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.
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...
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.
Boyce, Mark S; Johnson, Chris J; Merrill, Evelyn H; Nielsen, Scott E; Solberg, Erling J; van Moorter, Bram
Habitats have substantial influence on the distribution and abundance of animals. Animals' selective movement yields their habitat use. Animals generally are more abundant in habitats that are selected most strongly. Models of habitat selection can be used to distribute animals on the landscape or their distribution can be modelled based on data of habitat use, occupancy, intensity of use or counts of animals. When the population is at carrying capacity or in an ideal-free distribution, habitat selection and related metrics of habitat use can be used to estimate abundance. If the population is not at equilibrium, models have the flexibility to incorporate density into models of habitat selection; but abundance might be influenced by factors influencing fitness that are not directly related to habitat thereby compromising the use of habitat-based models for predicting population size. Scale and domain of the sampling frame, both in time and space, are crucial considerations limiting application of these models. Ultimately, identifying reliable models for predicting abundance from habitat data requires an understanding of the mechanisms underlying population regulation and limitation. © 2015 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of British Ecological Society.
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.
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.
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.
Samuel A. Cushman; Timothy J. Mersmann; Gretchen G. Moisen; Kevin S. McKelvey; Christina D. Vojta
This chapter provides guidance for applying existing habitat models to map and monitor wildlife habitat. Chapter 2 addresses the use of conceptual models to create a solid foundation for selecting habitat attributes to monitor and to translate these attributes into quantifiable and reportable monitoring measures. Most wildlife species, however, require a complex suite...
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...
Beerens, James M.; Frederick, Peter C; Noonburg, Erik G; Gawlik, Dale E.
Determining habitat quality for wildlife populations requires relating a species' habitat to its survival and reproduction. Within a season, species occurrence and density can be disconnected from measures of habitat quality when resources are highly seasonal, unpredictable over time, and patchy. Here we establish an explicit link among dynamic selection of changing resources, spatio-temporal species distributions, and fitness for predictive abundance and occurrence models that are used for short-term water management and long-term restoration planning. We used the wading bird distribution and evaluation models (WADEM) that estimate (1) daily changes in selection across resource gradients, (2) landscape abundance of flocks and individuals, (3) conspecific foraging aggregation, and (4) resource unit occurrence (at fixed 400 m cells) to quantify habitat quality and its consequences on reproduction for wetland indicator species. We linked maximum annual numbers of nests detected across the study area and nesting success of Great Egrets (Ardea alba), White Ibises (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Storks (Mycteria americana) over a 20-year period to estimated daily dynamics of food resources produced by WADEM over a 7490 km2 area. For all species, increases in predicted species abundance in March and high abundance in April were strongly linked to breeding responses. Great Egret nesting effort and success were higher when birds also showed greater conspecific foraging aggregation. Synthesis and applications: This study provides the first empirical evidence that dynamic habitat selection processes and distributions of wading birds over environmental gradients are linked with reproductive measures over periods of decades. Further, predictor variables at a variety of temporal (daily-multiannual) resolutions and spatial (400 m to regional) scales effectively explained variation in ecological processes that change habitat quality. The process used here allows managers to develop
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.
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.
Leclerc, Martin; Vander Wal, Eric; Zedrosser, Andreas; Swenson, Jon E; Kindberg, Jonas; Pelletier, Fanie
Habitat selection is a fundamental behaviour that links individuals to the resources required for survival and reproduction. Although natural selection acts on an individual's phenotype, research on habitat selection often pools inter-individual patterns to provide inferences on the population scale. Here, we expanded a traditional approach of quantifying habitat selection at the individual level to explore the potential for consistent individual differences of habitat selection. We used random coefficients in resource selection functions (RSFs) and repeatability estimates to test for variability in habitat selection. We applied our method to a detailed dataset of GPS relocations of brown bears (Ursus arctos) taken over a period of 6 years, and assessed whether they displayed repeatable individual differences in habitat selection toward two habitat types: bogs and recent timber-harvest cut blocks. In our analyses, we controlled for the availability of habitat, i.e. the functional response in habitat selection. Repeatability estimates of habitat selection toward bogs and cut blocks were 0.304 and 0.420, respectively. Therefore, 30.4 and 42.0 % of the population-scale habitat selection variability for bogs and cut blocks, respectively, was due to differences among individuals, suggesting that consistent individual variation in habitat selection exists in brown bears. Using simulations, we posit that repeatability values of habitat selection are not related to the value and significance of β estimates in RSFs. Although individual differences in habitat selection could be the results of non-exclusive factors, our results illustrate the evolutionary potential of habitat selection.
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...
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
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; Johnson, Jeyaraj A.; Sen, Subharanjan
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 and settled periods
Vana-Miller, Sandra L.
A review and synthesis of existing information were used to develop a Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) model for the osprey (Pandion haliaetus). The model consolidates habitat use information into a framework appropriate for field application, and is scaled to produce an index between 0.0 (unsuitable habitat) to 1.0 (optimum habitat). HSI models are designed to be used with Habitat Evaluation Procedures previously developed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
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.
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...
Zarnetske, P.L.; Edwards, T.C.; Moisen, Gretchen G.
Habitat classification models (HCMs) are invaluable tools for species conservation, land-use planning, reserve design, and metapopulation assessments, particularly at broad spatial scales. However, species occurrence data are often lacking and typically limited to presence points at broad scales. This lack of absence data precludes the use of many statistical techniques for HCMs. One option is to generate pseudo-absence points so that the many available statistical modeling tools can be used. Traditional techniques generate pseudoabsence points at random across broadly defined species ranges, often failing to include biological knowledge concerning the species-habitat relationship. We incorporated biological knowledge of the species-habitat relationship into pseudo-absence points by creating habitat envelopes that constrain the region from which points were randomly selected. We define a habitat envelope as an ecological representation of a species, or species feature's (e.g., nest) observed distribution (i.e., realized niche) based on a single attribute, or the spatial intersection of multiple attributes. We created HCMs for Northern Goshawk (Accipiter gentilis atricapillus) nest habitat during the breeding season across Utah forests with extant nest presence points and ecologically based pseudo-absence points using logistic regression. Predictor variables were derived from 30-m USDA Landfire and 250-m Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) map products. These habitat-envelope-based models were then compared to null envelope models which use traditional practices for generating pseudo-absences. Models were assessed for fit and predictive capability using metrics such as kappa, thresholdindependent receiver operating characteristic (ROC) plots, adjusted deviance (Dadj2), and cross-validation, and were also assessed for ecological relevance. For all cases, habitat envelope-based models outperformed null envelope models and were more ecologically relevant, suggesting
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...
Todd, Brian D; Halstead, Brian J.; Chiquoine, Lindsay P.; Peaden, J. Mark; Buhlmann, Kurt A.; Tuberville, Tracey D.; Nafus, Melia G.
Growing pressure to develop public lands for renewable energy production places several protected species at increased risk of habitat loss. One example is the Mojave desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizii), a species often at the center of conflicts over public land development. For this species and others on public lands, a better understanding of their habitat needs can help minimize negative impacts and facilitate protection or restoration of habitat. We used radio-telemetry to track 46 neonate and juvenile tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert, California, USA, to quantify habitat at tortoise locations and paired random points to assess habitat selection. Tortoise locations near burrows were more likely to be under canopy cover and had greater coverage of perennial plants (especially creosote [Larrea tridentata]), more coverage by washes, a greater number of small-mammal burrows, and fewer white bursage (Ambrosia dumosa) than random points. Active tortoise locations away from burrows were closer to washes and perennial plants than were random points. Our results can help planners locate juvenile tortoises and avoid impacts to habitat critical for this life stage. Additionally, our results provide targets for habitat protection and restoration and suggest that diverse and abundant small-mammal populations and the availability of creosote bush are vital for juvenile desert tortoises in the Eastern Mojave Desert.
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
Sawyer, H.; Nielson, R.M.; Lindzey, F.G.; Keith, L.; Powell, J.H.; Abraham, A.A.
Recent expansions by Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus) into nonforested habitats across the Intermountain West have required managers to reconsider the traditional paradigms of forage and cover as they relate to managing elk and their habitats. We examined seasonal habitat selection patterns of a hunted elk population in a nonforested high-desert region of southwestern Wyoming, USA. We used 35,246 global positioning system locations collected from 33 adult female elk to model probability of use as a function of 6 habitat variables: slope, aspect, elevation, habitat diversity, distance to shrub cover, and distance to road. We developed resource selection probability functions for individual elk, and then we averaged the coefficients to estimate population-level models for summer and winter periods. We used the population-level models to generate predictive maps by assigning pixels across the study area to 1 of 4 use categories (i.e., high, medium-high, medium-low, or low), based on quartiles of the predictions. Model coefficients and predictive maps indicated that elk selected for summer habitats characterized by higher elevations in areas of high vegetative diversity, close to shrub cover, northerly aspects, moderate slopes, and away from roads. Winter habitat selection patterns were similar, except elk shifted to areas with lower elevations and southerly aspects. We validated predictive maps by using 528 locations collected from an independent sample of radiomarked elk (n = 55) and calculating the proportion of locations that occurred in each of the 4 use categories. Together, the high- and medium-high use categories of the summer and winter predictive maps contained 92% and 74% of summer and winter elk locations, respectively. Our population-level models and associated predictive maps were successful in predicting winter and summer habitat use by elk in a nonforested environment. In the absence of forest cover, elk seemed to rely on a combination of shrubs
Michael A. Bozek; Clayton J. Edwards; Martin J. Jennings; Steven P. Newman
Anthropogenic disturbances in nearshore littoral zones of lakes may affect spawning habitat and recruitment of smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu, yet habitat models that quantify habitat selection by smallmouth bass in lakes are not well developed nor are their limitations understood. In this study we quantified smallmouth bass spawning habitat in...
Leopold, Christina R.; Hess, Steven C.
After a severe population reduction during the mid-20th century, the endangered Hawaiian Goose (Branta sandvicensis), or Nēnē, has only recently re-established its seasonal movement patterns on Hawai‘i Island. Little is currently understood about its movements and habitat use during the nonbreeding season. The objectives of this research were to identify habitats preferred by two subpopulations of the Nēnē and how preferences shift seasonally at both meso-and fine scales. From 2009 to 2011, ten Nēnē ganders were outfitted with 40-to 45-g satellite transmitters with GPS capability. We used binary logistic regression to compare habitat use versus availability and an information-theoretic approach for model selection. Meso-scale habitat modeling revealed that Nēnē preferred exotic grass and human-modified landscapes during the breeding and molting seasons and native subalpine shrubland during the nonbreeding season. Fine-scale habitat modeling further indicated preference for exotic grass, bunch grass, and absence of trees. Proximity to water was important during molt, suggesting that the presence of water may provide escape from introduced mammalian predators while Nēnē are flightless. Finescale species-composition data added relatively little to understanding of Nēnē habitat preferences modeled at the meso scale, suggesting that the meso-scale is appropriate for management planning. Habitat selection during our study was consistent with historical records, although dissimilar from more recent studies of other subpopulations. Nēnē make pronounced seasonal movements between existing reserves and use distinct habitat types; understanding annual patterns has implications for the protection and restoration of important seasonal habitats.
Northrup, Joseph M; Anderson, Charles R; Wittemyer, George
Extraction of oil and natural gas (hydrocarbons) from shale is increasing rapidly in North America, with documented impacts to native species and ecosystems. With shale oil and gas resources on nearly every continent, this development is set to become a major driver of global land-use change. It is increasingly critical to quantify spatial habitat loss driven by this development to implement effective mitigation strategies and develop habitat offsets. Habitat selection is a fundamental ecological process, influencing both individual fitness and population-level distribution on the landscape. Examinations of habitat selection provide a natural means for understanding spatial impacts. We examined the impact of natural gas development on habitat selection patterns of mule deer on their winter range in Colorado. We fit resource selection functions in a Bayesian hierarchical framework, with habitat availability defined using a movement-based modeling approach. Energy development drove considerable alterations to deer habitat selection patterns, with the most substantial impacts manifested as avoidance of well pads with active drilling to a distance of at least 800 m. Deer displayed more nuanced responses to other infrastructure, avoiding pads with active production and roads to a greater degree during the day than night. In aggregate, these responses equate to alteration of behavior by human development in over 50% of the critical winter range in our study area during the day and over 25% at night. Compared to other regions, the topographic and vegetative diversity in the study area appear to provide refugia that allow deer to behaviorally mediate some of the impacts of development. This study, and the methods we employed, provides a template for quantifying spatial take by industrial activities in natural areas and the results offer guidance for policy makers, mangers, and industry when attempting to mitigate habitat loss due to energy development. © 2015 The Authors
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 disadvantages as management tools for member states in relation to the requirements of the WFD, but due to their different model structures they are distinct in their data needs, transferability, user-friendliness and presentable outputs. Water resource managers need information on what approaches will best...... management tools, but require large amounts of data and the model structure is complex. It is concluded that the use of habitat suitability indices (HSIs) and fuzzy rules in hydraulic-habitat modelling are the most ready model types to satisfy WFD demands. These models are well documented, transferable, user...
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.
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.
Sunde, Peter; Thorup, Kasper; Jacobsen, Lars Bo
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-rou...
Heinrichs, Julie; Aldridge, Cameron L.; O'Donnell, Michael; Schumaker, Nathan
Prioritizing habitats for conservation is a challenging task, particularly for species with fluctuating populations and seasonally dynamic habitat needs. Although the use of resource selection models to identify and prioritize habitat for conservation is increasingly common, their ability to characterize important long-term habitats for dynamic populations are variable. To examine how habitats might be prioritized differently if resource selection was directly and dynamically linked with population fluctuations and movement limitations among seasonal habitats, we constructed a spatially explicit individual-based model for a dramatically fluctuating population requiring temporally varying resources. Using greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in Wyoming as a case study, we used resource selection function maps to guide seasonal movement and habitat selection, but emergent population dynamics and simulated movement limitations modified long-term habitat occupancy. We compared priority habitats in RSF maps to long-term simulated habitat use. We examined the circumstances under which the explicit consideration of movement limitations, in combination with population fluctuations and trends, are likely to alter predictions of important habitats. In doing so, we assessed the future occupancy of protected areas under alternative population and habitat conditions. Habitat prioritizations based on resource selection models alone predicted high use in isolated parcels of habitat and in areas with low connectivity among seasonal habitats. In contrast, results based on more biologically-informed simulations emphasized central and connected areas near high-density populations, sometimes predicted to be low selection value. Dynamic models of habitat use can provide additional biological realism that can extend, and in some cases, contradict habitat use predictions generated from short-term or static resource selection analyses. The explicit inclusion of population
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.
Geomorphic / floristic variables are useful as general habitat indicators on coastal foredunes. Variables used in this study were vegetation cover, plant community structure and sand movement. Three distinct zones, four habitats and six subhabitats were identified. Zonation and habitat selection appeared to be related to ...
Nov 8, 1988 ... Geomorphic / floristic variables are useful as general habitat indicators on coastal foredunes. Variables used in this study were vegetation cover, plant community structure and sand movement. Three distinct zones, four habitats and six subhabitats were identified. Zonation and habitat selection appeared to ...
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.…
Steven F. Railsback; Bret C. Harvey; John W. Hayse; Kirk E. Lagory
For many animals, selecting whether to forage during day or night is a critical fitness problem: at night, predation risks are lower but feeding is less efficient. Habitat selection is a closely related problem: the best location for nocturnal foraging could be too risky during daytime, and habitat that is safe and profitable in daytime may be unprofitable at night. We...
Muposhi, Victor K; Gandiwa, Edson; Chemura, Abel; Bartels, Paul; Makuza, Stanley M; Madiri, Tinaapi H
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.
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.
Strickland, Bradley A; Vilella, Francisco J; 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
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
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 ...
Donna D W Hauser
Full Text Available There has been extensive sea ice loss in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas where two beluga whale (Delphinapterus leucas populations occur between July-November. Our goal was to develop population-specific beluga habitat selection models that quantify relative use of sea ice and bathymetric features related to oceanographic processes, which can provide context to the importance of changing sea ice conditions. We established habitat selection models that incorporated daily sea ice measures (sea ice concentration, proximity to ice edge and dense ice and bathymetric features (slope, depth, proximity to the continental slope, Barrow Canyon, and shore to establish quantitative estimates of habitat use for the Eastern Chukchi Sea ('Chukchi' and Eastern Beaufort Sea ('Beaufort' populations. We applied 'used v. available' resource selection functions to locations of 65 whales tagged from 1993-2012, revealing large variations in seasonal habitat selection that were distinct between sex and population groups. Chukchi whales of both sexes were predicted to use areas in close proximity to Barrow Canyon (typically <200 km as well as the continental slope in summer, although deeper water and denser ice were stronger predictors for males than females. Habitat selection differed more between sexes for Beaufort belugas. Beaufort males selected higher ice concentrations (≥40% than females (0-40% in July-August. Proximity to shore (<200 km strongly predicted summer habitat of Beaufort females, while distance to the ice edge was important for male habitat selection, especially during westward migration in September. Overall, our results indicate that sea ice variables were rarely the primary drivers of beluga summer-fall habitat selection. While diminished sea ice may indirectly affect belugas through changes in the ecosystem, associations with bathymetric features that affect prey availability seemed key to habitat selection during summer and fall. These results
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.
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.
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
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
González, Luis M.; Bustamante, Javier; Hiraldo, F.
Nesting habitat selection by the Spanish imperial eagle Aquila adalberti was quantitatively assessed. Nest sites chosen did not differ from the available habitat with regard to physiography and vegetation, but the eagles tended to avoid areas affected by human disturbance. Nest sites used by subadults and those of adults that were recently established tended to be in more disturbed areas than those used by adults or in traditional nesting localities. Management recommendations for more e...
Teresa J Lorenz
Full Text Available The marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus is a declining seabird that is well-known for nesting in coastal old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. Most studies of habitat selection have focused on modeling terrestrial nesting habitat even though marine habitat is believed to be a major contributor to population declines in some regions. To address this information gap, we conducted a 5-year study of marine resource selection by murrelets in Washington, which contains a population experiencing the steepest documented declines and where marine habitat is believed to be compromised. Across five years we tracked 157 radio-tagged murrelets during the breeding season (May to August, and used discrete choice models to examine habitat selection. Using an information theoretic approach, our global model had the most support, suggesting that murrelet resource selection at-sea is affected by many factors, both terrestrial and marine. Locations with higher amounts of nesting habitat (β = 21.49, P < 0.001 that were closer to shore (β = -0.0007, P < 0.001 and in cool waters (β = -0.2026, P < 0.001 with low footprint (β = -0.0087, P < 0.001 had higher probabilities of use. While past conservation efforts have focused on protecting terrestrial nesting habitat, we echo many past studies calling for future efforts to protect marine habitat for murrelets, as the current emphasis on terrestrial habitat alone may be insufficient for conserving populations. In particular, marine areas in close proximity to old-growth nesting habitat appear important for murrelets during the breeding season and should be priorities for protection.
Full Text Available 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-round resident generalist predator, to see how this varied as a function of weather, season and availability. Use of the two most frequently used land cover types, gardens/buildings and cultivated fields varied more than 3-fold as a simple function of season and weather through linear effects of wind 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. An opportunistic foraging strategy in a landscape with erratically appearing feeding opportunities in different land cover types, may possibly also explain decreasing selection of the two most frequently used land cover types with increasing availability.
Veran, Sophie; Kleiner, Kevin J.; Choquet, Remi; Collazo, Jaime; Nichols, James D.
Land cover data are widely used in ecology as land cover change is a major component of changes affecting ecological systems. Landscape change estimates are characterized by classification errors. Researchers have used error matrices to adjust estimates of areal extent, but estimation of land cover change is more difficult and more challenging, with error in classification being confused with change. We modeled land cover dynamics for a discrete set of habitat states. The approach accounts for state uncertainty to produce unbiased estimates of habitat transition probabilities using ground information to inform error rates. We consider the case when true and observed habitat states are available for the same geographic unit (pixel) and when true and observed states are obtained at one level of resolution, but transition probabilities estimated at a different level of resolution (aggregations of pixels). Simulation results showed a strong bias when estimating transition probabilities if misclassification was not accounted for. Scaling-up does not necessarily decrease the bias and can even increase it. Analyses of land cover data in the Southeast region of the USA showed that land change patterns appeared distorted if misclassification was not accounted for: rate of habitat turnover was artificially increased and habitat composition appeared more homogeneous. Not properly accounting for land cover misclassification can produce misleading inferences about habitat state and dynamics and also misleading predictions about species distributions based on habitat. Our models that explicitly account for state uncertainty should be useful in obtaining more accurate inferences about change from data that include errors.
Robert N. Havis; Carlos V. Alonzo; Keith E Woeste; Russell F. Thurow
A simulation model [Salmonid Spawning Analysis Model (SSAM)I was developed as a management tool to evaluate the relative impacts of stream sediment load and water temperature on salmonid egg survival. The model is usefi.il for estimating acceptable sediment loads to spawning habitat that may result from upland development, such as logging and agriculture. Software in...
This study aimed to identify variables that affect habitat selection and nesting success of the African Crowned Eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus, the largest forest raptor, in north-eastern South Africa. A preference for nesting in the Northern Mistbelt Forest vegetation type was established and 82% of all nests were located in ...
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
William, Gaudry; Jean-Michel, Gaillard; Sonia, Saïd; Christophe, Bonenfant; Atle, Mysterud; Nicolas, Morellet; Maryline, Pellerin; Clément, Calenge
With the surge of GPS-technology, many studies uncovered space use of mobile animals and shed light on the underlying behavioral mechanisms of habitat selection. Habitat selection and variation in either occurrence or strength of functional responses (i.e. how selection changes with availability) have given new insight into such mechanisms within populations in different ecosystems. However, linking variation in habitat selection to site-specific conditions in different populations facing contrasting environmental conditions but the same habitat type has not yet been investigated. We aimed to fill this knowledge gap by comparing within-home range habitat selection across 61 female roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) during the most critical life history stage in three study areas showing the same habitat types but with different environmental conditions. Female roe deer markedly differed in habitat selection within their home range, both within and among populations. Females facing poor environmental conditions clearly displayed a functional response, whereas females facing rich environmental conditions did not show any functional response. These results demonstrate how the use of a given habitat relative to its availability strongly varies in response to environmental conditions. Our findings highlight that the same habitat composition can lead to very different habitat selection processes across contrasted environments.
the physical habitat quality of stream Ledreborg using af habitat hydraulic model • to assess the present and potential physical habitat quality of stream Ledreborg • to evaluate the suitability and applicability of habitat hydraulic models to Danish stream management Results • Precipitation and evaporation...... the best potential physical habitat quality for trout fry and juvenile trout and the lowest potential physical habitat quality for adult trout. This finding supports previous evaluations of the stream as a trout habitat, concluding that stream Ledreborg has very few suitable habitats for adult trout...... in the modelling. • Although more time consuming than present Danish methods for assessment of physical habitat quality in streams, the habitat hydraulic models can be used to evaluate physical habitat conditions at reach level and work as a basis for a more objective assessment method....
Kawaguchi, Toshinori; Desrochers, André
Ideal free distribution theory predicts that increased conspecific density redistributes individuals to low-density, suboptimal habitat. However, possible lags in response to population density remain poorly documented. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) may exhibit density-dependent habitat selection due to its marked variation in population density. Based on 11 years (2004-2014) of snow tracking in Quebec (Canada), we investigated snowshoe hares' short-term and delayed habitat selection responses to population density. We predicted that at high densities, hare distribution expands into low-density habitat, thus weakening the association between hares and high-density habitat. We surveyed hare tracks along 95 km of transects on average each year and georeferenced 14,240 tracks. We used Generalized Estimating Equations for track count per 100 m transect segment as a function of the proportion of different forest age classes (0-20 y, 20-40 y and 40-80 y) within 50 m of the segments. We used model coefficients for each age class as a measure of habitat preference, and modeled those coefficients as a function of a population density index in current and previous winters. Coefficients for 20- to 40-y-old forests were positive each year, indicating that this habitat was preferred. The association between track counts and 20- to 40-y-old forest significantly declined with density during the previous winter, suggesting that hare spread from preferred forest with a lagged response to density. To our knowledge, no previous empirical studies have documented a lagged habitat selection response to population density. Time lags offer possible explanation for documented deviations from ideal free distribution models.
Rondinini, Carlo; Di Marco, Moreno; Chiozza, Federica; Santulli, Giulia; Baisero, Daniele; Visconti, Piero; Hoffmann, Michael; Schipper, Jan; Stuart, Simon N; Tognelli, Marcelo F; Amori, Giovanni; Falcucci, Alessandra; Maiorano, Luigi; Boitani, Luigi
Detailed large-scale information on mammal distribution has often been lacking, hindering conservation efforts. We used the information from the 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as a baseline for developing habitat suitability models for 5027 out of 5330 known terrestrial mammal species, based on their habitat relationships. We focused on the following environmental variables: land cover, elevation and hydrological features. Models were developed at 300 m resolution and limited to within species' known geographical ranges. A subset of the models was validated using points of known species occurrence. We conducted a global, fine-scale analysis of patterns of species richness. The richness of mammal species estimated by the overlap of their suitable habitat is on average one-third less than that estimated by the overlap of their geographical ranges. The highest absolute difference is found in tropical and subtropical regions in South America, Africa and Southeast Asia that are not covered by dense forest. The proportion of suitable habitat within mammal geographical ranges correlates with the IUCN Red List category to which they have been assigned, decreasing monotonically from Least Concern to Endangered. These results demonstrate the importance of fine-resolution distribution data for the development of global conservation strategies for mammals.
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.
Belaire, J Amy; Kreakie, Betty J; Keitt, Timothy; Minor, Emily
Migratory stopover habitats are often not part of planning for conservation or new development projects. We identified potential stopover habitats within an avian migratory flyway and demonstrated how this information can guide the site-selection process for new development. We used the random forests modeling approach to map the distribution of predicted stopover habitat for the Whooping Crane (Grus americana), an endangered species whose migratory flyway overlaps with an area where wind energy development is expected to become increasingly important. We then used this information to identify areas for potential wind power development in a U.S. state within the flyway (Nebraska) that minimize conflicts between Whooping Crane stopover habitat and the development of clean, renewable energy sources. Up to 54% of our study area was predicted to be unsuitable as Whooping Crane stopover habitat and could be considered relatively low risk for conflicts between Whooping Cranes and wind energy development. We suggest that this type of analysis be incorporated into the habitat conservation planning process in areas where incidental take permits are being considered for Whooping Cranes or other species of concern. Field surveys should always be conducted prior to construction to verify model predictions and understand baseline conditions. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.
Mark D. Nelson; Richard R. Buech
We tested 3 models of Kirtland's warbler (Dendroica kirtlandii) habitat suitability during a period when we believe there was a surplus of good quality breeding habitat. A jack pine canopy-cover model was superior to 2 jack pine stem-density models in predicting Kirtland's warbler habitat use and non-use. Estimated density of birds in high...
Lewis, Jeffrey C.; Jenkins, Kurt J.; Happe, Patricia J.; Manson, David J.; McCalmon, Marc
The fisher was extirpated from much of the Pacific Northwestern United States during the mid- to late-1900s and is now proposed for federal listing as a threatened species in all or part of its west coast range. Following the translocation of 90 fishers from central British Columbia, Canada, to the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State from 2008 to 2010, we investigated the landscape-scale habitat selection of reintroduced fishers across a broad range of forest ages and disturbance histories, providing the first information on habitat relationships of newly reintroduced fishers in coastal coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest. We developed 17 a priori models to evaluate several habitat-selection hypotheses based on premises of habitat models used to forecast habitat suitability for the reintroduced population. Further, we hypothesized that female fishers, because of their smaller body size than males, greater vulnerability to predation, and specific reproductive requirements, would be more selective than males for mid- to late-seral forest communities, where complex forest structural elements provide secure foraging, resting, and denning sites. We assessed 11 forest structure and landscape characteristics within the home range core-areas used by 19 females and 12 males and within randomly placed pseudo core areas that represented available habitats. We used case-controlled logistic regression to compare the characteristics of used and pseudo core areas and to assess selection by male and female fishers. Females were more selective of core area placement than males. Fifteen of 19 females (79%) and 5 of 12 males (42%) selected core areas within federal lands that encompassed primarily forests with an overstory of mid-sized or large trees. Male fishers exhibited only weak selection for core areas dominated by forests with an overstory of small trees, primarily on land managed for timber production or at high elevations. The amount of natural open area best
Frye, Graham G; Connelly, John W; Musil, David D; Forbey, Jennifer S
Animal habitat selection is a process that functions at multiple, hierarchically. structured spatial scales. Thus multi-scale analyses should be the basis for inferences about factors driving the habitat selection process. Vertebrate herbivores forage selectively on the basis of phytochemistry, but few studies have investigated the influence of selective foraging (i.e., fine-scale habitat selection) on habitat selection at larger scales. We tested the hypothesis that phytochemistry is integral to the habitat selection process for vertebrate herbivores. We predicted that habitats selected at three spatial scales would be characterized by higher nutrient concentrations and lower concentrations of plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) than unused habitats. We used the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), an avian herbivore with a seasonally specialized diet of sagebrush, to test our hypothesis. Sage-Grouse selected a habitat type (black sagebrush, Artemisia nova) with lower PSM concentrations than the alternative (Wyoming big sagebrush, A. tridentata wyomingensis). Within black sagebrush habitat, Sage-Grouse selected patches and individual plants within those patches that were higher in nutrient concentrations and lower in PSM concentrations than those not used. Our results provide the first evidence for multi-scale habitat selection by an avian herbivore on the basis of phytochemistry, and they suggest that phytochemistry may be a fundamental driver of habitat selection for vertebrate herbivores.
Lin, Yu-Pin; Lin, Wei-Chih; Wu, Wei-Yao
Species distribution models (SDMs) are extensively used to project habitat suitability of species in stream ecological studies. Owing to complex sources of uncertainty, such models may yield projections with varying degrees of uncertainty. To better understand projected spatial distributions and the variability between habitat suitability projections, this study uses five SDMs that are based on the outputs of a two-dimensional hydraulic model to project the suitability of habitats and to eval...
Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Villarreal, Miguel; van Riper, Charles
Aim: The western yellow-billed cuckoo (Coccyzus americanus occidentalis), a Neotropical migrant bird, is facing steep population declines in its western breeding grounds owing primarily to loss of native habitat. The favoured esting habitat for the cuckoo in the south-western United States is low-elevation riparian forests and woodlands. Our aim was to explore relationships between vegetation phenology patterns captured by satellite phenometrics and the distribution of the yellow-billed cuckoo, and to use this information to map cuckoo habitat. Location: Arizona, USA. Methods: Land surface phenometrics were derived from satellite Advanced Very High-Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR), bi-weekly time-composite, ormalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data for 1998 and 1999 at a resolution of 1 km. Fourier harmonics were used to analyse the waveform of the annual NDVI profile in each pixel. To create the models, we coupled 1998 satellite phenometrics with 1998 field survey data of cuckoo presence or absence and with point data that sampled riparian and cottonwood–willow vegetation types. Our models were verified and refined using field and satellite data collected in 1999. Results: The models reveal that cuckoos prefer areas that experience peak greenness 29 days later, are 36% more dynamic and slightly (< 1%) more productive than their average cottonwood–willow habitat. The results support a scenario in which cuckoos migrate northwards, following the greening of riparian corridors and surrounding landscapes in response to monsoon precipitation, but then select a nesting site based on optimizing the near-term foraging potential of the neighbourhood. Main conclusions: The identification of preferred phenotypes within recognized habitat can be used to refine future habitat models, inform habitat response to climate change, and suggest adaptation strategies. For example, models of phenotype preferences can guide management actions by identifying and prioritizing for
James M Beerens
Full Text Available Species distribution models (SDM link species occurrence with a suite of environmental predictors and provide an estimate of habitat quality when the variable set captures the biological requirements of the species. SDMs are inherently more complex when they include components of a species' ecology such as conspecific attraction and behavioral flexibility to exploit resources that vary across time and space. Wading birds are highly mobile, demonstrate flexible habitat selection, and respond quickly to changes in habitat quality; thus serving as important indicator species for wetland systems. We developed a spatio-temporal, multi-SDM framework using Great Egret (Ardea alba, White Ibis (Eudocimus albus, and Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana distributions over a decadal gradient of environmental conditions to predict species-specific abundance across space and locations used on the landscape over time. In models of temporal dynamics, species demonstrated conditional preferences for resources based on resource levels linked to differing temporal scales. Wading bird abundance was highest when prey production from optimal periods of inundation was concentrated in shallow depths. Similar responses were observed in models predicting locations used over time, accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Species clustered in response to differing habitat conditions, indicating that social attraction can co-vary with foraging strategy, water-level changes, and habitat quality. This modeling framework can be applied to evaluate the multi-annual resource pulses occurring in real-time, climate change scenarios, or restorative hydrological regimes by tracking changing seasonal and annual distribution and abundance of high quality foraging patches.
Beerens, James M.; Noonberg, Erik G.; Gawlik, Dale E.
Species distribution models (SDM) link species occurrence with a suite of environmental predictors and provide an estimate of habitat quality when the variable set captures the biological requirements of the species. SDMs are inherently more complex when they include components of a species' ecology such as conspecific attraction and behavioral flexibility to exploit resources that vary across time and space. Wading birds are highly mobile, demonstrate flexible habitat selection, and respond quickly to changes in habitat quality; thus serving as important indicator species for wetland systems. We developed a spatio-temporal, multi-SDM framework using Great Egret (Ardea alba), White Ibis (Eudocimus albus), and Wood Stork (Mycteria Americana) distributions over a decadal gradient of environmental conditions to predict species-specific abundance across space and locations used on the landscape over time. In models of temporal dynamics, species demonstrated conditional preferences for resources based on resource levels linked to differing temporal scales. Wading bird abundance was highest when prey production from optimal periods of inundation was concentrated in shallow depths. Similar responses were observed in models predicting locations used over time, accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Species clustered in response to differing habitat conditions, indicating that social attraction can co-vary with foraging strategy, water-level changes, and habitat quality. This modeling framework can be applied to evaluate the multi-annual resource pulses occurring in real-time, climate change scenarios, or restorative hydrological regimes by tracking changing seasonal and annual distribution and abundance of high quality foraging patches.
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., 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.
Phillips, Austin; Kot, Mark
Environmental changes are forcing many species to track suitable conditions or face extinction. In this study, we use a two-dimensional integrodifference equation to analyze whether a population can track a habitat that is moving due to climate change. We model habitat as a simple rectangle. Our model quickly leads to an eigenvalue problem that determines whether the population persists or declines. After surveying techniques to solve the eigenvalue problem, we highlight three findings that impact conservation efforts such as reserve design and species risk assessment. First, while other models focus on habitat length (parallel to the direction of habitat movement), we show that ignoring habitat width (perpendicular to habitat movement) can lead to overestimates of persistence. Dispersal barriers and hostile landscapes that constrain habitat width greatly decrease the population's ability to track its habitat. Second, for some long-distance dispersal kernels, increasing habitat length improves persistence without limit; for other kernels, increasing length is of limited help and has diminishing returns. Third, it is not always best to orient the long side of the habitat in the direction of climate change. Evidence suggests that the kurtosis of the dispersal kernel determines whether it is best to have a long, wide, or square habitat. In particular, populations with platykurtic dispersal benefit more from a wide habitat, while those with leptokurtic dispersal benefit more from a long habitat. We apply our model to the Rocky Mountain Apollo butterfly (Parnassius smintheus).
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.
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.
Torres, Leigh G; Read, Andrew J; Halpin, Patrick
Predators and prey assort themselves relative to each other, the availability of resources and refuges, and the temporal and spatial scale of their interaction. Predictive models of predator distributions often rely on these relationships by incorporating data on environmental variability and prey availability to determine predator habitat selection patterns. This approach to predictive modeling holds true in marine systems where observations of predators are logistically difficult, emphasizing the need for accurate models. In this paper, we ask whether including prey distribution data in fine-scale predictive models of bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) habitat selection in Florida Bay, Florida, U.S.A., improves predictive capacity. Environmental characteristics are often used as predictor variables in habitat models of top marine predators with the assumption that they act as proxies of prey distribution. We examine the validity of this assumption by comparing the response of dolphin distribution and fish catch rates to the same environmental variables. Next, the predictive capacities of four models, with and without prey distribution data, are tested to determine whether dolphin habitat selection can be predicted without recourse to describing the distribution of their prey. The final analysis determines the accuracy of predictive maps of dolphin distribution produced by modeling areas of high fish catch based on significant environmental characteristics. We use spatial analysis and independent data sets to train and test the models. Our results indicate that, due to high habitat heterogeneity and the spatial variability of prey patches, fine-scale models of dolphin habitat selection in coastal habitats will be more successful if environmental variables are used as predictor variables of predator distributions rather than relying on prey data as explanatory variables. However, predictive modeling of prey distribution as the response variable based on
Lawson, Christopher E; Strachan, Cameron R; Williams, Dominique D; Koziel, Susan; Hallam, Steven J; Budwill, Karen
Microbially produced methane, a versatile, cleaner-burning alternative energy resource to fossil fuels, is sourced from a variety of natural and engineered ecosystems, including marine sediments, anaerobic digesters, shales, and coalbeds. There is a prevailing interest in developing environmental biotechnologies to enhance methane production. Here, we use small-subunit rRNA gene sequencing and metagenomics to better describe the interplay between coalbed methane (CBM) well conditions and microbial communities in the Alberta Basin. Our results show that CBM microbial community structures display patterns of endemism and habitat selection across the Alberta Basin, consistent with observations from other geographical locations. While some phylum-level taxonomic patterns were observed, relative abundances of specific taxonomic groups were localized to discrete wells, likely shaped by local environmental conditions, such as coal rank and depth-dependent physicochemical conditions. To better resolve functional potential within the CBM milieu, a metagenome from a deep volatile-bituminous coal sample was generated. This sample was dominated by Rhodobacteraceae genotypes, resolving a near-complete population genome bin related to Celeribacter sp. that encoded metabolic pathways for the degradation of a wide range of aromatic compounds and the production of methanogenic substrates via acidogenic fermentation. Genomic comparisons between the Celeribacter sp. population genome and related organisms isolated from different environments reflected habitat-specific selection pressures that included nitrogen availability and the ability to utilize diverse carbon substrates. Taken together, our observations reveal that both endemism and metabolic specialization should be considered in the development of biostimulation strategies for nonproductive wells or for those with declining productivity. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
Keating, Kim A.; Cherry, Steve
Logistic regression is an important tool for wildlife habitat-selection studies, but the method frequently has been misapplied due to an inadequate understanding of the logistic model, its interpretation, and the influence of sampling design. To promote better use of this method, we review its application and interpretation under 3 sampling designs: random, case-control, and use-availability. Logistic regression is appropriate for habitat use-nonuse studies employing random sampling and can be used to directly model the conditional probability of use in such cases. Logistic regression also is appropriate for studies employing case-control sampling designs, but careful attention is required to interpret results correctly. Unless bias can be estimated or probability of use is small for all habitats, results of case-control studies should be interpreted as odds ratios, rather than probability of use or relative probability of use. When data are gathered under a use-availability design, logistic regression can be used to estimate approximate odds ratios if probability of use is small, at least on average. More generally, however, logistic regression is inappropriate for modeling habitat selection in use-availability studies. In particular, using logistic regression to fit the exponential model of Manly et al. (2002:100) does not guarantee maximum-likelihood estimates, valid probabilities, or valid likelihoods. We show that the resource selection function (RSF) commonly used for the exponential model is proportional to a logistic discriminant function. Thus, it may be used to rank habitats with respect to probability of use and to identify important habitat characteristics or their surrogates, but it is not guaranteed to be proportional to probability of use. Other problems associated with the exponential model also are discussed. We describe an alternative model based on Lancaster and Imbens (1996) that offers a method for estimating conditional probability of use in
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.
Waddle, J. Hardin
The 2012 Coastal Master Plan utilized Habitat Suitability Indices (HSIs) to evaluate potential project effects on wildlife species. Even though HSIs quantify habitat condition, which may not directly correlate to species abundance, they remain a practical and tractable way to assess changes in habitat quality from various restoration actions. As part of the legislatively mandated five year update to the 2012 plan, the wildlife habitat suitability indices were updated and revised using literature and existing field data where available. The outcome of these efforts resulted in improved, or in some cases entirely new suitability indices. This report describes the development of the habitat suitability indices for the American alligator, Alligator mississippiensis.
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 ...
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...
Stolen, Eric D.; Collazo, J.A.; Percival, H.F.
Foraging habitat selection of nesting Great Egrets (Ardea alba) and Snowy Egrets (Egretta thula) was investigated within an estuary with extensive impounded salt marsh habitat. Using a geographic information system, available habitat was partitioned into concentric bands at five, ten, and 15 km radius from nesting colonies to assess the relative effects of habitat composition and distance on habitat selection. Snowy Egrets were more likely than Great Egrets to depart colonies and travel to foraging sites in groups, but both species usually arrived at sites that were occupied by other wading birds. Mean flight distances were 6.2 km (SE = 0.4, N = 28, range 1.8-10.7 km) for Great Egrets and 4.7 km (SE = 0.48, N = 31, range 0.7-12.5 km) for Snowy Egrets. At the broadest spatial scale both species used impounded (mostly salt marsh) and estuarine edge habitat more than expected based on availability while avoiding unimpounded (mostly fresh water wetland) habitat. At more local scales habitat use matched availability. Interpretation of habitat preference differed with the types of habitat that were included and the maximum distance that habitat was considered available. These results illustrate that caution is needed when interpreting the results of habitat preference studies when individuals are constrained in their choice of habitats, such as for central place foragers.
Sprague, Tiffany A; Bateman, Heather L
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.
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.
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.
Groff, Luke A.; Calhoun, Aram J.K.; Loftin, Cynthia S.
Identification of essential habitat is a fundamental component of amphibian conservation; however, species with complex life histories frequently move among habitats. To better understand dynamic habitat use, we evaluated Wood Frog (Lithobates sylvaticus (LeConte, 1825)) habitat selection and movement patterns during the spring migration and foraging periods and described the spatiotemporal variability of habitats used during all annual life-history periods. We radio-tracked 71 frogs in Maine during 2011–2013 and evaluated spring migration, foraging activity center (FAC), and within-FAC habitat selection. Telemetered frogs spent the greatest percentage of each field season in hibernacula (≥54.4%), followed by FACs (≥25.5%), migration habitat (≥16.9%), and breeding sites (≥4.5%). FACs ranged 49 – 1 335 m2 (568.0 ± 493.4 m2) and annual home ranges spanned 1 413 – 32 165 m2 (11 780.6 ± 12 506.1 m2). During spring migration, Wood Frogs exhibited different movement patterns (e.g., turn angles), selected different habitat features, and selected habitat features less consistently than while occupying FACs, indicating that the migration and foraging periods are ecologically distinct. Habitat-use studies that do not discriminate among annual life-history periods may obscure true ecological relationships and fail to identify essential habitat necessary for sustaining amphibian populations.
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.
Burger, J.; Howe, M.A.; Hahn, D.C.; Chase, J.
We studied assemblages of feeding shorebirds in three intertidal habitats on the coast of New Jersey during August to document how species segregate spatially both among and within habitats and to determine the effects of tidal cycles on these patterns. The habitats were a sandy beach facing the ocean proper (outer beach), a sandy beach on the mainland side of a barrier island (inner beach), and a small mudflat adjacent to a Spartina alterniflora salt marsh. We were able to identify several microhabitats on the outer beach and mudflat. Most species fed in more than one habitat, but only two, Charadrius semipalmatus and Calidris canutus, used all three habitats regularly. Within habitats, most species exhibited strong preferences for the wettest areas, but we found differences among species in degrees of preference. The least amount of partitioning occurred on the inner beach, where birds crowded into a small zone near the water's edge and had frequent agonistic encounters suggesting intense competition. Shorebird feeding activity was partly a function of tide time: each habitat had a characteristic temporal pattern of use by shorebirds related to tide time rather than diel time; within habitats, we found species-characteristic feeding activity rhythms that were also a function of tide time. Feeding by most species peaked during the first 2 hours after low tide on the outer beach and mudflat. The results are discussed in terms of feeding strategies and interspecific competition.
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.
Elizabeth Hillard; Laura E. DeWald
Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP) in North Carolina and Tennessee now has an established elk (Cervus elaphus) population 10 years after reintroduction. Although elk typically elect more open habitat, elk in GSMNP are showing they are capable of doing well in predominantly forested habitats. Evaluating how the established herd of elk is...
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
Tara Szkorupa; Fiona Schmiegelow
This research suggests that mountain caribou select a suite of winter habitats, at multiple spatial scales, and under a range of snow conditions. Our findings lead to several management recommendations. In general, habitat selection by caribou necessitates management over large spatial and temporal scales.
Cameron, Michael F; Frost, Kathryn J; Ver Hoef, Jay M; Breed, Greg A; Whiting, Alex V; Goodwin, John; Boveng, Peter L
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 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 effects of sex and bathymetry were not statistically significant. The close association of young bearded seals to the ice edge in the Bering Sea is important given the likely effects of climate warming on the extent of sea-ice and
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.
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.
Le Tortorec, Eric; Helle, Samuli; Käyhkö, Niina; Suorsa, Petri; Huhta, Esa; Hakkarainen, Harri
1. There is great interest on the effects of habitat fragmentation, whereby habitat is lost and the spatial configuration of remaining habitat patches is altered, on individual breeding performance. However, we still lack consensus of how this important process affects reproductive success, and whether its effects are mainly due to reduced fecundity or nestling survival. 2. The main reason for this may be the way that habitat fragmentation has been previously modelled. Studies have treated habitat loss and altered spatial configuration as two independent processes instead of as one hierarchical and interdependent process, and therefore have not been able to consider the relative direct and indirect effects of habitat loss and altered spatial configuration. 3. We investigated how habitat (i.e. old forest) fragmentation, caused by intense forest harvesting at the territory and landscape scales, is associated with the number of fledged offspring of an area-sensitive passerine, the Eurasian treecreeper (Certhia familiaris). We used structural equation modelling (SEM) to examine the complex hierarchical associations between habitat loss and altered spatial configuration on the number of fledged offspring, by controlling for individual condition and weather conditions during incubation. 4. Against generally held expectations, treecreeper reproductive success did not show a significant association with habitat fragmentation measured at the territory scale. Instead, our analyses suggested that an increasing amount of habitat at the landscape scale caused a significant increase in nest predation rates, leading to reduced reproductive success. This effect operated directly on nest predation rates, instead of acting indirectly through altered spatial configuration. 5. Because habitat amount and configuration are inherently strongly collinear, particularly when multiple scales are considered, our study demonstrates the usefulness of a SEM approach for hierarchical partitioning
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...
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 Species distribution models (SDMs are extensively used to project habitat suitability of species in stream ecological studies. Owing to complex sources of uncertainty, such models may yield projections with varying degrees of uncertainty. To better understand projected spatial distributions and the variability between habitat suitability projections, this study uses five SDMs that are based on the outputs of a two-dimensional hydraulic model to project the suitability of habitats and to evaluate the degree of variability originating from both differing model types and the split-sample procedure. The habitat suitability index (HSI of each species is based on two stream flow variables, including current velocity (V, water depth (D, as well as the heterogeneity of these flow conditions as quantified by the information entropy of V and D. The six SDM approaches used to project fish abundance, as represented by HSI, included two stochastic models: the generalized linear model (GLM and the generalized additive model (GAM; as well as three machine learning models: the support vector machine (SVM, random forest (RF and the artificial neural network (ANN, and an ensemble model (where the latter is the average of the preceding five models. The target species Sicyopterus japonicas was found to prefer habitats with high current velocities. The relationship between mesohabitat diversity and fish abundance was indicated by the trends in information entropy and weighted usable area (WUA over the study area. This study proposes a method for quantifying habitat suitability, and for assessing the uncertainties in HSI and WUA that are introduced by the various SDMs and samples. This study also demonstrated both the merits of the ensemble modeling approach and the necessity of addressing model uncertainty.
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 <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.
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.
Forsman, J.T.; Martin, T.E.
Choice of breeding habitat can have a major impact on fitness. Sensitivity of habitat choice to environmental cues predicting reproductive success, such as density of harmful enemy species, should be favored by natural selection. Yet, experimental tests of this idea are in short supply. Brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater commonly reduce reproductive success of a wide diversity of birds by parasitizing their nests. We used song playbacks to simulate high cowbird density and tested whether cowbird hosts avoid such areas in habitat selection. Host species that made settlement decisions during manipulations were significantly less abundant in the cowbird treatment as a group. In contrast, hosts that settled before manipulations started and non-host species did not respond to treatments. These results suggest that hosts of cowbirds can use vocal cues to assess parasitism risk among potential habitat patches and avoid high risk habitats. This can affect community structure by affecting habitat choices of species with differential vulnerability.
Pamela Edwards; Frederica Wood; Michael Little; Peter Vila; Peter Vila
We describe the modeling and mapping procedures used to examine aquatic habitat conditions and habitat suitability of a small river in north- central West Virginia where fish survival and reproduction in specific reaches are poor. The study includes: (1) surveying cross sections of streambed reaches and measuring discharges and corresponding water-surface elevations,...
Battle, Curtis Scott
Although research on wildlife species across taxa has shown that males and females differentially select habitat, sex-specific models of habitat suitability for endangered species are uncommon. Here, we developed such models for Bengal Tigers (Panthera tigris) based on camera trap data collected from 20 January to 22 March, 2010, within Chitwan National Park, Nepal, and its buffer zone. We compared these to a sex-indiscriminate habitat suitability model in order to identify information that is lost when occurrence data for both sexes are included in the same model, as well as to assess the benefits of a sex-specific approach to habitat suitability modelling. Our sex-specific models allowed us to produce more informative and detailed habitat suitability maps, highlighting key differences in the distribution of suitable habitats for males and females, preferences in vegetation structure, and habitat use near human settlements. In the context of global tiger conservation, such information is essential to fulfilling established conservation goals and population recovery targets.
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.
Parlin, Adam F; do Amaral, José Pedro S; Dougherty, John Kelly; Stevens, M Henry H
Abstract Environmental conditions may affect individual physiological processes that influence short-term performance and ultimately growth, survival and reproduction. As such, habitats selected by animals must provide suitable and adequate resources. Ectothermic species are highly dependent on climatic conditions and ambient temperatures that dictate body temperature regulation and in turn physiological processes. We investigated the thermoregulatory performance, habitat selection, and movements of an ectothermic vertebrate, the Eastern box turtle (Terrapene carolina carolina) to assess the importance of thermoregulatory physiology in habitat selection. We evaluated the relationship between habitat selection and thermoregulatory performance in Southwest Ohio over two active seasons from May until October. We found that T. carolina selected shaded habitats, including evergreen and deciduous forests, as well as herbaceous grasslands, conformed to the ambient temperatures throughout the active season, although these habitats had temperatures below those expected based on thermal optima of box turtles. Further, we found that movement was not correlated with internal body temperature. Our study shows that thermal conditions are not paramount in habitat selection of box turtles, but that cooler temperatures do not have an effect on the extent of their locomotion. PMID:29255608
Claire A. Zugmeyer; John L. Koprowski
Severe disturbance may alter or eliminate important habitat structure that helps preserve food caches of foodhoarding species. Recent recolonization of an insect-damaged forest by the endangered Mt. Graham red squirrel (Tamiasciurus hudsonicus grahamensis) provided an opportunity to examine habitat selection for midden (cache) sites following...
Shiloh M. Halsey; William J. Zielinski; Robert M. Scheller
Context The success of species reintroduction often depends on predation risk and spatial estimates of predator habitat. The fisher (Pekania pennanti) is a species of conservation concern and populations in the western United States have declined substantially in the last century. Reintroduction plans are underway, but the ability...
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
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.
Haas, de 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
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
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.
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...
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.
Falace, Annalisa; Kaleb, Sara; Curiel, Daniele; Miotti, Chiara; Galli, Giovanni; Querin, Stefano; Ballesteros, Enric; Solidoro, Cosimo; Bandelj, Vinko
Habitat classifications provide guidelines for mapping and comparing marine resources across geographic regions. Calcareous bio-concretions and their associated biota have not been exhaustively categorized. Furthermore, for management and conservation purposes, species and habitat mapping is critical. Recently, several developments have occurred in the field of predictive habitat modeling, and multiple methods are available. In this study, we defined the habitats constituting northern Adriatic biogenic reefs and created a predictive habitat distribution model. We used an updated dataset of the epibenthic assemblages to define the habitats, which we verified using the fuzzy k-means (FKM) clustering method. Redundancy analysis was employed to model the relationships between the environmental descriptors and the FKM membership grades. Predictive modelling was carried out to map habitats across the basin. Habitat A (opportunistic macroalgae, encrusting Porifera, bioeroders) characterizes reefs closest to the coastline, which are affected by coastal currents and river inputs. Habitat B is distinguished by massive Porifera, erect Tunicata, and non-calcareous encrusting algae (Peyssonnelia spp.). Habitat C (non-articulated coralline, Polycitor adriaticus) is predicted in deeper areas. The onshore-offshore gradient explains the variability of the assemblages because of the influence of coastal freshwater, which is the main driver of nutrient dynamics. This model supports the interpretation of Habitat A and C as the extremes of a gradient that characterizes the epibenthic assemblages, while Habitat B demonstrates intermediate characteristics. Areas of transition are a natural feature of the marine environment and may include a mixture of habitats and species. The habitats proposed are easy to identify in the field, are related to different environmental features, and may be suitable for application in studies focused on other geographic areas. The habitat model outputs
Full Text Available Habitat classifications provide guidelines for mapping and comparing marine resources across geographic regions. Calcareous bio-concretions and their associated biota have not been exhaustively categorized. Furthermore, for management and conservation purposes, species and habitat mapping is critical. Recently, several developments have occurred in the field of predictive habitat modeling, and multiple methods are available. In this study, we defined the habitats constituting northern Adriatic biogenic reefs and created a predictive habitat distribution model. We used an updated dataset of the epibenthic assemblages to define the habitats, which we verified using the fuzzy k-means (FKM clustering method. Redundancy analysis was employed to model the relationships between the environmental descriptors and the FKM membership grades. Predictive modelling was carried out to map habitats across the basin. Habitat A (opportunistic macroalgae, encrusting Porifera, bioeroders characterizes reefs closest to the coastline, which are affected by coastal currents and river inputs. Habitat B is distinguished by massive Porifera, erect Tunicata, and non-calcareous encrusting algae (Peyssonnelia spp.. Habitat C (non-articulated coralline, Polycitor adriaticus is predicted in deeper areas. The onshore-offshore gradient explains the variability of the assemblages because of the influence of coastal freshwater, which is the main driver of nutrient dynamics. This model supports the interpretation of Habitat A and C as the extremes of a gradient that characterizes the epibenthic assemblages, while Habitat B demonstrates intermediate characteristics. Areas of transition are a natural feature of the marine environment and may include a mixture of habitats and species. The habitats proposed are easy to identify in the field, are related to different environmental features, and may be suitable for application in studies focused on other geographic areas. The habitat
D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Todd M. Fearer; Wayne E. Thogmartin; Frank R. Thompson; Mark D. Nelson; John M. Tirpak
Selection of a modeling approach is an important step in the conservation planning process, but little guidance is available. We compared two statistical and three theoretical habitat modeling approaches representing those currently being used for avian conservation planning at landscape and regional scales: hierarchical spatial count (HSC), classification and...
Salas, Eric Ariel L; Valdez, Raul; Michel, Stefan
We modeled summer and winter habitat suitability of Marco Polo argali in the Pamir Mountains in southeastern Tajikistan using these statistical algorithms: Generalized Linear Model, Random Forest, Boosted Regression Tree, Maxent, and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines. Using sheep occurrence data collected from 2009 to 2015 and a set of selected habitat predictors, we produced summer and winter habitat suitability maps and determined the important habitat suitability predictors for both seasons. Our results demonstrated that argali selected proximity to riparian areas and greenness as the two most relevant variables for summer, and the degree of slope (gentler slopes between 0° to 20°) and Landsat temperature band for winter. The terrain roughness was also among the most important variables in summer and winter models. Aspect was only significant for winter habitat, with argali preferring south-facing mountain slopes. We evaluated various measures of model performance such as the Area Under the Curve (AUC) and the True Skill Statistic (TSS). Comparing the five algorithms, the AUC scored highest for Boosted Regression Tree in summer (AUC = 0.94) and winter model runs (AUC = 0.94). In contrast, Random Forest underperformed in both model runs.
Verbyla, David L.; Litvaitis, John A.
Predictive models of wildlife-habitat relationships often have been developed without being tested The apparent classification accuracy of such models can be optimistically biased and misleading. Data resampling methods exist that yield a more realistic estimate of model classification accuracy These methods are simple and require no new sample data. We illustrate these methods (cross-validation, jackknife resampling, and bootstrap resampling) with computer simulation to demonstrate the increase in precision of the estimate. The bootstrap method is then applied to field data as a technique for model comparison We recommend that biologists use some resampling procedure to evaluate wildlife habitat models prior to field evaluation.
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.
John C. Rennie; Joseph D. Clark; James M. Sweeney
Existing habitat suitability index (HSI) models are evaluated for assessing the biotic resources on Champion International Corporation (CIC) lands with data from a standard and an expanded timber inventory. Forty HSI models for 34 species that occur in the Southern Appalachians have been identified from the literature. All of the variables for 14 models are provided (...
Full Text Available Status determination of wildlife habitats is very important in conservation programs and management of wildlife. So, in this study Ursus arctos habitat suitability was modeled using maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt in Shimbar protected area. In order to model the habitat suitability, after investigating and resolving the spatial autocorrelation of occurrence records, spatially independent localities were divided into the calibration and evaluation sets and then were combined with 10 environmental variables (VIF<10 selected by MMS software. The performance of predictive models was tested using AUC and jackknife validation test. So, we applied two different thresholds, the LPT threshold and 10% threshold to generate presence/absence map. Also other Jackknife tests applied to measure variables importance. The results showed that predictive model was more efficient than random model (AUC=0.980. In addition, the potential suitable areas cover 20.75% of study area. The MaxEnt model had 88.46% success rate and was statistically significant (P = 0.000. Results of Jackknife showed that ‘plant type’ variable alone contains valuable information for modelling. Our study demonstrated that habitat suitability was successfully predicted by MaxEnt modelling, so this methodology might provide a powerful tool for improving the wildlife habitats information.
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.
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...
Tardy, Olivia; Massé, Ariane; Pelletier, Fanie; Fortin, Daniel
Isodar theory can be used to evaluate fitness consequences of density-dependent habitat selection by animals. A typical habitat isodar is a regression curve plotting competitor densities in two adjacent habitats when individual fitness is equal. Despite the increasing use of habitat isodars, their application remains largely limited to areas composed of pairs of adjacent habitats that are defined a priori. We developed a resampling method that uses data from wildlife surveys to build isodars in heterogeneous landscapes without having to predefine habitat types. The method consists in randomly placing blocks over the survey area and dividing those blocks in two adjacent sub-blocks of the same size. Animal abundance is then estimated within the two sub-blocks. This process is done 100 times. Different functional forms of isodars can be investigated by relating animal abundance and differences in habitat features between sub-blocks. We applied this method to abundance data of raccoons and striped skunks, two of the main hosts of rabies virus in North America. Habitat selection by raccoons and striped skunks depended on both conspecific abundance and the difference in landscape composition and structure between sub-blocks. When conspecific abundance was low, raccoons and striped skunks favored areas with relatively high proportions of forests and anthropogenic features, respectively. Under high conspecific abundance, however, both species preferred areas with rather large corn-forest edge densities and corn field proportions. Based on random sampling techniques, we provide a robust method that is applicable to a broad range of species, including medium- to large-sized mammals with high mobility. The method is sufficiently flexible to incorporate multiple environmental covariates that can reflect key requirements of the focal species. We thus illustrate how isodar theory can be used with wildlife surveys to assess density-dependent habitat selection over large
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
The American kestrel, Falco sparveriushas sex-related differences in habitat use during the non-breeding season, with females occupying more open habitats than males. Two competing hypotheses have been proposed to explain this phenomenon: (1) males and females prefer different habitats, and (2) males and females prefer similar habitats, but larger females exclude smaller males from preferred areas. This study experimentally investigated habitat selection in wintering kestrels by temporarily removing kestrels from areas, and then observing the numbers and sex of the kestrels that occupied vacated areas. The home ranges of 20 birds (10 males and 10 females) were mapped and their occupants removed. Areas vacated in early winter (November 1994) were filled more quickly than those vacated in late winter (February 1995). Areas previously held by females were reoccupied more frequently than were those previously occupied by males. Female kestrels reoccupied vacated female areas more than vacated male areas. Male kestrels reoccupied vacated female and male areas equally. The results demonstrate that (1) high-quality kestrel habitat may be limited in the non-breeding season, (2) vacated areas are more likely to be reoccupied in the early winter than in late winter, (3) female kestrels appear at an advantage relative to males in occupying scarce and competed-for areas, and (4) male kestrels will use female areas when female occupants have been removed. It is hypothesized that open habitats are preferred over less open habitats because the former offer reduced risk of predation from bird-eating hawks.
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...
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.
Tomiyama, Takeshi; Omori, Michio
Juveniles of both stone flounder Platichthys bicoloratus and starry flounder Platichthys stellatus utilize estuaries as nursery grounds. To understand their habitat selection and the functions of habitats such as food supply, we defined the seasonal distribution of recently settled fish of these species in shallow nursery areas and investigated their feeding habits in the Natori River estuary, Japan. Distribution of stone flounder was limited to the lower estuary (olivacea and the mysid Neomysis awatschensis, respectively; however, 1- and 2-yr-old fish of both stone and starry flounders fed mainly on the bivalve siphons. These results indicate that habitat selections of juvenile stone and starry flounders enable utilization of preferred prey and predator avoidance, respectively, and that non-overlap of these species' habitats results in avoidance of inter-specific competition for food between these two species.
Full Text Available Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822 is one of world's rarest endangered species (IUCN 2008. Currently, their distribution is limited to Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP of Indonesia. Natural disasters, disease, poaching, encroachment, and competition are threats facing Javan rhino's population, hence creating pockets of habitats outside the UKNP was necessary and should be based on scientific studies of javan rhino utilization distribution and habitat selection in UKNP as the natural habitat. The objectives of the study were to determine the utilization distribution of Javan rhino and its habitat characteristics and determine javan rhino habitat selection within UKNP. The research indicated that Javan rhinos highest use of areas comprised of swampy shrub (w = 2.197 and shrub (w = 2.012, relatively open habitat (w = 4.233, flat area (w = 1.313 and slightly sloping areas (w = 1.007, lowland (w = 1.346, close to river (w = 1.087, close to road network (w = 1.395, close to coasts/beaches (w = 1.862, close to wallowing areas (w = 3.709, and close to rumpang (w = 3.783. The results suggested that javan rhino showed selection and preferences for its habitat.Keywords: javan rhino, utilization distribution, habitat selection, preferences
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
Durner, G.M.; Douglas, D.C.; Nielson, R.M.; Amstrup, Steven C.; McDonald, T.L.; Stirling, I.; Mauritzen, Mette; Born, E.W.; Wiig, O.; Deweaver, E.; Serreze, Mark C.; Belikov, Stanislav; Holland, M.M.; Maslanik, J.; Aars, Jon; Bailey, D.A.; Derocher, A.E.
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
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.
Reserve design is concerned with optimal selection of sites for new conservation areas. Spatial reserve design explicitly considers the spatial pattern of the proposed reserve network and the effects of that pattern on reserve cost and/or ability to maintain species there. The vast majority of reserve selection formulations have assumed a linear problem structure, which effectively means that the biological value of a potential reserve site does not depend on the pattern of selected cells. However, spatial population dynamics and autocorrelation cause the biological values of neighboring sites to be interdependent. Habitat degradation may have indirect negative effects on biodiversity in areas neighboring the degraded site as a result of, for example, negative edge effects or lower permeability for animal movement. In this study, I present a formulation and a spatial optimization algorithm for nonlinear reserve selection problems in grid-based landscapes that accounts for interdependent site values. The method is demonstrated using habitat maps and nonlinear habitat models for threatened birds in the Netherlands, and it is shown that near-optimal solutions are found for regions consisting of up to hundreds of thousands grid cells, a landscape size much larger than those commonly attempted even with linear reserve selection formulations.
Vélez-Espino, Luis A
In conservation biology there is a basic need to determine habitat suitability and availability. Astroblepus ubidiai (Siluriforms), the only native fish in the highlands of Imbabura province in the Ecuadorian Andes, was abundant in the past in the Imbakucha watershed and adjacent drainages, but currently it is restricted to a few isolated refuges. Conservation actions are needed if this unique fish is to persist. A Habitat Suitability Index (HSI) for the species has been developed in order to aid management decisions. In this HSI model biomass density (B) was selected as a better indicator of habitat quality than either abundance or density. A population well-being index (PI) was constructed with the combination of B and an indicator of fish health (proportion of fish in the population with parasites and deformities). Based in other models of benthic fish the habitat variables current velocity, flow, depth, width, cover, invertebrate composition, vegetation type, terrestrial vegetation, land use, substrate, temperature, pH, TDS, oxygen, altitude, and slope were included in the analysis. An anthropogenic perturbation index (H) and a fragment isolation index (FII) were developed and included as habitat variables as well. The HSI model was applied to refuges and a sample of 15 aquatic bodies without fish populations within the study region. From the sampled sites without A. ubidiai 26.6% presented low quality, and the remaining 73.3% had medium quality according to the HSI estimated. Good quality habitat for dispersal, escape or translocations is rare in the region. The low HSIs estimated in some of the refuges suggests that current populations are not settled in the most favorable habitat but in the habitat least favorable to the agents of decline.
Frank R., III Thompson
Habitat models are widely used in bird conservation planning to assess current habitat or populations and to evaluate management alternatives. These models include species-habitat matrix or database models, habitat suitability models, and statistical models that predict abundance. While extremely useful, these approaches have some limitations.
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.
Klaassen, Marcel; Ens, Bruno J.
We tried to unravel the possible links between the skewed predation risk in Uca tangeri (where large individuals are more at risk from avian predators) and size-dependent changes in the physiology and habitat choice of this fiddler crab species. Over a transect running from low to high in the tidal zone of a beach in Mauritania, the temperature profile at various depths in the substrate, the water-table level of seep water, salt concentration of seep water, depth of the aerobic level, operative temperatures on the surface, and size distribution of crabs were assessed. In addition, resting metabolic rates, Q 10 and thermal and starvation tolerances were estimated. Going from low to high in the tidal zone, crab size and burrow depth increased. At the preferred burrowing depth, microclimatological conditions appeared to be equally favourable at all sites. At the surface, conditions were more favourable low in the tidal zone, where also food availability is sufficient to enable small crabs to forage in the vicinity of their burrows. Large crabs have higher energy requirements and are thereby forced to forage in flocks low in the tidal zone where food is probably more abundant. Low in the tidal zone, digging deeply is impossible as the aerobic layer is rather thin. Large crabs prefer living high in the tidal zone as (1) deep burrows ensure better protection against predators, (2) more time is available for digging holes and (3) the substrate is better suited for reproduction. Energy reserves in late summer ensured an average of 34 days of survival. It is argued that the allotment of energy to growth must be considerable even in reproducing animals; the rewards of growth being the disproportional increase in reproductive output with size.
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.
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.
Sadeh, Asaf; Mangel, Marc; Blaustein, Leon
Structural complexity generally reduces predation and cannibalism rates. Although the benefits from this effect vary among environmental contexts and through time, it has been the common explanation for high species abundance in complex habitats. We hypothesized that oviposition habitat selection for structural complexity depends on the expected trophic function of the progeny. In Salamandra infraimmaculata larvae, expected trophic function is dictated by their sequence of deposition. First cohorts cannibalize later-arriving cohorts, while all compete for shared prey resources. In a mesocosm experiment, we show that gravid salamanders facing conspecific-free pools preferred structurally simple habitats (no rocks), while females facing only pools with older conspecific larvae preferred complex habitats (with rocks). Context-dependent preference of habitat complexity for managing food/safety trade-offs may be extended from classic foraging patch decisions to breeding habitat selection. These trade-offs vary with dynamic larval processes such as priority effects and ontogenetic diet shifts, potentially leading to complex maternal parturition behaviours.
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.
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
Beerens, James M.; Gawlik, Dale E.; Herring, Garth; Cook, Mark I.
Seasonal and annual variation in food availability during the breeding season plays an influential role in the population dynamics of many avian species. In highly dynamic ecosystems like wetlands, finding and exploiting food resources requires a flexible behavioral response that may produce different population trends that vary with a species' foraging strategy. We quantified dynamic foraging-habitat selection by breeding and radiotagged White Ibises (Eudocimus albus) and Great Egrets (Ardea alba) in the Florida Everglades, where fluctuation in food resources is pronounced because of seasonal drying and flooding. The White Ibis is a tactile “searcher” species in population decline that specializes on highly concentrated prey, whereas the Great Egret, in a growing population, is a visual “exploiter” species that requires lower prey concentrations. In a year with high food availability, resource-selection functions for both species included variables that changed over multiannual time scales and were associated with increased prey production. In a year with low food availability, resource-selection functions included short-term variables that concentrated prey (e.g., water recession rates and reversals in drying pattern), which suggests an adaptive response to poor foraging conditions. In both years, the White Ibis was more restricted in its use of habitats than the Great Egret. Real-time species—habitat suitability models were developed to monitor and assess the daily availability and quality of spatially explicit habitat resources for both species. The models, evaluated through hindcasting using independent observations, demonstrated that habitat use of the more specialized White Ibis was more accurately predicted than that of the more generalist Great Egret.
Hatten, James R.; Batt, Thomas R.; Scoppettone, Gayton G.; Dixon, Christopher J.
Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea) is a critically endangered thermophilic minnow native to the Muddy River ecosystem in southeastern Nevada, USA. Restricted to temperatures between 26.0 and 32.0°C, these fish are constrained to the upper two km of the Muddy River and several small tributaries fed by warm springs. Habitat alterations, nonnative species invasion, and water withdrawals during the 20th century resulted in a drastic decline in the dace population and in 1979 the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge) was created to protect them. The goal of our study was to determine the potential effects of reduced surface flows that might result from groundwater pumping or water diversions on Moapa dace habitat inside the Refuge. We accomplished our goal in several steps. First, we conducted snorkel surveys to determine the locations of Moapa dace on three warm-spring tributaries of the Muddy River. Second, we conducted hydraulic simulations over a range of flows with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. Third, we developed a set of Moapa dace habitat models with logistic regression and a geographic information system. Fourth, we estimated Moapa dace habitat over a range of flows (plus or minus 30% of base flow). Our spatially explicit habitat models achieved classification accuracies between 85% and 91%, depending on the snorkel survey and creek. Water depth was the most significant covariate in our models, followed by substrate, Froude number, velocity, and water temperature. Hydraulic simulations showed 2-11% gains in dace habitat when flows were increased by 30%, and 8-32% losses when flows were reduced by 30%. To ensure the health and survival of Moapa dace and the Muddy River ecosystem, groundwater and surface-water withdrawals and diversions need to be carefully monitored, while fully implementing a proactive conservation strategy.
James R Hatten
Full Text Available Moapa dace (Moapa coriacea is a critically endangered thermophilic minnow native to the Muddy River ecosystem in southeastern Nevada, USA. Restricted to temperatures between 26.0 and 32.0 °C, these fish are constrained to the upper two km of the Muddy River and several small tributaries fed by warm springs. Habitat alterations, nonnative species invasion, and water withdrawals during the 20th century resulted in a drastic decline in the dace population and in 1979 the Moapa Valley National Wildlife Refuge (Refuge was created to protect them. The goal of our study was to determine the potential effects of reduced surface flows that might result from groundwater pumping or water diversions on Moapa dace habitat inside the Refuge. We accomplished our goal in several steps. First, we conducted snorkel surveys to determine the locations of Moapa dace on three warm-spring tributaries of the Muddy River. Second, we conducted hydraulic simulations over a range of flows with a two-dimensional hydrodynamic model. Third, we developed a set of Moapa dace habitat models with logistic regression and a geographic information system. Fourth, we estimated Moapa dace habitat over a range of flows (plus or minus 30% of base flow. Our spatially explicit habitat models achieved classification accuracies between 85% and 91%, depending on the snorkel survey and creek. Water depth was the most significant covariate in our models, followed by substrate, Froude number, velocity, and water temperature. Hydraulic simulations showed 2-11% gains in dace habitat when flows were increased by 30%, and 8-32% losses when flows were reduced by 30%. To ensure the health and survival of Moapa dace and the Muddy River ecosystem, groundwater and surface-water withdrawals and diversions need to be carefully monitored, while fully implementing a proactive conservation strategy.
We developed a spatially-explicit, flexible 3-parameter habitat suitability model that can be used to identify and predict areas at higher risk for non-native dwarf eelgrass (Zostera japonica) invasion. The model uses simple environmental parameters (depth, nearshore slope, and salinity) to quantitatively describe habitat suitable for Z. japonica invasion based on ecology and physiology from the primary literature. Habitat suitability is defined with values ranging from zero to one, where one denotes areas most conducive to Z. japonica and zero denotes areas not likely to support Z. japonica growth. The model was applied to Yaquina Bay, Oregon, USA, an area that has well documented Z. japonica expansion over the last two decades. The highest suitability values for Z. japonica occurred in the mid to upper portions of the intertidal zone, with larger expanses occurring in the lower estuary. While the upper estuary did contain suitable habitat, most areas were not as large as in the lower estuary, due to inappropriate depth, a steeply sloping intertidal zone, and lower salinity. The lowest suitability values occurred below the lower intertidal zone, within the Yaquina River channel. The model was validated by comparison to a multi-year time series of Z. japonica maps, revealing a strong predictive capacity. Sensitivity analysis performed to evaluate the contribution of each parameter to the model prediction revealed that depth was the most important factor. Sh
van Beest, Floris M; Uzal, Antonio; Vander Wal, Eric; Laforge, Michel P; Contasti, Adrienne L; Colville, David; McLoughlin, Philip D
Density is a fundamental driver of many ecological processes including habitat selection. Theory on density-dependent habitat selection predicts that animals should be distributed relative to profitability of habitat, resulting in reduced specialization in selection (i.e. generalization) as density increases and competition intensifies. Despite mounting empirical support for density-dependent habitat selection using isodars to describe coarse-grained (interhabitat) animal movements, we know little of how density affects fine-grained resource selection of animals within habitats [e.g. using resource selection functions (RSFs)]. Using isodars and RSFs, we tested whether density simultaneously modified habitat selection and within-habitat resource selection in a rapidly growing population of feral horses (Equus ferus caballus Linnaeus; Sable Island, Nova Scotia, Canada; 42% increase in population size from 2008 to 2012). Among three heterogeneous habitat zones on Sable Island describing population clusters distributed along a west-east resource gradient (west-central-east), isodars revealed that horses used available habitat in a density-dependent manner. Intercepts and slopes of isodars demonstrated a pattern of habitat selection that first favoured the west, which generalized to include central and east habitats with increasing population size consistent with our understanding of habitat quality on Sable Island. Resource selection functions revealed that horses selected for vegetation associations similarly at two scales of extent (total island and within-habitat zone). When densities were locally low, horses were able to select for sites of the most productive forage (grasslands) relative to those of poorer quality. However, as local carrying capacity was approached, selection for the best of available forage types weakened while selection for lower-quality vegetation increased (and eventually exceeded that of grasslands). Isodars can effectively describe coarse
Wallis de Vries, M.F.
Livestock grazing in low-intensity farming systems is a key aspect in the conservation of Europe's biodiversity, which reaches high levels of species richness in semi-natural grasslands. With the demise of traditional grazing systems, the design of viable low-intensity grazing systems for the future requires a good understanding of grazing impacts on biodiversity. Here, I review various scale-dependent aspects of selective grazing and how they may affect biodiversity. Insects such as butterfl...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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...
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.
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.
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
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.
Cram, Jeremy M.; Torgersen, Christian E.; Klett, Ryan S.; Pess, George R.; May, Darran; Pearsons, Todd N.; Dittman, Andrew H.
Spawning site selection by female salmon is based on complex and poorly understood tradeoffs between the homing instinct and the availability of appropriate habitat for successful reproduction. Previous studies have shown that hatchery-origin Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) released from different acclimation sites return with varying degrees of fidelity to these areas. To investigate the possibility that homing fidelity is associated with aquatic habitat conditions, we quantified physical habitat throughout 165 km in the upper Yakima River basin (Washington, USA) and mapped redd and carcass locations from 2004 to 2008. Principal components analysis identified differences in substrate, cover, stream width, and gradient among reaches surrounding acclimation sites, and canonical correspondence analysis revealed that these differences in habitat characteristics were associated with spatial patterns of spawning (p < 0.01). These analyses indicated that female salmon may forego spawning near their acclimation area if the surrounding habitat is unsuitable. Evaluating the spatial context of acclimation areas in relation to surrounding habitat may provide essential information for effectively managing supplementation programs and prioritizing restoration actions.
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
Rohan Benjankar; Daniele Tonina; Alessandra Marzadri; Jim McKean; Daniel J. Isaak
Understanding the role of stream hydrologic and morphologic variables on the selection of spawning sites by salmonid fishes at high resolution across broad scales is needed for effective habitat restoration and protection. Here we used remotely sensed meter-scale channel bathymetry for a 13.5 km reach of Chinook salmon spawning stream in central Idaho to...
Jonathan G. Dudley; Victoria A. Saab; Jeffrey P. Hollenbeck
We examined foraging-habitat selection of Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus) in burned forests of southwestern Idaho during 2000 and 2002 (6 and 8 years following wildfire). This woodpecker responds positively to large-scale fire disturbances and may be at risk from logging and post-fire management. With 100 radio-locations of four adult males, we used...
distribution. Herpetological Review 32:191. Clark, E.E. 2003. Relocation and population modeling for gopher tortoise recovery. M.S. Thesis...Gopherus polyphemus in northern Florida. Journal of Herpetology 26:158-165. Diemer, J.E. 1992b. Demography of the tortoise Gopherus polyphemus...in northern Florida. Journal of Herpetology 26:281-289. ERDC/CERL TR-07-1 33 Dozier, J., and J. Stowe. 1999. Tillman Sand Ridge Heritage
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 habitat suitability models can be highly useful tools for guiding invasive species monitoring
Feng, Xian-Bin; Zhu, Yong-Jiu; Li, Xi; He, Yong-Feng; Zhao, Jian-Hua; Yang, De-Guo
Under the conditions of simulated micro-habitat in laboratory, and by using experimental ecological methods, this paper evaluated the suitability index (HSI) of young Procypris rabaudi for habitat factors (substrate, light intensity and water depth). The habitat suitability models of the young P. rabaudi were established, and the minimum habitat area of the young P. rabaudi was estimated. The young P. rabaudi preferred the habitats with the gravel diameter from 10 to 15 cm, light intensity from 0.2 to 1.8 lx, and water depth from 0 to 15 cm (distance from the bottom of the tank). The three suitability index models of the substrate, light intensity and water depth for the young P. rabaudi were SI(s) = 1.7338e(-0.997x)(SI(S) is the suitability index of substrate, and x is the gravel diameter; R2 = 0.89, P suitability index of light intensity, and x is the light intensity; R2 = 0.93, P suitability index of water depth, and x is the water depth; R2 = 0.97, P model HSI = (SI(S)+SI(L)+SI(W))/3 was most available for the estimation of the habitat suitability of young P. rabaudi. A total of seven groups of young P. rabaudi which established and maintained a relatively stable habitat area range were found. This habitat area ranged from 628 to 2015 cm2, with an average of 1114 cm2.
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.
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.
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.
Steyaert, Sam M J G; Zedrosser, Andreas; Rosell, Frank
Habitat selection is a context-dependent mechanism, in which both the internal state as well as external factors affect the behavior and decisions of an individual. This is well known for polygamous mammals, which are typically sexually dimorphic, and often express great variability in behavior and habitat selection between individuals as well between the sexes. Among monogamous mammals, however, variability in habitat selection should be explained by group characteristics and the presence of offspring rather than by sex. We evaluated this hypothesis in a socially monogamous rodent, the Eurasian beaver (Castor fiber), in a saturated Norwegian population. For the first time in this species we applied GPS tracking devices (N = 22 adult beavers, in 15 territories, 2009-2013), and used resource selection functions (i) to document population-wide habitat selection and the importance of 'territory' therein, and (ii) to evaluate which socio-ecological factors explained potential individual differences in habitat selection. We found that variation in habitat selection was stronger between territories than between years or individuals nested by territory. We identified that family size and the presence of kits, but not sex, explained individual variation in habitat selection. Adults with kits and/or larger families tended to exhibit low risk-taking behavior (avoiding human-related variables such as roads, buildings, and agricultural land), and stayed close to their main lodge (parental care). Our results show that habitat selection is a context-dependent mechanism even in a species which expresses very little behavioral and morphological dimorphism.
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.
Timothy A Gowan
Full Text Available The coastal waters off the southeastern United States (SEUS are a primary wintering ground for the endangered North Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis, used by calving females along with other adult and juvenile whales. Management actions implemented in this area for the recovery of the right whale population rely on accurate habitat characterization and the ability to predict whale distribution over time. We developed a temporally dynamic habitat model to predict wintering right whale distribution in the SEUS using a generalized additive model framework and aerial survey data from 2003/2004 through 2012/2013. We built upon previous habitat models for right whales in the SEUS and include data from new aerial surveys that extend the spatial coverage of the analysis, particularly in the northern portion of this wintering ground. We summarized whale sightings, survey effort corrected for probability of whale detection, and environmental data at a semimonthly resolution. Consistent with previous studies, sea surface temperature (SST, water depth, and survey year were significant predictors of right whale relative abundance. Additionally, distance to shore, distance to the 22°C SST isotherm, and an interaction between time of year and latitude (to account for the latitudinal migration of whales were also selected in the analysis presented here. Predictions from the model revealed that the location of preferred habitat differs within and between years in correspondence with variation in environmental conditions. Although cow-calf pairs were rarely sighted in the company of other whales, there was minimal evidence that the preferred habitat of cow-calf pairs was different than that of whale groups without calves at the scale of this study. The results of this updated habitat model can be used to inform management decisions for a migratory species in a dynamic oceanic environment.
Jeremy J Vaudo
Full Text Available Habitat selection decisions by consumers has the potential to shape ecosystems. Understanding the factors that influence habitat selection is therefore critical to understanding ecosystem function. This is especially true of mesoconsumers because they provide the link between upper and lower tropic levels. We examined the factors influencing microhabitat selection of marine mesoconsumers - juvenile giant shovelnose rays (Glaucostegus typus, reticulate whiprays (Himantura uarnak, and pink whiprays (H. fai - in a coastal ecosystem with intact predator and prey populations and marked spatial and temporal thermal heterogeneity. Using a combination of belt transects and data on water temperature, tidal height, prey abundance, predator abundance and ray behavior, we found that giant shovelnose rays and reticulate whiprays were most often found resting in nearshore microhabitats, especially at low tidal heights during the warm season. Microhabitat selection did not match predictions derived from distributions of prey. Although at a course scale, ray distributions appeared to match predictions of behavioral thermoregulation theory, fine-scale examination revealed a mismatch. The selection of the shallow nearshore microhabitat at low tidal heights during periods of high predator abundance (warm season suggests that this microhabitat may serve as a refuge, although it may come with metabolic costs due to higher temperatures. The results of this study highlight the importance of predators in the habitat selection decisions of mesoconsumers and that within thermal gradients, factors, such as predation risk, must be considered in addition to behavioral thermoregulation to explain habitat selection decisions. Furthermore, increasing water temperatures predicted by climate change may result in complex trade-offs that might have important implications for ecosystem dynamics.
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.
Boegh, Eva; Conallin, John; Karthikeyan, Matheswaran
required to conserve streams as biologically diverse and healthy ecosystems. Solutions to this intensifying conflict require a holistic approach whereby stream biota is related to their physical environment at catchment scale, as also demanded by the EU Water Framework Directive. In the present study......, climate impacts on stream ecological conditions were quantified by combining a heat and mass stream flow with a habitat suitability modelling approach. Habitat suitability indices were developed for stream velocity, water depth, water temperature and substrate. Generally, water depth was found...... to be the most critical factor for the stream ecological conditions at Sjælland, and field measurements show that water temperature is rising to damaging levels during low flow summer conditions. Using downstream longitudinal modelling of water flow and water temperature, it is found that shading by riparian...
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
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
model in order to provide a relative suitability of habitat in areas with overlapping critical habitat designation and USACE projects. The model results...2006). The model will be formulated based on the key spatial parameters and regional value ranges to determine relative nesting habitat suitability ...Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: A comparison of habitat suitability index models . Chelonian Conservation and Biology 5(2):175–187. Varela-Acevedo, E., K. L
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.
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
Bartlett, Lewis J; Newbold, Tim; Purves, Drew W; Tittensor, Derek P; Harfoot, Michael B J
Habitat loss and fragmentation are major threats to biodiversity, yet separating their effects is challenging. We use a multi-trophic, trait-based, and spatially explicit general ecosystem model to examine the independent and synergistic effects of these processes on ecosystem structure. We manipulated habitat by removing plant biomass in varying spatial extents, intensities, and configurations. We found that emergent synergistic interactions of loss and fragmentation are major determinants of ecosystem response, including population declines and trophic pyramid shifts. Furthermore, trait-mediated interactions, such as a disproportionate sensitivity of large-sized organisms to fragmentation, produce significant effects in shaping responses. We also show that top-down regulation mitigates the effects of land use on plant biomass loss, suggesting that models lacking these interactions-including most carbon stock models-may not adequately capture land-use change impacts. Our results have important implications for understanding ecosystem responses to environmental change, and assessing the impacts of habitat fragmentation. © 2016 The Authors.
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
Fauchald, Per; Langeland, Knut; Ims, Rolf A.; Yoccoz, Nigel G.; Bråthen, Kari Anne
The spatial and temporal distribution of forage quality is among the most central factors affecting herbivore habitat selection. Yet, for high latitude areas, forage quantity has been found to be more important than quality. Studies on large ungulate foraging patterns are faced with methodological challenges in both assessing animal movements at the scale of forage distribution, and in assessing forage quality with relevant metrics. Here we use first-passage time analyses to assess how reindeer movements relate to forage quality and quantity measured as the phenology and cover of growth forms along reindeer tracks. The study was conducted in a high latitude ecosystem dominated by low-palatable growth forms. We found that the scale of reindeer movement was season dependent, with more extensive area use as the summer season advanced. Small-scale movement in the early season was related to selection for younger stages of phenology and for higher abundances of generally phenologically advanced palatable growth forms (grasses and deciduous shrubs). Also there was a clear selection for later phenological stages of the most dominant, yet generally phenologically slow and low-palatable growth form (evergreen shrubs). As the summer season advanced only quantity was important, with selection for higher quantities of one palatable growth form and avoidance of a low palatable growth form. We conclude that both forage quality and quantity are significant predictors to habitat selection by a large herbivore at high latitude. The early season selectivity reflected that among dominating low palatability growth forms there were palatable phenological stages and palatable growth forms available, causing herbivores to be selective in their habitat use. The diminishing selectivity and the increasing scale of movement as the season developed suggest a response by reindeer to homogenized forage availability of low quality. PMID:24972188
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...
Matthiopoulos, J.; Fieberg, J.; Aarts, G.M.; Beyer, H.L.; Morales, J.M.; Haydon, D.T.
Although classical ecological theory (e.g., on ideal free consumers) recognizes the potential effect of population density on the spatial distribution of animals, empirical species distribution models assume that species–habitat relationships remain unchanged across a range of population sizes.
Brooke, Jarred M.; Peters, David C.; Unger, Ashley M.; Tanner, Evan P.; Harper, Craig A.; Keyser, Patrick D.; Clark, Joseph D.; Morgan, John J.
More than 600,000 ha of mine land have been reclaimed in the eastern United States, providing large contiguous tracts of early successional vegetation that can be managed for northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus). However, habitat quality on reclaimed mine land can be limited by extensive coverage of non-native invasive species, which are commonly planted during reclamation. We used discrete-choice analysis to investigate bobwhite resource selection throughout the year on Peabody Wildlife Management Area, a 3,330-ha reclaimed surface mine in western Kentucky. We used a treatment-control design to study resource selection at 2 spatial scales to identify important aspects of mine land vegetation and whether resource selection differed between areas with habitat management (i.e., burning, disking, herbicide; treatment) and unmanaged units (control). Our objectives were to estimate bobwhite resource selection on reclaimed mine land and to estimate the influence of habitat management practices on resource selection. We used locations from 283 individuals during the breeding season (1 Apr–30 Sep) and 136 coveys during the non-breeding season (1 Oct–Mar 31) from August 2009 to March 2014. Individuals were located closer to shrub cover than would be expected at random throughout the year. During the breeding season, individuals on treatment units used areas with smaller contagion index values (i.e., greater interspersion) compared with individuals on control units. During the non-breeding season, birds selected areas with greater shrub-open edge density compared with random. At the microhabitat scale, individuals selected areas with increased visual obstruction >1 m aboveground. During the breeding season, birds were closer to disked areas (linear and non-linear) than would be expected at random. Individuals selected non-linear disked areas during winter but did not select linear disked areas (firebreaks) because they were planted to winter wheat each fall and
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.
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.
Papadaki, Christina; Mentzafou, Aggeliki; Ntoanidis, Lazaros; Zogaris, Stamatis; Evelpidou, Niki; Argyropoulos, Demetris; Dimitriou, Elias
The aim of this study is to describe and assess changes in physical attributes of mesohabitat types in response to different flows in a Greek mountainous river. Hydraulic simulations were applied using two one-dimensional hydraulic models, MIKE 11 and HEC-RAS. The differences between the two models were analyzed by comparing their outputs against in situ measurements. A 200 m reach in Acheloos river was chosen as study site (Mesochora upstream) mainly because it is located in relatively undisturbed conditions (near reference conditions according to the Water Framework Directive) but also because there is intense interest for the construction of small hydroelectric plants in this area and in other mountainous rivers. Transects were typically placed in areas representative of the various habitat types, proportionally determined by a habitat mapping process at a larger stream segment. Each transect was permanently marked with metal rods to allow repeated measurements in time. The channel and floodplain were surveyed to create a digital elevation model (DEM) of the river. A detailed topographic survey with a GPS/GNSS Geomax - Zenith 20 was made using reference stations at geodetic control points for highest accuracy. Also, a gauging station was installed downstream of the reach in order to provide water level data in an hourly step. Hydraulic models were applied over a range of flows and river stages, based on past measurements. For selecting the control transects a thorough analysis of various parameters, such as habitat representativity, streambed slope and substrate types, was applied. In this way the habitat changes were described based on various flow scenarios over time. In a later step the results from the hydraulic models will be combined with fish habitat simulation curves (HSCs) focusing on the integration of mesohabitat and microhabitat types in the environmental flow assessment scheme.
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.
Anteau, Michael J.; Shaffer, Terry L.; Wiltermuth, Mark T.; Sherfy, Mark H.
How breeding birds distribute in relation to landscape-scale habitat features has important implications for conservation because those features may constrain habitat suitability. Furthermore, knowledge of these associations can help build models to improve area-wide demographic estimates or to develop a sampling stratification for research and monitoring. This is particularly important for rare species that have uneven distributions across vast areas, such as the federally listed piping plover (Charadrius melodus; hereafter plover). We examined how remotely-sensed landscape features influenced the distribution of breeding plover pairs among 2-km shoreline segments during 2006–2009 at Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota, USA. We found strong associations between remotely-sensed landscape features and plover abundance and distribution (R2 = 0.65). Plovers were nearly absent from segments with bluffs (>25 m elevation increase within 250 m of shoreline). Relative plover density (pairs/ha) was markedly greater on islands (4.84 ± 1.22 SE) than on mainlands (0.85 ± 0.17 SE). Pair numbers increased with abundance of nesting habitat (unvegetated-flat areas β^=0.28±0.08SE ). On islands, pair numbers also increased with the relative proportion of the total area that was habitat ( β^=3.27±0.46SE ). Our model could be adapted to estimate the breeding population of plovers or to make predictions that provide a basis for stratification and design of future surveys. Knowledge of landscape features, such as bluffs, that exclude use by birds refines habitat suitability and facilitates more accurate estimates of habitat and population abundance, by decreasing the size of the sampling universe. Furthermore, techniques demonstrated here are applicable to other vast areas where birds breed in sparse or uneven densities.
John M. Tirpak; D. Todd Jones-Farrand; Frank R. Thompson; Daniel J. Twedt; Charles K. Baxter; Jane A. Fitzgerald; William B. Uihlein
Emerging methods in habitat and wildlife population modeling promise new horizons in conservation but only if these methods provide robust population-habitat linkages. We used Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data to verify and validate newly developed habitat suitability index (HSI) models for 40 priority landbird species in the Central Hardwoods and West Gulf Coastal Plain...
Lakhdar Benkobi; Mark A. Rumble; Gary C. Brundige; Joshua J. Millspaugh
Wildlife habitat modeling is increasingly important for managers who need to assess the effects of land management activities. We evaluated the performance of a spatially explicit deterministic habitat model (Arc-Habcap) that predicts habitat effectiveness for elk. We used five years of radio-telemetry locations of elk from Custer State Park (CSP), South Dakota, to...
K.D. Fausch; C.L. Hawkes; M.G. Parsons
We reviewed mathematical models that predict standing crop of stream fish (number or biomass per unit area or length of stream) from measurable habitat variables and classified them by the types of independent habitat variables found significant, by mathematical structure, and by model quality. Habitat variables were of three types and were measured on different scales...
Hamm, Michaela; Drossel, Barbara
Spatial heterogeneity is an inherent property of any living environment and is expected to favour biodiversity due to a broader niche space. Furthermore, edges between different habitats can provide additional possibilities for species coexistence. Using computer simulations, this study examines metacommunities consisting of several trophic levels in heterogeneous environments in order to explore the above hypotheses on a community level. We model heterogeneous landscapes by using two different sized resource pools and evaluate the combined effect of dispersal and heterogeneity on local and regional species diversity. This diversity is obtained by running population dynamics and evaluating the robustness (i.e., the fraction of surviving species). The main results for regional robustness are in agreement with the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis, as the largest robustness is found in heterogeneous systems with intermediate dispersal rates. This robustness is larger than in homogeneous systems with the same total amount of resources. We study the edge effect by arranging the two types of resources in two homogeneous blocks. Different edge responses in diversity are observed, depending on dispersal strength. Local robustness is highest for edge habitats that contain the smaller amount of resource in combination with intermediate dispersal. The results show that dispersal is relevant to correctly identify edge responses on community level. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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
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.
de la Fuente, Ana Laura Carbajal; Dias-Lima, Artur; Lopes, Catarina Macedo; Emperaire, Laure; Walter, Annie; Ferreira, Agenor; Sherlock, Italo; Noireau, François
Triatoma pseudomaculata Corrêa and Espínola, 1964 and Triatoma juazeirensis Costa and Felix, 2007 ( = T. brasiliensis Neiva, 1911 [part]), are sylvatic vectors of Trypanosoma cruzi (Chagas, 1909), the causative agent of Chagas disease, in northeast Brazil-especially in the caatinga region. In an area of caatinga in the State of Bahia, we compared the wild and peridomestic habitats of these two species of Triatominae to assess their behavioral plasticity in relation to habitat selection in different environments. In the sylvatic environment, the habitat of these two species is never shared. T. pseudomaculata is found in trees and bird nests, but without apparent preference for any particular tree species. In contrast, T. juazeirensis is exclusively rupicolous (found among rocks). Both species invade peridomestic structures but do not display a significant ability to colonize human dwellings. In the peridomestic area, they are highly adaptable to different habitats and can occupy substrates that they do not colonize in the sylvatic environment. This behavioral plasticity seems to be more striking in T. juazeirensis-rupicolous in sylvatic environments but colonizing wooden structures in the peridomicile in >80% of cases.
Nagelkerke, C.J.; Menken, S.B.J.
In coarse-grained environments specialists are generally predicted to dominate. Empirically, however, coexistence with generalists is often observed. We present a simple, but previously unrecognized, mechanism for coexistence of a habitat generalist and a number of habitat specialist species. In our
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.
Full Text Available Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis has experienced population declines in both Canada and the United States and in 2010 was assigned a national listing of threatened in Canada. We conducted a two-year study (2004-2005 of this species at its northern range limit, the South Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Canada. Our main objective was to determine whether the habitat features that influenced nest-site selection also predicted nest success, or whether other factors (e.g. cavity dimensions, clutch initiation date or time of season were more important. Nest tree decay class, density of suitable cavities and total basal area of large trees were the best predictors of nest-site selection, but these factors were unrelated to nesting success. Estimates of demographic parameters (mean ± SE included daily nest survival rate (0.988±0.003, years combined, nest success (0.52±0.08, clutch size (5.00±0.14 eggs, female fledglings per successful nest (1.31±0.11, and annual productivity (0.68±0.12 female fledglings per nest per year. Although higher nest survival was associated with both early and late initiated clutches, early-initiated clutches allowed birds to gain the highest annual productivity as early clutches were larger. Nests in deep cavities with small entrances experienced lower predation risk especially during the peak period of nest predation. We concluded that nest-site selection can be predicted by a number of easily measured habitat variables, whereas nest success depended on complicated ecological interactions among nest predators, breeding behaviors, and cavity features. Thus, habitat-based conservation strategies should also consider ecological factors that may not be well predicted by habitat.
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
Lesley H Thorne
Full Text Available Predictive habitat models can provide critical information that is necessary in many conservation applications. Using Maximum Entropy modeling, we characterized habitat relationships and generated spatial predictions of spinner dolphin (Stenella longirostris resting habitat in the main Hawaiian Islands. Spinner dolphins in Hawai'i exhibit predictable daily movements, using inshore bays as resting habitat during daylight hours and foraging in offshore waters at night. There are growing concerns regarding the effects of human activities on spinner dolphins resting in coastal areas. However, the environmental factors that define suitable resting habitat remain unclear and must be assessed and quantified in order to properly address interactions between humans and spinner dolphins. We used a series of dolphin sightings from recent surveys in the main Hawaiian Islands and a suite of environmental variables hypothesized as being important to resting habitat to model spinner dolphin resting habitat. The model performed well in predicting resting habitat and indicated that proximity to deep water foraging areas, depth, the proportion of bays with shallow depths, and rugosity were important predictors of spinner dolphin habitat. Predicted locations of suitable spinner dolphin resting habitat provided in this study indicate areas where future survey efforts should be focused and highlight potential areas of conflict with human activities. This study provides an example of a presence-only habitat model used to inform the management of a species for which patterns of habitat availability are poorly understood.
Tonnis, Brandon; Grant, Peter R; Grant, B Rosemary; Petren, Kenneth
We investigated phylogeographic divergence among populations of Galápagos warble finches. Their broad distribution, lack of phenotypic differentiation and low levels of genetic divergence make warbler finches an appropriate model to study speciation in allopatry. A positive relationship between genetic and geographical distance is expected for island taxa. Warbler finches actually showed a negative isolation by distance relationship, causing us to reject the hypothesis of distance-limited dispersal. An alternative hypothesis, that dispersal is limited by habitat similarity, was supported. We found a positive correlation between genetic distances and differences in maximum elevation among islands, which is an indicator of ecological similarity. MtDNA sequence variation revealed monophyletic support for two distinct species. Certhidea olivacea have recently dispersed among larger central islands, while some Certhidea fusca have recently dispersed to small islands at opposite ends of the archipelago. We conclude that females have chosen to breed on islands with habitats similar to their natal environment. Habitat selection is implicated as an important component of speciation of warbler finches, which is the earliest known divergence of the adaptive radiation of Darwin's finches. These results suggest that small populations can harbour cryptic but biologically meaningful variation that may affect longer term evolutionary processes.
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.
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
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…
1 DISTRIBUTION STATEMENT A. Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited. FINAL REPORT Modeling of Habitat and Foraging Behavior of...distribution and foraging behavior and to describe inter-specific differences. Knowledge about foraging behavior and habitat preference and...Understanding habitat preference of 2 poorly known species, such as beaked whales, can lead to their visual identification during fieldwork and improved
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...
Mark D. Nelson; Brian G. Tavernia; Chris Toney; Brian F. Walters
Wildlife species-habitat matrices are used to relate lists of species with abundance of their habitats. The Forest Inventory and Analysis Program provides data on forest composition and structure, but these attributes may not correspond directly with definitions of wildlife habitats. We used FIA tree data and tree crown diameter models to estimate canopy cover, from...
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...
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.
Robert G. Haight; Brian Cypher; Patrick A. Kelly; Scott Phillips; Hugh P. Possingham; Katherine Ralls; Anthony M. Starfield; P.J. White; Daniel Williams
Expanding habitat protection is a common tactic for species conservation. When unprotected habitat is privately owned, decisions must be made about which areas to protect by land purchase or conservation easement. To address this problem, we developed an optimization framework for choosing the habitat protection strategy that minimizes the risk of population extinction...
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.
Full Text Available Abundance of common shrew (Sorex araneus was evaluated on selected forest sites in Moravia, Czech Republic. Six types of habitats were assessed: forest clearings and mature forests in lowlands (173 – 233 m, uplands (360 – 600 m, and mountains (600 – 1200 m. Data were collected over five‑year‑long periods; 2006 – 2010 (uplands and 2007 – 2011 (lowlands and mountains. Small terrestrial mammals were captured using snap traps laid in lines. In total, 200 individuals of common shrew were trapped. Relative abundance among different habitats was statistically evaluated. The highest relative abundance was found in mountain forest clearings (n = 132, rA = 0.719. Lower abundance was in upland forest clearings (n = 15, rA = 0.384, in mature mountain forests (n = 32, rA = 0.355, and in the lowland forest clearings (n = 9, rA = 0.109. The lowest abundance was in mature upland forests (n = 9, rA = 0.031 and in mature lowland forests (n = 3, rA = 0.011. Differences between sites were statistically significant. Among all altitudes, shrew populations in plantations were significantly more numerous than those in mature forests. Mountain forest clearings with dense herb layer proved to be the most suitable habitat while mature lowland forests with less developed herbaceous layer were the least suitable. Forest clearings proved to be an important refuge for the populations of common shrew.
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.
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...
John W. Edwards; Susan C. Loeb; David C. Guynn
Multiple regression and use-availability analyses are two methods for examining habitat selection. Use-availability analysis is commonly used to evaluate macrohabitat selection whereas multiple regression analysis can be used to determine microhabitat selection. We compared these techniques using behavioral observations (n = 5534) and telemetry locations (n = 2089) of...
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 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.
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.
Hammond, Kristina R; O'Keefe, Joy M; Aldrich, Stephen P; Loeb, Susan C
We know little about how forest bats, which are cryptic and mobile, use roosts on a landscape scale. For widely distributed species like the endangered Indiana bat Myotis sodalis, identifying landscape-scale roost habitat associations will be important for managing the species in different regions where it occurs. For example, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA, M. sodalis roosts are scattered across a heavily forested landscape, which makes protecting individual roosts impractical during large-scale management activities. We created a predictive spatial model of summer roosting habitat to identify important predictors using the presence-only modeling program MaxEnt and an information theoretic approach for model comparison. Two of 26 candidate models together accounted for >0.93 of AICc weights. Elevation and forest type were top predictors of presence; aspect north/south and distance-to-ridge were also important. The final average best model indicated that 5% of the study area was suitable habitat and 0.5% was optimal. This model matched our field observations that, in the southern Appalachian Mountains, optimal roosting habitat for M. sodalis is near the ridge top in south-facing mixed pine-hardwood forests at elevations from 260-575 m. Our findings, coupled with data from other studies, suggest M. sodalis is flexible in roost habitat selection across different ecoregions with varying topography and land use patterns. We caution that, while mature pine-hardwood forests are important now, specific areas of suitable and optimal habitat will change over time. Combining the information theoretic approach with presence-only models makes it possible to develop landscape-scale habitat suitability maps for forest bats.
Laboratory experiments with a rock-dwelling nocturnal gecko, Oedura lesueurii, showed that retreat-site selection (and other behaviours) are affected by the interplay between thermal benefits, social advantages and avoidance of predators. Velvet geckos were highly selective in habitat choice: they preferred artificial retreat-sites that mimic the thermal properties of natural rocks in full sun rather than those that mimic rocks in full shade; mature male geckos rarely shared retreat-sites with other adult males; and these lizards strongly avoided retreat-sites covered with the scent of a natural predator (the broadheaded snake, Hoplocephalus bungaroides). After documenting these preferences, we carried out additional trials in which two or more of these factors co-occurred, as is often the case in nature. Social dominance interacted with thermal benefits in determining retreat-site selection, with smaller (subordinate) males forced to use cooler retreat-sites when larger (dominant) males were present. Avoidance of predators was a higher priority than thermoregulation: the lizards would forego a warmer retreat-site with predator scent in favour of a cooler, unscented one. There was also an interplay between social dominance and predator scent: smaller males were forced to use either predator-scented retreat-sites or no retreat-site when larger males were present. General activity levels, and the frequencies of specific behavioural acts, also shifted in response to social and predator-scent cues. Our study emphasizes the complexity of habitat-selection behaviour in these lizards, and clarifies the criteria used in retreat-site selection when (as is commonly the case) the animal must choose between conflicting priorities. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour. Copyright 1998 The Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour.
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.
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.
Francisco G. Araújo
Full Text Available Distribution of anchovies (Clupeiformes, Engraulidae was described in the Sepetiba Bay, a coastal area of Southeastern Brazil, to assess eventual mechanisms of habitat selection. Two fish sampling programmes were accomplished; one using beach seine (1998/2000 to catch juveniles in sandy beaches, and the other, using seines (1999/2000 to catch adults in deeper bay areas. Six species representing 4 genera were recorded: Anchoa tricolor, Anchoa januaria, Anchoa lyolepis, Cetengraulis edentulus, Engraulis anchoita and Lycengraulis grossidens. Anchoa tricolor and A. januaria were the most abundant species, with the former peaking in the outer bay, while the latter peaking in the inner bay. Adults A. tricolor are target of heavy commercial fisheries in the bay during Spring-Summer, while E. anchoita, an abundant species in the continental shelf, was occasionally caught in large numbers during the Autumn. The habitat selection, by using two different bay areas, was developed by the two most abundant species, a probable mechanism to enable their coexistence.
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.
Full Text Available The white-clawed crayfish’s habitat has been profoundly modified in Piedmont (NW Italy due to environmental changes caused by human impact. Consequently, native populations have decreased markedly. In this research project, support vector machines were tested as possible tools for evaluating the ecological factors that determine the presence of white-clawed crayfish. A system of 175 sites was investigated, 98 of which recorded the presence of Austropotamobius pallipes. At each site 27 physical-chemical, environmental and climatic variables were measured according to their importance to A. pallipes. Various feature selection methods were employed. These yielded three subsets of variables that helped build three different types of models: (1 models with no variable selection; (2 models built by applying Goldberg’s genetic algorithm after variable selection; (3 models built by using a combination of four supervised-filter evaluators after variable selection. These different model types helped us realise how important it was to select the right features if we wanted to build support vector machines that perform as well as possible. In addition, support vector machines have a high potential for predicting indigenous crayfish occurrence, according to our findings. Therefore, they are valuable tools for freshwater management, tools that may prove to be much more promising than traditional and other machine-learning techniques.
Girish Arjun Punjabi
Full Text Available Fragmentation of native habitats is now a ubiquitous phenomenon affecting wildlife at various scales. We examined selection of den-sites (n = 26 by Indian foxes (Vulpes bengalensis in a highly modified short-grassland landscape in central India (Jan-May, 2010. At the scale of the home-range, defined by an 800 m circular buffer around den sites, we examined the effect of land-cover edges and roads on selection of sites for denning using a distance-based approach. At the smaller den-area scale, defined by a 25 m x 25 m plot around den and paired available sites, the effect of microhabitat characteristics was examined using discrete-choice models. Indian foxes selected den-sites closer to native grasslands (t = -9.57, P < 0.001 and roads (t = -2.04, P = 0.05 than random at the home-range scale. At the smaller scale, abundance of rodents and higher visibility increased the odds of selection of a site by eight and four times respectively, indicating resource availability and predator avoidance to be important considerations for foxes. Indian foxes largely chose to den in human-made structures, indicated by the proportion of dens found in earthen bunds (0.69 and boulder piles (0.27 in the study area. With agricultural expansion and human modification threatening native short-grassland habitats, their conservation and effective management in human-dominated landscapes will benefit the Indian fox. The presence of some human-made structures within native grasslands would also be beneficial for this den-dependent species. We suggest future studies examine the impact of fragmentation and connectivity of grasslands on survival and reproductive success of the Indian fox.
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...
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
In relation to the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), Danish water management has to change to a holistic management approach considering both groundwaters and surface waters at the same time. Furthermore the WFD introduces the concept "Good ecological status" where the quality of the biol......In relation to the European Water Framework Directive (WFD), Danish water management has to change to a holistic management approach considering both groundwaters and surface waters at the same time. Furthermore the WFD introduces the concept "Good ecological status" where the quality...... in Danish stream management and stream quality assessment. The stream Ledreborg catchment is modelled using a precipitation-run-off-model (NAM) and as an addition to the normal calibration procedure (Kronvang et al., 2000) the model is calibrated using DAISY adjusted evaporation data. The impact from...... groundwater abstraction upon stream discharge is assessed and in relation to this the relative importance of variations in precipitation, evaporation/temperature and groundwater abstraction are discussed. Physical habitat preferences for trout in the stream Ledreborg are assessed through a series of field...
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.
Sui, Pengzhe; Iwasaki, Akito; Ryo, Masahiro; Saavedra, Oliver; Yoshimura, Chihiro
Flow conditions play an important role in sustaining biodiversity of river ecosystem. However, their relations to freshwater fishes, especially to fish population density, have not been clearly described. This study, therefore, aimed to propose a new methodology to quantitatively link habitat conditions, including flow conditions and other physical conditions, to population density of fish species. We developed a basin-scale fish distribution model by integrating the concept of habitat suitability assessment with a distributed hydrological model (DHM) in order to estimate fish population density with particular attention to flow conditions. Generalized linear model (GLM) was employed to evaluate the relationship between population density of fish species and major environmental factors. The target basin was Sagami River in central Japan, where the river reach was divided into 10 sections by estuary, confluences of tributaries, and river-crossing structures (dams, weirs). The DHM was employed to simulate river discharge from 1998 to 2005, which was used to calculate 10 flow indices including mean discharge, 25th and 75th percentile discharge, duration of low and high flows, number of floods. In addition, 5 water quality parameters and 13 other physical conditions (such as basin area, river width, mean diameter of riverbed material, and number of river-crossing structures upstream and downstream) of each river section were considered as environmental variables. In case of Sagami River, 10 habitat variables among them were then selected based on their correlations to avoid multicollinearity. Finally, the best GLM was developed for each species based on Akaike's information criterion. As results, population densities of 16 fish species in Sagami River were modelled, and correlation coefficients between observed and calculated population densities for 10 species were more than 0.70. The key habitat factors for population density varied among fish species. Minimum
Bartelt, Paul E.; Peterson, Charles R.; Klaver, Robert W.
We used radio-telemetry to study the movements and habitat use of Western toads (Bufo boreas) in the Targhee National Forest in southeastern Idaho. Eighteen toads (10 male and 8 female) that bred in a seasonally flooded pond, were fitted with radio-transmitters, tracked, and their movements mapped and analyzed with global positioning and geographic information systems. We also analyzed their patterns of habitat selection at micro- and macro-scales by comparing sites used by toads with randomly selected sites. After breeding, two male and six female toads left the breeding pond and used terrestrial habitats extensively. Male and female toads showed different patterns of movement and habitat use, although all toads seemed to behave in ways that reduced loss of body water (e.g., such as traveling on nights of high humidity). Male toads traveled shorter distances from the pond than females (581 ± 98 m and 1105 ± 272 m, respectively). Female toads used terrestrial habitats extensively and were selective of cover types (e.g., shrub) that provided greater protection from dehydration. Female toads also preferred certain habitat edges and open forests over forests with closed canopies or clearcuts. Information from this study can assist land managers in establishing protective buffers and managing forests for the protection of toad populations.
Cassinello, Jorge; Acevedo, Pelayo; Hortal, Joaquín
from the original release location, in Sierra Espuña mountains, and validated using data from another free-ranging population, originated independently in the Alicante province. The habitat suitability model for the purely environmental niche predicts a potential distribution along a SW-NE axis......We studied the geographical distribution and habitat suitability of an introduced ungulate, the aoudad (Ammotragus lervia), that is currently expanding its range in south-eastern Iberian Peninsula. We assessed the niche of the species using Ecological Niche Factor Analysis (ENFA) on (1......) environmental variables (climate and habitat type), and (2) potential aoudad landscape avoidance and human disturbance variables. We compared both niche descriptions to study the impact of human interference on niche selection of the species. ENFA models were calibrated using data on the population expanded...
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.
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.
Quresh S. Latif; Victoria A. Saab; Kim Mellen-Mclean; Jonathan G. Dudley
Habitat suitability models can provide guidelines for species conservation by predicting where species of interest are likely to occur. Presence-only models are widely used but typically provide only relative indices of habitat suitability (HSIs), necessitating rigorous evaluation often using independently collected presence-absence data. We refined and evaluated...
Habitat suitability models are used to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. The development of habitat suitability models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to natural or anthropog...
Quresh S. Latif; Vicki Saab; Jeff P. Hollenbeck; Jonathan G. Dudley
Following wildfire, forest managers are challenged with meeting both socioeconomic demands (e.g., salvage logging) and mandates requiring habitat conservation for disturbance-associated wildlife (e.g., woodpeckers). Habitat suitability models for nesting woodpeckers can be informative, but tests of model transferability are needed to understand how broadly...
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.
Johnson, J. Matthew; Haig, Susan M.; Schwarz, Carl J.; Glendening, John W.; Burnett, L. Joseph; George, Daniel; Grantham, Jesse
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 their risk to
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
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
A survey of Lagoon Pond, Martha’s Vineyard, MA, USA was conducted in September 2005 to determine the combination of habitat factors most highly correlated with bay scallop (Argopecten irradians) abundance.
Oetjen, Katharina; Ferber, Steven; Dankert, Ilka; Reusch, Thorsten B. H.
Eelgrass Zostera marina is an ecosystem-engineering species of outstanding importance for coastal soft sediment habitats that lives in widely diverging habitats. Our first goal was to detect divergent selection and habitat adaptation at the molecular genetic level; hence, we compared three pairs of
Yan, S.; Wang, X.
Abstract: Water level changes in a shallow lake always introduce dramatic land pattern changes. To achieve sustainable ecosystem service, it is necessary to evaluate habitat quality dynamic and its spatio-temporal variation resulted from water level changes, which can provide a scientific basis for protection of biodiversity and planning of wetland ecological system. Landsat data in the spring was chosen to obtain landscape data at different times based on the high, moderate and low water level of Baiyangdian Shallow Lake. We used the InVEST to evaluate the habitat quality, habitat degradation, and habitat scarcity. The result showed that: 1) the water level of shallow lake changes from high to low lead to an obvious landscape pattern changes and habitat degradation. 2) the most change area occurred in northwestward and southwest of Baiyangdian Shallow Lake, which there was a 21 percent of suitable habitat and 42 percent of moderately suitable habitat lost. Our findings show that the changes of water level in the shallow lake would have a strong relationship with the habitat quality.Keywords: Habitat quality; Habitat degradation; Water level changes; InVEST model; Shallow lake
Nicholas J Gotelli
Full Text Available Plant and animal population sizes inevitably change following habitat loss, but the mechanisms underlying these changes are poorly understood. We experimentally altered habitat volume and eliminated top trophic levels of the food web of invertebrates that inhabit rain-filled leaves of the carnivorous pitcher plant Sarracenia purpurea. Path models that incorporated food-web structure better predicted population sizes of food-web constituents than did simple keystone species models, models that included only autecological responses to habitat volume, or models including both food-web structure and habitat volume. These results provide the first experimental confirmation that trophic structure can determine species abundances in the face of habitat loss.
Vezza, Paolo; Parasiewicz, Piotr; Spairani, Michele; Comoglio, Claudio
This study aimed to set out a new methodology for habitat modeling in high-gradient streams. The methodology is based on the mesoscale approach of the MesoHABSIM simulation system and can support the definition and assessment of environmental flow and habitat restoration measures. Data from 40 study sites located within the mountainous areas of the Valle d'Aosta, Piemonte and Liguria regions (Northwest Italy) were used in the analysis. To adapt MesoHABSIM to high-gradient streams, we first modified the data collection strategy to address the challenging conditions of surveys by using GIS and mobile mapping techniques. Secondly, we built habitat suitability models at a regional scale to enable their transferability among different streams with different morphologies. Thirdly, due to the absence of stream gauges in headwaters, we proposed a possible way to simulate flow time series and, therefore, generate habitat time series. The resulting method was evaluated in terms of time expenditure for field data collection and habitat-modeling potentials, and it represents a specific improvement of the MesoHABSIM system for habitat modeling in high-gradient streams, where other commonly used methodologies can be unsuitable. Through its application at several study sites, the proposed methodology adapted well to high-gradient streams and allowed the: (1) definition of fish habitat requirements for many streams simultaneously, (2) modeling of habitat variation over a range of discharges, and (3) determination of environmental standards for mountainous watercourses.
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.
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.
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...
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
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...
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...
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...
Duflot, R.; Avon, C.; Roche, P.; Bergès, L.
In response to the negative effects of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity, ecological network conservation and restoration has become a central objective in biodiversity conservation planning. Evaluating landscape functional connectivity for species and mapping ecological networks are key steps towards effective implementation of relevant actions, but both remain challenging. Habitat suitability models and spatial graphs are thought to provide conservation practitioners with useful informa...
Breininger, David R.
The Florida Scrub Jay is endemic to Florida. The John F. Kennedy Space Center (KSC) provides habitat for one of the three largest populations of the Florida Scrub Jay. This threatened bird occupies scrub, slash pine flatwoods, disturbed scrub, and coastal strand on KSC. Densities of Florida Scrub Jays were shown to vary with habitat characteristics but not necessarily with vegetation type. Relationships between Florida Scrub Jay densities and habitat characteristics were used to develop a habitat model to provide a tool to compare alternative sites for new facilities and to quantify environmental impacts. This model is being tested using long term demographic studies of colorbanded Florida Scrub Jays. Optimal habitat predicted by the model has greater than or equal to 50 percent of the shrub canopy comprised of scrub oaks, 20-50 percent open space or scrub oak vegetation within 100 m of a ruderal edge, less than or equal to 15 percent pine canopy cover, a shrub height of 120-170 cm, and is greater than or equal to 100 m from a forest. This document reviews life history, social behavior, food, foraging habitat, cover requirements, characteristics of habitat on KSC, and habitat preferences of the Florida Scrub Jay. Construction of the model and its limitations are discussed.
Waddle, H.R.; Coutant, C.C.; Wilson, J.L.
Summer habitat selection patterns of 18 adult striped bass (Morone saxatilis) in Cherokee Reservoir were monitored with externally attached temperature-sensing acoustic or radio transmitters from June through September 1977. Mortalities of adult striped bass in this reservoir were hypothesized to be related to high summer temperatures and low dissolved oxygen (DO). The inhabited areas or refuges differed from noninhabited areas by maintaining temperatures less than or equal to 22 C and DO concentrations greater than 5 mg/liter. Total water hardness, pH, and water transparency were not significantly different among refuges and noninhabited areas. Movement of fish outside refuges occurred more frequently and for longer periods during June when the summer pattern of high temperatures and low DO was less severe. Fish experienced temperatures between 15 and 27 C with mean temperatures of individuals ranging from 18.5 to 22.0 C. Several tagged fish migrated outside the refuges and selected the lowest available temperature, generally near 21 C, even though DO concentrations at these temperatures were 3 mg/liter or less. Long-term survival of tagged and nontagged fish outside refuges was undetermined because no fish were tracked outside a refuge for more than 12 days without being lost. This study indicates that temperature strongly influences the behavior of striped bass and that adults of this species may have a thermal preferendum of approximately 21 C.
McKinney, Richard A; Charpentier, Michael A; Wigand, Cathleen
We tested a previously described model to assess the wildlife habitat value of New England salt marshes by comparing modeled habitat values and scores with bird abundance and species richness at sixteen salt marshes in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island USA. As a group, wildlife habitat value assessment scores for the marshes ranged from 307-509, or 31-67% of the maximum attainable score. We recorded 6 species of wading birds (Ardeidae; herons, egrets, and bitterns) at the sites during biweekly survey. Species richness (r (2)=0.24, F=4.53, p=0.05) and abundance (r (2)=0.26, F=5.00, p=0.04) of wading birds significantly increased with increasing assessment score. We optimized our assessment model for wading birds by using Akaike information criteria (AIC) to compare a series of models comprised of specific components and categories of our model that best reflect their habitat use. The model incorporating pre-classification, wading bird habitat categories, and natural land surrounding the sites was substantially supported by AIC analysis as the best model. The abundance of wading birds significantly increased with increasing assessment scores generated with the optimized model (r (2)=0.48, F=12.5, p=0.003), demonstrating that optimizing models can be helpful in improving the accuracy of the assessment for a given species or species assemblage. In addition to validating the assessment model, our results show that in spite of their urban setting our study marshes provide substantial wildlife habitat value. This suggests that even small wetlands in highly urbanized coastal settings can provide important wildlife habitat value if key habitat attributes (e.g., natural buffers, habitat heterogeneity) are present.
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
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.
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.
Pigeon, Karine E; Cardinal, Etienne; Stenhouse, Gordon B; Côté, Steeve D
To fulfill their needs, animals are constantly making trade-offs among limiting factors. Although there is growing evidence about the impact of ambient temperature on habitat selection in mammals, the role of environmental conditions and thermoregulation on apex predators is poorly understood. Our objective was to investigate the influence of ambient temperature on habitat selection patterns of grizzly bears in the managed landscape of Alberta, Canada. Grizzly bear habitat selection followed a daily and seasonal pattern that was influenced by ambient temperature, with adult males showing stronger responses than females to warm temperatures. Cutblocks aged 0-20 years provided an abundance of forage but were on average 6 °C warmer than mature conifer stands and 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks. When ambient temperatures increased, the relative change (odds ratio) in the probability of selection for 0- to 20-year-old cutblocks decreased during the hottest part of the day and increased during cooler periods, especially for males. Concurrently, the probability of selection for 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks increased on warmer days. Following plant phenology, the odds of selecting 0- to 20-year-old cutblocks also increased from early to late summer while the odds of selecting 21- to 40-year-old cutblocks decreased. Our results demonstrate that ambient temperatures, and therefore thermal requirements, play a significant role in habitat selection patterns and behaviour of grizzly bears. In a changing climate, large mammals may increasingly need to adjust spatial and temporal selection patterns in response to thermal constraints.
Full Text Available Javan Hawk-Eagle (JHE, Nisaetus bartelsi which is endemic raptor in the natural forests of Java, Indonesia is categorized as one of the endangered. Small population size, severe habitat loss, forest fragmentation, and illegal hunting have contributed to the ‘‘endangered’’ status of this species. Moreover, conservation of this species has become a national priority. This study was being conducted because of the lack of information about the distribution of JHE’s remnants habitat which caused the proposed conservation strategies for JHE become difficult. This study aimed for updating data of JHE’s remnants habitat in West Java, analyzed its habitat patches distribution, and estimated the number of its populations. The previous study determined the habitat suitability probability modelling of JHE with used landsat images in 2002 at southern part of West Java. This study updated the model using the same logistic regression model equation in West Java overall. This study identified 17 remnant habitat patches (3 955 km2 scattered in West Java. The comparison with previous study showed that the size and number of patches was increased with the predicted number of JHE’s populations were about 39-195 (median = 117 pairs in southern part of West Java. Based on the results, we offer three recommendations to increase the survival of JHE’s habitat in West Java.Keywords: GIS, habitat remnants, logistic regression, Nisaetus bartelsi, patch.
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.
Tantipisanuh, Naruemon; Gale, George A; Pollino, Carmel
Bayesian networks (BN) have been increasingly used for habitat suitability modeling of threatened species due to their potential to construct robust models with limited survey data. However, previous applications of this approach have only occurred in countries where human and budget resources are highly available, but the highest concentrations of threatened vertebrates globally are located in the tropics where resources are much more limited. We assessed the effectiveness of Bayesian networks in generating habitat suitability models in Thailand, a biodiversity-rich country where the knowledge base is typically sparse for a wide range of threatened species. The Bayesian network approach was used to generate habitat suitability maps for 52 threatened vertebrate species in Thailand, using a range of evidence types, from relatively well-documented species with good local knowledge to poorly documented species, with few local experts. Published information and expert knowledge were used to define habitat requirements. Focal species were categorized into 22 groups based on known habitat preferences, and then habitat suitability models were constructed with outcomes represented spatially. Models had a consistent structure with three major components: potential habitat, known range, and threat level. Model classification sensitivity was tested using presence-only field data for 21 species. Habitat models for 12 species were relatively sensitive (>70% congruency between observed and predicted locations), three were moderately congruent, and six were poor. Classification sensitivity tended to be high for bird models and moderate for mammals, whereas sensitivity for reptiles was low, presumably reflecting the relatively poor knowledge base for reptiles in the region. Bayesian network models show significant potential for biodiversity-rich regions with scarce resources, although they require further refinement and testing. It is possible that one detailed ecological study is
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...
Meseck, Kristin April
Human propagated changes to the environment have adversely affected certain species while advantaging other species. Psittacines, or species that fall within the parrot family, have been found to be well adapted to modified environments. Over time, transportation of various parrot species for use in the exotic pet trade has caused accidental releases of individual parrots, resulting in species groups forming and colonizing in new, non-native environments, specifically urban and suburban ones. Amazona viridigenalis, the Red-crowned parrot, is a species that has adapted to living in several regions within the United States including Texas, Florida, and California. This species is endangered within its native range in the lowlands of eastern Mexico, yet has the largest population of any other psittacine species in California. Despite this interesting dichotomy this species remains severely understudied in its new range. Using geographic information systems and Maxent predictive model, this research aims to achieve a greater understanding of the extent of habitat suitable to the Amazona viridigenalis within San Diego County and the habitat variables that enable its establishment success. Presence locations where individuals of the species were using habitat were collected along with 12 important variables that represent Red-crowned parrot habitat elements. These were used in the creation of a predictive habitat model utilizing Maxent machine-learning technique. Three models were created using three different background extents from which the pseudo-absence points were generated. These models were tested for statistical significance and predictive accuracy. It was found that model performance significantly decreased with a decrease in size of model extent. The largest extent was chosen to model habitat using the five variables that were found to be the least correlated, achieved the most gain, and had the most explanatory power for the earlier models. The final model
Sturm, A.; Swart, Jan M.
Roč. 18, č. 1 (2008), s. 59-99 ISSN 1050-5164 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA201/06/1323; GA ČR GA201/07/0237 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z10750506 Keywords : Heterozygosity selection * rebellious voter model * branching * annihilation * survival * coexistence Subject RIV: BA - General Mathematics Impact factor: 1.285, year: 2008
Andrew L. Rypel; David R. Bayne
Large-scale habitat preferences of riverine taxa are not always revealed by examining community data. Here, we show how lipid and growth can be used to evaluate hydrologic habitat preferences of fishes resilient to river fragmentation (i.e. species that can tolerate river fragmentation by dams, but not collapse). Lipid content was examined for seven fishes in a major...
Jason W. Scott; Susan E. Meyer; Keith R. Merrill; Val J. Anderson
A central question of invasion biology is how an exotic species invades new habitats following its initial establishment. Three hypotheses to explain this expansion are: (1) the existence of 'general purpose' genotypes, (2) the in situ evolution of novel genotypes, and (3) the dispersal of existing specialized genotypes into habitats for which they are pre-...
El-Kareem Ismail, Tarek Gad
The present work aims to assess the spatial distribution, analyze shell utilization, shell fitness and determine the effect of coexistence of two hermit crabs Calcinus latens and Clibanarius signatus on used shell resources in various habitats on the Red Sea Coast. Also, to determine the choice of shells and investigate the shell species preference of C. latens and C. signatus in the laboratory. The hermit crabs C. latens and C. signatus were found to occupy shells of 39 gastropod species. The most commonly occupied gastropod shells are those belonging to genera Strombus, Nerita, Cerithium and Planaxis. The results showed that crab individuals utilized mainly the shell with elongate aperture. Laboratory experiments showed that two crab species preferred shells of Strombus followed by Cerithium and Nerita when offered shells of nearly similar size (optimal). Crab individuals showed a significant preference for optimal sized shells when given suboptimal shells as an alternative choice. Also, the hermit crabs avoid damaged shells when given a choice of optimal sized damaged shell and optimal sized intact one. In addition, two hermit crab species chose shells of smaller than optimal size when given a choice of damaged optimal sized shells and smaller intact ones. On the other hand, field observations showed that most crab individuals lived in adequate sized shells. The present data conclude that shell selection by hermit crabs C. latens and C. signatus depends mostly on shell internal volume, shell quality and shell aperture size than other factors, because they provide a maximum protection for hermit crabs.
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
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.
Lauria, Valentina; Power, Anne Marie; Lordan, Colm; Weetman, Adrian; Johnson, Mark P
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 shaping
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
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...
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...
Koehler, D.K.; Anderson, S.H.
Research has been conducted on various aspects of the ecology of wildlife residing on and adjacent to the Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA) and one other low-level radioactive waste disposal site on the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) in southeastern Idaho. Habitat use and food selection data were collected for deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus), montane voles (Microtus montanus), Ord's kangaroo rats (Dipodomys ordii), and Townsend's ground squirrels (Spermophilus townsendii) near a sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)/crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) interface. Significantly more captures occurred in the native sagebrush habitat than in areas planted in crested wheatgrass or in disturbed sites. Crested wheatgrass, a prolific seed producer, still accounted for over 30% of the total captures. Montane voles and Townsend's ground squirrels (during periods of aboveground activity) used the crested wheatgrass habitat throughout the summer, while deer mice and Ord's kangaroo rats exhibited heavy use after seed set
Anderson, Owen F.; Guinotte, John M.; Rowden, Ashley A.; Tracey, Dianne M.; Mackay, Kevin A.; Clark, Malcolm R.
Spatial management planning for vulnerable marine ecosystems (VME) across broad areas of un-sampled seafloor requires detailed predictions of species distribution. We utilised two habitat suitability modelling techniques, boosted regression trees (BRT) and maximum entropy (MaxEnt), to create potential distribution maps for 11 VME indicator taxa in the New Zealand area and adjacent seas. New bathymetry data were combined with existing environmental, chemical and physical data to produce a set of 45 predictor variables describing conditions at the seafloor. Nine of these variables were selected for use in the models based on low covariance and high explanatory power. Historical biological survey data were used to provide models with absence data (BRT) or target-group background data (MaxEnt). Model agreement was high, with each model predicting similar areas of suitable habitat both in the vicinity of known VME indicator taxa presence locations as well as across broad regions of un-sampled seafloor. Model performance measures, including cross-validation testing against sets of spatially independent data, did not clearly indicate a preferred modelling method across all taxa. Previous habitat suitability modelling efforts have rarely accounted for model precision, and in this study we used a bootstrap re-sampling technique to produce model uncertainty maps to accompany each habitat suitability map. Because of the similar performance of BRT and MaxEnt methods in this study, we conclude that the best approach to incorporating the results into decision-support tools for spatial conservation planning is to average predictions and uncertainty from both.
Bøcher, Peder Klith; Root-Bernstein, Meredith; Svenning, Jens-Christian
After centuries of range contraction, many megafauna species are recolonizing parts of Europe. One example is the red deer (Cervus elaphus), which was able to expand its range and is now found in half the areas it inhabited in the beginning of the 19th century. Herbivores are important ecosystem engineers, influencing e.g. vegetation. Knowledge on their habitat selection and their influence on ecosystems might be crucial for future landscape management, especially for hybrid and novel ecosystems emerging in post-industrial landscapes. In this study, red deer habitat selection was studied in a former brown-coal mining area in Denmark. Here, natural settings were severely changed during the mining activity and its current landscape is in large parts managed by hunters as suitable deer habitat. We assessed red deer habitat preferences through feces presence and camera traps combined with land cover data from vegetation sampling, remote sensing and official geographic data. Red deer occurrence was negatively associated with human disturbance and positively associated with forage availability, tree cover and mean terrain height. Apparently, red deer are capable of recolonizing former industrial landscapes quite well if key conditions such as forage abundance and cover are appropriate. In the absence of carnivores, human disturbance, such as a hunting regime is a main reason why deer avoid certain areas. The resulting spatial heterogeneity red deer showed in their habitat use of the study area might be a tool to preserve mosaic landscapes of forest and open habitats and thus promote biodiversity in abandoned post-industrial landscapes. PMID:28505192
Clark, Joseph D.; Dunn, James E.; Smith, Kimberly G.
Simple univariate statistical techniques may not adequately assess the multidimensional nature of habitats used by wildlife. Thus, we developed a multivariate method to model habitat-use potential using a set of female black bear (Ursus americanus) radio locations and habitat data consisting of forest cover type, elevation, slope, aspect, distance to roads, distance to streams, and forest cover type diversity score in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. The model is based on the Mahalanobis distance statistic coupled with Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. That statistic is a measure of dissimilarity and represents a standardized squared distance between a set of sample variates and an ideal based on the mean of variates associated with animal observations. Calculations were made with the GIS to produce a map containing Mahalanobis distance values within each cell on a 60- × 60-m grid. The model identified areas of high habitat use potential that could not otherwise be identified by independent perusal of any single map layer. This technique avoids many pitfalls that commonly affect typical multivariate analyses of habitat use and is a useful tool for habitat manipulation or mitigation to favor terrestrial vertebrates that use habitats on a landscape scale.
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
Beaked whale habitat typically is near a pelagic setting. Appropriate sites are at continental shelf edges, deep water islands, or seamounts . The ...formulation for vibro-acoustic problems in medicine and biology has been developed as part of this research (Krysl et al. In Press). To address the ...2007). Sound pathways revealed: Simulated Sound Transmission and Reception in Ziphius cavirostris. 17th Biennial Conference on the Biology of Marine
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.
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
Terrado, Marta; Sabater, Sergi; Chaplin-Kramer, Becky; Mandle, Lisa; Ziv, Guy; Acuña, Vicenç
There is a growing pressure of human activities on natural habitats, which leads to biodiversity losses. To mitigate the impact of human activities, environmental policies are developed and implemented, but their effects are commonly not well understood because of the lack of tools to predict the effects of conservation policies on habitat quality and/or diversity. We present a straightforward model for the simultaneous assessment of terrestrial and aquatic habitat quality in river basins as a function of land use and anthropogenic threats to habitat that could be applied under different management scenarios to help understand the trade-offs of conservation actions. We modify the InVEST model for the assessment of terrestrial habitat quality and extend it to freshwater habitats. We assess the reliability of the model in a severely impaired basin by comparing modeled results to observed terrestrial and aquatic biodiversity data. Estimated habitat quality is significantly correlated with observed terrestrial vascular plant richness (R(2)=0.76) and diversity of aquatic macroinvertebrates (R(2)=0.34), as well as with ecosystem functions such as in-stream phosphorus retention (R(2)=0.45). After that, we analyze different scenarios to assess the suitability of the model to inform changes in habitat quality under different conservation strategies. We believe that the developed model can be useful to assess potential levels of biodiversity, and to support conservation planning given its capacity to forecast the effects of management actions in river basins. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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.
Cadol, Daniel; Elmore, Andrew J; Guinn, Steven M; Engelhardt, Katharina A M; Sanders, Geoffrey
Tidal habitats host a diversity of species and provide hydrological services such as shoreline protection and nutrient attenuation. Accretion of sediment and biomass enables tidal marshes and swamps to grow vertically, providing a degree of resilience to rising sea levels. Even if accelerating sea level rise overcomes this vertical resilience, tidal habitats have the potential to migrate inland as they continue to occupy land that falls within the new tide range elevations. The existence of developed land inland of tidal habitats, however, may prevent this migration as efforts are often made to dyke and protect developments. To test the importance of inland migration to maintaining tidal habitat abundance under a range of potential rates of sea level rise, we developed a spatially explicit elevation tracking and habitat switching model, dubbed the Marsh Accretion and Inundation Model (MAIM), which incorporates elevation-dependent net land surface elevation gain functions. We applied the model to the metropolitan Washington, DC region, finding that the abundance of small National Park Service units and other public open space along the tidal Potomac River system provides a refuge to which tidal habitats may retreat to maintain total habitat area even under moderate sea level rise scenarios (0.7 m and 1.1 m rise by 2100). Under a severe sea level rise scenario associated with ice sheet collapse (1.7 m by 2100) habitat area is maintained only if no development is protected from rising water. If all existing development is protected, then 5%, 10%, and 40% of the total tidal habitat area is lost by 2100 for the three sea level rise scenarios tested.
Matchett, Elliott L.; Fleskes, Joseph P.; Young, Charles A.; Purkey, David R.
The amount and quality of natural resources available for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife habitats are expected to decrease throughout the world in areas that are intensively managed for urban and agricultural uses. Changes in climate and management of increasingly limited water supplies may further impact water resources essential for sustaining habitats. In this report, we document adapting a Water Evaluation and Planning (WEAP) system model for the Central Valley of California. We demonstrate using this adapted model (WEAP-CVwh) to evaluate impacts produced from plausible future scenarios on agricultural and wetland habitats used by waterbirds and other wildlife. Processed output from WEAP-CVwh indicated varying levels of impact caused by projected climate, urbanization, and water supply management in scenarios used to exemplify this approach. Among scenarios, the NCAR-CCSM3 A2 climate projection had a greater impact than the CNRM-CM3 B1 climate projection, whereas expansive urbanization had a greater impact than strategic urbanization, on annual availability of waterbird habitat. Scenarios including extensive rice-idling or substantial instream flow requirements on important water supply sources produced large impacts on annual availability of waterbird habitat. In the year corresponding with the greatest habitat reduction for each scenario, the scenario including instream flow requirements resulted in the greatest decrease in habitats throughout all months of the wintering period relative to other scenarios. This approach provides a new and useful tool for habitat conservation planning in the Central Valley and a model to guide similar research investigations aiming to inform conservation, management, and restoration of important wildlife habitats.
Full Text Available Tidal habitats host a diversity of species and provide hydrological services such as shoreline protection and nutrient attenuation. Accretion of sediment and biomass enables tidal marshes and swamps to grow vertically, providing a degree of resilience to rising sea levels. Even if accelerating sea level rise overcomes this vertical resilience, tidal habitats have the potential to migrate inland as they continue to occupy land that falls within the new tide range elevations. The existence of developed land inland of tidal habitats, however, may prevent this migration as efforts are often made to dyke and protect developments. To test the importance of inland migration to maintaining tidal habitat abundance under a range of potential rates of sea level rise, we developed a spatially explicit elevation tracking and habitat switching model, dubbed the Marsh Accretion and Inundation Model (MAIM, which incorporates elevation-dependent net land surface elevation gain functions. We applied the model to the metropolitan Washington, DC region, finding that the abundance of small National Park Service units and other public open space along the tidal Potomac River system provides a refuge to which tidal habitats may retreat to maintain total habitat area even under moderate sea level rise scenarios (0.7 m and 1.1 m rise by 2100. Under a severe sea level rise scenario associated with ice sheet collapse (1.7 m by 2100 habitat area is maintained only if no development is protected from rising water. If all existing development is protected, then 5%, 10%, and 40% of the total tidal habitat area is lost by 2100 for the three sea level rise scenarios tested.
Cotes, Belén; Rännbäck, Linda Marie; Björkman, Maria
To locate and evaluate host patches before oviposition, parasitoids of herbivorous insects utilize plant volatiles and host-derived cues, but also evaluate predator-derived infochemicals to reduce predation risks. When foraging in host habitats infested with entomopathogenic fungi that can infect...... 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...... the behavior of Trybliographa rapae, a parasitoid of D. radicum. Olfactometer bioassays revealed that T. rapae avoided fungal infested host habitats and that this was dependent on fungal species and density. In particular, the parasitoid avoided habitats with high densities of the more virulent fungus, M...
Linderman, Marc Alan
We examined an approach to classifying understory bamboo, the staple food of the giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca), from remote sensing imagery in the Wolong Nature Reserve, China. We also used these data to estimate the landscape-scale distribution of giant panda habitat, and model the human effects on forest cover and the spatio-temporal dynamics of bamboo and the resulting implications for giant panda habitat. The spatial distribution of understory bamboo was mapped using an artificial neural network and leaf-on remote sensing data. Training on a limited set of ground truth data and using widely available Landsat TM data as input, a non-linear artificial neural network achieved a classification accuracy of 80% despite the presence of co-occurring mid-story and understory vegetation. Using information on the spatial distribution of bamboo in Wolong, we compared the results of giant panda habitat analyses with and without bamboo information. Total amount of habitat decreased by 29--56% and overall habitat patch size decreased by 16--48% after bamboo information was incorporated into the analyses. The decreases in the quantity of panda habitat and increases in habitat fragmentation resulted in decreases of 41--60% in carrying capacity. Using a spatio-temporal model of bamboo dynamics and human activities, we found that local fuelwood collection and household creation will likely reduce secondary habitat relied upon by pandas. Human impacts would likely contribute up to an additional 16% loss of habitat. Furthermore, these impacts primarily occur in the habitat relied upon by giant pandas during past bamboo die-offs. Decreased total area of habitat and increased fragmentation from human activities will likely make giant pandas increasingly sensitive to natural disturbances such as cyclical bamboo die-offs. Our studies suggest that it is necessary to further examine approaches to monitor understory vegetation and incorporate understory information into wildlife
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.
Silveira, T C L; Gama, A M S; Alves, T P; Fontoura, N F
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.
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.
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
Wereszczuk, Anna; Zalewski, Andrzej
Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina) and pine marten (Martes martes) occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF), to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and/or food
Full Text Available Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina and pine marten (Martes martes occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF, to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and
Wereszczuk, Anna; Zalewski, Andrzej
Coexistence of ecologically similar species relies on differences in one or more dimensions of their ecological niches, such as space, time and resources in diel and/or seasonal scales. However, niche differentiation may result from other mechanisms such as avoidance of high predation pressure, different adaptations or requirements of ecologically similar species. Stone marten (Martes foina) and pine marten (Martes martes) occur sympatrically over a large area in Central Europe and utilize similar habitats and food, therefore it is expected that their coexistence requires differentiation in at least one of their niche dimensions or the mechanisms through which these dimensions are used. To test this hypothesis, we used differences in the species activity patterns and habitat selection, estimated with a resource selection function (RSF), to predict the relative probability of occurrence of the two species within a large forest complex in the northern geographic range of the stone marten. Stone martens were significantly heavier, have a longer body and a better body condition than pine martens. We found weak evidence for temporal niche segregation between the species. Stone and pine martens were both primarily nocturnal, but pine martens were active more frequently during the day and significantly reduced the duration of activity during autumn-winter. Stone and pine martens utilized different habitats and almost completely separated their habitat niches. Stone marten strongly preferred developed areas and avoided meadows and coniferous or deciduous forests. Pine marten preferred deciduous forest and small patches covered by trees, and avoided developed areas and meadows. We conclude that complete habitat segregation of the two marten species facilitates sympatric coexistence in this area. However, spatial niche segregation between these species was more likely due to differences in adaptation to cold climate, avoidance of high predator pressure and/or food
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.
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
Full Text Available Ground coverage by woody and herbaceous plant species and standing biomass of vegetation susceptible to being grazed upon were estimated in a 156 km2 area where 190 muskoxen were censused during the preceding autumn. Habitat use was estimated with droppings census. Six terrestrial habitat types were delineated on 1:32 000 aerial photographs and randomly sampled: low shrub on xeric sites (LSX; 64 km2, low shrub on mesic sites (LSM; 45 km2, bare ground (BG; 27 km2, forest-tundra (FT; 12 km2, wet meadow (WM; 2 km2 and riparian willows (RW; 1 km2. Dominant plant species varied greatly between habitat types, and only a few such as Betula glandulosa, Salix arctophila, and Polygonum viviparum were common. Tall shrubs were present only in RW where they covered most of the ground, and in FT. Low shrubs were uniformly distributed and covered 18-32% of the ground, with the exception of RW (5%. Ground cover by herbs had a similar range (i.e. 20-37%, except in RW where the mean exceeded 50%. Mosses and lichens occupied about half of the ground everywhere. Phytomass exhibited great variation within and between habitat types; extreme values averaged 892 kg*ha-1 in LSX, and 1965 kg*ha-1 in LSM. However the difference was not significant due to limited sample size and within habitat variance. Nevertheless the mass of herbaceous dicots was greater in RW than in any other habitat type. Total phytomass was 2-20 times greater in northern Québec than in Greenland. Based on droppings density, muskoxen preferred RW over BG and FT, and LSX over BG. Although the density of muskoxen in the study area was high relative to other muskox ranges, habitat quality and quantity should allow continued population growth.
Rybinski, Jakub; Sirkiä, Päivi M; McFarlane, S Eryn; Vallin, Niclas; Wheatcroft, David; Ålund, Murielle; Qvarnström, Anna
Competition-driven evolution of habitat isolation is an important mechanism of ecological speciation but empirical support for this process is often indirect. We examined how an on-going displacement of pied flycatchers from their preferred breeding habitat by collared flycatchers in a young secondary contact zone is associated with (a) access to an important food resource (caterpillar larvae), (b) immigration of pied flycatchers in relation to habitat quality, and (c) the risk of hybridization in relation to habitat quality. Over the past 12 years, the estimated access to caterpillar larvae biomass in the habitat surrounding the nests of pied flycatchers has decreased by a fifth due to shifted establishment possibilities, especially for immigrants. However, breeding in the high quality habitat has become associated with such a high risk of hybridization for pied flycatchers that overall selection currently favors pied flycatchers that were forced to immigrate into the poorer habitats (despite lower access to preferred food items). Our results show that competition-driven habitat segregation can lead to fast habitat isolation, which per se caused an opportunity for selection to act in favor of future "voluntarily" altered immigration patterns and possibly strengthened habitat isolation through reinforcement. © 2016 The Author(s). Evolution © 2016 The Society for the Study of Evolution.
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.
Rinaldi, A.; Montalto, V.; Manganaro, A.; Mazzola, A.; Mirto, S.; Sanfilippo, M.; Sarà, G.
Quantitative tools based on mechanistic modelling of functional traits able to enhance the sustainability of aquaculture and most other human activities (i.e. reducing the likelihood of detrimental impacts optimising productions), are especially important factors in the decision to site aquaculture facilities in coastal lakes, ponds and lagoons and, in the case of detrimental impact, to adopt mitigation measures. We tested the ability of mechanistic functional trait based models to predict life history traits of cultivable shellfish in shallow coastal lakes. Dynamic Energy Budget (DEB) models were run to generate spatially explicit predictions of Mytilus galloprovincialis life history (LH) traits (e.g. body size and fecundity). Using fortnightly data of food supply and hourly data of body temperatures, and exploiting the power of mechanistic rules, we estimated the amount of faeces ejected by a fixed quantity of organisms cultivated in two shallow Southern Mediterranean (Sicily) lakes. These differed in terms of temperature and food density, implying large differences in life history traits of mussels in the two study areas. This information could help facilitate the selection of sites where environmental conditions are more suitable for aquaculture and contextually compatible with sustainability. The validation exercise obtained by comparing the predicted and observed data was nearly consistent. Therefore, a mechanistic functional traits-based model seems able to capture the link between habitat characteristics and functional traits of organisms, delineating the fundamental portion of an ecological niche, the possibility of predicting LH traits and potential ecological applications in the management of natural coastal resources.
Li, Hou-Feng; Fujisaki, Ikuko; Su, Nan-Yao
Coptotermes gestroi (Wasmann) is an important structural pest reported from Asia, Pacific islands, North America, Caribbean islands, South America, and Indian Ocean islands. This study summarized previous records of C. gestroi and its synonyms, presenting 184 infested counties from 24 countries. Based on the geo-references occurrence locations and global raster data of climate, geography, and human population, C. gestroi were found most commonly in warm, high precipitation, low altitude, and human populated areas. By using species distribution models, we predicted its current infested area (model 1), habitat suitability (model 2), and probability of introduction (model 3) on a global scale. The results showed its recorded locations and the predicted distribution of the present day are similar, but the suitable habitat is larger than its current distribution. The patterns of the introduction frequency (model 3) and habitat suitability (model 2) are inconsistent. Temperate cities with high introduction risk are located in Europe, United Sates, northeastern China, and Japan where habitat suitability is low and hence successful colonization is unlikely. In tropics and subtropics, habitat suitability of C. gestroi is high. We speculate that continuous urbanization and increasing human population will increase its introduction frequency and cause further extension in fast developing tropical and subtropical countries.
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.
Kudari, V A; Kadadevaru, G G; Kanamadi, R D
Water quality survey was undertaken to study the current status of water quality of some lentic habitats of Dharwad, Haveri and Uttar Kannada districts, to provide a baseline data, comprising study of their main physical and chemical characteristics and also to evaluate the recent limnological changes those have occurred over a time period in some lentic habitats. Trophic status was also analysed. Present study reveals that Unkal lake, and B.K. Shigigatti tank of Dharwad district, Timmapur, Hosalli, and Krishnapur tanks of Haveri district are fast progressing towards hypereutrophication. Of the other tanks, Galgi tank of Dharwad district, Gudgur, Hanamapur, Medleri, and Kadkol tanks of Haveri district have reached the eutrophic stage. The anthropogenic activities, sewage and fertilizers used in agricultural fields appear to be the major causes of the eutrophication in these tanks. If the habitats have to be preserved for their intended use, sustainable and holistic management measures for the remediation of the tanks are an immediate necessity.
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.
U Mamat Rahmat
Full Text Available Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822 is the rarest species among 5 species of rhinos in the world. Its distribution is currently limited only in Ujung Kulon National Park (UKNP, Indonesia. Due to the small population size and its limited distribution, it is listed as critically endangered species in the IUCN Redlist. The main objectives of this research were: 1 to identify the dominant habitat components that determine the presence of javan rhino in UKNP; 2 to analyze habitat suitability of javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus Desmarest 1822 in UKNP using geographical information system; and 3 to examine its habitat condition. Results of the research found eight components identified to be crucial for Javan rhino habitat and appropriate for spatial modelling of habitat suitability, of which four were the most dominant factors influencing the frequency of javan rhino presence. These four dominants factors were slope, distance from wallow sites, distance from rumpang (open area, and distance from beach (pKeywords: Javan rhino, habitat suitability, preference, spatial modelling
Iglecia, Monica N.; Collazo, Jaime A.; McKerrow, Alexa
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.
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.
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.
Rainho, Ana; Palmeirim, Jorge M.
Many bats are threatened by habitat loss, but opportunities to manage their habitats are now increasing. Success of management depends greatly on the capacity to determine where and how interventions should take place, so models predicting how animals use landscapes are important to plan them. Bats are quite distinctive in the way they use space for foraging because (i) most are colonial central-place foragers and (ii) exploit scattered and distant resources, although this increases flying costs. To evaluate how important distances to resources are in modelling foraging bat habitat suitability, we radio-tracked two cave-dwelling species of conservation concern (Rhinolophus mehelyi and Miniopterus schreibersii) in a Mediterranean landscape. Habitat and distance variables were evaluated using logistic regression modelling. Distance variables greatly increased the performance of models, and distance to roost and to drinking water could alone explain 86 and 73% of the use of space by M. schreibersii and R. mehelyi, respectively. Land-cover and soil productivity also provided a significant contribution to the final models. Habitat suitability maps generated by models with and without distance variables differed substantially, confirming the shortcomings of maps generated without distance variables. Indeed, areas shown as highly suitable in maps generated without distance variables proved poorly suitable when distance variables were also considered. We concluded that distances to resources are determinant in the way bats forage across the landscape, and that using distance variables substantially improves the accuracy of suitability maps generated with spatially explicit models. Consequently, modelling with these variables is important to guide habitat management in bats and similarly mobile animals, particularly if they are central-place foragers or depend on spatially scarce resources. PMID:21547076
The suitability of watershed habitat to support the livelihood of its biota primarily depends on managing flow. Ecological restoration requires finding opportunities to reallocate available water in a watershed to increase ecological benefits and maintain other beneficial uses. We present the Watershed Area of Suitable Habitat (WASH) systems model that recommends reservoir releases, streamflows, and water allocations throughout a watershed to maximize the ecosystem habitat quality. WASH embeds and aggregates area-weighted metrics for aquatic, floodplain, and wetland habitat components as an ecosystem objective to maximize, while maintaining water deliveries for domestic and agricultural uses, mass balance, and available budget for restoration actions. The metrics add spatial and temporal functionality and area coverage to traditional habitat quality indexes and can accommodate multiple species of concern. We apply the WASH model to the Utah portion of the Bear River watershed which includes 8 demand sites, 5 reservoirs and 37 nodes between the Utah-Idaho state line and the Great Salt Lake. We recommend water allocations to improve current conservation efforts and show tradeoffs between human and ecosystem uses of water. WASH results are displayed on an open-source web mapping application that allows stakeholders to access, visualize, and interact with the model data and results and compare current and model-recommended operations. Results show that the Bear River is largely developed and appropriated for human water uses. However, increasing reservoirs winter and early spring releases and minimizing late spring spill volumes can significantly improve habitat quality without harming agricultural or urban water users. The spatial and temporal reallocation of spring spills to environmental uses creates additional 70 thousand acres of suitable habitat in the watershed without harming human users. WASH also quantifies the potential environmental gains and losses from
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...
Evelyn L. Bull
Several species of toads (family Bufonidae), including the Western Toad (bufo boreas) have declined in the Western United States. Information on toad ecology and habitat use is essential to determine potential causes for population declines, as is the potential relationship between this information and disturbance events. Aspects of western toad...
Fire significantly influenced bontebok habitat use equally during the old and new burning regimes. Herbivores did not distinguish between the two predominant vegetation types at Bontebok National Park. However, previously disturbed areas with Cynodon dactylon lawns were favoured by most herbivores despite not being ...
Feb 21, 1990 ... rainfall variation, fire, vegetation and habitat physiognomy on a northern Cape animal community. S. Afr. J. WildJ. Res. 11: 87-104. DU TOrr,1.T. 1988. Patterns of resource use within the browsing ruminant guild in the central Kruger National Park. UnpUblished Ph.D. thesis, University of the Witwatersrand,.
or cobble substrate, increased channel depth and width and distance from the bank, and reduced flow velocity. Exotic riparian vegetation cover was avoided, and in-stream woody debris was underutilised. This species may be vulnerable to further population decline in light of its habitat preferences...
Since Royston and Altman's 1994 publication ( Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series C 43: 429-467), fractional polynomials have steadily gained popularity as a tool for flexible parametric modeling of regression relationships. In this article, I present fp_select, a postestimation tool for fp that allows the user to select a parsimonious fractional polynomial model according to a closed test procedure called the fractional polynomial selection procedure or function selection procedure. I also give a brief introduction to fractional polynomial models and provide examples of using fp and fp_select to select such models with real data.
Sonntag, Nicole; Garthe, Stefan; Adler, Sven
After the breeding season, Slavonian grebes ( Podiceps auritus) leave their freshwater breeding habitats and migrate to wintering grounds in marine or brackish waters. The most important wintering area in northwestern Europe is located in the southern Baltic Sea, with the largest concentrations in the offshore area of the Pommeranian Bight. Analysis of ship-based surveys revealed that the habitat selection of Slavonian grebes in this brackish area is significantly influenced by water depth and bottom sediment type. The grebes prefer shallow waters of 4-14 m depth and occur only over sandy sediments. While the diving depths of endothermic animals is limited due to energetic constraints and thermoregulation, sediment type is regarded to be a proxy for food choice. The diet of Slavonian grebes in the Pomeranian Bight consists mainly of demersal gobies (Gobiidae) that frequently occur over sandy bottom substrates.
Latif, Quresh S; Saab, Victoria A; Dudley, Jonathan G; Hollenbeck, Jeff P
To conserve habitat for disturbance specialist species, ecologists must identify where individuals will likely settle in newly disturbed areas. Habitat suitability models can predict which sites at new disturbances will most likely attract specialists. Without validation data from newly disturbed areas, however, the best approach for maximizing predictive accuracy can be unclear (Northwestern U.S.A.). We predicted habitat suitability for nesting Black-backed Woodpeckers (Picoides arcticus; a burned-forest specialist) at 20 recently (≤6 years postwildfire) burned locations in Montana using models calibrated with data from three locations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. We developed 8 models using three techniques (weighted logistic regression, Maxent, and Mahalanobis D (2) models) and various combinations of four environmental variables describing burn severity, the north-south orientation of topographic slope, and prefire canopy cover. After translating model predictions into binary classifications (0 = low suitability to unsuitable, 1 = high to moderate suitability), we compiled "ensemble predictions," consisting of the number of models (0-8) predicting any given site as highly suitable. The suitability status for 40% of the area burned by eastside Montana wildfires was consistent across models and therefore robust to uncertainty in the relative accuracy of particular models and in alternative ecological hypotheses they described. Ensemble predictions exhibited two desirable properties: (1) a positive relationship with apparent rates of nest occurrence at calibration locations and (2) declining model agreement outside surveyed environments consistent with our reduced confidence in novel (i.e., "no-analogue") environments. Areas of disagreement among models suggested where future surveys could help validate and refine models for an improved understanding of Black-backed Woodpecker nesting habitat relationships. Ensemble predictions presented here can help guide
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.
Lyndsie S Wszola
Full Text Available Understanding species-habitat relationships is vital to successful conservation, but the tools used to communicate species-habitat relationships are often poorly suited to the information needs of conservation practitioners. Here we present a novel method for translating a statistical species-habitat model, a regression analysis relating ring-necked pheasant abundance to landcover, into an interactive online tool. The Pheasant Habitat Simulator combines the analytical power of the R programming environment with the user-friendly Shiny web interface to create an online platform in which wildlife professionals can explore the effects of variation in local landcover on relative pheasant habitat suitability within spatial scales relevant to individual wildlife managers. Our tool allows users to virtually manipulate the landcover composition of a simulated space to explore how changes in landcover may affect pheasant relative habitat suitability, and guides users through the economic tradeoffs of landscape changes. We offer suggestions for development of similar interactive applications and demonstrate their potential as innovative science delivery tools for diverse professional and public audiences.
Habitat suitability models are useful to forecast how environmental change may affect the abundance or distribution of species of interest. In the case of harvested bivalves, those models may be used to estimate the vulnerability of this valued ecosystem good to stressors. Using ...
Broekhoven, Van E.; Adriaenssens, V.; Baets, De B.; Verdonschot, P.F.M.
A fuzzy rule-based approach was applied to a macroinvertebrate habitat suitability modelling problem. The model design was based on a knowledge base summarising the preferences and tolerances of 86 macroinvertebrate species for four variables describing river sites in springs up to small rivers in
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,
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.
Spatial Model of Sumatran Tiger (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) Potential Habitat Suitability in Bukit Barisan Selatan [Model Spasial Kesesuaian Habitat Harimau Sumatra (Panthera Tigris Sumatrae) Di Taman Nasional Bukit Barisan Selatan, Indonesia
Suyadi, Suyadi; Jaya, I Nengah Surati; Wijanarto, Antonius B; Wibisono, Haryo Tabah
This study describes on development of habitat suitability for Sumatran tiger in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP). In this study remotely-sensed data set were linked with tiger and it prey survey using camera trap to identify the environmental and human factors that influences the tiger's potential habitat, and to develop a spatial model as well as in BBSNP. All at once, the study showed that the potential model for estimating the tiger's potential habitat suitability could be deve...
Sasmal, Indrani; Jenks, Jonathan A.; Grovenburg, Troy W.; Datta, Shubham; Schroeder, Greg M.; Klaver, Robert W.; Honness, Kevin M.
The swift fox (Vulpes velox) was historically distributed in western South Dakota including the region surrounding Badlands National Park (BNP). The species declined during the mid-1800s, largely due to habitat loss and poisoning targeted at wolves (Canis lupis) and coyotes (C. latrans). Only a small population of swift foxes near Ardmore, South Dakota persisted. In 2003, an introduction program was initiated at BNP with swift foxes translocated from Colorado and Wyoming. We report on habitat use by female swift foxes during the pup-rearing season (May–July) in 2009. Analyses of location data from 13 radiomarked female foxes indicated disproportional use (P Ŷ = 1.01), sparse vegetation (Ŷ = 1.43) and prairie dog towns (Ŷ = 1.18) in proportion to their availability, whereas they were less likely to use woodland (Ŷ = 0.00), shrubland (Ŷ = 0.14), pasture/agricultural-land (Ŷ = 0.25) and development (Ŷ = 0.16) relative to availability. Swift foxes typically are located in habitats that provide greater visibility, such as shortgrass prairie and areas with sparse vegetation; which allow detection of approaching coyotes (e.g., primary predator of swift foxes).
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.
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
Verhoeven, K J F; Poorter, H; Nevo, E; Biere, A
Understanding the genetic basis of local adaptation requires insight in the fitness effects of individual loci under natural field conditions. While rapid progress is made in the search for genes that control differences between plant populations, it is typically unknown whether the genes under study are in fact key targets of habitat-specific natural selection. Using a quantitative trait loci (QTL) approach, we show that a QTL associated with flowering-time variation between two locally adapted wild barley populations is an important determinant of fitness in one, but not in the other population's native habitat. The QTL mapped to the same position as a habitat-specific QTL for field fitness that affected plant reproductive output in only one of the parental habitats, indicating that the genomic region is under differential selection between the native habitats. Consistent with the QTL results, phenotypic selection of flowering time differed between the two environments, whereas other traits (growth rate and seed weight) were under selection but experienced no habitat-specific differential selection. This implies the flowering-time QTL as a driver of adaptive population divergence. Our results from phenotypic selection and QTL analysis are consistent with local adaptation without genetic trade-offs in performance across environments, i.e. without alleles or traits having opposing fitness effects in contrasting environments.
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.
Froese, Jens G; Smith, Carl S; Durr, Peter A; McAlpine, Clive A; van Klinken, Rieks D
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.
Martin, Julien; Chamaillé-Jammes, Simon; Nichols, James D; Fritz, Hervé; Hines, James E; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J; MacKenzie, Darryl I; Bailey, Larissa L
The recent development of statistical models such as dynamic site occupancy models provides the opportunity to address fairly complex management and conservation problems with relatively simple models. However, surprisingly few empirical studies have simultaneously modeled habitat suitability and occupancy status of organisms over large landscapes for management purposes. Joint modeling of these components is particularly important in the context of management of wild populations, as it provides a more coherent framework to investigate the population dynamics of organisms in space and time for the application of management decision tools. We applied such an approach to the study of water hole use by African elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Here we show how such methodology may be implemented and derive estimates of annual transition probabilities among three dry-season states for water holes: (1) unsuitable state (dry water holes with no elephants); (2) suitable state (water hole with water) with low abundance of elephants; and (3) suitable state with high abundance of elephants. We found that annual rainfall and the number of neighboring water holes influenced the transition probabilities among these three states. Because of an increase in elephant densities in the park during the study period, we also found that transition probabilities from low abundance to high abundance states increased over time. The application of the joint habitat-occupancy models provides a coherent framework to examine how habitat suitability and factors that affect habitat suitability influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. We discuss how these simple models can further be used to apply structured decision-making tools in order to derive decisions that are optimal relative to specified management objectives. The modeling framework presented in this paper should be applicable to a wide range of existing data sets and should help to address important ecological
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.
Polit-Casillas, Raul; Howe, A. Scott
Current trends in design, construction and management of complex projects make use of Building Information Models (BIM) connecting different types of data to geometrical models. This information model allow different types of analysis beyond pure graphical representations. Space habitats, regardless their size, are also complex systems that require the synchronization of many types of information and disciplines beyond mass, volume, power or other basic volumetric parameters. For this, the state-of-the-art model based systems engineering languages and processes - for instance SysML - represent a solid way to tackle this problem from a programmatic point of view. Nevertheless integrating this with a powerful geometrical architectural design tool with BIM capabilities could represent a change in the workflow and paradigm of space habitats design applicable to other aerospace complex systems. This paper shows some general findings and overall conclusions based on the ongoing research to create a design protocol and method that practically connects a systems engineering approach with a BIM architectural and engineering design as a complete Model Based Engineering approach. Therefore, one hypothetical example is created and followed during the design process. In order to make it possible this research also tackles the application of IFC categories and parameters in the aerospace field starting with the application upon the space habitats design as way to understand the information flow between disciplines and tools. By building virtual space habitats we can potentially improve in the near future the way more complex designs are developed from very little detail from concept to manufacturing.
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.
Teal, L.R.; Marras, Stefano; Peck, M.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
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...
Lawler, J.J.; Edwards, T.C.
The ability to predict species occurrences quickly is often crucial for managers and conservation biologists with limited time and funds. We used measured associations with landscape patterns to build accurate predictive habitat models that were quickly and easily applied (i.e., required no additional data collection in the field to make predictions). We used classification trees (a nonparametric alternative to discriminant function analysis, logistic regression, and other generalized linear models) to model nesting habitat of red-naped sapsuckers (Sphyrapicus nuchalis), northern flickers (Colaptes auratus), tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor), and mountain chickadees (Parus gambeli) in the Uinta Mountains of northeastern Utah, USA. We then tested the predictive capability of the models with independent data collected in the field the following year. The models built for the northern flicker, red-naped sapsucker, and tree swallow were relatively accurate (84%, 80%, and 75% nests correctly classified, respectively) compared to the models for the mountain chickadee (50% nests correctly classified). All four models were more selective than a null model that predicted habitat based solely on a gross association with aspen forests. We conclude that associations with landscape patterns can be used to build relatively accurate, easy to use, predictive models for some species. Our results stress, however, that both selecting the proper scale at which to assess landscape associations and empirically testing the models derived from those associations are crucial for building useful predictive models.
http://www.ias.ac.in/article/fulltext/jbsc/026/01/0109-0120. Keywords. Aquatic ecosystems; chaos; modelling; order; scaling. Abstract. This work is focused on the role of diffusive interaction between separate habitats in a patchy environment in plankton pattern formation. We demonstrate that conceptual reaction—diffusion ...
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...
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...
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...
This work is focused on the role of diffusive interaction between separate habitats in a patchy environment in plankton pattern formation. We demonstrate that conceptual reaction—diffusion mathematical models constitute an appropriate tool for searching and understanding basic mechanisms of plankton pattern formation ...
Milanesi, Pietro; Holderegger, R; Caniglia, R; Fabbri, E; Galaverni, M; Randi, E
Landscape genetics aims to investigate functional connectivity among wild populations by evaluating the impact of landscape features on gene flow. Genetic distances among populations or individuals are generally better explained by least-cost path (LCP) distances derived from resistance surfaces than by simple Euclidean distances. Resistance surfaces reflect the cost for an organism to move through particular landscape elements. However, determining the effects of landscape types on movements is challenging. Because of a general lack of empirical data on movements, resistance surfaces mostly rely on expert knowledge. Habitat-suitability models potentially provide a more objective method to estimate resistance surfaces than expert opinions, but they have rarely been applied in landscape genetics so far. We compared LCP distances based on expert knowledge with LCP distances derived from habitat-suitability models to evaluate their performance in landscape genetics. We related all LCP distances to genetic distances in linear mixed effect models on an empirical data set of wolves (Canis lupus) from Italy. All LCP distances showed highly significant (P ≤ 0.0001) standardized β coefficients and R 2 values, but LCPs from habitat-suitability models generally showed higher values than those resulting from expert knowledge. Moreover, all LCP distances better explained genetic distances than Euclidean distances, irrespective of the approaches used. Considering our results, we encourage researchers in landscape genetics to use resistance surfaces based on habitat suitability which performed better than expert-based LCPs in explaining patterns of gene flow and functional connectivity.
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
Muñoz-Mas, Rafael; Martínez-Capel, Francisco; Schneider, Matthias; Mouton, Ans M
The implementation of the Water Framework Directive implies the determination of an environmental flow (E-flow) in each running water body. In Spain, many of the minimum flow assessments were determined with the physical habitat simulation system based on univariate habitat suitability curves. Multivariate habitat suitability models, widely applied in habitat assessment, are potentially more accurate than univariate suitability models. This article analyses the microhabitat selection by medium-sized (10-20 cm) brown trout (Salmo trutta fario) in three streams of the Jucar River Basin District (eastern Iberian Peninsula). The data were collected with an equal effort sampling approach. Univariate habitat suitability curves were built with a data-driven process for depth, mean velocity and substrate classes; three types of data-driven fuzzy models were generated with the FISH software: two models of presence-absence and a model of abundance. FISH applies a hill-climbing algorithm to optimize the fuzzy rules. A hydraulic model was calibrated with the tool River-2D in a segment of the Cabriel River (Jucar River Basin). The fuzzy-logic models and three methods to produce a suitability index from the three univariate curves were applied to evaluate the river habitat in the tool CASiMiR©. The comparison of results was based on the spatial arrangement of habitat suitability and the curves of weighted usable area versus discharge. The differences were relevant in different aspects, e.g. in the estimated minimum environmental flow according to the Spanish legal norm for hydrological planning. This work demonstrates the impact of the model's selection on the habitat suitability modelling and the assessment of environmental flows, based on an objective data-driven procedure; the conclusions are important for the water management in the Jucar River Basin and other river systems in Europe, where the environmental flows are a keystone for the achievement of the goals established
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.
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.
Lauria, V; Gristina, M; Attrill, M J; Fiorentino, F; Garofalo, G
Commercial fisheries have dramatically impacted elasmobranch populations worldwide. With high capture and bycatch rates, the abundance of many species is rapidly declining and around a quarter of the world's sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. At a regional scale this negative trend has also been evidenced in the central Mediterranean Sea, where bottom-trawl fisheries have affected the biomass of certain rays (e.g. Raja clavata) and sharks (e.g. Mustelus spp.). Detailed knowledge of elasmobranch habitat requirements is essential for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, but this is often hampered by a poor understanding of their spatial ecology. Habitat suitability models were used to investigate the habitat preference of nine elasmobranch species and their overall diversity (number of species) in relation to five environmental predictors (i.e. depth, sea surface temperature, surface salinity, slope and rugosity) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Results showed that depth, seafloor morphology and sea surface temperature were the main drivers for elasmobranch habitat suitability. Predictive distribution maps revealed different species-specific patterns of suitable habitat while high assemblage diversity was predicted in deeper offshore waters (400-800 m depth). This study helps to identify priority conservation areas and diversity hot-spots for rare and endangered elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea.
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
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.
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.
Bertin, Angeline; Gouin, Nicolas; Baumel, Alex; Gianoli, Ernesto; Serratosa, Juan; Osorio, Rodomiro; Manel, Stephanie
Positive species-genetic diversity correlations (SGDCs) are often thought to result from the parallel influence of neutral processes on genetic and species diversity. Yet, confounding effects of non-neutral mechanisms have not been explored. Here, we investigate the impact of non-neutral genetic diversity on SGDCs in high Andean wetlands. We compare correlations between plant species diversity and genetic diversity (GD) calculated with and without loci potentially under selection (outlier loci). The study system includes 2188 specimens from five species (three common aquatic macroinvertebrate and two dominant plant species) that were genotyped for 396 amplified fragment length polymorphism loci. We also appraise the importance of neutral processes on SGDCs by investigating the influence of habitat fragmentation features. Significant positive SGDCs were detected for all five species (mean SGDC = 0.52 ± 0.05). While only a few outlier loci were detected in each species, they resulted in significant decreases in GD and in SGDCs. This supports the hypothesis that neutral processes drive species-genetic diversity relationships in high Andean wetlands. Unexpectedly, the effects on genetic diversity GD of the habitat fragmentation characteristics in this study increased with the presence of outlier loci in two species. Overall, our results reveal pitfalls in using habitat features to infer processes driving SGDCs and show that a few loci potentially under selection are enough to cause a significant downward bias in SGDC. Investigating confounding effects of outlier loci thus represents a useful approach to evidence the contribution of neutral processes on species-genetic diversity relationships. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Niu, Jun-Ying; Heng, Nan-Nan; Zhang, Bin; Yuan, Xiao; Wang, Tian-Hou
From December 2009 to May 2010 goose and duck (Anatidae) community censuses in winter and shorebird (Charadriiforms) community censuses in spring were conducted across three types artificial wetlands (urban lake wetland, restorative wetland, abandoned wetland) along the coast of Nanhui, Shanghai. Correlation analyses were undertaken between community indices and habitat factors. The results showed there were significant differences in the density of geese and ducks among the wetlands, but no difference in the number of species. The density of geese and ducks in the restorative wetland was 3.77 times that of abandoned wetland and 6.03 times that of urban lake wetlands. The number of species and density of shorebirds in restorative wetlands was 2.88 and 5.70 times that of abandoned wetlands. We found significant differences in the number and density of shorebird species between restorative and abandoned wetlands. The number of species density of geese and ducks and the Shannon-Wiener (H') index were positively correlated with water area. The number of species and H' were negatively correlated with vegetation area. The number of species, species density and H' and evenness were negatively correlated with vegetation coverage. H' was positively correlated with mean water level. The results showed that the number and density of shorebird species were positively correlated with bare muddy areas. Aquaculture ponds and paddy fields in reclaimed area is efficient sufficient compensation mechanism to maintain more water areas for waterbirds and to control vegetation expansion and maintain shorebird habitat after coastal reclamation.
Devos, Nicolas; Renner, Matt A M; Gradstein, Robbert; Shaw, A Jonathan; Laenen, Benjamin; Vanderpoorten, Alain
• Shifts in sexual systems are among the most common and important transitions in plants and are correlated with a suite of life-history traits. The evolution of sexual systems and their relationships to gametophyte size, sexual and asexual reproduction, and epiphytism are examined here in the liverwort genus Radula. • The sequence of trait acquisition and the phylogenetic correlations between those traits was investigated using comparative methods. • Shifts in sexual systems recurrently occurred from dioecy to monoecy within facultative epiphyte lineages. Production of specialized asexual gemmae was correlated to neither dioecy nor strict epiphytism. • The significant correlations among life-history traits related to sexual systems and habitat conditions suggest the existence of evolutionary trade-offs. Obligate epiphytes do not produce gemmae more frequently than facultative epiphytes and disperse by whole gametophyte fragments, presumably to avoid the sensitive protonemal stage in a habitat prone to rapid changes in moisture availability. As dispersal ranges correlate with diaspore size, this reinforces the notion that epiphytes experience strong dispersal limitations. Our results thus provide the evolutionary complement to metapopulation, metacommunity and experimental studies demonstrating trade-offs between dispersal distance, establishment ability, and life-history strategy, which may be central to the evolution of reproductive strategies in bryophytes. © 2011 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2011 New Phytologist Trust.
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.
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...
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.
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.
Booker, D. J.
In urban rivers, flow regime and channel morphology are the drivers of physical habitat quality for aquatic species. Peak discharges are increased at high flows as a result of impermeable catchments and channel engineering for flood protection schemes. Hazardous conditions and flashy hydrographs mean that measurement of velocities at high flows is a difficult task. This research uses a three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (3D-CFD) model to simulate hydraulic patterns in two urban river channels. A 3D-CFD code, called SSIIM, was used to simulate hydraulic conditions in two engineered river reaches of the River Tame, Birmingham, UK. These two sites represent channels with different levels of engineering. Models were calibrated and tested using field measurements. Results show that modelled water surface levels and velocity profiles are well simulated. Calibrated roughness heights are compared with those derived from field measurement of sediment size. Numerical experiments are used to assess the relationship between grid resolution in the vertical dimension and the form of the modelled velocity profiles. Biologists have used laboratory experiments to determine maximum sustainable swimming speeds (MSSS) of fish, often in order to assess what level of a particular pollutant may be tolerable. In this work, simulations of high-flow hydraulic patterns are used to compare velocity patterns with fish MSSS. Results show that when the water levels rise to fill the first channel of the two-stage channels at the sites, which occurred 16 times in 2000, MSSS are surpassed in the majority of available habitat, suggesting that excessive velocities at high flows are one factor that limits fish habitat. A comparison between the two reaches shows that there is less available habitat in the more modified reach. Conclusions suggest that an approach that integrates water quality issues and physical channel characteristics must be taken in river rehabilitation schemes, as
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP) was a multi-institutional, international effort addressing the response of biogeography and...
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
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
Martin, Julien; Chamaille-Jammes, Simon; Nichols, James D.; Fritz, Herve; Hines, James E.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.; MacKenzie, Darryl I.; Bailey, Larissa L.
The recent development of statistical models such as dynamic site occupancy models provides the opportunity to address fairly complex management and conservation problems with relatively simple models. However, surprisingly few empirical studies have simultaneously modeled habitat suitability and occupancy status of organisms over large landscapes for management purposes. Joint modeling of these components is particularly important in the context of management of wild populations, as it provides a more coherent framework to investigate the population dynamics of organisms in space and time for the application of management decision tools. We applied such an approach to the study of water hole use by African elephants in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. Here we show how such methodology may be implemented and derive estimates of annual transition probabilities among three dry-season states for water holes: (1) unsuitable state (dry water holes with no elephants); (2) suitable state (water hole with water) with low abundance of elephants; and (3) suitable state with high abundance of elephants. We found that annual rainfall and the number of neighboring water holes influenced the transition probabilities among these three states. Because of an increase in elephant densities in the park during the study period, we also found that transition probabilities from low abundance to high abundance states increased over time. The application of the joint habitat–occupancy models provides a coherent framework to examine how habitat suitability and factors that affect habitat suitability influence the distribution and abundance of organisms. We discuss how these simple models can further be used to apply structured decision-making tools in order to derive decisions that are optimal relative to specified management objectives. The modeling framework presented in this paper should be applicable to a wide range of existing data sets and should help to address important ecological
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...
Haghania, Ali; Aliabadian, Mansour; Sarhangzadeh, Jalil; Setoodehc, Ahad
In this study, maximum entropy models were developed in four seasons to evaluate habitat suitability and factors affecting Asian Houbara in Iran. Environmental variables used in modeling consisted of 42 environmental and climate variables for Nayband wildlife refuge and 36 environmental and climate variables for Petregan protected area. Also, seasonal overlap area were obtained using the ENM TOOLS software. The results showed that the most important factors affecting habitat suitability of the Asian Houbara in all seasons included the ratio of distance to hill, the type of Artemisia-Gymnocarpus, distance to the slope (8-12%) in the Nayband wildlife refuge, distance to the type of Artemisia aucheri, distance to the Land Passion, and distance to the dry land farming in the Petregan region. In summer, the most suitable habitat is Nayband but is Petergan during fall-winter. there is maximum overlap in summer, and the least overlap in the spring these areas. The results of this study can be used as a valuable tool in implementing conservation and management strategies, in order to increase desirable habitats in the eastern part of Iran.
Inglis, Graeme J; Hurren, Helen; Oldman, John; Haskew, Rachel
Eradication and control of invasive species are often possible only if populations are detected when they are small and localized. To be efficient, detection surveys should be targeted at locations where there is the greatest risk of incursions. We examine the utility of habitat suitability index (HSI) and particle dispersion models for targeting sampling for marine pests. Habitat suitability index models are a simple way to identify suitable habitat when species distribution data are lacking. We compared the performance of HSI models with statistical models derived from independent data from New Zealand on the distribution of two nonindigenous bivalves: Theora lubrica and Musculista senhousia. Logistic regression models developed using the HSI scores as predictors of the presence/absence of Theora and Musculista explained 26.7% and 6.2% of the deviance in the data, respectively. Odds ratios for the HSI scores were greater than unity, indicating that they were genuine predictors of the presence/ absence of each species. The fit and predictive accuracy of each logistic model were improved when simulated patterns of dispersion from the nearest port were added as a predictor variable. Nevertheless, the combined model explained, at best, 46.5% of the deviance in the distribution of Theora and correctly predicted 56% of true presences and 50% of all cases. Omission errors were between 6% and 16%. Although statistical distribution models built directly from environmental predictors always outperformed the equivalent HSI models, the gain in model fit and accuracy was modest. High residual deviance in both types of model suggests that the distributions realized by Theora and Musculista in the field data were influenced by factors not explicitly modeled as explanatory variables and by error in the environmental data used to project suitable habitat for the species. Our results highlight the difficulty of accurately predicting the distribution of invasive marine species that
Mellenbergh, Gideon J.; van der Linden, Willem J.
A linear utility model is introduced for optimal selection when several subpopulations of applicants are to be distinguished. Using this model, procedures are described for obtaining optimal cutting scores in subpopulations in quota-free as well as quota-restricted selection situations. The cutting
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...
National Aeronautics and Space Administration — ABSTRACT: The Vegetation/Ecosystem Modeling and Analysis Project (VEMAP) was a multi-institutional, international effort addressing the response of biogeography and...
Samani, Saeideh; Ye, Ming; Asghari Moghaddam, Asghar
Selecting reliable models for simulating groundwater flow and solute transport is essential to groundwater resources management and protection. This work is to explore several model selection methods for avoiding over-complex and/or over-parameterized groundwater models. We consider six groundwater flow models with different numbers (6, 10, 10, 13, 13 and 15) of model parameters. These models represent alternative geological interpretations, recharge estimates, and boundary conditions at a study site in Iran. The models were developed with Model Muse, and calibrated against observations of hydraulic head using UCODE. Model selection was conducted by using the following four approaches: (1) Rank the models using their root mean square error (RMSE) obtained after UCODE-based model calibration, (2) Calculate model probability using GLUE method, (3) Evaluate model probability using model selection criteria (AIC, AICc, BIC, and KIC), and (4) Evaluate model weights using the Fuzzy Multi-Criteria-Decision-Making (MCDM) approach. MCDM is based on the fuzzy analytical hierarchy process (AHP) and fuzzy technique for order performance, which is to identify the ideal solution by a gradual expansion from the local to the global scale of model parameters. The KIC and MCDM methods are superior to other methods, as they consider not only the fit between observed and simulated data and the number of parameter, but also uncertainty in model parameters. Considering these factors can prevent from occurring over-complexity and over-parameterization, when selecting the appropriate groundwater flow models. These methods selected, as the best model, one with average complexity (10 parameters) and the best parameter estimation (model 3).
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
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.
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
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.
MacCoy, Dorene E.; Short, Terry M.
Assessments of streamflow (discharge) parameters, water quality, physical habitat, and biological communities were completed between May and September 2014 as part of a monitoring program in the Big Wood River watershed of south-central Idaho. The sampling was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in cooperation with Blaine County, Trout Unlimited, the Nature Conservancy, and the Wood River Land Trust to help identify the status of aquatic resources at selected locations in the watershed. Information in this report provides a basis with which to evaluate and monitor the long-term health of the Big Wood River and its major tributaries. Sampling sites were co-located with existing U.S. Geological Survey streamgaging stations: three on the main stem Big Wood River and four on the North Fork Big Wood River (North Fork), Warm Springs Creek (Warm Sp), Trail Creek (Trail Ck), and East Fork Big Wood River (East Fork) tributaries.The analytical results and quality-assurance information for water quality, physical habitat, and biological community samples collected at study sites during 2 weeks in September 2014 are summarized. Water-quality data include concentrations of major nutrients, suspended sediment, dissolved oxygen, and fecal-coliform bacteria. To assess the potential effects of nutrient enrichment on algal growth, concentrations of periphyton biomass (chlorophyll-a and ash free dry weight) in riffle habitats were determined at each site. Physical habitat parameters include stream channel morphology, habitat volume, instream structure, substrate composition, and riparian vegetative cover. Biological data include taxa richness, abundance, and stream-health indicator metrics for macroinvertebrate and fish communities. Statistical summaries of the water-quality, habitat, and biological data are provided along with discussion of how these findings relate to the health of aquatic resources in the Big Wood River watershed.Seasonal discharge patterns using statistical
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.
Hill, Nicholas J; Tobin, Andrew J; Reside, April E; Pepperell, Julian G; Bridge, Tom C L
Many taxa are undergoing distribution shifts in response to anthropogenic climate change. However, detecting a climate signal in mobile species is difficult due to their wide-ranging, patchy distributions, often driven by natural climate variability. For example, difficulties associated with assessing pelagic fish distributions have rendered fisheries management ill-equipped to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change, leaving pelagic species and ecosystems vulnerable. Here, we demonstrate the value of citizen science data for modelling the dynamic habitat suitability of a mobile pelagic predator (black marlin, Istiompax indica) within the south-west Pacific Ocean. The extensive spatial and temporal coverage of our occurrence data set (n = 18 717), collected at high resolution (~1.85 km(2) ), enabled identification of suitable habitat at monthly time steps over a 16-year period (1998-2013). We identified considerable monthly, seasonal and interannual variability in the extent and distribution of suitable habitat, predominately driven by chlorophyll a and sea surface height. Interannual variability correlated with El Nino Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events, with suitable habitat extending up to ~300 km further south during La Nina events. Despite the strong influence of ENSO, our model revealed a rapid poleward shift in the geometric mean of black marlin habitat, occurring at 88.2 km decade(-1) . By incorporating multiple environmental factors at monthly time steps, we were able to demonstrate a rapid distribution shift in a mobile pelagic species. Our findings suggest that the rapid velocity of climate change in the south-west Pacific Ocean is likely affecting mobile pelagic species, indicating that they may be more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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.
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.
Patrick M. Olsen
Full Text Available There is a lack of information regarding critical habitats for many marine species, including the bearded seal, an important subsistence species for the indigenous residents of Arctic regions. A systematic approach to modeling marine mammal habitat in arctic regions using the lifetime and multi-generational Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK of Alaska Native hunters is developed to address this gap. The approach uses lifetime and cross-generational knowledge of subsistence hunters and their harvest data in the place of observational knowledge gained from Western scientific field surveys of marine mammal sightings. TEK information for mid-June to October was transformed to seal presence/pseudo-absence and used to train Classification Tree Analyses of environmental predictor variables to predict suitable habitat for bearded seals in the Bering Strait region. Predictor variables were derived from a suite of terrestrial, oceanic, and atmospheric remote sensing products, transformed using trend analysis techniques, and aggregated. A Kappa of 0.883 was achieved for habitat classifications. The TEK information used is spatially restricted, but provides a viable, replicable data source that can replace or complement Western scientific observational data.
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...
Nguyen, A.; Gole, A.; Randall, J.; Dlott, G. A.; Zhang, S.; Alfaro, B.; Schmidt, C.; Skiles, J. W.
Mapping and predicting the spatial distribution of invasive plant species is central to habitat management, however difficult to implement at landscape and regional scales. Remote sensing techniques can reduce the cost of field campaigns and can provide a regional and multi-temporal view of invasive species spread. Invasive perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is now widespread in fragmented estuaries of the South San Francisco Bay, and is shown to degrade native vegetation in estuaries and adjacent habitats, thereby reducing forage and shelter for wildlife. The purpose of this study is to map the current distribution of pepperweed in estuarine areas of the South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project, and create a habitat suitability model to predict future spread. Pepperweed reflectance data were collected in-situ with a GER 1500 spectroradiometer along with 88 corresponding pepperweed presence and absence points used for building the statistical models. The spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification algorithm was used to distinguish the reflectance spectrum of pepperweed and map its distribution using an EO-1 Hyperion satellite image. To map pepperweed, a supervised classification was performed on an ASTER image with a resulting classification accuracy of 71.8%. We generated a weighted overlay analysis model within a geographic information system (GIS) framework to predict areas in the study site most susceptible to pepperweed colonization. Variables for the model included propensity for disturbance, status of pond restoration, proximity to water channels, and terrain curvature. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was also used to generate a probability map and investigate the statistical probability that each variable contributed to predict pepperweed spread. Results from the GAM revealed distance to channels, distance to ponds and curvature were statistically significant (p < 0.01) in determining the locations of suitable pepperweed habitats.
Nguyen, Andrew; Gole, Alexander; Randall, Jarom; Dlott, Glade; Zhang, Sylvia; Alfaro, Brian; Schmidt, Cindy; Skiles, J. W.
Mapping and predicting the spatial distribution of invasive plant species is central to habitat management, however difficult to implement at landscape and regional scales. Remote sensing techniques can reduce the impact field campaigns have on these ecologically sensitive areas and can provide a regional and multi-temporal view of invasive species spread. Invasive perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is now widespread in fragmented estuaries of the South San Francisco Bay, and is shown to degrade native vegetation in estuaries and adjacent habitats, thereby reducing forage and shelter for wildlife. The purpose of this study is to map the present distribution of pepperweed in estuarine areas of the South San Francisco Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project (Alviso, CA), and create a habitat suitability model to predict future spread. Pepperweed reflectance data were collected in-situ with a GER 1500 spectroradiometer along with 88 corresponding pepperweed presence and absence points used for building the statistical models. The spectral angle mapper (SAM) classification algorithm was used to distinguish the reflectance spectrum of pepperweed and map its distribution using an image from EO-1 Hyperion. To map pepperweed, we performed a supervised classification on an ASTER image with a resulting classification accuracy of 71.8%. We generated a weighted overlay analysis model within a geographic information system (GIS) framework to predict areas in the study site most susceptible to pepperweed colonization. Variables for the model included propensity for disturbance, status of pond restoration, proximity to water channels, and terrain curvature. A Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was also used to generate a probability map and investigate the statistical probability that each variable contributed to predict pepperweed spread. Results from the GAM revealed distance to channels, distance to ponds and curvature were statistically significant (p suitable pepperweed
Bennitt, Emily; Bonyongo, Mpaphi Casper; Harris, Stephen
Seasonal fluctuations in water availability cause predictable changes in the profitability of habitats in tropical ecosystems, and animals evolve adaptive behavioural and spatial responses to these fluctuations. However, stochastic changes in the distribution and abundance of surface water between years can alter resource availability at a landscape scale, causing shifts in animal behaviour. In the Okavango Delta, Botswana, a flood-pulsed ecosystem, the volume of water entering the system doubled between 2008 and 2009, creating a sudden change in the landscape. We used African buffalo (Syncerus caffer) to test the hypotheses that seasonal habitat selection would be related to water availability, that increased floodwater levels would decrease forage abundance and affect habitat selection, and that this would decrease buffalo resting time, reduce reproductive success and decrease body condition. Buffalo selected contrasting seasonal habitats, using habitats far from permanent water during the rainy season and seasonally-flooded habitats close to permanent water during the early and late flood seasons. The 2009 water increase reduced forage availability in seasonally-flooded habitats, removing a resource buffer used by the buffalo during the late flood season, when resources were most limited. In response, buffalo used drier habitats in 2009, although there was no significant change in the time spent moving or resting, or daily distance moved. While their reproductive success decreased in 2009, body condition increased. A protracted period of high water levels could prove detrimental to herbivores, especially to smaller-bodied species that require high quality forage. Stochastic annual fluctuations in water levels, predicted to increase as a result of anthropogenically-induced climate change, are likely to have substantial impacts on the functioning of water-driven tropical ecosystems, affecting environmental conditions within protected areas. Buffer zones around
Full Text Available Seasonal fluctuations in water availability cause predictable changes in the profitability of habitats in tropical ecosystems, and animals evolve adaptive behavioural and spatial responses to these fluctuations. However, stochastic changes in the distribution and abundance of surface water between years can alter resource availability at a landscape scale, causing shifts in animal behaviour. In the Okavango Delta, Botswana, a flood-pulsed ecosystem, the volume of water entering the system doubled between 2008 and 2009, creating a sudden change in the landscape. We used African buffalo (Syncerus caffer to test the hypotheses that seasonal habitat selection would be related to water availability, that increased floodwater levels would decrease forage abundance and affect habitat selection, and that this would decrease buffalo resting time, reduce reproductive success and decrease body condition. Buffalo selected contrasting seasonal habitats, using habitats far from permanent water during the rainy season and seasonally-flooded habitats close to permanent water during the early and late flood seasons. The 2009 water increase reduced forage availability in seasonally-flooded habitats, removing a resource buffer used by the buffalo during the late flood season, when resources were most limited. In response, buffalo used drier habitats in 2009, although there was no significant change in the time spent moving or resting, or daily distance moved. While their reproductive success decreased in 2009, body condition increased. A protracted period of high water levels could prove detrimental to herbivores, especially to smaller-bodied species that require high quality forage. Stochastic annual fluctuations in water levels, predicted to increase as a result of anthropogenically-induced climate change, are likely to have substantial impacts on the functioning of water-driven tropical ecosystems, affecting environmental conditions within protected areas
Roger Tankersley, Jr.
Full Text Available Intact migratory routes are critical for the stability of forest-dwelling, neotropical, migratory bird populations, and mortality along migratory pathways may be significant. Yet we know almost nothing about the geography of available stopovers or the possible migratory pathways that connect optimal stopovers. We undertake a spatial analysis of stopover habitat availability and then model potential migratory pathways between optimal stopovers in the eastern United States. Using models of fixed orientation and fixed nightly flight distance between stopovers during spring migration, we explore whether a simple endogenous migratory program is sufficient to ensure successful migration across the modern landscape. Our model runs suggest that the modern distribution of optimum stopovers in the eastern United States can be adequately exploited by birds following migratory pathways defined by fixed-orientation and fixed-distance nightly flights. Longer flight distances may increase the chances of success by enabling migrants to bypass locales offering little habitat. Our results also suggest that most southwest-northeast migratory pathways through the Appalachian mountains are intact. Lack of optimal habitat at key locations in the Southeast causes many modeled pathways to fail. We present a speculative view of regional migration patterns implied by predominant ideas found in stopover ecology literature, and demonstrate the need for broad-scale migration research, in the hope that our approach will foster other continental- and regional-scale projects.
This paper proposes a new technique, Model Selection Technique (MST) for selection and ranking of models from the repository of models by combining three performance measures (Acc, TPR and TNR). This technique provides weightage to each performance measure to find the most suitable model from the repository of ...
Predicting Scenarios for Successful Autodissemination of Pyriproxyfen by Malaria Vectors from Their Resting Sites to Aquatic Habitats; Description and Simulation Analysis of a Field-Parameterizable Model.
Samson S Kiware
Full Text Available Large-cage experiments indicate pyriproxifen (PPF can be transferred from resting sites to aquatic habitats by Anopheles arabiensis--malaria vector mosquitoes to inhibit emergence of their own offspring. PPF coverage is amplified twice: (1 partial coverage of resting sites with PPF contamination results in far higher contamination coverage of adult mosquitoes because they are mobile and use numerous resting sites per gonotrophic cycle, and (2 even greater contamination coverage of aquatic habitats results from accumulation of PPF from multiple oviposition events.Deterministic mathematical models are described that use only field-measurable input parameters and capture the biological processes that mediate PPF autodissemination. Recent successes in large cages can be rationalized, and the plausibility of success under full field conditions can be evaluated a priori. The model also defines measurable properties of PPF delivery prototypes that may be optimized under controlled experimental conditions to maximize chances of success in full field trials. The most obvious flaw in this model is the endogenous relationship that inevitably occurs between the larval habitat coverage and the measured rate of oviposition into those habitats if the target mosquito species is used to mediate PPF transfer. However, this inconsistency also illustrates the potential advantages of using a different, non-target mosquito species for contamination at selected resting sites that shares the same aquatic habitats as the primary target. For autodissemination interventions to eliminate malaria transmission or vector populations during the dry season window of opportunity will require comprehensive contamination of the most challenging subset of aquatic habitats [Formula: see text] that persist or retain PPF activity (Ux for only one week [Formula: see text], where Ux = 7 days. To achieve >99% contamination coverage of these habitats will necessitate values for the
Drayer, Gregorio E.; Howard, Ayanna M.
Long duration human spaceflight poses challenges for spacecraft autonomy and the regeneration of life support consumables, such as oxygen and water. Bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS), which make use of biological processes to transform biological byproducts back into consumables, have the ability to recycle organic byproducts and are the preferred option for food production. A limitation in BLSS research is in the non-availability of small-scale experimental capacities that may help to better understand the challenges in system closure, integration, and control. Ground-based aquatic habitats are an option for small-scale research relevant to bioregenerative life support systems (BLSS), given that they can operate as self-contained systems enclosing a habitat composed of various species in a single volume of water. The purpose of this paper is to present the modeling and simulation of a reconfigurable aquatic habitat for experiments in regenerative life support automation; it supports the use of aquatic habitats as a small-scale approach to experiments relevant to larger-scale regenerative life support systems. It presents ground-based aquatic habitats as an option for small-scale BLSS research focusing on the process of respiration, and elaborates on the description of biological processes by introducing models of ecophysiological phenomena for consumers and producers: higher plants of the species Bacopa monnieri produce O2 for snails of the genus Pomacea; the snails consume O2 and generate CO2, which is used by the plants in combination with radiant energy to generate O2 through the process of photosynthesis. Feedback controllers are designed to regulate the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water. This paper expands the description of biological processes by introducing models of ecophysiological phenomena of the organisms involved. The model of the plants includes a description of the rate of CO2 assimilation as a function of irradiance
Meineri, Eric; Deville, Anne-Sophie; Grémillet, David; Gauthier-Clerc, Michel; Béchet, Arnaud
Only a few studies have shown positive impacts of ecological compensation on species dynamics affected by human activities. We argue that this is due to inappropriate methods used to forecast required compensation in environmental impact assessments. These assessments are mostly descriptive and only valid at limited spatial and temporal scales. However, habitat suitability models developed to predict the impacts of environmental changes on potential species' distributions should provide rigorous science-based tools for compensation planning. Here we describe the two main classes of predictive models: correlative models and individual-based mechanistic models. We show how these models can be used alone or synoptically to improve compensation planning. While correlative models are easier to implement, they tend to ignore underlying ecological processes and lack accuracy. On the contrary, individual-based mechanistic models can integrate biological interactions, dispersal ability and adaptation. Moreover, among mechanistic models, those considering animal energy balance are particularly efficient at predicting the impact of foraging habitat loss. However, mechanistic models require more field data compared to correlative models. Hence we present two approaches which combine both methods for compensation planning, especially in relation to the spatial scale considered. We show how the availability of biological databases and software enabling fast and accurate population projections could be advantageously used to assess ecological compensation requirement efficiently in environmental impact assessments. © 2014 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2014 Cambridge Philosophical Society.
VisTrails is an open-source management and scientific workflow system designed to integrate the best of both scientific workflow and scientific visualization systems. Developers can extend the functionality of the VisTrails system by creating custom modules for bundled VisTrails packages. The Invasive Species Science Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Fort Collins Science Center (FORT) and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s North Central Climate Science Center have teamed up to develop and implement such a module—the Software for Assisted Habitat Modeling (SAHM). SAHM expedites habitat modeling and helps maintain a record of the various input data, the steps before and after processing, and the modeling options incorporated in the construction of an ecological response model. There are four main advantages to using the SAHM:VisTrails combined package for species distribution modeling: (1) formalization and tractable recording of the entire modeling process; (2) easier collaboration through a common modeling framework; (3) a user-friendly graphical interface to manage file input, model runs, and output; and (4) extensibility to incorporate future and additional modeling routines and tools. In order to meet increased interest in the SAHM:VisTrails package, the FORT offers a training course twice a year. The course includes a combination of lecture, hands-on work, and discussion. Please join us and other ecological modelers to learn the capabilities of the SAHM:VisTrails package.
Cardador, Laura; De Cáceres, Miquel; Bota, Gerard; Giralt, David; Casas, Fabián; Arroyo, Beatriz; Mougeot, François; Cantero-Martínez, Carlos; Moncunill, Judit; Butler, Simon J; Brotons, Lluís
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.
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.
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
Limborg, Morten; Blankenship, S.; Young, S.
Recent advances in molecular interrogation techniques now allow unprecedented genomic inference about the role of adaptive genetic divergence in wild populations. We used high-throughput genotyping to screen a genome-wide panel of 276 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) for the economically...... 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...
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.
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...
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
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
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
Murray, K; Heritier, S; Müller, S
Model selection techniques have existed for many years; however, to date, simple, clear and effective methods of visualising the model building process are sparse. This article describes graphical methods that assist in the selection of models and comparison of many different selection criteria. Specifically, we describe for logistic regression, how to visualize measures of description loss and of model complexity to facilitate the model selection dilemma. We advocate the use of the bootstrap to assess the stability of selected models and to enhance our graphical tools. We demonstrate which variabl