernaculum, leaf litter, ambient air). We compared these data to that of 57 random locations with logistic regression models, Akaike Information Criterion, and Kolmogorov–Smirnov tests. Hibernaculum microclimate was significantly different and less variable than leaf litter, ambient air, and random location microclimate. Model averaging indicated that canopy cover (−), leaf litter depth (+), and number of logs and stumps (+; microhabitat only) were important predictors of Wood Frog hibernal habitat. These habitat features likely act to insulate hibernating frogs from extreme and variable air temperatures. For example, decreased canopy cover facilitates increased snowpack depth and earlier snowpack accumulation and melt. Altered winter temperature and precipitation patterns attributable to climate change may reduce snowpack insulation, facilitate greater temperature variation in the underlying hibernacula, and potentially compromise Wood Frog winter survival.
Cloern, James E
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.
Lesmerises, Rémi; St-Laurent, Martin-Hugues
Habitat selection studies conducted at the population scale commonly aim to describe general patterns that could improve our understanding of the limiting factors in species-habitat relationships. Researchers often consider interindividual variation in selection patterns to control for its effects and avoid pseudoreplication by using mixed-effect models that include individuals as random factors. Here, we highlight common pitfalls and possible misinterpretations of this strategy by describing habitat selection of 21 black bears Ursus americanus. We used Bayesian mixed-effect models and compared results obtained when using random intercept (i.e., population level) versus calculating individual coefficients for each independent variable (i.e., individual level). We then related interindividual variability to individual characteristics (i.e., age, sex, reproductive status, body condition) in a multivariate analysis. The assumption of comparable behavior among individuals was verified only in 40% of the cases in our seasonal best models. Indeed, we found strong and opposite responses among sampled bears and individual coefficients were linked to individual characteristics. For some covariates, contrasted responses canceled each other out at the population level. In other cases, interindividual variability was concealed by the composition of our sample, with the majority of the bears (e.g., old individuals and bears in good physical condition) driving the population response (e.g., selection of young forest cuts). Our results stress the need to consider interindividual variability to avoid misinterpretation and uninformative results, especially for a flexible and opportunistic species. This study helps to identify some ecological drivers of interindividual variability in bear habitat selection patterns.
Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.
Large predators respond to land cover and physiography that maximize the likelihood of encountering prey. Using locations from global positioning system-collared wolves (Canis lupus), we examined whether land cover, vegetation productivity or change, or habitat-selection value for ungulate prey species themselves most influenced patterns of selection by wolves in a large, intact multiprey system of northern British Columbia. Selection models based on land cover, in combination with topographical features, consistently outperformed models based on indexes of vegetation quantity and quality (using normalized difference vegetation index) or on selection value to prey species (moose [Alces americanus], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], and Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Wolves generally selected for shrub communities and high diversity of cover across seasons and avoided conifer stands and non-vegetated areas and west aspects year-round. Seasonal selection strategies were not always reflected in use patterns, which showed highest frequency of use in riparian, shrub, and conifer classes. Patterns of use and selection for individual wolf packs did not always conform to global models, and appeared related to the distribution of land cover and terrain within respective home ranges. Our findings corroborate the biological linkages between wolves and their habitat related to ease of movement and potential prey associations. ?? American 2011 Society of Mammalogists.
Full Text Available When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF. Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores.
Takahata, Chihiro; Nielsen, Scott Eric; Takii, Akiko; Izumiyama, Shigeyuki
When large carnivores occupy peripheral human lands conflict with humans becomes inevitable, and the reduction of human-carnivore interactions must be the first consideration for those concerned with conflict mitigation. Studies designed to identify areas of high human-bear interaction are crucial for prioritizing management actions. Due to a surge in conflicts, against a background of social intolerance to wildlife and the prevalent use of lethal control throughout Japan, Asiatic black bears (Ursus thibetanus) are now threatened by high rates of mortality. There is an urgent need to reduce the frequency of human-bear encounters if bear populations are to be conserved. To this end, we estimated the habitats that relate to human-bear interactions by sex and season using resource selection functions (RSF). Significant seasonal differences in selection for and avoidance of areas by bears were estimated by distance-effect models with interaction terms of land cover and sex. Human-bear boundaries were delineated on the basis of defined bear-habitat edges in order to identify areas that are in most need of proactive management strategies. Asiatic black bears selected habitats in close proximity to forest edges, forest roads, rivers, and red pine and riparian forests during the peak conflict season and this was correctly predicted in our human-bear boundary maps. Our findings demonstrated that bears selected abandoned forests and agricultural lands, indicating that it should be possible to reduce animal use near human lands by restoring season-specific habitat in relatively remote areas. Habitat-based conflict mitigation may therefore provide a practical means of creating adequate separation between humans and these large carnivores.
Nicholas R Deuel
Full Text Available Understanding habitat selection of gray foxes (Urocyon cinereoargenteus is essential to evaluate their potential response to changes in land use and predator communities. Few studies have evaluated temporal habitat selection or explicitly identified habitats used by gray foxes for diurnal refugia. We used GPS collars to obtain location data for 34 gray foxes (20 males and 14 females from February 2014 to December 2015 to evaluate temporal (seasonal and diel habitat selection and selection of diurnal refugia in southwestern Georgia, USA. We analyzed habitat selection at 2 levels, selection of a core area within the home range and selection of locations within the home range. Habitat selection was non-random (P 0.05. Hardwoods, human use (i.e., areas associated with regular human activity such as buildings, lawns, parking areas, etc., and roads were selected (P 0.05. Selection of habitats for diurnal refugia did not vary seasonally or by sex (P > 0.05, with foxes selecting (P < 0.05 areas near hardwood forests, roads, agriculture, human use, pastures/food plots, and shrub scrub habitats. Gray foxes were observed on the ground while resting, and we found no evidence of gray foxes diurnally resting in trees. Our results suggest that on our study area, gray foxes are an edge species that prefer forests with a hardwood component in areas near human use and roads.
Tiffany A Sprague
Full Text Available Species conservation requires a thorough understanding of habitat requirements. The northern Mexican gartersnake (Thamnophis eques megalops was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act in 2014. Natural resource managers are interested in understanding the ecology of this subspecies to guide management decisions and to determine what features are necessary for habitat creation and restoration. Our objective was to identify habitat selection of northern Mexican gartersnakes in a highly managed, constructed wetland hatchery. We deployed transmitters on 42 individual gartersnakes and documented use of habitat types and selection of specific habitat features. Habitat selection was similar between males and females and varied seasonally. During the active season (March-October, gartersnakes primarily selected wetland edge habitat with abundant cover. Gestating females selected similar locations but with less dense cover. During the inactive season (November-February, gartersnakes selected upland habitats, including rocky slopes with abundant vegetation. These results of this study can help inform management of the subspecies, particularly in human-influenced habitats. Conservation of this subspecies should incorporate a landscape-level approach that includes abundant wetland edge habitat with a mosaic of dense cover for protection and sparsely vegetated areas for basking connected to terrestrial uplands for overwintering.
Filla, Marc; Premier, Joseph; Magg, Nora; Dupke, Claudia; Khorozyan, Igor; Waltert, Matthias; Bufka, Luděk; Heurich, Marco
The greatest threat to the protected Eurasian lynx ( Lynx lynx ) in Central Europe is human-induced mortality. As the availability of lynx prey often peaks in human-modified areas, lynx have to balance successful prey hunting with the risk of encounters with humans. We hypothesized that lynx minimize this risk by adjusting habitat choices to the phases of the day and over seasons. We predicted that (1) due to avoidance of human-dominated areas during daytime, lynx range use is higher at nighttime, that (2) prey availability drives lynx habitat selection at night, whereas high cover, terrain inaccessibility, and distance to human infrastructure drive habitat selection during the day, and that (3) habitat selection also differs between seasons, with altitude being a dominant factor in winter. To test these hypotheses, we analyzed telemetry data (GPS, VHF) of 10 lynx in the Bohemian Forest Ecosystem (Germany, Czech Republic) between 2005 and 2013 using generalized additive mixed models and considering various predictor variables. Night ranges exceeded day ranges by more than 10%. At night, lynx selected open habitats, such as meadows, which are associated with high ungulate abundance. By contrast, during the day, lynx selected habitats offering dense understorey cover and rugged terrain away from human infrastructure. In summer, land-cover type greatly shaped lynx habitats, whereas in winter, lynx selected lower altitudes. We concluded that open habitats need to be considered for more realistic habitat models and contribute to future management and conservation (habitat suitability, carrying capacity) of Eurasian lynx in Central Europe.
Atuo, Fidelis Akunke; O'Connell, Timothy John
Sympatric predators are predicted to partition resources, especially under conditions of food limitation. Spatial heterogeneity that influences prey availability might play an important role in the scales at which potential competitors select habitat. We assessed potential mechanisms for coexistence by examining the role of heterogeneity in resource partitioning between sympatric raptors overwintering in the southern Great Plains. We conducted surveys for wintering Red-tailed hawk ( Buteo jamaicensis ) and Northern Harrier ( Circus cyanea ) at two state wildlife management areas in Oklahoma, USA. We used information from repeated distance sampling to project use locations in a GIS. We applied resource selection functions to model habitat selection at three scales and analyzed for niche partitioning using the outlying mean index. Habitat selection of the two predators was mediated by spatial heterogeneity. The two predators demonstrated significant fine-scale discrimination in habitat selection in homogeneous landscapes, but were more sympatric in heterogeneous landscapes. Red-tailed hawk used a variety of cover types in heterogeneous landscapes but specialized on riparian forest in homogeneous landscapes. Northern Harrier specialized on upland grasslands in homogeneous landscapes but selected more cover types in heterogeneous landscapes. Our study supports the growing body of evidence that landscapes can affect animal behaviors. In the system we studied, larger patches of primary land cover types were associated with greater allopatry in habitat selection between two potentially competing predators. Heterogeneity within the scale of raptor home ranges was associated with greater sympatry in use and less specialization in land cover types selected.
Devries, J H; Clark, R G; Armstrong, L M
According to theory, habitat selection by organisms should reflect underlying habitat-specific fitness consequences and, in birds, reproductive success has a strong impact on population growth in many species. Understanding processes affecting habitat selection also is critically important for guiding conservation initiatives. Northern pintails (Anas acuta) are migratory, temperate-nesting birds that breed in greatest concentrations in the prairies of North America and their population remains below conservation goals. Habitat loss and changing land use practices may have decoupled formerly reliable fitness cues with respect to nest habitat choices. We used data from 62 waterfowl nesting study sites across prairie Canada (1997-2009) to examine nest survival, a primary fitness metric, at multiple scales, in combination with estimates of habitat selection (i.e., nests versus random points), to test for evidence of adaptive habitat choices. We used the same habitat covariates in both analyses. Pintail nest survival varied with nest initiation date, nest habitat, pintail breeding pair density, landscape composition and annual moisture. Selection of nesting habitat reflected patterns in nest survival in some cases, indicating adaptive selection, but strength of habitat selection varied seasonally and depended on population density and landscape composition. Adaptive selection was most evident late in the breeding season, at low breeding densities and in cropland-dominated landscapes. Strikingly, at high breeding density, habitat choice appears to become maladaptive relative to nest predation. At larger spatial scales, the relative availability of habitats with low versus high nest survival, and changing land use practices, may limit the reproductive potential of pintails.
This technical note describes studies of environmental conditions and habitat quality of replicated pond ecosystems dominated by populations of exotic plants or mixed communities of native aquatic plants...
Hightower, Joseph E.; Harris, Julianne E.; Raabe, Joshua K.; Brownell, Prescott; Drew, C. Ashton
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.
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.
Moorman, C.E.; D.C. Guynn, Jr.
Research on the effects of creating group-selection openings of various sizes on breeding birds habitat use in a bottomland hardwood forest of the Upper Coastal Plain of South Carolina. Creation of 0.5-ha group selection openings in southern bottomland forests should provide breeding habitat for some field-edge species in gaps and habitat for forest-interior species and canopy-dwelling forest-edge species between gaps provided that enough mature forest is made available.
Giffen, J.G.; Scott, J.M.; Mountainspring, S.
The abundance and range of the Hawaiian crow, or alala, (Corvus hawaiiensis) have decreased drastically since the 1890's. Fewer than 10 breeding pairs remained in the wild in 1985. A sample of 82 nests during 1970-82 were used to determine habitat associations. Two hundred firty-nine alala observations were used to estimate densities occurring in different vegetation types in 1978. Compared to available habitat, more nests and higher bird densities during the breeding season occurred in areas where: (1) canopy cover was > 60%; (2) koa (Acacia koa) and ohia (Metrosideros polymorpha) were dominant species in the crown layer; (3) native plants constituted > 75% of the understory cover; and (4) the elevation was 1,100-1,500 m. Compared to breeding habitat, nonbreeding habitat tended to lie at lower elevations and in wetter forests having the crown layer dominated by ohia but lacking koa. Habitat loss is a major factor underlying the decline of this species although predation on fledgings, avian disease, and shooting also have reduced the population. Remaining key habitat areas have little or no legal protection through zoning and land ownership. Preserves should be established to encompass the location of existing pairs and to assure the provision of optimum breeding habitat and suitable nonbreeding habitat.
and hydromorphological and chemical characteristics has to be enlightened (EUROPA, 2005). This study links catchment hydrology, stream discharge and physical habitat in a small Danish stream, the stream Ledreborg, and discusses the utility of habitat hydraulic models in relation to the present criteria and methods used......). Hydromorphological conditions in the stream are measured through field study, using a habitat mapping approach and modelled using a habitat hydraulic model (RHYHABSIM). Using RHYHABSIM and both "site-specific" and general HSI's, Weighted Usable Area (WUA) for the trout population at different discharges is assessed...... and differences between simulated WUA using "site-specific" and general habitat preferences are discussed. In RHYHABSIM it is possible to use two different approaches to investigate the hydromorphological conditions in a river, the habitat mapping approach used in this project and the representative reach...
Bradley C Fedy
Full Text Available Growing global energy demands ensure the continued growth of energy development. Energy development in wildlife areas can significantly impact wildlife populations. Efforts to mitigate development impacts to wildlife are on-going, but the effectiveness of such efforts is seldom monitored or assessed. Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus are sensitive to energy development and likely serve as an effective umbrella species for other sagebrush-steppe obligate wildlife. We assessed the response of birds within an energy development area before and after the implementation of mitigation action. Additionally, we quantified changes in habitat distribution and abundance in pre- and post-mitigation landscapes. Sage-grouse avoidance of energy development at large spatial scales is well documented. We limited our research to directly within an energy development field in order to assess the influence of mitigation in close proximity to energy infrastructure. We used nest-location data (n = 488 within an energy development field to develop habitat selection models using logistic regression on data from 4 years of research prior to mitigation and for 4 years following the implementation of extensive mitigation efforts (e.g., decreased activity, buried powerlines. The post-mitigation habitat selection models indicated less avoidance of wells (well density β = 0.18 ± 0.08 than the pre-mitigation models (well density β = -0.09 ± 0.11. However, birds still avoided areas of high well density and nests were not found in areas with greater than 4 wells per km2 and the majority of nests (63% were located in areas with ≤ 1 well per km2. Several other model coefficients differed between the two time periods and indicated stronger selection for sagebrush (pre-mitigation β = 0.30 ± 0.09; post-mitigation β = 0.82 ± 0.08 and less avoidance of rugged terrain (pre-mitigation β = -0.35 ± 0.12; post-mitigation β = -0.05 ± 0.09. Mitigation efforts
D. Joanne Saher
Full Text Available Woodland caribou (Rangifer tarandus caribou are a threatened species throughout Canada. Special management is therefore required to ensure habitat needs are met, particularly because much of their current distribution is heavily influenced by resource extraction activities. Although winter habitat is thought to be limiting and is the primary focus of conservation efforts, maintaining connectivity between summer and winter ranges has received little attention. We used global positioning system data from an interprovincial, woodland caribou herd to define migratory movements on a relatively pristine range. Non-linear models indicated that caribou movement during migration was punctuated; caribou traveled for some distance (movement phase followed by a pause (resting/foraging phase. We then developed resource selection functions (RSFs, using case-controlled logistic regression, to describe resting/foraging sites and movement sites, at the landscape scale. The RSFs indicated that caribou traveled through areas that were less rugged and closer to water than random and that resting/foraging sites were associated with older forests that have a greater component of pine, and are further from water than were random available locations. This approach to analyzing animal location data allowed us to identify two patterns of habitat selection (travel and foraging/resting for caribou during the migratory period. Resultant models are important tools for land use planning to ensure that connectivity between caribou summer and winter ranges is maintained.
Ho Yi Wan; Kevin McGarigal; Joseph L. Ganey; Valentin Lauret; Brad C. Timm; Samuel A. Cushman
Anthropogenic environmental changes are leading to habitat loss and degradation, driving many species to extinction. In this context, habitat models become increasingly important for effective species management and conservation. However, most habitat studies lack replicated study areas and do not properly address the role of nonstationarity and spatial scales in...
Conallin, J.; Boegh, E.; Olsen, M.
Physical habitat is important in determining the carrying capacity of juvenile brown trout, and within freshwater management. Summer daytime physical habitat selection for the parr lifestage (7-20 cm) juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta) was assessed in 6 small lowland streams. Habitat preference...... was determined for the four variables; water velocity, water depth, substrate and cover, and the preferences for physical habitat selection were expressed in terms of habitat suitability indices (HSI's). The statistical confidence of HSI's was evaluated using power analysis. It was found that a minimum of 22...... fish observations was needed to have statistical confidence in the HSIs for water depth, and a minimum of 92 fish observations for water velocity during daytime summer conditions. Generally parr were utilising the deeper habitats, indicating preference for deeper water. Cover was also being selected...
Michael F Cameron
Full Text Available The first year of life is typically the most critical to a pinniped's survival, especially for Arctic phocids which are weaned at only a few weeks of age and left to locate and capture prey on their own. Their seasonal movements and habitat selection are therefore important factors in their survival. During a cooperative effort between scientists and subsistence hunters in October 2004, 2005, and 2006, 13 female and 13 male young (i.e., age <2 bearded seals (Erignathus barbatus were tagged with satellite-linked dive recorders (SDRs in Kotzebue Sound, Alaska. Shortly after being released, most seals moved south with the advancing sea-ice through the Bering Strait and into the Bering Sea where they spent the winter and early spring. The SDRs of 17 (8 female and 9 male seals provided frequent high-quality positions in the Bering Sea; their data were used in our analysis. To investigate habitat selection, we simulated 20 tracks per seal by randomly selecting from the pooled distributions of the absolute bearings and swim speeds of the tagged seals. For each point in the observed and simulated tracks, we obtained the depth, sea-ice concentration, and the distances to sea-ice, open water, the shelf break and coastline. Using logistic regression with a stepwise model selection procedure, we compared the simulated tracks to those of the tagged seals and obtained a model for describing habitat selection. The regression coefficients indicated that the bearded seals in our study selected locations near the ice edge. In contrast, aerial surveys of the bearded seal population, predominantly composed of adults, indicated higher abundances in areas farther north and in heavier pack ice. We hypothesize that this discrepancy is the result of behavioral differences related to age. Ice concentration was also shown to be a statistically significant variable in our model. All else being equal, areas of higher ice concentration are selected for up to about 80%. The
Mayor, Stephen J.; Schaefer, James A.; Schneider, David C.; Mahoney, Shane P.
Greater understanding of habitat selection requires investigation at the scales at which organisms perceive and respond to their environment. Such knowledge could reveal the relative importance of factors limiting populations and the extent of response to habitat changes, and so guide conservation initiatives. We conducted a novel, spatially explicit analysis of winter habitat selection by caribou ( Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland, Canada, to elucidate the spatial scales of habitat selection. We combined conventional hierarchical habitat analysis with a newly developed geospatial approach that quantifies selection across scales as the difference in variance between available and used sites. We used both ordination and univariate analyses of lichen and plant cover, snow hardness and depth. This represents the first use of ordination with geostatistics for the assessment of habitat selection. Caribou habitat selection was driven by shallow, soft snow and high cover of Cladina lichens and was strongest at feeding microsites (craters) and broader feeding areas. Habitat selection was most evident at distance lags of up to 15 km, perhaps an indication of the perceptual abilities of caribou.
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.
Maria C. Mateo Sanchez; Samuel A. Cushman; Santiago Saura
Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales. Thus, explicit attention to scale dependency in species-habitat relationships is critical to understand the habitat suitability patterns as perceived by organisms in complex landscapes. Identification of the scales at which particular environmental variables influence habitat selection may be as important as...
Nov 8, 1988 ... in this study were vegetation cover, plant community structure and sand movement. ... The arthropod orders were less susceptible to zonation and strict habitat ... relationships which permit species to coexist and optimal.
Brock M Huntsman
Full Text Available Density-dependent (DD and density-independent (DI habitat selection is strongly linked to a species' evolutionary history. Determining the relative importance of each is necessary because declining populations are not always the result of altered DI mechanisms but can often be the result of DD via a reduced carrying capacity. We developed spatially and temporally explicit models throughout the Chena River, Alaska to predict important DI mechanisms that influence Chinook salmon spawning success. We used resource-selection functions to predict suitable spawning habitat based on geomorphic characteristics, a semi-distributed water-and-energy balance hydrologic model to generate stream flow metrics, and modeled stream temperature as a function of climatic variables. Spawner counts were predicted throughout the core and periphery spawning sections of the Chena River from escapement estimates (DD and DI variables. Additionally, we used isodar analysis to identify whether spawners actively defend spawning habitat or follow an ideal free distribution along the riverscape. Aerial counts were best explained by escapement and reference to the core or periphery, while no models with DI variables were supported in the candidate set. Furthermore, isodar plots indicated habitat selection was best explained by ideal free distributions, although there was strong evidence for active defense of core spawning habitat. Our results are surprising, given salmon commonly defend spawning resources, and are likely due to competition occurring at finer spatial scales than addressed in this study.
Full Text Available We studied the seasonal habitat selection of the red deer, Cervus elaphus alxaicus Bobrinskii & Flerov, 1935, in the Helan Mountains, China, from December 2007 to December 2008. Habitat selection varied widely by season. Seasonal movements between high and low elevations were attributed to changes in forage availability, alpine topography, the arid climate of the Helan Mountains, and potential competition with blue sheep, Pseudois nayaur (Hodgson, 1833. The use of vegetation types varied seasonally according to food availability and ambient temperature. Red deer used montane coniferous forest and alpine shrub and meadow zones distributed above 2,000 m and 3,000 m in summer, alpine shrub and meadows above 3,000 m in autumn, being restricted to lower elevation habitats in spring and winter. The winter habitat of C. elaphus alxaicus was dominated by Ulmus glaucescens Franch. and Juglans regia Linnaeus, deciduous trees, and differed from the habitats selected by other subspecies of red deer. Cervus elaphus alxaicus preferred habitats with abundant vegetation coverage to open habitats in winter, but the reverse pattern was observed in summer and autumn. Red deer preferred gentle slopes (<10° but the use of slope gradient categories varied seasonally. Red deer avoidance of human disturbance in the Helan Mountains varied significantly by season. Information on red deer habitat selection can help understand the factors affecting seasonal movements and also support decision making in the management and conservation of red deer and their habitats.
Michael J Anteau
Full Text Available Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers. We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2 that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had <38% coverage of silt and <10% slope at the site, and <15% coverage of vegetation or litter and <31% slope within the 3-m radius. Gravel was selected for at nest sites (11% median, but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Stanley, Thomas R.; Newmark, William D.
Most tropical insectivorous birds, unlike their temperate counterparts, hold and defend a feeding and breeding territory year-around. However, our understanding of ecological factors influencing territory selection and size in tropical insectivores is limited. Here we examine three prominent hypotheses relating food abundance, food dispersion (spatial arrangement of food items), and habitat structure to territoriality in the Usambara Thrush Turdus roehli. We first compared leaf-litter macro-invertebrate abundance and dispersion, and habitat structure between territories and random sites. We then examined the relation between these same ecological factors and territory size. Invertebrate abundance and dispersion were sparsely and evenly distributed across our study system and did not vary between territories and random sites. In contrast, habitat structure did vary between territories and random sites indicating the Usambara Thrush selects territories with open understorey and closed overstorey habitat. Invertebrate abundance and dispersion within territories of the Usambara Thrush were not associated with habitat structure. We believe the most likely explanation for the Usambara Thrush’s preference for open understorey and closed overstorey habitat relates to foraging behavior. Using information-theoretic model selection we found that invertebrate abundance was the highest-ranked predictor of territory size and was inversely related, consistent with food value theory of territoriality.
Dueser, R D [Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville; Hallett, J G
In a study of habitat exploitation in a forest-floor small mammal community, we have collected habitat and population data for Peromyscus leucopus, Ochrotomys nuttalli, and Tamias striatus. Using multiple regression analysis, researchers estimate the effects of habitat selection and competition on the local distributions of these species during three seasons. Each of the partial regression coefficients relating the density of an independent species to the density of the dependent species is negative. This result indicates that competition is pervasive among these species. Competitive ability and habitat selectivity both increase in the order Peromyscus-Tamias-Ochrotomys. Peromyscus is a poorly competitive habitat generalist, Ochrotomys is a strongly competitive habitat specialist, and Tamias is intermediate in both respects. The competitive hierarchy is stable between seasons. These results both confirm the conclusions reached in previous studies of this small mammal community and suggest the design of experiments to further clarify the mode and consequences of interaction between these species.
Ouren, Douglas S.; Garrott, Robert A.; Watts, Raymond D.; Lukins, William J.
Problem Statement One of the major challenges to grizzly bear preservation in the greater Yellowstone area is the impact on grizzly bear habitat selection by various types and intensities of human activities. The most prevalent of these human activities is the presence and intensity of use of motorized transportation systems. These transportation systems provide increased access into grizzly bear habitat and thus increase the risk of mortality and dilute the effectiveness of their habitat (Br...
Anteau, Michael J; Sherfy, Mark H; Wiltermuth, Mark T
Animals use proximate cues to select resources that maximize individual fitness. When animals have a diverse array of available habitats, those selected could give insights into true habitat preferences. Since the construction of the Garrison Dam on the Missouri River in North Dakota, Lake Sakakawea (SAK) has become an important breeding area for federally threatened piping plovers (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plovers). We used conditional logistic regression to examine nest-site selection at fine scales (1, 3, and 10 m) during summers 2006-2009 by comparing characteristics at 351 nests to those of 668 random sites within nesting territories. Plovers selected sites (1 m(2)) that were lower than unused random sites, increasing the risk of nest inundation. Plovers selected nest sites that were flat, had little silt, and at least 1 cobble; they also selected for 3-m radius nest areas that were relatively flat and devoid of vegetation and litter. Ninety percent of nests had nest sites (11% median), but against in the area 10-m from the nest, suggesting plovers select for patches or strips of gravel. Although elevation is rarely evaluated in studies of ground-nesting birds, our results underscore its importance in habitat-selection studies. Relative to where plovers historically nested, habitat at SAK has more diverse topography, substrate composition, vegetation communities, and greater water-level fluctuations. Accordingly, our results provide an example of how habitat-selection results can be interpreted as habitat preferences because they are not influenced by desired habitats being scarce or absent. Further, our results will be useful for directing habitat conservation for plovers and interpreting other habitat-selection studies.
Full Text Available Habitat selection of semi-domesticated reindeer (Rangifer tarandus tarandus was investigated through faecal pellet- group counts and by direct observations of reindeer from helicopter in the Långfjället area in Idre reindeer herding district (62˚10’N and in Mittådalen reindeer herding district (62˚50’N, aerial observations only. Reindeer pellets were found to be most abundant in habitats at high altitudes, and in some vegetation types. Pellet-group densities tended to be higher near the tourist trails, which often follow higher altitudes in the terrain. The aerial surveys showed that the reindeer moved towards higher altitudes when the wind speed was low and the temperature was high both in June and July. In June they moved towards lower regions when temperature was low and the wind speed was strong. The conclusion is that the reindeer use Långfjället to escape insect harassment and warm weather, even though disturbance by tourism sometimes is high.Abstract in Swedish / Sammanfattning:Habitatval hos tamren (Rangifer tarandus tarandus undersöktes genom att göra en spillningsinventering och genom att göra flygobservationer från helikopter. Studien gjordes på Långfjället (62˚10’N i Idre nya sameby och i Mittådalens samebys sommarbetesområde (62˚50’N, endast flygobservationer. På Långfjället finns det vandringsleder som är frekventerade av vandrare från juni månad fram till september. Spillningen visade att renarna föredrog höjderna i området samt en del av vegetationstyperna. Det var också mer spillning närmare vandringslederna. Detta kan förklaras av att vandringslederna följer höjderna i terrängen. Flyginventeringarna under både juni och juli visade att renarna rörde sig mot högre terräng när det var varmt och lugnt väder. I juni rörde dom sig också i lägre terräng när det var stark vind och kallt väder. Slutsatsen är att renarna väljer att vistas i högre terräng för att undvika st
Viana, Duarte S; Granados, José Enrique; Fandos, Paulino; Pérez, Jesús M; Cano-Manuel, Francisco Javier; Burón, Daniel; Fandos, Guillermo; Aguado, María Ángeles Párraga; Figuerola, Jordi; Soriguer, Ramón C
Space use by animals is determined by the interplay between movement and the environment, and is thus mediated by habitat selection, biotic interactions and intrinsic factors of moving individuals. These processes ultimately determine home range size, but their relative contributions and dynamic nature remain less explored. We investigated the role of habitat selection, movement unrelated to habitat selection and intrinsic factors related to sex in driving space use and home range size in Iberian ibex, Capra pyrenaica . We used GPS collars to track ibex across the year in two different geographical areas of Sierra Nevada, Spain, and measured habitat variables related to forage and roost availability. By using integrated step selection analysis (iSSA), we show that habitat selection was important to explain space use by ibex. As a consequence, movement was constrained by habitat selection, as observed displacement rate was shorter than expected under null selection. Selection-independent movement, selection strength and resource availability were important drivers of seasonal home range size. Both displacement rate and directional persistence had a positive relationship with home range size while accounting for habitat selection, suggesting that individual characteristics and state may also affect home range size. Ibex living at higher altitudes, where resource availability shows stronger altitudinal gradients across the year, had larger home ranges. Home range size was larger in spring and autumn, when ibex ascend and descend back, and smaller in summer and winter, when resources are more stable. Therefore, home range size decreased with resource availability. Finally, males had larger home ranges than females, which might be explained by differences in body size and reproductive behaviour. Movement, selection strength, resource availability and intrinsic factors related to sex determined home range size of Iberian ibex. Our results highlight the need to integrate
Lerman, Susannah B.; Nislow, Keith H.; Nowak, David J.; DeStefano, Stephen; King, David I.; Jones-Farrand, D. Todd
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.
Naomi S. Foley
Full Text Available This paper reviews the bioeconomic literature on habitat-fisheries connections. Many such connections have been explored in the bioeconomic literature; however, missing from the literature is an analysis merging the potential influences of habitat on both fish stocks and fisheries into one general, overarching theoretical model. We attempt to clarify the nature of linkages between the function of habitats and the economic activities they support. More specifically, we identify theoretically the ways that habitat may enter the standard Gordon-Schaefer model, and nest these interactions in the general model. Habitat influences are defined as either biophysical or bioeconomic. Biophysical effects relate to the functional role of habitat in the growth of the fish stock and may be either essential or facultative to the species. Bioeconomic interactions relate to the effect of habitat on fisheries and can be shown through either the harvest function or the profit function. We review how habitat loss can affect stock, effort, and harvest under open access and maximum economic yield managed fisheries.
Fukuda, Shinji; Hiramatsu, Kazuaki; Mori, Makito; Shikasyo, Shiomi
It is widely known that habitat selections of riverine fish differ within and between rivers. In our past study, the preference intensity of Japanese Medaka (Oryzias latipes) to three environmental factors of water depth, current velocity and cover ratio was quantified on laboratory open-channel experiments for developing a general habitat preference model. A simplified fuzzy reasoning method was introduced in consideration of essential vagueness of fish behaviors. The fuzzy preference inten...
Wendy D. Jones; Carlton M. Jones; Peter F. Ffolliott; Gerald J. Gottfried
The encinal savannas of the sub-mogollon southwestern United States are important for livestock grazing and wildlife habitat. Little data have been collected on the ecology of these Sierra Madrean types of woodland land areas, which makes management difficult. Obtaining information such as habitat preferences for selected wildlife species and livestock can be an...
Lidianne L. Rocha
Full Text Available We investigated the relationship among environmental variables, composition, and structure of bacterial communities in different habitats in a mangrove located nearby to an oil exploitation area, aiming to retrieve the natural pattern of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. The T-RFLP analysis showed a high diversity of bacterial populations and an increase in the bacterial richness from habitats closer to the sea and without vegetation (S1 to habitats covered by Avicennia schaueriana (S2 and Rhizophora mangle (S3. Environmental variables in S1 and S2 were more similar than in S3; however, when comparing the bacterial compositions, S2 and S3 shared more OTUs between them, suggesting that the presence of vegetation is an important factor in shaping these bacterial communities. In silico analyses of the fragments revealed a high diversity of the class Gammaproteobacteria in the 3 sites, although in general they presented quite different bacterial composition, which is probably shaped by the specificities of each habitat. This study shows that microhabitats inside of a mangrove ecosystem harbor diverse and distinct microbiota, reinforcing the need to conserve these ecosystems as a whole.
Rocha, Lidianne L.; Colares, Geórgia B.; Nogueira, Vanessa L. R.; Paes, Fernanda A.; Melo, Vânia M. M.
We investigated the relationship among environmental variables, composition, and structure of bacterial communities in different habitats in a mangrove located nearby to an oil exploitation area, aiming to retrieve the natural pattern of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. The T-RFLP analysis showed a high diversity of bacterial populations and an increase in the bacterial richness from habitats closer to the sea and without vegetation (S1) to habitats covered by Avicennia schaueriana (S2) and Rhizophora mangle (S3). Environmental variables in S1 and S2 were more similar than in S3; however, when comparing the bacterial compositions, S2 and S3 shared more OTUs between them, suggesting that the presence of vegetation is an important factor in shaping these bacterial communities. In silico analyses of the fragments revealed a high diversity of the class Gammaproteobacteria in the 3 sites, although in general they presented quite different bacterial composition, which is probably shaped by the specificities of each habitat. This study shows that microhabitats inside of a mangrove ecosystem harbor diverse and distinct microbiota, reinforcing the need to conserve these ecosystems as a whole. PMID:26989418
de Haas, E.M.; Wagner, C.; Koelmans, A.A.; Kraak, M.H.S.; Admiraal, W.
1. Sediments have been considered as a habitat, a cover from predators and a source of food, but also as a source of potential toxic compounds. Therefore, the choice of a suitable substrate is essential for the development of chironomids. 2. For the midge Chironomus riparius (Meigen 1804) the growth
Bonin, M. C.
Coral reef habitats are increasingly being degraded and destroyed by a range of disturbances, most notably climate-induced coral bleaching. Habitat specialists, particularly those associated with susceptible coral species, are clearly among the most vulnerable to population decline or extinction. However, the degree of specialization on coral microhabitats is still unclear for one of the most ubiquitous, abundant and well studied of coral reef fish families—the damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Using high taxonomic resolution surveys of microhabitat use and availability, this study provides the first species-level description of patterns of Acropora selectivity among recruits of 10 damselfish species in order to determine their vulnerability to habitat degradation. In addition, surveys of the bleaching susceptibility of 16 branching coral species revealed which preferred recruitment microhabitats are at highest risk of decline as a result of chronic coral bleaching. Four species (i.e., Chrysiptera parasema, Pomacentrus moluccensis, Dascyllus melanurus and Chromis retrofasciata) were identified as highly vulnerable because they used only branching hard corals as recruitment habitat and primarily associated with only 2-4 coral species. The bleaching surveys revealed that five species of Acropora were highly susceptible to bleaching, with more than 50% of colonies either severely bleached or already dead. These highly susceptible corals included two of the preferred microhabitats of the specialist C. parasema and represented a significant proportion of its total recruitment microhabitat. In contrast, highly susceptible corals were rarely used by another specialist, P. moluccensis, suggesting that this species faces a lower risk of bleaching-induced habitat loss compared to C. parasema. As degradation to coral reef habitats continues, specialists will increasingly be forced to use alternative recruitment microhabitats, and this is likely to reduce population
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
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...
Full Text Available Physical habitat is important in determining the carrying capacity of juvenile brown trout, and within freshwater management. Summer daytime physical habitat selection for the parr lifestage (7–20 cm juvenile brown trout (Salmo trutta was assessed in 6 small lowland streams. Habitat preference was determined for the four variables; water velocity, water depth, substrate and cover, and the preferences for physical habitat selection were expressed in terms of habitat suitability indices (HSI’s. The statistical confidence of HSI’s was evaluated using power analysis. It was found that a minimum of 22 fish observations was needed to have statistical confidence in the HSIs for water depth, and a minimum of 92 fish observations for water velocity during daytime summer conditions. Generally parr were utilising the deeper habitats, indicating preference for deeper water. Cover was also being selected for at all sites, but selection was inconsistent among sites for the variables substrate and velocity. The results indicate that during daytime summer conditions water depth is a significant variable for parr habitat selection in these small lowland streams, with cover also being important. Therefore, daytime refugia may be a critical limiting factor for parr in small lowland streams, and important for stream management actions under the Water Framework Directive.
Altmoos, Michael; Henle, Klaus
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.
Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.
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.
Fleskes, Joseph P.; Gilmer, David S.; Jarvis, Robert L.
To determine relative importance of habitats available in the Grassland Ecological Area (GEA) to wintering female northern pintails, Anas acuta, we studied habitat use relative to availability (i.e., habitat selection) in the GEA during September through March, 1991-94 for 196 Hatch-Year (HY) and 221 After-Hatch-Year (AHY) female pintails that were radio tagged during August-early October in the GEA (n = 239), other San Joaquin Valley areas (n = 132), or other Central Valley areas (n = 46). Habitat availability and use varied among seasons and years, but pintails always selected shallow and, except on hunting days, open habitats. Swamp timothy, Heleochloa schoenoides, marsh was the most available, used, and selected habitat. Watergrass, Echinochloa crusgalli, marsh in the GEA was used less than available at night in contrast to previous studies in other SJV areas. Preferred late-winter habitats were apparently lacking in the GEA, at least relative to in the Sacramento Valley and Delta where most pintails moved to in December each year. Impacts on pintails of the increasing practice of managing marshes for increased emergent vegetation to attract other species should be monitored. Shallow, open habitats that produce seeds and invertebrates available to pintails in late winter would help maintain pintail abundance in the GEA.
Wilson, Ryan R; Regehr, Eric V; Rode, Karyn D; St Martin, Michelle
Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears. © 2016 The Author(s).
Wilson, Ryan R.; Regehr, Eric V.; Rode, Karyn D.; St Martin, Michelle
Climate change is expected to alter many species' habitat. A species' ability to adjust to these changes is partially determined by their ability to adjust habitat selection preferences to new environmental conditions. Sea ice loss has forced polar bears (Ursus maritimus) to spend longer periods annually over less productive waters, which may be a primary driver of population declines. A negative population response to greater time spent over less productive water implies, however, that prey are not also shifting their space use in response to sea ice loss. We show that polar bear habitat selection in the Chukchi Sea has not changed between periods before and after significant sea ice loss, leading to a 75% reduction of highly selected habitat in summer. Summer was the only period with loss of highly selected habitat, supporting the contention that summer will be a critical period for polar bears as sea ice loss continues. Our results indicate that bears are either unable to shift selection patterns to reflect new prey use patterns or that there has not been a shift towards polar basin waters becoming more productive for prey. Continued sea ice loss is likely to further reduce habitat with population-level consequences for polar bears.
Randall A., Jr. Schultz; Thomas C., Jr. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen; Tracey S. Frescino
The ability of USDA Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) generated spatial products to increase the predictive accuracy of spatially explicit, macroscale habitat models was examined for nest-site selection by cavity-nesting birds in Fishlake National Forest, Utah. One FIA-derived variable (percent basal area of aspen trees) was significant in the habitat...
David S. Maehr
Full Text Available A recent model of Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi habitat erred in arbitrarily creating buffers around radio locations collected during daylight hours on the assumption that study animals were only at rest during these times. The buffers generated by this method likely cause an overestimation of the amounts and kinds of habitats that are used by the panther. This, and other errors, could lead to the impression that unfragmented forest cover is unimportant to panther conservation, and could encourage inaccurate characterizations of panther habitat. Previous 24-hour monitoring of activity and activity readings made during routine telemetry flights indicate that high levels of activity occur in the early morning hours. Literature on the behavior of the species does not support the creation of large buffers around telemetry locations to compensate for the lack of nighttime telemetry data. A thorough examination of ongoing studies that use global positioning systems may help calibrate future Florida panther habitat models.
Joseph W Hinton
Full Text Available Recovery of large carnivores remains a challenge because complex spatial dynamics that facilitate population persistence are poorly understood. In particular, recovery of the critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus has been challenging because of its vulnerability to extinction via human-caused mortality and hybridization with coyotes (Canis latrans. Therefore, understanding red wolf space use and habitat selection is important to assist recovery because key aspects of wolf ecology such as interspecific competition, foraging, and habitat selection are well-known to influence population dynamics and persistence. During 2009-2011, we used global positioning system (GPS radio-telemetry to quantify space use and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient red wolves on the Albemarle Peninsula of eastern North Carolina. The Albemarle Peninsula was a predominantly agricultural landscape in which red wolves maintained spatially stable home ranges that varied between 25 km2 and 190 km2. Conversely, transient red wolves did not maintain home ranges and traversed areas between 122 km2 and 681 km2. Space use by transient red wolves was not spatially stable and exhibited shifting patterns until residency was achieved by individual wolves. Habitat selection was similar between resident and transient red wolves in which agricultural habitats were selected over forested habitats. However, transients showed stronger selection for edges and roads than resident red wolves. Behaviors of transient wolves are rarely reported in studies of space use and habitat selection because of technological limitations to observed extensive space use and because they do not contribute reproductively to populations. Transients in our study comprised displaced red wolves and younger dispersers that competed for limited space and mating opportunities. Therefore, our results suggest that transiency is likely an important life-history strategy for red wolves that
Hinton, Joseph W.; Proctor, Christine; Kelly, Marcella J.; van Manen, Frank T.; Vaughan, Michael R.; Chamberlain, Michael J.
Recovery of large carnivores remains a challenge because complex spatial dynamics that facilitate population persistence are poorly understood. In particular, recovery of the critically endangered red wolf (Canis rufus) has been challenging because of its vulnerability to extinction via human-caused mortality and hybridization with coyotes (Canis latrans). Therefore, understanding red wolf space use and habitat selection is important to assist recovery because key aspects of wolf ecology such as interspecific competition, foraging, and habitat selection are well-known to influence population dynamics and persistence. During 2009–2011, we used global positioning system (GPS) radio-telemetry to quantify space use and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient red wolves on the Albemarle Peninsula of eastern North Carolina. The Albemarle Peninsula was a predominantly agricultural landscape in which red wolves maintained spatially stable home ranges that varied between 25 km2 and 190 km2. Conversely, transient red wolves did not maintain home ranges and traversed areas between 122 km2 and 681 km2. Space use by transient red wolves was not spatially stable and exhibited shifting patterns until residency was achieved by individual wolves. Habitat selection was similar between resident and transient red wolves in which agricultural habitats were selected over forested habitats. However, transients showed stronger selection for edges and roads than resident red wolves. Behaviors of transient wolves are rarely reported in studies of space use and habitat selection because of technological limitations to observed extensive space use and because they do not contribute reproductively to populations. Transients in our study comprised displaced red wolves and younger dispersers that competed for limited space and mating opportunities. Therefore, our results suggest that transiency is likely an important life-history strategy for red wolves that facilitates
Full Text Available Habitat selection studies generally assume that animals select habitat and food resources at multiple scales to maximise their fitness. However, animals sometimes prefer habitats of apparently low quality, especially when considering the costs associated with spatially heterogeneous human disturbance. We used spatial variation in human disturbance, and its consequences on lynx survival, a direct fitness component, to test the Hierarchical Habitat Selection hypothesis from a population of Eurasian lynx Lynx lynx in southern Norway. Data from 46 lynx monitored with telemetry indicated that a high proportion of forest strongly reduced the risk of mortality from legal hunting at the home range scale, while increasing road density strongly increased such risk at the finer scale within the home range. We found hierarchical effects of the impact of human disturbance, with a higher road density at a large scale reinforcing its negative impact at a fine scale. Conversely, we demonstrated that lynx shifted their habitat selection to avoid areas with the highest road densities within their home ranges, thus supporting a compensatory mechanism at fine scale enabling lynx to mitigate the impact of large-scale disturbance. Human impact, positively associated with high road accessibility, was thus a stronger driver of lynx space use at a finer scale, with home range characteristics nevertheless constraining habitat selection. Our study demonstrates the truly hierarchical nature of habitat selection, which aims at maximising fitness by selecting against limiting factors at multiple spatial scales, and indicates that scale-specific heterogeneity of the environment is driving individual spatial behaviour, by means of trade-offs across spatial scales.
Franck A Hollander
Full Text Available In human-altered environments, organisms may preferentially settle in poor-quality habitats where fitness returns are lower relative to available higher-quality habitats. Such ecological trapping is due to a mismatch between the cues used during habitat selection and the habitat quality. Maladaptive settlement decisions may occur when organisms are time-constrained and have to rapidly evaluate habitat quality based on incomplete knowledge of the resources and conditions that will be available later in the season. During a three-year study, we examined settlement decision-making in the long-distance migratory, open-habitat bird, the Red-backed shrike (Lanius collurio, as a response to recent land-use changes. In Northwest Europe, the shrikes typically breed in open areas under a management regime of extensive farming. In recent decades, Spruce forests have been increasingly managed with large-size cutblocks in even-aged plantations, thereby producing early-successional vegetation areas that are also colonised by the species. Farmland and open areas in forests create mosaics of two different types of habitats that are now occupied by the shrikes. We examined redundant measures of habitat preference (order of settlement after migration and distribution of dominant individuals and several reproductive performance parameters in both habitat types to investigate whether habitat preference is in line with habitat quality. Territorial males exhibited a clear preference for the recently created open areas in forests with higher-quality males settling in this habitat type earlier. Reproductive performance was, however, higher in farmland, with higher nest success, offspring quantity, and quality compared to open areas in forests. The results showed strong among-year consistency and we can therefore exclude a transient situation. This study demonstrates a case of maladaptive habitat selection in a farmland bird expanding its breeding range to human
Victoria A Bennett
Full Text Available It is essential to choose suitable habitat when reintroducing a species into its former range. Habitat quality may influence an individual's dispersal decisions and also ultimately where they choose to settle. We examined whether variation in habitat quality (quantified by the level of ground vegetation cover and the installation of nest boxes influenced the movement, habitat choice and survival of a reintroduced bird species. We experimentally reintroduced seven social groups (43 individuals of the brown treecreeper (Climacteris picumnus into two nature reserves in south-eastern Australia. We radio-tracked 18 brown treecreepers from release in November 2009 until February 2010. We observed extensive movements by individuals irrespective of the release environment or an individual's gender. This indicated that individuals were capable of dispersing and actively selecting optimum habitat. This may alleviate pressure on wildlife planners to accurately select the most optimum release sites, so long as the species' requirements are met. There was significant variation in movement between social groups, suggesting that social factors may be a more important influence on movement than habitat characteristics. We found a significant effect of ground vegetation cover on the likelihood of settlement by social groups, with high rates of settlement and survival in dry forests, rather than woodland (where the species typically resides, which has implications for the success of woodland restoration. However, overall the effects of variation in habitat quality were not as strong as we had expected, and resulted in some unpredicted effects such as low survival and settlement in woodland areas with medium levels of ground vegetation cover. The extensive movement by individuals and unforeseen effects of habitat characteristics make it difficult to predict the outcome of reintroductions, the movement behaviour and habitat selection of reintroduced individuals
Maria Vergara; Samuel A. Cushman; Fermin Urra; Aritz Ruiz-Gonzalez
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...
Downs, J. L; Tiller, B. L [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Witter, M. [Shannon and Wilson, Inc., Seattle, WA (United States). Geotechnical and Environmental Consultants, Seattle, Washington (United States); Mazaika, R. [Corps of Engineers, Portland, OR (United States)
Studies in this document were initiated to establish baseline information on riparian and wetland habitat conditions at the areas studied under the current reservoir operations on the lower Snake River. Two approaches were used to assess habitat at 28 study sites selected on the four pools on the lower Snake River. These areas all contribute significant riparian habitat along the river, and several of these areas are designated habitat management units. At 14 of the 28 sites, we monitored riparian habitat on three dates during the growing season to quantify vegetation abundance and composition along three transects: soil nutrients, moisture, and pH and water level and pH. A second approach involved identifying any differences in the extent and amount of riparian/wetland habitat currently found at the study areas from that previously documented. We used both ground and boat surveys to map and classify the changes in vegetative cover along the shoreline at the 14 monitoring sites and at 14 additional sites along the lower Snake selected to represent various riparian/wetland habitat conditions. Results of these mapping efforts are compared with maps of cover types previously generated using aerial photography taken in 1987.
Louis R. Iverson; Anantha M. Prasad; Stephen N. Matthews; Matthew P. Peters
We present an approach to modeling potential climate-driven changes in habitat for tree and bird species in the eastern United States. First, we took an empirical-statistical modeling approach, using randomForest, with species abundance data from national inventories combined with soil, climate, and landscape variables, to build abundance-based habitat models for 134...
Lee A. Vierling; Kerri T. Vierling; Patrick Adam; Andrew T. Hudak
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...
All previous behavioural studies of Temminck's ground pangolins (Smutsia temminckii) have focused on populations in mesic regions. We examined home range size, activity periods, habitat selectivity and refuge site selection of 13 individuals over three years in the Kalahari Desert of South Africa, near the western edge of ...
Northrup, Joseph; Anderson, Charles R.; Hooten, Mevin B.; Wittemyer, George
Ecological processes operate across temporal and spatial scales. Anthropogenic disturbances impact these processes, but examinations of scale dependence in impacts are infrequent. Such examinations can provide important insight to wildlife–human interactions and guide management efforts to reduce impacts. We assessed spatiotemporal scale dependence in habitat selection of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) in the Piceance Basin of Colorado, USA, an area of ongoing natural gas development. We employed a newly developed animal movement method to assess habitat selection across scales defined using animal-centric spatiotemporal definitions ranging from the local (defined from five hour movements) to the broad (defined from weekly movements). We extended our analysis to examine variation in scale dependence between night and day and assess functional responses in habitat selection patterns relative to the density of anthropogenic features. Mule deer displayed scale invariance in the direction of their response to energy development features, avoiding well pads and the areas closest to roads at all scales, though with increasing strength of avoidance at coarser scales. Deer displayed scale-dependent responses to most other habitat features, including land cover type and habitat edges. Selection differed between night and day at the finest scales, but homogenized as scale increased. Deer displayed functional responses to development, with deer inhabiting the least developed ranges more strongly avoiding development relative to those with more development in their ranges. Energy development was a primary driver of habitat selection patterns in mule deer, structuring their behaviors across all scales examined. Stronger avoidance at coarser scales suggests that deer behaviorally mediated their interaction with development, but only to a degree. At higher development densities than seen in this area, such mediation may not be possible and thus maintenance of sufficient
Parsons, P A
Fitness varies nonlinearly with environmental variables such as temperature, water availability, and nutrition, with maximum fitness at intermediate levels between more stressful extremes. For environmental agents that are highly toxic at exposures that substantially exceed background levels, fitness is maximized at concentrations near zero--a phenomenon often referred to as hormesis. Two main components are suggested: (1) background hormesis, which derives from the direct adaptation of organisms to their habitats; and (2) stress-derived hormonesis, which derives from metabolic reserves that are maintained as an adaptation to environmental stresses through evolutionary time. These reserves provide protection from lesser correlated stresses. This article discusses illustrative examples, including ethanol and ionizing radiation, aimed at placing hormesis into an ecological and evolutionary context. A unifying approach comes from fitness-stress continua that underlie responses to abiotic variables, whereby selection for maximum metabolic efficiency and hence fitness in adaptation to habitats in nature underlies hormetic zones. Within this reductionist model, more specific metabolic mechanisms to explain hormesis are beginning to emerge, depending upon the agent and the taxon in question. Some limited research possibilities based upon this evolutionary perspective are indicated.
Durner, George M.; Douglas, David 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.
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
Full Text Available Farm ponds are important habitats for amphibians, birds, and other wildlife. In Taiwan, artificial ponds were originally created on farmlands for irrigation purposes and the needs of the domestic water supply. Although pond creation is a typical farming practice, it also provides habitats for pond-breeding amphibians. Thus, it is essential to understand the current status of habitats and their vulnerability regarding urgent conservation needs for target species. Günther’s frog (Hylarana guentheri, a pond-breeding amphibian, has a high sensitivity towards surrounding environmental changes, and can be used as an indicator species to assess habitat suitability. The purpose of this study is to establish a systematic framework to assess the habitat suitability of pond-breeding amphibians by using Günther’s frog as a pilot-study species. First, we collected frog survey data from Chiayi, Taiwan, from winter 2013 to spring 2015, and investigated the present status of the environmental conditions around the ponds. Next, expert questionnaires and the fuzzy Delphi method were applied to establish the hierarchical evaluation criteria regarding the habitat suitability assessment. Four indicators: the aquatic environments of farm ponds; the terrestrial environments around ponds; landscape connectivity; and the conservation perceptions of the residents, were determined as first-layer factors in the assessment criteria, while ten other indicators were defined as second-layer factors. Based on the established assessment criteria, we performed in situ habitat suitability evaluations on 69 selected sites and surveyed the perceptions of the residents using questionnaires. Results revealed that 19% of locations were rich in frog species with a high habitat suitability. However, 67% of locations showed signs of habitat degradation, which may imply a higher need in practicing habitat improvement or restoration. The Kappa value was 0.6061, which indicated a high
Full Text Available The combination of GPS-Telemetry and resource selection functions is widely used to analyze animal habitat selection. Rapid large-scale assessment of vegetation structure allows bridging the requirements of habitat selection studies on grain size and extent, particularly in forest habitats. For roe deer, the cold period in winter forces individuals to optimize their trade off in searching for food and shelter. We analyzed the winter habitat selection of roe deer (Capreolus capreolus in a montane forest landscape combining estimates of vegetation cover in three different height strata, derived from high resolution airborne Laser-scanning (LiDAR, Light detection and ranging, and activity data from GPS telemetry. Specifically, we tested the influence of temperature, snow height, and wind speed on site selection, differentiating between active and resting animals using mixed-effects conditional logistic regression models in a case-control design. Site selection was best explained by temperature deviations from hourly means, snow height, and activity status of the animals. Roe deer tended to use forests of high canopy cover more frequently with decreasing temperature, and when snow height exceeded 0.6 m. Active animals preferred lower canopy cover, but higher understory cover. Our approach demonstrates the potential of LiDAR measures for studying fine scale habitat selection in complex three-dimensional habitats, such as forests.
Kraus, J.M.; Vonesh, J.R.
1. Non-consumptive effects of predators are increasingly recognized as important drivers of community assembly and structure. Specifically, habitat selection responses to top predators during colonization and oviposition can lead to large differences in aquatic community structure, composition and diversity. 2. These differences among communities due to predators may develop as communities assemble, potentially altering the relative quality of predator vs. predator-free habitats through time. If so, community assembly would be expected to modify the subsequent behavioural responses of colonists to habitats containing top predators. Here, we test this hypothesis by manipulating community assembly and the presence of fish in experimental ponds and measuring their independent and combined effects on patterns of colonization by insects and amphibians. 3. Assembly modified habitat selection of dytscid beetles and hylid frogs by decreasing or even reversing avoidance of pools containing blue-spotted sunfish (Enneacanthus gloriosus). However, not all habitat selection responses to fish depended on assembly history. Hydrophilid beetles and mosquitoes avoided fish while chironomids were attracted to fish pools, regardless of assembly history. 4. Our results show that community assembly causes taxa-dependent feedbacks that can modify avoidance of habitats containing a top predator. Thus, non-consumptive effects of a top predator on community structure change as communities assemble and effects of competitors and other predators combine with the direct effects of top predators to shape colonization. 5. This work reinforces the importance of habitat selection for community assembly in aquatic systems, while illustrating the range of factors that may influence colonization rates and resulting community structure. Directly manipulating communities both during colonization and post-colonization is critical for elucidating how sequential processes interact to shape communities.
Demers, Scott A.; Takekawa, John Y.; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Warnock, N.; Athearn, N.D.
San Francisco Bay is a wintering area for shorebirds, including American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana). Recently, a new resident population of avocets has emerged, presumably because of the development of tidal marshes into salt-evaporation ponds. In habitat restoration now underway, as many as 90% of salt ponds will be restored to tidal marsh. However, it is unknown if wintering and resident avocets coexist and if their requirements for space and habitat differ, necessitating different management for their populations to be maintained during restoration. We captured and radio-marked wintering avocets at a salt pond and a tidal flat to determine their population status (migrant or resident) and examine their space use and habitat selection. Of the radio-marked avocets, 79% were migrants and 21% were residents. At the salt pond, residents' fidelity to their location of capture was higher, and residents moved less than did migrants from the same site. Conversely, on the tidal flat, fidelity of residents to their site of capture was lower, and residents' home ranges were larger than those of migrants from the same site. Habitat selection of migrants and residents differed little; however, capture site influenced habitat selection far more than the birds' status as migrants or residents. Our study suggests that individual avocets have high site fidelity while wintering in San Francisco Bay, although the avocet as a species is plastic in its space use and habitat selection. This plasticity may allow wintering migrant and resident avocets to adapt to habitat change in San Francisco Bay. ?? The Cooper Ornithological Society 2010.
Krstolic, Jennifer L.; Hayes, Donald C.; Ruhl, Peter M.
streamflow-gaging stations were used to characterize the flow regime: North Fork Shenandoah River at Cootes Store, Va. (1925-2002), North Fork Shenandoah River at Mount Jackson, Va. (1943-2002), and North Fork Shenandoah River near Strasburg, Va. (1925-2002). The predominant mesohabitat types (14 percent riffle, 67.3 percent run, and 18.7 percent pool) were classified along the entire river (100 miles) to assist in the selection of reaches for hydraulic and fish community data collection. The upper section has predominantly particle substrate, ranging in size from sand to boulders, and the shortest habitat units. The middle section is a transitional section with increased bedrock substrate and habitat unit length. The lower section has predominantly bedrock substrate and the longest habitat units in the river. The model simulations show that weighted usable-habitat area in the upper management section is highest at flows higher than the 25-percent exceedance flow for July, August, and September. During these three months, total weighted usable-habitat area in this section is often less than the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area. Habitat area in the middle management section is highest at flows between the 25- and 75-percent exceedance flows for July, August, and September. In the middle section during these months, both the actual weighted usable-habitat area and the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area are associated with this flow range. Weighted usable-habitat area in the lower management section is highest at flows lower than the 75-percent exceedance flow for July, August, and September. In the lower section during these three months, some weighted usable-habitat area is available, but the normal range of flows does not include the simulated maximum weighted usable-habitat area. A time-series habitat analysis associated with the historic streamflow, zero water withdrawals, and doubled water withdrawals was completed. During s
Joseph W Hinton
Full Text Available Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2. Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009-2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as "biding" areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.
Hinton, Joseph W; van Manen, Frank T.; Chamberlain, Michael J
Little information exists on coyote (Canis latrans) space use and habitat selection in the southeastern United States and most studies conducted in the Southeast have been carried out within small study areas (e.g., ≤1,000 km2). Therefore, studying the placement, size, and habitat composition of coyote home ranges over broad geographic areas could provide relevant insights regarding how coyote populations adjust to regionally varying ecological conditions. Despite an increasing number of studies of coyote ecology, few studies have assessed the role of transiency as a life-history strategy among coyotes. During 2009–2011, we used GPS radio-telemetry to study coyote space use and habitat selection on the Albemarle Peninsula of northeastern North Carolina. We quantified space use and 2nd- and 3rd-order habitat selection for resident and transient coyotes to describe space use patterns in a predominantly agricultural landscape. The upper limit of coyote home-range size was approximately 47 km2 and coyotes exhibiting shifting patterns of space use of areas >65 km2 were transients. Transients exhibited localized space use patterns for short durations prior to establishing home ranges, which we defined as “biding” areas. Resident and transient coyotes demonstrated similar habitat selection, notably selection of agricultural over forested habitats. However, transients exhibited stronger selection for roads than resident coyotes. Although transient coyotes are less likely to contribute reproductively to their population, transiency may be an important life history trait that facilitates metapopulation dynamics through dispersal and the eventual replacement of breeding residents lost to mortality.
Senar, Juan Carlos; Conroy, Michael J; Quesada, Javier; Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando
A standard approach to model how selection shapes phenotypic traits is the analysis of capture-recapture data relating trait variation to survival. Divergent selection, however, has never been analyzed by the capture-recapture approach. Most reported examples of differences between urban and nonurban animals reflect behavioral plasticity rather than divergent selection. The aim of this paper was to use a capture-recapture approach to test the hypothesis that divergent selection can also drive local adaptation in urban habitats. We focused on the size of the black breast stripe (i.e., tie width) of the great tit (Parus major), a sexual ornament used in mate choice. Urban great tits display smaller tie sizes than forest birds. Because tie size is mostly genetically determined, it could potentially respond to selection. We analyzed capture/recapture data of male great tits in Barcelona city (N = 171) and in a nearby (7 km) forest (N = 324) from 1992 to 2008 using MARK. When modelling recapture rate, we found it to be strongly influenced by tie width, so that both for urban and forest habitats, birds with smaller ties were more trap-shy and more cautious than their larger tied counterparts. When modelling survival, we found that survival prospects in forest great tits increased the larger their tie width (i.e., directional positive selection), but the reverse was found for urban birds, with individuals displaying smaller ties showing higher survival (i.e., directional negative selection). As melanin-based tie size seems to be related to personality, and both are heritable, results may be explained by cautious personalities being favored in urban environments. More importantly, our results show that divergent selection can be an important mechanism in local adaptation to urban habitats and that capture-recapture is a powerful tool to test it.
Stoms, David M.; Davis, Frank W.; Cogan, Christopher B.
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.
Hubert, Jan; Stejskal, Václav; Kubátová, Alena; Munzbergová, Zuzana; Vánová, Marie; Zd'árková, Eva
Mites are well documented as vectors of micromycetes in stored products. Since their vectoring capacity is low due to their small size, they can be serious vectors only where there is selective transfer of a high load of specific fungal species. Therefore the aim of our work was to find out whether the transfer of fungi is selective. Four kinds of stored seeds (wheat, poppy, lettuce, mustard) infested by storage mites were subjected to mycological analysis. We compared the spectrum of micromycete species isolated from different species of mites (Acarus siro, Lepidoglyphus destructor, Tyrophagus putrescentiae, Caloglyphus rhizoglyphoides and Cheyletus malaccensis) and various kinds of stored seeds. Fungi were separately isolated from (a) the surface of mites, (b) the mites' digestive tract (= faeces), and (c) stored seeds and were then cultivated and determined. The fungal transport via mites is selective. This conclusion is supported by (i) lower numbers of isolated fungal species from mites than from seeds; (ii) lower Shannon-Weaver diversity index in the fungal communities isolated from mites than from seeds; (iii) significant effect of mites/seeds as environmental variables on fungal presence in a redundancy analysis (RDA); (iv) differences in composition of isolated fungi between mite species shown by RDA. The results of our work support the hypothesis that mite-fungal interactions are dependent on mite species. The fungi attractive to mites seem to be dispersed more than others. The selectivity of fungal transport via mites enhances their pest importance.
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.
Full Text Available A model developed for Zostera marina was adapted and used to select suitable areas for Posidonia oceanica transplantation in the Gulf of Palermo, where recent rehabilitation programmes have reduced human pressure. This model consists of three steps: (1 habitat selection, by calculation of the Preliminary Transplant Suitability Index (PTSI; (2 field assessments and test-transplanting, to evaluate the site suitability and to estimate the effects of tearing on transplant units (about 50%; (3 identification of suitable restoration sites, by calculation of the Transplant Suitability Index (TSI. A new parameter was added to the literature model: the number of grids detached, which is linked to factors (hydrodynamic regime, anchoring, fishing that have a potentially great effect on the final outcome of the transplant. Only one site (TSI = 16 in the Gulf of Palermo was indicated as potentially suitable for restoration with P. oceanica. In this site, a transplant of 40 m2 was implemented. From 2008 to 2014, transplant effectiveness was evaluated in terms of establishment, detachment and mortality of cuttings and shoot density. The long-term monitoring (6 years allowed us to detect changes in the structural conditions of the transplanted meadow and to identify the possible turning point in P. oceanica recovery (2 years after transplanting. Moreover, 6 years after transplantation the P. oceanica meadow has exceeded the transplant shoot density of about 16%, with a mean and a maximum value of 11.6 and 17 shoots per cutting, respectively.
Roberto A. Moreno-García
Full Text Available Aim of study: Our objective was to find habitat associations at a microhabitat level for two endemic birds in a Chilean temperate forest (biodiversity “hotspots”, in order to integrate biodiversity into forest planning.Area of study: Nahuelbuta Range, Chile.Material and methods: The two birds studied were Scelorchilus rubecula (Chucao Tapaculo and Scytalopus magellanicus (Magellanic Tapaculo, both belonging to the Rhinocryptidae family. Presence or absence of the two species was sampled in 57 census spots. Habitat was categorized according to presence/absence results. We assessed the influence of abiotic variables (altitude, exposure, slope and vegetation structure (percentage of understory cover, number of strata using a statistical cluster analysis.Main results: The two bird species selected the habitat. Most frequent presence was detected at a range of 600-1100 masl, but Magellanic Tapaculo was associated to more protected sites in terms of vegetation structure (50-75% for understory cover and 2-3 strata. Slope was the most relevant abiotic variable in habitat selection due to its linkage to vegetation traits in this area.Research highlights: Our results can help managers to integrate biodiversity (endemic fauna species into forest planning by preserving certain traits of the vegetation as part of a habitat (at a microhabitat level selected by the fauna species. That planning should be implemented with both an adequate wood harvesting cuts system and specific silvicultural treatments.Key words: Chile; Nahuelbuta; rhinocryptidae; cluster analysis; rorest planning; vegetation structure.
Chadwick D. Rittenhouse; Frank R., III Thompson; William D. Dijak; Joshua J. Millspaugh; Richard L. Clawson
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...
Coker, Darren James
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Coker, Darren James; Hoey, Andrew S.; Wilson, Shaun K.; Depczynski, Martial; Graham, Nicholas A. J.; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A.; Holmes, Thomas H.; Pratchett, Morgan S.
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Darren J Coker
Full Text Available Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Coker, Darren J; Hoey, Andrew S; Wilson, Shaun K; Depczynski, Martial; Graham, Nicholas A J; Hobbs, Jean-Paul A; Holmes, Thomas H; Pratchett, Morgan S
Hawkfishes (family: Cirrhitidae) are small conspicuous reef predators that commonly perch on, or shelter within, the branches of coral colonies. This study examined habitat associations of hawkfishes, and explicitly tested whether hawkfishes associate with specific types of live coral. Live coral use and habitat selectivity of hawkfishes was explored at six locations from Chagos in the central Indian Ocean extending east to Fiji in the Pacific Ocean. A total of 529 hawkfishes from seven species were recorded across all locations with 63% of individuals observed perching on, or sheltering within, live coral colonies. Five species (all except Cirrhitus pinnulatus and Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus) associated with live coral habitats. Cirrhitichthys falco selected for species of Pocillopora while Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri selected for both Pocillopora and Acropora, revealing that these habitats are used disproportionately more than expected based on the local cover of these coral genera. Habitat selection was consistent across geographic locations, and species of Pocillopora were the most frequently used and most consistently selected even though this coral genus never comprised more than 6% of the total coral cover at any of the locations. Across locations, Paracirrhites arcatus and P. forsteri were the most abundant species and variation in their abundance corresponded with local patterns of live coral cover and abundance of Pocilloporid corals, respectively. These findings demonstrate the link between small predatory fishes and live coral habitats adding to the growing body of literature highlighting that live corals (especially erect branching corals) are critically important for sustaining high abundance and diversity of fishes on coral reefs.
Escoriza, Daniel; Boix, Dani
The existence of suitable breeding habitats is an important factor explaining the regional presence of an anuran species. This study examined patterns of habitat selection in populations of three species of the genus Discoglossus: Discoglossusgalganoi (south-western Iberian Peninsula), Discoglossusscovazzi (Morocco) and Discoglossuspictus (three different areas were included in the study: Sicily, Tunisia and north-eastern Iberian Peninsula). The populations of D. pictus on the Iberian Peninsula are allochthonous, and analysis of these patterns may provide insights into the processes that regulate the invasion phase. The hypotheses tested were: (i) congeneric species show the same patterns of habitat selection, and alien species have been established following these patterns; (ii) there are differences in species associations between assemblages structured deterministically and by chance, i.e. native versus invaded assemblages. The larval habitats of three species of this genus were characterized by measuring physical and chemical parameters of the water bodies. We examined the covariation between the presence of Discoglossus species and the species richness of sympatric anurans, and investigated a possible relationship between morphological similarity (as a proxy of functional group) and overlap in habitat use. The results showed that congeneric species are morphologically conservative and also select very similar types of aquatic habitat. The alien population and other sympatric species showed a high degree of overlap in habitat use, which was greater than that observed in the native assemblage with a similar functional richness. Species associations were not structured on the basis of morphological similarity in any of the assemblages. Among native populations, the presence of Discoglossus was either negatively correlated or not significantly correlated with species richness. Only the alien population showed a positive correlation between its presence and species
Niemuth, Neil D.; Ryba, Adam J.; Pearse, Aaron T.; Kvas, Susan M.; Brandt, David; Wangler, Brian; Austin, Jane; Carlisle, Martha J.
The Whooping Crane (Grus americana) is a federally endangered species in the United States and Canada that relies on wetland, grassland, and cropland habitat during its long migration between wintering grounds in coastal Texas, USA, and breeding sites in Alberta and Northwest Territories, Canada. We combined opportunistic Whooping Crane sightings with landscape data to identify correlates of Whooping Crane occurrence along the migration corridor in North Dakota and South Dakota, USA. Whooping Cranes selected landscapes characterized by diverse wetland communities and upland foraging opportunities. Model performance substantially improved when variables related to detection were included, emphasizing the importance of accounting for biases associated with detection and reporting of birds in opportunistic datasets. We created a predictive map showing relative probability of occurrence across the study region by applying our model to GIS data layers; validation using independent, unbiased locations from birds equipped with platform transmitting terminals indicated that our final model adequately predicted habitat use by migrant Whooping Cranes. The probability map demonstrated that existing conservation efforts have protected much top-tier Whooping Crane habitat, especially in the portions of North Dakota and South Dakota that lie east of the Missouri River. Our results can support species recovery by informing prioritization for acquisition and restoration of landscapes that provide safe roosting and foraging habitats. Our results can also guide the siting of structures such as wind towers and electrical transmission and distribution lines, which pose a strike and mortality risk to migrating Whooping Cranes.
Full Text Available Coral-reef fishes experience a major challenge when facing settlement in a multi-threat environment, within which, using settlement cues, they need to select a suitable site. Studies in laboratories and artificial setups have shown that the presence of conspecific adults often serves as a positive settlement cue, whose value is explained by the increased survival of juveniles in an already proven fit environment. However, settlement in already inhabited corals may expose the recruits to adult aggression. Daily observations and manipulation experiments were used in the present study, which was conducted in the natural reef. We revealed differential strategies of settlers, which do not necessarily join conspecific adults. Dascyllus aruanus prefer to settle near (not with their aggressive adults, and to join them only after gaining in size; whereas Dascyllus marginatus settlers in densely populated reefs settle independently of their adult distribution. Our results present different solutions to the challenges faced by fish recruits while selecting their microhabitat, and emphasize the complexity of habitat selection by the naïve settlers. Although laboratory experiments are important to the understanding of fish habitat selection, further studies in natural habitats are essential in order to elucidate the actual patterns of settlement and habitat selection, which are crucial for the survival of coral-reef fish populations.
D. Tonina; J. A. McKean; C. Tang; P. Goodwin
Modeling of aquatic microhabitat in streams has been typically done over short channel reaches using one-dimensional simulations, partly because of a lack of high resolution. subaqueous topographic data to better define model boundary conditions. The Experimental Advanced Airborne Research Lidar (EAARL) is an airborne aquatic-terrestrial sensor that allows simultaneous...
Deperno, Christopher Shannon
Habitat selection, survival rates, the Black Hills National Forest Habitat Capability Model (HABCAP), and the USDA Forest Service Geographic Information System (GIS) data base were evaluated for a declining white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus dacotensis) herd in the central Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. From July 1993 through July 1996, 73 adult and yearling female and 12 adult and yearling male white-tailed deer were radiocollared and visually monitored. Habitat information was collected at 4,662 white-tailed deer locations and 1,087 random locations. Natural mortality (71%) was the primary cause of female mortality, followed by harvest (22.5%) and accidental causes (6.5%). More females died in spring (53.2%) than in fall (22.6%), winter (14.5%), or summer (9.7%). Male mortality resulted from hunting in fall (66.7%) and natural causes in spring (33.3%). Survival rates for all deer by year were 62.1% in 1993, 51.1% in 1994, 56.4% in 1995, and 53.9% in 1996 and were similar (P = 0.691) across years. During winter, white-tailed deer selected ponderosa pine- (Pinus ponderosa ) deciduous and burned pine cover types. Overstory-understory habitats selected included pine/grass-forb, pine/bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), pine/snowberry (Symphoricarpos albus), burned pine/grass-forb, and pine/shrub habitats. Structural stages selected included sapling-pole pine stands with >70% canopy cover, burned pine sapling-pole and saw-timber stands with 40% canopy cover and all sapling-pole pine structural stages; sapling-pole stands with >70% canopy cover received the greatest use. White-tailed deer primarily fed in pine saw-timber structural stage with less than 40% canopy cover. Overall, selected habitats contained lower amounts of grass/forb, shrubs, and litter than random locations. Male and female deer generally bedded in areas that were characterized by greater horizontal cover than feeding and random sites. When feeding and bedding sites were combined
Tracey, Jeff A.; Madden, Melanie C.; Bloom, Peter H.; Katzner, Todd E.; Fisher, Robert N.
Beginning in 2014, the U.S. Geological Survey, in collaboration with Bloom Biological, Inc., began telemetry research on golden eagles (Aquila chrysaetos) captured in the San Diego, Orange, and western Riverside Counties of southern California. This work was supported by the San Diego Association of Governments, California Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Geological Survey. Since 2014, we have tracked more than 40 eagles, although this report focuses only on San Diego County eagles.An important objective of this research is to develop habitat selection models for golden eagles. Here we provide predictions of population-level habitat selection for golden eagles in San Diego County based on environmental covariates related to land use and terrain.
Anderson, James T.; Zadnik, Andrew K.; Wood, Petra Bohall; Bledsoe, Kerry
The islands and associated back channels on the Ohio River, USA, are believed to provide critical habitat features for several wildlife species. However, few studies have quantitatively evaluated habitat quality in these areas. Our main objective was to evaluate the habitat quality of back and main channel areas for several species using habitat suitability index (HSI) models. To test the effectiveness of these models, we attempted to relate HSI scores and the variables measured for each model with measures of relative abundance for the model species. The mean belted kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon) HSI was greater on the main than back channel. However, the model failed to predict kingfisher abundance. The mean reproduction component of the great blue heron (Ardea herodias) HSI, total common muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus) HSI, winter cover component of the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) HSI, and brood-rearing component of the wood duck (Aix sponsa) HSI were all greater on the back than main channel, and were positively related with the relative abundance of each species. We found that island back channels provide characteristics not found elsewhere on the Ohio River and warrant conservation as important riparian wildlife habitat. The effectiveness of using HSI models to predict species abundance on the river was mixed. Modifications to several of the models are needed to improve their use on the Ohio River and, likely, other large rivers.
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...
Milakovic, B.; Parker, K.L.; Gustine, D.D.; Lay, R.J.; Walker, A.B.D.; Gillingham, M.P.
We defined patterns of habitat use and selection by female grizzly bears (Ursus arctos) in the Besa-Prophet watershed of northern British Columbia. We fitted 13 adult females with Geographic Positioning System (GPS) radio-collars and monitored them between 2001 and 2004. We examined patterns of habitat selection by grizzly bears relative to topographical attributes and 3 potential surrogates of food availability: land-cover class, vegetation biomass or quality (as measured by the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and selection value for prey species themselves (moose [Alces alces], elk [Cervus elaphus], woodland caribou [Rangifer tarandus], Stone's sheep [Ovis dalli stonei]). Although vegetation biomass and quality, and selection values for prey were important in seasonal selection by some individual bears, land-cover class, elevation, aspect, and vegetation diversity most influenced patterns of habitat selection across grizzly bears, which rely on availability of plant foods and encounters with ungulate prey. Grizzly bears as a group avoided conifer stands and areas of low vegetation diversity, and selected for burned land-cover classes and high vegetation diversity across seasons. They also selected mid elevations from what was available within seasonal ranges. Quantifying relative use of different attributes helped place selection patterns within the context of the landscape. Grizzly bears used higher elevations (1,595??31 m SE) in spring and lower elevations (1,436??27 m) in fall; the range of average elevations used among individuals was highest (500 m) during the summer. During all seasons, grizzly bears most frequented aspects with high solar gain. Use was distributed across 10 land-cover classes and depended on season. Management and conservation actions must maintain a diverse habitat matrix distributed across a large elevational gradient to ensure persistence of grizzly bears as levels of human access increase in the northern Rocky Mountains
Bluso-Demers, Jill; Ackerman, Joshua T.; Takekawa, John Y.; Peterson, Sarah
The highly urbanized San Francisco Bay Estuary, California, USA, is currently undergoing large-scale habitat restoration, and several thousand hectares of former salt evaporation ponds are being converted to tidal marsh. To identify potential effects of this habitat restoration on breeding waterbirds, habitat selection of radiotagged Forster's Terns (Sterna forsteri) was examined at multiple spatial scales during the pre-breeding and breeding seasons of 2005 and 2006. At each spatial scale, habitat selection ratios were calculated by season, year, and sex. Forster's Terns selected salt pond habitats at most spatial scales and demonstrated the importance of salt ponds for foraging and roosting. Salinity influenced the types of salt pond habitats that were selected. Specifically, Forster's Terns strongly selected lower salinity salt ponds (0.5–30 g/L) and generally avoided higher salinity salt ponds (≥31 g/L). Forster's Terns typically used tidal marsh and managed marsh habitats in proportion to their availability, avoided upland and tidal flat habitats, and strongly avoided open bay habitats. Salt ponds provide important habitat for breeding waterbirds, and restoration efforts to convert former salt ponds to tidal marsh may reduce the availability of preferred breeding and foraging areas.
Laury Cullen Junior
Full Text Available We used data from VHF and GPS radio-tagged jaguars, Panthera onca (Linnaeus, 1758 to quantify jaguar habitat selection and how adult individuals in the Upper Paraná River region selected among the available habitat types. We followed the framework in which animals make decisions about resource use at hierarchical stages, namely selection of home range within a study area (second-order selection and selection of patches within a home range (third-order selection. We quantified habitat preferences at two orders of selection with respect to habitat types and to test the null hypothesis that habitat utilization by jaguars was random at both study sites. Using compositional analysis, we assessed habitat selection by jaguars at second- and third-orders of selection. Jaguars consistently preferred dense marshes and primary forests, and avoided human-dominated areas such as intensively managed open pastures. Although the avoidance of disturbed and developed habitat types by jaguars is not surprising, this is the first study to document it. If small protected areas, such as the ones already existing in the Upper Paraná region, are to sustain jaguar populations they, must include and protect as many primary forests and marshlands as possible, so that jaguars can disperse, hunt wild prey and take care of their cubs without being disturbed. What is urgently needed in these jaguar-protected areas is the creation of larger protected areas that can sustain jaguars in their favored habitat.
Gontier, Mikael; Moertberg, Ulla; Balfors, Berit
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.
Gowan, Timothy A; Ortega-Ortiz, Joel G
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.
Kneib, Thomas; Hothorn, Torsten; Tutz, Gerhard
Model choice and variable selection are issues of major concern in practical regression analyses, arising in many biometric applications such as habitat suitability analyses, where the aim is to identify the influence of potentially many environmental conditions on certain species. We describe regression models for breeding bird communities that facilitate both model choice and variable selection, by a boosting algorithm that works within a class of geoadditive regression models comprising spatial effects, nonparametric effects of continuous covariates, interaction surfaces, and varying coefficients. The major modeling components are penalized splines and their bivariate tensor product extensions. All smooth model terms are represented as the sum of a parametric component and a smooth component with one degree of freedom to obtain a fair comparison between the model terms. A generic representation of the geoadditive model allows us to devise a general boosting algorithm that automatically performs model choice and variable selection.
Hagar, Joan C.; Aragon, Ramiro; Haggerty, Patricia; Hollenbeck, Jeff P.
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.
Piatt, John F.; Naslund, Nancy L.; van Pelt, Thomas I.
On 13 June 1993, a new Kittlitz's murrelet (Brachyramphus brevirostris) nest was discovered near Red Mountain on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska. The nest was on a 22° slope at about 900 m elevation with a northeast aspect, and contained a 60.2 × 40.6 mm egg that weighed 49.0 g. Downy feathers and weathered fecal material found at the nest indicated re-use from a previous year, suggesting possible nest site fidelity. The nest was located in an area scoured by winds and free of snow during early spring, suggesting that this may be an important mesoscale factor influencing selection of nesting habitat. Proximity to suitable foraging habitat, particularly sheltered bays and glacial river outflows, may affect breeding habitat choice over larger spatial scales.
Understanding significant changes in climate and their effects on timber resources can help forest managers make better decisions regarding the preservation of natural resources and land management. These changes may to alter natural ecosystems dependent on historical and current climate conditions. Increasing mountain pine beetle (MBP) outbreaks within the southern Sierra Nevada are the result of these alterations. This study better understands MPB behavior within Sequoia National Park (SNP) and model its current and future habitat distribution. Variables contributing to MPB spread are vegetation stress, soil moisture, temperature, precipitation, disturbance, and presence of Ponderosa (Pinus ponderosa) and Lodgepole (Pinus contorta) pine trees. These variables were obtained using various modeled, insitu, and remotely sensed sources. The generalized additive model (GAM) was used to calculate the statistical significance of each variable contributing to MPB spread and also created maps identifying habitat suitability. Results indicate vegetation stress and forest disturbance to be variables most indicative of MPB spread. Additionally, the model was able to detect habitat suitability of MPB with a 45% accuracy concluding that a geospatial driven modeling approach can be used to delineate potential MPB spread within SNP.
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
Braunisch, Veronika; Patthey, Patrick; Arlettaz, Raphaël
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
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.
Study objectives After the implementation of EU's Water Framework Directive (WFD) in Denmark ecological impacts from groundwater exploitation on surface waters has to receive additional consideration. Small streams in particular are susceptible to changes in run-off but have only recieved little...... attention in past studies of run-off impact on the quality of stream physical habitats. This study combined catchment and instream models with instream habitat observations to assess the ecological impacts from groundwater exploitation on a small stream. The main objectives of this study was; • to assess...... which factors are controlling the run-off conditions in stream Ledreborg and to what degree • to assess the run-off reference condition of stream Ledreborg where intensive groundwater abstraction has taken place in 67 years using a simple rainfall-run-off-model • to assess how stream run-off affect...
Geist, David R.
This report summarizes results of research activities conducted from 1995 through 1998 on identifying the spawning habitat requirements of fall chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) in the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River. The project investigated whether traditional spawning habitat models could be improved in order to make better predictions of available habitat for fall chinook salmon in the Snake River. Results suggest models could be improved if they used spawning area-specific, rather than river-specific, spawning characteristics; incorporated hyporheic discharge measurements; and gave further consideration to the geomorphic features that are present in the unconstrained segments of large alluvial rivers. Ultimately the recovery of endangered fall chinook salmon will depend on how well we are able to recreate the characteristics once common in alluvial floodplains of large rivers. The results from this research can be used to better define the relationship between these physical habitat characteristics and fall chinook salmon spawning site selection, and provide more efficient use of limited recovery resources. This report is divided into four chapters which were presented in the author's doctoral dissertation which he completed through the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. Each of the chapters has been published in peer reviewed journals or is currently under review. Chapter one is a conceptual spawning habitat model that describes how geomorphic features of river channels create hydraulic processes, including hyporheic flows, that influence where salmon spawn in unconstrained reaches of large mainstem alluvial rivers. Chapter two describes the comparison of the physical factors associated with fall chinook salmon redd clusters located at two sites within the Reach. Spatial point pattern analysis of redds showed that redd clusters averaged approximately 10 hectares in area and their locations were consistent from
Chalupnicki, Marc A.; Johnson, James H.; McKenna, James E.; Dittman, Dawn E.
Walleyes Sander vitreus are stocked into Owasco Lake, New York, to provide a sport fishery, but the population must be sustained by annual hatchery supplementation despite the presence of appropriate habitat. Therefore, we evaluated walleye spawning success in Dutch Hollow Brook, a tributary of Owasco Lake, to determine whether early survival limited recruitment. Spawning success during spring 2006 and 2007 was evaluated by estimating egg densities from samples collected in the lower 725 m of the stream. Environmental variables were also recorded to characterize the selected spawning habitat. Drift nets were set downstream of the spawning section to assess egg survival and larval drift. We estimated that 162,596 larvae hatched in 2006. For 2007, we estimated that 360,026 eggs were deposited, with a hatch of 127,500 larvae and hatching success of 35.4%. Egg density was significantly correlated to percent cover, substrate type, and depth : velocity ratio. Two sections had significantly higher egg deposition than other areas. Adult spawning walleyes selected shallow, slow habitats with some cover and gravel substrate in the accessible reaches of Dutch Hollow Brook. Our results show that walleyes found suitable spawning habitat in Dutch Hollow Brook and that egg and larval development does not appear to limit natural reproduction.
Harby, A.; Alfredsen, K.
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
Jared D. Wolfe; Matthew D. Johnson; C. John Ralph; R. Mark Brigham
Nearctic-neotropic migrant birds need to replenish energy reserves during stopover periods to successfully complete their semiannual movements. In this study we used linear models to examine the habitat use of 11 migrant species in northeastern Costa Rica to better understand the influence of food and structural resources on the presence of birds during stopover...
Boegh, Eva; Conallin, John; Karthikeyan, Matheswaran
Impact from groundwater abstraction on freshwater resources and ecosystems is an issue of sincere concern in Denmark and many other countries worldwide. In addition, climate change projections add complexity to the existing conflict between water demands to satisfy human needs and water demands...... 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...
Martin, Thomas E.
Resource selection specialization may increase vulnerability of populations to environmental change. One environmental change that may negatively impact some populations is the broad decline of quaking aspen Populus tremuloides, a preferred nest tree of cavity-nesting organisms who are commonly limited by nest-site availability. However, the long-term consequences of this habitat change for cavity-nesting bird populations are poorly studied.
Prokešová, Jarmila; Kocian, Ľ.
Roč. 59, č. 5 (2004), s. 637-644 ISSN 0006-3088 Grant - others:VEGA(SK) 1/7197/20; VEGA(SK) 1/0017/03 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6093917 Keywords : reed warblers * breeding * habitat selection Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.207, year: 2004 http://biologia.savba.sk/59_5_04/Prokesova_J.pdf
Fox, Anthony D.; Flint, Paul L.; Hohman, William L.; Savard, Jean-Pierre L.
This paper reviews factors affecting site selection amongst waterfowl (Anatidae) during the flightless remigial moult, emphasising the roles of predation and food supply (especially protein and energy). The current literature suggests survival during flightless moult is at least as high as at other times of the annual cycle, but documented cases of predation of flightless waterfowl under particular conditions lead us to infer that habitat selection is generally highly effective in mitigating or avoiding predation. High energetic costs of feather replacement and specific amino-acid requirements for their construction imply adoption of special energetic and nutritional strategies at a time when flightlessness limits movements. Some waterfowl meet their energy needs from endogenous stores accumulated prior to remigial moult, others rely on exogenous supply, but this varies with species, age, reproductive status and site. Limited evidence suggests feather proteins are derived from endogenous and exogenous sources which may affect site selection. Remigial moult does not occur independently of other annual cycle events and is affected by reproductive investment and success. Hence, moult strategies are affected by age, sex and reproductive history, and may be influenced by the need to attain a certain internal state for the next stage in the annual cycle (e.g. autumn migration). We know little about habitat selection during moult and urge more research of this poorly known part of the annual cycle, with particular emphasis on identifying key concentrations and habitats for specific flyway populations and the effects of disturbance upon these. This knowledge will better inform conservation actions and management actions concerning waterfowl during moult and the habitats that they exploit.
Crall, Alycia W; Jarnevich, Catherine S; Panke, Brendon; Young, Nick; Renz, Mark; Morisette, Jeffrey
Managers need new tools for detecting the movement and spread of nonnative, invasive species. Habitat suitability models are a popular tool for mapping the potential distribution of current invaders, but the ability of these models to prioritize monitoring efforts has not been tested in the field. We tested the utility of an iterative sampling design (i.e., models based on field observations used to guide subsequent field data collection to improve the model), hypothesizing that model performance would increase when new data were gathered from targeted sampling using criteria based on the initial model results. We also tested the ability of habitat suitability models to predict the spread of invasive species, hypothesizing that models would accurately predict occurrences in the field, and that the use of targeted sampling would detect more species with less sampling effort than a nontargeted approach. We tested these hypotheses on two species at the state scale (Centaurea stoebe and Pastinaca sativa) in Wisconsin (USA), and one genus at the regional scale (Tamarix) in the western United States. These initial data were merged with environmental data at 30-m2 resolution for Wisconsin and 1-km2 resolution for the western United States to produce our first iteration models. We stratified these initial models to target field sampling and compared our models and success at detecting our species of interest to other surveys being conducted during the same field season (i.e., nontargeted sampling). Although more data did not always improve our models based on correct classification rate (CCR), sensitivity, specificity, kappa, or area under the curve (AUC), our models generated from targeted sampling data always performed better than models generated from nontargeted data. For Wisconsin species, the model described actual locations in the field fairly well (kappa = 0.51, 0.19, P guiding invasive species monitoring, and we support the use of an iterative sampling design for
Yao, Weiwei; Chen, Yuansheng
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.
Restoration of estuarine seagrass habitats requires a clear understanding of the modes of action of multiple interacting stressors including nutrients, climate change, coastal land-use change, and habitat modification. We have developed and demonstrated a geospatial modeling a...
Buenau, Kate E. [Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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.
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
Hatten, James R.; Tiffan, Kenneth F.; Anglin, Donald R.; Haeseker, Steven L.; Skalicky, Joseph J.; Schaller, Howard
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.
Mark A. Rumble; Stanley H. Anderson
We studied habitat selection patterns of Merriam's Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo merriami) hens with poults in a ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) ecosystem. Thirty-six radio-marked hens produced 19 broods, and we obtained 230 locations of hens with poults. We described vegetation of habitats using criteria from the Rocky...
Burgess, Scott C; Treml, Eric A; Marshall, Dustin J
Despite the importance of dispersal for population connectivity, dispersal is often costly to the individual. A major impediment to understanding connectivity has been a lack of data combining the movement of individuals and their survival to reproduction in the new habitat (realized connectivity). Although mortality often occurs during dispersal (an immediate cost), in many organisms costs are paid after dispersal (deferred costs). It is unclear how such deferred costs influence the mismatch between dispersal and realized connectivity. Through a series of experiments in the field and laboratory, we estimated both direct and indirect deferred costs in a marine bryozoan (Bugula neritina). We then used the empirical data to parameterize a theoretical model in order to formalize predictions about how dispersal costs influence realized connectivity. Individuals were more likely to colonize poor-quality habitat after prolonged dispersal durations. Individuals that colonized poor-quality habitat performed poorly after colonization because of some property of the habitat (an indirect deferred cost) rather than from prolonged dispersal per se (a direct deferred cost). Our theoretical model predicted that indirect deferred costs could result in nonlinear mismatches between spatial patterns of potential and realized connectivity. The deferred costs of dispersal are likely to be crucial for determining how well patterns of dispersal reflect realized connectivity. Ignoring these deferred costs could lead to inaccurate predictions of spatial population dynamics.
Aschenbrenner, Alexandre; Hackradt, Carlos Werner; Ferreira, Beatrice Padovani
The early life history of Lutjanus alexandrei and Lutjanus jocu in Southwestern Atlantic is still largely unknown. Habitat use of different life stages (i.e. size categories and densities) of the Brazilian snapper (L. alexandrei) and dog snapper (L. jocu) was examined in a tropical portion of NE coast of Brazil. Visual surveys were conducted in different shallow habitats (mangroves and reefs). Both snapper species showed higher densities in early life stages in mangrove habitat, with a clear increase in fish size from mangrove to adjacent reefs. Post-settler individuals were exclusively found in mangroves for both species. Juveniles of L. alexandrei were also registered only in mangroves, while sub-adult individuals were associated with both mangrove and reef habitats. Mature individuals of L. alexandrei were only observed in reef habitats. Juvenile and sub-adult individuals of the dog snapper were both associated with mangrove and reef habitats, with high densities registered in mangroves. Mature individuals of L. jocu were not registered in the study area. This pattern suggests preference for mangrove habitat in early life stages for both species. Ontogenetic movement between habitats was also recorded. This pattern denotes habitat selection across different life cycle of both species. Such information highlights the importance of directing management and conservation efforts to these habitats to secure the continuity of contribution to adult populations. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Homer, Collin G.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Coan, Michael J.; Bowen, Zachary H.
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
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
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
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...
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...
Xiang, Zuo-Fu; Huo, Sheng; Xiao, Wen
As anthropogenic habitat changes are often considered a threat to natural ecosystems and wildlife, a sound understanding of the effects of habitat alteration on endangered species is crucial when designing management strategies or performing conservation activities. Black-and-white snub-nosed monkeys (Rhinopithecus bieti) are categorized as endangered on the IUCN Red List and are endemic to the trans-Himalayas in China. At present, there are only 15 groups and 2,500 individuals remaining in the wild, and they are facing intense habitat degradation with selective logging for house building and firewood. Habitat deterioration through wood extraction is occurring at Xiaochangdu, Tibet, where one stable group of R. bieti lives in a marginal habitat in the northernmost part of the species' distribution. To understand the species' response to selective logging in an extremely marginal habitat, data on habitat preference and diet composition of a group of R. bieti were collected at Xiaochangdu from 2003 to 2005. The monkeys used different habitats nonrandomly during the year. The selection index for secondary conifer forest (SC), where selective logging has occurred, was the highest of all habitat types (>1), suggesting that the groups strongly preferred SC. The monkeys fed more on buds/leaves, more on flowers/fruit/seeds, and less on lichen in SC than in primary conifer forest (PC). Dietary diversity was significantly higher in SC than in PC. These results indicate that over the short term, low-intensity disturbances may result in increased foliage diversity that enable groups of R. bieti to survive in this marginal habitat. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Assessing Greater Sage-Grouse Selection of Brood-Rearing Habitat Using Remotely-Sensed Imagery: Can Readily Available High-Resolution Imagery Be Used to Identify Brood-Rearing Habitat Across a Broad Landscape?
Westover, Matthew; Baxter, Jared; Baxter, Rick; Day, Casey; Jensen, Ryan; Petersen, Steve; Larsen, Randy
Greater sage-grouse populations have decreased steadily since European settlement in western North America. Reduced availability of brood-rearing habitat has been identified as a limiting factor for many populations. We used radio-telemetry to acquire locations of sage-grouse broods from 1998 to 2012 in Strawberry Valley, Utah. Using these locations and remotely-sensed NAIP (National Agricultural Imagery Program) imagery, we 1) determined which characteristics of brood-rearing habitat could be used in widely available, high resolution imagery 2) assessed the spatial extent at which sage-grouse selected brood-rearing habitat, and 3) created a predictive habitat model to identify areas of preferred brood-rearing habitat. We used AIC model selection to evaluate support for a list of variables derived from remotely-sensed imagery. We examined the relationship of these explanatory variables at three spatial extents (45, 200, and 795 meter radii). Our top model included 10 variables (percent shrub, percent grass, percent tree, percent paved road, percent riparian, meters of sage/tree edge, meters of riparian/tree edge, distance to tree, distance to transmission lines, and distance to permanent structures). Variables from each spatial extent were represented in our top model with the majority being associated with the larger (795 meter) spatial extent. When applied to our study area, our top model predicted 75% of naïve brood locations suggesting reasonable success using this method and widely available NAIP imagery. We encourage application of our methodology to other sage-grouse populations and species of conservation concern.
Halstead, John B
.... The research uses a combination of statistical learning, feature selection methods, and multivariate statistics to determine the better prediction function approximation with features obtained...
Rostro-Garc?a, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced populatio...
Donovan, Therese M.; Cornell, Kerri L.
Habitat selection theory predicts that individuals choose breeding habitats that maximize fitness returns on the basis of indirect environmental cues at multiple spatial scales. We performed a 3-year field experiment to evaluate five alternative hypotheses regarding whether individuals choose breeding territories in heterogeneous landscapes on the basis of (1) shrub cover within a site, (2) forest land-cover pattern surrounding a site, (3) conspecific song cues during prebreeding settlement periods, (4) a combination of these factors, and (5) interactions among these factors. We tested hypotheses with playbacks of conspecific song across a gradient of landscape pattern and shrub density and evaluated changes in territory occupancy patterns in a forest-nesting passerine, the Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens). Our results support the hypothesis that vegetation structure plays a primary role during presettlement periods in determining occupancy patterns in this species. Further, both occupancy rates and territory turnover were affected by an interaction between local shrub density and amount of forest in the surrounding landscape, but not by interactions between habitat cues and social cues. Although previous studies of this species in unfragmented landscapes found that social postbreeding song cues played a key role in determining territory settlement, our prebreeding playbacks were not associated with territory occupancy or turnover. Our results suggest that in heterogeneous landscapes during spring settlement, vegetation structure may be a more reliable signal of reproductive performance than the physical location of other individuals.
Vanreusel, Wouter; Maes, Dirk; Van Dyck, Hans
Numerous models for predicting species distribution have been developed for conservation purposes. Most of them make use of environmental data (e.g., climate, topography, land use) at a coarse grid resolution (often kilometres). Such approaches are useful for conservation policy issues including reserve-network selection. The efficiency of predictive models for species distribution is usually tested on the area for which they were developed. Although highly interesting from the point of view of conservation efficiency, transferability of such models to independent areas is still under debate. We tested the transferability of habitat-based predictive distribution models for two regionally threatened butterflies, the green hairstreak (Callophrys rubi) and the grayling (Hipparchia semele), within and among three nature reserves in northeastern Belgium. We built predictive models based on spatially detailed maps of area-wide distribution and density of ecological resources. We used resources directly related to ecological functions (host plants, nectar sources, shelter, microclimate) rather than environmental surrogate variables. We obtained models that performed well with few resource variables. All models were transferable--although to different degrees--among the independent areas within the same broad geographical region. We argue that habitat models based on essential functional resources could transfer better in space than models that use indirect environmental variables. Because functional variables can easily be interpreted and even be directly affected by terrain managers, these models can be useful tools to guide species-adapted reserve management.
Full Text Available We examined home range characteristics and habitat selection of Daurian hedgehogs in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve, Mongolia. Home ranges of hedgehogs varied from 113.15 ha to 2,171.97 ha, and were larger in early summer than late summer. Hedgehogs showed relative preference for rocky outcrops and low-density shrub habitats, and relative avoidance of high- density shrub areas. Habitat selection also changed between early and late summer, shifting to greater use of low-density shrub areas and decreased use of forb-dominated short grass. Our baseline data on home ranges and habitat selection expand understanding of hedgehog ecology and provide guidance for future management decisions in Ikh Nart Nature Reserve and elsewhere in Mongolia.
Bellamy, Chloe; Altringham, John
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
Full Text Available Of 30 known subpopulations of Phelsuma guimbeaui, 18 are in patches of exotic forest and are predicted to disappear in the next decade. One possible means of mitigating the reduction in genetic diversity associated with the loss of subpopulations is to translocate “at risk” subpopulations to more secure habitats. Prior to any such intervention, it is important to identify a species’ basic ecological needs. We had three main objectives: to calculate home range sizes of adult geckos; characterise habitat selection among age groups; and identify the order of importance of each habitat predictor. Habitat selection of P. guimbeaui was explored at the population, home range and microhabitat levels. Males had larger home ranges than females, and overlapped temporally with more females than males. We showed that habitat selection differed between age groups. In order of importance, tree diversity, tree species, tree height, trunk dbh and cavity density were important habitat predictors. We discuss how these data can be used to inform the choice of sites for the translocation of threatened subpopulations. Our results also highlight the importance of undertaking habitat restoration for the long-term conservation of the 12 subpopulations that survive in patches of endemic forest.
Ph.H.B.F. Franses (Philip Hans); R. Paap (Richard)
textabstractThis paper focuses on the issue of period autoagressive time series models (PAR) selection in practice. One aspect of model selection is the choice for the appropriate PAR order. This can be of interest for the valuation of economic models. Further, the appropriate PAR order is important
O'Donnell, Michael S.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Fedy, Bradley C.
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.
Bogiages, Christopher A.; Lotter, Christine
In their research, scientists generate, test, and modify scientific models. These models can be shared with others and demonstrate a scientist's understanding of how the natural world works. Similarly, students can generate and modify models to gain a better understanding of the content, process, and nature of science (Kenyon, Schwarz, and Hug…
Martin Llorente, F.
The models of atmospheric pollutants dispersion are based in mathematic algorithms that describe the transport, diffusion, elimination and chemical reactions of atmospheric contaminants. These models operate with data of contaminants emission and make an estimation of quality air in the area. This model can be applied to several aspects of atmospheric contamination
Jarchow, Christopher J.; Hossack, Blake R.; Sigafus, Brent H.; Schwalbe, Cecil R.; Muths, Erin L.
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.
Raabe, Ellen A.; D'Anjou, Robert; Pope, Domonique K.; Robbins, Lisa L.
This project combines underwater video with maps and descriptions to illustrate diverse seafloor habitats from Tampa Bay, Florida, to Mobile Bay, Alabama. A swath of seafloor was surveyed with underwater video to 100 meters (m) water depth in 1999 and 2000 as part of the Gulfstream Natural Gas System Survey. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in St. Petersburg, Florida, in cooperation with Eckerd College and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), produced an archive of analog-to-digital underwater movies. Representative clips of seafloor habitats were selected from hundreds of hours of underwater footage. The locations of video clips were mapped to show the distribution of habitat and habitat transitions. The numerous benthic habitats in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico play a vital role in the region's economy, providing essential resources for tourism, natural gas, recreational water sports (fishing, boating, scuba diving), materials, fresh food, energy, a source of sand for beach renourishment, and more. These submerged natural resources are important to the economy but are often invisible to the general public. This product provides a glimpse of the seafloor with sample underwater video, maps, and habitat descriptions. It was developed to depict the range and location of seafloor habitats in the region but is limited by depth and by the survey track. It should not be viewed as comprehensive, but rather as a point of departure for inquiries and appreciation of marine resources and seafloor habitats. Further information is provided in the Resources section.
Full Text Available Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.
Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F.; Hunter, Luke T. B.
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species’ habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa. PMID:25693067
Rostro-García, Susana; Kamler, Jan F; Hunter, Luke T B
Understanding how animals utilize available space is important for their conservation, as it provides insight into the ecological needs of the species, including those related to habitat, prey and inter and intraspecific interactions. We used 28 months of radio telemetry data and information from 200 kill locations to assess habitat selection at the 3rd order (selection of habitats within home ranges) and 4th order (selection of kill sites within the habitats used) of a reintroduced population of cheetahs Acinonyx jubatus in Phinda Private Game Reserve, South Africa. Along with landscape characteristics, we investigated if lion Panthera leo presence affected habitat selection of cheetahs. Our results indicated that cheetah habitat selection was driven by a trade-off between resource acquisition and lion avoidance, and the balance of this trade-off varied with scale: more open habitats with high prey densities were positively selected within home ranges, whereas more closed habitats with low prey densities were positively selected for kill sites. We also showed that habitat selection, feeding ecology, and avoidance of lions differed depending on the sex and reproductive status of cheetahs. The results highlight the importance of scale when investigating a species' habitat selection. We conclude that the adaptability of cheetahs, together with the habitat heterogeneity found within Phinda, explained their success in this small fenced reserve. The results provide information for the conservation and management of this threatened species, especially with regards to reintroduction efforts in South Africa.
Chenu, Claire; Garnier, Patricia; Nunan, Naoise; Pot, Valérie; Raynaud, Xavier; Vieublé, Laure; Otten, Wilfred; Falconer, Ruth; Monga, Olivier
The extreme heterogeneity of soils constituents, architecture and inhabitants at the microscopic scale is increasingly recognized. Microbial communities exist and are active in a complex 3-D physical framework of mineral and organic particles defining pores of various sizes, more or less inter-connected. This results in a frequent spatial disconnection between soil carbon, energy sources and the decomposer organisms and a variety of microhabitats that are more or less suitable for microbial growth and activity. However, current biogeochemical models account for C dynamics at the macroscale (cm, m) and consider time- and spatially averaged relationships between microbial activity and soil characteristics. Different modelling approaches have intended to account for this microscale heterogeneity, based either on considering aggregates as surrogates for microbial habitats, or pores. Innovative modelling approaches are based on an explicit representation of soil structure at the fine scale, i.e. at µm to mm scales: pore architecture and their saturation with water, localization of organic resources and of microorganisms. Three recent models are presented here, that describe the heterotrophic activity of either bacteria or fungi and are based upon different strategies to represent the complex soil pore system (Mosaic, LBios and µFun). These models allow to hierarchize factors of microbial activity in soil's heterogeneous architecture. Present limits of these approaches and challenges are presented, regarding the extensive information required on soils at the microscale and to up-scale microbial functioning from the pore to the core scale.
Schmidt-Eisenlohr, F.; Puñal, O.; Klagges, K.; Kirsche, M.
Apart from the general issue of modeling the channel, the PHY and the MAC of wireless networks, there are specific modeling assumptions that are considered for different systems. In this chapter we consider three specific wireless standards and highlight modeling options for them. These are IEEE 802.11 (as example for wireless local area networks), IEEE 802.16 (as example for wireless metropolitan networks) and IEEE 802.15 (as example for body area networks). Each section on these three systems discusses also at the end a set of model implementations that are available today.
Michael A. Larson; Frank R., III Thompson; Joshua J. Millspaugh; William D. Dijak; Stephen R. Shifley
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)...
Thomas C., Jr. Edwards; Gretchen G. Moisen; Tracey S. Frescino; Randall J. Schultz
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...
Richard S. Holthausen; Michael J. Wisdom; John Pierce; Daniel K. Edwards; Mary M. Rowland
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...
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.
Fonseca, Carlos Roberto; Coutinho, Renato M; Azevedo, Franciane; Berbert, Juliana M; Corso, Gilberto; Kraenkel, Roberto A
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.
Herein I compare the relative importance of preference for structurally complex habitat against avoidance of competitors and predators in two benthic fishes common in the Gulf of Mexico. The code goby Gobiosoma robustum Ginsburg and clown goby Microgobius gulosus (Girard) are common, ecologically similar fishes found throughout the Gulf of Mexico and in the southeastern Atlantic Ocean. In Florida Bay, these fishes exhibit habitat partitioning: G. robustum is most abundant in seagrass-dominated areas while M. gulosus is most abundant in sparsely vegetated habitats. In a small-scale field survey, I documented the microhabitat use of these species where their distributions overlap. In a series of laboratory experiments, I presented each species with structured (artificial seagrass) versus nonstructured (bare sand) habitats and measured their frequency of choosing either habitat type. I then examined the use of structured versus nonstructured habitats when the two species were placed together in a mixed group. Finally, I placed a predator (Opsanus beta) in the experimental aquaria to determine how its presence influenced habitat selection. In the field, G. robustum was more abundant in seagrass and M. gulosus was more abundant in bare mud. In the laboratory, both species selected grass over sand in allopatry. However, in sympatry, M. gulosus occupied sand more often when paired with G. robustum than when alone. G. robustum appears to directly influence the habitat choice of M. gulosus: It seems that M. gulosus is pushed out of the structured habitat that is the preferred habitat of G. robustum. Thus, competition appears to modify the habitat selection of these species when they occur in sympatry. Additionally, the presence of the toadfish was a sufficient stimulus to provoke both M. gulosus and G. robustum to increase their selection for sand (compared to single-species treatments). Distribution patterns of M. gulosus and G. robustum
Habitat selection can determine the distribution and performance of individuals if the precision with which sites are chosen corresponds with exposure to risks or resources. Contrastingly, facilitation can allow persistence of individuals arriving by chance and potentially maladapted to local abiotic conditions. For marine organisms, selection of a permanent attachment site at the end of their larval stage or the presence of a facilitator can be a critical determinant of recruitment success. In coral reef ecosystems, it is well known that settling planula larvae of reef-building corals use coarse environmental cues (i.e., light) for habitat selection. Although laboratory studies suggest that larvae can also use precise biotic cues produced by crustose coralline algae (CCA) to select attachment sites, the ecological consequences of biotic cues for corals are poorly understood in situ. In a field experiment exploring the relative importance of biotic cues and variability in habitat quality to recruitment of hard corals, pocilloporid and acroporid corals recruited more frequently to one species of CCA, Titanoderma prototypum, and significantly less so to other species of CCA; these results are consistent with laboratory assays from other studies. The provision of the biotic cue accurately predicted coral recruitment rates across habitats of varying quality. At the scale of CCA, corals attached to the "preferred" CCA experienced increased survivorship while recruits attached elsewhere had lower colony growth and survivorship. For reef-building corals, the behavioral selection of habitat using chemical cues both reduces the risk of incidental mortality and indicates the presence of a facilitator.
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.
Hartati, Retno; Trianto, Agus; Widianingsih
Sea cucumbers face heavily overfished because of their high prices and very strong market demand. One effort suggested to overcome this problem is sea ranching. The objectives of present works were to determine biological, physical, and chemical characteristics of prospective location for sea ranching of sea cucumber Holothuria atra. Two location at Jepara Waters (Teluk Awur and Bandengan WateRs of Jepara Regency) were selected. The determination of chemical (salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen of water, phosphate, nitrate, nitrite and ammonium of water and sediment, organic matters of sediment), physical (transparancy, sedimen grains size, water current direction and its velocity), biologycal characteristic (coverage of seagrass and its macroalgae associated, phytoplankton as well as chlorophyl-a and phaeopytin of water and sediment) ware determined. The result of present work showed that some characteristic were matched with requirement as sea ranching location of sea cucumber because the density of sea cucumber in the sea is a function of habitat features. For sediment feeding holothurians of the family Aspidochirotida, the biologycal characteristic act as very important considerations by providing sea cucumber food. High cholophyl-a and phaeopytin in sediment also represent a prosperous habitat for sea cucumber ranching.
Lecchini, David; Bertucci, Frédéric; Gache, Camille; Khalife, Adam; Besson, Marc; Roux, Natacha; Berthe, Cecile; Singh, Shubha; Parmentier, Eric; Nugues, Maggy M; Brooker, Rohan M; Dixson, Danielle L; Hédouin, Laetitia
Understanding the relationship between coral reef condition and recruitment potential is vital for the development of effective management strategies that maintain coral cover and biodiversity. Coral larvae (planulae) have been shown to use certain sensory cues to orient towards settlement habitats (e.g. the odour of live crustose coralline algae - CCA). However, the influence of auditory cues on coral recruitment, and any effect of anthropogenic noise on this process, remain largely unknown. Here, we determined the effect of protected reef (MPA), exploited reef (non-MPA) soundscapes, and a source of anthropogenic noise (boat) on the habitat preference for live CCA over dead CCA in the planula of two common Indo-Pacific coral species (Pocillopora damicornis and Acropora cytherea). Soundscapes from protected reefs significantly increased the phonotaxis of planulae of both species towards live CCA, especially when compared to boat noise. Boat noise playback prevented this preferential selection of live CCA as a settlement substrate. These results suggest that sources of anthropogenic noise such as motor boat can disrupt the settlement behaviours of coral planulae. Acoustic cues should be accounted for when developing management strategies aimed at maximizing larval recruitment to coral reefs.
Montoya, Alex J.
Over the next 50 years, humans will be heading for the Moon and Mars to build scientific bases to gain further knowledge about the universe and to develop rewarding space activities. These large scale projects will last many years and will require large amounts of mass to be delivered to Low Earth Orbit (LEO). It will take a great deal of planning to complete these missions in an efficient manner. The planning of a future Heavy Lift Launch Vehicle (HLLV) will significantly impact the overall multi-year launching cost for the vehicle fleet depending upon when the HLLV will be ready for use. It is desirable to develop a model in which many trade studies can be performed. In one sample multi-year space program analysis, the total launch vehicle cost of implementing the program reduced from 50 percent to 25 percent. This indicates how critical it is to reduce space logistics costs. A linear programming model has been developed to answer such questions. The model is now in its second phase of development, and this paper will address the capabilities of the model and its intended uses. The main emphasis over the past year was to make the model user friendly and to incorporate additional realistic constraints that are difficult to represent mathematically. We have developed a methodology in which the user has to be knowledgeable about the mission model and the requirements of the payloads. We have found a representation that will cut down the solution space of the problem by inserting some preliminary tests to eliminate some infeasible vehicle solutions. The paper will address the handling of these additional constraints and the methodology for incorporating new costing information utilizing learning curve theory. The paper will review several test cases that will explore the preferred vehicle characteristics and the preferred period of construction, i.e., within the next decade, or in the first decade of the next century. Finally, the paper will explore the interaction
Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín
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...
Cai, Tianlong; Huettmann, Falk; Guo, Yumin
The Hooded Crane (Grus monacha) is a globally vulnerable species, and habitat loss is the primary cause of its decline. To date, little is known regarding the specific habitat needs, and stopover habitat selection in particular, of the Hooded Crane. In this study we used stochastic gradient boosting (TreeNet) to develop three specific habitat selection models for roosting, daytime resting, and feeding site selection. In addition, we used a geographic information system (GIS) combined with TreeNet to develop a species distribution model. We also generated a digital map of the relative occurrence index (ROI) of this species at daytime resting sites in the study area. Our study indicated that the water depth, distance to village, coverage of deciduous leaves, open water area, and density of plants were the major predictors of roosting site selection. For daytime resting site selection, the distance to wetland, distance to farmland, and distance to road were the primary predictors. For feeding site selection, the distance to road, quantity of food, plant coverage, distance to village, plant density, distance to wetland, and distance to river were contributing factors, and the distance to road and quantity of food were the most important predictors. The predictive map showed that there were two consistent multi-year daytime resting sites in our study area. Our field work in 2013 using systematic ground-truthing confirmed that this prediction was accurate. Based on this study, we suggest that Lindian plays an important role for migratory birds and that cultivation practices should be adjusted locally. Furthermore, public education programs to promote the concept of the harmonious coexistence of humans and cranes can help successfully protect this species in the long term and eventually lead to its delisting by the IUCN.
Full Text Available The Hooded Crane (Grus monacha is a globally vulnerable species, and habitat loss is the primary cause of its decline. To date, little is known regarding the specific habitat needs, and stopover habitat selection in particular, of the Hooded Crane. In this study we used stochastic gradient boosting (TreeNet to develop three specific habitat selection models for roosting, daytime resting, and feeding site selection. In addition, we used a geographic information system (GIS combined with TreeNet to develop a species distribution model. We also generated a digital map of the relative occurrence index (ROI of this species at daytime resting sites in the study area. Our study indicated that the water depth, distance to village, coverage of deciduous leaves, open water area, and density of plants were the major predictors of roosting site selection. For daytime resting site selection, the distance to wetland, distance to farmland, and distance to road were the primary predictors. For feeding site selection, the distance to road, quantity of food, plant coverage, distance to village, plant density, distance to wetland, and distance to river were contributing factors, and the distance to road and quantity of food were the most important predictors. The predictive map showed that there were two consistent multi-year daytime resting sites in our study area. Our field work in 2013 using systematic ground-truthing confirmed that this prediction was accurate. Based on this study, we suggest that Lindian plays an important role for migratory birds and that cultivation practices should be adjusted locally. Furthermore, public education programs to promote the concept of the harmonious coexistence of humans and cranes can help successfully protect this species in the long term and eventually lead to its delisting by the IUCN.
Mauro Rezende Tavares
Full Text Available The factors that influence the selection of marine macrophytes by meso-herbivores are complex, and may include the nutritional quality of algae, the value of the habitat as a shelter, and the availability of algae in the environment. Here we investigated the existence of differential use of Sargassum filipendula C. Agardh, 1824 (Phaeophyta and Galaxaura stupocaulon Kjellman, 1900 (Rhodophyta as habitats and feeding resources by species of Hyalidae and Ampithoidae, in laboratory manipulation experiments and in an algal bed on the northern coast of the state of São Paulo, Brazil. In the field, 19 fronds were collected from each alga and the associated amphipods were identified and counted. To evaluate food preference and habitat selection by amphipods, we conducted laboratory experiments using containers containing fragments of algae and individuals of Cymadusa filosa Savigny, 1816 or Hyale nigra (Haswell, 1879. In natural conditions, the density of C. filosa was significantly higher on G. stupocaulon, while in the feeding and habitat preference experiment we found a higher density on S. filipendula. The densities of H. nigra did not differ between the algae in both experiments, probably as a result of the variety of food items in its diet, and its high mobility and wide distribution on different substrates. The different results for C. filosa suggest that the pattern of feeding and habitat selection can be affected by external characteristics of the algae; probably, refuge from predation is an important selective force acting on the use of algae by these animals.
Full Text Available The variations in ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae assemblages across the three types of farmland habitats, arable land, meadows and woody vegetation were studied in relation to vegetation cover structure, intensity of agrotechnical interventions and selected soil properties. Material was pitfall trapped in 2010 and 2011 on twelve sites of the agricultural landscape in the Prešov town and its near vicinity, Eastern Slovakia. A total of 14,763 ground beetle individuals were entrapped. Material collection resulted into 92 Carabidae species, with the following six species dominating: Poecilus cupreus, Pterostichus melanarius, Pseudoophonus rufipes, Brachinus crepitans, Anchomenus dorsalis and Poecilus versicolor. Studied habitats differed significantly in the number of entrapped individuals, activity abundance as well as representation of the carabids according to their habitat preferences and ability to fly. However, no significant distinction was observed in the diversity, evenness neither dominance. The most significant environmental variables affecting Carabidae assemblages species variability were soil moisture and herb layer 0-20 cm. Another best variables selected by the forward selection were intensity of agrotechnical interventions, humus content and shrub vegetation. The other from selected soil properties seem to have just secondary meaning for the adult carabids. Environmental variables have the strongest effect on the habitat specialists, whereas ground beetles without special requirements to the habitat quality seem to be affected by the studied environmental variables just little.
Nicol, Sam; Wiederholt, Ruscena; Diffendorfer, James E.; Mattsson, Brady; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Semmens, Darius J.; Laura Lopez-Hoffman,; Norris, Ryan
Mobile species with complex spatial dynamics can be difficult to manage because their population distributions vary across space and time, and because the consequences of managing particular habitats are uncertain when evaluated at the level of the entire population. Metrics to assess the importance of habitats and pathways connecting habitats in a network are necessary to guide a variety of management decisions. Given the many metrics developed for spatially structured models, it can be challenging to select the most appropriate one for a particular decision. To guide the management of spatially structured populations, we define three classes of metrics describing habitat and pathway quality based on their data requirements (graph-based, occupancy-based, and demographic-based metrics) and synopsize the ecological literature relating to these classes. Applying the first steps of a formal decision-making approach (problem framing, objectives, and management actions), we assess the utility of metrics for particular types of management decisions. Our framework can help managers with problem framing, choosing metrics of habitat and pathway quality, and to elucidate the data needs for a particular metric. Our goal is to help managers to narrow the range of suitable metrics for a management project, and aid in decision-making to make the best use of limited resources.
James W Rivers
Full Text Available Condors and vultures are distinct from most other terrestrial birds because they use extensive soaring flight for their daily movements. Therefore, assessing resource selection by these avian scavengers requires quantifying the availability of terrestrial-based habitats, as well as meteorological variables that influence atmospheric conditions necessary for soaring. In this study, we undertook the first quantitative assessment of habitat- and meteorological-based resource selection in the endangered California condor (Gymnogyps californianus within its California range and across the annual cycle. We found that condor use of terrestrial areas did not change markedly within the annual cycle, and that condor use was greatest for habitats where food resources and potential predators could be detected and where terrain was amenable for taking off from the ground in flight (e.g., sparse habitats, coastal areas. Condors originating from different release sites differed in their use of habitat, but this was likely due in part to variation in habitats surrounding release sites. Meteorological conditions were linked to condor use of ecological subregions, with thermal height, thermal velocity, and wind speed having both positive (selection and negative (avoidance effects on condor use in different areas. We found little evidence of systematic effects between individual characteristics (i.e., sex, age, breeding status or components of the species management program (i.e., release site, rearing method relative to meteorological conditions. Our findings indicate that habitat type and meteorological conditions can interact in complex ways to influence condor resource selection across landscapes, which is noteworthy given the extent of anthropogenic stressors that may impact condor populations (e.g., lead poisoning, wind energy development. Additional studies will be valuable to assess small-scale condor movements in light of these stressors to help minimize
Gabriel A. Leite
Full Text Available Patterns of habitat selection are influenced by local productivity, resource availability, and predation risk. Species have taken millions of years to hone the macro- and micro-habitats they occupy, but these may now overlap with contemporary human threats within natural species ranges. Wattled Curassow (Crax globulosa, an endemic galliform species of the western Amazon, is threatened by both hunting and habitat loss, and is restricted to white-water floodplain forests of major Amazonian rivers. In this study conducted along the Juruá River, Amazonas, Brazil, we quantified the ranging ecology and fine-scale patterns of habitat selection of the species. We estimated the home range size of C. globulosa using conventional VHF telemetry. To estimate patterns of habitat selection, we used geo-locations of day ranges to examine the extent and intensity of use across the floodplain, which were then compared to a high-resolution flood map of the study area. We captured two females and one male, which we monitored for 13 months between September 2014 and September 2015. Average home range size was 283 ha, based on the 95% aLoCoH estimator. Wattled Curassows selected areas of prolonged flood pulses (six to eight months/year and had a consistent tendency to be near open water, usually in close proximity to river banks and lakes, especially during the dry season. Amazonian floodplains are densely settled, and the small portions of floodplain habitat used by Wattled Curassows are both the most accessible to hunters and most vulnerable to deforestation. As a result, the geographic and ecological distribution of Wattled Curassows places them at much higher extinction risk at multiple spatial scales, highlighting the need to consider habitat preferences within their conservation strategy.
Marchenko, Yulia V.
Sample selection arises often in practice as a result of the partial observability of the outcome of interest in a study. In the presence of sample selection, the observed data do not represent a random sample from the population, even after controlling for explanatory variables. That is, data are missing not at random. Thus, standard analysis using only complete cases will lead to biased results. Heckman introduced a sample selection model to analyze such data and proposed a full maximum likelihood estimation method under the assumption of normality. The method was criticized in the literature because of its sensitivity to the normality assumption. In practice, data, such as income or expenditure data, often violate the normality assumption because of heavier tails. We first establish a new link between sample selection models and recently studied families of extended skew-elliptical distributions. Then, this allows us to introduce a selection-t (SLt) model, which models the error distribution using a Student\\'s t distribution. We study its properties and investigate the finite-sample performance of the maximum likelihood estimators for this model. We compare the performance of the SLt model to the conventional Heckman selection-normal (SLN) model and apply it to analyze ambulatory expenditures. Unlike the SLNmodel, our analysis using the SLt model provides statistical evidence for the existence of sample selection bias in these data. We also investigate the performance of the test for sample selection bias based on the SLt model and compare it with the performances of several tests used with the SLN model. Our findings indicate that the latter tests can be misleading in the presence of heavy-tailed data. © 2012 American Statistical Association.
Anita T. Morzillo; Pamela Comeleo; Blair Csuti; Stephanie Lee
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 âwhat ifâ scenarios of how those processes may affect wildlife habitat. This chapter describes the methods used to link STM output to wildlife habitat to...
Luis A Vélez-Espino
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
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
Full Text Available Success of migration in birds in part depends on habitat selection. Overall, it is still poorly known whether there is habitat selection amongst landbird migrants moving across landscapes. Europe is chiefly covered by agro-forestry mosaic landscapes, so migratory species associated to either agricultural landscapes or woodland habitats should theoretically find suitable stopover sites along migration. During migration from wintering to breeding quarters, woodcocks (Scolopax rusticola tagged with PTT satellite-tracking transmitters were used to test for the hypothesis that migrants associated to agro-forest habitats have no habitat selection during migration, at a meso-scale level. Using a GIS platform we extracted at a meso-scale range habitat cover at stopover localities. Results obtained from comparisons of soil covers between points randomly selected and true stopover localities sites revealed, as expected, the species may not select for particular habitats at a meso-scale range, because the habitat (or habitats required by the species can be found virtually everywhere on their migration route. However, those birds stopping over in places richer in cropland or mosaic habitats including both cropland and forest and with proportionally less closed forest stayed for longer than in areas with lower surfaces of cropland and mosaic and more closed forest. This suggests that areas rich in cropland or mosaic habitat were optimal.
Andrew J. Shirk; Tzeidle N. Wasserman; Samuel A. Cushman; Martin G. Raphael
Animals select habitat resources at multiple spatial scales; therefore, explicit attention to scale-dependency when modeling habitat relations is critical to understanding how organisms select habitat in complex landscapes. Models that evaluate habitat variables calculated at a single spatial scale (e.g., patch, home range) fail to account for the effects of...
Soniat, Thomas M.; Conzelmann, Craig P.; Byrd, Jason D.; Roszell, Dustin P.; Bridevaux, Joshua L.; Suir, Kevin J.; Colley, Susan B.
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.
Full Text Available Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France, a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. "light feeding stations", where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable, 2. "heavy feeding stations", where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable. The impact of feeding stations on vulture's foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272 ± 752 km(2 and minimal in winter (473 ± 237 km(2 and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer or when flight conditions were poor (winter, limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools
Monsarrat, Sophie; Benhamou, Simon; Sarrazin, François; Bessa-Gomes, Carmen; Bouten, Willem; Duriez, Olivier
Feeding stations are commonly used to sustain conservation programs of scavengers but their impact on behaviour is still debated. They increase the temporal and spatial predictability of food resources while scavengers have supposedly evolved to search for unpredictable resources. In the Grands Causses (France), a reintroduced population of Griffon vultures Gyps fulvus can find carcasses at three types of sites: 1. "light feeding stations", where farmers can drop carcasses at their farm (spatially predictable), 2. "heavy feeding stations", where carcasses from nearby farms are concentrated (spatially and temporally predictable) and 3. open grasslands, where resources are randomly distributed (unpredictable). The impact of feeding stations on vulture's foraging behaviour was investigated using 28 GPS-tracked vultures. The average home range size was maximal in spring (1272 ± 752 km(2)) and minimal in winter (473 ± 237 km(2)) and was highly variable among individuals. Analyses of home range characteristics and feeding habitat selection via compositional analysis showed that feeding stations were always preferred compared to the rest of the habitat where vultures can find unpredictable resources. Feeding stations were particularly used when resources were scarce (summer) or when flight conditions were poor (winter), limiting long-ranging movements. However, when flight conditions were optimal, home ranges also encompassed large areas of grassland where vultures could find unpredictable resources, suggesting that vultures did not lose their natural ability to forage on unpredictable resources, even when feeding stations were available. However during seasons when food abundance and flight conditions were not limited, vultures seemed to favour light over heavy feeding stations, probably because of the reduced intraspecific competition and a pattern closer to the natural dispersion of resources in the landscape. Light feeding stations are interesting tools for managing
Wayne Spencer; Heather Rustigian-Romsos; James Strittholt; Robert Scheller; William Zielinski; Richard Truex
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...
Schellekens, T.; Wijsman, J.W.M.; Brink, van den A.M.
The modelled habitat suitability maps show a reasonable estimation of the suitability for oysters throughout the Delta and can be used to broadly indicate the consequences of the effect of climate change and infrastructural changes on the habitat suitability for oysters. The largest effect on the
Hatten, J.R.; Parsley, M.J.
Concerns over the potential effects of in-water placement of dredged materials prompted us to develop a GIS-based model that characterizes in a spatially explicit manner white sturgeon Acipenser transmontanus rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, USA. The spatial model was developed using water depth, riverbed slope and roughness, fish positions collected in 2002, and Mahalanobis distance (D2). We created a habitat suitability map by identifying a Mahalanobis distance under which >50% of white sturgeon locations occurred in 2002 (i.e., high-probability habitat). White sturgeon preferred relatively moderate to high water depths, and low to moderate riverbed slope and roughness values. The eigenvectors indicated that riverbed slope and roughness were slightly more important than water depth, but all three variables were important. We estimated the impacts that fill might have on sturgeon habitat by simulating the addition of fill to the thalweg, in 3-m increments, and recomputing Mahalanobis distances. Channel filling simulations revealed that up to 9 m of fill would have little impact on high-probability habitat, but 12 and 15 m of fill resulted in habitat declines of ???12% and ???45%, respectively. This is the first spatially explicit predictive model of white sturgeon rearing habitat in the lower Columbia River, and the first to quantitatively predict the impacts of dredging operations on sturgeon habitat. Future research should consider whether water velocity improves the accuracy and specificity of the model, and to assess its applicability to other areas in the Columbia River.
S. F. Railsback; M. Gard; Bret Harvey; Jason White; J.K.H. Zimmerman
Stream habitat restoration projects are popular, but can be expensive and difficult to evaluate. We describe inSALMO, an individual-based model designed to predict habitat effects on freshwater life stages (spawning through juvenile out-migration) of salmon. We applied inSALMO to Clear Creek, California, simulating the production of total and large (>5 cm FL)...
William C. McComb; Michael T. McGrath; Thomas A. Spies; David. Vesely
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...
Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley; Jeff P. Hollenbeck
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...
Marchenko, Yulia V.; Genton, Marc G.
for sample selection bias based on the SLt model and compare it with the performances of several tests used with the SLN model. Our findings indicate that the latter tests can be misleading in the presence of heavy-tailed data. © 2012 American Statistical
Lockyer, Zachary B.; Coates, Peter S.; Casazza, Michael L.; Espinosa, Shawn; Delehanty, David J.
Identifying links between micro-habitat selection and wildlife reproduction is imperative to population persistence and recovery. This information is particularly important for landscape species such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse). Although this species has been widely studied, because environmental factors can affect sage-grouse populations, local and regional studies are crucial for developing viable conservation strategies. We studied the habitat-use patterns of 71 radio-marked sage-grouse inhabiting an area affected by wildfire in the Virginia Mountains of northwestern Nevada during 2009–2011 to determine the effect of micro-habitat attributes on reproductive success. We measured standard vegetation parameters at nest and random sites using a multi-scale approach (range = 0.01–15,527 ha). We used an information-theoretic modeling approach to identify environmental factors influencing nest-site selection and survival, and determine whether nest survival was a function of resource selection. Sage-grouse selected micro-sites with greater shrub canopy cover and less cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) cover than random sites. Total shrub canopy, including sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) and other shrub species, at small spatial scales (0.8 ha and 3.1 ha) was the single contributing selection factor to higher nest survival. These results indicate that reducing the risk of wildfire to maintain important sagebrush habitats could be emphasized in sage-grouse conservation strategies in Nevada. Managers may seek to mitigate the influx of annual grass invasion by preserving large intact sagebrush-dominated stands with a mixture of other shrub species. For this area of Nevada, the results suggest that ≥40% total shrub canopy cover in sage-grouse nesting areas could yield improved reproductive success.
Dolby, G. A.; Jacobs, D. K.
Pleistocene glacial cycles are a foremost influence on the genetic diversity and species distribution patterns observed today. Though much work has centered on biotic response to such climatic forcing, little of it has regarded estuarine or other aquatic coastal taxa whose habitat formation is a function of sea level, hydrography, and coastal geomorphology. These physical parameters required for habitat formation suggest that glacial cycles impart a significant effect on such taxa through glacially driven eustatic changes. Additionally, the steepened coastline and rainfall-limited Mediterranean climate suggest limited glacial habitat for estuarine species in southern and Baja California. Here we present GIS modeled habitat for tidal estuaries for three co-distributed estuarine fishes (Gillichthys mirabilis, Quietula y-cauda, Fundulus parvipinnis) since the last glacial maximum. Parameterization of sea level and slope enables biologically relevant temporal resolution of near-millennial scale. At lowstand our approach reveals two refuges along the coast at 1000km distance from each other, with habitat rapidly increasing 15 - 12 ka during meltwater pulse 1A. Habitat area peaked in the early Holocene and began decreasing with the current stillstand roughly 7 ka, probably as a result of coastal maturation towards less tidal systems. To target the postglacial recolonization process we applied discriminant function analysis to highly polymorphic microsatellite data to partition out the alleles associated with refuges identified a priori by habitat modeling. The frequencies of these alleles were calculated for all individuals at intervening populations and regressed against geographic distance. This analysis revealed nonlinear mixing curves, suggesting uneven allelic mixing efficiency along the coastline, perhaps as a result of differential habitat origination times as indicated by the habitat models. These results highlight the dynamism of estuarine habitat in recent
Yates, Katherine L; Mellin, Camille; Caley, M Julian; Radford, Ben T; Meeuwig, Jessica J
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
Lucas, Jessica S.; Loeb, Susan C.; Jodice, Patrick G.R.
Although several studies have described roost use by Rafinesque's big-eared bats (Corynorhinus rafinesquii), few studies have examined roost selection. We examined roost use and selection by Rafinesque's big-eared bat at the tree, stand, and landscape scales during the maternity season in pristine old-growth habitat in the Coastal Plain of South Carolina. We located 43 roosts (14 maternity, 29 solitary) through cavity searches and radio-telemetry. Maternity colonies and solitary individuals selected roosts based on similar characteristics. The best model explaining roost selection by all bats included tree and stand characteristics; landscape factors had little influence on roost use. Bats selected large diameter trees in areas with a high density of trees with cavities in the surrounding area. Most roosts (67.4%) were in water tupelo (Nyssa aquatica) in semi-permanently flooded and saturated areas. Half of maternity roost cavities had upper bole openings whereas only 25.8% of solitary roosts had upper bole openings. Bats that roosted with maternity groups stayed in roosts for significantly shorter periods of time (1.3 ± 0.1 days) and used significantly more roost trees (5.0 ± 0.6 roosts) than adult males (3.8 ± 1.10 days, 2.3 ± 0.4 roosts, respectively). Maternity colony use of cavities with upper bole openings and shorter residency times suggest that predator avoidance may have been an important factor governing roosting behavior of maternity colonies in this area. Our results suggest that retention of large diameter, hollow trees in wetland areas will benefit Rafinesque's big-eared bat individuals and maternity colonies in this area.
Jan Marcin Węsławski
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.
Boyd, Charlotte; Castillo, Ramiro; Hunt, George L.; Punt, André E..; VanBlaricom, Glenn R.; Weimerskirch, Henri; Bertrand, Sophie
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.
Brown, Matthew B G J; Gemmill, Chrissen E C; Miller, Steven; Wehi, Priscilla M
Insects are important but overlooked components of forest ecosystems in New Zealand. For many insect species, information on foraging patterns and trophic relationships is lacking. We examined diet composition and selectivity in a large-bodied insect, the Auckland tree wētā Hemideina thoracica , in three habitat zones in a lowland New Zealand forest. We asked whether H. thoracica selectively forage from available plant food sources, and whether these choices were lipid-rich compared to nonpreferred available plants. We also identified the proportion of invertebrates in their frass as a proxy for omnivory. From reconnaissance plot sampling, together with fecal fragment analysis, we report that more than 93% of individual tree wētā had eaten invertebrates before capture. Additionally, wētā in the highest elevation hillslope habitat zone consumed significantly fewer species of plants on average than wētā on the low-elevation terrace habitat. Upper hillslope wētā also had the highest average number of invertebrate fragments in their frass, significantly more than wētā in the low-elevation terrace habitat zone. Wētā showed high variability in the consumption of fruit and seeds across all habitat zones. Generally, we did not observe diet differences between the sexes (although it appears that male wētā in the mid-hillslope habitat ate fruits and seeds more voraciously than females), suggesting that the sexes have similar niche breadths and display similar degrees of omnivorous behavior. Extraction of leaf lipids demonstrated a range of lipid content values in available plants, and Ivlev's Electivity Index indicated that plant species which demonstrated high electivity tended to have higher concentrations of lipids in their leaves. Our findings indicate that H. thoracica forage omnivorously and selectively, and hence play multiple roles in native ecosystems and food webs.
Susannah B. Lerman; Keith H. Nislow; David J. Nowak; Stephen DeStefano; David I. King; D. Todd. Jones-Farrand
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...
Fontaine, J.J.; Martin, T.E.
The ability of nest predation to influence habitat settlement decisions in birds is widely debated, despite its importance in limiting fitness. Here, we experimentally manipulated nest predation risk across a landscape and asked the question, do migratory birds assess and respond to variation in nest predation risk when choosing breeding habitats? We examined habitat preference by quantifying the density and settlement date of eight species of migratory passerines breeding in areas with and without intact nest predator communities. We found consistently more individuals nesting in areas with reduced nest predation than in areas with intact predator assemblages, although predation risk had no influence on settlement or breeding phenology. Additionally, those individuals occupying safer nesting habitats exhibited increased singing activity. These findings support a causal relationship between habitat choice and nest predation risk and suggest the importance of nest predation risk in shaping avian community structure and breeding activity. ?? 2006 by The University of Chicago. All rights reserved.
Michalski, Marek; Nadolski, Jerzy
A long-term study on thermal conditions in selected urban and semi-natural habitats, where human corpses are likely to be found, was conducted in the city of Lodz (Central Poland). Thermal data were collected during two years at nine sites and compared with corresponding data from the nearest permanent meteorological station at Lodz Airport (ICAO code: EPLL). The conditions closest to those at the meteorological station prevailed in the deciduous forest, coefficient of determination R 2 for those sets of data was above 0.96. The open field was characterized by high daily amplitudes, especially during spring, while the site in the allotment gardens was characterized by relatively high winter temperatures. The conditions prevailing in all closed space sites were very diverse and only slightly similar to the external ones. The most distinct site was an unheated basement in a tenement house, where temperature was almost always above 0°C and daily amplitudes were negligible. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Maarten J. van Strien
Full Text Available Worldwide, the expansion of settlement and transport infrastructure is one of the most important proximate as well as ultimate causes of biodiversity loss. As much as every modern human society depends on a network of settlements that is well-connected by transport infrastructure (i.e., settlement network, animal and plant species depend on networks of habitats between which they can move (i.e., habitat networks. However, changes to a settlement network in a region often threaten the integrity of the region's habitat networks. Determining plans and policy to prevent these threats is made difficult by the numerous interactions and feedbacks that exist between and within the settlement and habitat networks. Mathematical models of coupled settlement and habitat networks can help us understand the dynamics of this social-ecological system. Yet, few attempts have been made to develop such mathematical models. In this paper, we promote the development of models of coupled settlement and habitat networks for biodiversity conservation. First, we present a conceptual framework of key variables that are ideally considered when operationalizing the coupling of settlement and habitat networks. In this framework, we first describe important network-internal interactions by differentiating between the structural (i.e., relating to purely physical conditions determining the suitability of a location for living or movement and functional (i.e., relating to the actual presence, abundance or movement of people or other organisms properties of either network. We then describe the main one-way influences that a settlement network can exert on the habitat networks and vice versa. Second, we give several recommendations for the mathematical modeling of coupled settlement and habitat networks and present several existing modeling approaches (e.g., habitat network models and land-use transport interaction models that could be used for this purpose. Lastly, we elaborate
Bartelt, Paul E.; Klaver, Robert W.; Porter, Warren P.
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.
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
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...
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...
Full Text Available Knowledge of the spatial distribution and habitat associations of species in relation to the environment is essential for their management and conservation. Habitat suitability models are useful in quantifying species-environment relationships and predicting species distribution patterns. Little is known, however, about the stability and performance of habitat suitability models when projected into new areas (spatial transferability and how this can inform resource management. The aims of this study were to model habitat suitability of Norway lobster (Nephrops norvegicus in five fished areas of the Northeast Atlantic (Aran ground, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Scotland Inshore and Fladen ground, and to test for spatial transferability of habitat models among multiple regions. Nephrops burrow density was modelled using generalised additive models (GAMs with predictors selected from four environmental variables (depth, slope, sediment and rugosity. Models were evaluated and tested for spatial transferability among areas. The optimum models (lowest AICc for different areas always included depth and sediment as predictors. Burrow densities were generally greater at depth and in finer sediments, but relationships for individual areas were sometimes more complex. Aside from an inclusion of depth and sediment, the optimum models differed between fished areas. When it came to tests of spatial transferability, however, most of the models were able to predict Nephrops density in other areas. Furthermore, transferability was not dependent on use of the optimum models since competing models were also able to achieve a similar level of transferability to new areas. A degree of decoupling between model 'fitting' performance and spatial transferability supports the use of simpler models when extrapolating habitat suitability maps to different areas. Differences in the form and performance of models from different areas may supply further information on the processes
Danchin, E.; Boulinier, T.; Massot, M.
Habitat selection is a crucial process in the life cycle of animals because it can affect most components of fitness. It has been proposed that some animals cue on the reproductive success of conspecifics to select breeding habitats. We tested this hypothesis with demographic and behavioral data from a 17-yr study of the Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), a cliff-nesting seabird. As the hypothesis assumes, the Black-legged Kittiwake nesting environment was patchy, and the relative quality of the different patches (i.e., breeding cliffs) varied in time. The average reproductive success of the breeders of a given cliff was predictable from one year to the next, but this predictability faded after several years. The dynamic nature of cliff quality in the long term is partly explained by the autocorrelation of the prevalence of an ectoparasite that influences reproductive success. As predicted by the performance-based conspecific attraction hypothesis, the reproductive success of current breeders on a given cliff was predictive of the reproductive success of new recruits on the cliff in the following year. Breeders tended to recruit to the previous year's most productive cliffs and to emigrate from the least productive ones. Consequently, the dynamics of breeder numbers on the cliffs were explained by local reproductive success on a year-to-year basis. Because, on average, young Black-legged Kittiwakes first breed when 4 yr old, such a relationship probably results from individual choices based on the assessment of previous-year local quality. When breeders changed breeding cliffs between years, they selected cliffs of per capita higher reproductive success. Furthermore, after accounting for the potential effects of age and sex as well as between-year variations, the effect of individual breeding performance on breeding dispersal was strongly influenced by the average reproductive success of other breeders on the same cliff. Individual breeding performance did
The terrestrial permafrost is the only rich depository of viable ancient microorganisms on Earth, and can be used as a bridge to possible Martian life forms and shallow subsurface habitats where the probability of finding life is highest. Since there is a place for water, the requisite condition for life, the analogous models are more or less realistic. If life ever existed on Mars, traces might have been preserved and could be found at depth within permafrost. The age of the terrestrial isolates corresponds to the longevity of the frozen state of the embedding strata, with the oldest known dating back to the late Pliocene in Arctic and late Miocene in Antarctica. Permafrost on Earth and Mars vary in age, from a few million years on Earth to a few billion years on Mars. Such a difference in time scale would have a significant impact on the possibility of preserving life on Mars, which is why the longevity of life forms preserved within terrestrial permafrost can only be an approximate model for Mars. 1. A number of studies indicate that the Antarctic cryosphere began to develop on the Eocene-Oligocene boundary, after the isolation of the continent. Permafrost degradation is only possible if mean annual ground temperature, -28°C now, rise above freezing, i.e., a significant warming to above 25°C is required. There is no evidence of such sharp temperature increase, which indicates that the climate and geological history was favorable to persistence of pre-Pliocene permafrost. These oldest relics (~30Myr) are possibly to be found at high hypsometric levels of ice-free areas (Dry Valleys and nearby mountains). It is desirable to test the layers for the presence of viable cells. The limiting age, if one exists, within this ancient permafrost, where the viable organisms were no longer present, could be established as the limit for life preservation below 0oC. Positive results will extend the known temporal limits of life in permafrost. 2. Even in this case, the age of
Ali Haghi Vayghan
Full Text Available To comprehensively manage an ecosystem such as that of the Caspian Sea, the world’s largest lake, detailed knowledge of the habitat traits of the living organisms in the ecosystem is essential. The present study examined environmental variables and used the Habitat Suitability Index (HSI model to determine the most preferred seasonal habitat and optimal environmental range of Caspian shad (Alosa spp. The fish preferred deep waters with low levels of total organic matter and sea level anomaly in winter and productive areas with a high concentration of chlorophyll-a (Chla and relatively high benthos biomass in spring. The number per unit area (NPUA-based HSI model determined that the geometric mean model (GMM was the optimal model for defining a suitable habitat in winter. For spring, the arithmetic mean model (or GMM in the NPUA-based HSI model most accurately predicted preferred habitat for Caspian shad. The average NPUA in both seasons increased with the HSI; areas with an HSI of between 0.4 and 0.6 in spring and between 0.6 and 0.8 in winter had a high percentage of total catch. Areas with an HSI of more than 0.5 had over 91% and 63% of the total catch in spring and winter, respectively, demonstrating the reliability of the NPUA-based HSI model in predicting Caspian shad habitat. The present study shows that remotely sensed data plus depth are the most critical environmental variables in Caspian shad habitats and that Chla and SLA are the most critical remotely sensed parameters for near real-time prediction of Caspian shad habitat.
Curran, Janet H.; Rice, William J.
Small streams in the rapidly developing Matanuska-Susitna Valley in south-central Alaska are known to support anadromous and resident fish but little is known about their hydrologic and riparian conditions, or their sensitivity to the rapid development of the area or climate variability. To help address this need, channel geometry and aquatic habitat data were collected in 2005 as a baseline of stream conditions for selected streams. Three streams were selected as representative of various stream types, and one drainage network, the Big Lake drainage basin, was selected for a systematic assessment. Streams in the Big Lake basin were drawn in a Geographic Information System (GIS), and 55 reaches along 16 miles of Meadow Creek and its primary tributary Little Meadow Creek were identified from orthoimagery and field observations on the basis of distinctive physical and habitat parameters, most commonly gradient, substrate, and vegetation. Data-collection methods for sites at the three representative reaches and the 55 systematically studied reaches consisted of a field survey of channel and flood-plain geometry and collection of 14 habitat attributes using published protocols or slight modifications. Width/depth and entrenchment ratios along the Meadow-Little Meadow Creek corridor were large and highly variable upstream of Parks Highway and lower and more consistent downstream of Parks Highway. Channel width was strongly correlated with distance, increasing downstream in a log-linear relation. Runs formed the most common habitat type, and instream vegetation dominated the habitat cover types, which collectively covered 53 percent of the channel. Gravel suitable for spawning covered isolated areas along Meadow Creek and about 29 percent of Little Meadow Creek. Broad wetlands were common along both streams. For a comprehensive assessment of small streams in the Mat-Su Valley, critical additional data needs include hydrologic, geologic and geomorphic, and biologic data
Mittal, N.; Saarman, N. P.; Pogson, G.
Introduced species contribute to decline of biodiversity and ecosystem services. Introduced species threaten native species by increasing competition for space and resources, changing their habitat, and disrupting species interactions. Protecting native species is crucial to preserving ecosystem services (i.e. medicinal, agricultural, ecological, and cultural benefits) for future generations. In marine communities, the number of invasive species is dramatically increasing every year, further magnifying the negative impact on native species. This research determines if habitat-specific selection can protect native species from their invasive relatives, and could allow targeted habitat restoration for native species to maintain high levels of biodiversity. Blue mussels provide an ideal system for studying the impact of an invasive species (Mytilus galloprovincialis) on native mussels (M. trossulus), because M. galloprovincialis is marked as one of the world's 100 worst invasive species. Hybridization between M. galloprovincialis and M. trossulus occurs wherever their distributions overlap (i.e. Japan, Puget Sound, and central California). In central California, hybrids form in a broad variety of habitats ever since M. galloprovincialis was introduced about 100 years ago. The current level of threat posed to native mussels in central California is unknown. When population growth rate of an invasive species is higher than the native within a hybrid zone, the invader's genes become more prominent in the hybrids than the native species' genes. This uneven mix of genes and decrease of pure native mussels threatens to drive M. trossulus to extinction. Therefore, it is important to research which environment fosters highest success of pure native species. We conducted a field experiment in San Francisco Bay where mussels were reared in different habitats. We then collected samples and extracted DNA from each treatment, and genotyped them by a next-generation sequencing
Stephanie A. Snyder; Robert G. Haight
The Maximal Covering Location Problem (MCLP) is a classic model from the location science literature which has found wide application. One important application is to a fundamental problem in conservation biology, the Maximum Covering Species Problem (MCSP), which identifies land parcels to protect to maximize the number of species represented in the selected sites. We...
Wan, Dongmei; Gao, Wei; Wang, Qiuyu; Wang, Haitao; Liu, Mingyu
During April and May of 1985, 1995 and 1998, red-crowned crane's nesting and variation of breeding population quantities in Shuangtaihekou National Natural Reserve in Liaoning, and also the habitat fragmentation there were investigated. Associated with previous data of the reserve, red-crowned crane's nesting habitat had been seriously fragmentated into 91 patches from one integrated reed wetland. The area of the smallest patch was 0.37 km2, and the minimum distance of two nests was 304 m. Compared with records of previous data, the minimum area of nesting habitat reduced by 0.72 km2. However, the breeding population quantities of red-crowned crane had maintained at about 30 pairs for a long period. The red-crowned crane adapted to the changed environment by the ecological adaptation strategy of reducing area of nesting habitat.
Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we provide a quantitative characterization of agricultural habitats and their use by Black-tailed Godwits Limosa I. limosa in the south-western part of the province of Friesland, The Netherlands, in ...
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.
Poor, Erin E; Loucks, Colby; Jakes, Andrew; Urban, Dean L
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.
Monica N. Iglecia
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.
Araújo, Cristiano V M; Rodríguez, Elizabeth N V; Salvatierra, David; Cedeño-Macias, Luis A; Vera-Vera, Victoria C; Moreira-Santos, Matilde; Ribeiro, Rui
Habitat selection by fish is the outcome of a choice between different stimuli. Typically, the presence of food tends to attract organisms, while contamination triggers an avoidance response to prevent toxic effects. Given that both food and contaminants are not homogeneously distributed in the environment and that food can be available in contaminated zones, a key question has been put forward in the present study: does a higher availability of food in contaminated areas interfere in the avoidance response to contaminants regardless of the contamination level? Tilapia fry (Oreochromis sp.; 2.5-3.0 cm and 0.5-0.8 g) were exposed to two different effluent samples, diluted along a free-choice, non-forced exposure system simulating a contamination gradient. Initially, avoidance to the effluents was checked during a one hour exposure. Afterwards, food was added to the system so that the availability of food increased with the increase in the level of contamination, and the avoidance response to contamination was checked during another hour. Results clearly showed a concentration-dependent avoidance response for both effluents during the first hour (i.e., with no food). However, in presence of the food, the avoidance pattern was altered: organisms were propelled to intermittently move towards contaminated areas where food availability was higher. The incursions were taken regardless of the potential risk linked to the toxic effects. In conclusion, even when the risk of toxicity was imminent, tilapia fry were more intensively stimulated by the attractiveness of the food than by repulsion to the contamination. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Vierling, Lee A.; Vierling, Kerri T.; Adam, Patrick; Hudak, Andrew T.
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 data from the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) relative to airborne-based LiDAR to model the north Idaho breeding distribution of a forest-dependent ecosystem engineer, the Red-naped sapsucker (Sphyrapicus nuchalis). GLAS data occurred within ca. 64 m diameter ellipses spaced a minimum of 172 m apart, and all occupancy analyses were confined to this grain scale. Using a hierarchical approach, we modeled Red-naped sapsucker occupancy as a function of LiDAR metrics derived from both platforms. Occupancy models based on satellite data were weak, possibly because the data within the GLAS ellipse did not fully represent habitat characteristics important for this species. The most important structural variables influencing Red-naped Sapsucker breeding site selection based on airborne LiDAR data included foliage height diversity, the distance between major strata in the canopy vertical profile, and the vegetation density near the ground. These characteristics are consistent with the diversity of foraging activities exhibited by this species. To our knowledge, this study represents the first to examine the utility of satellite-based LiDAR to model animal distributions. The large area of each GLAS ellipse and the non-contiguous nature of GLAS data may pose significant challenges for wildlife distribution modeling; nevertheless these data can provide useful information on ecosystem vertical structure, particularly in areas of gentle terrain. Additional work is thus warranted to utilize LiDAR datasets collected from both airborne and past and future satellite platforms (e.g. GLAS, and the planned IceSAT2
Heumann, B. W.; Guichard, F.; Seaquist, J. W.
The HABSEED model uses remote sensing derived NPP as a surrogate for habitat quality as the driving mechanism for population growth and local seed dispersal. The model has been applied to the Sahel region of Africa. Results show that the functional response of plants to habitat quality alters population distribution. Plants more tolerant of medium quality habitat have greater distributions to the North while plants requiring only the best habitat are limited to the South. For all functional response types, increased seed production results in diminishing returns. Functional response types have been related to life history tradeoffs and r-K strategies based on the results. Results are compared to remote sensing derived vegetation land cover.
Keeley, Michael G.
Diverse cost-estimating techniques and data combined into single program. Selected Tether Applications Cost Model (STACOM 1.0) is interactive accounting software tool providing means for combining several independent cost-estimating programs into fully-integrated mathematical model capable of assessing costs, analyzing benefits, providing file-handling utilities, and putting out information in text and graphical forms to screen, printer, or plotter. Program based on Lotus 1-2-3, version 2.0. Developed to provide clear, concise traceability and visibility into methodology and rationale for estimating costs and benefits of operations of Space Station tether deployer system.
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.
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.
Wathen, G.; Coghlan, S.M.; Zydlewski, Joseph D.; Trial, J.G.
Introduced smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu have invaded much of the historic freshwater habitat of Atlantic salmon Salmo salar in North America, yet little is known about the ecological interactions between the two species. We investigated the possibility of competition for habitat between age-0 Atlantic salmon and age-0 and age-1 smallmouth bass by means of in situ observations and a mesocosm experiment. We used snorkel observation to identify the degree and timing of overlap in habitat use in our in situ observations and to describe habitat shifts by Atlantic salmon in the presence of smallmouth bass in our mesocosm experiments. In late July 2008, we observed substantial overlap in the depths and mean water column velocities used by both species in sympatric in situ conditions and an apparent shift by age-0 Atlantic salmon to shallower water that coincided with the period of high overlap. In the mesocosm experiments, we detected no overlap or habitat shifts by age-0 Atlantic salmon in the presence age-1 smallmouth bass and low overlap and no habitat shifts of Atlantic salmon and age-0 smallmouth bass in fall 2009. In 2009, summer floods with sustained high flows and low temperatures resulted in the nearly complete reproductive failure of the smallmouth bass in our study streams, and we did not observe a midsummer habitat shift by Atlantic salmon similar to that seen in 2008. Although this prevented us from replicating our 2008 experiments under similar conditions, the virtual year-class failure of smallmouth bass itself is enlightening. We suggest that future studies incorporate the effects of varying temperature and discharge to determine how abiotic factors affect the interactions between these species and thus mediate the outcomes of potential competition.
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.
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
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.
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.
Van Manen, F.T.; Young, J.A.; Thatcher, C.A.; Cass, W.B.; Ulrey, C.
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
Odendaal, F J; Bull, C M; Nias, R C
Two leptodactylid frog species Ranidella signifera and R. riparia occupy adjacent but different habitat types in the Flinders Ranges of South Australia. R. signifera is found in slow-flowing creeks with mud or sand substrates. R. riparia occupies fast-flowing rocky creeks. The two coexist in a narrow overlap zone with heterogeneous habitats. Laboratory experiments were used to test habitat preferences of tadpoles in a tub with sand and rock substrates. R. riparia was most commonly found on the rock substrate. R. signifera showed no distinct preference for sand, but when mixed with R. riparia increased its use of the habitat in the spaces between and under rocks. This was particularly apparent in flowing water where 81% of all R. signifera tadpoles were observed in this sheltered habitat.The data suggest that R. signifera tadpoles have reduced fitness in flowing water because they cannot exploit exposed feeding sites where most of the algae grow, and that interspecific interactions with R. riparia tadpoles reduce their fitness further. This helps to explain why R. signifera do not extend their distribution into R. riparia occupied creeks. The data do not explain why R. riparia do not colonize the slow muddy creeks occupied by R. signifera.
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.
Mark C Drever
Full Text Available Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus is a migratory woodpecker that breeds in mixed coniferous forests in western North America. In Canada, the range of this woodpecker is restricted to three small populations in southern British Columbia, precipitating a national listing as 'Endangered' in 2005, and the need to characterize critical habitat for its survival and recovery. We compared habitat attributes between Williamson's sapsucker nest territories and random points without nests or detections of this sapsucker as part of a resource selection analysis to identify the habitat features that best explain the probability of nest occurrence in two separate geographic regions in British Columbia. We compared the relative explanatory power of generalized linear models based on field-derived and Geographic Information System (GIS data within both a 225 m and 800 m radius of a nest or random point. The model based on field-derived variables explained the most variation in nest occurrence in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, whereas nest occurrence was best explained by GIS information at the 800 m scale in the Western Region. Probability of nest occurrence was strongly tied to densities of potential nest trees, which included open forests with very large (diameter at breast height, DBH, ≥57.5 cm western larch (Larix occidentalis trees in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, and very large ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa and large (DBH 17.5-57.5 cm trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides trees in the Western Region. Our results have the potential to guide identification and protection of critical habitat as required by the Species at Risk Act in Canada, and to better manage Williamson's sapsucker habitat overall in North America. In particular, management should focus on the maintenance and recruitment of very large western larch and ponderosa pine trees.
Drever, Mark C; Gyug, Les W; Nielsen, Jennifer; Stuart-Smith, A Kari; Ohanjanian, I Penny; Martin, Kathy
Williamson's sapsucker (Sphyrapicus thyroideus) is a migratory woodpecker that breeds in mixed coniferous forests in western North America. In Canada, the range of this woodpecker is restricted to three small populations in southern British Columbia, precipitating a national listing as 'Endangered' in 2005, and the need to characterize critical habitat for its survival and recovery. We compared habitat attributes between Williamson's sapsucker nest territories and random points without nests or detections of this sapsucker as part of a resource selection analysis to identify the habitat features that best explain the probability of nest occurrence in two separate geographic regions in British Columbia. We compared the relative explanatory power of generalized linear models based on field-derived and Geographic Information System (GIS) data within both a 225 m and 800 m radius of a nest or random point. The model based on field-derived variables explained the most variation in nest occurrence in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, whereas nest occurrence was best explained by GIS information at the 800 m scale in the Western Region. Probability of nest occurrence was strongly tied to densities of potential nest trees, which included open forests with very large (diameter at breast height, DBH, ≥57.5 cm) western larch (Larix occidentalis) trees in the Okanagan-East Kootenay Region, and very large ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) and large (DBH 17.5-57.5 cm) trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) trees in the Western Region. Our results have the potential to guide identification and protection of critical habitat as required by the Species at Risk Act in Canada, and to better manage Williamson's sapsucker habitat overall in North America. In particular, management should focus on the maintenance and recruitment of very large western larch and ponderosa pine trees.
Full Text Available The Canadian goldenrod Solidago canadensis (L is an invasive species in Poland. It occurs both in habitats only weakly impacted by anthropogenic factors as well as in habitats subjected to intensive transformations by humans. The aim of this study was to characterise the habitats of S. canadensis in Mińsk Mazowiecki and in out-of-town areas. It has been shown, based on an analysis of the principal soil properties, that the sites where S. canadensis was found had clayey-sandy soil and a C/N ratio indicative of medium and high soil degradation. Canadian goldenrod was found at sites with a diverse content of phosphorus, calcium and magnesium in soil, as well as a diverse soil pH, indicative of a strongly acidic, acidic and alkaline character of the soil.
L.J. Henne; K.J. Buckley
This is the second aquatic biological monitoring report generated by Los Alamos National Laboratory's (LANL's) Water Quality and Hydrology Group. The study has been conducted to generate impact-based assessments of habitat and water quality for LANL waterways. The monitoring program was designed to allow for the detection of spatial and temporal trends in water and habitat quality through ongoing, biannual monitoring of habitat characteristics and benthic aquatic macroinvertebrate communities at six key sites in Los Alamos, Sandia, Water, Pajarito, and Starmer's Gulch Canyons. Data were collected on aquatic habitat characteristics, channel substrate, and macroinvertebrate communities during 2001 and 2002. Aquatic habitat scores were stable between 2001 and 2002 at all locations except Starmer's Gulch and Pajarito Canyon, which had lower scores in 2002 due to low flow conditions. Channel substrate changes were most evident at the upper Los Alamos and Pajarito study reaches. The macroinvertebrate Stream Condition Index (SCI) indicated moderate to severe impairment at upper Los Alamos Canyon, slight to moderate impairment at upper Sandia Canyon, and little or no impairment at lower Sandia Canyon, Starmer's Gulch, and Pajarito Canyon. Habitat, substrate, and macroinvertebrate data from the site in upper Los Alamos Canyon indicated severe impacts from the Cerro Grande Fire of 2000. Impairment in the macroinvertebrate community at upper Sandia Canyon was probably due to effluent-dominated flow at that site. The minimal impairment SCI scores for the lower Sandia site indicated that water quality improved with distance downstream from the outfall at upper Sandia Canyon.
Yi, Yujun; Sun, Jie; Zhang, Shanghong
The Chinese sturgeon is a type of large anadromous fish that migrates between the ocean and rivers. Because of the construction of dams, this sturgeon's migration path has been cut off, and this species currently is on the verge of extinction. Simulating suitable environmental conditions for spawning followed by repairing or rebuilding its spawning grounds are effective ways to protect this species. Various habitat suitability models based on expert knowledge have been used to evaluate the suitability of spawning habitat. In this study, a two-dimensional hydraulic simulation is used to inform a habitat suitability model based on the generalized additive method (GAM). The GAM is based on real data. The values of water depth and velocity are calculated first via the hydrodynamic model and later applied in the GAM. The final habitat suitability model is validated using the catch per unit effort (CPUEd) data of 1999 and 2003. The model results show that a velocity of 1.06-1.56 m/s and a depth of 13.33-20.33 m are highly suitable ranges for the Chinese sturgeon to spawn. The hydraulic habitat suitability indexes (HHSI) for seven discharges (4000; 9000; 12,000; 16,000; 20,000; 30,000; and 40,000 m3/s) are calculated to evaluate integrated habitat suitability. The results show that the integrated habitat suitability reaches its highest value at a discharge of 16,000 m3/s. This study is the first to apply a GAM to evaluate the suitability of spawning grounds for the Chinese sturgeon. The study provides a reference for the identification of potential spawning grounds in the entire basin.
Bartlett-Healy, Kristen; Healy, Sean P; Hamilton, George C
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.
Yan, Xue; Wang, Haowen; Wang, Qingfeng; Rudstam, Lars G.
Heterogeneity of contaminant-stress can be an important environmental factor for clonal plants. We focused on Cu transport among the clones, the foraging or fugitive behavior and biomass allocation of submerged plant, Vallisneria natans (Lour.) Hara, exposed to heterogeneous sediments. This study was carried out in aquatic mesocosms between March and September 2010. Cu accumulated in contaminated ramets was exported horizontally via stolons to other ramets in uncontaminated patches, and then transported both acropetally to leaves and basipetally to belowground structures. There was no indication that V. natans adopted morphological plasticity in response to heterogeneous contaminated habitat. In contrast to predictions, more biomass was allocated to belowground tissues in contaminated patches. We concluded that risk of Cu stress spread among submerged clones, and V. natans did not actively select habitat in contaminated patchy environment. Furthermore, V. natans adopted compensatory investments instead of division of labor to acquire nutrient and survive. -- Highlights: ► Response of submerged clonal plant in heterogeneous Cu soil was studied. ► Cu can spread among V. natans clones in contaminated patches. ► Ramets of V. natans grow randomly instead of habitat selection actively. ► Individual growth in patchy pollution was relative independent rather than DoL. -- Cu can spread among V. natans clones and the clones grow randomly and relative independent in heterogeneous Cu-contaminated sediment
Cotes, Belén; Rännbäck, Linda Marie; Björkman, Maria
both a parasitoid and its host, parasitoids may reduce the risk of intraguild predation (IGP) by avoiding such patches. In this study, we examined whether the presence of the entomopathogenic fungi Metarhizium brunneum and Beauveria bassiana in soil habitats of a root herbivore, Delia radicum, affects...
Groen, Niko M.; Kentie, Rosemarie; de Goeij, Petra; Verheijen, Bram; Piersma, Theunis; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we
Groen, N.M.; Kentie, R.; de Goeij, P.; Verheijen, B.; Hooijmeijer, J.C.E.W.; Piersma, T.
For a long time, agricultural areas had considerable ornithological value, an ecological richness which in The Netherlands was epitomised by the term 'meadow birds'. However, over the last half century, agricultural intensification has negatively affected the quality of meadow bird habitats. Here we
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...
Masocha, Mhosisi; Dube, Timothy; Maziva, Tendai
Encosternum delegorguei spinola (edible stink bugs) is renowned for its high protein and contribution to the local economies of the people in Africa. Although many studies have evaluated the economic and nutritional importance of E. delegorguei, little is known about its geographic distribution and habitat yet the insects are an important source of protein and money for many people in Southern Africa. In this study maximum entropy model was used to predict the probability of presence of E. delegorguei in southern Zimbabwe. The environmental factors governing its geographic distribution in Zimbabwe were also evaluated. Presence/absence data were selected along thirty-five randomly selected transects. The climatic and topographic variables used to predict the distribution of E. delegorguei were: maximum temperature of the warmest month; minimum temperature of the coldest month; the normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI); altitude; slope; and aspect. It was found that E. delegorguei is most likely to occur on steep slopes with high NDVI located at an altitude ranging of 856 and 1450 m above sea level. These suitable habitats are characterised by mild temperatures ranging from 17 °C to 28 °C. These results are in agreement with previous studies indicating that E. delegorguei is sensitive to temperature, as well as tree cover and may contribute towards conserving its habitat, which is being fragmented by anthropogenic disturbance.
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.
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.
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.
Kleist, Nathan J; Guralnick, Robert P; Cruz, Alexander; Francis, Clinton D
Birds breeding in heterogeneous landscapes select nest sites by cueing in on a variety of factors from landscape features and social information to the presence of natural enemies. We focus on determining the relative impact of anthropogenic noise on nest site occupancy, compared to amount of forest cover, which is known to strongly influence the selection process. We examine chronic, industrial noise from natural gas wells directly measured at the nest box as well as site-averaged noise, using a well-established field experimental system in northwestern New Mexico. We hypothesized that high levels of noise, both at the nest site and in the environment, would decrease nest box occupancy. We set up nest boxes using a geospatially paired control and experimental site design and analyzed four years of occupancy data from four secondary cavity-nesting birds common to the Colorado Plateau. We found different effects of noise and landscape features depending on species, with strong effects of noise observed in breeding habitat selection of Myiarchus cinerascens, the Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Sialia currucoides, the Mountain Bluebird. In contrast, the amount of forest cover less frequently explained habitat selection for those species or had a smaller standardized effect than the acoustic environment. Although forest cover characterization and management is commonly employed by natural resource managers, our results show that characterizing and managing the acoustic environment should be an important tool in protected area management. © 2016 by the Ecological Society of America.
Richard B. Standiford; Douglas McCreary; William Frost
Many local conservation policies have attempted to mitigate the loss of oak woodland habitat resulting from conversion to urban or intensive agricultural land uses through tree planting. This paper models the development of blue oak (Quercus douglasii) stand structure attributes over 50 years after planting. The model uses a single tree, distance...
Hawkins, A.; Pascoe, P.L.; Parry, H.; Brinsley, M.; Black, K.; McGonigle, C.; Smaal, A.C.
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,
Salt marshes are valuable resources, which provide numerous ecosystem services, including flood protection, fish nursery habitat, and nesting habitat for a number of threatened and endangered species. At the present time, due primarily to coastal development and sea level rise,...
van de Wolfshaar, K.E.; Tulp, I.; Wennhage, H.
consequences on population dynamics through changes in resource use and competition. To explore this, a conceptual stage-structured model was developed with 3 stages and 2 resources and allowing a move of large juveniles from the shallow to the deep habitat. Large juveniles compete with small juveniles...... in shallow waters and with adults in deeper waters. Alternative stable states occur, with one state dominated by small juvenile biomass and the other dominated by adult biomass. The model results show for both states that while large juvenile biomass responds to a change in time spent in the deep habitat...
Xia, Jun Hong; Li, Hong Lian; Zhang, Yong; Meng, Zi Ning; Lin, Hao Ran
Fish species inhabitating seawater (SW) or freshwater (FW) habitats have to develop genetic adaptations to alternative environment factors, especially salinity. Functional consequences of the protein variations associated with habitat environments in fish mitochondrial genomes have not yet received much attention. We analyzed 829 complete fish mitochondrial genomes and compared the amino acid differences of 13 mitochondrial protein families between FW and SW fish groups. We identified 47 specificity determining sites (SDS) that associated with FW or SW environments from 12 mitochondrial protein families. Thirty-two (68%) of the SDS sites are hydrophobic, 13 (28%) are neutral, and the remaining sites are acidic or basic. Seven of those SDS from ND1, ND2 and ND5 were scored as probably damaging to the protein structures. Furthermore, phylogenetic tree based Bayes Empirical Bayes analysis also detected 63 positive sites associated with alternative habitat environments across ten mtDNA proteins. These signatures could be important for studying mitochondrial genetic variation relevant to fish physiology and ecology.
Benton, Joshua J.
The North Rainier Elk Herd (NREH) is one of ten designated herds in Washington State, all managed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). To aid in the management of the herd, the WDFW has decided to implement a spatial ecosystem analysis. This thesis partially undertakes this analysis through the use of a suite of software tools, the Westside Elk Nutrition and Habitat Use Models (WENHUM). This model analyzes four covariates that have a strong correlation to elk habitat selection: dietary digestible energy (DDE); distance to roads open to the public; mean slope; and distance to cover-forage edge and returns areas of likely elk habitation or use. This thesis includes an update of the base vegetation layer from 2006 data to 2011, a series of clear cuts were identified as areas of change and fed into the WENHUM models. The addition of these clear cuts created improvements in the higher quality DDE levels and when the updated data is compared to the original, predictions of elk use are higher. The presence of open or closed roads was simulated by creating an area of possible closures, selecting candidate roads within that area and then modeling them as either "all open" or "all closed". The simulation of the road closures produced increases in the higher levels of predicted use.
Olson, Gail S.; Glenn, Elizabeth M.; Anthony, Robert G.; Forsman, Eric D.; Reid, Janice A.; Loschl, Peter J.; Ripple, William J.
Northern spotted owls (Strix occidentalis caurina) are known to be associated with late-successional forests in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, but the effects of habitat on their demographic performance are relatively unknown. We developed statistical models relating owl survival and productivity to forest cover types within the Roseburg Study Area in the Oregon Coast Range of Oregon, USA. We further combined these demographic parameters using a Leslie-type matrix to obtain an estimate of habitat fitness potential for each owl territory (n = 94). We used mark–recapture methods to develop models for survival and linear mixed models for productivity. We measured forest composition and landscape patterns at 3 landscape scales centered on nest and activity sites within owl territories using an aerial photo-based map and a Geographic Information System (GIS). We also considered additional covariates such as age, sex, and presence of barred owls (Strix varia), and seasonal climate variables (temperature and precipitation) in our models. We used Akaike's Information Criterion (AIC) to rank and compare models. Survival had a quadratic relationship with the amount of late- and mid-seral forests within 1,500 m of nesting centers. Survival also was influenced by the amount of precipitation during the nesting season. Only 16% of the variability in survival was accounted for by our best model, but 85% of this was due to the habitat variable. Reproductive rates fluctuated biennially and were positively related to the amount of edge between late- and mid-seral forests and other habitat classes. Reproductive rates also were influenced by parent age, amount of precipitation during nesting season, and presence of barred owls. Our best model accounted for 84% of the variability in productivity, but only 3% of that was due to the habitat variable. Estimates of habitat fitness potential (which may range from 0 to infinity) for the 94 territories ranged from 0.74 to 1
Fujisaki, Ikuko; Hart, Kristen M.; Sartain-Iverson, Autumn R.
We examined habitat selection by green turtles Chelonia mydas at Dry Tortugas National Park, Florida, USA. We tracked 15 turtles (6 females and 9 males) using platform transmitter terminals (PTTs); 13 of these turtles were equipped with additional acoustic transmitters. Location data by PTTs comprised periods of 40 to 226 d in varying months from 2009 to 2012. Core areas were concentrated in shallow water (mean bathymetry depth of 7.7 m) with a comparably dense coverage of seagrass; however, the utilization distribution overlap index indicated a low degree of habitat sharing. The probability of detecting a turtle on an acoustic receiver was inversely associated with the distance from the receiver to turtle capture sites and was lower in shallower water. The estimated daily detection probability of a single turtle at a given acoustic station throughout the acoustic array was small (turtle detections was even smaller. However, the conditional probability of multiple turtle detections, given at least one turtle detection at a receiver, was much higher despite the small number of tagged turtles in each year (n = 1 to 5). Also, multiple detections of different turtles at a receiver frequently occurred within a few minutes (40%, or 164 of 415, occurred within 1 min). Our numerical estimates of core area overlap, co-occupancy probabilities, and habitat characterization for green turtles could be used to guide conservation of the area to sustain the population of this species.
Bartels, Duane G.
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
Benjamin M Croak
Full Text Available Organisms selecting retreat sites may evaluate not only the quality of the specific shelter, but also the proximity of that site to resources in the surrounding area. Distinguishing between habitat selection at these two spatial scales is complicated by co-variation among microhabitat factors (i.e., the attributes of individual retreat sites often correlate with their proximity to landscape features. Disentangling this co-variation may facilitate the restoration or conservation of threatened systems. To experimentally examine the role of landscape attributes in determining retreat-site quality for saxicolous ectotherms, we deployed 198 identical artificial rocks in open (sun-exposed sites on sandstone outcrops in southeastern Australia, and recorded faunal usage of those retreat sites over the next 29 months. Several landscape-scale attributes were associated with occupancy of experimental rocks, but different features were important for different species. For example, endangered broad-headed snakes (Hoplocephalus bungaroides preferred retreat sites close to cliff edges, flat rock spiders (Hemicloea major preferred small outcrops, and velvet geckos (Oedura lesueurii preferred rocks close to the cliff edge with higher-than-average sun exposure. Standardized retreat sites can provide robust experimental data on the effects of landscape-scale attributes on retreat site selection, revealing interspecific divergences among sympatric taxa that use similar habitats.
Jennifer A. Brown
Full Text Available Distribution models of invasive plants are very useful tools for conservation management. There are challenges in modeling expanding populations, especially in a dynamic environment, and when data are limited. In this paper, predictive habitat models were assessed for three invasive plant species, at differing levels of occurrence, using two different habitat modeling techniques: logistic regression and maximum entropy. The influence of disturbance, spatial and temporal heterogeneity, and other landscape characteristics is assessed by creating regional level models based on occurrence records from the USDA Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis database. Logistic regression and maximum entropy models were assessed independently. Ensemble models were developed to combine the predictions of the two analysis approaches to obtain a more robust prediction estimate. All species had strong models with Area Under the receiver operator Curve (AUC of >0.75. The species with the highest occurrence, Ligustrum spp., had the greatest agreement between the models (93%. Lolium arundinaceum had the most disagreement between models at 33% and the lowest AUC values. Overall, the strength of integrative modeling in assessing and understanding habitat modeling was demonstrated.
Hwang, Jusun; Gottdenker, Nicole; Min, Mi-Sook; Lee, Hang; Chun, Myung-Sun
In this study, we evaluated the potential association between the habitat types of feral cats and the prevalence of selected infectious pathogens and health status based on a set of blood parameters. We live-trapped 72 feral cats from two different habitat types: an urban area (n = 48) and a rural agricultural area (n = 24). We compared blood values and the prevalence of feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), feline leukaemia virus (FeLV) and haemotropic Mycoplasma infection in feral cats from the two contrasting habitats. Significant differences were observed in several blood values (haematocrit, red blood cells, blood urea nitrogen, creatinine) depending on the habitat type and/or sex of the cat. Two individuals from the urban area were seropositive for FIV (3.0%), and eight (12.1%) were positive for FeLV infection (five from an urban habitat and three from a rural habitat). Haemoplasma infection was more common. Based on molecular analysis, 38 cats (54.3%) were positive for haemoplasma, with a significantly higher infection rate in cats from rural habitats (70.8%) compared with urban cats (47.8%). Our study recorded haematological and serum biochemical values, and prevalence of selected pathogens in feral cat populations from two different habitat types. A subset of important laboratory parameters from rural cats showed values under or above the corresponding reference intervals for healthy domestic cats, suggesting potential differences in the health status of feral cats depending on the habitat type. Our findings provide information about the association between 1) blood values (haematological and serum biochemistry parameters) and 2) prevalence of selected pathogen infections and different habitat types; this may be important for veterinarians who work with feral and/or stray cats and for overall cat welfare management. © ISFM and AAFP 2015.
Jens G Froese
Full Text Available Invasive wildlife often causes serious damage to the economy and agriculture as well as environmental, human and animal health. Habitat models can fill knowledge gaps about species distributions and assist planning to mitigate impacts. Yet, model accuracy and utility may be compromised by small study areas and limited integration of species ecology or temporal variability. Here we modelled seasonal habitat suitability for wild pigs, a widespread and harmful invader, in northern Australia. We developed a resource-based, spatially-explicit and regional-scale approach using Bayesian networks and spatial pattern suitability analysis. We integrated important ecological factors such as variability in environmental conditions, breeding requirements and home range movements. The habitat model was parameterized during a structured, iterative expert elicitation process and applied to a wet season and a dry season scenario. Model performance and uncertainty was evaluated against independent distributional data sets. Validation results showed that an expert-averaged model accurately predicted empirical wild pig presences in northern Australia for both seasonal scenarios. Model uncertainty was largely associated with different expert assumptions about wild pigs' resource-seeking home range movements. Habitat suitability varied considerably between seasons, retracting to resource-abundant rainforest, wetland and agricultural refuge areas during the dry season and expanding widely into surrounding grassland floodplains, savanna woodlands and coastal shrubs during the wet season. Overall, our model suggested that suitable wild pig habitat is less widely available in northern Australia than previously thought. Mapped results may be used to quantify impacts, assess risks, justify management investments and target control activities. Our methods are applicable to other wide-ranging species, especially in data-poor situations.
Williams, C.J.; Heglund, P.J.
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.
Full Text Available The Cinereous Warbling-finch Poospiza cinerea (Emberizidae is a Neotropical grassland bird considered rare, with population declining due to habitat loss and classified as vulnerable. However, the species conspicuously remains in several degraded areas, suggesting that it may be favored by these environments. Studies which focus on this species were inexistent until 2012, making questionable any statement about its threaten status. Here we analyzed population density, home range, and habitat selection of two groups of P. cinerea at independent sites that differ in human impact levels. Density was estimated by counting and mapping birds. Kernel density and minimum convex polygon were used to estimate home ranges. Habitat selection was inferred from use and availability of every habitat identified within the home range boundaries. One group positively selected urban tree vegetation, despite the availability of natural habitats in its home range. Based on a review on the literature and our findings, we assume that it is unlikely that P. cinerea is rare owing to habitat degradation, as previously thought. Nevertheless, this species was always recorded around native Cerrado vegetation and thus habitat modification may still threaten this species at some level. It is suggested that this species might be a woodland edge species, but future studies are necessary to confirm this assumption.
The most important game in Sweden is moose (Alces alces (L.)). To study the 137 Cs levels in moose, hunters were asked to send in moose meat for analysis. About 6500 samples were analysed from 1986-1993. There was a positive correlation between the fall-out of cesium from Chernobyl and the cesium concentration in moose. The differences in 137 Cs concentration between moose of the same age and sex, results from individual moose consuming plants of different 137 Cs concentrations, due to the use of different habitat types. The differences in 137 Cs levels between years probably depends on between-year variation in habitat utilization due to the weather. During warm summers and autumns, moose utilize more wetlands (cool habitats during warm days) or mature forests (which are shady during sunny days) and consume the plants (of high 137 Cs levels) found there, whereby their meat will have a higher 137 Cs concentration. If, during colder summers, moose instead use farmlands or clear-cut forest areas and consume the plants (of low 137 Cs levels) found there, a lower 137 Cs concentration will be the case. The 137 Cs concentration in moose also fluctuates seasonally depending on diet, i.e. there are high average concentrations and large differences between individual moose killed during the plant growing season, but low 137 Cs concentrations and low variation between individuals and years, for moose killed during the winter. The analyses of 137 Cs in moose and its food plants from before and after the Chernobyl accident indicates that the 137 Cs from Chernobyl will stay in the northern forest ecosystem for a long time. The physical decay (30.2 years) seems to be the major factor for its disappearance from the ecosystem. I also expect that the fluctuation between years in the 137 Cs concentration will persist, although decrease in maximum values. 44 refs, 7 figs
Vlašánek, Petr; Bartoňová, Alena; Marec, František; Konvička, Martin
Roč. 45, č. 180 (2017), s. 561-569 ISSN 0300-5267 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/10/2167; GA AV ČR IAA600960925; GA ČR(CZ) GA17-13713S EU Projects: European Commission(XE) 669609 - Diversity6continents Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : Lepidoptera * Papilionidae * habitat Subject RIV: EB - Genetics ; Molecular Biology OBOR OECD: Genetics and heredity (medical genetics to be 3) Impact factor: 0.264, year: 2016
Irene D. Alabia
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.
Jedlikowski, Jan; Chibowski, Piotr; Karasek, Tomasz; Brambilla, Mattia
Habitat selection often involves choices made at different spatial scales, but the underlying mechanisms are still poorly understood, and studies that investigate the relative importance of individual scales are rare. We investigated the effect of three spatial scales (landscape, territory, nest-site) on the occurrence pattern of little crake Zapornia parva and water rail Rallus aquaticus at 74 ponds in the Masurian Lakeland, Poland. Habitat structure, food abundance and water chemical parameters were measured at nests and random points within landscape plots (from 300-m to 50-m radius), territory (14-m) and nest-site plots (3-m). Regression analyses suggested that the most relevant scale was territory level, followed by landscape, and finally by nest-site for both species. Variation partitioning confirmed this pattern for water rail, but also highlighted the importance of nest-site (the level explaining the highest share of unique variation) for little crake. The most important variables determining the occurrence of both species were water body fragmentation (landscape), vegetation density (territory) and water depth (at territory level for little crake, and at nest-site level for water rail). Finally, for both species multi-scale models including factors from different levels were more parsimonious than single-scale ones, i.e. habitat selection was likely a multi-scale process. The importance of particular spatial scales seemed more related to life-history traits than to the extent of the scales considered. In the case of our study species, the territory level was highly important likely because both rallids have to obtain all the resources they need (nest site, food and mates) in relatively small areas, the multi-purpose territories they defend.
Rousseau, Raphaël; McGrath, Guy; McMahon, Barry J; Vanwambeke, Sophie O
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.
Nathan R. Beane; James S. Rentch; Thomas M. Schuler
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...
Robin E. Russell; Victoria A. Saab; Jonathan G. Dudley
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...
Jason B. Dunham; G. L. Chandler
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...
Johansen, Ole; Jensen, Jacob Birk; Pedersen, Morten Lauge
Numerical modelling of the hydrology in a Danish rich fen area has been conducted. By collecting various data in the field the model has been successfully calibrated and the flow paths as well as the groundwater discharge distribution have been simulated in details. The results of this work have...... shown that distributed numerical models can be applied to local scale problems and that natural springs, ditches, the geological conditions as well as the local topographic variations have a significant influence on the flow paths in the examined rich fen area....
Flathead grey mullet (Mugil cephalus L. 1758) are commonly found in tropical and temperate estuaries. In spite of their ecological and economical importance, little is known about the effects of salinity on growth performance and habitat selection. Laboratory experiments revealed that the metabolic rate of young specimens was negatively affected by high salinity levels and that an improved growth performance was achieved in fresh water and oligohaline water. A stratified study on microhabitat use, carried out on the island of Minorca (Balearic archipelago), demonstrated that juvenile specimens, shorter than 200 mm (total length), concentrated all year round in fresh water or oligohaline sites. Mesohaline areas were usually avoided, except in summer. Immature fish, with a total length between 201 and 300 mm, show a similar pattern although in some seasons avoided freshwater sites. The habitat selection pattern of adults, i.e., fish longer than 301 mm, changed seasonally due to their offshore migration during the spawning season (from late summer to early winter). However, they usually showed a greater preference for polyhaline areas and strongly avoided freshwater sites. Euhaline areas were also avoided in autumn and summer. These results suggest that the young of this species are highly dependent on areas of low salinity and any factor which reduces the availability of such areas will, in turn, affect their fishery. Adults depend on polyhaline areas, although the avoidance of freshwater areas might be due to their shallowness. The situation might be different in some areas of the Indo-Pacific. These differences are discussed.
Schaich, B.A.; Coutant, C.C.
Habitat selection of 31 adult striped bass was monitored by temperature sensing ultrasonic and radio transmitters in Cherokee Reservoir, Tennessee, from March through October 1978. This study sought to corroborate summer data obtained by Waddle (1979) in 1977 and to examine mechanisms of habitat selection by observing establishment of the summer distribution. During the spring and early summer months the striped bass ranged throughout the study area in the downstream half of the reservoir. Fish stayed near the bottom at the preferred temperatures throughout the whole study, and no individuals were observed in open water. Movement rates of up to 2.6 km/day were estimated, and rates of 1 km/day were common in the spring. By late July they were apparently avoiding low dissolved oxygen (D.O.) concentrations (<3 mg/l) near the bottom of the main reservoir and epilimnion temperatures greater than 22/sup 0/C, and they moved into cool, oxygenated spring or creek channels (refuges). Low movement rates of 0 to 25 m/day within these refuges occurred. The rates of the few migrations between refuges could not be estimated. Tagged fish moved out of the refuges 3 to 4 weeks after the fall overturn when reservoir temperatures approximated 22 to 24/sup 0/C.
Martin-Quller, E.; Torras, O.; Alberdi, I.; Solana, J.; Saura, S.
An integral understanding of forest biodiversity requires the exploration of the many aspects it comprises and of the numerous potential determinants of their distribution. The landscape ecological approach provides a necessary complement to conventional local studies that focus on individual plots or forest ownerships. However, most previous landscape studies used equally-sized cells as units of analysis to identify the factors affecting forest biodiversity distribution. Stratification of the analysis by habitats with a relatively homogeneous forest composition might be more adequate to capture the underlying patterns associated to the formation and development of a particular ensemble of interacting forest species. Here we used a landscape perspective in order to improve our understanding on the influence of large-scale explanatory factors on forest biodiversity indicators in Spanish habitats, covering a wide latitudinal and attitudinal range. We considered six forest biodiversity indicators estimated from more than 30,000 field plots in the Spanish national forest inventory, distributed in 213 forest habitats over 16 Spanish provinces. We explored biodiversity response to various environmental (climate and topography) and landscape configuration (fragmentation and shape complexity) variables through multiple linear regression models (built and assessed through the Akaike Information Criterion). In particular, we took into account the inherent model uncertainty when dealing with a complex and large set of variables, and considered different plausible models and their probability of being the best candidate for the observed data. Our results showed that compositional indicators (species richness and diversity) were mostly explained by environmental factors. Models for structural indicators (standing deadwood and stand complexity) had the worst fits and selection uncertainties, but did show significant associations with some configuration metrics. In general
A. A. Zarei
Full Text Available Winter dens are one of the important components of brown bear's (Ursus arctos syriacus habitat, affecting their reproduction and survival. Therefore identification of factors affecting the habitat selection and suitable denning areas in the conservation of our largest carnivore is necessary. We used Geographically Weighted Logistic Regression (GWLR and Generalized Linear Model (GLM for modeling suitability of denning habitat in Kouhkhom region in Fars province. In the present research, 20 dens (presence locations and 20 caves where signs of bear were not found (absence locations were used as dependent variables and six environmental factors were used for each location as independent variables. The results of GLM showed that variables of distance to settlements, altitude, and distance to water were the most important parameters affecting suitability of the brown bear's denning habitat. The results of GWLR showed the significant local variations in the relationship between occurrence of brown bear dens and the variable of distance to settlements. Based on the results of both models, suitable habitats for denning of the species are impassable areas in the mountains and inaccessible for humans.
Full Text Available To understand associations between habitat, individual behaviour, and population development of solitary bees we developed an individual-based model. This model is based on field observations of Osmia rufa (L (Apoideae: Megachilidae and describes population dynamics of solitary bees. Model rules are focused on maternal investment, in particular on the female’s individual decisions about sex and size of progeny. In the present paper, we address the effect of habitat quality on population size and sex ratio. We examine how food availability and the risk of parasitism influence long-term population development. It can be shown how population properties result from individual maternal investment which is described as a functional response to fluctuations of environmental conditions. We found that habitat quality can be expressed in terms of cell construction time. This interface factor influences the rate of open cell parasitism as the risk for a brood cell to be parasitized is positively correlated with the time of its construction. Under conditions of scarce food and under resulting long provision times even low parasitism rates lead to a high extinction risk of the population, whereas in rich habitats probabilities of extinction are low even for high rates of parasitism. For a given level of food and parasitism there is an optimum time for cell construction which minimizes the extinction risk of the population. Model results demonstrate that under fluctuating environmental conditions, decreasing habitat quality leads to a decrease in population size but also to rapid shifts in sex ratio.
Stephenson, N. M.
Mapping potentially suitable habitat is critical for effective species conservation and management but can be challenging in areas exhibiting complex heterogeneity. An approach that combines non-intrusive spatial data collection techniques and field data can lead to a better understanding of landscapes and species distributions. Nysius wekiuicola, commonly known as the wēkiu bug, is the most studied arthropod species endemic to the Maunakea summit in Hawai`i, yet details about its geographic distribution and habitat use remain poorly understood. To predict the geographic distribution of N. wekiuicola, MaxEnt habitat suitability models were generated from a diverse set of input variables, including fifteen years of species occurrence data, high resolution digital elevation models, surface mineralogy maps derived from hyperspectral remote sensing, and climate data. Model results indicate that elevation (78.2 percent), and the presence of nanocrystalline hematite surface minerals (13.7 percent) had the highest influence, with lesser contributions from aspect, slope, and other surface mineral classes. Climatic variables were not included in the final analysis due to auto-correlation and coarse spatial resolution. Biotic factors relating to predation and competition also likely dictate wēkiu bug capture patterns and influence our results. The wēkiu bug range and habitat suitability models generated as a result of this study will be directly incorporated into management and restoration goals for the summit region and can also be adapted for other arthropod species present, leading to a more holistic understanding of metacommunity dynamics. Key words: Microhabitat, Structure from Motion, Lidar, MaxEnt, Habitat Suitability
Astegiano, Luca; Vezza, Paolo; Comoglio, Claudio; Lingua, Andrea; Spairani, Michele
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
Knutson, Melinda G.; Herner-Thogmartin, Jennifer H.; Thogmartin, Wayne E.; Kapfer, Joshua M.; Nelson, John
Telemetry data for 59 Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens) breeding in ponds in Houston and Winona Counties, MN; 2001-2002. Agricultural intensification is causing declines in many wildlife species, including Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens). Specific information about frog movements, habitat selection, and sources of mortality can be used to inform conservation-focused land management and acquisition. We studied Northern Leopard Frogs in southeastern Minnesota, part of the Driftless Area ecoregion, characterized by hills and valleys and a mix of agriculture, forests, small towns and farmsteads. In this area, small farm ponds, originally built to control soil erosion are used by the species for breeding and wintering in addition to riparian wetlands. But, this agricultural landscape may be hazardous for frogs moving between breeding, feeding, and wintering habitats. We surgically implanted transmitters into the peritoneal cavity of 59 Northern Leopard Frogs and tracked them from May to October 2001-2002. The total distance traveled by radio-tagged frogs ranged from 12 to 3316 m, the 95% home range averaged 5.3 ± 1.2 (SE) ha, and the 50% core area averaged 1.05 ± 0.3 (SE) ha. As expected, Northern Leopard Frogs selected wetlands over all other land cover classes and row crops were generally avoided at all levels of selection. Only a few tracked frogs were successful at dispersing (n = 6). Most frogs attempting to disperse (n =31) ended up missing (n = 14), died due to mowing (n = 8), or were recorded as transmitter failure (n = 2) or unknown mortalities (n = 1). For the conservation of Northern Leopard Frogs in this agricultural setting, we must consider both the aquatic and the terrestrial needs of this species. Conservation agencies that restore, manage, and acquire wetlands should consider the hazards posed by land uses adjacent to frog breeding and wintering sites and plan for movement corridors between these locations. For example
Limborg, Morten; Blankenship, S.; Young, S.
lineage. Overall patterns of variation affirmed clear distinctions between lineages and in most instances, isolation by distance within them. Evidence for divergent selection at eight candidate loci included significant landscape correlations, particularly with temperature. High diversity of two...... nonsynonymous mutations within the peptide-binding region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II (DAB) gene provided signatures of balancing selection. Weak signals for potential selection between sympatric resident and anadromous populations were revealed from genome scans and allele frequency...
Johnson, Matthew J.; Hatten, James R.; Holmes, Jennifer A.; Shafroth, Patrick B.
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
Le Luherne, Emilie; Le Pape, Olivier; Murillo, Laurence; Randon, Marine; Lebot, Clément; Réveillac, Elodie
Coastal ecosystems, which provide numerous essential ecological functions for fish, are threatened by the proliferation of green macroalgae that significantly modify habitat conditions in intertidal areas. Understanding the influence of green tides on the nursery function of these ecosystems is essential to determine their potential effects on fish recruitment success. In this study, the influence of green tides on juvenile fish was examined in an intertidal sandy beach area, the Bay of Saint-Brieuc (Northwestern France), during two annual cycles of green tides with varying levels of intensity. The responses of three nursery-dependent fish species, the pelagic Sprattus sprattus (L.), the demersal Dicentrarchus labrax (L.) and the benthic Pleuronectes platessa L., were analysed to determine the effects of green tides according to species-specific habitat niche and behaviour. The responses to this perturbation were investigated based on habitat selection and a comparison of individual performance between a control and an impacted site. Several indices on different integrative scales were examined to evaluate these responses (antioxidant defence capacity, muscle total lipid, morphometric condition and growth). Based on these analyses, green tides affect juvenile fish differently according to macroalgal density and species-specific tolerance, which is linked to their capacity to move and to their distribution in the water column. A decreasing gradient of sensitivity was observed from benthic to demersal and pelagic fish species. At low densities of green macroalgae, the three species stayed at the impacted site and the growth of plaice was reduced. At medium macroalgal densities, plaice disappeared from the impacted site and the growth of sea bass and the muscle total lipid content of sprat were reduced. Finally, when high macroalgal densities were reached, none of the studied species were captured at the impacted site. Hence, sites affected by green tides are less
Roger W. Perry; Ronald E. Thill; David M. Leslie
Many studies of roost selection by forest-dwelling bats have concentrated on microhabitat surrounding roosts without providing forest stand level preferences of bats; thus, those studies have provided only part of the information needed by managers. We evaluated diurnal summer roost selection by the bat community at the forest-stand level in a diversely forested...
Šálek, Martin; Riegert, J.; Grill, S.
Roč. 50, č. 2 (2015), s. 221-232 ISSN 0001-6454 Institutional support: RVO:68081766 Keywords : House Sparrow * Tree Sparrow * urban environment * city green * built-up area * habitat selection * nest-site selection Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.837, year: 2015
Palumbo, Matthew D.; Fleming, Jonathan P.; Monsegur, Omar A.; Vilella, Francisco
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.
Full Text Available Background: Sports talent in the Czech Republic is generally viewed as a static, stable phenomena. It stands in contrast with widespread praxis carried out in Anglo-Saxon countries that emphasise its fluctuant nature. This is reflected in the current models describing its development. Objectives: The aim is to introduce current models of talent development in sport. Methods: Comparison and analysing of the following models: Balyi - Long term athlete development model, Côté - Developmental model of sport participation, Csikszentmihalyi - The flow model of optimal expertise, Bailey and Morley - Model of talent development. Conclusion: Current models of sport talent development approach talent as dynamic phenomenon, varying in time. They are based in particular on the work of Simonton and his Emergenic and epigenic model and of Gagné and his Differentiated model of giftedness and talent. Balyi's model is characterised by its applicability and impications for practice. Côté's model highlights the role of family and deliberate play. Both models describe periodization of talent development. Csikszentmihalyi's flow model explains how the athlete acquires experience and develops during puberty based on the structure of attention and flow experience. Bailey and Morley's model accents the situational approach to talent and development of skills facilitating its growth.
Full Text Available This study aimed to establish seasonal movement and habitat selection patterns of African buffalo Syncerus caffer in relation to a detailed habitat map and according to seasonal changes in forage quality and quantity in the Savuti–Mababe–Linyanti ecosystem (Botswana. Two buffalo were collared in November 2011 and another in October 2012. All three buffalo had greater activities in the mopane–sandveld woodland mosaic during the wet season, which provided high-quality leafy grasses and ephemeral water for drinking, but moved to permanent water and reliable forage of various wetlands (swamps and floodplains and riverine woodlands during the dry season. Wetlands had higher grass greenness, height and biomass than woodlands during the dry season. Buffalo had similar wet season concentration areas in the 2011–2012 and 2012–2013 wet seasons and similar dry season concentration areas over the 2012 and 2013 dry seasons. However, their dry season location of collaring in 2011 differed dramatically from their 2012 and 2013 dry season concentration areas, possibly because of the exceptionally high flood levels in 2011, which reduced accessibility to their usual dry season concentration areas. The study demonstrates that extremely large and heterogeneous landscapes are needed to conserve buffalo in sandy, dystrophic ecosystems with variable rainfall. Conservation implications: This study emphasises the importance of large spatial scale available for movement, which enables adaptation to changing conditions between years and seasons.
M. J. S. Kellerman
Full Text Available Seasonal variation in seed bank size and species composition of five selected habitat types within the Tembe Elephant Park. South Africa, was investigated. At three-month intervals, soil samples were randomly collected from five different habitat types: a, Licuati forest; b, Licuati thicket; c, a bare or sparsely vegetated zone surrounding the forest edge, referred to as the forest/grassland ecotone; d, grassland; and e, open woodland. Most species in the seed bank flora were either grasses, sedges, or forbs, with hardly any evidence of woody species. The Licuati forest and thicket soils produced the lowest seed densities in all seasons. Licuati forest and grassland seed banks showed a two-fold seasonal variation in size, those of the Licuati thicket and woodland a three-fold variation in size, whereas the forest/grassland ecotone maintained a relatively large seed bank all year round. The woodland seed bank had the highest species richness, whereas the Licuati forest and thicket soils were poor in species. Generally, it was found that the greatest correspondence in species composition was between the Licuati forest and thicket, as well as the forest/grassland ecotone and grassland seed bank floras.
Martin, B.A.; Saiki, M.K.
We assessed the relation between abundance of desert pupfish, Cyprinodon macularius, and selected biological and physicochemical variables in natural and manmade habitats within the Salton Sea Basin. Field sampling in a natural tributary, Salt Creek, and three agricultural drains captured eight species including pupfish (1.1% of the total catch), the only native species encountered. According to Bray-Curtis resemblance functions, fish species assemblages differed mostly between Salt Creek and the drains (i.e., the three drains had relatively similar species assemblages). Pupfish numbers and environmental variables varied among sites and sample periods. Canonical correlation showed that pupfish abundance was positively correlated with abundance of western mosquitofish, Gambusia affinis, and negatively correlated with abundance of porthole livebearers, Poeciliopsis gracilis, tilapias (Sarotherodon mossambica and Tilapia zillii), longjaw mudsuckers, Gillichthys mirabilis, and mollies (Poecilia latipinnaandPoecilia mexicana). In addition, pupfish abundance was positively correlated with cover, pH, and salinity, and negatively correlated with sediment factor (a measure of sediment grain size) and dissolved oxygen. Pupfish abundance was generally highest in habitats where water quality extremes (especially high pH and salinity, and low dissolved oxygen) seemingly limited the occurrence of nonnative fishes. This study also documented evidence of predation by mudsuckers on pupfish. These findings support the contention of many resource managers that pupfish populations are adversely influenced by ecological interactions with nonnative fishes. ?? Springer 2005.
Full Text Available The main objective of this study was to investigate ecologically healthy regions near a dam reservoir. This study developed a model for assessing habitat suitability as a proxy for the ecological value of reservoirs. Three main factors comprising nine assessment variables were selected and classified as having a habitat suitability (HS between 0 and 1: (1 geomorphic factors of altitude, slope steepness, and slope aspect; (2 vegetation factors of forest physiognomy, vegetation type, and tree age; and (3 ecological factors of land cover, ecological quality index, and environmental conservation value assessment. The spatial distribution of the nine HS indices was determined using geographic information systems and combined into one HS index value to determine ecologically healthy regions. The assessment model was applied to areas surrounding the Hantan River Dam, South Korea. To verify the model, wildlife location data from the national ecosystem survey of the Ministry of Environment were used. Areas with an HS index between 0.73 and 1 were found to contain 72% of observed wildlife locations. Ecologically healthy areas were identified by adding the indices of each variable. The methods shown here will be useful for establishing ecological restoration plans for dam reservoirs in South Korea.
Thogmartin, W.E.; Knutson, M.G.
Much of what is known about avian species-habitat relations has been derived from studies of birds at local scales. It is entirely unclear whether the relations observed at these scales translate to the larger landscape in a predictable linear fashion. We derived habitat models and mapped predicted abundances for three forest bird species of eastern North America using bird counts, environmental variables, and hierarchical models applied at three spatial scales. Our purpose was to understand habitat associations at multiple spatial scales and create predictive abundance maps for purposes of conservation planning at a landscape scale given the constraint that the variables used in this exercise were derived from local-level studies. Our models indicated a substantial influence of landscape context for all species, many of which were counter to reported associations at finer spatial extents. We found land cover composition provided the greatest contribution to the relative explained variance in counts for all three species; spatial structure was second in importance. No single spatial scale dominated any model, indicating that these species are responding to factors at multiple spatial scales. For purposes of conservation planning, areas of predicted high abundance should be investigated to evaluate the conservation potential of the landscape in their general vicinity. In addition, the models and spatial patterns of abundance among species suggest locations where conservation actions may benefit more than one species. ?? 2006 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
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.
Drew, C. Ashton; Eddy, Michele; Kwak, Thomas J.; Cope, W. Gregory; Augspurger, Tom
The ability to model freshwater stream habitat and species distributions is limited by the spatially sparse flow data available from long-term gauging stations. Flow data beyond the immediate vicinity of gauging stations would enhance our ability to explore and characterize hydrologic habitat suitability. The southeastern USA supports high aquatic biodiversity, but threats, such as landuse alteration, climate change, conflicting water-resource demands, and pollution, have led to the imperilment and legal protection of many species. The ability to distinguish suitable from unsuitable habitat conditions, including hydrologic suitability, is a key criterion for successful conservation and restoration of aquatic species. We used the example of the critically endangered Tar River Spinymussel (Parvaspina steinstansana) and associated species to demonstrate the value of modeled flow data (WaterFALL™) to generate novel insights into population structure and testable hypotheses regarding hydrologic suitability. With ordination models, we: 1) identified all catchments with potentially suitable hydrology, 2) identified 2 distinct hydrologic environments occupied by the Tar River Spinymussel, and 3) estimated greater hydrological habitat niche breadth of assumed surrogate species associates at the catchment scale. Our findings provide the first demonstrated application of complete, continuous, regional modeled hydrologic data to freshwater mussel distribution and management. This research highlights the utility of modeling and data-mining methods to facilitate further exploration and application of such modeled environmental conditions to inform aquatic species management. We conclude that such an approach can support landscape-scale management decisions that require spatial information at fine resolution (e.g., enhanced National Hydrology Dataset catchments) and broad extent (e.g., multiple river basins).
Hartemink, Nienke; Vanwambeke, Sophie O; Purse, Bethan V; Gilbert, Marius; Van Dyck, Hans
Given the veterinary and public health impact of vector-borne diseases, there is a clear need to assess the suitability of landscapes for the emergence and spread of these diseases. Current approaches for predicting disease risks neglect key features of the landscape as components of the functional habitat of vectors or hosts, and hence of the pathogen. Empirical-statistical methods do not explicitly incorporate biological mechanisms, whereas current mechanistic models are rarely spatially explicit; both methods ignore the way animals use the landscape (i.e. movement ecology). We argue that applying a functional concept for habitat, i.e. the resource-based habitat concept (RBHC), can solve these issues. The RBHC offers a framework to identify systematically the different ecological resources that are necessary for the completion of the transmission cycle and to relate these resources to (combinations of) landscape features and other environmental factors. The potential of the RBHC as a framework for identifying suitable habitats for vector-borne pathogens is explored and illustrated with the case of bluetongue virus, a midge-transmitted virus affecting ruminants. The concept facilitates the study of functional habitats of the interacting species (vectors as well as hosts) and provides new insight into spatial and temporal variation in transmission opportunities and exposure that ultimately determine disease risks. It may help to identify knowledge gaps and control options arising from changes in the spatial configuration of key resources across the landscape. The RBHC framework may act as a bridge between existing mechanistic and statistical modelling approaches. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Cambridge Philosophical Society.
Senar, Juan Carlos; Conroy, Michael J; Quesada, Javier; Mateos-Gonzalez, Fernando
A standard approach to model how selection shapes phenotypic traits is the analysis of capture-recapture data relating trait variation to survival. Divergent selection, however, has never been analyzed by the capture-recapture approach. Most reported examples of differences between urban and nonurban animals reflect behavioral plasticity rather than divergent selection. The aim of this paper was to use a capture-recapture approach to test the hypothesis that divergent selection can also drive...
Law, Bradley; Caccamo, Gabriele; Roe, Paul; Truskinger, Anthony; Brassil, Traecey; Gonsalves, Leroy; McConville, Anna; Stanton, Matthew
Species distribution models have great potential to efficiently guide management for threatened species, especially for those that are rare or cryptic. We used MaxEnt to develop a regional-scale model for the koala Phascolarctos cinereus at a resolution (250 m) that could be used to guide management. To ensure the model was fit for purpose, we placed emphasis on validating the model using independently-collected field data. We reduced substantial spatial clustering of records in coastal urban areas using a 2-km spatial filter and by modeling separately two subregions separated by the 500-m elevational contour. A bias file was prepared that accounted for variable survey effort. Frequency of wildfire, soil type, floristics and elevation had the highest relative contribution to the model, while a number of other variables made minor contributions. The model was effective in discriminating different habitat suitability classes when compared with koala records not used in modeling. We validated the MaxEnt model at 65 ground-truth sites using independent data on koala occupancy (acoustic sampling) and habitat quality (browse tree availability). Koala bellows ( n = 276) were analyzed in an occupancy modeling framework, while site habitat quality was indexed based on browse trees. Field validation demonstrated a linear increase in koala occupancy with higher modeled habitat suitability at ground-truth sites. Similarly, a site habitat quality index at ground-truth sites was correlated positively with modeled habitat suitability. The MaxEnt model provided a better fit to estimated koala occupancy than the site-based habitat quality index, probably because many variables were considered simultaneously by the model rather than just browse species. The positive relationship of the model with both site occupancy and habitat quality indicates that the model is fit for application at relevant management scales. Field-validated models of similar resolution would assist in
Vinicius Mendes Ruas
Full Text Available This study was conducted in two estuarine inlets (Saco da Mangueira and Saco do Arraial at the Patos Lagoon estuary, southern Brazil. The changes in relative abundance and size of post-larvae and juvenile shrimp Farfantepenaeus paulensis and juvenile blue crab Callinectes sapidus were compared, considering the influence of salinity and the presence of submerged seagrass meadows. The analyses were performed using generalized linear models (GLM for abundance variations and ANOVA for variations on the size of individuals. The pink shrimp was more abundant at Saco da Mangueira, in seagrass meadows and areas of higher salinity. The blue crab was more abundant at Saco do Arraial and in lower levels of salinity. The importance of submerged vegetation for the blue crab lies in a preference of smaller crabs of the species for the seagrass meadows. It has been shown that these species choose different habitats in the estuary, and both the salinity and the presence of submerged seagrass meadows influence the selection of habitat.
Maria C. Mateo-Sanchez; Niko Balkenhol; Samuel Cushman; Trinidad Perez; Ana Dominguez; Santiago Saura
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...
Background: Sports talent in the Czech Republic is generally viewed as a static, stable phenomena. It stands in contrast with widespread praxis carried out in Anglo-Saxon countries that emphasise its fluctuant nature. This is reflected in the current models describing its development. Objectives: The aim is to introduce current models of talent development in sport. Methods: Comparison and analysing of the following models: Balyi - Long term athlete development model, Côté - Developmen...
Full Text Available Habitat preferences for juvenile loggerhead turtles in the North Pacific were investigated with data from two several-year long tagging programs, using 224 satellite transmitters deployed on wild and captive-reared turtles. Animals ranged between 23 and 81 cm in straight carapace length. Tracks were used to investigate changes in temperature preferences and speed of the animals with size. Average sea surface temperatures along the tracks ranged from 18 to 23 °C. Bigger turtles generally experienced larger temperature ranges and were encountered in warmer surface waters. Seasonal differences between small and big turtles suggest that the larger ones dive deeper than the mixed layer and subsequently target warmer surface waters to rewarm. Average swimming speeds were under 1 km/h and increased with size for turtles bigger than 30 cm. However, when expressed in body lengths per second (bl s(-1, smaller turtles showed much higher swimming speeds (>1 bl s (-1 than bigger ones (0.5 bl s(-1. Temperature and speed values at size estimated from the tracks were used to parameterize a habitat-based Eulerian model to predict areas of highest probability of presence in the North Pacific. The model-generated habitat index generally matched the tracks closely, capturing the north-south movements of tracked animals, but the model failed to replicate observed east-west movements, suggesting temperature and foraging preferences are not the only factors driving large-scale loggerhead movements. Model outputs could inform potential bycatch reduction strategies.
Asensio Ramos, A.; Manso Sainz, R.; Martínez González, M. J.; Socas-Navarro, H.; Viticchié, B.; Orozco Suárez, D.
Inferring magnetic and thermodynamic information from spectropolarimetric observations relies on the assumption of a parameterized model atmosphere whose parameters are tuned by comparison with observations. Often, the choice of the underlying atmospheric model is based on subjective reasons. In other cases, complex models are chosen based on objective reasons (for instance, the necessity to explain asymmetries in the Stokes profiles) but it is not clear what degree of complexity is needed. The lack of an objective way of comparing models has, sometimes, led to opposing views of the solar magnetism because the inferred physical scenarios are essentially different. We present the first quantitative model comparison based on the computation of the Bayesian evidence ratios for spectropolarimetric observations. Our results show that there is not a single model appropriate for all profiles simultaneously. Data with moderate signal-to-noise ratios (S/Ns) favor models without gradients along the line of sight. If the observations show clear circular and linear polarization signals above the noise level, models with gradients along the line are preferred. As a general rule, observations with large S/Ns favor more complex models. We demonstrate that the evidence ratios correlate well with simple proxies. Therefore, we propose to calculate these proxies when carrying out standard least-squares inversions to allow for model comparison in the future.
Kakioka, Ryo; Kokita, Tomoyuki; Kumada, Hiroki; Watanabe, Katsutoshi; Okuda, Noboru
Evolution of ecomorphologically relevant traits such as body shapes is important to colonize and persist in a novel environment. Habitat-related adaptive divergence of these traits is therefore common among animals. We studied the genomic architecture of habitat-related divergence in the body shape of Gnathopogon fishes, a novel example of lake-stream ecomorphological divergence, and tested for the action of directional selection on body shape differentiation. Compared to stream-dwelling Gnathopogon elongatus, the sister species Gnathopogon caerulescens, exclusively inhabiting a large ancient lake, had an elongated body, increased proportion of the caudal region and small head, which would be advantageous in the limnetic environment. Using an F2 interspecific cross between the two Gnathopogon species (195 individuals), quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis with geometric morphometric quantification of body shape and restriction-site associated DNA sequencing-derived markers (1622 loci) identified 26 significant QTLs associated with the interspecific differences of body shape-related traits. These QTLs had small to moderate effects, supporting polygenic inheritance of the body shape-related traits. Each QTL was mostly located on different genomic regions, while colocalized QTLs were detected for some ecomorphologically relevant traits that are proxy of body and caudal peduncle depths, suggesting different degree of modularity among traits. The directions of the body shape QTLs were mostly consistent with the interspecific difference, and QTL sign test suggested a genetic signature of directional selection in the body shape divergence. Thus, we successfully elucidated the genomic architecture underlying the adaptive changes of the quantitative and complex morphological trait in a novel system. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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.
Batzli, George O
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.
Paudel, Prakash K.; Hais, M.; Kindlmann, Pavel
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
Kahui, Viktoria; Armstrong, Claire W.
This paper applies a bioeconomic model in order to study different interactions between a harvested renewable resource and a non-renewable resource without commercial value that is negatively affected by the harvesting activity. This enables the analysis of for instance cold water coral habitats and their importance to commercial fish species. The fish is harvested either in a manner that does not damage coral, such as stationary gear, or in a destructive fashion, such as botto...
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 and panda-habitat relationship based on each individual panda nature reserve is necessary and important. Mapping has been an effective approach for wildlife habitat evaluation and monitoring. There...
Pennino, Maria Grazia; Mérigot, Bastien; Fonseca, Vinícius Prado; Monni, Virginia; Rotta, Andrea
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.
Arvanitis, L.; Wiklund, C.; Münzbergová, Zuzana; Dahlgren, J. P.; Ehrlén, J.
Roč. 13, č. 3 (2010), s. 330-337 ISSN 1461-023X R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/08/0706 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : herbivore * trait * selection Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 15.253, year: 2010
Ryan A. Long; R. T. Bowyer; Warren P. Porter; Paul Mathewson; Kevin L. Monteith; Scott L. Findholt; Brian L. Dick; John G. Kie
Animals may partially overcome environmental constraints on fitness by behaviorally adjusting their exposure to costs and supplies of energy. Few studies, however, have linked spatiotemporal variation in the energy landscape to behaviorally mediated measures of performance that ostensibly influence individual fitness. We hypothesized that strength of selection by North...
McDowell, J. J.
Darwinian selection by consequences was instantiated in a computational model that consisted of a repertoire of behaviors undergoing selection, reproduction, and mutation over many generations. The model in effect created a digital organism that emitted behavior continuously. The behavior of this digital organism was studied in three series of…
Mantzouni, Irene; Sørensen, Helle; O'Hara, Robert B.
and Beverton and Holt stock–recruitment (SR) models were extended by applying hierarchical methods, mixed-effects models, and Bayesian inference to incorporate the influence of these ecosystem factors on model parameters representing cod maximum reproductive rate and carrying capacity. We identified......Understanding how temperature affects cod (Gadus morhua) ecology is important for forecasting how populations will develop as climate changes in future. The effects of spawning-season temperature and habitat size on cod recruitment dynamics have been investigated across the North Atlantic. Ricker...
Jeff R. Troy
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
Sam Rossman,; McCabe, Elizabeth Berens; Nelio B. Barros,; Hasand Gandhi,; Peggy H. Ostrom,; Stricker, Craig A.; Randall S. Wells,
This study examines resource use (diet, habitat use, and trophic level) within and among demographic groups (males, females, and juveniles) of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). We analyzed the δ13C and δ15N values of 15 prey species constituting 84% of the species found in stomach contents. We used these data to establish a trophic enrichment factor (TEF) to inform dietary analysis using a Bayesian isotope mixing model. We document a TEF of 0‰ and 2.0‰ for δ13C and δ15N, respectively. The dietary results showed that all demographic groups relied heavily on low trophic level seagrass-associated prey. Bayesian standard ellipse areas (SEAb) were calculated to assess diversity in resource use. The SEAb of females was nearly four times larger than that of males indicating varied resource use, likely a consequence of small home ranges and habitat specialization. Juveniles possessed an intermediate SEAb, generally feeding at a lower trophic level compared to females, potentially an effect of natal philopatry and immature foraging skills. The small SEAb of males reflects a high degree of specialization on seagrass associated prey. Patterns in resource use by the demographic groups are likely linked to differences in the relative importance of social and ecological factors.
Welham, C. [FORRx Consulting Inc., Belcarra, BC (Canada)
The main purpose of this study is to build a framework that includes risk management and strategic decision-making to assess the impact of natural and industrial disturbance on ecosystem products and services and on the existence of habitat for terrestrial species in Alberta's Lower Athabasca planning region. This will include an evaluation of the impact of disturbance, conservation and reclamation activities associated with oil sands development both at the lease and regional levels. The basecase scenario, established in Phase I, includes a dendrochronology study of the link between climate and tree growth in the sub boreal region that comprises oil sands mining, an analysis of habitat availability for 10 wildlife species compared with reclamation activities on the Kearl Lake mine, and an examination of the potential for development of high levels of water stress in recent reclamation plantations at the Kearl Lake mine. Four tree species of the subboreal forests of Alberta and Saskatchewan were considered for the dendrochronology study: the white spruce or Picea glauca, the black spruce or Picea mariana, the jack pine or Pinus banksiana, and the trembling aspen or Populus tremuloides. This study shows that the water stress observed during the year has restricted the radial growth of white spruce and a link has been established between radial growth and increasing season precipitation and summer temperatures. The purposes of the habitat suitability analysis were to list habitats suitability models that could be applied to Alberta boreal forests, distinguish the parameters used in those models that can be simulated with an ecosystem simulation model, simulate the reclamation prescriptions detailed in the Kearl Lake EIA documents with the ecosystem simulation model and generate output suitable for populating each habitat suitability model. The establishment of ecologically viable reclamation plans in the oil sands region can be hard to manage regarding the
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)
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.
An, Li; Liu, Jianguo; Linderman, Marc A.; Lupi, Frank; Huang, Jinyan
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
Schirrmann, Michael; Joschko, Monika; Gebbers, Robin; Kramer, Eckart; Zörner, Mirjam; Barkusky, Dietmar; Timmer, Jens
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
Navarro, Albert; Fos, Simón; Laguna, Emilio; Durán, David; Rey, Luis; Rubio-Sanz, Laura; Imperial, Juan; Ruiz-Argüeso, Tomás
Lupinus mariae-josephae is a recently discovered endemism that is only found in alkaline-limed soils, a unique habitat for lupines, from a small area in Valencia region (Spain). In these soils, L. mariae-josephae grows in just a few defined patches, and previous conservation efforts directed towards controlled plant reproduction have been unsuccessful. We have previously shown that L. mariae-josephae plants establish a specific root nodule symbiosis with bradyrhizobia present in those soils, and we reasoned that the paucity of these bacteria in soils might contribute to the lack of success in reproducing plants for conservation purposes. Greenhouse experiments using L. mariae-josephae trap-plants showed the absence or near absence of L. mariae-josephae-nodulating bacteria in “terra rossa” soils of Valencia outside of L. mariae-josephae plant patches, and in other “terra rossa” or alkaline red soils of the Iberian Peninsula and Balearic Islands outside of the Valencia L. mariae-josephae endemism region. Among the bradyrhizobia able to establish an efficient symbiosis with L. mariae-josephae plants, two strains, LmjC and LmjM3 were selected as inoculum for seed coating. Two planting experiments were carried out in consecutive years under natural conditions in areas with edapho-climatic characteristics identical to those sustaining natural L. mariae-josephae populations, and successful reproduction of the plant was achieved. Interestingly, the successful reproductive cycle was absolutely dependent on seedling inoculation with effective bradyrhizobia, and optimal performance was observed in plants inoculated with LmjC, a strain that had previously shown the most efficient behavior under controlled conditions. Our results define conditions for L. mariae-josephae conservation and for extension to alkaline-limed soil habitats, where no other known lupine can thrive. PMID:25019379
McDowell, J J
Darwinian selection by consequences was instantiated in a computational model that consisted of a repertoire of behaviors undergoing selection, reproduction, and mutation over many generations. The model in effect created a digital organism that emitted behavior continuously. The behavior of this digital organism was studied in three series of computational experiments that arranged reinforcement according to random-interval (RI) schedules. The quantitative features of the model were varied o...
Markus Czupalla, M. Sc.; Zhukov, Anton; Hwang, Su-Au; Schnaitmann, Jonas
In order to optimize Life Support Systems on a system level, stability questions must be in-vestigated. To do so the exploration group of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) is developing the "Virtual Habitat" (V-HAB) dynamic LSS simulation software. V-HAB shall provide the possibility to conduct dynamic simulations of entire mission scenarios for any given LSS configuration. The Virtual Habitat simulation tool consists of four main modules: • Closed Environment Module (CEM) -monitoring of compounds in a closed environment • Crew Module (CM) -dynamic human simulation • P/C Systems Module (PCSM) -dynamic P/C subsystems • Plant Module (PM) -dynamic plant simulation The core module of the simulation is the dynamic and environment sensitive human module. Introduced in its basic version in 2008, the human module has been significantly updated since, increasing its capabilities and maturity significantly. In this paper three newly added human model subsystems (thermal regulation, digestion and schedule controller) are introduced touching also on the human stress subsystem which is cur-rently under development. Upon the introduction of these new subsystems, the integration of these into the overall V-HAB human model is discussed, highlighting the impact on the most important I/F. The overall human model capabilities shall further be summarized and presented based on meaningful test cases. In addition to the presentation of the results, the correlation strategy for the Virtual Habitat human model shall be introduced assessing the models current confidence level and giving an outlook on the future correlation strategy. Last but not least, the remaining V-HAB mod-ules shall be introduced shortly showing how the human model is integrated into the overall simulation.
Ickes, Brian S.; Sauer, J.S.; Richards, N.; Bowler, M.; Schlifer, B.
species; occurrences at sampling sites as observed in day electrofishing samples) using multiple logistic regression with presence/absence responses. Each species’ probability of occurrence, at each sample site, was modeled as a function of 17 environmental variables observed at each sample site by LTRMP standardized protocols. The modeling methods used (1) a forward-selection process to identify the most important predictors and their relative contributions to predictions; (2) partial methods on the predictor set to control variance inflation; and (3) diagnostics for LTRMP design elements that may influence model fits. Models were fit for 28 species, representing 3 habitat guilds (Lentic, Lotic, and Generalist). We intended to develop “systemic models” using data from all six LTRMP study reaches simultaneously; however, this proved impossible. Thus, we “regionalized” the models, creating two models for each species: “Upper Reach” models, using data from Pools 4, 8, and 13; and “Lower Reach” models, using data from Pool 26, the Open River Reach of the Mississippi River, and the La Grange reach of the Illinois River. A total of 56 models were attempted. For any given site-scale prediction, each model used data from the three LTRMP study reaches comprising the regional model to make predictions. For example, a site-scale prediction in Pool 8 was made using data from Pools 4, 8, and 13. This is the fundamental nature and trade-off of regionalizing these models for broad management application. Model fits were deemed “certifiably good” using the Hosmer and Lemeshow Goodness-of-Fit statistic (Hosmer and Lemeshow, 2000). This test post-partitions model predictions into 10 groups and conducts inferential tests on correspondences between observed and expected probability of occurrence across all partitions, under Chi-square distributional assumptions. This permits an inferential test of how well the models fit and a tool for reporting when they did not (and
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
John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R., III Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; William B., III Uihlein
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...
Full Text Available A stratified study of microhabitat use by grey mullet on the island of Minorca (Balearic archipelago, western Mediterranean showed that the distribution of all the species was dramatically affected by salinity. Sites with a salinity level under 15 were positively selected in spring and summer by those species whose growth performance was the best in oligomesohaline water (Liza ramado and Mugil cephalus but also by a species whose growth was not affected by salinity (Chelon labrosus. Liza aurata concentrated in polyhaline and euhaline sites, where growth was improved, a pattern also exhibited by Liza saliens. Both species avoided fresh water sites all year round. As a consequence, community structure was correlated with salinity. The above reported electivity patterns often disappeared in autumn, when most grey mullets migrate off-shore.
Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory
Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes - notably alien species - due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes - the first time it has been applied in this context - in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum , Sparganium erectum , and Potamogeton crispus ) in regard to the physical parameters 'flow velocity,' 'water depth,' and 'substrate size'. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show that the growth
Ochs, Konstantin; Rivaes, Rui P.; Ferreira, Teresa; Egger, Gregory
Mediterranean rivers in intensive agricultural watersheds usually display outgrowths of macrophytes – notably alien species – due to a combination of high concentrations of nutrients in the water runoff and low flows resulting from water abstraction for irrigation. Standard mechanical and chemical control is used to mitigate the problems associated with excessive growth of plant biomass: mainly less drainage capacity and higher flood risk. However, such control measures are cost and labor-intensive and do not present long-term efficiency. Although the high sensitivity of aquatic vegetation to instream hydraulic conditions is well known, management approaches based on flow management remain relatively unexplored. The aim of our study was therefore to apply physical habitat simulation techniques promoted by the Instream Flow Incremental Method (IFIM) to aquatic macrophytes – the first time it has been applied in this context – in order to model shifts in habitat suitability under different flow scenarios in the Sorraia river in central Portugal. We used this approach to test whether the risk of invasion and channel encroachment by nuisance species can be controlled by setting minimum annual flows. We used 960 randomly distributed survey points to analyze the habitat suitability for the most important aquatic species (including the invasive Brazilian milfoil Myriophyllum aquaticum, Sparganium erectum, and Potamogeton crispus) in regard to the physical parameters ‘flow velocity,’ ‘water depth,’ and ‘substrate size’. We chose the lowest discharge period of the year in order to assess the hydraulic conditions while disturbances were at a low-point, thus allowing aquatic vegetation establishment and subsistence. We then used the two-dimensional hydraulic River2D software to model the potential habitat availability for different flow conditions based on the site-specific habitat suitability index for each physical parameter and species. Our results show
Santl, Saso; Carf, Masa; Preseren, Tanja; Jenic, Aljaz
Water withdrawals and consequently reduction of discharges in river streams for different water uses (hydro power, irrigation, etc.) usually impoverish habitat suitability for naturally present river fish fauna. In Slovenia reduction of suitable habitats resulting from water abstractions frequently impacts local brown trout (Salmo truta) populations. This is the reason for establishment of habitat modeling which can qualitatively and quantitatively support decision making for determination of the environmental flow and other mitigation measures. Paper introduces applied methodology for habitat modeling where input data preparation and elaboration with required accuracy has to be considered. For model development four (4) representative and heterogeneous sampling sites were chosen. Two (2) sampling sections were located within the sections with small hydropower plants and were considered as sections affected by water abstractions. The other two (2) sampling sections were chosen where there are no existing water abstractions. Precise bathymetric mapping for chosen river sections has been performed. Topographic data and series of discharge and water level measurements enabled establishment of calibrated hydraulic models, which provide data on water velocities and depths for analyzed discharges. Brief field measurements were also performed to gather required data on dominant and subdominant substrate size and cover type. Since the accuracy of fish distribution on small scale is very important for habitat modeling, a fish sampling method had to be selected and modified for existing river microhabitats. The brown trout specimen's locations were collected with two (2) different sampling methods. A method of riverbank observation which is suitable for adult fish in pools and a method of electro fishing for locating small fish and fish in riffles or hiding in cover. Ecological and habitat requirements for fish species vary regarding different fish populations as well as eco
Hagar, Joan C.; Eskelson, Bianca N.I.; Haggerty, Patricia K.; Nelson, S. Kim; Vesely, David G.
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.
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.
C. L. Roever; T. DelCurto; M. Rowland; M. Vavra; M. Wisdom
Climate change models are predicting increased frequency and severity of droughts in arid and semiarid environments, and these areas are responsible for much of the worldâs livestock production. Because cattle (Bos Taurus) grazing can impact the abundance, distribution, and ecological function of native plant and animal communities, it is important...
Bernal, Nicholas A.; DeAngelis, Donald L.; Schofield, Pamela J.; Sullivan Sealey, Kathleen
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.
Hoege, M.; Nowak, W.; Illman, W. A.
Bayesian model selection (BMS) provides a consistent framework for rating and comparing models in multi-model inference. In cases where models of vastly different complexity compete with each other, we also face vastly different computational runtimes of such models. For instance, time series of a quantity of interest can be simulated by an autoregressive process model that takes even less than a second for one run, or by a partial differential equations-based model with runtimes up to several hours or even days. The classical BMS is based on a quantity called Bayesian model evidence (BME). It determines the model weights in the selection process and resembles a trade-off between bias of a model and its complexity. However, in practice, the runtime of models is another weight relevant factor for model selection. Hence, we believe that it should be included, leading to an overall trade-off problem between bias, variance and computing effort. We approach this triple trade-off from the viewpoint of our ability to generate realizations of the models under a given computational budget. One way to obtain BME values is through sampling-based integration techniques. We argue with the fact that more expensive models can be sampled much less under time constraints than faster models (in straight proportion to their runtime). The computed evidence in favor of a more expensive model is statistically less significant than the evidence computed in favor of a faster model, since sampling-based strategies are always subject to statistical sampling error. We present a straightforward way to include this misbalance into the model weights that are the basis for model selection. Our approach follows directly from the idea of insufficient significance. It is based on a computationally cheap bootstrapping error estimate of model evidence and is easy to implement. The approach is illustrated in a small synthetic modeling study.
Zhang, Zhipeng; Zhou, Jian; Song, Jingjing; Wang, Qixiang; Liu, Hongjun; Tang, Xuexi
A habitat suitability index (HSI) model for the sea cucumber Apostichopus japonicus (Selenka) was established in the present study. Based on geographic information systems, the HSI model was used to identify potential sites around the Shandong Peninsula suitable for restoration of immature (25g) A. japonicus. Six habitat factors were used as input variables for the HSI model: sediment classification, water temperature, salinity, water depth, pH and dissolved oxygen. The weighting of each habitat factor was defined through the Delphi method. Sediment classification was the most important condition affecting the HSI of A. japonicus in the different study areas, while water temperature was the most important condition in different seasons. The HSI of Western Laizhou Bay was relatively low, meaning the site was not suitable for aquaculture-based restoration of A. japonicus. In contrast, Xiaoheishan Island, Rongcheng Bay and Qingdao were preferable sites, suitable as habitats for restoration efforts. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Dittbrenner, Benjamin J.; Pollack, Michael M.; Schilling, Jason W.; Olden, Julian D.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Torgersen, Christian E.
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
Dittbrenner, Benjamin J; Pollock, Michael M; Schilling, Jason W; Olden, Julian D; Lawler, Joshua J; Torgersen, Christian E
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
Jones, Jason; Jansen, Erik; Friedel, Robert
Full text: Post-construction monitoring indicates that commercial wind energy facilities are a source of bat mortality resulting from collisions or other negative interactions with operational turbines. An understanding of the potential distribution and movement of bats on the landscape is essential to minimizing these impacts. Using remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems software, we present a modelling approach that evaluates the distribution of bat roosting and foraging habitat and potential flight paths at a landscape scale which may be used to assess the risk to bats from the development of a wind energy facility. Accurate assessment of these risks can minimize schedule delays and unexpected costs. Applied to the behaviour and ecology of the United States federally endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis) at two hypothetical wind farms, this method predicts the areas where the species is likely to travel while foraging, thereby highlighting the riskiest areas within a project area. The results of our modelling indicate that risk to bats is not directly proportional to habitat availability or suitability, in part because risk is associated with areas where bats are travelling. This modelling approach will assist wind energy developers in making both large-scale (e.g., choosing between different development locations) and small-scale decisions (e.g., choosing where to locate turbines) aimed at minimizing impacts to bats. Using habitat models can provide a cost-effective method for evaluating bat risk, satisfying requirements of regulatory agencies, and limiting the more intensive survey methods to projects that absolutely require them. (Author)
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.
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
Cox, R.F.A; Smitsman, A.W.
Two experiments and a model on limb selection are reported. In Experiment 1 left-handed and right-handed participants (N = 36) repeatedly used one hand for grasping a small cube. After a clear switch in the cube’s location, perseverative limb selection was revealed in both handedness groups. In
Wynn-Williams, D. D.; Newton, E. M. G.; Edwards, H. G. M.
Pigments are key potential biomarkers for any former life on Mars because of the selective pressure of solar radiation on any biological system that could have evolved at its surface. We have found that the near -Infrared laser Raman spectrometer available to use was eminently suitable for diagnostic analysis of pigments because of their minimal autofluorescence at its 1064 nm excitation wav elength. However, we have now evaluated a diverse range of excitation wavelengths to confirm this choice, to ensure that we have the best technique to seek for pigments and their derivatives from any former surface life on Mars. The Raman is weak relative to fluorescence, which results in elevated baseline and concurrent swamping of Raman bands. We confirm the molecular information available from near-IR FT Raman spectra for two highly pigmented UV-tolerant epilithic Antarctic lichens (Acarospora chlorop hana and Caloplaca saxicola) from Victoria Land, a whole endolithic microbial community and endolithic cyanobacterium Chroococcidiopsis from within translucent sandstone of the Trans -Antarctic Mountains, and the free- living cyanobacterium Nostoc commune from Alexander Island, Antarctic Peninsula region. We also show that much of the information we require on biomolecules is not evident from lasers of shorter wavelengths. A miniature 1064 nm Raman spectrometer with an In-Ga-As detector sensitive to IR is being developed by Montana State University (now existing as a prototype) as the prime instrument for a proposed UK-led Mars rover mission (Vanguard). Preliminary spectra from this system confirm the suitability of the near-IR laser.
Nolan, Michael J.; Ostrovsky, David S.
Presents an activity that highlights the mechanism and power of natural selection. Allows students to think in terms of modeling a biological process and instills an appreciation for a mathematical approach to biological problems. (JRH)
Reeves, M.; Baker, N.A.; Duguid, J.O. [INTERA, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)
Since the 1960`s, ground-water flow models have been used for analysis of water resources problems. In the 1970`s, emphasis began to shift to analysis of waste management problems. This shift in emphasis was largely brought about by site selection activities for geologic repositories for disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Model development during the 1970`s and well into the 1980`s focused primarily on saturated ground-water flow because geologic repositories in salt, basalt, granite, shale, and tuff were envisioned to be below the water table. Selection of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for potential disposal of waste began to shift model development toward unsaturated flow models. Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M&O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. This document describes the CRWMS M&O approach to model review and evaluation (Chapter 2), and the requirements for unsaturated flow models which are the bases for selection from among the current models (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 identifies existing models, and their characteristics. Through a detailed examination of characteristics, Chapter 5 presents the selection of models for testing. Chapter 6 discusses the testing and verification of selected models. Chapters 7 and 8 give conclusions and make recommendations, respectively. Chapter 9 records the major references for each of the models reviewed. Appendix A, a collection of technical reviews for each model, contains a more complete list of references. Finally, Appendix B characterizes the problems used for model testing.
Reeves, M.; Baker, N.A.; Duguid, J.O.
Since the 1960's, ground-water flow models have been used for analysis of water resources problems. In the 1970's, emphasis began to shift to analysis of waste management problems. This shift in emphasis was largely brought about by site selection activities for geologic repositories for disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Model development during the 1970's and well into the 1980's focused primarily on saturated ground-water flow because geologic repositories in salt, basalt, granite, shale, and tuff were envisioned to be below the water table. Selection of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for potential disposal of waste began to shift model development toward unsaturated flow models. Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M ampersand O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. This document describes the CRWMS M ampersand O approach to model review and evaluation (Chapter 2), and the requirements for unsaturated flow models which are the bases for selection from among the current models (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 identifies existing models, and their characteristics. Through a detailed examination of characteristics, Chapter 5 presents the selection of models for testing. Chapter 6 discusses the testing and verification of selected models. Chapters 7 and 8 give conclusions and make recommendations, respectively. Chapter 9 records the major references for each of the models reviewed. Appendix A, a collection of technical reviews for each model, contains a more complete list of references. Finally, Appendix B characterizes the problems used for model testing
Ryoo, Ji Hoon
Model building or model selection with linear mixed models (LMMs) is complicated by the presence of both fixed effects and random effects. The fixed effects structure and random effects structure are codependent, so selection of one influences the other. Most presentations of LMM in psychology and education are based on a multilevel or…
Scudder, Barbara C.; Selbig, J.W.; Waschbusch, R.J.
Two Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) models, developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, were used to evaluate the effects of fine-grained (less than 2 millimeters) sediment on brook trout (Salvelinusfontinalis, Mitchill) and brown trout (Salmo trutta, Linnaeus) in 11 streams in west-central and southwestern Wisconsin. Our results indicated that fine-grained sediment limited brook trout habitat in 8 of 11 streams and brown trout habitat in only one stream. Lack of winter and escape cover for fry was the primary limiting variable for brown trout at 61 percent of the sites, and this factor also limited brook trout at several stations. Pool area or quality, in stream cover, streambank vegetation for erosion control, minimum flow, thalweg depth maximum, water temperature, spawning substrate, riffle dominant substrate, and dissolved oxygen also were limiting to trout in the study streams. Brook trout appeared to be more sensitive to the effects of fine-grained sediment than brown trout. The models for brook trout and brown trout appeared to be useful and objective screening tools for identifying variables limiting trout habitat in these streams. The models predicted that reduction in the amount of fine-grained sediment would improve brook trout habitat. These models may be valuable for establishing instream sediment-reduction goals; however, the decrease in sediment delivery needed to meet these goals cannot be estimated without quantitative data on land use practices and their effects on sediment delivery and retention by streams.
Bicker, Karl [CERN, Geneva (Switzerland); Chung, Suh-Urk; Friedrich, Jan; Grube, Boris; Haas, Florian; Ketzer, Bernhard; Neubert, Sebastian; Paul, Stephan; Ryabchikov, Dimitry [Technische Univ. Muenchen (Germany)
When performing partial-wave analyses of multi-body final states, the choice of the fit model, i.e. the set of waves to be used in the fit, can significantly alter the results of the partial wave fit. Traditionally, the models were chosen based on physical arguments and by observing the changes in log-likelihood of the fits. To reduce possible bias in the model selection process, an evolutionary algorithm was developed based on a Bayesian goodness-of-fit criterion which takes into account the model complexity. Starting from systematically constructed pools of waves which contain significantly more waves than the typical fit model, the algorithm yields a model with an optimal log-likelihood and with a number of partial waves which is appropriate for the number of events in the data. Partial waves with small contributions to the total intensity are penalized and likely to be dropped during the selection process, as are models were excessive correlations between single waves occur. Due to the automated nature of the model selection, a much larger part of the model space can be explored than would be possible in a manual selection. In addition the method allows to assess the dependence of the fit result on the fit model which is an important contribution to the systematic uncertainty.
Martínez, Héctor P.; Yannakakis, Georgios N.
Automatic feature selection is a critical step towards the generation of successful computational models of affect. This paper presents a genetic search-based feature selection method which is developed as a global-search algorithm for improving the accuracy of the affective models built....... The method is tested and compared against sequential forward feature selection and random search in a dataset derived from a game survey experiment which contains bimodal input features (physiological and gameplay) and expressed pairwise preferences of affect. Results suggest that the proposed method...
Elizabeth A. Becker
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
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.
Wu, Xiao; Li, Ming; Suo, Hongbin; Yan, Yonghong
In this letter we focus on the task of selecting the melody track from a polyphonic MIDI file. Based on the intuition that music and language are similar in many aspects, we solve the selection problem by introducing an n-gram language model to learn the melody co-occurrence patterns in a statistical manner and determine the melodic degree of a given MIDI track. Furthermore, we propose the idea of using background model and posterior probability criteria to make modeling more discriminative. In the evaluation, the achieved 81.6% correct rate indicates the feasibility of our approach.
Jørgensen, Kasper Winther; Hansen, Lars Kai
We propose kernel Parallel Analysis (kPA) for automatic kernel scale and model order selection in Gaussian kernel PCA. Parallel Analysis  is based on a permutation test for covariance and has previously been applied for model order selection in linear PCA, we here augment the procedure to also...... tune the Gaussian kernel scale of radial basis function based kernel PCA.We evaluate kPA for denoising of simulated data and the US Postal data set of handwritten digits. We find that kPA outperforms other heuristics to choose the model order and kernel scale in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR...
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
Czuba, Christiana; Czuba, Jonathan A.; Gendaszek, Andrew S.; Magirl, Christopher S.
The Cedar River in Washington State originates on the western slope of the Cascade Range and provides the City of Seattle with most of its drinking water, while also supporting a productive salmon habitat. Water-resource managers require detailed information on how best to manage high-flow releases from Chester Morse Lake, a large reservoir on the Cedar River, during periods of heavy precipitation to minimize flooding, while mitigating negative effects on fish populations. Instream flow-management practices include provisions for adaptive management to promote and maintain healthy aquatic habitat in the river system. The current study is designed to understand the linkages between peak flow characteristics, geomorphic processes, riverine habitat, and biological responses. Specifically, two-dimensional hydrodynamic modeling is used to simulate and quantify the effects of the peak-flow magnitude, duration, and frequency on the channel morphology and salmon-spawning habitat. Two study reaches, representative of the typical geomorphic and ecologic characteristics of the Cedar River, were selected for the modeling. Detailed bathymetric data, collected with a real-time kinematic global positioning system and an acoustic Doppler current profiler, were combined with a LiDAR-derived digital elevation model in the overbank area to develop a computational mesh. The model is used to simulate water velocity, benthic shear stress, flood inundation, and morphologic changes in the gravel-bedded river under the current and alternative flood-release strategies. Simulations of morphologic change and salmon-redd scour by floods of differing magnitude and duration enable water-resource managers to incorporate model simulation results into adaptive management of peak flows in the Cedar River. PDF version of a presentation on hydrodynamic modelling in the Cedar River in Washington state. Presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting 2010.
Lookingbill, Todd R; Gardner, Robert H; Ferrari, Joseph R; Keller, Cherry E
Assessing the potential for threatened species to persist and spread within fragmented landscapes requires the identification of core areas that can sustain resident populations and dispersal corridors that can link these core areas with isolated patches of remnant habitat. We developed a set of GIS tools, simulation methods, and network analysis procedures to assess potential landscape connectivity for the Delmarva fox squirrel (DFS; Sciurus niger cinereus), an endangered species inhabiting forested areas on the Delmarva Peninsula, USA. Information on the DFS's life history and dispersal characteristics, together with data on the composition and configuration of land cover on the peninsula, were used as input data for an individual-based model to simulate dispersal patterns of millions of squirrels. Simulation results were then assessed using methods from graph theory, which quantifies habitat attributes associated with local and global connectivity. Several bottlenecks to dispersal were identified that were not apparent from simple distance-based metrics, highlighting specific locations for landscape conservation, restoration, and/or squirrel translocations. Our approach links simulation models, network analysis, and available field data in an efficient and general manner, making these methods useful and appropriate for assessing the movement dynamics of threatened species within landscapes being altered by human and natural disturbances.
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.
Vasilyev, Maxim D.; Trofimtsev, Yuri I.; Vasilyeva, Natalya V.
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.
Héctor A. Tabares-Ospina
Full Text Available The staff selection is a difficult task due to the subjectivity that the evaluation means. This process can be complemented using a system to support decision. This paper presents the implementation of an expert system to systematize the selection process of professors. The management of software development is divided into 4 parts: requirements, design, implementation and commissioning. The proposed system models a specific knowledge through relationships between variables evidence and objective.
Sindato, Calvin; Stevens, Kim B.; Karimuribo, Esron D.; Mboera, Leonard E. G.; Paweska, Janusz T.; Pfeiffer, Dirk U.
Background Despite the long history of Rift Valley fever (RVF) in Tanzania, extent of its suitable habitat in the country remains unclear. In this study we investigated potential effects of temperature, precipitation, elevation, soil type, livestock density, rainfall pattern, proximity to wild animals, protected areas and forest on the habitat suitability for RVF occurrence in Tanzania. Materials and Methods Presence-only records of 193 RVF outbreak locations from 1930 to 2007 together with potential predictor variables were used to model and map the suitable habitats for RVF occurrence using ecological niche modelling. Ground-truthing of the model outputs was conducted by comparing the levels of RVF virus specific antibodies in cattle, sheep and goats sampled from locations in Tanzania that presented different predicted habitat suitability values. Principal Findings Habitat suitability values for RVF occurrence were higher in the northern and central-eastern regions of Tanzania than the rest of the regions in the country. Soil type and precipitation of the wettest quarter contributed equally to habitat suitability (32.4% each), followed by livestock density (25.9%) and rainfall pattern (9.3%). Ground-truthing of model outputs revealed that the odds of an animal being seropositive for RVFV when sampled from areas predicted to be most suitable for RVF occurrence were twice the odds of an animal sampled from areas least suitable for RVF occurrence (95% CI: 1.43, 2.76, p < 0.001). Conclusion/Significance The regions in the northern and central-eastern Tanzania were more suitable for RVF occurrence than the rest of the regions in the country. The modelled suitable habitat is characterised by impermeable soils, moderate precipitation in the wettest quarter, high livestock density and a bimodal rainfall pattern. The findings of this study should provide guidance for the design of appropriate RVF surveillance, prevention and control strategies which target areas with
Casati, Nathalie; Gabrani, Maria; Viswanathan, Ramya; Bayraktar, Zikri; Jaiswal, Om; DeMaris, David; Abdo, Amr Y.; Oberschmidt, James; Krause, Andreas
It is desired to reduce the time required to produce metrology data for calibration of Optical Proximity Correction (OPC) models and also maintain or improve the quality of the data collected with regard to how well that data represents the types of patterns that occur in real circuit designs. Previous work based on clustering in geometry and/or image parameter space has shown some benefit over strictly manual or intuitive selection, but leads to arbitrary pattern exclusion or selection which may not be the best representation of the product. Forming the pattern selection as an optimization problem, which co-optimizes a number of objective functions reflecting modelers' insight and expertise, has shown to produce models with equivalent quality to the traditional plan of record (POR) set but in a less time.
Homer, Collin G.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Schell, Spencer J.
North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habitats; however, products that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats in detail over the Gunnison Basin in Colorado are still unavailable. The goal of this project is to provide a rigorous large-area sagebrush habitat classification and inventory with statistically validated products and estimates of precision across the Gunnison Basin. This research employs a combination of methods, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent objective components that can be combined and customized by any user at multiple spatial scales; (2) collecting ground measured plot data on 2.4-meter QuickBird satellite imagery in the same season the imagery is acquired; (3) modeling of ground measured data on 2.4-meter imagery to maximize subsequent extrapolation; (4) acquiring multiple seasons (spring, summer, and fall) of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery (30-meter) for optimal modeling; (5) using regression tree classification technology that optimizes data mining of multiple image dates, ratios, and bands with ancillary data to extrapolate ground training data to coarser resolution Landsat Thematic Mapper; and 6) employing accuracy assessment of model predictions to enable users to understand their dependencies. Results include the prediction of four primary components including percent bare ground, percent herbaceous, percent shrub, and percent litter, and four secondary components including percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), percent big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), percent Wyoming sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis), and shrub height (centimeters
Full Text Available The Au'au Channel between the islands of Maui and Lanai, Hawaii comprises critical breeding habitat for humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae of the Central North Pacific stock. However, like many regions where marine mega-fauna gather, these waters are also the focus of a flourishing local eco-tourism and whale watching industry. Our aim was to establish current trends in habitat preference in female-calf humpback whale pairs within this region, focusing specifically on the busy, eastern portions of the channel. We used an equally-spaced zigzag transect survey design, compiled our results in a GIS model to identify spatial trends and calculated Neu's Indices to quantify levels of habitat use. Our study revealed that while mysticete female-calf pairs on breeding grounds typically favor shallow, inshore waters, female-calf pairs in the Au'au Channel avoided shallow waters (<20 m and regions within 2 km of the shoreline. Preferred regions for female-calf pairs comprised water depths between 40-60 m, regions of rugged bottom topography and regions that lay between 4 and 6 km from a small boat harbor (Lahaina Harbor that fell within the study area. In contrast to other humpback whale breeding grounds, there was only minimal evidence of typical patterns of stratification or segregation according to group composition. A review of habitat use by maternal females across Hawaiian waters indicates that maternal habitat choice varies between localities within the Hawaiian Islands, suggesting that maternal females alter their use of habitat according to locally varying pressures. This ability to respond to varying environments may be the key that allows wildlife species to persist in regions where human activity and critical habitat overlap.
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
Boets, Pieter; Gobeyn, Sacha; Dillen, Alain; Poelman, Eddy; Goethals, Peter L M
Huge efforts have been made during the past decades to improve the water quality and to restore the physical habitat of rivers and streams in western Europe. This has led to an improvement in biological water quality and an increase in fish stocks in many countries. However, several rheophilic fish species such as brown trout are still categorized as vulnerable in lowland streams in Flanders (Belgium). In order to support cost-efficient restoration programs, habitat suitability modeling can be used. In this study, we developed an ensemble of habitat suitability models using metaheuristic algorithms to explore the importance of a large number of environmental variables, including chemical, physical, and hydromorphological characteristics to determine the suitable habitat for reintroduction of brown trout in the Zwalm River basin (Flanders, Belgium), which is included in the Habitats Directive. Mean stream velocity, water temperature, hiding opportunities, and presence of pools or riffles were identified as the most important variables determining the habitat suitability. Brown trout mainly preferred streams with a relatively high mean reach stream velocity (0.2-1 m/s), a low water temperature (7-15°C), and the presence of pools. The ensemble of models indicated that most of the tributaries and headwaters were suitable for the species. Synthesis and applications . Our results indicate that this modeling approach can be used to support river management, not only for brown trout but also for other species in similar geographical regions. Specifically for the Zwalm River basin, future restoration of the physical habitat, removal of the remaining migration barriers and the development of suitable spawning grounds could promote the successful restoration of brown trout.
Teal, Lorna R.; Marras, Stefano; Peck, Myron A.; Domenici, Paolo
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
Wind, David Kofoed; Winther, Ole
The use of data analysis competitions for selecting the most appropriate model for a problem is a recent innovation in the field of predictive machine learning. Two of the most well-known examples of this trend was the Netflix Competition and recently the competitions hosted on the online platform...... performers from Kaggle and use previous personal experiences from competing in Kaggle competitions. The stated hypotheses about feature engineering, ensembling, overfitting, model complexity and evaluation metrics give indications and guidelines on how to select a proper model for performing well...... Kaggle. In this paper, we will state and try to verify a set of qualitative hypotheses about predictive modelling, both in general and in the scope of data analysis competitions. To verify our hypotheses we will look at previous competitions and their outcomes, use qualitative interviews with top...
Full Text Available The impact of introducing a tax on tobacco consumption can be studied trough an adverse selection model. The objective of the model presented in the following is to characterize the optimal contractual relationship between the governmental authorities and the two type employees: smokers and non-smokers, taking into account that the consumers’ decision to smoke or not represents an element of risk and uncertainty. Two scenarios are run using the General Algebraic Modeling Systems software: one without taxes set on tobacco consumption and another one with taxes set on tobacco consumption, based on an adverse selection model described previously. The results of the two scenarios are compared in the end of the paper: the wage earnings levels and the social welfare in case of a smoking agent and in case of a non-smoking agent.
Ho Gul Kim
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.
Durner, George M.; Simac, Kristin S.; Amstrup, Steven C.
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.
Daniele Tonina; John M. Buffington
A three-dimensional fluid dynamics model is developed to capture the spatial complexity of the effects of salmon redds on channel hydraulics, hyporheic exchange, and egg pocket habitat. We use the model to partition the relative influences of redd topography versus altered hydraulic conductivity (winnowing of fines during spawning) on egg pocket conditions for a...
Lee, A. A.; Crosato, A.; Omer, A. Y. A.; Bregoli, F.
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.
Ashford, Oliver S.; Davies, Andrew J.; Jones, Daniel O. B.
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
Wildhaber, Mark L.; Lamberson, Peter J.
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.
Stensgaard, Anna-Sofie; Jørgensen, Aslak; Kabatereine, N B
-borne disease transmission areas. Furthermore, knowledge of abiotic factors affecting intra-molluscan parasitic development can be used to make "masks" based on remotely sensed climatic data, and these can in turn be used to refine these predictions. We used data from a recent freshwater snail survey from......Geographic information system (GIS-based modeling of an intermediate host snail species environmental requirements using known occurrence records can provide estimates of its spatial distribution. When other data are lacking, this can be used as a rough spatial prediction of potential snail...... Uganda, environmental data and the genetic algorithm for rule-set prediction (GARP) to map the potential distribution of snail species known to act as intermediate hosts of several human and animal parasites. The results suggest that large areas of Uganda are suitable habitats for many of these snail...
Blouin, Marc A.; Hudson, Patrick; Chriscinske, Margret
This study focused primarily on the habitat preferences of Hexagenia limbata andEphemera simulans, two species prevalent in northern Lake Huron, to gain a better understanding of the key components that determined their distribution and abundance. Both species preferred habitats based upon depth and sediment type. In addition, the burrowing activity of H. limbata was examined using in-situ, underwater sampling techniques specifically designed for the study. SCUBA divers made resin casts and took clear sediment cores in order to study how the burrow densities of H. limbata related to the sediment: water volume ratios. H. limbata contributed to the bioturbation and sediment porosity in specific, fine-sediment habitats. Younger age classes of this species utilized the burrows of their larger cohorts, an adaptation that could allow for energy savings and optimized growth.
Su, Jin-He; Piao, Ying-Chao; Luo, Ze; Yan, Bao-Ping
Simple Summary The understanding of the spatio-temporal distribution of the species habitats would facilitate wildlife resource management and conservation efforts. Existing methods have poor performance due to the limited availability of training samples. More recently, location-aware sensors have been widely used to track animal movements. The aim of the study was to generate suitability maps of bar-head geese using movement data coupled with environmental parameters, such as remote sensing images and temperature data. Therefore, we modified a deep convolutional neural network for the multi-scale inputs. The results indicate that the proposed method can identify the areas with the dense goose species around Qinghai Lake. In addition, this approach might also be interesting for implementation in other species with different niche factors or in areas where biological survey data are scarce. Abstract With the application of various data acquisition devices, a large number of animal movement data can be used to label presence data in remote sensing images and predict species distribution. In this paper, a two-stage classification approach for combining movement data and moderate-resolution remote sensing images was proposed. First, we introduced a new density-based clustering method to identify stopovers from migratory birds’ movement data and generated classification samples based on the clustering result. We split the remote sensing images into 16 × 16 patches and labeled them as positive samples if they have overlap with stopovers. Second, a multi-convolution neural network model is proposed for extracting the features from temperature data and remote sensing images, respectively. Then a Support Vector Machines (SVM) model was used to combine the features together and predict classification results eventually. The experimental analysis was carried out on public Landsat 5 TM images and a GPS dataset was collected on 29 birds over three years. The results
Villarreal, Miguel L.; van Riper, Charles; Petrakis, Roy E.
Riparian vegetation provides important wildlife habitat in the Southwestern United States, but limited distributions and spatial complexity often leads to inaccurate representation in maps used to guide conservation. We test the use of data conflation and aggregation on multiple vegetation/land-cover maps to improve the accuracy of habitat models for the threatened western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis). We used species observations (n = 479) from a state-wide survey to develop habitat models from 1) three vegetation/land-cover maps produced at different geographic scales ranging from state to national, and 2) new aggregate maps defined by the spatial agreement of cover types, which were defined as high (agreement = all data sets), moderate (agreement ≥ 2), and low (no agreement required). Model accuracies, predicted habitat locations, and total area of predicted habitat varied considerably, illustrating the effects of input data quality on habitat predictions and resulting potential impacts on conservation planning. Habitat models based on aggregated and conflated data were more accurate and had higher model sensitivity than original vegetation/land-cover, but this accuracy came at the cost of reduced geographic extent of predicted habitat. Using the highest performing models, we assessed cuckoo habitat preference and distribution in Arizona and found that major watersheds containing high-probably habitat are fragmented by a wide swath of low-probability habitat. Focus on riparian restoration in these areas could provide more breeding habitat for the threatened cuckoo, offset potential future habitat losses in adjacent watershed, and increase regional connectivity for other threatened vertebrates that also use riparian corridors.
Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M&O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer ground-water flow models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. In the area of scientific modeling, the M&O CRWMS has the following responsibilities: To provide overall management and integration of modeling activities. To provide a framework for focusing modeling and model development. To identify areas that require increased or decreased emphasis. To ensure that the tools necessary to conduct performance assessment are available. These responsibilities are being initiated through a three-step process. It consists of a thorough review of existing models, testing of models which best fit the established requirements, and making recommendations for future development that should be conducted. Future model enhancement will then focus on the models selected during this activity. Furthermore, in order to manage future model development, particularly in those areas requiring substantial enhancement, the three-step process will be updated and reported periodically in the future.
Chambault, Philippine; Roquet, Fabien; Benhamou, Simon; Baudena, Alberto; Pauthenet, Etienne; de Thoisy, Benoît; Bonola, Marc; Dos Reis, Virginie; Crasson, Rodrigue; Brucker, Mathieu; Le Maho, Yvon; Chevallier, Damien
Although some associations between the leatherback turtle Dermochelys coriacea and the Gulf Stream current have been previously suggested, no study has to date demonstrated strong affinities between leatherback movements and this particular frontal system using thorough oceanographic data in both the horizontal and vertical dimensions. The importance of the Gulf Stream frontal system in the selection of high residence time (HRT) areas by the North Atlantic leatherback turtle is assessed here for the first time using state-of-the-art ocean reanalysis products. Ten adult females from the Eastern French Guianese rookery were satellite tracked during post-nesting migration to relate (1) their horizontal movements to physical gradients (Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Sea Surface Height (SSH) and filaments) and biological variables (micronekton and chlorophyll a), and (2) their diving behaviour to vertical structures within the water column (mixed layer, thermocline, halocline and nutricline). All the turtles migrated northward towards the Gulf Stream north wall. Although their HRT areas were geographically remote (spread between 80-30 °W and 28-45 °N), all the turtles targeted similar habitats in terms of physical structures, i.e. strong gradients of SST, SSH and a deep mixed layer. This close association with the Gulf Stream frontal system highlights the first substantial synchronization ever observed in this species, as the HRTs were observed in close match with the autumn phytoplankton bloom. Turtles remained within the enriched mixed layer at depths of 38.5±7.9 m when diving in HRT areas, likely to have an easier access to their prey and maximize therefore the energy gain. These depths were shallow in comparison to those attained within the thermocline (82.4±5.6 m) while crossing the nutrient-poor subtropical gyre, probably to reach cooler temperatures and save energy during the transit. In a context of climate change, anticipating the evolution of such frontal
Full Text Available The business expansion to other geographical areas with different cultures from which organizations were created and developed leads to the expatriation of employees to these destinations. Recruitment and selection procedures of expatriates do not always have the intended success leading to an early return of these professionals with the consequent organizational disorders. In this study, several articles published in the last five years were analyzed in order to identify the most frequently mentioned dimensions in the selection of expatriates in terms of success and failure. The characteristics in the selection process that may increase prediction of adaptation of expatriates to new cultural contexts of the some organization were studied according to the KSAOs model. Few references were found concerning Knowledge, Skills and Abilities dimensions in the analyzed papers. There was a strong predominance on the evaluation of Other Characteristics, and was given more importance to dispositional factors than situational factors for promoting the integration of the expatriates.
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
Full Text Available Although model selection is routinely used in practice nowadays, little is known about its precise effects on any subsequent inference that is carried out. The same goes for the effects induced by the closely related technique of model averaging. This paper is concerned with the use of the same data first to select a model and then to carry out inference, in particular point estimation and point prediction. The properties of the resulting estimator, called a post-model-selection estimator (PMSE, are hard to derive. Using selection criteria such as hypothesis testing, AIC, BIC, HQ and Cp, we illustrate that, in terms of risk function, no single PMSE dominates the others. The same conclusion holds more generally for any penalised likelihood information criterion. We also compare various model averaging schemes and show that no single one dominates the others in terms of risk function. Since PMSEs can be regarded as a special case of model averaging, with 0-1 random-weights, we propose a connection between the two theories, in the frequentist approach, by taking account of the selection procedure when performing model averaging. We illust